Charles Bradley, president of a West Texas school's chess team collapsed and died in a competition against rival school. While official autopsy results are still pending, preliminary findings show that the player died due to a heart attack (which was possibly caused by performance enhancing drugs).
The death has caused parents in West Texas to call for stricter drug testing of Chess Players. Louann Odom, a member of the Chess Boosters Club and a team parent, said that "these kids sometimes think that they have to dope up to improve their game and get their edge. We've heard rumors of performance enhancing drugs, steroids, and blood doping to get these kids up for thier events...it looks like it may be true in this case. We really need to tighten up the testing and counsel these kids on the dangers of using banned substances and practices."
Bradley, who was up a pawn and a knight in his match against opponent Campbell Fulson, collapsed after castling his king (to the queen's side). This move freed up a rook and would have led to a checkmate in three moves. The collapse, however, meant that Bradley could not meet the clock for his next move and the game was ruled a forfeit.
Parents of the deceased athelete, Budd and Barbara Bradley, said that they appreciate all of the calls of sympathy. In a statement, they said that "we all hurt when a life is cut short, especially when it has so much potential."
Bradley, 17, was a senior and a two time letterman in the competitive sport of chess. He was considering offers from six different universities and was listed as a top ten chess recruit by ESPN and several other ranking services.
Funeral services are pending, but visitation and viewing are at the Simmons-Black Funeral Home on Dyer street.