Eric Schiller, author, coach, organizer and FIDE Master, died on November 3, 2018 of cardiovascular disease, after long illness. One of the game’s most prolific authors and engaging personalities, Eric’s loss is deeply felt in the chess community. International Master Dr. Anthony Saidy called Schiller, “a unique chess figure, linguist by training, assistant to Kasparov, FIDE master, author of innumerable books, organizer, teacher, of indomitable will and optimism till the end.”
International Master John Donaldson told CLO that he would be sorely missed.
Eric Schiller will be remembered for his love of chess. He was involved in the game in many ways: as a player (FIDE Master), tournament director (International arbiter), organizer (over two dozen norms tournaments as well as the 1983 World Student Team Championship in Chicago and the 1998 US Open in Kona, Hawaii), prolific writer and teacher of thousands of kids. Eric was well-known for his generosity in helping others even in the last decade of his life when he struggled with serious health problems.
Hal Bogner, a close friend of Eric’s, informed the chess community of Schiller’s death. “I’ve lost one of my closest friends ever, of almost 40 years, and I’m sure many here share this loss with his mom and five sisters and brothers. I hope many anecdotes can be shared here, and we can celebrate his great spirit, which he maintained even in the years since his initial losses due to diabetes.”
Hal Bogner also pointed out that as the World Championship begins this week, we can think back to Eric’s contributions to World Championship history in London. He was press chief in 1986 and 1993 and arbiter in the 2000 match between Kramnik and Kasparov.
Eric’s adventurous chess style is evident in this victory over International Master Jonathan Schroer.
Eric, who was born on March 20, 1955, is survived by his mother, Marlene and all of his five siblings, sisters Wendy, Mary and Elizabeth and brothers James and John.
Among the remembrances on social media was National Master and musician Alex King, who will be expanding on his words for the January edition of Chess Life Magazine: “I will always remember his World Champion Openings (1997), which I bought at a scholastic national tournament in 1999 or 2000 and enjoyed and treasured for years. I think many chessplayers have had a similar guilty pleasure for his books at some point in their development. thanks to Schiller, who wasn’t afraid to love big and fail big for chess.”
Please feel free to share your own memories as a comment.