Kevin Gentes 1967 – 2021

This is a late post to recognize the passing of FM Kevin Gentes May 1, 2021.

Kevin gave a simul at the Rudolf Rocker Chess Club on September 12, 2015 which we all appreciated. Mark also had the pleasure of hanging out with him after to thank him for the appearance.

He has a deserved place in The Manitoba Chess Hall of Fame and Museum .

I’ve started a study on lichess for collecting Gentes games. Contact mark AT parit DOT ca with your lichess username to be added as a study member to contribute games and analysis. The first chapter is the famous upset Yusupov-Gentes (0-1) from the 1986 Canadian Open held in Winnipeg.

That result (and photos of both players taken in later games) made the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press on Monday July 14, 1986. Cecil Rosner wrote (excerpt):

Imagine a Manitoba junior hockey player outmuscling Wayne Gretzky for the puck and going in to score a goal in a critical NHL game.

The local teenager defied almost insurmountable odds to beat Yusupov, who is ranked third on the international chess rating list.

The game started quietly as Yusopov began building up a solid position in the Queen’s Indian Defense. Gentes later said he equalized the position after about 14 moves, sacrificed a pawn and slowly started exerting more and more pressure.

The Soviet grandmaster, a former world junior champion was forced to give up his queen at one point to avoid a mating attack.

Kevin is an excellent reminder that we should embrace opportunities to share chess with under-represented populations. You never know where the next legendary player will come from.

Rest in peace Kevin. A musical tribute is below.

A hip-top tribute. (language warning)
Gentes in his own voice.

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