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Kim Commons
K Commons 
Courtesy of 
Number of games in database: 129
Years covered: 1969 to 1982
Last FIDE rating: 2445

Overall record: +36 -45 =48 (46.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (12) 
    E97 E66 E60 E63 E75
 Sicilian (10) 
    B42 B56 B84 B93 B23
 Semi-Slav (5) 
    D45 D46 D43 D47
 English (4) 
    A16 A15 A13
 Caro-Kann (4) 
    B13 B17
 Queen's Indian (4) 
    E14 E12
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (17) 
    B81 B40 B21 B62 B56
 Caro-Kann (6) 
    B14 B18 B13 B11 B10
 Sicilian Scheveningen (4) 
    B81 B84 B83
 Ruy Lopez (4) 
    C91 C84 C73
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   K Commons vs P Peev, 1976 1-0
   K Commons vs B Baczynskyj, 1976 1-0
   J A Grefe vs K Commons, 1975 0-1
   K Commons vs Reshevsky, 1975 1/2-1/2
   Browne vs K Commons, 1972 0-1
   K Commons vs Benko, 1975 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USA-ch / Zonal (1975)
   Norristown (1973)
   Lone Pine (1972)
   US Championship (1974)
   Haifa Olympiad (1976)
   Lone Pine (1976)
   Lone Pine (1975)
   Lone Pine (1978)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1975 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Kim Commons
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(born Jul-23-1951, died Jun-23-2015, 63 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Kim Steven Commons was born in Lancaster, California. In 1972, he won the California State Championship. He was awarded the IM title in 1976 and in that year won three international tournaments in Bulgaria: Plovdiv, Primorsko (1st=) and Odessos. He also played for the USA Olympiad team in 1976, winning both individual and team gold medals.

In fact, Commons' play at the Haifa Olympiad was roughly at the 2600 level - which was superb back in those days, when no more than 15 players in the world had ratings that high.

Wikipedia article: Kim Commons

Last updated: 2021-07-03 09:53:51

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 142  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. T Weinberger vs K Commons 1-0411969Pacific Southwest OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
2. K Commons vs E Nash  1-034197172nd US OpenB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
3. K Commons vs Reshevsky 0-132197172nd US OpenE60 King's Indian Defense
4. K Commons vs Mark Sokolowski  0-143197172nd US OpenE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
5. Donald Mc Crory vs K Commons  0-129197172nd US OpenB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
6. K Commons vs J MacFarland  1-028197172nd US OpenC17 French, Winawer, Advance
7. P D Smith vs K Commons  0-131197172nd US OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
8. K Commons vs S Schwartz 0-127197172nd US OpenB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
9. K Commons vs I Romanenko  1-042197172nd US OpenA96 Dutch, Classical Variation
10. M Appleberry vs K Commons  0-152197172nd US OpenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
11. Gligoric vs K Commons 1-0541972Lone PineD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
12. K Commons vs T Hay  1-0481972Lone PineE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
13. K Commons vs J Weber  ½-½461972Lone PineE14 Queen's Indian
14. Browne vs K Commons 0-1621972Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
15. Bisguier vs K Commons  0-1621972Lone PineE12 Queen's Indian
16. K Commons vs Martinovsky  1-0321972Lone PineE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
17. A Karklins vs K Commons 1-0251972Lone PineB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
18. A Mengarini vs K Commons  ½-½301973Lone PineC00 French Defense
19. K Commons vs C Uzman  1-0511973NorristownA04 Reti Opening
20. Bisguier vs K Commons  ½-½371973NorristownB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
21. C Chellstorp vs K Commons  ½-½331973NorristownC00 French Defense
22. Mednis vs K Commons  0-1591973NorristownB08 Pirc, Classical
23. K Rogoff vs K Commons  ½-½221973NorristownB40 Sicilian
24. K Commons vs P Biyiasas  0-1411973NorristownA40 Queen's Pawn Game
25. Parma vs K Commons  ½-½241973NorristownB83 Sicilian
 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) | Commons wins | Commons loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-20-09  Dredge Rivers: Kim Commons. What a tragedy! :)
Mar-15-10  dzechiel: Kim Commons. I played (and lost) my first game of 5-minute chess against Kim Commons back in 1969.
Jul-23-10  wordfunph: with his collection of GM scalps, Kim Commons is undoubtedly a GM-caliber player.
Jul-23-11  TheBish: I had a friend who knew Kim Commons, and he told me he was a GM, so I just took it on face value all these years that he was! Maybe he meant he was GM-caliber, don't know. My friend told me Kim quit chess to make money in real estate (back when it was quite lucrative).
Oct-03-11  waustad: Tragedy? Lots of people leave chess as a profession. It isn't that easy making a living playing a board game.
Jan-15-13  Abdel Irada: <kevin86: <perfidious> They could have been married in Korea,where Kim is the most common name.>

Ladies and gentlemen ... give it up for the stylings of Kim and Kim Kim!

Jul-19-14  Howard: Commons was quoted in a 1982 issue of "Chess Life" as saying, "I'm still excited about chess--it's just that I'm more excited at real estate."

More specifically, Commons went into real estate around 1976 or so, largely through his mother's influence--she'd been in real estate for some time. For a few years, Commons was juggling both professional chess and also building a real estate clientele. He apparently became pretty successful at the latter---he made a six-figure income at it for a couple years in a row back when that aforementioned quote appeared.

In other words, Commons--like countless other promising young American players--decided that making your living from chess was just too difficult, and that he needed to find another vocation.

