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Mark Diesen
Number of games in database: 139
Years covered: 1971 to 2002
Last FIDE rating: 2409
Highest rating achieved in database: 2460

Overall record: +42 -37 =60 (51.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (18) 
    B51 B44 B52 B42 B98
 King's Indian (7) 
    E81 E97 E98 E68 E69
 English (6) 
    A15 A18 A13 A10
 Nimzo Indian (6) 
    E20 E41 E58
 Pirc (6) 
    B08 B09
 English, 1 c4 c5 (5) 
    A34 A30 A33
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (17) 
    B52 B93 B92 B56 B84
 English (9) 
    A15 A19 A14 A13 A17
 Sicilian Najdorf (6) 
    B93 B92 B94 B90
 English, 1 c4 c5 (4) 
    A38 A34 A31 A30
 King's Indian (4) 
    E87 E67 E92 E69
 French Defense (4) 
    C15 C17 C16 C09
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Diesen vs Rohde, 1976 1-0
   M Diesen vs Browne, 1976 1-0
   M Diesen vs L Day, 1977 1-0
   M Diesen vs M Paolozzi, 1979 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Karlovac (1979)
   New York GHI (1977)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Lone Pine (1977)

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Mark Diesen
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(born Sep-16-1957, died Dec-09-2008, 51 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Mark Carl Diesen was born in Buffalo, New York, USA. He was World Junior Champion in 1976 and was awarded the IM title the same year. Diesen was Louisiana State Champion in 1986, 1987 and 1988. Son of Carl E Diesen.

Wikipedia article: Mark Diesen

Last updated: 2021-02-12 06:59:49

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 142  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Burkett vs M Diesen 0-132197172nd US OpenC17 French, Winawer, Advance
2. P Biyiasas vs M Diesen  1-060197172nd US OpenC15 French, Winawer
3. L Cohen vs M Diesen  1-032197273rd US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
4. P Brandts vs M Diesen  0-149197273rd US OpenD97 Grunfeld, Russian
5. M Diesen vs Saidy  0-148197273rd US OpenB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
6. M Diesen vs R Gruchacz  0-132197273rd US OpenB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. M Diesen vs Nunn 1-0401973Hastings opB06 Robatsch
8. M Diesen vs Speelman  0-1301973Schilde op U18 9thB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
9. Hoi vs M Diesen  ½-½281973Schilde op U18 9thD97 Grunfeld, Russian
10. C Ghysels vs M Diesen  1-0461973Schilde op U18 9thB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
11. S Gelbart vs M Diesen  0-129197374th US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
12. M Diesen vs Browne  0-144197374th US OpenB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
13. M Diesen vs C B Jones  ½-½401974Lone PineB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
14. M Basman vs M Diesen  ½-½381974Hastings 1974/75C31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
15. M Diesen vs Hartston  ½-½231974Hastings 1974/75B44 Sicilian
16. Andersson vs M Diesen  1-0571974Hastings 1974/75A15 English
17. M Diesen vs Vaganian 0-1541974Hastings 1974/75B05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
18. Beliavsky vs M Diesen  1-0561975Hastings 1974/75C99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
19. M Diesen vs M Stean  ½-½221975Hastings 1974/75B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
20. Miles vs M Diesen  1-0431975Hastings 1974/75A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
21. A J Mestel vs M Diesen  ½-½211975Hastings 1974/75C09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
22. M Diesen vs A Planinc ½-½421975Hastings 1974/75B08 Pirc, Classical
23. G Garcia Gonzalez vs M Diesen  1-0441975Hastings 1974/75A31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
24. M Diesen vs G Botterill  1-0331975Hastings 1974/75B08 Pirc, Classical
25. Benko vs M Diesen  ½-½591975Hastings 1974/75A06 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 142  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Diesen wins | Diesen loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Mark Carl Diesen
Born 16th September 1957 in Buffalo
Awarded the IM title in 1976 he was World Junior Champion in the same year.
Sep-16-06  BIDMONFA: Mark C Diesen


