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Dan Mayers at the U S Open in Vancouver WA in 2012. Photo credit: Russell Miller. Used with permission.

LEGENDARY DAN MAYERS, 92 YEAR OLD WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNEY COMPETITOR, DIES IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO … MR. DAN MAYERS, the world traveling, nearly blind expert chess player, who gave chess exhibitions 70 years ago versus fellow scientists at the Los Alamos New Mexico Oppenheimer World War II atomic bomb project, died peacefully January 2, 2014 at age 92, family members confirmed today… Mr. Mayers, a remarkable capitalist if ever there was one, gained monopoly worldwide rights to small,obscure, little known South American jewelry item mines, earning millions right out of his teenage years … his electrifying presence at age 90 (with gigantic magnifying glass in hand every round!) at the world (FIDE) World Senior Chess Championship tourney in 20ll Rijeka-Opatija (Croatia), a 12 day long grueling competition, really shocked your faithful Chesslab news reporter … I was even more shocked when I absolutely had to win my final round world senior game just to avoid being passed on a motorcycle by 90 year old Mr.Mayers! Mr.Mayers, nearly blind, understandably never conversant with location of world championship play open to anyone, knew that I was his dutiful man on an Acers obsessive mission … I had to write with great pride for Mr.Mayers in bold 4 inch high Scripto black permanent marker inked letters pertinent notes on coming international FIDE events a year in advance (“When a messenger is needed, a messenger JUDE THE GREAT will appear!” — Mayers) … in 2011 Croatia, Mr. Mayers, asking for nothing, affected nearly everyone deeply … and high on a Croatian hill in a tiny annex hotel room I had the downright spooky experience of being locked in, fearful that I would not even get out in time to deliver midnight letters … Mr. Mayers’ opponent and game color for the next day’s world championship tourney round, sliding huge block letters under his down-the-hill-5-star hotel suite door every single day … with an astonishing counter gift waiting under the room door for me each day … the international daily edition of the New York Times which classy jet setter Mayers naturally had sent to him everywhere he traveled in the world … My great escape from the midnight hilltop locked front door corridors was right out of Sherlock Holmes and Hitchcock … I deduced that hotel maids and cleaning personnel had to use an obscure two hundred year old creaking, scary as dark hell, slippery, narrow wall stairway to the cleaning room in the deep bowels of the hill cellar … there I found two cabbages and used them to prop open the secret Captain Midnight space adventure exit door in the two hundred yard long ,totally abandoned car garage down the hill … I felt like primo legendary Soviet spy Richard Sorge throughout … walking the garage gauntlet for two haunting, thrilling weeks every midnight … returning with my precious International New York Times in hand, Bondishly, classily casually tapping the vegetables out of the doorway upon speedy return of the daring, dutiful top secret New Orleans agent. Chesslab readers, believe, Mr. Mayers was one amazing piece of work — people were looking out for him worldwide … Mayers also served as a corrective historian to many a young upstart … when I remarked to him that I deeply wished Nazi Germany had received yet another Harry Truman atomic message just a year earlier, he said, calmly, ”Jude, believe me, the spirit was willing but we just ran out of both time and bombs.”

Jude Acers

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