Meet the Arbiters
Chris Bird, the chief Arbiter for the 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship, is an International Arbiter (awarded 2010) and USCF National Tournament Director (awarded 2012). He has directed at numerous major events across the U.S., including the 2009 U.S. Championship, the 2007, 2009 and 2010 U.S. Women’s Championships, 2010 U.S. Junior Closed Championship and various National Scholastic events. Chris has directed at more than 200 events over the past 10 years and most recently was the chief arbiter for the Kings vs. Queens event held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
As well as being an arbiter, Chris is also well known for his chess website work and providing live broadcasts and onsite coverage at major events such as the World Open, Chicago Open and North American Open. Chris has been the bulletin editor at the Las Vegas International Chess Festival (National Open) since 2004 and has authored articles and provided photography for Chess Life, Chess Life Online and New in Chess. Chris is also a former president and board member of Nevada Chess, Inc. and former general secretary and league secretary of the Hull and District Chess Association.
Born and raised in Hull, England, Chris moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1998 and has lived in the U.S. ever since, currently residing near Boston, Massachusetts, where his full-time occupation is as an administrator at Harvard Medical School.
Tony Rich, the assistant arbiter for the 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, is a FIDE Arbiter (2011) and USCF Senior Tournament Director (2011). He has served as an arbiter and director for various events including the U.S. Championship (2010, 2011), U.S. Women’s Championship (2010, 2011) , U.S. Junior Championship (2010, 2011), U.S. Open (2010), and an international match between GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Rusulan Ponomariov. Most recently, Tony was the chief arbiter for two GM-norm tournaments held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
In addition to work as a tournament director and arbiter, Tony is one of only 20 FIDE International Organizers in America. In this role he has successfully organized major events including three U.S. Championships, three U.S. Women’s Championships, two U.S. Junior Closed Championships, international matches and a variety of other high-level tournaments.
Tony has traveled extensively since 2008, serving as the head of delegation for the American teams at the FIDE Olympiad and World Team Championships. He is a member of the FIDE Swiss Pairing Program Committee and the USCF International Relations Committee. In 2009 and again in 2010, the U.S. Chess Federation recognized Tony as the Organizer of the Year.
Tony is an amateur photographer and journalist and has covered many events including the 2010 World Team Championship (Bursa, Turkey), 2011 FIDE Olympiad (Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia) and 2011 World Team Championship (Ningbo, China). His contributions can be seen in Chess Life Magazine, Chess Life Online and various chess websites. Tony also worked as the editor for the Missouri Chess Bulletin and has served on the MCA board of directors, on and off, since 2006.
A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Tony is currently the Executive Director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. During his four years in this role, he took the club from concept to inception and saw involvement grow to 800 members and nearly 100 schools across the Saint Louis area.