Statham Legacy

Lone Pine International was a series of chess tournaments held annually from 1971 through 1981 in Lone Pine, California. Sponsored by Louis D. Statham (1907–1983), millionaire engineer and inventor of medical instruments. The tournaments were formally titled the Louis D. Statham Masters.

Lone Pine, population 2,035 in the 2010 census, was not on anyone’s map before the chess tournaments or since. It is five hours from Reno NV and four hours from Los Angeles Airport. The chess tournament was a major event and had large cash prizes which attracted many grandmasters from all over the world. Mr. Statham was such a chess fan that he built and donated to Lone Pine a conference hall to house the tournament.

The Lone Pine International chess tournament was the premier event during the years it was held. The chess world was saddened at his death and that his wife and daughter had no interest in continuing his legacy tournament.

Louis Statham’s inventions ranged from instruments to measure strain and pressure in oil exploration to devices used to keep the country’s space shots on course. For medical use, he developed a blood-flow meter, patient monitoring systems and catheter instruments that are placed in the heart.

His inventions made him and his family rich and I think that his inventions are a more lasting legacy than his chess tournament could have been.

4 thoughts on “Statham Legacy

  1. It’s now January 2018. We retired to Lone Pine and bought a home built in 1993 built by the same contractor that built the Lone Pine Statham house. He is near 80 now and we are just curious about our new retirement town. We are across the water district land from the Statham house! Interesting our home also has a 64 foot skylight but I can see on google maps that all the skylights in their home are even bigger and many! Anyone reading this including the authors of this or readers if you have any links to more info or pictures that would be great. The builder/owner of our home was also an eclectic artist type but after 6 years of building never officially moved in and sold it. The previous owner of 20 years didnt do much to the house including needed repairs. We are finishing things that were started like the block wall that had only 2 courses and making it more livable like a real bedroom partition as it was built like a loft. Very interesting town and people in Lone Pine and of course the great view of Mt. Whitney!


  2. Oh by the way, the home is in total disrepair now. All trees dead. What I’m told was the wine cellar boarded up, greenhouse windows broken with petrified plants and trees inside?


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