|Apr-16-11|| ||drnooo: well somebody should start some comments here: he was a very good player and should not be treated like some damn ghost. I didnt know him but surely there are plenty here who did.|
|Dec-25-13|| ||Murky: Okay, will do, drnooo.
I knew Roy Ervin. His first chess rating was over 2100 UCSF. I first met him at the California Junior Championship in Los Angeles, 1968 or 1969. Jacqueline Piatigorsky, who was sponsoring the tournament, was walking about, and I made a dumb comment about what could she possibly know about chess. Roy straightened me out on that point. "She could probably beat you". And he was right.
In the early 70s I'd see Roy at the Santa Monica chess club, and then in the San Francisco bay area. Roy had real talent for the game, but he was close to poverty, and didn't have normal middle class options. So he tried to make it as a chess master. Money was thin, his life was ragged, and he ran into some bad people.
Despite a rough life which left him crazed, he preserved a sense of humor. Somehow a rumor spead of Roy Ervin's death, so in 1987 a tournament was held in his memory at the Mechanics Institute Chess Club in San Francisco. That was motivation enough for Roy, and he showed up to play in the tournament.
It's been more than a decade that he's gone now. Rest in Peace, Roy Ervin.
|Jul-09-15|| ||wrap99: Thanks for the comments <Murky>. I played as a very low-rated player with disposable income, many five minute games with Roy (I got 5, he 1; also, he gave me rook odds with no problem -- I was a 15-year-old 1300 player) in SF at the Palace Hotel in 1976. He was a lowkey guy and as far as I could tell, a nice person. One of the best things to me about chess is the people you meet and the connections to others who have known them, sometimes, as in this case, across nearly half a century or even because I corresponded with Ed. Lasker, connections with people who were active in chess 150 years ago.|
|Jul-09-15|| ||docbenway: I had no idea Roy was gone since 2001 though I'm not surprised. When I got the Chico Chess Club going again in the early 1990s he'd show and crush us all while complaining that his head hurt and he couldn't see straight from smoking mulberry leaves and snorting cleaning products that he kipped from the kitchen at the half way house he was staying in. I'd give him rides home on club nights and one time he leaned forward from the back seat and in a level voice asked if I could tell him of a good way to kill himself. I looked at him in the rear view mirror to see this neutral, expectant look on his face, waiting for the straight dope on how to get out of this world. R.I.P.|
|Jul-10-15|| ||wrap99: <docbenway> Very sad that someone would do something that would be so bad for one's brain as snorting cleaning products (don't think mulberry leaves is a great idea either) but I read Artie Lang's autobio and when he was going through withdrawal he would do crazy stuff to try to stop it. As trivial as this sounds, Roy was also a fairly tall, good-looking guy on top of his obvious intellectual ability and if he had gotten help, he could have had the world on a string.|
|Jan-13-18|| ||andrewjsacks: <Murky> Fine comments and tribute. We were lucky to have Roy in the Southern California area. Talented player, troubled guy.|
|Jan-13-18|| ||MissScarlett: <Somehow a rumor spead of Roy Ervin's death, so in 1987 a tournament was held in his memory at the Mechanics Institute Chess Club in San Francisco. That was motivation enough for Roy, and he showed up to play in the tournament.>|
Did he play or just show up threatening to play!? But it's true this tournament did take place - and it was no Mickey Mouse event. It was won by the untitled (later GM) Darcy Lima scoring 10/13, with Douglas Root and Jeremy Silman in joint second, both earning their final IM norms.
|Jan-13-18|| ||zanzibar: Last night I spent a few moments trying to locate a photo of him on the web, to no avail.|
Can anybody provide a link to one?