GM Arnold Denker: A Chronology by Bill Wall

 Source:  “Arnold Denker” by Bill Wall

1914 – Arnold Sheldon Denker was born on February 20, 1914 in the Bronx, New York.

1922 – Arnold Denker learned chess at the age of 8 by watching his older brothers play.

1928 – Denker began playing in chess tournaments as a high school freshman at Theodore Roosevelt High School.

1929 – At the age of 15, Denker won the New York City individual interscholastic championship.

Denker was a Golden Gloves boxing quarterfinalist and later a boxing manager. He won three successive Golden Gloves bouts by knockouts (welterweight division).

1930s – Denker graduated from New York University. 
 While there he was a fullback on their football team.

1936 – Denker took 2nd place at the US Open in Philadelphia.

1936, December – Denker married Nina Simmons.

1937 – Denker got a job in a meatpacking company.

1938 and 1939 – Denker won the New York State championship.

1940 – in an exhibition in Cleveland, Denker played 100 opponents in 7.33 hours.

During World War II, he gave exhibitions at military bases and aboard aircraft carriers. He also was invited by the US government to help crack enemy codes.

1942 – Denker tied for 3rd place in the U.S. Chess Championship in New York.

1944, May – Denker won the 5th U.S. Chess Championship. He scored 15 1/2 – 1 1/2 (14 wins, 0 losses, and 3 draws). This is the best result (91%) in US Chess Championship play except for Fischer’s 100% record. Denker’s 14 wins are the most in any US Chess Championship.

1946 – From May 4 to 18, Denker played and won the U.S. Chess Championship again.

1947 – Denker wrote “If You Must Play Chess.”

1948 – Denker took over his meatpacking business when the previous owner died. He became the owner of a food-distributing firm in Jamaica.

1950 – Denker was awarded the International Master title. His USCF rating was 2575.

1953 – Denker was the 5th highest rated USCF player in the US, behind Reshevsky, the Byrne brothers, and George Kramer.

1970 – Denker retired to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

1981 – Denker was made an honorary Grandmaster.

1981 – Denker wrote “My Best Games of Chess 1929-1976.”

1983 to 1991, Denker served as FIDE zonal (Zone 7) president and a member of the FIDE Qualifications Committee.

1984 – Denker started planning the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions.

1992 – Denker was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

1993 – On November 12, Arnold Denker’s wife, Nina, died at the age of 78.

1995 – Denker co-wrote with Larry Parr “The Bobby Fischer I Knew and other stories.”

2004 – Denker was given the title of “Dean of American Chess” (Hermann Helms and George Koltanowski were the first two title holders).

2005 – Denker died at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 2. He had brain cancer. He was 90.