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Leah Koltanowski (1906-2005)

Leah Koltanowski (1906-2005)

Leah Koltanowski died at home in San Francisco on December 23, 10 days after her 99th birthday. She was the widow of Grandmaster George Koltanowski, Dean of American Chess, who died in 2000.

They met in New York City in 1944. Ironically, it was a blind date, and she turned out to be Kolty’s greatest blindfold triumph. They married a year later and moved to San Francisco in 1947.

Leah steadfastly refused to learn chess, not wanting to be “just another chess player.” Nevertheless, she was George’s constant assistant in his various chess activities, tournaments, exhibitions, and writings, most notably his 50+ years of the daily chess column in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Koltanowskis are buried beside each other in New York.