born in Hotin, in the Governorate of Bessarabia, Russia (today: Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast, western Ukraine; the administrative center of Khotyn Raion)
Father's Name: William Chess
Mother's Name: Golda Chess
Spouse's Name: Gay Siegman
Sam Chess was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States as a very young boy. He lived in New York and in Fall River, Mass., then moved to Winnipeg. In December 1909, he took up residence in Vancouver where, together with his brother, Israel W. Chess, founded Chess Brothers Ltd., a major produce wholesaler.
S.W. Chess was active in community affairs. A founder of both Schara Tzedeck and Beth Israel synagogues, one of the early members of B'nai Brith and a president of the Jewish Community Council (1939), he was also affiliated with Masonic Vancouver Lodge No. 68 and the Elks. His brother, I.W. Chess, was the third president of Beth Israel in 1937-38 and Sam took on the task of chairing the Building Committee.
He died on January 21, 1969, shortly after being honoured at the synagogue on his eightieth birthday.