Thursday, March 24, 2016

PETER STOCKHAUSEN ( 20 August 1948 – 18 February 2016)

Stephen Wright reports on the life and passing of Peter Stockhausen in BC Chess Bulletin #315 
Stephen has granted permission for me to post his report here.

PETER STOCKHAUSEN ( 20 August  1948  – 18 February 2016)

It is reported on Kevin Spraggett’s blog that former CFC President and B.C. resident Peter Stockhausen has passed away at the age of sixty-seven. Born in Düsseldorf, Germany (a cousin was the influential avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen), Peter first became active in tournament chess after witnessing the ‘Tournament of Stars’ in Montreal in 1979 and eventually achieved a lifetime highest rating of 1735. However, it was in the area of organizing that he excelled. A hotel manager by profession, Stockhausen either hosted events in the hotels where he worked or had the connections to obtain favourable conditions at other locations. The first events he organized were in Belleville, Ontario about an hour’s drive west of Kingston. These weekend tournaments soon became legendary for their quality and strength, attracting the likes of Kevin Spraggett, Jean Hébert, Bryon Nickoloff, and Roman Pelts.

Stockhausen moved to Vancouver in 1984 and then to Edmonton in 1988, helping to obtain the Canadian Open for that city in 1989. He was subsequently involved in the organization of Canadian Opens in Winnipeg (1994 and 1997) and Richmond (1999), the latter at the Delta Pacific Resort and Conference Centre as it was called at the time. Peter also hosted the Canadian Closed at this same hotel in 2002, along with a match between Larry Christiansen and Pascal Charbonneau (2002) and the Western Canadian Open (2004). He also organized the Keres Memorial tournament in 1992 and again from 2001 to 2003. In a 2004 interview for Chess Canada Échecs Stockhausen stated his organizational philosophy as follows, noting as particular influences the 1988 Saint John Chess Festival and the 1994 National Open in Las Vegas:

The best way to organize a good, successful tournament is to think of all the things you would like to see in a tournament as a player yourself! Good lighting, no excessive noise, ample space, pleasant temperature, easily accessible facilities, close accommodations and restaurants, good directing, starting the rounds on time, an up to date crosstable, etc…. Also, an important thing to remember is that the organizing team should be separate from the TD team.

In chess governance Peter was CFC President 1986-87 and 2002-03; he also served as CFC Treasurer 1997-2001. He also had an interest in chess history, and was collaborating with Nathan Divinsky in the latter’s research on the nineteenth-century German player, author, historian, and diplomat von der Lasa.
The last seven years of Stockhausen’s life are shrouded in mystery. In 2009 he disappeared, abandoning his wife and daughter; it was subsequently revealed he was living in the B.C. Interior, but for whatever reason did not want to be found. He died in Cranbrook Hospital after refusing treatment for a broken leg and respiratory problems. Peter had continued to vote in the CFC’s online meetings, but was otherwise inactive in the wider chess community.

Veszely, Frank - Stockhausen, Peter [A00] Silver Star Challenge Vernon (5), 11.11.1985
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.a3 Ba5 5.e3 0–0 6.Nf3 d5 7.c4 Bg4 8.Qb3 Nc6 9.Qxb7 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Qd6 11.f4 Bb6 12.cxd5 Bxe3 13.dxe3 Qc5 14.Nc4 Rfe8 15.Nc3 Rxe3+ 16.Nxe3 Qxc3+

Stockhausen, Peter - Kindret, Mike [C37] Silver Star Challenge Vernon (4), 14.11.1999
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.e5 Ng4 6.0–0 Bc5+ 7.d4 Bb6 8.Kh1 0–0 9.Nc3 c6 10.Ne4 h6 11.h3 Ne3 12.Bxe3 fxe3 13.Nf6+ Kg7 14.Nxg5 hxg5 15.Qh5 Rh8 16.Qxf7+ Kh6 17.Ng4# 1–0

