Chess quiz columnist Shelby Lyman has died at the age of 82, his wife Michele Merrell Lyman has confirmed to Gulf News.
Lyman, born Shelbourne Richard Lyman, died on August 11 at a hospital in Johnson City, New York, due to cancer, according to an obituary in the New York Times.
“This will be the last set of chess quizzes,” said Michele Merrell in an email addressed to several publications that carried her husband’s work, including Gulf News. “It was his great pleasure to be part of your papers for all these years.”
Lyman had begun learning chess at the age of nine and by 27, he had won a long-running New York chess championship.
In 1972, he famously hosted the live broadcast of the World Chess Championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. The PBS-aired championship — dubbed the Match of the Century — took place in Iceland and lasted for 21 games over the course of more than a month (July 11-August 31). It ended when Spassky resigned and Fischer became the eleventh undisputed world champion.
Lyman went on to become a television chess commentator and a chess columnist for dozens of print outlets.
As well as his wife, Lyman is survived by three stepchildren, Charles, Corey and Casey Goff.
Gulf News tabloid! will cease publication of Lyman’s chess column from August 26.