Eric Schiller 1955-2018

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Chris Rice
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Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:32 am

Just heard, via Ray Keene, the sad news of the passing of Eric Schiller. I never met him myself but I'm told that although he was much abused in certain quarters, he was a talented and very likeable man. Among his many controversial achievements in chess, he was the first thus to describe "termites".
His Wiki page gives a lot more information.

Chris Rice
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:37 am

GM Nigel Davies "Sorry to hear about the death of FM Eric Schiller, one of the great characters of the chess World who was full of ideas and anecdotes."

David Sedgwick
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:56 am

I concur with Nigel Davies's sentiments and comments.

As is noted on his Wiki page, Eric Schiller had had serious health problems for the last ten years or so.

RIP, Eric

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:18 pm

He *did* write some potboilers, he admitted as much himself late in life. But his contributions on social media were often interesting.

And he wrote with frankness about his ultimately terminal illness.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:07 pm

That is a shame. I met him at a Gibraltar tournament and he was very friendly and helpful.

James Plaskett
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by James Plaskett » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:23 pm

Adios amigo.

Craig Pritchett
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Craig Pritchett » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:54 pm

Eric's death saddens me, too, although I've been as aware as many others that his health had been very poor for quite a long while. He was indeed a very calm, intelligent, many-sided, creatively talented and simply likeable person, who I first met when he invited me to play at an International tournament in the Manhattan Chess Club in New York (1980) at which his hospitality was superb. He'll be missed.

Andrew Martin
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Andrew Martin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:42 am

I’m very sorry to hear that. I think I first played him at Lewisham Cricket Club of all places, in one of Richard O Brien’s special events and then several times after. He was a frequent visitor to the UK between 1980 and 2000. A very friendly , many-sided man.


Some well-considered words here:

http://www.spraggettonchess.com/eric-schiller-rip/



RIP Eric.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Gordon Cadden » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:46 am

A man who was loved and detested by all who knew him. He receives praise on this Forum, but switch to facebook Chess Book Collectors, and you get a completely different image of Eric Schiller.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:06 pm

Ah, I see Schiller was the arbiter at the 2000 Braingames World Chess Championships (see photo on Spraggett's page). I probably saw him then, and have some of his (better) books. Reading up on his health conditions is a sobering account of diabetes-related complications.

Martin Crichton
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Martin Crichton » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:36 am

Sorry to hear about Eric's passing. I only met him the once and immediately got the impression that he was very likeable but a bit of a character. A bit of a funny story.
It was back in the early 90's in one of the half hour open tournaments that was run by the goodwin brothers? that regularly had 100+ entrants in the London barbican centre.
I was of course well aware of who Eric was as he was well known for his masses of perhaps questionable quality chess books and I recall he used to call himself a master on his book covers.
I was paired against Eric in one of the early rounds and he was seeded...I managed to win and Eric was gracious in defeat but I was a bit overexcited with my result and mentioned to my then partner that I thought he was a Grandmaster! Apparently not out of earshot of Eric and he corrected me in a loud voice that he was not a Grand master (everyone in the room heard him!)

I had better do some reading up on his health conditions now as I also have Diabetes.

RIP Eric
Member of "the strongest amateur chess club in London" (Cavendish)

my views are not representative of any clubs or organisations.

John Upham
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by John Upham » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:43 am

Edward Winter was less than friendly :

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/schiller.html
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChessNew
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:51 am

ECF obituary (by Stewart Reuben):

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/rip-eric-schiller/

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Gordon Cadden » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:20 am

Martin Crichton wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:36 am
Sorry to hear about Eric's passing. I only met him the once and immediately got the impression that he was very likeable but a bit of a character. A bit of a funny story.
It was back in the early 90's in one of the half hour open tournaments that was run by the goodwin brothers? that regularly had 100+ entrants in the London barbican centre.
I was of course well aware of who Eric was as he was well known for his masses of perhaps questionable quality chess books and I recall he used to call himself a master on his book covers.
I was paired against Eric in one of the early rounds and he was seeded...I managed to win and Eric was gracious in defeat but I was a bit overexcited with my result and mentioned to my then partner that I thought he was a Grandmaster! Apparently not out of earshot of Eric and he corrected me in a loud voice that he was not a Grand master (everyone in the room heard him!)

I had better do some reading up on his health conditions now as I also have Diabetes.

RIP Eric
Hello Martin, Good to see that you are still posting on Irish and English websites. Have just read Stewart Reubens obituary on the late Eric Schiller. He has inside knowledge on the Diabetes that destroyed 3 of his 4 limbs. Do seek medical care, to prevent this happening to your good self.

Tim Harding
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Re: Eric Schiller 1955-2018

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:47 am

John Upham wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:43 am
Edward Winter was less than friendly :

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/schiller.html
"De mortuis nil nisi bonum" and all that, but I believe thanks are due here to Gordon and John for posting necessary correctives to what seemed to me to be surprisingly fulsome positive comments in this thread. I don't do Facebook so maybe Gordon can please elaborate a bit on what is said about Schiller there?

I met the man on a couple of occasions and he was pleasant enough to speak to I suppose. As a long-time Keene crony, he ran the press office for at least one of the big matches in London (if not Short v Kasparov then one of its predecessors).

However the Winter article (and usually I don't agree with Winter) is right on the money about Schiller's carelessness when it came to his so-called literary efforts which are mostly of little merit.

The point in Winter's article concerning Schiller's comment on my book about the Nimzowitsch Defence (1 e4 Nc6) is absolutely typical of the way he operated. As Winter says, in the dreadful book Unorthodox Openings by Schiller and Benjamin, the following appeared:

"Myers, Harding and Westerinen have all written books on the subject. Westerinen’s is the best, but very hard to find."

At the time the Schiller book was published, I happened to own a copy of the Westerinen booklet "Sc6" (which is actually about ...Nc6 lines for Black in the Saemisch King's Indian) so I knew immediately that what Schiller wrote was a disgraceful and intellectually dishonest lie.
Nothing since ever caused me to change my mind about him.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

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