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|Sep-11-07|| ||Maynard5: An extensive article on Peter Winston was posted at the USCF website a few days ago. The article includes his victory over Walter Browne, a game that was published in Chess Life at the time. The article was written by a close personal friend of his, while they were both in college at New York University. It contains new information about his disappearance, which apparently took place on or about 26 January 1978, and is more detailed than the rather terse entry in Wikipedia. This is the link to the article: |
In the September 1974 issue of Chess Life magazine, there is an article on the 1974 U.S. Junior Championship, one of Peter Winston’s outstanding triumphs.
|Sep-11-07|| ||Strongest Force: <maynard5> It was real hard for me to contain my emotions, reading Hertan's article; especially, because i knew every person Hertan mentioned- including Hertan himself. As i read it, Peter was not a student at NYU but had an apartment nearby. I lost contact with Hertan before he went to NYU but i did hang with Mike Polowan (NYU student and best friend of GM John Fedorowitz) and "The Fed" on many occations at that time and i didn't even know that Hertan was a student there. Why did Hertan wait so long to share this info?|
|Sep-12-07|| ||vonKrolock: The complete tables of the final groups in Wjr ch Manila 1974 are visible here in Adaucto Nóbrega's site http://www.brasilbase.pro.br/r20b19...
In the finals, Winston vs Sunyé is given as a victory for the American, but maybe they played two games in the tourney, another in the preliminaries group that could be the drawn game found in the on-line bases - There's a zipped file with some games in brasilbase.com that can help to answer this question|
|Sep-12-07|| ||vonKrolock: The score as found in brasilbase.com is:
[Event "wch jr A"]
[White "Winston, Peter"]
[Black "Sunye Neto, Jaime"]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2
Qxb2 9.Nb3 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 h5 12.O-O Nd7 13.Nb1 Qb2 14.Qe3 f5
15.exf5 Nc5 16.fxe6 fxe6 17.N1d2 Nxb3 18.Nxb3 Qf6 19.Bc4 Be7 20.Rae1 Rh6
21.Nd4 d5 22.Bd3 Bc5 23.c3 Bd7 24.f5 O-O-O 25.fxe6 Qxe6 26.Nxe6 Bxe3+
27.Rxe3 Rxe6 28.Rxe6 Bxe6 29.Rf6 Kd7 30.Bf5 Re8 31.Rxe6 Rxe6 32.Kf2 Kd6
33.Bxe6 Kxe6 34.Ke3 Ke5 35.g3 Kf5 36.h3 Ke5 37.Kd3 a5 38.Ke3 b5 39.a3
d4+ 40.cxd4+ Kd5 41.Kd3 b4 42.axb4 axb4 43.g4 hxg4 44.hxg4 b3 45.g5 Ke6
|Sep-13-07|| ||Strongest Force: I remember Peter telling me that he didn't like Tony Miles because he was too arrogant, This was a month or two right after Manila. A few years later GM Mike Wilder told me he hated Neto. I think that the intense competitiveness of chess leads to certain types of unfriendly situations sometimes. Miles was the first British GM.|
|Sep-13-07|| ||Maynard5: This is the score of Peter Winston’s 1972 victory over Walter Browne. Source: USCF Website, and Chess Life, 1972. |
Modern Benoni, Taimanov Variation (A67)
White: Peter J. Winston
Black: GM Walter Browne
1. d4 c5 2. d5 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+ Nfd7 9. Bd3 0-0 10. Nf3 Na6 11. 0-0 Rb8 12. Nd2 Bd4+ 13. Kh1 Nf6 14. Nf3 Ng4 15. Bxa6 Bxc3 16. bxc3 bxa6 17. c4 Re8 18. e5 Rb4 19. h3 Nh6 20. Qd3 a5 21. Ba3 Ra4 22. Qb3 Bd7 23. Rfe1 Nf5 24. g4 Nh4 25. Ng5 dxe5 26. Ne4 exf4 27. Nxc5 Rxa3 28. Qxa3 Qc7 29. Rxe8+ Bxe8 30. Re1 Bd7 31. Nxd7 Qxd7 32. Qe7 Qxe7 33. Rxe7 f3 34. Kg1 Kf8 35. Rxa7 f5 36. c5 f4 37. c6 1-0.
|Sep-13-07|| ||monopole2313: I haven't seen the '72 article in many years, but I do recall that he wrote a book on tournament play (to be published by Random House). I suppose it was never published.|
|Sep-13-07|| ||Strongest Force: <monopole2313> The book came out but only in a very limited amount.|
|Sep-13-07|| ||Strongest Force: Now that i think of it, i remember visiting Random House on some personal matters and in the main reception area Peter's book was displayed nicely amongst other new books. I recall how proud i felt and i was thinking that Peter would have a great future... little did i know...|
|Sep-13-07|| ||peterh105: In reply to one of the posters above, I don't think it disrespects his memory to try and get to the truth about what happened to him. A mystery is a mystery, and people will speculate since nobody has the facts. If you're old enough to remember those days you know there were a lot of drugs going around and there was nothing abnormal about indulging. Some people got into difficulties as a result, but that doesn't mean they were bad people. Nor is it clear what role, if any, drugs played in Peter Winston's case, since what people have posted is somewhat contradictory.
