A time when few GMs walked the earth

by ChessBase
3/25/2009 – The name is well-known in the US: Larry Evans, chess columnist and associate of Bobby Fischer, was in his prime an exceptionally strong player, winning five US championships. Our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos shows us a particularly instructive game played in 1947. Be there at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

I imagine that many of my American readers (but fewer of those around the world) will know the name of Larry Evans. He has been a long-time columnist for Chess Life, and is also well-known for his association with Bobby Fischer. (For instance, he wrote the short game introductions in Fischer's classic My 60 Memorable Games.) But it should not be forgotten that during his playing days, Evans was an exceptionally strong player in his own right; a grandmaster at a time when very few such creatures walked the earth. Among his successes are five US Championship titles, eight trips to the Olympiad and numerous other triumphs, including victory in the very first Lone Pine tournament.

This week, we'll look at one of his earliest successes, achieved when he was just 15 or 16 years old. Born in 1932, Evans won the Marshall Chess Club championship for 1947/8, and this week we'll look at a remarkable game from that event. (Added bonus: it's not in Mega, so you'll have something to add to your collection.) Facing Carl Pilnick, Evans chooses a very sharp and dangerous way of meeting the French, and with players castling on opposite wings a race situation quickly ensued. Objectively, Pilnick was probably ahead in the race, but Evans found some really brilliant and deep ideas that even your computer might not manage to discover. (Of course, you should first try to find the idea for yourself, and only later test your software!)

It's a very entertaining game, and one I'm sure you'll all enjoy. Just tune in tonight – Wednesday night – at 9 p.m. ET/Thursday morning at 2 a.m. CET, for free, and see for yourself! (Quick directions: log on to Playchess.com at the right time, go to the Broadcasts room, select the Games tab and double-click Evans-Pilnick.)

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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