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9/16/2021: Sad loss

We recently got tragic and shocking news about the loss of Mr. D'Anthony Dorsey, a young man (24) who fought bravely with COVID. He was very famous as a top player at Polk Scholastic Chess and the board members remember his smile when he received all the top position trophies. He played for eight consecutive years at our Polk Scholastic Chess tournaments (till 2015, his 12th grade year), and then proceeded to a brilliant career as marine biology teacher at Auburndale High School.

According to Ms. Arlene Gable (our board member since more than a decade), "...he has been amazing! Those of us at the board have always been inspired by him and he is a perfect example of why we all have continued to serve on this board. So proud that he became a TEACHER! D'Anthony was a true representation of our motto and mission - Encouraging academic growth through the game of chess.

D'Anthony Dorsey

His family started a GoFundMe to help push past some of the financial burdens that this battle has caused.

GoFundMe.com, or any other third-party online fundraiser, is not managed by Polk Scholastic Chess. For more information on how GoFundMe works and its rules, visit http://www.gofundme.com/safety.


8/12/2021:  IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT for this season:   

Dear Parents and Chess Coaches,

We hope you all are staying safe and healthy during this challenging time.  Just a few weeks back, we were excited at the prospect of being able to conduct tournaments this season. But our state and county again faces challenges with the new variants of COVID-19 virus.

On our Polk Scholastic Chess Board and volunteer team, we have some of our County's best healthcare professionals including doctors and pharmacists. We all opined that it is not safe at this point to conduct our tournaments. As you all know, we have over 1,000 people under one roof during our tournaments, and we do not want to compromise the safety of the kids and you all. 

We know this is disappointing for all of us. We will revisit the decision later this year, and will update you by December - perhaps it will be safe to have at least one tournament in the Feb or March of 2022.


Board Members
Polk Scholastic Chess

Polk Scholastic Chess (Season 2020-2021) - Seniors Awards

Dear Chess Family Members,

We hope you and yours are doing well.

The board had decided to conduct the Senior Scholarship Essay contest for this year and I am sure the seniors students are waiting to know about the winners this year. Special thanks to Ms. Arlene Gable (our secretary and board member since 15 years) for coordinating this year's contest and for ensuring fair judging conducted by esteemed leaders from our academic community. The distinguished judges for this season are as below, and we are deeply honored to have such support from them. All judges have commented that “this was a hard decision. These are very exceptional and impressive students and they would have liked to meet them in better times”.


    Lisa Miller (District 7) is serving her first term on the Polk County School Board. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications/public relations from the University of South Florida. Miller worked in corporate advertising before serving as a classroom teacher for three years. After her son Michael was born with a significant developmental delay, she began working to improve the lives of all children with disabilities. For the last decade, she has worked to build advocacy networks at the local and state levels.

Miller has chaired the Polk County ESE Advisory Committee and represents Polk County as a member of Florida’s State Advisory Committee on Exceptional Student Education with the Florida Department of Education. She was appointed to chair the Family Care Council for Area 14 in 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott. Her most recent gubernatorial appointment was to the Florida Developmental Disability Council in 2018. Locally, she worked with the City of Lakeland to form the Alliance on Accessibility and hire its first full-time ADA coordinator.


Anuj Saran has been the Assistant Principal of IB and Operations at Lake Wales High School since 2011; he also co-founded Edward Bok Academy in 2008. Mr. Saran is an active member of Florida Association of IB Schools (FLIBS) including serving as the Diploma Program Chair and President of FLIBS.

Mr. Saran has graced our Chess tournaments with his presence as Chief Guest in the past years and has been a long-standing supporter of our non-profit. He has also helped us draft our essay judging and scoring templates.



Brett N. Lowe grew up in Polk County and became involved in Polk Scholastic Chess at an early age. The program nourished discipline and critical thinking, which paved the way for his academic success, and he graduated from International Baccalaureate at Bartow High School in 2001. The competitive drive he developed playing chess stayed with him, pushing him to earn his J.D. from Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and join the Florida Bar in 2013.

He now lives in Tampa where he has overseen hundreds of attorneys as an eDiscovery Review Manager at Consilio, LLC.


Thank you for your continued support and participation, and in the spirit of "glass half full", we look forward to a wonderful tournament season in year 2021-22!

Board Members
Polk Scholastic Chess




My heart and prayers go out to D’ Anthony’s mother, sister, girlfriend and the rest of his family. I myself am devastated though words cannot express the depth of loss.

I coached D’Anthony for 7 years from his 6th grade at Crystal Lake Middle until his Senior year at Lakeland HS. He represented the absolute best at what Polk Scholastic Chess is all about.

During his middle school years, he spearheaded a Crystal Lake team that won 3 County Chess Championships in a row. He won the high school division as a freshman and was ranked #1 for most of those four years. It was an absolute honor to coach as you could not find a finer young man.

Coach Steve Morgan
CLMS Chess





"The Benefits of Scholastic Chess"


by D'Anthony Dorsey, 2015


The Board Members of Polk Scholastic Chess are proud to announce the winners for this year's Polk Scholastic Chess Scholarship:

Aaryan Dhaduk of Bartow IB (first place with 29.25 / 30 points) and

Agastya Mittal
of Bartow IB (second place with 26.75 / 30 points). The certificates for the two candidates can be collected in person (instructions below).

President's Award: Per our tradition since many decades, two players deserve recognition for their contribution to chess, commitment to the game since 13 years of their academic life and support to Polk Scholastic Chess in many different ways including volunteering and coaching. The recipients of 2020-21 President's Award are:

Tirth Shah (Summerlin Academy) and

Agatsya Mittal (Bartow IB).

Lastly, the board has decided to honor all senior chess players who are graduating this year, by awarding a small momento.

Please join us to congratulate these outstanding players and the future of America!

Instructions to all winners: Send an email to president@polkscholasticchess.com to coordinate the pickup of the certificates and trophies from a location in Lakeland. 


Board Members
Polk Scholastic Chess


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