World Renowned Chess Grandmaster to Visit UConn

William Lombardy was Bobby Fischer’s coach and sole Second during the 1972 World Championship

World renowned chess Grandmaster William Lombardy will be making a rare public appearance at the University of Connecticut on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. to speak to students and chess enthusiasts in the main lecture hall of the Francis L. Castleman Engineering Building.

In 1957, Lombardy became the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship and, in so doing, the first American World Chess Champion of any kind. He did so with a perfect score of 11-0. He led the U.S. Chess Olympiad to a gold medal at the 1960 World Student Team Championship, defeating future World Chess Champion Boris Spassky along the way. At the top of his game in 1961, Lombardy decided to retire and become a Catholic priest.

Lombardy later, while still a priest, gained worldwide recognition for being coach and Second to Bobby Fischer in the 1972 World Championship match, where Fischer defeated Spassky to become the American World Champion. Lombardy later left the priesthood and is now retired and living in New York City, where he writes books about chess and offers lessons by appointment.

“It is a rare opportunity to have GM Lombardy come here,” says John Fikiet, UConn engineer, chess enthusiast, and coordinator of the event. “Having him here for this lecture is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

In giving this lecture, Lombardy will look back at his career, analyze a few of his games, and educate the audience on some of the finer points of chess. The lecture comes in anticipation of the release of his latest book, “My 64 Games.”

Lombardy is also the author of Chess Panorama, a book about the history of chess, and three chess manuals, Guide to Tournament Chess, U.S. Championship Chess, and Modern Chess Open Traps. These works will be available for autographing at the event.

Lombardy holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, a master’s degree in ethics, and a master’s degree in divinity, all of which he obtained at St. Joseph’s Seminary College in Yonkers, N.Y.

The event is being sponsored by the UConn Chess Club and is free and open to the public.

For more information:

John M. Fikiet, 860-486-2255

Colin M. Poitras, 860-486-4656