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William Lombardy

Number of games in database: 791
Years covered: 1953 to 1994
Last FIDE rating: 2435
Highest rating achieved in database: 2540
Overall record: +318 -143 =328 (61.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (62) 
    B50 B40 B81 B31 B51
 English (39) 
    A15 A10 A16 A13 A12
 King's Indian (34) 
    E60 E71 E80 E70 E63
 Nimzo Indian (32) 
    E46 E21 E42 E26 E28
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C77 C64 C97 C72 C70
 King's Indian Attack (22) 
    A07 A08
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (94) 
    B94 B96 B42 B92 B45
 Ruy Lopez (40) 
    C96 C95 C77 C70 C84
 King's Indian (39) 
    E69 E95 E62 E80 E60
 Sicilian Najdorf (27) 
    B94 B92 B96 B90 B93
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (21) 
    C96 C84 C95 C93 C97
 Nimzo Indian (18) 
    E59 E24 E45 E26 E48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Gerusel vs Lombardy, 1957 0-1
   Lombardy vs Polugaevsky, 1978 1-0
   Lombardy vs Quinteros, 1973 1-0
   Reshevsky vs Lombardy, 1958 0-1
   Lombardy vs E Winslow, 1976 1-0
   A Planinc vs Lombardy, 1974 0-1
   Timman vs Lombardy, 1974 0-1
   Lombardy vs J Mayer, 1963 1-0
   Lombardy vs E Schiller, 1971 1/2-1/2
   B Jonsson vs Lombardy, 1984 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   World Junior Championship (1957)
   Mar del Plata (1958)
   United States Championship 1960/61 (1960)
   Pan-American Championship (1958)
   63rd US Open (1962)
   67th US Open (1966)
   United States Championship 1957/58 (1957)
   Mar del Plata (1957)
   72nd US Open (1971)
   Manila (1973)
   Ourense (1975)
   Reykjavik (1978)
   US Championship (1972)
   56th US Open (1955)
   Haifa Olympiad (1976)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 63 by 0ZeR0
   Manila 1973 by Tabanus
   US Championship 1957/58 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1957/58 by shankartr2018
   US Championship 1972 by Phony Benoni
   US Championship 1975 by suenteus po 147
   US Open 1963, Chicago by Phony Benoni
   Vestmannaeyjar 1985 by Tabanus
   IV World Junior championship by gauer
   World Junior Championship, Toronto 1957 by FSR
   US Championship 1968/69 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1958/59 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1960/61 by suenteus po 147

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(born Dec-04-1937, died Oct-13-2017, 79 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

William James Joseph Lombardy was born in the Bronx, New York on December 4, 1937. He became a National Master at age 14. In 1954, at age 16, he won the New York State Championship, becoming the youngest champion up until that time.

Lombardy tied for first at the Canadian Open Chess Championship in 1956. That same year, at age 18, he narrowly lost a match to Samuel Reshevsky (3.5-2.5), the best match result that anyone had achieved against Reshevsky up to that time.

The following year, Lombardy became the first American to win the World Junior Championship (1957). He remains the only player in the 55 times the event has been held to win it with a perfect score (11-0). FIDE awarded him the International Master title for this victory.

1960 was an eventful year for Lombardy. He led the U.S. team to an upset victory over the Soviet Union in the 1960 Student Team Championship in Leningrad. He scored 12/13, winning as Black against future World Champion Boris Spassky in their individual game, and winning the gold medal for the best result on first board. He played second board for the United States team at the Leipzig Olympiad, drawing as Black in his game against the recently dethroned World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. In the same year, FIDE awarded Lombardy the Grandmaster title.

Lombardy tied for second in the 1960-61 U.S. Championship, behind Robert James Fischer. That result qualified him to play in the Stockholm Interzonal (1962). However, he declined the invitation and entered a Jesuit seminary. He convocated as a priest from CCNY (previous studies included biochemistry, in hopes of entering medicine) and was ordained in 1967.

Lombardy won the U.S. Open in 1963, and tied for first with Pal Benko in both 1965 and 1975. He also represented the United States in seven Olympiads (1958, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1976, and 1980) and served as Fischer's second during the Spassky - Fischer World Championship Match (1972).

In 1974, Lombardy left the priesthood, having lost faith in the Catholic church, which he felt was too concerned with amassing wealth. Soon after, while competing in the Amsterdam IBM (1974) tournament, he met and married a Dutch woman, Louise van Valen, who moved to Manhattan to live with him. Their son, Raymond, was born in 1984. The couple divorced in 1992 after Lombardy's wife returned to the Netherlands with their son.

