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Lina Grumette
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1954

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(born Jan-06-1908, died Jul-21-1988, 80 years old) Germany (federation/nationality United States of America)

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Lina Grumette was a chess promoter in Southern California who participated in several U.S. Women's Championships. In 1961, she was the USCF National Membership chairman. Primarily remembered as the "adoptive mother" to Bobby Fischer, today, the Southern California Chess Federation (State Affiliate of US Chess) organizes the Lina Grumette Memorial Day Classic in her honor.

Last updated: 2020-01-06 17:53:34

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. R Cross vs L Grumette 1-03919542nd Pan-American Chess CongressB68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-14  zanzibar: Her LA Times obituary, July 22, 1988 is here:

<Lina Grumette, a chess expert who nurtured Bobby Fischer during the years that led to his capture of the world chess championship in 1972, died Thursday in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of the complications of lung cancer.

Her son, Steve, said she was 80.

For many years she hosted a Memorial Day chess tournament--the largest one on the West Coast--and in her own right was considered one of the best women players of the 1940s.

Known as Fischer's "chess mother," Mrs. Grumette, a widow, kept the enfant terrible of chess at her home for months at a time. She encouraged him to seek the world championship from the Russian, Boris Spassky. Then she journeyed to Iceland with him and was there when Fischer became the first (and only) American to ever win the world title.

(Afterward, Fischer dropped from view and refused to ever play in public again. He is believed living a reclusive existence in the Pasadena area. He also turned his back on Mrs. Grumette and most of his other friends, accusing them of collaborating with the media and the Soviet KGB in what he viewed as a threat to his life.)

Mrs. Grumette for years ran a club in her West Hollywood home called The Chess Set. It became a gathering place for tournament players and other chess celebrities.

In addition to her son, she is survived by a daughter and a grandson.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park.>

Dec-06-14  zanzibar: <While all this is going on, Henry Kissinger is in San Clemente, California, involved in several rounds of extensive talks with the Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin during a US-Soviet summit. At some stage during the day he found the time to place a phone call to Reykjavik 22322, the number to reach Fischer. In addition, many telegrams arrived for Fischer urging him to play on.

Lothar Schmid (right) during the Spassky-Fischer match in 1972

That same day, Fischer had an afternoon meal with an elderly lady, Lina Grumette, that he knew from many years back in California. She later said: “I gave him hell. I told him if he walked out of the match he'd be washed up. He'd be a dirty word everywhere chess was played. Oh, I really laid it into him. He listened very seriously. He didn't say he'd play, but I shook him up and I think he was glad.”>

Also, with a little more West Coast perspective:

(With remembrances by both Dan Bailey and Yasser Seirawan)

An annual Memorial Day Tournament is named after her, held each year in LA.

Pictures of her can be found here: (she's right next to Bobby)

Dec-06-14  zanzibar: And here's mention of Bobby Fischer staying at her house for three weeks during one of his early trips to California - from Brady's <Endgame> p72:

Dec-07-14  zanzibar: By the way, there is some uncertainty as to the exact spelling of her first name.

<Is it Lena, or Lina?>

Even Edward Winter punted on this one:

<CN 8173. From the Marshall Chess Club


The Marshall Chess Club is currently cataloguing its photographic archives, and Alexander George (Amherst, MA, USA), who is on the club’s Board, submits the above photograph. Is it definitely, as believed, Lina/Lena Grumette, and can the picture be dated?>

My personal preference is for <Lena>, since that is the name given on the contemporaneous <Chess Reporter> writeup on the <2nd PanAm (1954)> tournament.

See also: (Lena) (p 349 - <Grumette Lena Mrs. : Boro Chess Player>) (1940 Census)

The modern memorial tournament uses <Lina>.

Sep-19-20  login:

Lina (Futterman) Grumette

Diff. birthdate/-place

'.. In 1953, Lina and her family moved to Los Angeles, where she ran a public relations firm. After the death of her husband, Lina decided to open a chess club in her Hollywood home. “The Chess Set” began as a meeting place for Lina’s many friends in show business, but soon attracted more players who appreciated Lina’a unparalleled hospitality. Lina encouraged and befriended most of the masters in the area, and welcomed those who were just visiting southern California. She hosted a series of Futurity tournaments in the 1970s and 80s that introduced two generations of masters to international play. ..'


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