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Milan Matulovic vs Istvan Bilek
Sousse Interzonal (1967), Sousse TUN, rd 9, Oct-26
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Haberditz Variation" (B33)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-28-04  Resignation Trap: This is a famous game, not for the quality of the moves, but for an incident.

At move 38, Matulovic played 38. Bf3??, quickly said "j'adoube", then placed his King on g1.

He got away with this infraction, but earned for himself the nickname of "Jadoubovic".

Jan-28-04  fatbaldguy: If I'm not mistaken, Matulovic is also the guy who lost an Interzonal game to Taimanov that enabled the latter to qualify to play Fischer (and get clobbered 6-0...). It was widely rumoured at the time that Matulovic took a bribe to lose the Taimanov game - apparently he played the entire game using only a few minutes on his clock. Interesting character, Matulovic...
Jan-28-04  TrueFiendish: I read Mr Matulovic was incarcerated for running over a woman and lamented the court's decision with the comment, "She was only a Bosnian." My source, however, is not the most reliable.
Jan-29-04  fatbaldguy: For more on Matulovic creatively interpreting the j'adoube rule, see
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What does Evans mean by this:
<A few months later, as fate would have it, Matulovic got away with the same stunt against the same opponent! Thenceforth his colleagues dubbed him J'adoubovic.>
Aug-11-10  culei: What is jadoube I'm panamanian so for me
It seems like jaque doble meaning double check but
Does it make sense?
Aug-11-10  laskerian: <culei>
"J' adoube" is, as far as I understand, a French word which a player utters when he makes a "hand error", that is, when he accidentally touches a piece he hasn't meant to move at all. For its implication on the "touch-move" rule, I think it will be best to refer to the FIDE Handbook, or ask someone who is knowledgeable on the matter.
Jun-03-12  mithrandi: "J'adoube" is French meaning "I adjust"; in the context of Chess, it is meant to be uttered beforehand to indicate that you are touching a piece for the purpose of adjusting it (centering it on its square), rather than for the purpose of making a move.

In this case, it was uttered *after* making a move, as an obvious ruse to take back the bad move, and should not have been allowed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from R.G. Wade's book Sousse 1967..

<In this incident even Matulovic's Yugoslav colleagues did not side with him.>

Oct-09-12  erimiro1: But he wasn't alone and the story is not complete! How did Bilek respond?
Oct-29-12  DrGridlock: At move 44, black goes for repeated checks with the rook on f6 and a draw by repetition. Is there anything better for black? Komodo finds:

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. ³ (-0.45): 44...R3e4 45.Kf1 Rxb4 46.Ra1 Re8 47.Rd5 f6 48.Rxa6 Rb1+ 49.Rd1 Rxd1+ 50.Bxd1 Kf8 51.Bf3 b4 52.Bd5 Rd8 53.Kf2 b3 54.Bxb3 Nc5 55.Rb6 Nxb3 56.Rxb3 Kf7 57.Rb6 Ke6 58.d7+ Ke7 59.Kf3 Rxd7 60.g4

Black maintains an edge by going after white's b-pawn, and tieing down white's pieces to defending black's passed pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <In 1967, Grandmaster Milan Matulovic (1935-2013) of Yugoslavia was playing against Istvan Bilek (1932-2010) in the 9th round at the Interzonal in Sousse, Tunisia.

Matulovic made a losing move with his bishop (38.Bf3??), pressed his chess clock, and soon realized he had made a mistake.

So he took back his bishop move, moved his king (38.Kg1), and only then said “J’Adoube” (“I adjust” – which is said before adjusting pieces on a square). Matulovic then wrote his move on his score sheet as if nothing happened.

Bilek went to the tournament director to protest, but Matulovic replied, <<<“But I said j’adoube!”>>> There was a huge argument, but the tournament director, having only Bilek’s word against Matulovic, refused to require Matulovic to make his original move with his bishop, as the rules of chess state.

Bilek protested three times to the tournament director, but was ignored.

The game ended in a draw.

After this incident, even the Yugoslav players shunned Matulovic.

Ever since this incident, Matulovic has been referred to as “J’adoubovic.”

A few days after the game with Bilek, Matulovic choked on a bone and had to be taken to the Doctor.

From then on, the joke was that the doctor couldn’t find a bone, but instead found the word “j’adoube” stuck in Matulovic’s throat.>

Jan-18-17  rea: Many years ago, a friend and I, at the conclusions of a weekend tournament, boarded the bus for home. He brushed past a lady standing in the isle with a muttered "J'Adoube."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Wasn't it Matulovic who at an international congress (Hastings I think) tried to solve his time trouble by switching the clock to the other side of the board? It was still turned inwards of course, so his very few minutes were now on the clock nearest his opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Is there any piece of trickery not associated with Matolovic?
Jul-01-18  ZonszeinP: Gligoric once commented that he (Matulovic) didn't resign right away against Fischer and sealed a move (in a completely lost position) just for the sake of not going down on the tournament table for at least 24 hours... I think it was a game from 1968...
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