-------- Original Message --------
Subject: a real Luzhin
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 01:53:42 -0800
From: Nicholas Richards <elston_njr@YAHOO.CO.UK>
CC: Nicholas Richards <elston_njr@YAHOO.CO.UK>

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Dear fellow Nabokovians,
I found this rather tragic article at a Chess Page called Grandmaster
Square. The link is at the end of the article.
Nick Richards

Death of GM Lembit Oll
A very sad news came recently from Estonia - its No. 1 chess player, GM
Lembit Oll, committed suicide on 16th of May by jumping out of his
apartment, which was located on the 4th floor. I did not know him well, but
on those occasions, when we met, Oll made a very favourable impression on
me. In 1997 in Los Angeles we made a quick draw in the last round and had a
few beers afterwards and had a chat about chess. Then Lembit was also
telling me about life in Estonia. There are rumours that his tragic
decision was ignited by some financial difficulties, but those who knew him
better doubt this very much, pointing out that was his recent divorce and
separation from his two sons is more likely to be the cause. Obviously, he
had some kind of crisis and made this unfortunate move... Oll was a world-
class player (constantly rated well above 2600) with classical style and he
will undoubtedly remain in the history of chess! [Problems omitted]
Vladimir Nabokov's Jubilee
Famous Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov was born 100 year ago. Perhaps not
everyone knows that he was also a very keen chess composer. Not
surprisingly, chess is featured in his books and one of his major works -
 'Luzhin's Defence' (I believe, that in English the title is 'The Defence')
is about a chess player. It's a very interesting novel and, alas, it has
something in common with the sad news about Oll. The main character of the
book - Grandmaster Luzhin - ends his life by jumping from the window.
10 years ago Russian player Georgy Ilivitsky (1921-1989) died. He was a
very strong player, coming equal third in the 22nd USSR Championship in
1955 with Botvinnik, Petrosian and Spassky, just half of a point behind of
the winners - Geller and Smyslov - and ahead of Keres and Taimanov. He
decided to quit life, feeling that he was totally forgotten. I heard that
he had read Nabokov's book and got the idea to jump out of the window,
which he did...
About two years ago very talented and creative Latvian player Alvis
Vitolinsh jumped out of the window. And now Lembit Oll... There is
something strange about the fact that all three chess players chose the
same way to die, as did Luzhin!
Anyway, the book ('Luzhin's Defence') is worth reading, though I prefer
chess motifs in yet another Nabokov's work - 'Invitation to the Execution'
(again, this is my translation of the title from Russian, the actual title
may be different). In the May issue of '64' there is an article about
Nabokov-composer by Ya. Vladimirov, which states that even though the
writer was not a very good composer, he was certainly very interested in
this field and had some achievements. I'd like to show two of his problems,
featured in the article

[Problems omitted]

Found at: