Kim Barney


Chess Poem 08: Mr. Kentucky Chess (Acrostic) - Poem by Kim Barney

Sorely missed will this man be
Three thousand tournaments he organized
Every Kentucky player knew him
Violently killed for no reason
Evidently by one who knew him well

Don't let chess die in Kentucky!
In his memory build it up
Let it grow by
Leaps and bounds
All his friends now mourn his passing
Rich are they for having known him
Despair can't win; out with those frowns!

Topic(s) of this poem: chess, death, people

Form: Acrostic


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Steve was a middle-school teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. He also took in foster children. He was called 'Mr. Kentucky Chess'. He bought thousands of chess sets for children who couldn't afford them, and last year was given the Life Achievement Award by a national chess association for directing more tournaments (3,000) than any other American.
He was found beaten and stabbed to death at his home on Friday,13 March 2015. He was 55 years old. Police arrested one of his former foster children, twenty-one years old, who was found walking in the rain a half-mile from the murder scene with blood on his hands.
I never met Steve, but was informed of his death by someone who knew him quite well. I felt a connection because I also taught middle school for 38 years (after teaching at a high school for two years) .
I also ran the chess clubs at two different schools but never did much more than a fraction of what he accomplished in chess (My team at my last school did take second place in the state one year) .

The chess world has lost a giant.

written 15 and 16 March 2015
Recife, Brazil

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 16, 2015

Poem Edited: Monday, September 26, 2016


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