Feb-24-07  geraldo8187: diesen also contributes to
Dec-27-08  Albertan: DIESEN, MARK CARL - age 51 of Conroe, Texas native of Buffalo New York, passed away suddenly December 9, 2008 in Conroe, Texas. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He worked as a reservoir engineer for Shell Oil, Pennzoil and Noble Energy. Mark was a World Junior Chess Champion in 1976, the US Junior Co-Champion, the Louisiana State Champion in 1986, 1987, 1988, Texas State Champion, Southwestern Open Champion, and an active chess coach in Houston, Texas and online. He is survived by his wife, Melinda Diesen of Conroe, Texas; daughters and sons-in-law, Gina and Travis Perkins of Knoxville, Amy and Daniel Smith of Houston, TX, and Sarah Diesen of Conroe, TX; mother, Marjorie Diesen; sister and brother-in-law, Laura and J.C Butler all of Bristow, VA; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Paul and Joyce McGlothin of Knoxville; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Paul and Meredith Averill-McGlothin of Ossining, NY; several nieces and nephews. Funeral service will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday at The Episcopal Church of the Ascension with Rev. Dr. Howard J. Hess officiating. Interment to follow at Highland Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the U.S. Chess Trust, PO Box 838, Wallkill, NY 12589, 800-388-5464.

My condolences to his family and his friends.

Dec-27-08  zoren: Wow... I just played with him recently and now hes gone...

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[White "Diesen"]
[Black "zoren"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Opening "QGD: 6.Nf3"]
[ECO "D55"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 Ne4 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. Rc1 c6 9. Qc2 Nxc3 10. Qxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Nd7 12. O-O Re8 13. e4 e5 14. Rfe1 exd4 15. Nxd4 Nf6 16. e5 Nd5 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Qc5 Be6 19. Qxe7 Rxe7 20. f4 g6 21. Rc5 b6 22. Rc6 Rc8 23. Rec1 Rxc6 24. Rxc6 Kf8 25. h3 h5 26. Kf2 Ke8 27. Ke3 Kd8 28. b4 Bd7 29. b5 Bxc6 30. Nxc6+ Kd7 31. Nxe7 Kxe7 32. Kd4 Ke6 33. g4 hxg4 34. hxg4 Black resigns 1-0

A fine positional crush, and was nice enough to offer to play again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here is a small collection of critical positions from his games:
Jan-04-09  PhilipofBrazza: I was saddened to learn of IM Mark Diesen's recent premature death, not because I knew him personally (I didn't), but because I knew of him as a chess player, and, more significantly for me, I happen to have played an amusing 3-minute blitz game with him on ICC only 4 months ago (below; game 72 of my personal library, "liblist PhilipofBrazza" on that site)!

Playing through some of his games, one can sense what a powerful positional player he was. May he rest in peace.

[Event "ICC 3 0 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2008.09.09"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Diesen"]
[Black "PhilipofBrazza"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ICCResult "White resigns"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "1823"]
[Opening "Scandinavian defense"]
[ECO "B01"]
[NIC "SD.03"]
[Time "11:44:13"]
[TimeControl "180+0"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nxd5 4. d4 Bg4 5. c4 Nb4 6. Be3 N8c6 7. d5 Bxf3 8. gxf3 Ne5 9. Qa4+ c6 10. Qxb4 Nxf3+ 11. Ke2 e6 12. Qxb7 Ne5 13. dxc6 Qd3+ White resigns

Jan-05-09  Maynard5: Everyone who knew IM Mark Diesen will be saddened to hear of his premature death, at age 51.

I first met Mark in Philadelphia, 1974, during the U.S. Junior Championship. Only 16 at the time, he was already a very strong player, rated over 2300. He was also friendly, affable, and a very upbeat, optimistic person, with an infectious enthusiasm for the game. While he only finished fourth that year, he went on to place second in 1975, and share first place in 1976. In 1976, he also won the World Junior Championship, and was awarded the IM title.

There has been some speculation as to why he did not continue in chess. As he put it himself, chess was his first love, but the economics just weren’t there. Instead, he went on to a successful second career in chemical engineering. He lived in Texas, in the suburbs of Houston, with his wife and three daughters. He continued to follow the world of chess, even though he was no longer playing actively.

Perhaps the best way to commemorate Mark would be to replay his fine games on this website. He had several impressive victories, notably against Walter Browne and Michael Rohde. Mark loved chess, and this is the way that he would have wanted to be remembered.

Jan-05-09  jackpawn: Mark was obviously GM strength by the late 70's. Look at his game with Korchnoi, drawing easily with black.

His premature death is yet another reminder to live life for today, as my wife often reminds me.

May Mark rest in peace.

Jan-05-09  biglo: His ICC finger notes say "several GM norms Karlovac 77' Polaniza Zdroj '78 etc"
Jan-07-09  Danya: what did he die from?
Jan-07-09  anandrulez: Read the obituary colomun . It indeed is a sad news . I have played few times with him in ICC ...RIP Mark Diesen
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: R.I.P. Mark.

