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Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Yanofsky story

Jonathan Berry writes from Nanaimo - August 15, 2008

Just an hour ago, Bill Parker, aged 88, was visiting our house. He wanted to see the chess columns that I have clipped over the years, and in flipping through a folder said: "Yanofsky! I played him!" I asked "In a simul?" and Bill replied: "No, in Copenhagen."

Bill was in the Merchant Marine, and circa 1946 (possibly 1947 as Yanofsky played a tournament in Copenhagen in 1947) made a regular run to Copenhagen from his base in Britain. In those days it took a couple of weeks to unload a ship, and another couple of weeks to fill it up again. So Bill found it convenient to seek out the chess club wherever he went. That greatly enlarged the social circle of a footloose young man of 26. In Copenhagen, Bill was wandering around the chess club, and struck up a conversation with Yanofsky, as they were the only two English speakers in the room. Yanofsky was playing a Swedish opponent, but was winning the game handily. While the two were talking, Yanofsky asked if Bill wanted to play a game. That was the game! A kind of simul game, but not really a simul game.

Bill remembered that Yanofsky mentioned that he was not feeling well, because he had worms!

About 7 years later, Bill emigrated to Canada, settled in
Nanaimo, became one of the early members of the Nanaimo Chess
Club and played a fair bit of chess... but that was the only
time Bill ever met Yanofsky!

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