Posts Tagged ‘World Junior Chess Championship’

Mark Diesen RIP 1957-2008

January 4, 2009

Kenny Regan alerted me to the shocking news of the untimely demise of IM Mark Diesen (World Junior Champ 1976) in December 2008 – Conroe, TX.

Mark Diesen grew up in Potomac Maryland (the next town over from me in Bethesda).  He was part of a strong group of players including Larry Kaufman, Larry Gilden, Eugene and John Meyer, Robert Eberlein, Richard Delaune, Robin Spital, and others.

I played him a couple of times OTB and knew him very well since the 1970s.  He was only two years older than me.

ncl_76_2

Mark Diesen pictured along with the other victorious Washington Plumbers (National Chess League) May 1976.  Mark is standing second from right; GM Lubosh Kavalek (Mark’s coach at the World Junior Champs that Mark won) is at right.  If you’re wondering about the team name, Google it – it harkens to the fantastically evil Nixon era.

I used to have a great action photo (that I misplaced) of 16 year old Mark Diesen playing 16 year old Larry Christiansen in the US Junior Championship, San Francisco, 1973.  The caption read “they battle to a draw in a Pirc.”  I think it was a Koltanowski article in the SF Chronicle.

Mark Diesen playing Black favored defensive and counter-attacking schemes as black in the Pirc, Alekhine’s, and Sicilian Scheveningen.  He had noticeable positional superiority over most of his peers as he ascended in the mid 1970s. I posted games and memories Part I (there will be a 2nd part) on the US Chess Online site.

Advertisements