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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Missing a Nifty Tactic

In the following game I missed the surprising 25.f5 which would have drawn Black’s B away from the defense of his b-Pawn and allowed my b1-Rook to enter the game with decisive results. In fact, I missed the advance f5 a couple of times after that.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Engines and Books

     I was recently looking at the below position (using ChessOK Aquarium 2012) from an online game I played a few years ago and it was my (White’s) turn when I noticed some differences in the evaluations of Stockfish 5 and Houdini 2. The brief explanation of what I saw shows the danger of just zipping through a game and relying strictly on computer generated analysis. We all know you won’t learn anything except where you made a tactical mistake by looking at engine analysis and we also know that when it comes to top level correspondence chess with its heavy engine use, just playing the recommended engine move won’t get you anywhere near the top levels.
     Then I found a must read article by GM Kevin Spraggett on his Blog where he said, “BUT worse still, many reputable authors have produced best-selling products that are deliberately dumbed-down with absolutely useless and often redundant computer-generated analysis of variations. Computer analysis trivializes the basic skills that are needed to become a master level player…I REFUSE on principle to fall for the commercialized or chess-engine processed information put out by those who want me to later buy their products…” You must read the whole article!

White to move
 



     As you can see from the above analysis panels using Stockfish 5 and Houdini 2 the best move is 18.O-O, but the evaluations, especially for the second choice (18.Bd3) are quite different. In the game I actually played 18.e4 to which Black replied 18…Bxe4. Retreating the B to c8 was evaluated 0.00 by SF5 while H2 recommended retreating it to d7 and evaluated the position at -0.09. Black played 18…Bxe4 and the question is, “How should it be evaluated?”
     Interestingly, while analyzing the position after 18.e4, SF5 listed 18…Bxe4 as its third choice and evaluated it at +5.22 which is an easy win. H2 on the other hand also listed 18…Bxe4 as its third choice but evaluated it at only a half Pawn in White’s favor! That’s a major difference. When the move 18…Bxe4 was actually made SF5’s evaluation jumped to 6-plus P’s and H2’s immediately jumped to nearly 4 P’s! In the game I won quickly after 18…Bxe4 19.Qxg4+
     After making the better move 18…Bc8 both engines evaluated the position at nearly equal while 18…Bd7 weighed in at 1/3 of a P advantage to White by SF5 and H2 put it at dead equal. After 18…Bd7 both engines recommended 19.Be5, but it took Stockfish several minutes to find it.
     Clearly, analyzing your games with an engine and expecting that’s all it takes to find the best moves and at the same time improve your chess won’t work. And, as GM Spraggett points out, neither will spending a ton of money on crappy chess books, especially opening books, help.

Chess Portal

     This site by Per-Åke Lindblom of Stockholm, Sweden has been around since 2002 and currently contains nearly 5000 chess links. Lindbolm says he has personally visited all the websites and he has commented on and attempted to categorize each site according to the material it contains.
     Some links are dead and one site link I clicked on called Crazypawn was described as follows: Frederic Fricot finds playing e-mail chess is preferable to OTB-chess due to family reasons. He also presents some of his games on the homepage. Language: French. When I clicked on the link it took me to a site in Orlando, Florida, also named Crazy Pawn, which appears to be a Pawn Shop. Anyway, if you just want to surf, it’s worth a visit. Chess Portal

Recent Queen Alice Visit

 
    In the past when I wanted to play correspondence chess without engines QA was my site of choice. However, after checking out the site this morning I discovered it’s apparently running on autopilot.
     The site owner, someone named Miguel, has not visited it since May and the forums are totally unmoderated. A couple of players have been openly accusing others of having duplicate accounts and using engines. While this may or may not be true, the accusers offer no proof of engine use. One thing I noticed that at least two of the persons making the accusations had only played two games on the site, so I am not sure how they arrived at their conclusions. One person, probably retarded, even went so far as to say everyone rated over 2300 is using and engine. Does he not realize there are some really strong players around the world and every time one loses a game, it does not mean the opponent was cheating; it may be the loser is just a crappy player.
     In any case, you can still play individual games and tournaments there. Just be aware that if there are any server problems, as there has been in the past, you risk not being able to finish the games. That happened to me a while back when I had two games in the finals cancelled. I decided not to enter another QA tournament.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dr. Peter Lapiken

