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Georges Koltanowski vs William Windom
"The Doomsday Machine" (game of the day Nov-17-2018)
Simul blind 1/56 (1960) (blindfold), San Francisco, CA USA, Dec-04
Scandinavian Defense: Main Lines. Leonhardt Gambit (B01)  ·  1-0



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Feb-07-05  PaulKeres: thanks, i didn't know that, never heard of him
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: <thanks, i didn't know that, never heard of him>

I wondered when I saw that name if this was the actor William Windom.

To my mind, Windom's most famous role is that of Commodore Matt Decker of the USS Constellation in the classic original Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine"

Apr-11-06  mack: He didn't play TOO badly, did he?
Apr-11-06  durnstein: Yes, he played pretty well right up to that last blunder.
May-21-07  IMDONE4: well, if you take in consideration that his opponent was playing a group of people blindfolded... he was playin preeettty badly, although i would give him props if he never studied chess at all
May-21-07  IMDONE4: Of course he doesnt seem like a serious player, but I dont believe windom was a complete beginner; He was around amateur strength, probably around modern 1400
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Well his chances of beating Koltanowsky in that simul went out the Windom. (it's awful, I know)
Aug-19-12  jurado96: rest in peace william
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <mack> wrote: He didn't play TOO badly, did he? >

19...Nxb3 20.Nf6+ Qxf6 [Kh8 21.Qxh7#] 21.exf6 Qxf6 22.Qxf8#

is the beginner's sequence, not 19...Nxe4.

RIP. I am glad you kept your day job and did not become a professional chess player. I enjoyed the "Doomsday Machine".

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Mr. Windom was seen visiting the Herman Steiner Chess Club and playing informal, casual games without a clock in the early through mid-1960s. Fine man and respectable non-rated player in playing strength. He also took part in several celebrity chess tournaments (none rated, I believe) in later years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  michael104: According to the USCA website he had a rating of 1540.
Nov-14-15  wrap99: I remember him as being over 1600 in the 1980s. Used to show up at quite a few events in LA area but the last time I saw him and chatted with him (I couldn't think of anything to say other than mention the LA tourneys we had both been in) with at the NY Open in 1982. It takes looking at IMDB to see how many roles he had played -- I just saw the Twilight Zone where he played Robert Duval's psychiatrist; remembered the episode but not that WW was in it.
Nov-14-15  BwanaVa: Generally Windom was what is usually called a "veteran" character actor. I think his biggest role was starring in "My World and Welcom To It", plus longstanding roles on "Murder, She Wrote" and other shows of that ilk.
Nov-16-15  wrap99: @BwanaVa: I think you are right. But I don't think looks were the obstacle -- impressive-looking guy in an understated way and also his acting style was understated for the most part. Of course as actors age, it is hard to be anything but a character actor for the most part.
Nov-17-18  saturn2: White has no more black bishop so I would prefer 17..h6 or 17..f5 to protect h7.
Nov-17-18  SeanAzarin: This was a year before he portrayed the Major in Five Characters In Search Of An Exit. He was a very good actor.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Black to move.
White wishes his bishop was on d3 instead of c4. He wishes it so powerfully that Black plays
Instead, 16...Nc5 is better, attacking both the rook and d3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Playing the move f5 is like throwing a burning match in a gunpowder house
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: I thought <Commodore Decker> played pretty decently in this contest against a blindfolded Koltanowski <a 56-board blindfold simul—are you series?!>. Windom got to the endgame down only a couple of pawns. Reasonable...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Sargon> reading the early comments on this game highlight the game title. Nice. But, no attribution?
Nov-17-18  Lighthorse: Here in NY in the 1960s, Koltanowski had a weekly TV show on PBS called "Koltanowski on Chess" As a kid, I still remember one episode where he taught how to play blindfold (he held the world record for simultaneous blindfolds for a time). Basically it was memorize the board position, then step through up to 10 moves, then memorize the new position. Repeat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Oh, so that's how they do it!
Nov-17-18  Cheapo by the Dozen: 22 ... Qxf6 would have been better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Great Star Trek episode! Who can forget 'Vulcan never bluff'! I had no idea he was a chessplayer.
Nov-17-18  WindmillTilter: When I was a young boy, "My World and Welcome to it" was my introduction to the painful truth that shows of originality and quality do not last on network TV. I loved it, and was saddened at its cancellation after one season.

Another small role Mr. Windom played that I always remember was in the Christmas TV special "The Homecoming", which used to be shown in the holiday specials season, but fell out about 10-15 years ago. The entire cast of the family (except for Patricia Neal as the mother) went on to reprise their roles in the series they made of it, "The Waltons".

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