Richard Russell Shorman, an incomparable stalwart of the Bay Area Chess Community, passed away at his home in Hayward, California on August 12, 2023. He was 84. At the age of 15, Richard began playing at the Oakland YMCA Chess Club, run by the legendary Grandmaster George Koltanowski. Initially frustrated by the pace of his progress, Richard adopted the gambit and quickly achieved expert level. His tactical and aggressive approach to chess, his astonishing memory of thousands of the best games ever played, and his ability to relate them in novel ways, made Richard a teacher extraordinaire! No chess engine could compete! A teacher and lecturer for Chabot Junior College, the Lera Late Night Chess Group, the Hayward Chess Club, and the Berkeley Chess School, to name a few, Richard shared his insight and expertise with an even broader audience through his chess columns in the Hayward Daily Review, the Fremont-Newark Argus, and the Dublin- Livermore-Pleasanton Herald. Awarded the title of Official CalChess Photographer, Richard’s compelling images have appeared in most Northern California Chess magazines, and he served as the official photographer for the chess history website until his passing. Richard leaves behind an unmatched legacy; and many students, colleagues, family, and friends, already deeply missing him.

Richard’s full obituary can be read here:

Join us for a Celebration of Richard’s Life
Sunday, September 24th , 2023, 4 – 6:30 pm
At the Berkeley Chess Center
2622 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley CA 94702

Share a memory of Richard • Bring a photo, item, or written note for the memory shrine (Richard loved humor, it is encouraged!) • enjoy light refreshments • play casual (but aggressive!) chess games in honor of Richard.

We hope you can come!