IM Emory Tate: He did it his way

His philosophy on just about every endeavor he pursued was individual achievement based on a self-made dreamer spirit.  He was not in chess someone who achieved world fame but in his own realm of amateur status managed to achieve mastership, a feared respect by all who knew him.

His life was the Air Force and he exhibited his chess talents through years rising in rank with specialties as a linguist.  The military taught him Russian and he had picked up Spanish and German by accident.  He was numerous times chess champion of the Armed Forces; wherever he was stationed found this black chessman a popular figure throughout the chess communities where he was stationed.

His son Andrew is a four-time kickboxing champion which he learned from his dad.  “When I was 22, I bench-pressed 353 pounds and dad equaled it. He was 51 at the time!  I said, “You are more than just a chess player.”

“My unmatched perspicacity, coupled with my sheer indefatigability, make me a feared opponent in any realm of human endeavor.” That was a favorite saying.  Emory eventually was awarded the International Master title in chess and was a terror with the elite defeating several grandmasters in sizzling and beautiful tournament play through the years.  He possessed great skill in creating masterpieces.

His chess playing community on the street called him ‘Extraterrestrial’ and saw him as unbeatable — his play was out of this world.

He did not study chess books and hated chess computers, never using them.  It seems as though he used and relied on imagination and deep understanding, perhaps achieving a grand and deep appreciation for his own talent.  He died as he lived during a chess tournament.

January 2016 CHESS LIFE carries a good article and presents six chess positions from his games with GMs Nick de Firmian, Alex Shabalov, Leonid Yudasin, Akobian, Chibukhchian, and Sagalchik.


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