Evans made waves in print and on board

By Peter Henner

The Albany Club Championship began play last week, with 12 players.

One preliminary section has expert Gordon Magat; Class A players Bill Little and Tim Wright; as well as Art Alowitz, Bob Kemp, and Tim McCarthy.

The second section has expert Dean Howard; Class A players Peter Henner and Jonathan Lack; and Glen Perry, Jason Denham, and Chuck Eson.

The winners of each section will play a match to determine the championship.

Near miss in Moscow

An American player narrowly missed tying for first place in a strong Moscow tournament.

United States champion Hideo Nakamura, who is 23 and ranked 19th in the world, came very close to tying for first in the super-strong Tal Memorial tournament: a 10-player round robin with an average rating of 2757. (Five of the participants will also be competing in the world championship qualifying matches next year.)

In the last round, after seven hours of play, on the 83rd move, Nakamura missed a forced win against the Russian Alexander Grischuk and had to settle for a draw.

Thirty years ago, tournaments of this strength were relatively rare; now, there may well be five or six tournaments with an average rating of over 2700 in a given year.

Evans mourned

Larry Evans, one of the strongest American players in the 1950s and 60s, and a well-known chess journalist, died on Nov. 15. Evans was born in 1932, and several strong Soviet players thought that he could have been a world champion contender if he had had the kind of support that Russian players were given.

Although he won the United States championship five times, Evans rarely played in international events, and only once competed in the world chess championship qualifying cycle (in 1964).

He was best known as a journalist and chess writer, and wrote a popular column for Chess Life for more than 40 years, which was continued in more limited form until his death. He also edited the 10th edition of Modern Chess Openings in 1965, which is still regarded as perhaps the most definitive edition of what is still a classic work, even after 45 years of subsequent chess developments.

Evans was also Bobby Fischer’s second in the world championship matches that led to Fischer’s famous match with Spassky in 1972, and Evans’s Wikipedia page contains a famous picture of Evans and Fischer playing chess on a floating chess board in a swimming pool. 

This week’s problem

Samuel Reshevsky was the best United States hope to become world champion between 1940 and 1960. Born in 1911, he was playing simultaneous exhibitions throughout Europe as a child before coming to the United States in 1920.

He was one of five players, and the only American, to play in the 1948 tournament that established the first world champion recognized by FIDE (The Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation).

More Sports

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.