Lapiken in 1958
     Lapiken was a master who lived in the Northwest (Washington and Oregon) from 1958 until 1972, and later was the strongest player ever to live in Montana. Lapiken was born in Riga, Latvia, on July 7, 1907, of Russian parents. His father was a Russian Orthodox priest. The family moved from Latvia to far eastern Russia in 1915 and then to China, in 1916, where Lapiken’s father served as a priest to the city’s large Russian population. Lapiken learned to play chess from his Grandfather in Russia around 1913. During the course of his career he played against Mieses, Tartakover, Kostich.
     In 1931 Lapiken graduated from the Harbin Institute of Oriental and Commercial Sciences. He worked as a detective for the French police, he being fluent in Russian, Mandarin Chinese and French. In 1935, along with most Europeans, he fled to Shanghai until 1939 when he emigrated to the U.S.
     Lapiken played in the Washington State Championship in 1939 and the Mechanics’ Institute Championship in 1940 and was attending school at U.C. Berkeley when WW2 began. During the war Lapiken served in Army Intelligence working as a translator. After the war he returned to Berkeley and completed his PhD in Slavic languages in 1949. 
     He taught for several years at UCLA then left to take a position teaching Russian and French at the University of Montana. Lapiken did not play serious chess except in the summers when he wasn’t teaching. He played in numerous U.S. Opens in the 1950s and 60s and was best remembered for his performance at the U.S. Open in Long Beach in 1955 where he narrowly missed beating Reshevsky and had to settle for a draw. He also drew with the winner, Nicolas Rossolimo.
     Lapiken was a master at bridge as well as chess and was a concert level classical violinist. He was also known as always being a gentleman and displaying courtesy, professionalism, and sportsmanship. On social occasions he was often the life of the party, reciting from memory poems and other literature. When not participating in tournaments or busy with his teaching duties, he played chess at the local club in the back of Hansen’s Famous Ice Cream in Missoula, Montana.
     In the 1930’s he was twice chess champion of Manchuria.  In his US appearances, in the 1953 California Open he tied for first, winning the brilliancy prize in the process. In 1954 at the 2nd Pan-American Chess Congress he tied for places 8-9, finishing behind Evans, Rossolimo, Steiner, Sherwin and Kashdan. There were 80-plus entrants.
     In 1955 at the California Open, he tied for places 4-8 and at the US Open in Long Beach, he scored 6.5 out of 12, drawing with Reshevsky and Rossolimo. In the 1956 U.S. Open Lapiken again scored 6.5 out of 12 and tied for 33-44th place. He did better in the 1958 U.S. Open, tying for 16-32nd with 7.5 out of 12. In the 1960 U.S. Open he tied for places 23-38, again with 7.5 out of 12. In the 1961 U.S. Open he placed 13th with 8 out of 12. 
     In the Mid-West he had successes in local tournaments that are too numerous to mention. For many years, the Northwest maintained its own rating system which was nearly identical to the ‘official’ USCF ratings and in 1958 Lapiken’s Northwest rating was that of an ‘Expert” at 2015 after he had just won the Inland Empire Open in Spokane, Washington, scoring 5.5 out of 6. In the April, 1960, Northwest rating list he was listed simply as a ‘Master’ while the 1960 USCF rating list showed his rating as 2144.
     After retiring, Lapiken spent the last ten years of his life in San Francisco, often showing up at the Mechanics’ Chess Club. Lapiken was a strong player with excellent theoretical understanding but often suffered from a lack of consistency. He was frequently known to relax too soon when it looked like he was winning and it cost him many points. He died August 14, 1983, in San Francisco.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thoughts on Study and CC Play and Engines

Whose Games to Study? Alekhine’s, Capablanca’s or those of Carlsen and Aronian?

