Random Posts

Monday, January 21, 2013

Leon Poliakoff

      Poliakoff passed away at 6:30 on the evening of May 31, 2011 in Bonham, Texas at the age of 82 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. He was born on November 15, 1928 in San Antonio, Texas. Poliakoff was married on September 13, 1958, and had five children.
      From 1950-1952, he was a U.S. Army Sergeant and Medic and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and bravery in the Korean War. Following this, he served as a dentist for 36 years in Bonham, Texas until his retirement in 1994. Poliakoff also served as the president of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill for Fannin, Grayson, and Cook Counties in Texas, he was a master chess player and had a lifelong passion for the game. He also wrote articles for Chess Life Magazine and played postal chess.
      His most notable quote was, “Before Prof. Elo stamped numbers on our foreheads, people played to win tournaments or place as high as they could in the standings or simply win as many games they could. Forget ratings. Play to win and let others figure out how good you are.” and "Who says chess isn't fun at any speed?"
       In the 1947 US Open, won by Isaac Kashdan ahead of Anthony Santasiere and Abe Yanofksy, Poliakoff finished 52nd with +5 -6 =2 . The following wild game was played in the 1954 US Open which was won by Larry Evans on tiebreaks over Pomar. Robert Steinmeyer and Arthur Bisguier tied for 3rd and 4th. Poliakoff finished 44th with +5 -4 =3. 
       By 2002, at age 73, his rating had dropped to 1999. But, looking at that list I noticed a number of players in their 70s who had long lost their master ratings, but it was a tribute to their stamina that they were still playing.
       On the 2003 USCF correspondence rating list Poliakoff was ranked 89th at 2248. In the Preliminary of the Second US Correspondence Championship of 2003, he was rated 2229 and +4 -0 =2 to take f1rst place in the section. He did not do as well in the finals, scoring +0 -2 =6 ti finish tied for 5th to 7th. In the 14th USCCC he scored +9 -2 =0 and finished 3rd.

Enjoy the slugfest!

1 comment: