Hector Hernandez to Receive Broughton Award at ICA Annual Banquet

Hector Hernandez
Hector Hernandez
Photo by Vivian Nguyen

The Illinois Chess Association has selected Hector Hernandez to receive the prestigious Natalie W. Broughton Lifetime Achievement in Chess Award at the ICA Annual Banquet.

The ICA Annual Banquet will be held at 6 pm, Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Hilton Lisle / Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive in Lisle. The Banquet, to which everyone is welcome, will follow the ICA Annual Business Meeting, which will begin at 3:30 pm and is open to all ICA members.

Banquet tickets are on sale now at http://shop.il-chess.org/.

Hector is a well-known figure in Illinois chess and in the Latino community of Chicago. Immigrating to the United States from Mexico in 1965 at the age of 12, Hector's family settled in Chicago. Hector graduated from De La Salle High School, obtained a B.A. from University of Illinois at Chicago, and two Masters Degrees, one in Library Science and the other in Spanish and Latin American Literature, from the University of Illinois.

Hector was President of ICA from 1997-1998, and has served the ICA in other capacities, including service on its Youth and Broughton Award Committees, and as a teacher for the ICA's Warren Scholar Program. Hector is an accomplished chess player, with a peak USCF rating of 2167, and was the 1993 North American Class A champion of the Correspondence Chess League of America. However, Hector's greatest accomplishments came from his devotion in bringing the benefits of chess to the Hispanic youth and adults of Chicago's lower west side.

Hector was named the Branch Manager of the newly constructed Rudy Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library when it opened in Pilsen in 1989, and started the Rudy Lozano Library Chess Club in November of that year. In 1995, Club members renamed the Club the Knight Moves Chess Club (KMCC). Through the KMCC, Hector taught chess to the youth of this community with great success. Hector won the Billy Colias Excellence in Chess Teaching Award from the ICA Warren Program in 2000, the “Service to the Community” award from ICA in 1998, and the “Pride of Pilsen” award from the Pilsen Together Chamber of Commerce in 1996. In the 1990s, the Lozano Branch library chess program was selected by the American Library Association's Young Adult Services Division as one of the Top Fifty programs for children and young adults in the nation.

Hector has also coached scholastic chess teams to success. He coached at University of Chicago Lab School, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Latin School of Chicago, St. Jane de Chantal, Benito Juarez High School, and St.Ignatius College Prep, where he in his 6th year. The Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School K-3 team won first place in the State Championship two years in a row; 1999 and 2000 (shared). The St. Ignatius College Prep Chess Team was the Conference Champions for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Hector also wrote a regular KMCC update for the Illinois Chess Bulletin as a way to promote the Club to children and families, and, from 2004-2007, wrote a monthly chess column for a Spanish language magazine, MX Sin Fronteras, 42 articles in all, to help popularize chess in the Hispanic community.

Since 2013, Hector has been the President of the Chicago Chess Conference, which is made up of ten private (Catholic) High Schools in the Chicago area: Brother Rice, De La Salle Institute, Fenwick, Leo, Marist, Mount Carmel, St. Ignatius, St. Laurence, St. Patrick, St. Rita.

The Natalie W. Broughton Lifetime Achievement in Chess Award was established in 1995 by its namesake, Natalie W. Broughton. Previous Award winners include:

1995 Angelo Sandrin 2002 Tom Fineberg 2009 -
1996 Erik Karklins 2003 - 2010 Helen Warren
1997 Eugene Martinovsky 2004 - 2011 Andrew Karklins
1998 Ray Doyle Satterlee 2005 Fred Gruenberg 2012 James Brotsos
1999 Frank Skoff 2006 - 2013 Mike Zacate
2000 Bill Smythe 2007 - 2014 Garrett Scott
2001 Jim Warren 2008 - 2015 Hector Hernandez