For the record, his victory over Grefe in the 1975 U.S. championship was definitely one of his best games. He thoroughly analyzed it for Chess Life and Review, back in early 1976.

Nov-19-14  Chessnutty: Does anyone know the whereabouts of Kim Ellen Commons, formerly married to Kim S Commons?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I thought that was Common knowledge?
Jun-30-15  naisortep: Kim Commons

Courtesy of Club Red

Members of the local music scene are in mourning today after the sudden death of the owner of a prominent Valley music venue.

Kim Commons, owner of Club Red in Mesa, passed away Tuesday night after suffering a major stroke over the weekend. He was 63.

Commons, who originally opened Club Red in Tempe in 2005, helped the venue become one of the hubs of the city's music scene as he shepherded it through a decade filled with ups and downs, personal and professional losses, and a tumultuous move to a new home in Mesa last year.

Jun-30-15  Howard: First, Browne...and now Commons ! Damn, but for someone who has been a USCF member for 40 years, as of this year, this truly hurts !
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I wonder if Club Red would nice enough to allow CG to use that photo. Sad to learn of his passing. =(
Jun-30-15  Murky: i lived in the same student dormitory with Kim Commons at UCLA in 1970-1971. He spent a lot more time with chess than he did getting his degree in physics. He won local tournaments in the Los Angeles area, won the California state championship, soon got his IM title, then played in the US championship and in European tournaments. In the mid to late 70s he stopped just short of becoming a GM, flipping over to a career in real estate. He had nice wins over Browne and Reshevsky; worth finding those games. He missed an opportunity to mate Gligoric in two moves.

Those were the days without chess playing computers and without chess databases, when Chess Informant was the very best source of current chess knowledge. Kim would avidly consume Chess Informant literature, and his knowledge of opening theory was particularly sharp.

I remember one occasion when I helped Kim promote his chess career. He designed a flyer, offering chess lessons and describing himself as the current California state champion. We then drove around posh areas of LA stuffing mail boxes with his flyer. I didn't think anything good would come of it, but soon he's telling me about giving chess lessons to David Crosby and other West Coast musicians. Crosby said it was, "like taking batting lessons from Micky Mantle".

Kim's life after chess is pretty obscure to me. Here is an obituary giving some detail:

Jun-30-15  Howard: Probably his biggest accomplishment was winning the gold medal for board 6 at the 1976 Olympiad. The irony was that the late Walter Browne's ego was the only reason Commons made the team that year ~!
Sep-09-15  wrap99: <Howard> Was it that Browne refused to play?
Sep-11-16  siggemannen: Browne wanted first board or nothing, and he got it...

Commons' 76 must've been one of the best "streaks" ever? Three tourneys won, plus great showing in the Olympics. Why did he quit?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <siggemannen> The post by <Murky>, just after Commons' death, is about all the information with which I am familiar.

Got to chat briefly with Kim on ICC some years ago; no airs about him, just a reasonable guy. A pleasure.

Sep-11-16  Murky: Why did Commons quit chess? On one occasion Kim told me he didn't like living out of a suitcase. Too much time on the road. Deprivation of home comforts. Jet lag. Starting a family might have anchored Kim a bit. And then there is the issue of making a decent living. Only the top GMs roll in dough. Lesser GMs struggle. Kim was able to switch over to a career in real estate, thanks in part to his mother, who was a real estate professional. I don't yet get how Kim transitioned into managing a bar and concert venue in Phoenix. Read that he had gone through a difficult divorce, and maybe that's what propelled him out of California and into Arizona, I'm not sure. I regret that I don't have more detail of Kim's later life. Was a good friend to me, and I remember him well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The phrase 'the tragedy of the Commons' has nothing to do with Kim -- it relates to the way that common economic resources tend to be over-used and despoiled.
Jan-09-18  Caissanist: Commons quit because he was never able to combine his chess and his real estate work. When he played at Lone Pine 1978, he wound up spending all his time on the phone doing real estate deals. Then when he played in the US championship that year he left his deals in the hands of one of his partners, and they all fell apart.
Jan-09-18  Petrosianic: I remember seeing Commons on one of Shelby Lyman's PBS shows on the 1978 World Championship. All I remember from him is Lyman asking why Korchnoi hadn't castled, and Commons quoting Pillsbury as saying that you shouldn't castle just because you can, only castle because you want to.
Jan-09-18  Granny O Doul: Better to live out of a suitcase than inside one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Granny O Doul: Better to live out of a suitcase than inside one.>

I don't know, you can feel like a million bucks in a suitcase.

Jul-23-18  Brendan S: Kim was my great uncle. I only met with him a few times at family gatherings, but I remember him very well. He was somewhat reserved, but extremely intelligent. My great uncle got me interested in chess and I would not be playing it today if it weren’t for his influence. If any of you have questions, feel free to email me: Or my father:
Jun-07-21  login:

Kim Steven Commons
late owner and president (2005-2014/15)
at Club Red (live venue) and Red Owl (sports bar).

Rocking a book

[Former] Club Red, Mesa AZ - one of Arizona's leading music venues

(Blurred) timeline

2014 Club Red re-opens in Mesa to big crowd, problems

2021 Club Red in Mesa has closed. Here's what we know. 'Local music venue Club Red, a prominent part of metro Phoenix’s metal and hip-hop scenes, has closed its doors after more than 15 years in business, according to a longtime employee. ..'

2021 Why the family behind Mesa music venue Club Red is saying goodbye — for now

'Club Red hopes to reopen in a similar space', meanwhile one can support the 'Red Owl Burgers and Brews' foodtruck.

Club's concert history


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