Greg Samsa

Greg Samsa
1981, 1982, 2002

Dr. Greg Samsa has had a long reign as one of the state's strongest players, with the results to back it up. He learned to play chess at the age of 4, and finished third in a Chicago under-21 championship at the age of 7.

He did not play again competitively until high school -- when he won the top section of his first three tournaments as well as the Southern High School Championship.

Samsa is probably one of the few life masters to have attained that title by maintaining a 2200 rating for 300 games -- all of which were played in one state against lower rated players.

Samsa is a seven-time winner of the North Carolina Invitational and a three-time North Carolina State Champion.

In large part because of the demands of work (e.g., biostatistics faculty at Duke University) and family (e.g., 5 children), Samsa is now in semi-retirement from tournament play.

He still enjoys chess (inconsistent results notwithstanding), especially at fast and guilt-free time controls.  An intuitive player whose calculation skills are adequate at best, Samsa prefers positions focusing on planning and assessment.