R.I.P William Lomardy

American chess grandmaster William James Lombardy passed away recently,
on October 13. He was 79 years old. He had many fine tournament results
over the years. He was the first american to win the World Junior Championship,
in 1957. He was the youngest winner at the time, and he won with a perfect score,
11 wins, 0 losses, and 0 draws.

He was a coach to the somewhat younger Bobby Fischer. In 1972 he went with Fischer to Iceland as an assistant during Fischer’s World Championship match against
Boris Spassky.

Some 40 (!) years ago, Lombardy came to my area to play a simultaneous exhibition.
Before the games started, he gave a short talk which included his recent win
over the then Women’s World Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili. He got quite a laugh
from the crowd when he said that he now shared the title with her. In our game
he sacrificed his queen for what looked to be a dangerous attack, but I was able
to defend well enough to eventually win the game. I had the game published in a
state chess magazine, including my comment that when Lombardy resigned the game, it was “with a smile and a firm handshake. A great player and sportsman”. He was certainly all that. He made a wonderful life-long impression on a 23 year-old patzer.

Goodbye, Mr. Lombardy, and thank you.