Several of New York’s greatest players — such as Bobby Fischer, Larry Evans and Edmar Mednis — never got around to writing memoirs. But some of their contemporaries are now telling their stories.
“The Stress of Chess: My Life, Career and 101 Best Games” is a 432-pager by Walter Browne that is due out in June. The former Manhattan Chess Club regular and six-time US champion grew up in New York in the 1960s and became a friend of Fischer , while also mastering poker, backgammon and Scrabble.
“Understanding Chess — My System, My Games, My Life” by William Lombardy makes the case that he was Fischer’s only teacher from his adolescent years through the 1972 world championship, in which Lombardy served as Bobby’s second.
He reveals that he was born in the New York Foundling Hospital and may have been adopted. Growing up in the South Bronx, he became a teenage star and won the World Junior championship with a perfect 11-0 score that has never been equaled. But a potential world championship career was cut short when he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1967.