In October of 2009, former Shelby School student Daniel Rensch became the first Arizona born International Chess Master (IM). IM is the second highest title awarded to professional chess players. The highest title is Grand Master (GM). Rensch achieved his title as the lowest rated player at the SPICE Cup chess tournament in Lubbock, Texas. He scored 4.5 points in the nine-round, round robin tournament against other GMs and IMs.
His interest in chess started at the Shelby School where he was a member of the chess team.
Rensch won numerous state and national scholastic chess titles, including 1998 Elementary National Champion, 2000 Junior High National Champion, 2004 High School National Champion and
multiple first place individual state championships from 1995-2004. He was also the No. 1 rated 19-year-old in the United States. As a member of the Shelby School chess team, Rensch was part of multiple state and national chess championships. He was captain of the 1998 team that won the K-3, K-6 and K-9 national championships in the same year. The 1998 Shelby School chess team is the only team in American scholastic chess history to accomplish this feat.
He and his brother, Tiger, another former member of the Shelby School chess team, are back at the Shelby School coaching a new team. Rensch runs American Chess Events, LLC in Mesa, which puts on chess tournaments every month at ASU. He provides instruction through strategy sessions and private lessons. For more information, visit the Web site at www.americanchess.net.