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Michael J. Valvo (1942-2004)

Michael J. Valvo passed away September 18, 2004 in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Michael was an International Chess Master and was very much involved with the Deep Blue chess matches. Official Press Release.

Below are tributes we have received:

From members of the Schenectady Chess Club, New York

All of the members of the club were sadden to hear ofo Michael's passing. He began his career at this Club where his father Frank was the Champion for most of the 1950's and 60's. Mike won the title once or twice in the early 60's. There are few members left in the club who had actually met either Frank or Mike, however their involvement in this small club in the hinterlands of upstate New York had, and continues to have a lasting effect.

Mike was our one connection with the wide world of international chess. We followed his play when he was active and were well pleased when he gained the International Master title. It was written when Frank passed that the world of chess lost a real gentleman. The same is true of Michael.
submitted by Bill Little

I didn't know Mike that well personally but he was always a commanding presence wherever he went and a tremendously intelligent and gifted chess player. He was always well dressed and groomed and had a certain aura about him. You always knew he was in the room. I know he was always on the cutting edge of computer chess and worked extensively with Ken Thompson of Bell Labs on his chess playing computer. I remember one time being in a conversation when Mike talked about Fischer and how he wrote "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess". He will be missed --David Lazarus

I knew Mike Valvo pretty well many years ago; the last time I talked to him was on ICC about five years ago where his handle was 'beetle'. I missed him after that because he stopped logging on to ICC. Whether this was due to illness I do not know. He was, needless to say, a fine chessplayer. I first met him at the 1964 US Open in Boston, where I recall that he defeated Bisguier among other top players. I also knew his father Frank and for a while dated his sister Marie Valvo when she was a student at SUNY/Binghamton in the 1960's and I was a student at Cornell. Mike had a strong and of course well-founded confidence in his own abilities, though it sometimes led him to attempt feats even he could not manage, such as trying to give the legendary Steve Brandwein 5 to 1 in blitz chess. Often he helped me analyze games I'd just played and explain to me where I'd gone wrong if I had lost. I think those sessions with Mike improved my game considerably He will be missed.--Anthony Serafini

Perhaps there would be some interest in these games that he once played and posted. I do not know to whom to give credit for submission of this game:
From: M Valvo ([email protected])
Subject: Re: Valvo-DT Match: Move 48
View: Original Format
Date: 1989-03-31 21:02:18 PST

Game 1
White: Valvo-- Black:DT

 1 e4   Nf6   
 2 e5   Nd5  
 3 d4   d6  
 4 c4   Nb6  
 5 f4   de   
 6 fe   Nc6  
 7 Be3  Bf5  
 8 Nc3  e6   
 9 Nf3  Bg4  
10 Be2  Bf3
11 gf   Qh4
12 Bf2  Qf4
13 c5   Nd7
14 Qc1  Qf5
15 Qb1  Qb1
16 Rb1  OOO
17 f4   Be7
18 Rd1  g5
19 fg   Bg5
20 Bf3  f5
21 OO   Nb4
22 Rfe1 Rhg8
23 Kh1  c6
24 a3   Na6
25 b4   Nc7
26 a4   a6
27 Re2  Be7
28 Rb2  Nd5
29 Nd5  cd
30 b5   ab
31 ab   Rg7
32 Ra1  Nb8
33 Rba2 Rdg8
34 Ra8  Bg5
35 b6   Bd8
36 Bh5  Rf8
37 Be2  Rfg8
38 Be3  h5
39 Rb1  Be7
40 Bb5  Bd8
41 Ba4  f4
42 Bf4  Rf7
43 Bh6  h4
44 Bb5  Be7
45 c6   bc
46 Bc6  Rf3
47 Rba1 Ba3
48 Bd2  Resign

Game 2:
White: DT-- Black:Valvo

 1 e4   e5
 2 f4   d5
 3 ed   c6  
 4 Nc3  ef
 5 Nf3  Bd6
 6 d4   Ne7 
 7 dc   Nbc6
 8 d5   Nb4
 9 Bc4  OO
10 a3   b5
11 Bb3  Na6
12 Nb5  Qa5
13 Nc3  Nc5
14 Ba2  Ba6
15 b4   Qc7
16 bc   Rfe8
17 Ne2  Qc5
18 c4   Nd5
19 Qd4  Qd4
20 Nd4  Bc5
21 Kd2  Ne3
22 Kc3  Rac8
23 Bb2  Ng2
24 Raf1 Rcd8
25 Rhg1 Re3
26 Kd2  f3
27 Rf3  Rf3
28 Rg2  Rh3
29 Kc1  g6
30 a4   Bb7
31 Rf2  Ba8
32 Bb1  Rb8
33 Ba2  Rd3
34 Rf4  Rd2
35 Kd2  Rb2
36 Nc2  Ra2
37 Nc3  Rb2
38 Rf6  Kg7
39 Rf1  f5
40 Nd5  Bd5
41 cd   Rb3
42 h4   Kf6
43 Re1  Rh3
44 Re6  Kf7
45 a5   Rh4
46 Rc6  Bb4
47 Nb4  Rb4
48 Rc7  Kf6