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Peter Jonathan Winston
Number of games in database: 12
Years covered: 1972 to 1977
Last FIDE rating: 2220
Overall record: +3 -8 =1 (29.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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FIDE player card for Peter Jonathan Winston

(born Mar-18-1958, 60 years old) United States of America

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Peter Jonathan Winston was born in New York City in 1958. In 1967, he scored 12-0 in the New York Elementary School Championship. He won the event again in 1968. In 1969, as an 11-year-old, he tied for first place in the Open section of the New York High School Championship. That same year, he won the New York Junior High School Championship. He tied for first place with Larry Christiansen at the 1974 US Junior Championship. He disappeared in mysterious circumstances in January 1978.

Wikipedia article: Peter Winston

 page 1 of 1; 12 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P J Winston vs Browne 1-0371972USAA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
2. P J Winston vs L C Gilden 0-134197273rd US OpenB23 Sicilian, Closed
3. P J Winston vs A Karklins 0-135197273rd US OpenC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
4. R Shean vs P J Winston  1-033197273rd US OpenB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
5. S Giardelli vs P J Winston 0-1461974Wch U20A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
6. P J Winston vs J Sunye Neto 1-0461974wch jr AB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. P J Winston vs L A Schneider 0-1371974Wch U20B58 Sicilian
8. P J Winston vs Miles  0-1371974Wch U20B78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
9. P J Winston vs Miles ½-½301974World Junior ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
10. P J Winston vs R Dieks  0-1281974Wch U20B96 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. S Bernstein vs P J Winston  1-0371975Hylan House Class TourneyA37 English, Symmetrical
12. C Van Tilbury vs P J Winston 1-0241977Continental OpenE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Winston wins | Winston loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-27-06  monopole2313: Can anyone crack this cold case? See
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  WannaBe: darn, thought the post said: "crack a cold one!!"

Maybe he's the real DB Cooper?

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  Jim Bartle: That music!!!
Apr-27-06  blingice: God, the number of crazy chess players is very discouraging...
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  WannaBe: <blingice> Better quit chess, before you become one of us.
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  Eric Schiller: Peter Winston played a role in a famous chess event. When Shelby Lyman called the Marshall Chess Club during the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match, the analysis he got was sometimes not from Mednis, bur from Peter Winston and me, sitting in the office. Mednis was an excellent commentator most of the time, but on some days the tactics were literally hanging pieces. So at Peter's initiative, we often passed on the analysis a small group of players were doing in the office. I can't remember who else was there, but Peter had taken charge and was running things.
Apr-27-06  blingice: that's it! i've been discouraged enough!
Jul-12-06  Maynard5: Peter J. Winston was born March 1958, lived in New York, and was an extremely strong player from an early age. He competed actively in New York area tournaments where his record was impressive. At age 14, he achieved a victory over Walter Browne; the game was published in Chess Life. He was a rated master, and co-winner of the 1974 U.S. Junior Championship (with Larry Christiansen). But in 1977, he went missing and presumed dead under mysterious circumstances. Wikipedia lists his disappearance as a possible suicide. However, this has never been confirmed. His apparent death at age 20 was a tragedy, and a loss to the chess world.
Oct-23-06  Marvy: I saw Peter Winston not too long before he disappeared, He was playing speed chess with Najdorf at the Manhattan chess club. Peter was holding his own. He didn't look well. Like has was on heavy meds. Sad case, I remember him playing in Goichberg tornamemts at the McAlpin Hotel. Big loss.
Sep-06-07  Maynard5: It is at best extremely tasteless to denigrate the memory of a fine player like Peter Winston. Peter was not the first chess prodigy to die young. More recently, British prodigy Jessica (“Jessie”) Burke also lost her life at 19. Unfortunately, in her case too, some commentators on this website could do nothing more than denigrate her. Most of the posts about her recognize her as a great talent and a tragic loss.

Anyone who knew Peter can report that he was both a strong player and a good person. At the 1974 U.S. Junior Championship, Peter achieved a score of 5.5-1.5, against a field that consisted entirely of masters, and shared first prize with Larry Christiansen. The cross-table is in the September 1974 issue of Chess Life.

For anyone who is interested, the Wikipedia article on this case was recently updated, and presents a somewhat different sequence of events than the previous account. The earlier version of the article stated that he disappeared around November 1977, after a chess tournament in New York City. The new version states that he did not disappear until several months later, in early 1978, most likely February. According to the revised article, he left his home in New York during a severe winter storm, was later reported missing, and never seen again. This would have made him not quite 20 years old at the time of his apparent death.

Sep-06-07  Maynard5: The British prodigy referenced in the previous post was of course Jessica Gilbert (not Burke).
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  Calli: He was looser than some, but tighter than many others.
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  Jim Bartle: Wonder if he ever played Salem.
Sep-11-07  vonKrolock: He had a photo published in CL&R around 1976 or 77?! that guy looked a bit different of the confident young player portrayed in

<Jim Bartle: Wonder if he ever played Salem.> Sounds mysterious for me - who's Salem?!

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  Jim Bartle: Very America-centric comment: Winston-Salem is a city in North Carolina. Sorry.
Sep-11-07  aleister23: yes who erased my message? and why?
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 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 that can help to answer this question
Sep-12-07  vonKrolock: The score as found in is:

[Event "wch jr A"]
[Site "Manila"]
[Date "1974.08.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Winston, Peter"]
[Black "Sunye Neto, Jaime"]
[TimeControl "-"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B97"]

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 46.Kc3 1-0

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
USA, 1972

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...
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