As a Queens boy, I wonder where he went to high school.|
|Sep-14-07|| ||Maynard5: In response to peterh105. My earlier statement that a particular post had denigrated the memory of a fine player were in reference to an incredibly tasteless comment that has since been deleted. This comment really was defamatory. The webmaster agreed that the comment violated the policies of this website, and removed it.|
|Sep-14-07|| ||playground player: Chess masters as a group are still saner than young female entertainers.|
|Oct-04-07|| ||Maynard5: Last month, there was an article in Chess Life about the disappearance and apparent death of Peter J. Winston. Authored by his friend and fellow chess player Charles Hertan, it provides new evidence on the case. There are links to the article in several posts above. |
The new article demonstrates that an earlier report, which may still be on the internet, gave incorrect information. Among other things, it stated that Peter Winston had disappeared in late 1977, following some poor tournament results. According to the new article, Winston’s disappearance occurred on or about 26 January 1978. This would have been several months after the tournament, indicating that the two events were unrelated. The earlier report also claimed, again incorrectly, that Peter Winston was in rehabilitation for use of hard drugs. The new article makes it clear that this was not the case. The earlier report also theorized that Winston could have committed suicide, without providing any evidence that this was the case. The new article reports that Winston was not suicidal.
The new article does not provide definitive evidence as to the cause of Peter Winston’s disappearance, but suggests that it was more likely to have been the result of an accident. According to the article, and some posts on the Chess Ninja website, Winston had left his home without money, identification or luggage. In late January 1978, a severe winter storm hit the East Coast, and there were any number of fatalities due to accidents. If Winston had been in one of these accidents, but was not carrying identification at the time, he might not have been identified, leaving his disappearance a mystery.
|Mar-18-08|| ||brankat: A very talented young player was Peter Winston. A tragic twist of fate took him away from us way too early.|
|Mar-18-08|| ||Strongest Force: The upper-west-side where Pete grew up seemed to be a unhealthy fast paced place where kids tried to live like adults before they were ready. I am not 100% sure but i believe Pete was like many kids in that area: from good homes, whose parents couldn't control them and they came & went as they pleased: doing whatever they wanted & whenever they wanted to do it.|
As i reflect back, Winston seemed to be like he was not in control of himself, during his last two years. Like something had taken control of him and he couldn't fight whatever it was that was not only destroying his master-level playing ability but was destroying him as a person as well. During his last two tournaments he would often approach me and be amazed at how badly he was playing. It put him in a very sad somber mood and he seemed to be perplexed as to why he couldn't play good chess any more. I did not hear any rumors about drugs at the time and i thought it was just a phase he was going through and that eventually he would once again be the same-old guy he use to be.
|Mar-05-09|| ||Maynard5: The recent, untimely death of Mark Diesen at 51 closes another chapter in the saga of Peter Winston. |
Late June 1974, Philadelphia: Eight young masters battled it out in the U.S. Junior Championship. It was one of the strongest fields to play up to this time. The competition was widely expected to be for second place, since at that point Larry Christiansen was nearly in a class by himself. But Peter Winston, a 16-year old prodigy from New York, kept the pace, and scored 5.5-1.5, sharing first place with Larry.
His accomplishment was all the more creditable because of the strength of the field, and the ferocity of the competition. The article on the tournament, published in Chess Life in September 1974, remarked on the fighting abilities of the players and the unusually small number of draws.
Mark Diesen, also 16 and already rated over 2300, should probably have placed third. He held Larry to a draw early on. But he went wrong against Jon Frankle – both players were in serious time pressure – and had to content himself with fourth place, while Jon took third.
The following year, however, Mark went on to place second (after Larry Christiansen), and in 1976, he shared first place. Unfortunately, Peter was unable to repeat his earlier triumph, and did poorly. It was clear that something had gone wrong in his personal life, which interfered with his skill at the game.
Of the players who finished first through fourth in 1974:
Larry Christiansen: International Grandmaster, three-time U.S. champion.
Peter Winston: missing and presumed dead, January 1978.
Jon Frankle: PhD at Berkely, and now a software engineer in Silicon Valley.
Mark Diesen: World Junior champion in 1976, and an IM. He went on to a successful second career in chemical engineering, and continued to follow chess, although he was no longer competing professionally.
|Sep-20-10|| ||GrahamClayton: Some more discussion of Winston's disappearance:
|Mar-19-11|| ||pjl1015: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blo...|
|Mar-19-11|| ||Jim Bartle: That New Yorker story is extremely well written. But that's a pretty brutal comment at the end:|
"I’ve come to think that chess reinforced several of the worst and most dangerous traits of the adolescent—or, in particular, the adolescent-intellectual—character. Chess is a closed and perfect world with a clearly-defined and finite set of rules—the opposite of life, and, for those who become devoted to it, a substitute for life, for exactly that reason. Playing chess in any serious manner is the best way for a young person to avoid facing the sort of complex interpersonal experience that is the most essential kind of learning that’s needed to help a person make his way in the world. I think of the time I spent on chess as worse than a distraction or a waste—a pathological delusion."
|Mar-19-11|| ||BobCrisp: No, it is not extremely well written; it's not even well-written. In my opinion, it's junk. So there.|
|Mar-19-11|| ||Shams: <Playing chess in any serious manner is the best way for a young person to avoid facing the sort of complex interpersonal experience that is the most essential kind of learning that’s needed to help a person make his way in the world.>|
Obviously console gaming is well outside of this churl's purview.
|Mar-19-11|| ||FSR: "I think of the time I spent on chess as worse than a distraction or a waste—a pathological delusion."|
You could substitute "religion" for "chess" and get a truer statement (of many people, not necessarily the author), IMO. "Astrology" and various other nonsense also works.
|Jun-11-11|| ||perfidious: It's obvious, both by his own admission, and by the naivete he displays, that the author of that piece on Winston never got far enough in chess to understand that not everything is so clear-cut as he makes it out to be.|
|Mar-13-12|| ||esundel: i remember when i heard about peters disappearance, it was one of the strangest stories in chess. i would be interested to communicate with any other people who might have known him. perhaps <Strongest Force> or <<RiverBeast>>|
|Jul-19-12|| ||FSR: The Mysterious Disappearance of Peter Winston: http://observer.com/2012/07/the-mys...|
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