Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (1963-2006)

The passing of GM Alek Wojtkiewicz on July 14 at the age of 43 has received much commentary around the web. There are obits at, ChessBase and alt.obit. Several sources cite a very nice profile of him (and of Pawel Blehm) by John Barry titled "Chairmen of the Board" in Baltimore's Urbanite Magazine (from June 2005) which gives you a glimpse into the life of a professional player. No doubt that lifestyle (which involves lots of travel, and therefore can hardly encourage healthy nutrition or exercise) contributed as much as smoking, suspected drinking, and a stint in the Soviet-era gulag to his early demise from internal bleeding due to a perforated intestine. There was a memorial service Monday according to Susan Polgar, who also lists an address for those wishing to make a donation to his family.

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