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Vincent L. Eaton

Vincent L. Eaton

American chess composer
Vincent L. Eaton
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American chess composer
Was Chess composer Chess player
From United States of America
Type Sports
Gender male
Birth 13 August 1915, Caracas, Venezuela
Death 16 March 1962, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland (aged 46 years)
Star sign Leo
Mother: Mary Broughton Eaton
Father: Emery Wilson Eaton
Siblings: Francis Stewart Eaton
Spouse: Dorothy Sharpless Vastine Eaton
The details


Vincent L. Eaton (13 August 1915 - 16 March 1962) was an American chess player and composer, and librarian. He is considered one of America's greatest chess composers.

Early life

Vincent L. Eaton was born as Vincent Lanius Eaton on August 13, 1915, in Caracas, Venezuela to American parents Emery Wilson Eaton (1886–1963) and Mary Broughton Eaton (1906-1985). He had a brother Francis Stewart Eaton (1919–1923). When he was young, he and the family moved back to the United States.

Considered a child prodigy, Eaton graduated from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the age of eighteen. While at the university, he composed today's two-move problem.


After finishing his education, Eaton worked as an official at the Library of Congress and in 1960 became director of the publications department.

In 1942, Eaton won the chess championship at the District of Columbia. Although considered a strong chess player, he excelled as a problemist. He composed over a thousand problems, most of them in two and three moves; many of his "three moves" are known for the richness and complexity of the game and the difficulty of solving it.

From 1939 to 1941, Eaton was the editor of the Problems Department of the Chess Review magazine. He resigned to direct his attention to his primary full-time job with the Library of Congress. Eaton also edited the "Mate the Subtle Way!" problem column in Chess Life magazine in the early 1950s. He published more than 1000 problems, mostly direct mates in three. 

In 1941, Eaton co-compiled A Century of Two-Movers with fellow chess composers Alain Campbell WhiteFrederick Gamage, and Comins Mansfield. In 1942, he co-edited Gilbert Dobbs's book A Chess Silhouette: One Hundred Chess Problems with fellow composers Richard Eugene Cheney (1908-1967), Otto Wurzburg, and Alain Campbell White.

In 1956, FIDE appointed Eaton as an international composition judge.

South African chess composer Gerald Frank Anderson wrote a book with a selection of his best problems: Memorial to V. L. Eaton: a chess problem biography (Rapallo, Italy, 1971).

Personal life

Eaton was married to his wife Dorothy Sharpless Vastine Eaton (1906–1997).


Eaton died on March 16, 1962, at the age of 46, in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

To cite the article
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Article Title: Vincent L. Eaton: American chess composer - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/vincent-l-eaton/
Publish Date: 24 Nov 2016
Date Accessed: 29 Oct 2020
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