A master passes away


Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 10:16 p.m.

The beginning of 2005 brought some sad news for the chess world.

Grandmaster Arnold Denker, who had the fitting nickname of "dean of American chess" passed away at the age of 90.

I saw Arnold for the first time at the Chess Olympiad in Greece in 1988. I was a 12-year-old kid, still beaming from the second place I had gotten at the U-12 world chess championships earlier that year.

I had heard a lot about Arnold, and decided to just walk up to him and introduce myself.

Arnold is one of the men I have to thank for where I am today. When we had our four-game match in Boca in 1989, he told me to do everything I could to come live in the United States.

Five years later, I followed his advice and immigrated to Florida. He always believed in me, and whatever achievements of mine I would tell him about, he always seemed to expect them.

Every time I saw Arnold, I thought to myself, this is how I want to look and act when I am his age. I will miss him very, very much.

And so will the entire chess world.

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