Billy Colias and the Grand Prix Attack
Colias-Brodie, Illinois 1987
White to play.
Stopping at The Strand on my recent "chess tourist" visit to New York City, I came across the interesting book Billy Colias, Midwest Master by M. L. Rantala, Eric Schiller, and Alan Watson (Chess Enterprises 1996). Born June 3, 1966, Colias passed away suddenly in 1993, having achieved a 2400 USCF rating. The fact that he was a chessplayer and a near-contemporary (I was born in 1965) gave me pause. Looking through the book, I was also intrigued by the immediate cause of death: an accidental mix of alcohol and Tylenol, which put him in a coma from which he never recovered. It is well documented that these two common substances taken together can cause severe damage to some people's liver, and I had read about this danger several years back--though it is not widely known (and, I find, not warned about on the side of the Tylenol in my medicine cabinet). Likely Billy's bout with cancer and the chemotherapy he received some years prior made his liver especially susceptible to damage. But the next time you have one too many, I recommend you remember Billy and choose Aspirin....
As a tribute to Billy, who would have celebrated his 40th birthday last month (and who might have achieved a GM title by now), I have compiled and analyzed most of Billy Colias's games with the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian Defense (1.e4 c5 f4 or 1.e4 c5 Nc3 followed by f4), which he played during the peak of its popularity among masters during the late 80s and early 90s. If you are interested, you can find more of his games at Chessgames.com or in the book I mention above.