Lombardy had been a lifelong New Yorker, but in 2016 moved to the Chicago area after being evicted from his Manhattan apartment. He died on October 13, 2017 while visiting a friend in Martinez, California.

Lombardy had a profound influence on Bobby Fischer, who was five years younger than Lombardy. They played hundreds of blitz games while they both lived in N.Y.C. Some consider Lombardy to have been strangely underappreciated.

He was still playing chess very strongly, including online, in his late seventies.

Wikipedia article: William Lombardy

Last updated: 2021-12-04 09:07:19

 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 791  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J W Collins vs Lombardy  0-1321953Practice GameB58 Sicilian
2. E Mednis vs Lombardy  1-026195354th US OpenC54 Giuoco Piano
3. A Mengarini vs Lombardy  1-023195354th US OpenD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
4. M Yatron vs Lombardy  0-132195354th US OpenB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
5. Lombardy vs N Whitaker 1-070195354th US OpenD09 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 5.g3
6. W Grombacher vs Lombardy  0-134195455th US OpenA48 King's Indian
7. Lombardy vs A Sandrin 1-040195455th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
8. O Popovych vs Lombardy 1-021195455th US OpenB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
9. Lombardy vs M Harrow  ½-½60195455th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
10. A Krumins vs Lombardy 0-120195455th US OpenB32 Sicilian
11. A Pomar Salamanca vs Lombardy  1-040195455th US OpenB32 Sicilian
12. Lombardy vs D Fischheimer  1-053195455th US OpenA09 Reti Opening
13. Lombardy vs J F Donovan 0-141195455th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
14. E Mednis vs Lombardy ½-½18195455th US OpenB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
15. P Monsky vs Lombardy ½-½40195556th US OpenE60 King's Indian Defense
16. Lombardy vs A Chappell  1-029195556th US OpenA83 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
17. B Schmidt vs Lombardy  0-138195556th US OpenB83 Sicilian
18. Lombardy vs Santasiere  ½-½47195556th US OpenA07 King's Indian Attack
19. A Suhobeck vs Lombardy  0-128195556th US OpenB83 Sicilian
20. Lombardy vs R Cross 0-150195556th US OpenA04 Reti Opening
21. R Cross vs Lombardy 0-155195556th US OpenB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
22. J F Donovan vs Lombardy  0-149195556th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
23. A Kaufman vs Lombardy  ½-½49195556th US OpenB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
24. Lombardy vs D Poliakoff 1-030195556th US OpenD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Lombardy vs I Rivise 0-155195556th US OpenE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 791  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Lombardy wins | Lombardy loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: When Lombardy left the priesthood he experienced an identity crisis. Here he thinks he's Orson Welles:

Jan-12-21  fabelhaft: <Two child sexual abuse survivors bring suit against the Archdiocese of New York and St. Mary's. Both plaintiffs claim to have been abused by the same two men-- Father Raymond Foster and Father William Lombardy--and each plaintiff had eerily similar experiences>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Probably for the best that they waited for Lombardy to die first. By the end, he didn't have a pot to piss in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The New York Post has the same story. Bizarrely, they illustrate it with a picture of Bobby Fischer?!?
Jan-14-21  Damenlaeuferbauer: What "New York Post" wrote, is a horrible story - regardless if it is true or not. The problem is, that William Lombardy died 3 years ago and could not prove his innocence or concede his guilt. So his reputation as human being and maybe chess player also will be damaged or even destroyed in any case - very sad news indeed.
Jan-14-21  SChesshevsky: Related to the allegations against Lombardy, think it's important to note that the "news" release noted above, which I'm assuming is also the key source for the Post, was issued by the involved law firm.

Also interesting was a previous topic related press release by the same law firm. Linked to on the Lombardy press release page.

Might raise questions about how much of this is related to justice and how much is related to business on something that's probably impossible to prove or disprove.

