Reno, Nevada Larry Evans dies NOV. 15 2010 from complications of gallbladder surgery over two weeks ago.He won or tied for 1st at the U.S. Championship 5 times and the U.S. Open Chess Championship 4 times. He was also a prolific chess author and columnist.*
Larry Melvyn Evans was born on March 23, 1932 in Manhattan. He learned much about chess by playing for 10 cents an hour on 42nd Street in New York City. By the age of 18, he had won a New York State Championship as well as a gold metal in the Dubrovnik Chess Olympiad of 1950.
In 1949, Evans tied with Arthur Bisguier for 1st place in the U.S. Junior Championship. Two years later he won his first U.S. Chess Championship ahead of Samuel Reshevsky. He won the national championship three more times, in 1962, 1968, and in 1980 (tied with Walter Browne and Larry Christiansen. FIDE awarded him an International Master title in 1952, and in 1956 the U.S. State Department appointed him a “chess ambassador” and he became a Grandmaster in 1957.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Evans performed well in many U.S. events, but his trips abroad to international tournaments were less successful and infrequent. He won the U.S. Open Championship in 1951, 1952, 1954, and tied with Walter Browne in 1971. He also won the first Lone Pine tournament in 1971. He represented the U.S. in seven Chess Olympiads over a period of 20 years, winning one gold medal and one silver medal for his play, and in 1966 won team silver medal.
Evans’ best results abroad included a 1st place finish in the 1975 Portimao International in Portugal and a 2nd place tied behind Jan Hein Donner in Venice of 1967. His first chance at a World Chess Championship title ended in a dismal 14th place finish in the Amsterdam Interzonal of 1964. He was rated 2361 at his peak in October 1968, but despite being a child prodigy, he was subsequently overshadowed by the genius of Bobby Fischer. He never entered the World Championship cycle again and concentrated his efforts on assisting Fischer in his quest for the world title. He tutored his friend from 1968-1972 and guided Fischer to the world title in the famous match against Boris Spassky in 1972.
During the 1960s, Evans developed a very successful chess journalism career and helped found the American Chess Quarterly which ran from 1961-1965. He was also an editor of Chess Digest during the 60s and 70s, and he still writes regularly for Chess Life – the official publication of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). His popular question and answer column is read by more than 250,000 readers every month and has been running for over 35 years. His weekly chess column, Evans on Chess, has appeared in more than 50 separate newspapers thoughout the United States.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.Be3 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.f4 Na5 11.g4 d5 12.e5 Nd7 13.Qf3 Qc7 14.h4 Nc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.a4 b6 17.h5 Bb7 18.Qg3 h6 19.Rae1 Rad8 20.Re2 Kh8 21.Rh2 Ba8 22.Re1 Bc5 23.Qf2 Rde8 24.Nf3 Bxe3 25.Qxe3 Qc5 26.Qxc5 Nxc5 27.Nd2 1/2 1/2
*Source Daily News (Polgar)
November 17, 2010, 10:47 pm
Larry Evans, the Chess Player
By DYLAN LOEB MCCLAIN
Larry Melvyn Evans, who died Monday at 78, is justly hailed for his role in helping Bobby Fischer win the world championship in 1972 and for his productive career as a writer. But he also had a substantial record as a player and won the United States Championship five times.
He was never the country’s top player. He was overshadowed when he was younger by Samuel Reshevsky (against whom he had a large negative score), then by Bobby Fischer and finally by a whole new generation, led by Yasser Seirawan and Larry Christiansen.
Dr. Anthony Saidy, an international master who knew Evans well, said that growing up in the United States probably handicapped Evans in terms of his chess development. “The trouble with American players is we came up in this environment of mostly weak opposition,” said Saidy, adding that Evans “developed these opportunistic traits that were necessary to succeed in American tournaments.”
In essence, Evans grew up playing against inferior competitors who reverted to conservative tactics to eke out a draw or, if possible, a win. His response was either to go for broke or to try to win material even if that was not objectively the best plan, Dr. Saidy said. Unfortunately, such a style was often not successful against the very best players.
Still, Evans was no pushover and he beat many of his contemporaries (he gave Arthur Bisguier particular trouble, winning the majority of their games) and a few luminaries over the years. And through his work as writer and columnist, he also met, and beat, at least one of the world’s great musicians.
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