I just learned that a good chess friend of mine, La Moyne Splichal, recently passed away.
La Moyne was a long time club manager of the Denver Chess club. He was the very first chess player that I met when I started playing in Colorado.
I remember that he greeted me as a newcomer with a smile, and welcomed me.
Later as I got more involved with the Denver chess club, I would assist La Moyne with tournament directing, and organizing events. I would often go over to his apartment at the end of the month, and help him submit the rating reports, and also download the latest rating supplements into the SwissSys pairing software.
You never knew what La Moyne was going to be like over the board. He could be brilliant, and could also blunder. Here is a tactic from one of his games (Answer at the bottom):
Black to Move:
I remember La Moyne winning sole first place at the Edward Levy Memorial tournament, which was a huge Bill Goichberg tournament that was held in Denver. It was the biggest tournament that Colorado has had in years and years. Everyone was very happy for him.
He won over 1000 dollars in prizes, going a perfect 5 for 5 in the Under 1600, which gave him a rating floor of 1600, which he was usually close to the rest of his playing career. You can see this outstanding performance here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200204212180.5-10329515.
You can see his full rating history here: http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlRtgSupp.php?10329515. You can see he was a very active player, and was the chief tournament director in 192 events.
I remember doing a lot of fun tournaments with LaMoyne, such as the Halloween tournament, where people dressed up in costumes, and the 24 hour tournament, which was 20 rounds from noon Saturday until noon Sunday.
He didn’t own a car, so I often would drive him home at the end of the evening, and he often rode with me to out of town tournaments as well.
He was pretty quirky, and liked things done a certain way. I remember when I was the editor of the Colorado Chess Informant Magazine, I gave him a copy of the magazine, to save some money on postage. But he wanted to get it in the mail, because he liked having the sticker with his name and address on it. lol.
He would also get upset if people wrote “LaMoyne” (without the space) or “Lamoyne” or anything other than the two word version “La Moyne”. I always thought this was funny, because it was such an unusual name, that people were bound to get it wrong.
La Moyne was inducted in to the North Dakota Hall of Fame, http://www.ndchess.com/archives/halloffame/index.html, and I remember him being very proud of that accomplishment.
La Moyne had a really great sense of humor. I still crack up at the sign he made that said “Let’s have fun on board one” at Anthea’s 24 hour tournament, when Dan Avery (who likes to say “Let’s Have Fun” at the beginning of the game) was playing on the first board. He was very creative, and took a lot of pride in the little things of a chess tournament.
You will be missed La Moyne! Thank for you all that you did for Colorado Chess.
Answer: 1…e3 sets up the dangerous threat of Qxh3 which white must defend against and doesn’t have time to save the knight on d2.
[Event “2008 Colorado Open”]
[Site “Denver, CO”]
[White “Amarbayasgalan, Losol”]
[Black “Splichal, La Moyne”]
1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bc4 Bb4 5. a3 Bxc3 6. dxc3 O-O 7. O-O d6 8.
Re1 Be6 9. Bd3 h6 10. Bd2 Re8 11. h3 a6 12. Qc1 Kh7 13. Kh1 Qd7 14. Bf1 d5 15.
exd5 Bxd5 16. Be2 Rad8 17. Be3 e4 18. Nd4 Ne5 19. Rd1 c5 20. Nb3 c4 21. Nd2 b5
22. b3 Qc8 23. b4 Bb7 24. Bd4 Re6 25. f4 exf3 26. Nxf3 Nxf3 27. Bxf3 Bxf3 28.
gxf3 Qc7 29. Rg1 g6 30. Qf1 Qf4 31. Qf2 Rde8 32. Qg3 Nh5 33. Qxf4 Nxf4 34. Kh2
Re2+ 35. Kg3 Nh5+ 36. Kg4 f5+ 37. Kh4 Nf4 38. Kg3 g5 39. h4 Nh5+ 40. Kh3 Nf4+
41. Kg3 Rxc2 42. hxg5 Ne2+ 43. Kh4 Nxg1 44. Rxg1 hxg5+ 45. Rxg5 Ra2 46. f4 Rxa3
47. Kh5 Re7 48. Rg6 a5 49. Bf6 Rd7 50. Rh6+ Kg8 51. Kg6 1-0