If you would like to show condolences please leave comments below or on social media.



William James Lombardy is an American chess grandmaster, chess writer, teacher. He was one of the leading American chess players during the 1950s and 1960s, and a contemporary of Bobby Fischer, whom he coached from the time Fischer was 11½ years old. Since then William Lombardy has left the active ministry and continues to reside in New York, where he has written many books and continues to give lessons.

Because the readers derive learning and pleasure from the elements of this New Website, one hopes they shall often visit this place and derive all the more pleasure and learning, and Historical Information! Hopefully Introduction to this Website will strike a chord of special interest in the visiting readers!

Yours truly, William Lombardy, International Grandmaster–and possibly the “Greatest Chess Coach of all time!”


Understanding Chess is William Lombardy’s sixth book to date, aside from his collaborations in many books and periodicals. This ambitious project consists of an exposé of Lombardy’s most important games viewed through the prism of his system for learning.

he first section of the book introduces the author’s background, how he came to learn chess, and how he came to formulate his theory of learning, as applied to chess, and how he thus ultimately became one of the top players of his day and, most impotent, the truly preeminent and authoritative Chess Teacher and Coach of Bobby Fischer. [His most recent student is already officially a Grandmaster. [Nevertheless, Lombardy is dissatisfied that he is not yet and possibly will not become a True Champion!] In this book (“Understanding….”) the reader will find an articulated approach on how to learn the game in a well-rounded manner for those with long-term aspirations. The Teaching Scheme is proposed as simple and therefore effective. Also, for those who have learned to enjoy “reading’, the book contains a plethora of anecdotal material!


William Lombardy was born on December 4th, 1937 in Manhattan, New York. He learned to play chess at the age of nine and began studying the game at eleven.

In 1954, at the age of 16, he became the youngest player ever to win the New York State Championship. Still in his teens, he became the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship.

His 11-0 record in his 1957 title run still stands today. He followed up by leading the U.S. Student team to the gold medal at the 1960 Student Olympiad.

Lombardy briefly retired from competitive play when he entered the priesthood, he was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1967.