Saturday, April 2, 2011

Larry Parr passed away

It is with great sorrow that I have to write this. This morning I received news that an old friend, Larry Parr, has passed away after being ill for a few months. Around 6:00 AM this morning some complications set in. Doctors were unable to revive him.

Larry is best known as the editor of Chess Life magazine from 1985 to 1988. This was no easy job as politicking is rife in US chess. He ghost wrote Dato' Tan Chin Nam's biography Never Say I Assume. I read this book one night and continued through to the next morning. It was that hard to put it down. Great biography and written in a vintage Larry style.

Larry had a prodigious memory and loved telling stories to whoever he could corner into listen. Thing is, he told so many stories to so many people, he would forget which story he told it to. Many a time I had to pretend to be amazed (again) by his recollection of people - primarily chess people - he knew or read about. He was a great story-teller. His book The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories written with Arnold Denker are filled with such stories and a fascinating account of American chess from the early 1920s to 1970s. The book is out of print but I spotted a copy of it in DAT Chess Centre library.

Strangely, I never thought of him as an American. He settled down in Malaysia for many years (over twenty I believe). He always turned up for chess events such as the Malaysian Open, if only for a day. I knew something was not right when he did not show for the National Championships a few weeks ago. Hamid then told me that Larry had contracted tuberculosis though I do not think Hamid ever suspected that it could be this serious.

He leaves behind his Thai wife and two children. My condolences to them for their loss.


Ilham said...

Gosh...this is really a sad news! :(
I just read Chess Life (Mac 2011)in which he wrote an eulogy about GM Larry Evans that passed away this year.

Rest in peace IM Larry Parr

Jimmy Liew said...

He is not IM

abdooss said...

Larry Parr was interested in my game and even had a conversation with me afterwards, in Labour Day Team Tournament 1997 or was it in 1998? He was a humble and frank man.. Rest In Peace, Larry Parr. Malaysian Chess just lost a friend today.

Anonymous said...

I just shocked and read that my dearest friend and my personal coach in english in Malaysia passed away last april.May RIP my dear Larry

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