Thursday, April 23, 2009

R.I.P., Landon Brownell

My book The Kings of New York tells the story of a motley group of teenagers from Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow High School, who happen to be perennial contenders for the national high-school chess championship. And one of the subplots that develops later in the narrative is Murrow's ongoing rivalry with a school in Arizona, Catalina Foothills High School, whose best player was a lanky kid named Landon Brownell.

Well, I was horrified to read that Landon Brownell died this week in a car accident. He was 19 years old.

I didn't know Landon at all, but some people who did know him share their stories--and their memories of a match depicted in the book, in which Landon scored a pivotal victory over a highly rated Murrow player at the 2005 national championships--here.

(You can also make a donation to the Southern Arizona Chess Association (SACA), in memory of Landon Brownell, P.O. Box 42407, Tucson, AZ 85733)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always thought Landon was the epitome of my view of chess players as I have come to know them--competitive, brilliant, and a little quirky in the best of ways! Landon was gracious and kind, and I cannot recollect a time when I didn't see him smiling. Amanda, Phil, Ian and I will have a hard time thinking back on tournaments without remembering Landon as a part of them, and that memory will make us smile. This tragedy should make us all hug our loved ones extra hard every time we see them and tell them just how wonderful they are, as life is just too short to miss even one chance to do that. My prayers are with Landon's immediate and his chess family. Diana Mateer