     In the recent edition of Chess Life magazine, GM Andy Soltis in his column Chess To Enjoy, made the following observation: “Chess combinations have a way of being repeated…This is why studying great tactical battles of the past is so useful.” 
    Then he went on to add, “…games featured in books and magazines that you read are the ones played in the very recent events. Yesterday’s games-not the ones played a hundred years ago-will have the greatest impact…” 
     Soltis pointed out that there is, however, a certain disadvantage to playing over the games of today’s great players. He opined that the games of the great players of yesteryear were grounded in “classical” chess and the problem with games played by today’s top GM’s is that they have less to teach than the classics of old. The reason is, according to Soltis, that a typical game played by one of today’s elite GM’s is they begin with 15 or more moves of engine checked home analysis and what happens in those moves is not understandable by the rest of us. Soltis points out that you will learn more by seeing how mistakes were punished, but when a great player of today wins it’s usually because his opponent’s mistakes were almost imperceptible. That was not usually the case in the old days. There was an interesting discussion on this subject on Chessdotcom HERE.

Engine Analysis and Post Mortems

     I have heard some lower rated players don’t bother doing a post-mortem on the grounds that they aren’t good enough; they would rather let an engine blunder check the game to see where they went wrong. As a result they miss an opportunity to improve because chess is about ideas and talking things out with other players can’t help but broaden your horizons.
     All the engine is going to do is show you tactical mistakes and if there aren’t any tactics, an engine will show you positional moves that were mysteriously arrived at by its algorithm without explaining anything.
     Even for the best players, engine lines can be difficult to evaluate. If things were as easy as letting the engine select your move I’d be playing in the world CC championship. Unfortunately, even at lower levels of CC play, things aren’t that easy. On LSS my record is only +44 -35 =99 and that’s mostly against players in the 1900-2100 range.
     With engines you can analyze for days without coming up with the “final” answer as to what the best move really is. Also, there is the question as to which engine is best. Larry Kaufman (Komodo developer) believes Komodo is best for long-term analysis because it is more positionally programmed. Houdini is better when it comes to blitz and tactics. Stockfish? I don’t know. Critter also figures somewhere in the mix, too. The recently released Stockfish 5 definitely appears to be better than Houdini and Komodo, ranking ahead of them at a time limit of 40 moves in 40 minutes.
     Top level CC play sees most of the games being drawn, but a lot of that is because at that level, nobody wants to take any risks. Heavily analyzed openings are the norm…Najdorf Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, Semi-Slav, Catalan or the Nimzo-Indian. The King's Indian is rarely played because engines don’t evaluate the resulting positions well. I’ve had opponents play some rare gambits and lesser known openings against me on LSS and the results haven’t always been what you’d expect but then I don’t let the engines spend hours analyzing and I try to incorporate my own evaluations into the position, too. Not being a top level CC player means that sometimes things don’t work out well even against supposedly inferior openings. Also, in positions where there is no clear path to take, you need to figure things out yourself so there’s still, at least for those of us lower down on the food chain, some room for continuing to play modern day CC.
     Back in October 2012, ICCF announced a new CC World Champion; Ron Langeveld from the Netherlands. To achieve that status it helps to be a strong OTB player because it takes a very good understanding of how to get an edge, especially when the engines aren’t showing any particular difference between several moves. Also at the upper levels your opening repertoire has to be super-solid and you have to be able to ferret out good opening innovations. And don’t forget endings!
     Langeveld said in an interview that chess knowledge can be bad in CC in some cases because even the strongest CC players make too many mistakes without engines as a tool. One of the main problems strong players have is that because of their chess knowledge, they move too quickly.
     So, how much time does it take to make a move? Pertti Lehikoinen, who won the 20th CC World Championship which lasted three and a half years, said that in the beginning he spent eleven hours a day on his games and for several months he had to increase it to seventeen hours a day. In the end, he spent more than 14,700 hours on the final; that’s an average of twelve hours per day and that didn’t include the time he spent thinking about his games while doing other stuff! Lehikoinen also admitted to fainting because of fatigue at times. My last game to finish on LSS was a long one…9 months! The average was 3-4 months and I rarely spent more than half an hour on a move and never once did I faint from fatigue.

