Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chess Author Larry Evans Passes

Growing up there was no shortage of chess books in my house. Among the titles which helped guide my chess education were several by Larry Evans. Sadly, the five-time US Champion has passed away due to surgical complications.

Chicago Tribune Obituary for Larry Evans (written by an LA Times reporter)

Evan's editing of "Modern Chess Openings" was a staple in my library and I had recently ordered a collection of his writings, "This Crazy World of Chess" as a potential prize for a future tournament. Now, I think I'll keep it for myself.

I'd probably made each of his "10 Most Common Chess Mistakes" multiple times. His "What's the Best Move" and "Chess Endgame Quiz" are humbling reminders of how much I have yet to learn.

In an age when Texas Hold 'Em poker books have cannibalized most bookstores' "Games and Humor" sections, shelf space previously allocated to chess books, Evan's books had real staying power.

That's why our Borders' casual play games are so important: to remind folks of the importance of chess. You don't see many No-Limit poker games at our local Borders, do you? Take that, Howard Lederer! (a chess whiz turned poker superstar).

As someone who tries to impart chess wisdom from time to time, I'm appreciative of Mr. Evans' efforts at chess scholarship. His contributions to chess literature -- and the chess world -- were significant.

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