Skip Navigation Links
MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 A Unique Volunteer to MACA: Barry Spiegel Remembered
 Stephen Dann
  July 2017

Of all the volunteers I've worked with in my 48 years organizing chess and being in professional communications, Barry S. Spiegel, who died 25 years ago June 26, has to be one of the most inspirational.

Though physically handicapped and disfigured from birth with profound cerebral palsy, Barry served MACA 20 years doing all kinds of support work that literally makes or breaks any hobby, sporting or educational nonprofit--MACA being a bit of all three.

Barry never said no to any challenge to promote chess in Central MA, or, anywhere in New England or beyond. He hosted Chess Horizons mailing sessions (when we mailed out thousands of 48 to 84-page issues six times per year--back breaking work as long-time CH editor and mentor George Mirijanian can tell you) at his Worcester home.

Despite his handicap, Barry found time to compete, become an active certified TD, attend monthly board of directors meetings of MACA, and, become an assistant BSA scoutmaster. He even had a day job--merchandising clerk for one of Worcester's largest department stores - and a local snow removal and landscaping business!

It was so very sad when Barry was diagnosed with a non-malignant inoperable tumor his last year of life. Perhaps his legacy will be that he inspired Gilbert Gus Gosselin to create MACA's Living Memorial Chess Fund, where some of the largest contributions have come from the Central MA area.

His legacy will also live on, of course, through the scholastic championship that now bears his name. It was only four days after his passing that we were holding our June board meeting that year, and seemingly all of us on MACA decided at once that it would be good to truly honor the man.