A snappy U.S. Marine-style salute to Mr. Lehikoinen for his dedication!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Defeating a CC Int’l Master

     As mentioned previously, I have engaged in almost no chess activity recently except the following game against an ICCF IM. My opponent opened with, at least as it’s known in the U.S., the Dunst Opening because it was played and analyzed by the New York Master, Theodore Dunst.
     The opening itself isn’t really a bad opening and it lends itself to a host of transpositions. e.g. the Scandinavian Defense, Scotch 4-N’s, Three Knights, Nimzovich Defense, Owen’s Defense, the Dutch, From’s Gambit, Blough Defense and the Latvian Gambit. My opponent often plays these little explored openings.
     In this game I had a slight advantage as a result of having more space, but White’s real problem seems to be tied to the fact that for the entire game his light squared B was out of play, ending up on a2 where it remained until the end of the game. If this is indeed the source of his problems, then it seems to me that it throws the whole line he chose into doubt. This game was the last in the tournament to finish and allowed me to gain first place on tiebreaks.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chess Apps for Ipad/iPhone


Chess2U has a very good post on available free apps. VISIT POST

Dover Books


I am pleased to announce that this site is now associated with Dover Publications! Many of the chess books in my library are by Dover; I like them because Dover books hold up well, cover a wide variety of subjects and, best of all, they are reasonably priced. Check out their books using the like on the left.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stockfish 5 Is the Strongest Chess Engine

Stockfish, an open source UCI engine that was developed by Tord Romstad, Marco Costalba and Joona Kiiski, has become the top ranked engine on all the major engine ranking sites. It was derived from Glaurung, an open source engine by Romstad.

CCLR’s 40/40 Rating List (64-bit/4 CPU’s)

1-Stockfish 5 - 3299
2-Houdini 4 - 3276
3-Komodo 7a - 3249
4-Gull 2.8b - 3199
5-Critter 1.6a – 3174

Thankfully for engine lovers everywhere, in a 2010 interview, Romstad stated, “There are no plans of a commercial Stockfish. Why shouldn't it be free? All three of us have regular jobs which pay our bills; computer chess is just a hobby. Most people don't earn any money from their hobbies, and I see no reason why chess programming should be different. Going commercial would force us to deal more heavily with tasks like marketing, support and GUI programming, for which we have little skill and interest. All we would get in compensation for the extra work is a small amount of money which we don't really need.” Download from the official Stockfish site.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Flood Update

 
   
Above is our garage a day after the flood showing the three feet of water.  That's a freezer full of meat floating in the foreground.

I have not played any chess since the aforementioned flood except for one correspondence game against an ICCF IM; fortunately two of my three opponents resigned soon after the flood and the IM only moves occasionally.     
     Mostly we have been busy making repairs like replacing drywall, painting, etc. Repairs also included replacing all the electronic components on the furnace and my new (two week old!) hot water tank. Also we had to replace a sump pump that burned out, furniture, floors, etc. We lost two downstairs refrigerators and a freezer plus my car was a total loss when the garage flooded. 
     In addition I have also made some major repairs to our drainage system outside. Even so, that would not have saved us from the storm because there was so much water that our neighbor who has lived in his house for 46 years got water in his basement for the first time. The insurance adjuster estimated repairs at $20,000 plus. Fortunately several years ago I purchased water back up insurance, but that only paid for a fraction of the damage. I learned that 1) a lot of people were not aware that their homeowners insurance does not cover them unless they have water backup insurance and (2) flood insurance is pretty much useless unless you live on a flood plain because in order to collect your house cannot be the only one that suffers flood damage! Although not flood damage, right in the middle of this the refrigerator in the kitchen crapped out when the compressor went bad, so that had to be replaced, too.
     The government is offering low interest long term loans to storm victims, but there is a catch. Isn’t there always? I expect the government to a lot to me and almost nothing for me, so I wasn’t surprised when the guy two houses down told me what happened to him when he applied for a loan to repair his home. He was told he had to hire a contractor to do all the work at 3-4 times what it was going to cost him to do it himself. He told them he only wanted to borrow enough to pay for the materials for repairs and he would do the work himself, but “they” said no, so he didn’t bother with the loan.
     Anyway, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel.  When things over which you have absolutely no control happen all you can do is accept it and keep plugging away.  Sometimes you get the bear; sometimes the bear gets you. This time the bear got us. The important thing is to stay positive.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Flooded!


