1984 Arizona H.S. State Championship Chess Team Front: Gary Donald Davis, Rex Butler, Mike Algiene (Belinte)
Back: Patrick Begay, Scott Johnson
Tuba City High School (Arizona) Chess Team
State Champs: 1984, ’85, ’90, ’91
Chess is definitely one of my interests, and I play occasionally still–you may see me in Tempe some late night Saturdays playing some speed chess at the Coffee Plantation, but I haven’t played a tournament game since 1992 after reaching an expert rating of 2032.
My major accomplishment in chess and the only reason I really got into the game resulted from coaching the Tuba City high School chess team, which gained great notoriety in Arizona beginning in the 1980’s, winning four state team titles and being in contention most other years. Following you’ll see a few pictures of some of our chess “legends”.
1985 Arizona H.S. Chess Team Champions
While our 1985 may not have been our very best team of all time (since our 1988 team was a real powerhouse), the 1985 team had the best spirit and work ethic of any group we ever had. While some may have called them fanatics for often practicing chess until 10 PM, I saw them as enthusiastic champions who hungered for more knowledge and who really enjoyed the game and associating with other positive thinking winners. Pat Begay and Rex Butler led us with a potent “one-two” punch at the top while Mike Belinte was an enthusiastic, fierce competitor on board 3. We ended up with the best two freshment in Arizona on our bottom two varsity boards with Charles Butler and Harold Yazzie–an unbeatable combination!
Special thanks to Mr. Robert Williams, An Adviser University Chess Club at University of Utah