< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·
|Apr-26-12|| ||HeMateMe: I saw Lombardy not too long ago at a chess club in the Village. He was playing a guy for small stakes in backgammon. I distinctly heard Lombardy say something like " I haven't played backgammon in 10 years", some lengthy time period, as they sat down to play. I was at a nearby chess table. I think he took $16 off of the guy. When the cube starts turning in backgammon, $1/point can add up quickly.|
He was watching a game I played, one time, a five minute game at the Chess Shop, on Thompson St. He pointed out a tactical motif that I missed, where I could have won the game easier. I'm sure I missed a lot more than one motif, but that's what we talked about.
A nice enough guy. I've noticed when I ask him anything about chess GMs of his era, historical stuff, he gets agitated pretty quickly. It's not worth the effort.
He does have students; I think one of them set up a web site for him, to garner more chess pupils.
|Apr-26-12|| ||Caissanist: Lombardy was a college professor up until about 1972, when Al Horowitz died and Byrne took over his thrice-weekly column in the New York Times, which apparently paid fairly well. Bisguier is something of a puzzle though; he certainly doesn't seem to have been successful enough in tournaments to support a family in the New York City area, and didn't do that much writing either.|
|Apr-26-12|| ||Caissanist: Arrgh, it was Byrne who was a college professor, not Lombardy, my apologies for the goof.|
|Apr-26-12|| ||FSR: <Caissanist> Yes, both Robert and Donald Byrne were college professors. The NYT gig apparently worked out well for Robert, since he managed to become a candidate in 1974 (only to get squished by Spassky, but that's to be expected).|
|Apr-26-12|| ||FSR: <Caissanist> Burt Hochberg in his book on the 1972 U.S. Championship wrote how Lombardy was commuting to the championship from his day job as a schoolteacher. That can't have been easy. He still finished at +2 and could have done better except for a mishap against Evans where he blundered in time pressure, http://www.365chess.com/game.php?gi... (56...Rgf2+ was an instant draw by perpetual), followed by hanging his face against tailender I.A. Horowitz, who died shortly thereafter. http://www.365chess.com/game.php?gi...|
|Apr-27-12|| ||Caissanist: I have that same book <Title Chess>, and yes, it is absolutely wonderful, insightful and readable in a way that tournament books so rarely are. Lombardy IMO played easily the best chess of that tournament and really should have been one of the interzonal candidates but yes, as you said, he made some horrible blunders, apparently from the strain of trying to play and work at the same time. Not just in his games against Evans and Horowitz but also in his draw against Greg DeFotis, memorably annotated by Hochberg.|
Hopefully someone will scan that book and put it onto Google books or something, since it will never come back into print.
|May-25-12|| ||Everyone: Just for the record, <Everyone> is not William James Lombardy|
|Jul-03-12|| ||kingscrusher: I seem to have played William Lombardy on the ICC 5 minute autopairing earlier today - he still seems really impressive :)|
Maybe I should video annotate some of his most famous wins - e.g. the win against Spassky ?!
|Jul-03-12|| ||harrylime: ^^^
That would be a good idea.. Plus a few of his encounters with Fischer.
|Jul-03-12|| ||drnooo: my feeling here is pretty simple about Lombardy, whom I never met. His record against ole Bob is so abysmal that anything he says about coaching him or any of the rest at this late date is somewhat perfidious. The difference between talent and genius is often not that great, even Alekhine said so, and Lombardy's book would only have some interest if he went into the details of how Roberto went from being just fairly good to monstrously good and if he can't tell us that, since apparently he was around to watch the transformation, anything else he says is hearsay and worse. As for the personality peccadilloes of his buddy, good, they are too well documented anymore, he should be tired of those kind of idiotic questions, but the specifics how watching the , excuse the expression, little bug under his microscope grown into a tarantula, that might be rather entertaining. That is so long as it is not expressed in the babble of a chris owen or lacrymose wilted prose of a Lamont.|
|Jul-03-12|| ||drnooo: one emendation talent and genius, there occasionally IS a fairly large gap, since genius just is possibly about as overused anymore as any word in the lexicon genius with a capital G, and I will leave that argument alone for the nonce whether Fischer belonged there, even though there is a trainload of folks waiting to jump off carrying his banner, that should be reserved for a very very very few in any field. Capa learning chess from watching hid daddy play when Capa was only four....that's bloody genius. Only case I know of in all chessdom with that stat. Or as Lasker said I have known many masters, but only one genius. Capablanca.|
|Jul-03-12|| ||harrylime: ^^^
You been at the bottle?
