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June 2nd – Battle of the Ages


South Jersey Innovation Center (SJIC), home to stimulating STEM and innovative child enrichment programs and the South Jersey Chess Club, set a date for its historical “Battle of the Ages” a two-games Blitz match between 79-year young Cherry Hill resident Dr. Leroy Dubeck, a legendary FIDE Master and former president of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and 9-year old Abhi Mishra, the youngest ever National Chess Master. The two telepaths who are light years ahead of many chess masters will face off Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill and lead into the 2-day Leon Shulman Liberty Cup chess tournament coordinated by the South Jersey Chess Club. This “Battle of the Ages” event is open to the public and will include a recognition ceremony for both participants.

At 79 years old, Dr. Leroy Dubeck is the patriarch of the South Jersey Chess Club and a legend in the chess community. As president of the USCF, he was instrumental in organizing the 1972 “Match of the Century” in Iceland between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. This cold war battle later became the basis of the 2014 feature film Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire, and Liev Schreiber. Leroy is a former Professor of Physics at Temple University and a science fiction writer.

Abhi Mishra became the youngest ever National Chess Master on February 22, 2018 at the age of 9 years 2.5 months, overcoming his predecessor by 2.5 months. Abhi achieved the requirements for the master title during a tournament at SJIC, joining the likes of Bobby Fischer, who was the only U.S. World Champion and became a master at the age of 14 years old. This new title is just one of Abhi’s many chess achievements. A competitive player since the age of 5 years old, Abhi is one of the brightest stars of US chess and won the silver medal in 2017 world cadet championship in Brazil.