During his recuperation period since 1997 he has served on the Board of the US Chess Trust living most of the time in Princeton, New Jersey at the invitation of his former roommate, chess teacher and author Stephan Gerzadowicz. Coincidentally, Mr. Gerzadowicz was the TD in Mr. Niro's first OTB chess tournament in Leominster, Massachusetts 30 years ago. Mr. G. invited Frank to Princeton to assist him him with his physical therapy as a return of a 15 year old favor: Mr. Niro, a former marathon runner in his youth, trained Mr. G. for his first marathon in the mid 1980s. During the past year, Mr. Niro has been enrolled at the University of Texas at Dallas on a chess-in-education fellowship. During that time he has served as the UT-Dallas Assistant chess team coach. He has earned 18 of 42 required credits toward his PhD. He is still enrolled at UT-D by taking the two Internet chess in the classroom courses taught by Tim Redman and Alexey Root this semester.
Frank Niro is divorced with four children, all living in New England. He is no stranger to New Windsor where he has visited the office during the tenure of every executive director since Martin Morrison. He has a peak OTB rating of 2006 (February 1990) and peak correspondence chess rating of 2346.
The following is his bio from the Kopec Chess Camp brochure where he has served on staff since 1999 (written March 1999 by IM Danny Kopec & NM Hal Terrie):
CORRESPONDENCE MASTER AND CO-DIRECTOR UNDER-10 PROGRAM, FRANK NIRO
"Despite a busy career as a hospital administrator, Frank Niro has managed to find enough spare time over the past 27 years to remain involved with chess as a player, journalist, organizer, tournament director, benefactor, teacher and good will ambassador. As a player he has carried as many as 150 correspondence games at a time with a lifetime winning percentage greater than 80%. He won the 1973 American Postal Chess League championship and became a correspondence master in that organization in 1975. He is also active in international correspondence chess through ICCF. Frank is best known in the chess world as a journalist. He was editor of the award winning magazine, CHESS HORIZONS (CH), from 1984 to 1986. During that time, CH was twice chosen as the best state magazine (Massachusetts) by Chess Journalists of America and Frank earned individual awards for layout, photography and writing. In 1985, he was runner up in the balloting by CJA for the prestigious Chess Journalist of the Year Award and received Honorable Mention for his efforts. He is presently editor of PRINCETON CHILDREN'S CHESS NEWS, which is dedicated to the development of scholastic chess in New Jersey. He collaborated on the 1988 publication of FORTY YEARS AT THE TOP, a compilation of games by FIDE Master John Curdo, and edited FM Curdo's most recent booklet, STILL MORE CHESS CAVIAR. He has served on several chess organization Boards and is presently Secretary-Treasurer of the Princeton Children's Chess Foundation. A well-respected and entertaining speaker on many topics, Frank has been invited to give lectures and simultaneous exhibitions in a variety of locations including the Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas as well as chess clubs in New Delhi, India and Cordoba, Argentina."
All of his chess activities, including those cited above AND his current service as Editor of the APCT News Bulletin and Interim Director of the US Chess Federation, have been on a volunteer basis. Additionally, he has donated his own time and money during the past 30 years toward the betterment of chess. For example, he was one of the private contributors many years ago, along with Harold Dondis and Harry Lyman, toward Patrick Wolff's participation in the World Junior Championship in Finland, made several trips between Miami and Dallas during the past two years at his own expense to assist in the planning for the new World HoF & M, directed dozens of tournaments without ever taking a TD fee, and participated in many other similar projects over the years. During this time, he has worked quietly behind the scenes while tediously and deliberately avoiding chess politics. He has the distinct advantage of, at least for the moment, not being perceived as part of any political camp.
In January, 2000, he applied for the USCF ED position in the expectation that he might be ready to return to work full time. He was one of three finalists for the position but it was clear to the EB members at the time that Mr. Niro was not yet fully recovered from his stroke. He was candid about his lingering bouts of fatique and dizziness at the time. They chose George DeFeis but it was understood that, should things change for Mr. Niro and the Federation, another opportunity might be in the future. The future is now. Mr. Niro assumed the role of Interim Executive Director of the US Chess Federation on December 19, 2001.
Whether Mr. Niro is ultimately a candidate for the permanent ED position is entirely related to his health. He is optimistic, but more time is needed to see if he can handle the tasks of the position on a consistent basis over a long period of time. So far, so good. In all honesty, he is hopeful that he can retire form the ED position at age 65 twelve years from now... something no one else has done. Unless and until that seems like an achievable goal, he will likely remain Interim only or return to school when his work as Interim ED is complete.
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