Stockhausen, Peter – Duncan Suttles/Oliver Schulte/Roman Jiganchine [C31] Multi-master simul Vancouver (1), 07.09.2003
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.0–0 0–0 7.d4 c6 8.Nc3 Bg4 9.Qd3 b5 10.Bb3 b4 11.Ne4 Nxd5 12.Nxd6 Qxd6 13.Ne5 Bh5 14.Bxf4 Nxf4 15.Rxf4 Nd7 16.Qf5 Nxe5 17.Qxh5 Ng6 18.Rg4 Rab8 19.Rf1 Rb5 20.Qh3 Rb7 21.Qf3 Re7 22.h4 Nh8 23.h5 Rd8 24.Qf5 g6 25.Qg5 Rde8 26.Rgf4 Re4 27.Qf6 Qxf6 28.Rxf6 Kg7 29.Rxc6 ½–½

Ferguson, Peter - Stockhausen, Peter [B52] VCC Canada Day op Vancouver (6), 02.07.2007 [Neufahrt, Fritz, Stockhausen]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0–0 Nc6 6.c3 Nf6 7.Re1 g6 An obvious alternative is 7...e6 8.d4 Bg7 I did not like the alternative 8...cxd4 9.cxd4, preferring instead to develop another piece. 9.d5 Nd8 Clearly Black has a bit of a cramped position, but not really any weaknesses. I had not thought that White's next move was "legal." 10.e5?! 10.c4 0–0 and White is a little better. 10...dxe5 11.Nxe5 11.c4 e4 and I thought that I would be a little better here; 12.Nfd2. 11...Qxd5 12.Qa4+ Nc6 13.c4 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Qxc6+ bxc6 15.Be3 Nd7 with play for both sides, or 13.Nd2 0–0 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Qxc6 bxc6. 13...Qd6 14.Bf4 0–0? Definitively second best. Much more in the spirit, and also almost winning would be something like: 14...Ng4 15.Rd1 (not 15.Nxg4 as this leads to a strong advantage for Black: 15...Qxf4 16.Ne3 Bxb2) 15...Qe6. 15.Nc3 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Qd2 The text looks much stronger than it is. A better plan is 16...Qb6 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Nd5 Qd6 and Black is in very good shape. 17.Re2 Qg5 18.Bxf6 18.Rae1 e6. 18...Bxf6 19.Ne4 Qf5 20.Nxf6+ Qxf6 21.Qd7 e6 22.Qxb7 Qd4 23.Qe4 Rad8 24.Qxd4 Rxd4 25.b3 Rfd8 26.f3 Kf8 Much more accurate is 26...Kg7. 27.Re5 A critical position has been reached. I decided to sacrifice a pawn for the benefit of having rooks on the seventh rank. 27...Rd2 28.Rxc5 Rb2 Played instantly and wrong! The rook belongs on the c-file to prevent any future counterplay on that file: 28...Rc2. 29.Rg5 Rdd2 30.c5 f6 30...Rdc2 is the correct plan. 31.Rg4 Ke7 32.Rc1 f5 Around here I became fixated on two objectives, namely entombing the rook and getting the white king with my rooks. 33.Rg3 f4 34.Rg4 e5 35.b4 Kf6 36.c6 h5 37.c7 hxg4 38.c8Q Rxg2+ 39.Kf1 Rgf2+ 1/2–1/2


George Kosinski said...

"The last seven years of Stockhausen’s life are shrouded in mystery. In 2009 he disappeared, abandoning his wife and daughter; it was subsequently revealed he was living in the B.C. Interior, but for whatever reason did not want to be found. He died in Cranbrook Hospital after refusing treatment for a broken leg and respiratory problems."

A mindblowing revelation, - especially his refusal to be treated for a broken leg (and how did it break? a story there, too?)! There is, no doubt, a fascinating story here for a chess journalist. Let's hope someone out there pursues it.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, someone should be pursing the role that Bob Armstrong, Lynn Stringer and Roger Patterson played, since they spent the summer of 2009 so gleefully bragging and gloating and otherwise performing on Canadian chess chat boards as the victim family watched. Stringer and Patterson particularly claimed bragging rights about being pit-stop attendants on Peter Stockhausen's road to his death.

The story will not end until the Armstrong, Stringer and Patterson denials, lies and actions are revealed. Chessworld granted these three ... Armstrong, Stringer and Patterson, a lot of celebrity from the family's misery during that summer.

Now is the time for chessworld to examine its collective conscience and consider its failure to dissuade husband and father Peter Stockhausen from the road to his un-natural death.