Tactics Time Chess Newsletter: Harold Dondis Tribute

Published: Fri, 12/11/15

Newsletter Issue Harold Dondis Tribute Tactics Time 
Harold Dondis Tribute

I’m not an impressive player, but I love the game. I’m 81. I still play it. I love it. I even had a heart attack during one game. It doesn’t bother me. I love it so much ~ Harold Dondis

tactics position x
his position comes from the simul game Bobby Fischer vs Harold Dondis, played in Fitchburg, MA, 1964. 
   In the position on the right it is Black to move
   Answer below.

   Some sad news via Joel Johnson on facebook:

   Chris Chase emailed me this:

   Harold Dondis passed away last night while playing in the Thursday Night Swiss at the Boylston Chess Club in Somerville, MA. He started feeling poorly, resigned his game and told me when I arrived that he thought he had had a heart attack. As I called 911, he slipped in unconsciousness. The EMTs were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at Mt. Auburn Hospital at around 11:20pm.


   Harold Dondis was a lifelong resident of Belmont, MA and the lifelong top legal counsel for The Boston Globe. He also wrote the chess column for the Boston Globe and was the person who setup the USCF's status as a non-profit organization.

   As a teenager, I played Harold many times in tournaments. Harold Dondis, John Curdo, and my chess coach, Harry Lyman were all good friends.

   He was in his 90s and I am sure there will be additional info forthcoming on the USCF website in the upcoming days.


   There is a great article about Harold entitled "Harold B. Dondis: A True Lover of Chess" by George Mirijanian in the October 2004 issue of Chess Horizons magazine, which you can read here: http://www.masschess.org/Chess_Horizons/Articles/2004-10_sample.pdf

   From that article:

   GM: I understand you’ve beaten some strong players during your long playing career. Is that right?

   HD: Occasionally. I did beat Bobby Fischer [in a simul in Fitchburg on March 2, 1964].

   GM:  Can you tell me something about that event?

   HD: The place was mobbed. I was a little fellow and a guy grabbed me and then spectators and players put me on their shoulders. It was a fluke game. It was a 19-mover.

   Fischer was experimenting with a gambit by Weaver Adams. I knew the line by Larry Evans and Fischer made a mistake and I trapped his bishop. He was very gracious in resigning. I could never do that again. So once in a while, you do hit it. You beat somebody much stronger.


   Rest in Peace Harold.

   Here is the complete game:
[Event "Fischer Simul Tour"]
[Site "Fitchburg, MA"]
[Date "1964.03.02"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Robert James Fischer"]
[Black "Harold Dondis"]
[ECO "C23"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "38"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.d4 Nxd4
7.Nd5 Ne6 8.Qxe5 c6 9.Nc3 Qf6 10.Qxf6 gxf6 11.Nge2 Nf5 12.g4
Nfd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Be3 Nxb3 15.axb3 d5 16.Rxa7 Rxa7 17.Bxa7
Bxg4 18.Bd4 Be7 19.Kd2 c5 0-1
   You can play through this game here: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1499227
   Answer: 19...c5! and the bishop has no safe squares.  After 20. Be3 d4 forks the bishop and knight.  Future World Champion Fischer resigned.
   Happy Tactics!
   Your Friend,

   P.S. 2016 Daily Chess calendars still available on my website and at amazon http://www.amazon.com/2016-Chess-Tactics-Daily-Calendar/dp/B01741W1Q8/

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