The Amateur Eye — William (Bill) Lombardy

I first became acquainted with Lombardy through Chess Life magazine when the story was of his winning the World Junior Chess Championship with the unbelievable score of 11-0!! which seemed magical considering it had the very best Juniors from round the world playing.  In America he was recognized as one of the cadre of youthful talent rising in the polls as an example of the use of a new rating system.

There was some successful inclusions of his best games that sparkled with the certainty of a bright future.  He played in  the Olympiad and Student World event collecting some brilliant results of the highest quality.  He played first board replacing Reshevsky when Reshevsky refused to play on the Jewish Holy Day, pulling the teeth on board one with World Champion Botvinnik.

When I met Jack Collins in the NY State Championship, he thought I was Lombardy because we looked so much alike.  Later, while in the Army, I met many of the top players –old and young alike but not Bill.  I learned that he had become a Priest.  This period was filled with sporadic play into tournaments where he lost none of his prowess but he left the Priesthood over a conflict with the Church head in NYC.  He thought his chess knowledge and skill could prove a great thing for the Church youth.  That appears to be the beginning a slide in his demeanor and combative nature against those whom he rightly or wrongly thought of as ill treatment by USCF that loved the rating system which determined who was to represent the United States.  Of course it was a purely just reason to  overlook Lombardy. But after this, he slid down the path of loneliness, bitterness and became a resident and victim of the street.  He died October 13th, 2017.  Several who knew Bill Lombardy wrote of his record and best games in various chess magazines.  I can only wonder what and how kindness and Priestly heads might have seen the quality of this true chess lover and what he might have achieved through the Church using his most qualified talents using  this noble game.  Sadly, we shall never know the fruits he may well have harvested.  Rest in Peace, Bill Lombardy.

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to “The Amateur Eye — William (Bill) Lombardy”

  1. The Amateur Eye Says:

    Armand Minge

    I first became acquainted with Lombardy through Chess Life magazine when the story was of his winning the World Junior Chess Championship with the unbelievable score of 11-0!! which seemed magical considering it had the very best Juniors from round the…

  2. Jaime Wilm Says:

    Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and in depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. Brett Ferm Says:

    You are a very intelligent individual!

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