I decided to post this video in honor of my friend, my chess buddy and sometimes OTB opponent, Lonnie Neal.
Lonnie was a phenomenal chess talent. He lost much of the life he dedicated to chess tournaments due to his time in the California penal system. He told me on a couple of occasions that he had made some mistakes in life, but he was always trying to move beyond that.
He made it through great odds to become one of the strongest blitz players in all of California. He was a true talent, considering he didn’t even use a computer or analysis engine to train with. I only knew of a few chess books I would see him studying with. However, he still managed to defeat many International Masters, local masters, and perhaps a few grandmasters as well.
Lonnie was a very sociable fellow, who was often engaged in kibitzing and just having a laugh or two on the sidelines of tournaments. He really made an impact on the chess scene in #LosAngeles. I want to thank him for his friendship, though I know he isn’t around anymore. I could only hope the words I use, will someday reach him in a distant chess paradise where he now resides. With the rest of the chess greats he admired so much. Names like #Capablanca, #Tal, and #Morphy.
I want to also offer a word of condolence and praise to another chess talent who is featured in this film. Alam Shafiq, who passed away about 3 years ago. RIP old friend.
Look for Lonnie’s games on ICC as #chessproking Many games were feats of tactical wizardry.