 
I am temporarily “offline” on this Blog.  Monday night (5-19) here was a huge storm in our area which included a tornado not too far away.  As a result our house was flooded with 3 feet of water and we have been living in a hotel awaiting repairs to our house plus doing much of the work ourselves so there has been little time for chess.  I hope to resume posting after things return to something close to normal.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The a3!? Anti-Sicilian

    It has been recomended by, among others, GM Alexei Bezgodov and IM Sergei Soloviov, both of whom have written books on it. Instinct tells me all the books recommending it are balderdash because the move simply cannot be as good as 2.Nf3 or 2.Nc3 because a3 does nothing for White's center. Of course, that’s not to say it isn’t playable.     
     White plays 1.e4 c5 2.a3 with the intention of playing 3.b4, diverting Black's c-pawn from the centre and allowing White to build a strong central position with his e and d pawns. Depending on Black's 2nd move this may or may not involve sacrificing a pawn. Of course White can play the Wing Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.b4) or the Wing Gambit Delayed (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.b4) without the fanfare of 2.a3.
     I have tried 2.a3 a few times in online blitz games with pretty good results. I have not used it with the intention of playing b4 though because I’ve also tried the Wing Gambit and WG Delayed and have not gotten very good positions.
     The following online game was quite interesting. We reached what appears to be a standard Sicilian position and after a flurry of exchanges beginning at move 9 we reached a position where I had 2R’s, N and 5P’s against my opponent’s R, 2B’s and 6P’s. These positions are the kind that, in my opinion, engines don’t evaluate very well, so going over it with Houdini 2 doesn’t answer a lot of questions. In fact, while analyzing it with a couple of different engines, there were different suggestions for both of us at almost every move, but most of them seem to lead to nothing significantly better than what we actually played. Still, it seems to me that all the winning chances were Black’s but when he missed his best chance at move 37 the game was a draw. Black kept playing though hoping for a mistake which is exactly what happened. Unfortunately for him, it was his mistake and it cost him the game.

Marcel Duchamp, Chess Master


     After becoming an established artist, Marcel Duchamp turned his focus to playing chess and spent a large part of his life as a serious player. He once remarked that “while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” By most estimates, Duchamp was a player of about master strength. He competed in the 1925 French championship, reportedly scoring 50 percent, and represented France in the 1933 Olympiad (on the same team as Alekhine, the world champion). Though he was usually outclassed against the best players, occasionally he managed to hold his own, drawing a game against Vera Menchik, the women’s world champion, in 1929 and drawing with Frank Marshall in 1930.
     After moving to Greenwich Village from France in the 1940’s, he played for the Marshall Chess Club in the Metropolitan Chess League and his photograph still hangs on the club’s wall.
     By 1923, Duchamp (1887-1968) had established himself as a force in the avant-garde art communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Then, suddenly, after two decades of innovation and considerable controversy, he was reported to have quit making art in order to focus on chess. Of course, Duchamp never totally quit being an artist.
     Following a brief excursion to Buenos Aires during 1918 and 1919, where he became a self-described "chess maniac," his interest in the game grew far beyond an idle pastime. He soon made it his objective to win the French Championship. Between 1923 and 1933, chess dominated Duchamp's life as he competed in tournaments across Europe. Following several respectable performances, including a first-place finish at the Championship of Haute Normandie in 1924, he was awarded the Master title by the French Chess Federation.
     Though his objective of winning the French championship never came to pass, Duchamp succeeded in representing France in numerous tournaments and Olympiads. He published a book on endgame tactics, extensively revised a classic analysis of opening strategies by Eugene Znosko-Borovsky, authored a chess column in the Paris daily newspaper Ce Soir, and became one of the most respected players of correspondence chess in the world.
     His participation in tournament play slowed dramatically after 1933, though he remained engaged with the professional chess community for the rest his life. He became a valued ambassador for the game through the various honorary positions as well as his charitable effort, the Marcel Duchamp Fund of the American Chess Foundation. His legacy also includes playing a pivotal role in introducing the theme of chess in art to a wider public through his involvement in the organization of two historic exhibitions, "The Imagery of Chess" in 1944 and "Hommage a Caissa" in 1966.
 
