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Welcome to the Club Members Page

My idea with this page is to have all of our club members posted here. Prior to being added to this page, they are featured on our homepage for 30 days. After the 30 days their photo and bio go on this page. We have a large membership so I am excited to watch this page grow.

Thanks for checking out our website!      Roy Dotson,  Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 19

Diebert's GQ Photo.JPG

Posted March, 22 2023

Photo 19 is National Life Master Chuck Diebert. I met Chuck in my search for a chess coach soon after starting the Marysville Chess Club. Chuck was able to help me go from an 1100/1200 rated player to over 1700 in just a few years.  Yes, I put in work too, but Chuck kept me inspired. He had a way making me laugh and really enjoy chess. Chuck became my friend and mentor! Not only did Chuck coach me in chess but he also would attend the Marysville Memorial Chess Cookouts and offered to play speed games with everyone and do analysis of a game using my demo board. What a treat that was. We were all amazed and captivated by how well Chuck could analyze a game on a demo board with such energy and enthusiasm, he would certainly keep you laughing and on your toes. Chuck is still an active tournament player; he recently played in one of our Invitational tournaments and joined us at the chess club for some casual games.  Having a peak rating of 2396, Chuck could certainly play some chess. His favorite opening at the time was the Blackmar – Deimer Gambit or BDG for short. Chuck does have a book of his games and still coaches a few students. Chuck has won eight Columbus championships and played against many IMs and GMs including IM Jeremy Silman. I remember when Chuck beat GM Anatoly Lein - that was a heck of a game. Recently, Howard Dixon and I were discussing taking some lessons, of course, Chuck happily agreed. We drove over to Chuck’s place and for the next few hours, we had lessons, laughs and remembered some wonderful memories of past events. For example, we were all at the King’s Island Open and went back to our room for analysis. Chuck was showing me a way that I may have been able to proceed without losing. Howard said, “No, Chuck, that loses too” Chuck then had Howard play it out on the board so that Chuck could show Howard how wrong he was. Next thing I hear is Chuck saying in his deep raspy voice - “you don’t have to be a smartass Howard” and we laughed so hard that I fell out of my chair…guess Howard was right, giggle giggle. That really is a testament to Chuck’s character, he would always give you credit and build you up.

Thank you, Chuck, for helping me realize my chess potential, for inspiring me, and for helping me enjoy my chess journey.  Thank you for your membership!  You are the best chess coach anyone could ask for!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Franz GQ.jpg

Photo 18

Posted March, 22 2023

Photo 18 is Professor Franz Gruber (ret).  Franz has been a member of the Marysville Chess Club since around 2017.  Franz is retired which gives him more time to study chess (makes me jealous) and participate in more club activities.  Franz plays in our spring and fall Invitational tournaments and participates in the Tuesday chess class.  Franz enjoys our annual Memorial chess cookout and he is an active club member in the Delaware Chess Club.  Busy man right? Franz loves to help the novice players by teaching them what he has learned and encouraging them after a loss.  Franz does all this with a smile on his face, very impressive considering that Franz struggles with MS.  Franz is currently participating in our first Frenemy’s tournament.  This is a USCF tournament where six players get to choose who they want for an opponent (Frenemy) emphasis on higher rated, and then they play one G/90 a month for four months.  Franz lost his first game but won round two.  We have two more rounds left so wish Franz luck!


Thank you for your inspiration to others, Franz, and thank you for your membership!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Anton's GQ Pic.jpg

Photo 17 is club member Dr Anton Freihofner (ret).  I met Anton at the Delaware Chess Club back when they were meeting at the Mean Bean Café.  Yes, I know, that was a long time ago.  Anton loved to play chess and compete in tournaments.  I remember when the Marysville Chess Club was meeting at Starbucks.  By the time I got off work and made my way to the club, Anton and several members would already be engaged in a game of chess.  One time when I arrived at club, I noticed that everyone was notating their games.  What is going on? They never write down their games.  I went to the counter for a tea and made my way back to the tables.  Still confused about all the notating of games, I started looking and noticed that everyone had the same pen.  Upon a closer look, I noticed that the pens had ‘Viagra’ written on them in big bold letters. I knew right away, then I yelled, !!ANTON!! Everyone just laughed and laughed.  It is not easy having a doctor in your chess club.  Club member Frank Hamilton had missed the previous week, jokingly I said, “you need a doctor’s excuse if you miss again” Frank looked over at Anton and said “hey Anton, can you give me an excuse?”.  Ugh, I say. 


