Ed received his first chess set from his older sister when he was 9. She didn’t play but for some reason he gravitated to it from the first moment. He had a rival in a next door neighbor, and they played all day every day. After a while he discovered a chess club in the dusty and dingy Rochester NY YMCA, which was inhabited by older gentlemen, who smoked cigars and possibly drank as well. One was a retired pastor named George Sweitzer, who yearly served the community by ringing the Salvation Army bell. But across the chessboard George was a fiercely competitive chess aficionado, who regularly beat Ed to a bloody pulp. It took several years before George was forced to look up from his newspaper and see Ed was getting the better of him.
After several years of self help from reading (Reuben Fine, Larry Evans & Hans Kmoch), Ed taught himself Cyrillic to be able to read the news from Moscow and Riga; and had also read Keres’s Estonian edition of the Petroff and some Pachman and Euwe. He was able to play stronger players by attending tournaments in his tri-city area, and a strong Master in Erich Marchand gave matches to him to better his play. He did win his city prize when he was 16. ( That was probably the height of his chess career).
His childhood was mostly chess and ping pong, and some Judo. Since his parents played Bridge and he did not, he read in one sitting Goren’s Complete Contract Bridge, and could then communicate with his parents. They were surprised when he suddenly understood the Stamen system, and leading fourth from the longest and strongest, and what a Deschepelle coup was. His favorite chess moment as a young player was at a tournament (he cannot remember its venue -might have been a Junior State Championship?) he bested a famous master Zuckerman, with Asa Hoffman looking on. He remembers making several piece sacrifices and an ignominious mate for Book the Zuk (he compiled the MCO). He remembers the game was a King’s Indian and he played the black pieces.
After he enlisted in the Marines and was honorably discharged he returned to San Francisco where he received a degree in Creative Writing – American and English Poetry; and attended many history courses conducted in Russian.
For a while he lived in Berkeley and remembers meeting many strong players in that time including John Grefe, Larry Gilden, Walter Browne, Dennis Fritzinger, James Tarjan and many others. Ed has taught chess to kids in the Chess Club for Kids venue, a Santa Rosa based teaching program for kids in schools; and private lessons to adults sometimes.
He worked for a rather longish time at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, where he was a consultant in their office, where he spent most of the time debugging programs for scientists running their jobs, and then was hard at work writing Cobol programs for the business department. He has been a freelancer Oracle Database Admin in San Francisco for a decade, and now is a freelancer website designer, specializing in WordPress, and helps out when he can with his wife Pam’s Rescuing Beagles from shelters for fostering and adoption in their forever homes, or spends time with his musician son, Jesse.
Ed lives with Pam in their Santa Rosa home with their adopted crew of yellow Labs and Beagles.