EP 333- IM James Sherwin- A US Chess Hall of Famer Looks Back on his Chess Career and Shares Stories about Fischer, Reshevsky, Seirawan and Many More!
This week’s guest on Perpetual Chess is U.S. Chess Hall of Famer, IM James Sherwin. An 89-year-old New York City Native, Sherwin has played and met many chess legends. He knew Bobby Fischer from his teenage years. Jim did not pursue chess professionally and had a successful career as an attorney and a corporate executive, but he still managed to compete extensively and participated in 8 US Championships, often finishing near the top of the standings. Sherwin now lives in the London area, and as recently as three years ago, was still winning chess tournaments! After talking to him, I can see why he is still able to perform so well, because James’ memory of his games and encounters with Fischer, Petrosian, Tal, Reshevsky, and many others was truly dazzling. You can find timestamps for the topics discussed below.
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0:03- Jim begins by discussing his childhood summers in Vermont, where he improved at chess by practicing against himself.
Mentioned: My System, Cambridge Springs 1904, Dr. Elliot Hearst
12:30- Did Jim ever consider becoming a chess professional?
15:00- Jim reminisces about a few tournaments including the World Junior Championship in Copenhagen in 1953 and Portoroz 1958, an Interzonal tournament, featuring Fischer, Tal and many others.
Mentioned: Boris Ivkov, Penrose, Reshevsky, Penrose
22:00- What are Jim’s first memories of Fischer?
Mentioned: Fischer-Sherwin 1958
32:00- Jim shares his recollections of Fischer-Spassky 1972, as well as his own games against Fischer.
Mentioned: Sherwin-Fischer Log Cabin Open 1957, Fischer-Sherwin 1957
37:00- What does Jim recall about his games with Tal and Petrosian?
40:30- Does Jim ever review his old games? Does he use an engine?
43:30- Jim’s Memories of the legendary tournament in Lone Pine 1976, featuring Petrosian and Smyslov.. How did his blitz battles with a young Yasser Seirawan go?
47:00- Did Jim know the well-known authors like Fred Reinfeld, Al Horowitz and Irving Chernev?
50:00- Jim discusses his time supporting American professional chess as head of the American Chess Foundation.
Mentioned: GM Boris Gulko, GM Gata Kamsky, GM Judit Polgar, Allen Kaufman
57:00- How are Jim’s chess skills at age 89? How does he keep up with the game?
1:03:00- Jim recalls the only game in which he beat GM Andy Soltis, where Fischer joined the post mortem analysis.
1:09:00- What were Jim’s closest friendships in the chess world?
Mentioned: IM Donald Byrne, GM Larry Evans, Dr. Edward Lasker, GM Arthur Bisguier, GM Edmar Mednis, Dr. Eliot Hearst
1:11:00- Which is Jim’s favorite of his games?
Mentioned: Sherwin-Gligoric 1958
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