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In Passing
Ed Koss Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
March 27, 2011

Ed Koss

Ed was at one time a rated master and well known in tri-state chess circles. His last playing "home" was the Hackettstown Chess Club, where he scored heavily until his health began to give way two and a half years ago. I hold the honor of being the opponent against whom Ed played the highest number of rated games since 1991. My record against him was +8, =9, -19. I swore I'd even the score at some point but I never got the opportunity.

Ed's playing style was uncompromising. I know, everyone says that, but in Ed's case it was true. He played wide-open games, fearlessly, even as his rating approached his floor of USCF 2000. Ed preferred off-beat openings that dared you to beat him, and strove for "messy" positions where he was usually one step, tactically speaking, ahead of his opponent.

And he never gave up. I recall a make-up game we played at his home during the 2002 Fall Team Tournament. I'd beaten Ed in our first encounter; had I prevailed a second time my rating would almost certainly have topped 2000 for the first time (the bonus point awards and K factor were much more favorable in those days than now). I was up an exchange and a pawn. Out of nowhere Ed swindled me out of the exchange, and then the pawn, and then he had the nerve to play for a win in an even rook+pawn ending. Finally, after what I considered too many moves, he "declared" the game a draw.

That was Ed.

Obituary submitted by
Angelo DePalma

Ed Koss may you rest in peace.