A Few Facts About Shelby Lyman


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The weekly column Shelby Lyman on Chess and the daily Chess Quiz are syndicated internationally in 47 newspapers including: The Boston Globe, Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, National Post (Canada) and Dawn (Pakistan). Florida papers include the Miami Herald, Miami Heral International Edition, St. Petersburg Times West Palm Beach, Tallahassee Democrat and Sarasota Herald Tribune.

A chess master ranked 18th in the US as a player in 1972, he hosted the historic Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky World Championship on PBS. The 21 5-hour programs had the largest audience in the history of public television until the Watergate hearings. He was described by NY Post columnist Bob Williams as the "Julia Child of Chess." Fred Waitzkin, author of "In Search of Bobby Fischer" and father of the film's hero Josh, heralded Shelby as "The Johnny Appleseed of Chess." Josh learned chess watching Shelby on television.

Shelby Lyman was twice the subject of the New York Times' "Man in the News," a space often reserved for Heads of State and similar people. He subsequently produced and hosted five more PBS world championship series, each consisting of eight 2-hour programs with national audiences of more than 100 PBS stations. He also organized and hosted Garry Kasparov's first encounter with the computer DEEP THOUGHT, the precurser of DEEP BLUE. The event resulted in a PBS Nova Documentary.

In 2008, he was inducted into the Gallery of Distinguished Chess Journalists, reflecting decades of TV, radio (especially NPR) and print journalism.

He currently resides in Summerfield, Florida, just outside Ocala. Tel: 607.760.99996.