United States – Inducted 1994
One of the most influential U.S. players and writers of the 20th century, Larry Evans learned the game by playing for 10 cents an hour on New York City’s 42nd Street. Considered a rising star, he won the Marshall Chess Club championship at 15, competed in his first U.S. Championship at 16, tied for first at the 1949 U.S. Junior Championship, and won the New York State Championship at 18. He represented the United States at eight Olympiads, earning a gold medal in 1950. Between 1951 and 1980, he won five U.S. Championships, four U.S. Opens, and two Canadian Opens. His playing career tapered off during the 1960s, though he served as Bobby Fischer’s second in the Candidates matches that preceded the 1972 World Championships.
Evans is remembered for his chess writing as much as his play. Having published twice before the age of 18, he ultimately wrote or co-wrote two dozen books, including New Ideas in Chess and the classic 10th edition of Modern Chess Openings, and served as a collaborator on Fischer’s 60 Memorable Games. His question-and-answer column in Chess Life ran until 2006, and his weekly column, “Evans on Chess,” appeared in more than 50 newspapers. He was a guest commentator for both Time magazine and ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” Evans’ numerous contributions to chess writing and journalism earned him the USCF’s Chess Journalist of the Year award in 2000.