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Monday, May 23, 2016

He Doesn't Play This Silly Game Anymore

     According to a Chessdotcom poster that's what GM Peter Biyiasas told him about six years ago. That's too bad because Biyiasas was one of the game's more colorful GMs. FM Craig Mar wrote that he was blunt and to the point with everyone and sometimes (illegally) talked to his opponents during a game and was also known to shoo spectators away from his board. 
     In the late 1970’s Biyiasas was living in the San Francisco area and while pursuing a career in computer programming was a regular in the California tournament circuit. Back when Bobby Fischer was hiding out in California, in 1981 he lived with Biyiasas and his wife Ruth Haring at their apartment. Fischer arrived in March toting a suitcase full of clothes and vitamins and a large orange juice squeezer that he had bought in Mexico. Fischer stayed for two months, returned to Los Angeles in the summer, then came back in the fall to stay two more months. They swam, played pinball, bowled, went to movies, squeezed oranges and played baseball in Golden Gate Park. Fischer would catch fly balls and throw them back as hard as he could. 
     During that time Biyiasas and Fischer played some chess and Biyiasas once lost 17 straight speed games; Biyiasas said, "He was too good.  There was no use in playing him. It wasn't interesting...he wasn't taking any time to think. The most depressing thing about it is that I wasn't even getting out of the middle game to an endgame...he honestly believes there is no one for him to play, no one worthy of him. I played him, and I can attest to that. It's not interesting." 
     Biyiasas said Fischer exhibited eccentric behavior and was preoccupied with Jews, referring to them as "Yids," telling Biyiasas that one controlled the price of the world's gold, but he had been unable to determine exactly who it was.  
     Fischer had what he called Chinese brain pills (good for headaches) and Mexican rattlesnake pills (good for general health) and a suitcase full of vitamins and he invited Biyiasas to help himself to them. One day when Biyiasas tried to open the suitcase he found it locked and asked Fischer about it. Fischer told him the suitcase was locked because if the "Commies" tried to poison him, he didn't want to make it easy for them. 
     Biyiasas, a Canadian GM, was born November 19, 1950 in Athens, Greece and moved to Canada as a young boy, growing up in Vancouver. He won the first of his four British Columbia championships in 1968, repeating in 1969, 1971, and 1972. In 1969 he played in the Canadian Closed Championship and finished in the middle of the field. He went on to represent Canada as second reserve on its bronze medal-winning team at the 1971 World Students' Olympiad in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where he scored +4 −1 =2. 
     He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, the same year he won the first of his three British Columbia Open titles and repeated in 1976 and 1978.
     Biyiasas won the Zonal Closed Canadian Championship in 1972 with a score of 12-5, half a point ahead of Lawrence Day and George Kuprejanov which earned him the IM title. He tied for 1st–4th places at an international tournament in Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1973, tying with Kenneth Rogoff, Bruno Parma, and Herman Pilnik. 
     His first really strong tournament was the 1973 Petropolis Interzonal where he only managed to finish in 15th place with 6.5-10.5. In São Paulo the same year he scored 6.5-6.5 and later that year won the British Columbia Diamond Jubilee Open and repeated in 1974 and 1976. 
     In 1974 at the Pan American Championship in Winnipeg he finished third and later tied with Kim Commons for the American Open title in 1974. He repeated as Canadian champion in the Zonal at Calgary 1975. This earned him another Interzonal chance at Manila 1976, but he again did not fare well, scoring 6-19 which put him in 17th place.
     He played for Canada in the Olympiads four times, winning board medals on three occasions, including a silver and two bronzes: 1972 Skopje board 4, 1974 Nice board 2, 1976 Haifa board 1 and 1978 Buenos Aires board 2. 
     Biyiasas tied for 3rd–4th at New York 1977 behind Leonid Shamkovich and Andrew Soltis. Then in 1978 in the Canadian Zonal he finished 2nd. As a result of his strong play in the Olympiad and New York he earned the GM title. In 1979 he won the Paul Keres Memorial in Vancouver. 
     He immigrated to the US in 1979, working in San Jose, California as an IBM computer programmer. 
     One of his best results was in Wijk aan Zee 1980, where he scored 7.5-5.5, tying for 4th–6th places. He also did well at Zrenjanin that year where he finished second. He played in the US Championship at Greenville, Pennsylvania in 1980, finishing just below 50 per cent. The tournament was held at Thiel College and was defined by the battle between the generations of the forties and those of the late sixties and early seventies.  Bisguier, Byrne and Evans versus Browne, Christiansen and Seirawn. Also participating were three Russian emigres, who had expressed their intention of remaining in this country. Mark Diesen suffered a bad fall after the third round and after treatment at Greenville hospital was forced to withdraw and his score was not considered in the results. There was three way tie for first place between Larry Evans, Walter Browne and Larry Chistiansen who were followed by Yasser Seirawan and Leonid Shamkovich (tied for 4-5), Anatoly Lein and Vitaly F Zaltsman (6-7). Eight through thirteenth was a tie between Peters, Byrne, Bradford, Benko, Biyiasas and Bisguier. 
     Biyiasas won several tournaments in the San Francisco area including four titles in the Carroll Capps Memorial (1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985); and four titles in the Arthur Stamer Memorial (1978, 1979, 1982, and 1984). 
     Generally favoring unusual openings, he avoided mainline Sicilians when he played 1.e4 and liked K-Indian Attack-type setups and contributed some important theory to the K-Indian Attack. 
     Biyiasas went to work as a programmer for IBM and later set up his own software company and retired from competitive chess in 1985. He was married to Ruth Haring, a Women's IM and they had three children. One son, Theodore, plays chess and is rated around 1900. 
   His opponent in this game, which features a Q-sac, was IM Camille Coudari who represented Canada on the Bronze medal winning team at World Students' Team Championship 1971 and the Olympiad in 1978. Coudari also co-directed The Great Chess Movie in 1982. New York Times Review  See also, Chessdotcom and Immortal Chess.
     For a complete discussion of the opening see the Wikipedia article HERE

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