Shelby Lyman (1936-2019)

On Sunday August 11th, famous chess educator Shelby Lyman passed away. You didn’t have to know Shelby to be impressed by his impact on American chess. Through his students, newspaper columns and television appearances, Shelby Lyman has left us with a deep and enduring legacy.

Shelby Lyman on television in 1972.

Older chess enthusiasts will remember Shelby as the chess teacher who captivated a surprisingly large audience with his televised analysis of the 1972 Fischer-Spassky World Championship. Using the initiative he gained from this newfound fame, Shelby Lyman focused his energy toward authoring a syndicated chess column that was read in newspapers across the nation until his death. “This will be the last set of chess quizzes,” wrote Michele Merrell last week in an email addressed to all the publications that still printed her husband’s column. “It was his great pleasure to be part of your papers for all these years.”

As a chess teacher, I feel a special duty to share the legacy and history of those who came before me. Below are some special homework assignments I created for this purpose from Shelby Lyman’s long running newspaper column. Enjoy and share…

Shelby Lyman homework 1
Shelby Lyman homework 2

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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