Larry Melvyn Evans, born March 23, 1932 in Manhattan, New York, died Washoe Hospital in Reno, Nevada, 15th November 2010, following an operation has died at the age of 78. Larry Evans was in the first generation of US chess players to emerge after the second world war coming from the vibrant New York Chess scene. His most important chess results were in the United States or in Olympiads He was best known for his writing and his relationship with Bobby Fischer.
Larry Evans won the US Championships 5 times starting in 1951 ahead of Sammy Reshevsky, 1961, 1962, 1968 and 1980 (shared with Larry Christiansen and Walter Browne although Christiansen won a playoff later). He also had two 2nd placed finishes behind Fischer in 1963-4 (Fischer's 100%) and 1966.
He played for the US 8 times at the Olympiads (Debut 1950 where he earned a Gold Medal for his individual performance on board 6, until, with nice symmetry, Haifa 1976, where he appeared for the final time but was part of the US team that took Gold). He earned the GM title in 1957. He appeared only once in an Interzonal, in Amsterdam 1964 where he finished a disappointing 14th.
It is for his journalism he is best known, writing many books (including editing the 10th edition of MCO) and newspaper articles for mostly US newspapers in syndication. Although some of his writing has been criticised he has at least two crowning achievements in my opinion. Personally the book "New Ideas in Chess" (1958) influenced me greatly as a teenager. Although Bobby Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games" is rightly regarded as a major achievement for him there is little doubt that without Evans it would never have appeared. Evans compiled the analysis and faithfully conveyed the text in Fischer's voice.
He acted as a friend and mentor to Fischer serving as his second in the Candidates series that took Fischer to the title but not in the World Championship match in Reykjavik. He is also supposed to have introduced Fischer to some shady ladies from Argentina that led to Fischer's worst tournament result in Buenos Aires in 1960. This was also one of Evans' best international results finishing 4th. His other great result was 2nd= with Petrosian, behind Donner in Venice 1967.
He was a controversial figure in US Chess' horrible local politics. He will be sadly missed. http://main.uschess.org/content/view/10820/608/ is the US Chess Federation's announcement and this is Larry Evans Wikipedia Entry.
http://talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?start=0&t=36736&topic_view=threadsJust heard that Larry Evans passed away at the age of 78 in his home town of Reno, Nevada due to complications from surgery. His contributions to chess, both as a player and as a journalist, will definitely be missed.
I was very privileged to work with Larry on some content for the Chessmaster series, including an excellent endgame test. And since Reno is fairly close to the San Francisco Bay Area (about a 4 hour drive), I got to meet him in his home to discuss his next project. His first question (after being a gracious host) was very interesting, and I believe it was a test for me:
"Do you believe chess is a draw or won for White?"
I thought for a bit, and said that I believed it is a draw. He grunted. I can only hope I passed the test.... Smile