Thank you, Anton, for spicing things up on and off the board, and thank you for your membership!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 17

Posted February, 22 2023

Photo 16

Rhonda's GQ Pic.jpg

Posted January, 22 2023

Photo 16 is club member Rhonda Hissong.  Rhonda’s membership is six years strong.  She joined the Marysville Chess Club back when we were meeting at Starbucks.  Rhonda is an active member and has participated in most of our events.  She has participated in our Tuesday chess class and has played in our Invitational tournaments.  Rhonda loves to volunteer her time to help with club activities.  She helped set up several chess cookouts and helped with setting up at our tournaments.  Rhonda really enjoys playing chess and has beat some of our stronger players.  Do not worry Frank; I will not mention any names.  Rhonda truly loves to play chess and the fact that she rarely misses coming to the chess club speaks for itself.

Thank you for your membership, Rhonda, and thank you for all you do to support the club!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 15


Posted December, 22 2022

Photo 15 is club member Scott Swisher.  Scott has been a member of the Marysville Chess Club for six or seven years now.  We were meeting at Starbucks when I first met Scott.  It was obvious right away, that Scott was passionate about chess.  Scott has participated in almost every event that the Marysville Chess Club sponsors.  Scott is part of our team that travels to Michigan to play in the Muskegon Chess Club VS Marysville Chess Club event.  Scott plays in our USCF hosted tournaments twice a year.  What’s more, I have hosted a chess class on Tuesdays from March to October for the last five years and Scott has only missed one day.  Now that is dedication and passion.  Scott attends our Memorial Chess Cookout and has participated in our Christmas simul against Master Tom Britt.  Not much Scott does not participate in right. 

Thank you for your membership and dedication Scott!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Dohnal's GQ Photo Rev.jpg

Photo 14

Posted November 22, 2022

Photo 14 is long-term member Jim Dohnal.  Jim started attending soon after we started the club.  A much better chess player than me, Jim would leave his pawns hanging and watch me gobble them up like a Thanksgiving dinner.  Jim would just chuckle in amusement as I munched on pawns with my only developed piece.  Jim knew that developing his pieces was far more important than hanging onto a pawn.  Jim finally shared his strategy and opening ideas with me.  It makes me think back to how much of a novice player I was.  Jim would teach me and let me borrow books to help me.  I was so excited to learn and thankful for Jim taking me under his wing.  Jim still comes to the chess club from time to time and at his age that is impressive.  I think he is 200 years old – shhhh, do not tell him I said that.

Thank you for you friendship, guidance and your membership Jim!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 13

Tom's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted October 22, 2022

Photo 13 is Professor Tom Wolber (ret). I met Tom my first time attending the Delaware Chess Club. Wow, that was 17 maybe 18 years ago. Tom and I hit it off. It could be because he beat me just as everyone else did at the Delaware Chess Club. Tom and other Delaware members started attending the Marysville Chess Club on Thursdays and the Marysville members would attend the Delaware club every Saturday. Tom plays in our Invitational events and enjoys our annual cookout. I have watched Tom let his opponent take back their move to help them learn and to continue the fun of the game. He is willing to share his chess knowledge and even tell you what his plan is in the middle game to help you come up with a plan. Tom goes out of his way to help make new members feel welcome to the club. If you play Tom, you best buckle in, because he will fight to the very end.  If you don't believe me just look at the photo,  Tom is very focused and is looking for - Moves That Make Sense!

