GM Lein passed away at age 86


GM Anatoly Lein passed away on March 1, 2018 at the age of 86. His wife of almost 40 years, the former Barbara Gottlieb, passed away two weeks ago.

When I was a young chess player living in New Jersey, I used to visit him all the time. He was always a tough fighter! In spite of knowing him very well, he never took it easy on me, even in fun games or practice!

We once faced over the board in a big Open Swiss event, and reached a Bishop opposite color endgame. This is an endgame I could draw blindfolded. But he refused and played on. We eventually drew after 130+ moves (AFAIR).

After the game, I asked him why he played on for so long with no practical winning chances. He said that was the best way for me to learn never to let my guard down, even in a drawn endgame.

RIP GM Lein! Thank you for your wisdom and advice!

From Wikipedia:

FIDE awarded Lein the International Master title in 1964 and the [Grandmaster]( "Grandmaster (chess)") title in 1968.

Lein finished equal first at Moscow 1970, and won the 1971 Moscow championship after a play-off. He placed first at Cienfuegos 1972, first at Novi Sad 1972, first at Novi Sad 1973, and equal first at Grand Manan 1984.

In 1976 Lein emigrated to the United States, finishing equal first with Leonid Shamkovich in the U.S. Open, and equal first with Bernard Zuckerman in the World Open chess tournament that year. He also played on the U.S. team in the 1978 Chess Olympiad.

Lein was New Jersey champion from 1992 through 1994.

In 2005 he was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame in Miami.[1]

In his prime, Lein was capable of beating anyone in the world. Among his notable victims were two World Champions, Mikhail Tal and Vassily Smyslov. He also scored wins against such world class Grandmasters as David Bronstein, Lev Polugaevsky, Leonid Stein, and Mark Taimanov.