Understanding Chess is William Lombardy’s sixth book to date, aside from his collaborations in many books and periodicals. This ambitious project consists of an exposé of Lombardy’s most important games viewed through the prism of his system for learning.
The 119 annotated games (including several unpublished games and 37 supplemental appendix games) are embellished by anecdotes and observations drawn from Lombardy's remarkable career, spanning almost 60 years, from the early 1950's to the present.
William Lombardy was born on December 4th, 1937 in Manhattan, New York. He learned to play chess at the age of nine and began studying the game at the age of eleven. Since then William Lombardy made his mark early and often.
In 1954, at the age of 16, he became the youngest player ever to win the New York State Championship. Still in his teens, he became the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship. His 11-0 record in his 1957 title run still stands today.
He followed up by leading the U.S. Student team to the gold medal at the 1960 Student Olympiad. He has been a mainstay of American chess for decades, participating in seven Olympiads, many U.S. Championships, and winning three U.S. Open titles.
Lombardy briefly retired from competitive play when he entered the priesthood, being ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1967.
His clerical responsibilities kept him away from international competitions. However, in 1972 he reappeared as Bobby Fischer’s sole second in Reykjavik during the “Match of the Century” against Boris Spassky, where Fischer was ultimately crowned World Champion.
Since then William Lombardy has left the active ministry and continues to reside in New York, where he has written many books and continues to give lessons.