Former ICA President, Treasurer Carl Dolson Passes Away


For a man with a lot of heart, it's hard to comprehend that his would give out. Former Illinois Chess Association President Carl Dolson passed away September 30 at the age of 61.

Readers of this site may recall that Mr. Dolson had recently passed out while driving and was fortunate to have been assisted by an off-duty police officer who secured prompt medical attention. Unfortunately, the incident was followed by others and he was considering a cardiac assistive device. After contemplating quality of life matters, Mr. Dolson had decided against that option -- and, according to his son, Chris -- it is now suspected that the senior Dolson would not have survived the surgery.

After dedicated service as Treasurer, Mr. Dolson became ICA President for almost two terms, relinquishing the position when he moved to Indiana with his wife in 2016, to be closer to his two young grandchildren.

Still, Mr. Dolson continued in his contribution to the state chess organization, serving as membership coordinator -- and most recently lending a hand with tax filings from several years prior.

According to Chris, Mr. Dolson was proud that he'd spent his entire 36-year career with one firm, RSM McGladrey US, from 1976 through his retirement in 2012. Mr. Dolson rose to the position of partner at the CPA firm, where he specialized in taxation. 

Chris reminisces that there was always a chess board present in the home, but that his father had other passions including spending time with family, researching geneology, managing his fantasy football teams and following all the Chicago sports teams.

Mr. Dolson is survived by two grandchildren, his son Chris and daughter Stacy, their spouses, and his wife of 40 years, Marsha, three brothers and his mother, among others.

Funeral services will be at the Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston, IL on Friday, October 6 from 11am to 1pm.  The burial service will follow but is intended for family only.

Although born in Indiana, Chris says that Charleston was where Mr. Dolson grew up, learning to play chess and entering tournaments with his twin brother, Mark.  He was valedictorian of his Charleston High School class and attended nearby Eastern Illinois University, before settling in Peoria where he worked for the CPA firm.

Mr. Dolson was active with the Greater Peoria Chess Foundation and was a fixture at club events. He achieved a peak rating of 1631 after the Greater Peoria Open of 2012. Ever the fighter, Mr. Dolson even went up 60 points in his last rated event this summer, the Indiana State Chess Association Class Championships, where he won his last three matches after dropping the opening round. Mr. Dolson finished in a tie for second place in the Class C section.

Chris indicates Mr. Dolson knew the end was coming and had prepared a notebook of instructions, ever the prepared CPA, working on the notebook right up until the hour of his death. He passed away peacefully, in the hospital, surrounded by family.

"How sad to get this news," said Jerry Neugarten, who worked alongside Mr. Dolson on the ICA Board of Directors for several years.

"Carl was a pillar of the chess community both in Peoria and throughout the state for many years.  One of the most dignified and principled people I've had the pleasure to know and work with. Despite the challenges he faced, I never heard him complain.  He will be sorely missed."

Family indicates that those wishing to honor Mr. Dolson's memory should consult the funeral home's website. According to that posting, "it is requested that in lieu of flowers, thoughtful donations in his honor be made to the West Union Public Library or Brownsburg, Indiana Police Department."

Those seeking to add their own thoughts to this brief tribute should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..