Rusty Miller isn't anywhere near the top ranked players in the U.S.C.F., but that hasn't stopped him from supporting the game and group he loves.
Miller, 70, and his wife Kathy Miller, 66, of Vancouver both received service awards from the federation during the U.S. Open last week at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.
He got the Meritorious Service Award, for lifetime support of the group, and she got the Honorary Chess Mates Award.
"Several years ago, they started giving awards to Chess Mates, who are the wives of chess players — they're often quite active as chess players themselves, though," Rusty Miller said.
Miller learned to play chess at age 10. He was the chess champion at his high school and started playing in tournaments all over the country in 1961. He's played in five U.S. Opens since 1963, he said.
He's also served as editor of Chess magazine and was regional vice president for the organization, covering Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.
"One thing I really like is the history of the game," Miller said. "You can play chess games that were played 150 years ago. There may be more chess books out there than there are for all other sports, combined."
The Millers received their awards at a special banquet by the federation on Aug. 11.