|Jul-03-12|| ||King Death: < drnooo: ...the specifics how watching the , excuse the expression, little bug under his microscope grown into a tarantula, that might be rather entertaining. That is so long as it is not expressed in the babble of a chris owen or lacrymose wilted prose of a Lamont.>|
I gotta admit I never saw "babble" and "lac(h)rymose" in the same sentence in my life until now but this is damn good. It also explains why I went to the magic well for both of them, just too much twaddle.
|Jul-03-12|| ||HeMateMe: < FSR: <Caissanist> Burt Hochberg in his book on the 1972 U.S. Championship wrote how Lombardy was commuting to the championship from his day job as a schoolteacher. >|
Just curious, what did Lombardy teach, and where? Was he fired, or did he quit/retire?
|Jul-03-12|| ||gezafan: To me, the USA has had a number of very good players who, if they had received some sort of backing, could have had good international careers.|
I'm thinkng of a guy like Mark Taimanov, who was a player a notch below world champion caliber.
I think guys like Lombardy, Evans, Byrne, Bisguier, to name a few, could have been as good as Taimanov, maybe better.
|Jul-04-12|| ||King Death: Playing in Europe especially the USSR would've helped anybody stay sharp, at least those players that you mentioned earned their way instead of buying into the Candidates like Taimanov did the second time that he "qualified". In fact Robert Byrne qualified as one himself and just missed another one.|
|Jul-04-12|| ||Caissanist: According to <Title Chess>, Lombardy taught English at a Catholic high school in the Bronx (at the time the majority of teachers in Catholic schools were priests or nuns). As mentioned in his bio, he eventually left the church, so there would have been no way he could have continued to teach in a Catholic school. I don't know if he left his job or the church first.|
|Jul-04-12|| ||HeMateMe: Thanks, <Caissanist> Somehow, I see him as too acerbic to teach youths in public school. Especially the Bronx. Maybe at Catholic school, the kids were better behaved because their parents were paying money for a private education.|
Funny, nowadays, were he a younger guy, he could just coach a chess team at a private school in NYC and make a nice bit of change. Back in his time I doubt a USA chess pro made more than $20k a year playing chess.
|Jul-08-12|| ||Caissanist: Well, yes, that's highly unlikely, since $20k in 1972 is equivalent to $110K today! Probably at least $200K in NYC. I don't think any American pros ever made even $10,000 in a year until Fischer in 1972.|
|Jul-16-12|| ||FSR: Interesting article by Kevin Spraggett about Lombardy: http://kevinspraggett.blogspot.com/...|
|Jul-16-12|| ||perfidious: <FSR> So it is, though Spraggett's reference to 6....Nbd7 in the famous encounter Spassky vs Lombardy, 1960 as being 'less popular' is strange to me, as it was often played at the time.|
|Jul-16-12|| ||FSR: <perfidious> True. That was the heyday of the line. I'm sure it came as no shock to Spassky. Spassky vs Polugaevsky, 1958|
|Nov-04-12|| ||OhioChessFan: Nice read by Spraggett, his typical no frills accounting of his experiences. He probably overplays Lombardy's potential, but there surely were some signs of greatness.|
|Nov-04-12|| ||parisattack: Yes, thanks; good read. GM Lombardy had a hyper-modern streak in him; not dissimilar to Stein. His games worthy of study. Spraggett mentions his excellent articles in Chess Review. One was on a White setup called the Paris Attack...|
|Dec-04-12|| ||waustad: Happy 75th B'day!|
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