It is with considerable sadness that I report on the premature death of Marty Leutschaft (May 20,1957-June 1,2015). Of a brain tumor. Any of my Montreal readers who can send me a recent photo of Marty…I would appreciate it.
Marty was one of the original gang of teenagers who inhabited Artur Langlois’ Alekhine Chess Club in the early 1970’s when my brothers and I first got into tournament chess in Montreal in the pre-Fischer boom years. Along with Neil Sullivan, and soon afterwards George Levtchouk, Ilan Vardi and others, we formed a strong bond of friendship that lasted a lifetime, and even though the years seem to go by with increasing rapidity and we haven’t seen each other very often, chess keeps us together.
I often played Marty in weekend tournaments, as well as in hundreds of blitz tournaments. I remember a tough and uncompromising adversary. Marty’s favourite Philidor Defence almost taking my scalp on one occasion! We developed a friendship that went far beyond the chess board. When I decided to get rid of my prize collection of chess sets, Marty was the one who bought them. (I remember years later buying back one of them!)
Marty was a bit wild at times, and many amusing stories exist of his not taking shit from anyone. One of my favourites is when Marty was playing in a correspondence tournament in the 1980’s and one of his opponents did something to annoy him. Marty got his revenge by sending a dead mouse enclosed in a box along with his next move! (The player in question protested to the arbiter, naturally, though I don’t think much came of it)
I will miss Marty. Montreal chess will never be the same. RIP.
Serge Archambault (thankyou, Serge!) sent me this recent photo of Marty, taken by his sister Marilyn while in the hospital shortly before his death. Serge also provided a number of chess-videos of Montreal tournaments where Marty appears. I remind my Montreal readers to send me some photos of Marty if you can find the time…you can read more HERE.