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

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