There have to be a way, to work Diesen Sphere into a pun and be the game of the day...

Any other member care to help out with this pun?

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <tpstar> If I have to pronounce his last name, I think I'd pronounce it Dye-son...

But then again, I'm not a native English speaker. =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Live and Let Diesen
Fuzzy Diesen
Diesen On the Cake
Mark My Words
Mark of a Master
Aug-11-09  LIFE Master AJ: I read on another page, (Chessgames Challenge: M Umansky vs The World, 2009); that Mark Diesen had passed away.

I started leaking, (tears) ... I don't even know why. (We were not close friends.) In a way, it was kind of dumb, I am not even sure that I understand why I was so upset.

He defeated me at the Louisiana State Championships one year. I honestly wish I had the game, I would post it.

Anyway, I had to do something. So here are a few links to commemorate a fine chess player ... who died way too soon. (Lectures by IM M. Diesen)

God bless his family, they shall be in my prayers ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: <Mark was obviously GM strength by the late 70's> Many top US players of the seventies were probably GM strength but never got the GM title, since at the time there were very few US tournaments where you could get GM norms. Besides Diesen, these included Kim Commons, Norman Weinstein, Sal Matera and John Peters. Even Jim Tarjan (at one time the #2 player in the country) had to move to Yugoslavia for six months to get his title.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: British newspapers once carried headlines like this one: "Another Bobby Fischer on the Horizon!" referring to American schoolboy 16 y.o. Mark Diesen who won the 60-player swiss-type 1974 Hastings Challengers with 6 wins and 4 draws.

rest in peace IM Mark Diesen..

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: He was on the Free Internet Chess Server one time, and I "spoke" with him briefly. I told him of my line "Mark is a Diesen player" and he was polite enough to claim to find it funny. He offered to play me a game, but I was too wimpy. (Pretty pathetic, to be sure. Oh no, if I play this IM a blitz game on the Internet, he'll probably crush me and bruise my fragile ego!)
Mar-13-12  esundel: <Strongest Force>, i used to know mark back in the day when we were both kids. it is a really great pity he passed on. he was really amazing at the game ( 2350 when i was 1800). i i would be interested in getting touch with some of my old chess friends. <Strongest Force> please email me at maybe we knew each other back in the day, and it would be nice to talk about old memories.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a Diesen victory that I have just uploaded into the database:

[Event "Tournament"]
[Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
[Date "1977.01.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Mark Diesen"]
[Black "Salvatore Matera"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. ♘xd4 a6 5. ♗d3 ♘f6 6. O-O d6 7. c4 ♗e7 8. ♘c3 O-O 9. ♗e3 ♖e8 10. ♘b3 ♘bd7 11. f4 b6 12. ♕f3 ♗b7 13. ♖ad1 ♕c7 14. ♕h3 ♗f8 15. g4 d5 16. cxd5 ♘c5

click for larger view

17. d6 ♗xd6 18. e5 ♘xd3 19. ♖xd3 ♗xe5 20. fxe5 ♕xe5 21. ♗f4 1-0

Source: Larry Evans, "Young Talent", Boys Life, October 1977, p. 66-67.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Caissanist: Many top US players of the seventies were probably GM strength but never got the GM title, since at the time there were very few US tournaments where you could get GM norms....>

The only chance a typical strong young American had was the odd invitational-even then, the time limit (believe norms expired after three years in those days) placed a well-nigh insuperable burden on any American unwilling or unable to play in Europe.

<....Besides Diesen, these included Kim Commons, Norman Weinstein, Sal Matera and John Peters....>

All except Peters eventually found more stability outside the world of chess; in my opinion, all the above-named players would have eventually made GM had they carried on playing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: IM Mark Ginsburg annotates a bunch of Diesen games, in a pair of articles published shortly after Diesen's death:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ironmanth: Learning and playing chess in the seventies in the Washington D.C. metro area, the name of Mark Diesen was a vaunted one. I recall reading that like me, he played the 3M Bookshelf game "Twixt". The article claimed he analyzed it so deeply that he could not lose, and I believed it. Sadly, this very strong player was taken too early. RIP Mark Diesen - you were so respected.
Sep-18-21  rbhgroup: I also met Mark in the Washington D.C. area, around 1970 or so... he was a great chess talent, of course, but also a very enjoyable person to be around, and very approachable. The world needs more people like him. R.I.P.
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