Thank you, Tom, for caring about others and thank you for your membership in the Marysville Chess Club!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 12

Howard's GQ Photo.JPG

Posted September 22, 2022

Photo 12, is Howard Dixon.  I met Howard back when the Marysville Chess Club was meeting at Starbucks.  Little did I know, Howard would play at the Mean Bean with the Delaware Chess Club.  Howard would stop in on a Saturday, beat everyone and leave.  It was no different when he came to the Marysville Chess Club at Starbucks for the first time.  I could not help but like Howard.  He was nice, fun, and had such a wonderful attitude.  Maybe it was because he just beat everyone including me several times.  I stopped Howard before he got out the door (what was I thinking). I let him know that he was welcome to our club anytime and that I hoped to see him again soon.  Howard was very tactical, more so than all of us.  That motivated me to be a better tactical player.  Howard did come back to Starbucks…and we suffered more losses, but I gained a friend.  Howard is the most fun, loving and caring person I know.  Through the years, I have watched Howard coach novice players with gentle explanations and reason for their moves.  Howard moved away to Florida for a little while but would come back to play in our Invitational tournaments.  Howard missed us so much and we missed him enough that he moved back to Ohio.  Welcome back Howard!


Thank you for your membership, and for being my friend Howard!


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 11

Mike's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted August 22, 2022

Photo 11 is one of the original club members Mike Thomas.  I met Mike at the Delaware Chess Club back in the day when they were meeting at the Mean Bean.  We quickly hit it off and became friends.  Mike somehow improves his game without the study of openings, tactics or reading Silman books like so many of us do.  It is hard to understand how he does it.  I have read books, studied master games, took lessons from masters and worked with other strong chess players and yet somehow Mike comes along and beats me!  I would beat him up, but he knows Tai Chi and has taught this art to so many before retiring from that and gymnastics.  Mike plays with heart and creativity and that makes him one tough opponent.  I really enjoy having Mike in our club and as my friend.


Thank you for your membership, Mike!


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 10

Rob's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted July22, 2022

Photo10 is club member Rob Lapat. Rob is a long-time member who is always improving his chess game.  I remember being able to win most all the games I would play against Rob.  Now it is no easy task to win a game against Rob, he is our most improved player and can play competitively against anyone.  Rob has been part of the Ohio team to play against Michigan when we travel to Adrian in March.  Hopefully Rob can make the team for our trip in 2023?  Rob is in the process of hand – making a chess set.  I have seen some pictures of the board and I must say that I can’t wait to see the finished product. 


Thank you for your membership, Rob!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 9

Peter's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted June 22, 2022

Photo 9 is club member Peter Galupo.  Peter was attracted to chess as a youth but was too busy practicing and teaching martial arts to learn chess.  Peter became a master black belt and made a career of teaching martial arts.  After a lifetime of physically conditioning and training for hours on end every day, Peter thought it would be a good idea to give his body a break (no pun intended) and play chess.  By playing chess Peter would say “chess can be frighteningly similar to hand -to-hand combat; what better way to temper your inner disposition than heated battles over the chess board” and not have to endure the physical pains of the battle.  It is a good thing that Peter chose chess.  I say that because he became a student of National Master Chuck Diebert and was with Chuck when Chuck experienced a heart attack.  Thanks to Peter being able to recognize the signs of a heart attack, Peter rushed Chuck to the hospital where they admitted him right away. Chuck Diebert is an inspiration and mentor to many chess players in central Ohio and I believe that Chuck Diebert, my mentor and chess coach is alive today all in thanks to Peter. 


Thank you for everything you do for Chuck and chess, Peter and thank you for your membership.


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 8

Frank H 2.jpg

Photo 8 is long-term member Frank Hamilton.  Frank is one of our very first members going way back, and I say that with a long laugh.  Frank is still an active member and has participated in every one of our club-hosted tournaments. What’s more Frank played in our annual Ohio vs. Michigan match.  


Thanks for your membership, Frank!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Posted May 22, 2022

Photo 7

Garrett's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted April 22, 2022

Photo 7 is long term member Garrett Bell. I met Garrett when attending the youth chess club that Bruce Lindman ran and coached some 15 or 16 years ago. Garrett learned how to play chess from Cheryl Stagg a friend of the Bell family. It brought a smile to Cheryl's face when she told me the story of when Garrett beat her for the first time. Cheryl said that Garrett went running through the house whooping and hollering in celebration. Trying to beat Garrett now a days is no easy task. I really enjoy having Garrett as a member in our club! Thank you for your membership Garrett.


P.S. Now that I put you on our website-will you let me win a game?


