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Saturday, April 3, 2010

John Tums

Janis "John" Tums, born in Jekabpils, Latvia, Dec. 14, 1928, passed away peacefully at his home in Oak Park, Illinois on Sept. 28, 2009. Tums was a Chicago and Illinois Champion, and chess and golf brought him much joy throughout his life. A graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology, he spent his career at Pyle-National in Chicago working as a mechanical engineer. He was a quiet, intelligent, cerebral man with great love for his children, his homeland of Latvia, and his fraternity Lettgallia. He was coauthor of a book of Tahl’s best games published in 1961.

Tums was one of the many Latvians displaced from their homes in World War II. He spent his teenage years in displaced person camps in Europe until his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago in 1950. He married in 1954, and in1962 he settled with his family in Oak Park, IL. Tums was just another journeyman master of his day but his name regularly appeared in the crosstables of all the major tournaments in the Chicago area during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Here’s a game against Hugh Mayer. Mayer was known for his booklets containing analysis on openings…mostly offbeat stuff.

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