It is with a sad heart that I learned of Danny’s premature passing yesterday. Dr. Kopec (as he liked to addressed whenever there was a new face in the room) was one of the most accomplished amateur chess players born America. Most players give up the game when they begin their professional careers, but Danny was the exception. He continued to promote the game with bravo and gusto, authored not less than 7 books, numerous DVDs, organized Day Camps, wrote magazine articles etc, etc. You can even find on the ‘net annoucements for hisupcoming training camp this summer.
Danny, in short, never left chess when he pursued his professional academic career.
Having chosen an academic career path (Danny did a PHD in Edinburgh in the early 1980’s) it is not surprising that Danny lived and worked in numerous countries in his adult life (Scotland, Canada, USA) lecturing and doing research work. He spent two years in Montreal (1983,1984), and Danny and I got to know each other very well. He will be missed.
In the summer of 1976, during the Canadian Open, I first met Danny during a blitz tournament. I was Black and he played 3.Bd3 –which he later called and promoted as the ‘Kopec System’. I did not know know Danny before then (and I certainly had never heard of the ‘Kopec System’. I thought that he must have been a weak player!
Danny was also one of the most eloquent and truly best speakers when it came to explain the basic concepts of chess to beginners: