Pope senior NCO wins interservice chess tourney
Posted 9/7/2010

by Senior Airman Kris Levasseur
43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A senior NCO assigned to Pope Air Force Base recently defeated top chess players from each service to take home the top prize during the 2010 Interservice Chess Championship.

Master Sgt. Dan Ranario, of the 3rd Aerial Port Squadron, will join the U.S.-led team participating in the 2010 NATO Chess Championship.

“It was really exciting to do so well in this year’s tournament because this is my last year competing,” Sergeant Ranario said. “I will be retiring this year, so I’m glad that I will get to be a part of the U.S. team and hopefully we will do well in the NATO tournament.”

As a boy growing up in the Philippines, Sergeant Dan Ranario had his first encounter with the game of chess when his father, an avid chess player, sat him down and taught him the rules of the game.

“I started playing chess when I was 10 years old, and again in 2002 when I was re-introduced to the game by Col. Samuel Echaure, (Sergeant Ranario’s former mentor),” he said. “He really encouraged me to get involved in the military tournaments and playing with him made me better.”

Sergeant Ranario has been honing his chess skills for the past nine years, and is ready to face the competition.

Sergeant Ranario said he is preparing for the international competition by practicing at home, playing online games and reading chess books.

Now, years later, that initial training will prove valuable as Sergeant Ranario, along with several others, takes his place on the U.S. chess team — a spot given to the top finishers from each service.

“I feel very special and privileged to make the cut,” he said. “Not everybody gets to represent the U.S. chess team.”

In order to gain a spot on the team, Sergeant Ranario competed at the base level, the Air Mobility Command level, the Air Force level and finally at the interservice level where he competed against the top players representing the Navy, Army and Marines.

Here is the full article.

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