Dear Arizona Chess Community,
The Master Trek tournament series, effective immediately, has been cancelled.
Those in the chess world close to me, my family and the American Chess Events LLC organization, are possibly somewhat surprised, though likely not shocked by this decision. The reasons for this change are many, but the most critical points are simply put as follows: For personal reasons, and for my wife to take up a teaching position at the Shelby School, we relocated our family to Payson more than 4 years ago. Around this time, my professional situation and responsibilities changed drastically when I took up the role as Director of Content and Professional Relations for Chess.com LLC and ChessKid.com.
If maintaining the Master Treks was solely for financial / business reasons, we would have likely ended the tournaments at this time. Feeling the Master Treks provided too much of a needed service within the Arizona Chess Community, we continued to run these events. Along with occasional Showdown Tournaments, the Treks have continued to thrive despite my lack of presence within the community (teaching in the schools, giving private lessons, hosting Strategy Sessions, etc). With the help of many in the Arizona Chess Community, we even followed through with our goals of bringing International and Grandmaster level chess to Arizona with the Copper State International. We would like to think the Master Treks have provided the highest level of tournament competition and the “serious platform / format” needed for our state to continue producing “homegrown talent” worthy of succeeding on the national stage.
Now however, considering that I conduct almost no private lessons or Strategy Sessions, my own “personal involvement” with those playing in the Master Treks has lessened. In addition, we feel things have changed in the chess world over the last few years, with more opportunities now available to the “ambitious members” of scholastic chess community of Arizona. With those thoughts in mind, when Shauna and I considered once again this summer the personal constraints the Treks place on my time with my family, the potential to pursue my own personal chess goals, etc — We ultimately made the decision to move on.
Though I considered all possible scenarios for the Treks to live on in their current form — from overseeing things from afar, to entertaining offers I received to “buy the brand” of ACE Chess and the Master Treks — in the end, none of those options seemed a truly viable option. Perhaps I have too much personal attachment to how I see the Master Treks needing to be run in order to maintain the quality they’ve been known for, or maybe it’s my *eventual* hope that down the road things might change enough in my personal and professional life to bring the Treks back? Who knows what the future holds? American Chess Events LLC may still look to run smaller, more exclusive events (perhaps in my new “backyard” of Northern Arizona), but we are unsure of what those circumstances will look like at this time.
Of course I’d like to thank all those who’ve helped make the Master Treks and other great ACE Chess events possible over the last 10 years, but to list them all individually here would lead to a very long update / email…
Thank you to the Arizona Chess Community, both past and present, for their support and appreciation of our efforts with ACE Chess. Hopefully our events have helped to grow, nurture, and overall “raise the bar” as far as the standard for chess tournaments in Arizona. Any comments and feedback our always welcome.
Take care Arizona Chess Scene! I will hopefully see many of you around on Chess.com!
International Master Danny Rensch
CEO – America Chess Events LLC