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Edmar Mednis vs William Lombardy
United States Championship (1978), Pasadena, CA USA, rd 5, Jun-??
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-13-04  AdrianP: <WMD> Thanks for pointing me to this game... hilarious!
Jan-12-05  themindset: talk about desperation... it's bad for the soul to play on in such positions.
Dec-12-05  Runemaster: In the endgame, giving up the bishop on g8 so that the king can invade was neat.
Jan-27-07  PinkPanther: Larry Christiansen told a story about this game on today. He said that actually this game was adjourned on this position and so they had to come back the next day and play, but instead of coming to the board Lombardy sent in his sealed move, which wasn't a move at all, but rather a piece of paper saying "@#$% YOU!". LOL. He made Mednis get up for nothing and everything, hahahaha.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Unsporting, grandmaster!
Jan-03-10  Jim Bartle: A Catholic priest wrote "@#$% YOU!"?
May-16-11  Lonnie Lurko: That's probably the only part of the story I have no difficulty believing
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> That's what '64' said about Korchnoi after his 1974 loss to Karpov in the de facto title match, though I've a feeling that's what inspired your kibitz, lol.

Guess the game would've been awarded to Mednis under the rule that a player loses who seals a move, the significance of which is impossible to establish, or however that FIDE rule was/is worded.

Seems to me though that if an opponent seals 'f**k you', I've an idea where he's going with it.

CL&R wrote about the finish of this game in the article on the '78 championship-while I don't recall particulars, it's safe to assume that the contents of Lombardy's sealed move weren't disclosed.

Jul-27-12  Llawdogg: That is a hilarious story.
Jun-21-13  RookFile: Oh dear, I laughed so hard when I read this.
Jun-21-13  Shams: Did these two have a history?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Here is the record of their previous encounters:

Hardly a basis for a "history". In fact, their last four draws didn't add up to the 90 moves of this game.

My impression of Lombardy (gathered only second- and third-hand) is that he is one of those unfortunate souls who gets all wound up when the competitive juices start flowing. A nice enough person in real life, but the pressure of a tournament game always threatens to build into an explosion. You know the type. You may even be the type.

Here's another Lombardy moment, attested by a reporter I know to be reliable:

Lombardy vs Browne, 1973

I also have the feeling (of an amateur psychoanalyst, of course) that Lombardy was resentful of the attention paid to Fischer. He won the World Junior Championship--with an 11-0 score--just a few days before Fischer was awarded the US Open title on a shaky tiebreak. Objectively, Lombardy's feat was surely the greater, but Fischer got all the attention simply because of his youth.

I should be careful to point out that I'm not saying that Lombardy was resentful of Fischer himself, only of the attention paid to Fischer and the comparative neglect of his own achievements. That had to rankle, and perhaps that's what boiled over in other incidents. But, again, I'm no shrink.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni....My impression of Lombardy (gathered only second- and third-hand) is that he is one of those unfortunate souls who gets all wound up when the competitive juices start flowing. A nice enough person in real life, but the pressure of a tournament game always threatens to build into an explosion....>

We met once at the board and socially before and after that encounter, and Lombardy was quite a reasonable person in my experience. One could, however, sense the fiery personality underneath.

Oct-08-16  Howard: Mednis wrote an article for Chess Life not long later called "The Long and the Short of It". In it, he states that he gained one of the shortest wins of the 1978 US championship, and also "by far, the longest one".

The "short" win he alluded to was his win against Rogoff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Very patient BOOC endgame by White, breaking through with a nice sacrifice when Black's Bishop can't contain both passed Pawns.

Strange finish and backstory for a US Championship game.

Jan-08-18  Caissanist: Lombardy and Mednis were exactly the same age and both lived in New York most of their lives, so they were rivals their entire careers, going back to high school. I would imagine that that rivalry had something to do with Lombardy's behavior here.
Jan-08-18  Petrosianic: <Jim Bartle>: <A Catholic priest wrote "@#$% YOU!"?>

Former Priest.

Jan-08-18  Granny O Doul: Bill Wall's Lombardy timeline ( ) shows Mednis being in Lombardy's way a number of times in their early careers. I had gathered myself on a number of occasions that Bill was not very fond of Edmar, but I did respect that in Bill's late book he did not go beyond reporting the fact that they were often at odds. Since Edmar was already gone, he might have used it as a chance to put out his own side without fear of rebuttal.
Jan-08-18  WorstPlayerEver: So......... where's the link to that 'story'? 😊
Jan-08-18  jinkinson: <WorstPlayerEver> I actually read it in the current (January 2018) issue of Chess Life (p. 17).
Jan-09-18  WorstPlayerEver: <jinkinson>

Ah, they waited until Lombardy died, I suppose.

Jan-09-18  WorstPlayerEver: PS this story is so dumb, if one considers that the arbiter opens the envelope..
Jul-27-21  RookFile: By the way, this game illustrates that bishops of opposite colors don't always secure the draw.
Jan-25-22  jerseybob: <Phony Benoni: You know the type. You may even be the type......I also have the feeling (of an amateur psychoanalyst, of course) that Lombardy was resentful of the attention paid to Fischer.> If that's true, then all the more reason for him to have played in the Stockholm Interzonal! It would've been the biggest tourney of his career, he was at the very height of his powers, and who knows what might've happened?

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