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 6

Bruce's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted March 22, 2022

Photo 6 is my friend and long term member Bruce Lindman. Bruce founded the Delaware Chess Club-AKA (The Hanging Pawns). Bruce also founded a youth chess club in cooperation with the Delaware County District Library on Winter Street where Bruce coached kids for years and years. Bruce set up blind simuls against local masters and speed tournaments for fun. Bruce still plays in tournaments and is actively running the Delaware Chess Club. Bruce is known for doing teaching games at club and has inspired many of us to be better chess players!


Thanks for your membership at the Marysville Chess Club Bruce!


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 5

Kathy's Photo.png

Posted February 22, 2022

Photo 5 is guest member Kathy Lin. When I think about the expression “a person who wears many hats” I think of Kathy. I met Kathy over a decade ago at a chess event that she was hosting. Turns out no matter what chess event or tournament I went to I would see Kathy.

Kathy learned to play chess from her father at the age of five and played in tournaments from fifth grade to ninth grade. It wasn't until her first year of teaching in San Antonio that she begin to pick chess back up. The principle there encouraged her to start an after school club. For the next couple years she was the chess coach and advisor. One of her proudest moments was during her last year there, she took about 20 kids to the Texas Scholastic State Championships where they came in second place!

Kathy moved back to Columbus in 2013 and co-founded the Columbus Chess Academy with the goal of promoting chess throughout central Ohio, especially in under served communities. They host summer chess camps, run tournaments, hosted coaches workshops, donated chess sets, clocks, books, and online memberships.

Whats more? Kathy is currently the Vice President and Treasurer of the Ohio Chess Association. She is a Senior Tournament Director and a FIDE National Arbiter. Kathy also assisted the Marysville Chess Club with our first rated tournament.

Wow right…Thank you, Kathy, for everything you do to promote chess!!

You can catch Kathy on Twitch where she does live chess streaming (

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 4

Vail's GQ Photo.jpg

Posted January 22, 2022

Photo 4 is long time member Richard Vail. Soon after we listed the Marysville Chess Club on the Ohio Chess Association’s website, we received an email from Richard. In this email Richard suggested that we come and play at the Delaware Chess Club founded by Bruce Lindman. So we joined them on Saturday mornings and they joined us on Thursday evenings. That was 17 years ago and can you believe we are still meeting.

About a year after starting the Marysville Chess Club I decided to host a chess cookout. Being very excited that we were going to play chess and have free food, Richard decided to lend support to my event. Ok ok it had nothing to do with the free food???? He loaned me tables, chairs, donated chess sets and clocks. I still host these chess cookouts for our members and Richard is still supporting the club but in different ways: Richard has managed to organize and run several United States Chess Federated tournaments hosted by the Marysville Chess Club. He even organized a non USCF tournament between the Marysville Chess Club and the Muskegon Chess Club, basically another Ohio vs Michigan rival. Richard worked with founder, Steve Dumas, of the Muskegon Chess Club to set it all up.  Next time you see Richard shake his hand um - errr ok just buy him a frosty.

Thank you, Richard Vail, for all your years of dedication and support to the Marysville Chess Club.


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 3


Posted December 22, 2021

Photo 3 is Frank Phillips, Co-Founder of the Marysville Chess Club. We started this club so long ago but I remember like it was yesterday. After the fourth week of no one showing up I was ready to throw in the towel. Frank said “No, Roy, let’s give it another week and see what happens”. Well, I did sucker Frank into starting this club with me so I guess it would be wise to comply with his request (plus I didn’t want to get beat up). It is a good thing that I listened to Frank, here we are 17 years later with such a wonderful club.


Thank you Frank for making me stick with it! And thank you for your friendship and support all these years!!


Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Photo 2


Photo 2 is Mark Borders.  Mark loves to play chess and compete in tournaments.  As a matter of fact that is how I ( Roy Dotson) met Mark.  We can thank Mark for the designs on our club bling.  Mark designed our challenge coins, hats, and logos on each of them. 


Thank you, Mark!!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Posted November 22, 2021

Photo 1

Joe & Bruce.jpg

Photo 1 is Joe Swindler (left).  Joe is stealing some chickens from Bruce Lindman (right).  Joe calls pawns chickens.  I think it's because Joe believes that pawns are food and that he is a hungry fox!  Be careful if you play Joe watch out for your chickens!!!

Thank you, Joe!

Roy Dotson, Founder Marysville Chess Club

Posted October 22, 2021

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