SIM Kurt Stein † 1959-2021

Thursday, August 5, 2021: SIM Kurt Stein passed away suddenly 30 July, 2021

It's my sad duty to inform our ICCF Chess community of the passing of SIM Kurt Stein. While he might have been an opponent across the board, he made many friends at the same time. Please find below a brief biography of Kurt provided by SIM Ken Holroyd.

Regards - GM Jason Bokar, ND ICCF-USA


Kurt Stein was born on July 4, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois. A long time friend and fixture of the Chicago chess community, Kurt joined the US Chess Federation. in 1972, participating in events such as the Midwest Junior High School Championship. Kurt reached Expert level in high school, and outperformed to place near the top of the 1977 National High School Championship. With the Black pieces, he was an early adopter and exclusively played for years, the Sveshnikov Sicilian and the Benko Gambit. While representing Johns Hopkins University, he won the Blitz tournament of the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, winning with the Sveshnikov Sicilian against future GM Sergey Kudrin and IM Leonid Bass. Kurt maintained a steady over the board tournament schedule during the 1980s and early 1990s, with a USCF rating in the high 2300s and FIDE rating of 2300, and with occasional wins against Grandmasters.

A great listener with an engaging personality and a quick wit, Kurt made friends with many in the chess community, including many Grandmasters, and was particularly close to GM John Fedorowicz. In his professional life, Kurt received electrical engineering and mechanical engineering degrees from the University of Michigan, and law and business degrees from Northwestern University, which he used to start a supply chain information technology company, Liquio Corporation.

With the persuasion of long time friend SIM Ken Holroyd, Kurt joined ICCF in 2015. With a rapid ascent, Kurt achieved the IM title in 2019 and the SIM title in 2020, while winning 21 games with no losses, of 126 games played in 18 matches and tournaments. SIM Kurt Stein had an ICCF rating of 2540 at the time of his premature sudden passing at his home in Lombard, Illinois, on July 30, 2021.

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