Edmar (Edmars) John Mednis was born on March 22, 1937 in Riga, Latvia.
He and his family escaped from
In 1949, at the age of 12, his father taught Edmar how to play chess.
In 1950, at the age of 13, Edmar joined the Marshall Chess Club and soon had an expert rating.
In January, 1951, he took 3rd place in the Marshall Junior Championship tournament.
In January, 1951, at the age of 13, he participated in a
simul given by master Max Pavey in
In the summer of 1951, Edmar played in the 52nd
US Open in
In 1954, he won the New York City Interscholastic
Championship while a student at
In 1955 he graduated from
In 1955, at the age of 18, Mednis won the
In 1955, he represented the
In December, 1955, Mednis won the U.S. Intercollegiate championship. He was a freshman at New York University (NYU) majoring in chemical engineering. He tied with Anthony Saidy, but won on tie-break points.
In April, 1956, he represented the
He was trained as a chemical engineer, and then became a stock market investor. He became a professional chess player in 1972 at the age of 35.
In 1957, he was nominated by the USCF for the International Master title. In 1957 his USCF rating was 2444.
In 1962, he tied for 3rd place in the 1961-62 U.S. Chess Championship.
In 1962, he played on the United States Olympiad team in
In 1962, he defeated Bobby Fischer in the 1962-63
In 1970, he represented the
In 1972, he was a commentator for PBS during the 1972 world championship match between Fischer and Spassky.
In 1974, he finished 3rd at
In 1978 he tied for 3rd place in the U.S. Chess Championship with Leonid Shamkovich. Mednis scored 8-6 in a field averaging 2498. He needed 8.5 for a GM norm.
The top three
In 1978, at the FIDE Congress in
In 1979, there were two Interzonals, and one of them was in
In 1979, he played in the Interzonal tournament in
In 1980, he took 4th at
He became a
Grandmaster in 1980 at the age of 43. It
was the Puerto Rico Chess Federation rather than the United States Chess Federation
that formerly proposed him for the Grandmaster title. The USCF did not think Mednis was strong
enough with a 2475 Elo rating and refused to sponsor him for the GM title
because he had not made any norms. The
standard Grandmaster rating is 2500.
1n 1984, he took 1st at
In 2000, he was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
He died on February 13, 2002 at the age of 64. He died suddenly of cardiac arrest during a
bout with pneumonia in Woodside,
Mednis was survived by his wife Baiba, his daughter Sari Eskildsen and his son Mariss Mednis.
He wrote 26 chess books and hundreds of chess articles.
He wrote How to Beat Bobby Fischer (1975), How Karpov Wins (1975), How to Beat the Russians (1978), The Modern Defense (1978), Practical Endgame Lessons (1978), Open Games (1980), Practical Rook Endings (1980), How to Play Good Opening Moves (1982), King Power in Chess (1982), From the Opening into the Endgame (1983), From the Middlegame into the Endgame (1987), Questions and Answers in Practical Opening Play (1987), Strategic Themes in the Endgame (1987), How to Defeat a Superior Opponent (1989), Practical Bishop Endings (1990), How to be a Complete Tournament Player (1991), Rate Your Endgame (1992), Strategic Chess (1993), Practical Knight Endings (1993), Advanced Endgame Strategies (1996), Practical Opening Tips (1997), The King in the Endgame (1997), The King in the Opening (1998), Practical Endgame Tips (1998), The King in the Middlegame (1999), Better Endgame Play (2000).
For many years, he wrote a monthly column for Chess Life called “The Practical Endgame,”
His overall score with Bobby Fischer was 1 win, 1 draw, and 5 losses in tournament play, along with two losses in a blitz tournament.