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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Charles R. Heising, Former Ohio Champion

     Charles Raymond Heising was a Class A (Elo 1800-1999) player who competed in tournaments for decades, passed away on September, 7, 2009 of lymphoma at his home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. He was 84. Heising was born July 6, 1925 in Newark, New Jersey, and graduated from Summit, New Jersey High School and earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1945. That same year, he began a 38-year career with the General Electric Co., first graduating from that company's engineering program in 1950. 
     He was a controls designer for turbojet engines, first at GE's plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, and then at the company's operation in Evandale, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. 
     While living in Ohio, he tied for first place in 1956 in the Tri-State Chess Championship and from 1960 to 1962, he was stationed in Thule, Greenland, working on an early-warning radar system. GE then sent him to Houston, Texas, where from 1962 to 1966 he oversaw reliability management for NASA's Apollo spacecraft program. While in Houston on March 28, 1964 that he played Bobby Fischer in a simultaneous exhibition, losing in 47 moves of a Ruy Lopez Opening. 
     In 1966 he moved to GE's switchgear division in southwest Philadelphia, where he remained until he retired in 1983.  He was then a consulting engineer, dealing with the reliability of power transmission and distribution equipment. Heising authored a reliability handbook used in the design of industrial and commercial power systems. In 1981, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers awarded him its standards medallion for that handbook. 
     Heising's chess activity was extensive. Besides competing in many World Opens, the last one in 1999, he also took part in many National Chess Congresses, Liberty Bell Opens and Philadelphia Opens. In 1993, he played in the U.S. Open when it was held in Philadelphia.
     He also enjoyed correspondence chess and played in the Correspondence Chess League of America. He competed several times in the U.S. Correspondence Chess Championship Finals. 
     He won the Ohio Championship in1955 and in 1958 he tied for first with Ross F. Sprague, but Sprague took the title on tiebreaks. At his peak he had an Expert rating (2000-2199) and at the time of his death his rating was 1871. He also had a Life Expert title with the Correspondence Chess League of America. He left behind his wife of 44 years, a son and a daughter. 
     This game from a simul in Houston, Texas on March 28, 1964 where Fischer scored +51=3-3 was lost by Heising, but not after putting up a tough fight. 

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