Brian RauchBrowns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Jan 5, 2009
12 hrs ago
My Chess Influences............................. As with most of us, I learned chess as a child. My early childhood friend Steven Lange taught me - I remember the first time I won a game against him, to me I was just trying not to get checkmated, then he said "you just won" and I really couldn't believe it. We were both around 10 or 11...don't really remember. I lost touch with Steven during high school where we both started going our separate ways, but I was very distressed to learn that at age 30 he committed suicide, strange that I connect that here. Will never understand what was going on with him, but I do credit him with a significant piece of my life and think about him often, even though his ultimate passing was many, many years ago. Next chess influence occurred while I was working in a mental health center in Philadelphia. There was a Russian psychiatrist whom befriended me once he realized that I liked to play chess. Most lunches we'd sit in his office, for the 30 minutes or so eating lunch and getting in as many chess games as we could. He beat me mercilessly! He had such a love for the game, his name was Dr. Joe Snayderman. I would always ask him to teach me something "Joe, show me something - give me a lesson" and he would always respond with something like: "you must be strong" "make sacrifice" or during games, stuff like “that is a veak move” and “geeve up, your position is hopeless” He was a terrific person and when I left the agency we never really kept contact. But I still keep him in mind when I play chess and his broken English "tutorial" comments. He told me that once, in Russia he was in a chess tournament with a chess master at the time - Boris Spatsky (btw - he said that Spatsky totally cleaned up the board with him)! So, I can say that I played against someone who played against someone who played against Bobby Fisher!