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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

William Martz

Martz (Getty image photo)
     William "Bill" Martz (March 21, 1945 – January 17, 1983) was an American IM who was active from 1963 until his death. 
     Martz won the US Junior Chess Championship in 1965. He played in the US Chess Championship in 1972 and 1973 and was invited several times to the Lone Pine International tournaments in the 1970s. In 1982 Martz was co-winner (with Andrew Soltis) of the US Open Championship. 
     Awarded the IM title in 1975, he was the highest rated player from Wisconsin for almost 20 years and holds the USCF record of playing 104 consecutive rated games without a loss. The streak was ended at Lone Pine in 1975 when GM Oscar Panno won a 90 plus move Queen ending.
     Born in Detroit, Michigan, he lived and worked in the Milwaukee area most of his life. A 1970 graduate of the Marquette University Law School, Martz also had a degree in mathematics and divided his time between chess and his work as the business manager of a Chevrolet dealership operated by his family. A chess promoter, he often gave simultaneous displays at schools and clubs.  He lived in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb, and passed away of cancer at the age of 37.
    His opponent in this game is David Kerman (November 25, 1936), a long time Master from Michigan. The game is a messy one with both players making mistakes and missing mates at the end. There's no doubt that time pressure was a factor...no delays, etc. in those days. You either made the time control or you lost. 


  1. Martz was a familiar presence at big Chicagoland Open tournaments in the late '60's, and usually was in contention for the top prize. There were a lot of talented young players around Chicago in those days: Ed Formenak, Andrew Karklins and Greg Defotis among other. The torch was passing from the Tautvaisis-Sandrin generation, although those old guys weren't giving up without a fight

  2. Illinois Chess History has a great article on the Karklins.