DR. WALTER HIGH
Senior Tournament Advisor
Walter High grew up in Arcadia, California and earned his B.A. at Occidental College. He then came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned three graduate degrees, culminating in a Ph.D. in Information Science. He worked as a Librarian for 30 years, retiring in 2006 as the Associate Director of the Law School Library at North Carolina Central University. He and his wife, Karen, also owned and operated 2nd ed. Book Sellers for 27 years at the Raleigh/Durham International Airport, the only used bookstore in the United States on an airport concourse behind security. They retired from the book business in 2017.
Walter’s volunteer activities initially centered on the sport of track and field. He had been a competitive distance runner until his late 40s, having top performances of a half marathon in 1:10:47 (5:23/mile) and two miles in 9:22. He served on the Board of Directors of the NC Track & Field Association for 30 years and also served in a volunteer administrative capacity for USA Track and Field for 20 years as well as officiating at track meets.
Walter became an active chess player in 2006 at age 57 shortly after his children began competitive play. Quickly realizing that his true strengths lay on the administrative side rather than the competitive side of the game, he became active as a TD and Organizer, initiating several new tournaments including the Ron Simpson Memorial. He served as Vice-President of the NCCA twice (2010-2012 and 2018-2020) and he was a co-founder of the Carolinas Chess Initiative which brought the U.S. Masters Championship to North Carolina in 2012 where it has since remained. His goal is to help grow chess in North Carolina through competitive play and to encourage players to remain active in the game after their scholastic careers have finished.