    The first exhibition dedicated entirely to his association with chess, "Marcel Duchamp: Chess Master" was conceived as an opportunity to experience Duchamp's influential career through his involvement with the game.  In addition to a selection of works by Duchamp, this exhibition also featured chess-related items by other artists, many of whom shared Duchamp's enthusiasm for the game. It presented people the opportunity to see examples of the unique chess-set designs by Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali.

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Download Free Chess Engines


I have added a link on the left under Favorite Sites and Blogs where you can download free engines from ChessOK. The engines available are:

Houdini 2.0
Deep Rybka 4
Houdini  1.5a
Stockfish 2.11
Critter 1.1.37
Naum
 4.2
Spark 1.0
WildCat 8.0
SmarThink
0.17a
SOS 11.99
Zchess 2.22
Gromit 3.0
Ufim 8.2
Mustang 4.97
GreKo 8.2
Kaissa2 1.8a
Adamant 1.7
Booot 5.1.0
Eeyore 1.52 (32 & 64bit)
Zeus 1.29
Arics 0.95a
Anechka 0.08
Patriot 2006
AlChess 1.5b
OBender 3.2.4x
Counter 1.2
Strelka 2.0B
Belka 1.8.20
Ifrit 4.4
Bison 9.11
Uralochka 1.1b
Marginal 0.1
Chess 3
Woodpecker 2
Gull 1.2

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fischer Random Chess

     Chess960 (or Fischer Random Chess) was invented and advocated by former world champion Bobby Fischer who publicly introduced it in 1996 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The idea is that it renders the prospect of obtaining an advantage through the memorization of opening lines impracticable and compels players to rely on their talent and creativity.
     Randomizing the main pieces had long been known as Shuffle Chess; however, Chess960 introduces restrictions that preserve the game’s nature by retaining bishops of opposite colors and the right to castle for both sides. Shuffle Chess wasn’t new; it was suggested as early as 1792.     
     Fischer started work on his new version of chess after his 1992 return match with Boris Spassky with the goal of eliminating the importance of opening preparation. This was, in part, the result of his belief that the Russians (to be politically correct these days, “Soviets”) fixed all international games. Actually, the Russians (Soviets) were not the only ones who fixed games; there are plenty of examples by players from every other country. Anyway, in games where the starting position is random it would be impossible to fix every move because it would be too difficult to memorize. These days even an average player can have a lot of opening knowledge but it comes to naught once they are out of theory but that’s not the case in GM chess which is the circle Fischer moved in.     
     Another reason for Fischer’s desire to implement RFC was his desire to eliminate prearranged games. Of course, being Fischer, he also had other reasons why FRC was better than conventional chess. He thought it was healthier! He pointed out that due to such long hours in front of the computer screen many top players today, such as Anand and Kramnik, wear thick glasses. Who wants to look like a bespectacled nerd when you can look like this?
     Yet another reason to play FRC: all of the study necessary to play conventional chess made it hard work, and he had gotten into chess in order to avoid work.     
     I know you are all dying to know my opinion of FRC, so it is:  When I get to the place where I am a walking encyclopedia of openings, can recall hundreds, if not thousands of master games, have in memory thousands of “chunks” of positions, have a knowledge of endings that will enable me, like Fine, to bash out a book on them in 6 months and my rating is up around 2700, or maybe 2800, I might be interested in FRC. Until then conventional chess suits me just fine.     

