Anatoly Lein RIP
Anatoly Lein RIP
March 28, 1931 to March 1, 2018
Grandmaster Anatoly Lein was the second Soviet-born star to emigrate to the US in the mid-1970s. The first was Leonid who arrived in 1975, a year before. Both Anatoly and Leonid greatly influenced the up and coming American in New York.
I also benefited from their elite Soviet experience, often heading down to NYC tournaments just in the hope of playing them. I played them both many times in subsequent years, but I feel that by the end of 1977 my play was already grandmaster level, in part because of them.
For me, Lein was the harder man to defeat. I am not sure why, as both he and Leonid were roughly the same strength. In any case, I had the honor to play Lein in his first tournament in the US, at the World Open in 1976, a week or so after he arrived in NYC. He just crushed my Dutch defence mercilessly:
gm Lein,A – im Spraggett,K NYC July 1976
Curiously, the 1976 World Open happened to be my first US tournament also! I got my revenge some 9 months later in a Philadelphia tournament, only to be mercilessly crushed (again!) the following month in a NYC weekend tournament.
I learned a great deal from Lein over the years, picking his brain as we became friends. I think our life-time score is slightly in my favour. I will miss him.
Anatoly Lein was born in Leningrad and became a grandmaster in 1968, something very difficult to do in those times as the qualification procedures were much tougher than today. Readers might be interested in reading a bit about Anatoly HERE.
My condolences to his family. I understand that his wife of 40 years, Barbara passed away a week earlier. You can read Anatoly’s obituary HERE.
Also worth checking out what the USCF wrote about Lein’s passing: HERE.And this report from yesterday’s Cleveland.Com Post Script: March 6th: The NYTimes article on Lein’s death
1976. Lein playing 13 year old Mike Wilder with a 17 year old Mike Rhodes looking on. Both players would become grandmasters(!) and Wilder would become US Champion in 1988.