Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2000
Eric Abrahamson, tournament organizer: 391- 1048 or 388- 0939
Nels Truelson: 371- 4535 ( home); 333- 2789 ( work)
Steve Buchholz, Tech Public Information Manager, 394- 6082
Chess master coming to Rapid City
For nine years, Nels Truelson couldn’t beat his older brother Roy in chess. Moving rooks and knights and slamming queens to the board, they played after school and on weekends. They challenged other kids in their Minneapolis neighborhood. They played in tournaments against adults and inter- scholastic competitions. Roy played a meticulous, mechanical game and wore down his opponents. Nels learned his game by losing. Losing eventually taught him to win.
Nels finally beat his older brother in 1969 when Roy was the Minnesota State High School Chess Champion and ranked in the top 25 in the nation under the age of 16.
“ Losing all the time, I was constantly looking for ideas, creative ways to win,” Nels said.
He didn’t find those ideas in books on chess openings or strategy. He learned by playing. That made him the master that he is today.
Truelson, the highest- ranked chess player in South Dakota and reigning state champion, will share some of his chess strategies with Black Hills- area students during a clinic and exhibition Friday, Nov. 10, at the Children’s Science Center. The event is a warm- up to the Veteran’s Day Scholastic Chess Tournament, which is expected to draw nearly 100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade to compete at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on Saturday, Nov. 11.
In addition to teaching strategies for winning at chess, Truelson will play students in a simultaneous exhibition where he moves in a circle making rapid- fire moves on two dozen different boards. “ Sometimes I do this blind- folded,” he said, “ but with a blind- fold I can only play 10 or so games at one time, and the whole thing goes more slowly.”
A two- time Minnesota Junior Champion in the early 1970s, Truelson went to college and played chess for Princeton University in New Jersey. After graduating with a degree in economics and psychology, he returned to Minnesota and studied engineering and law. He became the dominant chess player his home state in the mid- 1980s. But then he got married and began to focus on raising a family. “ I always thought I would come back to it one day,” he said, “ when my kids were old enough to begin playing themselves.”
- Page 2-
A year and a half ago, Truelson and his wife Sandy moved with their three children – Nick, Zack and Ben – to Sioux Falls for a better quality of life. Home- schoolers, they became involved with the Sioux Falls Home School Association’s chess club, and the two oldest boys began playing in tournaments. Both boys are following their father’s footsteps. Last year, 11- year- old Nick won the Elementary School division of the South Dakota State Scholastic Championship. Younger brother Zack, a 10- year old, won the Primary division of the Sioux Falls City Championship.
Truelson has started playing competitively again. But his time is limited. A labor relations expert with the U. S. Postal Service, Truelson and his wife adopted three children from Romania last year – Vaslie, Timothy and Nathaniel. “ We now have the world’s ugliest van,” he said, “ to accommodate car seats and baggage for everyone.”
Truelson believes chess helps young people learn a variety of skills that will help them in later life. “ The game of kings,” he said, “ offers more to the soul of a child than any other. It teaches patience, humility, courage, perseverance, self- reliance, and accountability.”
The Children’s Science Center will host the clinic from 5: 30 p. m. to 8 p. m. Friday, Nov. 10. Admission is free, but participation in the simultaneous play is limited to the first 24 students who register. Calling Eric Abrahamson at ( 605) 391- 1048 to register.
The Veteran’s Day Scholastic Chess Tournament will be held at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. Saturday, Nov. 11. It is open to players – from novice to expert – in kindergarten through 12th grade. Trophies will be awarded to the top five finishers in four grade divisions: primary ( K- 3), elementary ( K- 6), middle school ( K- 9), and high school ( K- 12); and to the top team in each division. Registration runs from 7: 30 a. m. to 8: 30 a. m. The fee is $ 12.
The Southwest Middle School Chess Club, the Children’s Science Center and the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology sponsor the event. The U. S. Chess Federation has sanctioned it. For information, call Eric Abrahamson at ( 605) 391- 1048.
- 30 -
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The work from which this copy was made did not include a formal copyright notice. This work may be protected by U. S. copyright law (Title 17, United States Code), which governs reproduction, distribution, public display, and other uses of protected works. Uses may be allowed with permission from the copyright holder, if the copyright on the work has expired, or if the use is fair use or within another legal exemption. The user of this work is responsible for compliance with the law.
Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.