Monday, May 5, 2014

Larry Evans

 
   Larry Evans (March 22, 1932 – November 15, 2010), grandmaster, author, and journalist was awarded the IM titlein 1952 and the GM title in 1957. In 1956 U.S. State Department appointed him a "chess ambassador".
    Evans won or shared the U.S. Championship five times and the U.S. Open Championship four times. He wrote a long-running syndicated column and wrote or co-wrote more than twenty books on chess. Evans, born in Manhattan, learned much about the game by playing for ten cents an hour on 42nd Street in New York City.
    At age 14, he tied for 4th–5th place in the Marshall Chess Club championship and the next year he won it outright, becoming the youngest Marshall champion at that time. He also finished equal second in the U.S. Junior Championship. At 16, he played in the 1948 U.S. Championship, tying for eighth place at 11½–7½. Evans tied with Arthur Bisguier for first place in the U.S. Junior Chess Championship of 1949.
     By age 18, he had won a New York State championship as well as a gold medal in the Dubrovnik 1950 Chess Olympiad. 1951, he first won the U.S. Championship, ahead of Samuel Reshevsky and won his second championship the following year by winning a title match against Herman Steiner. He won the national championship three additional times: in 1961–62, 1967–68, and 1980.
    Evans performed well in many U.S. events during the 1960s and 1970s, but his trips abroad to international tournaments were infrequent and less successful. 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.
     In the 1960s, Evans moved to Reno when he discovered he had another talent: counting cards. According to Frank Brady, “He had a memory that he built up from chess. He could memorize cards, and he wasn’t making any money from chess in those days. Nobody was. He made a lot of money and he kept getting banned from casino to casino.”
     His best foreign results included two wins at the Canadian Open Championship, 1956 in Montreal, and 1966 in Kingston, Ontario. He tied for first-second in the 1975 Portimão, Portugal International and for second-third with World Champion Tigran Petrosian, behind Jan Hein Donner, in Venice, 1967. However, his first, and what ultimately proved to be his only, chance in the World Chess Championship cycle ended with a disappointing 14th place (10/23) in the 1964 Amsterdam Interzonal.
     Regarding his style, Evans was willing to take risks in open tournaments against weaker players but that did not work as well against the best players. Evans was closely associated with Bobby Fischer in his quest for the world title and was Fischer's second for the Candidates matches leading up to the World Chess Championship 1972 against Boris Spassky. As a result of a disagreement, he did not serve as Fischer’s second during the actual championship match. At his peak in 1968 he was rated 2631. By the age of eighteen he published David Bronstein's Best Games of Chess, 1944–1949 and the Vienna International Tournament, 1922.
     His book New Ideas in Chess was published in 1958 and wrote or co-wrote more than 20 books on chess. He is probably best known for his contribution to Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games in which he wrote the introductions to each of the games and for convincing Fischer to publish the book he had initially been reluctant to do so.
     Evans began his career in chess journalism during the 1960s, helping to found the American Chess Quarterly and was an editor of Chess Digest during the 1960s and 1970s. For over thirty years, until 2006, he wrote a very popular question-and-answer column for Chess Life. He also wrote Evans on Chess which appeared in more than fifty separate newspapers throughout the United States. Evans also contributed a large amount of material to the Chessmaster computer game. He was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1994. Many of Evans’ book received wide acclaim, but chess journalist, Edward Winter found and published many errors contained in his writings.
     On Monday, November 15, 2010, at approximately 3 p.m. Evans died at Washoe Hospital in Reno, Nevada, from complications following a gall bladder operation.
Washoe Hospital