In Memoriam

Mrs. Helen Henshaw

Helen Schiffman Hinshaw, former President and long time Secretary of the Virginia Chess Federation, died following a brief illness on May 19, 2021.  She is survived by her daughter Melissa and grandson Chase.  Helen was the widow of Allen Hinshaw, also a former VCF President.  The two of them were active chess players, tournament directors and organizers from the 1970’s to the 2000’s.  Helen was most active as an organizer, including two successful US Opens in Fairfax (1976) and Alexandria (1996.) 

With a personality that could light up a small town, Helen could work a room like few people!  To her, strangers were friends she had not yet met.  She was wonderful at fixing things, mediating disputes and making players feel comfortable and appreciated, and at recruiting help for tournaments and the VCF in general. 

Helen was also active for many years at US Chess Delegate meetings, frequently rising to speak when discussion would ramble on a bit too much.  She became so known for ‘calling the question’ to end debate that when she approached the microphone to get in line, many waiting their turn would just sit down, realizing it was time to move on. 

Helen, and her beloved husband Allen, were once in a generation figures who did much for Virginia chess and its players.  She will be sorely missed by her many friends.  We share her family’s grief and will long remember her dedication and devotion.