Jan-14-21  Joshka: <FSR> Typical behavior from the media to have folks believe their agenda, disgraceful indeed....but then again look what they do against our President. Nothing surprising just typical. Bobby called out the media all thru his years, over and over again, lies, lies, lies, manipulation....not an ounce of truth. Charges against Lombardy, but instead of showing his photo, they of course show Bobby Fischer!!! EVIL is not even strong enough for what they are!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Weird factoid: Lombardy is the third World Junior Champion to die. The first two were Tony Miles and Mark Diesen, both of whom died young. Apart from Lombardy, all of the first 12 World Junior Champions are still alive. The first three champions, Ivkov, Panno and Spassky, are all in their eighties.
Jun-24-21  Zugzwangovich: In his latest book "Bobby Fischer and His World", John Donaldson mentions Lombardy's "victory in the 1959 U.S. Invitational--a de facto national championship."

Does anyone out there have a clue as to what this event was?

Jun-24-21  Paint My Dragon: <Zugz> That would be the Log Cabin Invitational in West Orange, 7-22 August. Ten players, and quite a strong field when you consider that Sherwin finished last).

Lombardy 7/9, Benko 6.5, Evans 6, Bisguier, R Byrne 5 ... etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The irony is that Sherwin fared better in the actual 1959 US Championship, finishing eighth with 5/11.
Jul-24-21  Caissanist: I'm not surprised by <FSR>'s factoid, it seems that relatively few GMs die from their late sixties to mid seventies--say, from ages 67 to 77. I guess the game makes sick people sicker, and healthy people healthier, or something like that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Russian GMs probably die younger. Booze, cigarettes and a sedentary life style have been the bane of Russian men.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Tournament chess, same as poker in any form, is a sedentary game; it is not at all uncommon for players of each to pass on in their sixties. <FSR> has often alluded to that dreaded number of 64 for noted chess players.
Jul-24-21  Joshka: Many World Concert Pianists live a long and prosperous life, but I would presume their stress level is not anywhere near the level it's at playing world class chess at all.....exercise is the key I'd say. Playing top level chess is akin to being a caged animal always on the alert. Stress is a killer. The late GM Browne even wrote a book on it!
Jul-24-21  Caissanist: Since I have almost as many years as squares myself, I prefer to focus on the benefits. Maybe being too old to play it all night at a stretch makes it healthier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Pro chess players (assuming they are active thru middle age), surely die younger on average than those of us who are life-long active amateurs. So, loving chess despite comparatively sucking at it, helps one live longer. Who knew there was such a strong upside!

Oh yeah, amateurs probably lead fuller more balanced lives and might actually be happier, but will never know the deepest joys of the game compared to the pros.

Small price to pay if it gives you a significantly longer life.

For both pros and amateurs, anybody know an active player that ever got alzheimers? I don't.

Jul-24-21  Caissanist: I know of one strong master who died from Alzheimers, Albert Pinkus , who died from it in 1984 after a long struggle. According to Arnold Denker, he continued to play chess even after showing symptoms but eventually had trouble remembering to punch his clock after moving. I've never heard of a GM getting it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Denker related some fascinating tales of Pinkus' life during the 1930s and 1940s in his work on players he knew.
Jul-25-21  Caissanist: In his 1970s column for <Chess Life & Review>, Lombardy offered up an aphorism which I have found helpful in understanding positional play in the middlegame: <The existence of central pawn tension (pawns able to resolve the conĀ·
flid by capturing one another but reo
fusing to do so) generally favors the
side with the greater space.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I used to own the Denker book, can't remember much about it. I think he knew Fischer as a teenager, when Bobby was being driven around to tournaments by Larry Evans.
Premium Chessgames Member

<perfidious> Denker most certainly did.

His superb chess reminiscence bristles with such robust, insightful chapters as the one on Albert Pinkus .

Many will not realize just how strong and remarkable a player Pinkus was.

I continuously read Denker and Parr's <"The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories."> I have done so for years and I will never stop doing so. By coincidence I recently re-read the Pinkus chapter. What a mensch! That goes for both Pinkus and Denker.


-The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories, by Arnold Denker and Larry Parr, San Francisco, Hypermodern Press, 1995

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: is it my imagination? or does Lombardy look like Dan Ackroyd? lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Nope.It is the other way round <PawnSac> ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Chess Life & Review, September 1978, p.471:

<NEW YORK, N.Y. - Grandmaster William Lombardy was attacked by a knife-wielding mugger on a street near his home Sunday evening, July 16. In the scuffle, tendons in two fingers of Grandmaster Lombardy's left hand were severed. He is left-handed. The thirty-year-old grandmaster hurried to nearby Beth Israel Hospital immediately after the attack, and a few days later he underwent a long operation to repair the severed tendons.

We wish him a complete and speedy recovery.>

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