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In Passing

In Passing
Larry C. Parr Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
April 6, 2011

Larry C. Parr (1946-2011)

Lawrence "Larry" Parr, former editor of Chess Life, died Saturday morning, April 2, in Universiti Malaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - after a short illness. He was 64.

Born Lawrence Arthur Collard Parr on May 21, 1946 in Seattle, Washington, he had lived in Bellevue, Wash. before working as an Associated Press reporter for the Reuters news agency in Malaysia from the late 1970s to early 1980s. He studied at the University of Washington in Seattle.

While in college, he had the opportunity of playing in the 1966 U.S. Open when it was held at the Seattle World's Fair Grounds. Mr. Parr was editor of (39 issues of) Chess Life from January 1985 through March1988 when the U.S. Chess Federation headquarters was located in New Windsor, New York. An accomplished writer, he co-authored with Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan the book "Viktors Pupols: American Master," published in 1983. He went on to co-author a number of other chess books, including :The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories" with GM Arnold Denker, voted in 1996 as the "Best Chess Book of the Year" by the Chess Journalists of America and the Cramer Awards Committee. He also co-authored "Secrets of the Russian Chess Masters" with GM Lev Alburt. In addition, he collaborated with Malaysian business tycoon Dato Tan Chin Nam in ghostwriting the latter's memoirs, "Never Say I Assume!" He returned to Malaysia in the late 1990s. Mr. Parr wrote numerous articles for Chess Life and other magazines. His last article for Chess Life was in March 2011, when he wrote about his very close friend, the late GM Larry Evans. Mr. Parr was an award-winning life member of the Chess Journalists of America. Known for his clever use of the English language, he wrote many a memorable phrase in chess literature. Referring to the great 19th century American player Paul Morphy, Parr said of him: "Morphy was an American Caissic F-16 in an era of European hot-air chess balloons."

Mr. Parr is survived by his wife, Samboon Parr; a daughter, Christiana Parr; and a son, Ian Parr. A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 3, in Montfort Boys Town in Shah Alam, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. After cremation, his ashes will be flown back to Seattle for burial in his hometown. Letters of condolences may be sent to Mrs. Samboon Parr, The Nomad Sucasa All-Suite Hotel, 222 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50450.

Obituary submitted by
George Mirijanian, MACA President

Larry C. Parr may you rest in peace.