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Zoltan Ribli
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Number of games in database: 1,358
Years covered: 1967 to 2017
Last FIDE rating: 2526 (2545 rapid, 2532 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2630

Overall record: +372 -162 =817 (57.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 7 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (96) 
    A15 A14 A10 A13 A17
 Reti System (68) 
    A04 A06 A05
 Queen's Indian (48) 
    E17 E15 E12 E19 E16
 English, 1 c4 c5 (48) 
    A30 A34 A39 A37 A33
 King's Indian (47) 
    E67 E63 E62 E69 E60
 Sicilian (44) 
    B35 B36 B39 B93 B87
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (233) 
    B90 B47 B48 B93 B84
 Sicilian Najdorf (67) 
    B90 B93 B97 B92 B96
 Semi-Slav (52) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D48
 English, 1 c4 c5 (51) 
    A30 A36 A37 A35 A34
 Queen's Indian (51) 
    E12 E17 E15 E14 E19
 Sicilian Taimanov (46) 
    B47 B48 B46 B45 B49
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Ribli vs Karpov, 1980 1-0
   Quinteros vs Ribli, 1974 0-1
   Ribli vs Spassky, 1985 1/2-1/2
   Korchnoi vs Ribli, 1988 0-1
   Ribli vs B Thorfinnsson, 2005 1-0
   Ribli vs Smyslov, 1982 1-0
   Ribli vs Romanishin, 1982 1/2-1/2
   Ribli vs Unzicker, 1995 1-0
   V Tukmakov vs Ribli, 1982 0-1
   Ribli vs Unzicker, 1985 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Las Palmas Interzonal (1982)
   Ribli - Torre Candidates Quarterfinal (1983)
   CEG vs Legends (2012)
   Budapest Interzonal Playoff (1979)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)
   October Revolution 60th Anniversary (1977)
   Montpellier Candidates (1985)
   21st European Club Cup (2005)
   Bundesliga 2011/12 (2011)
   Bundesliga 2012/13 (2012)
   Bundesliga 2014/15 (2014)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Forssa/Helsinki zonal tournament 1972 by Chessdreamer
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1973 by suenteus po 147
   Belfort World Cup 1988 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1980 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1978 by suenteus po 147
   Bugojno 1984 by suenteus po 147
   Las Palmas Interzonal 1982 by suenteus po 147
   1984 Phillips & Drew GLC Kings Tt by Benzol
   Wijk aan Zee 1983 by EmperorAtahualpa
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1989 by suenteus po 147

   I Stohl vs Ribli (Feb-12-17) 1/2-1/2
   Ribli vs L Seres (Jan-29-17) 1/2-1/2
   Ribli vs J Tompa (Dec-11-16) 1/2-1/2
   Ribli vs J Spalir (Dec-10-16) 0-1
   M Cosic vs Ribli (Dec-09-16) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Zoltan Ribli
Search Google for Zoltan Ribli
FIDE player card for Zoltan Ribli

(born Sep-06-1951, 65 years old) Hungary
[what is this?]

Zoltan Ribli was born on the 6th of September 1951 in Mohacs, Hungary. Awarded the IM title in 1970 and the GM title in 1973 he was a Candidate in 1983 and 1985 and nearly qualified in 1980 but lost out on tiebreaks after a playoff with compatriot Andras Adorjan ended +1 -1 =2. In 1983 he defeated Eugenio Torre (+3, =6, -1) but then lost to Vasily Smyslov (+1, =7, -3). At Montpellier 1985 he did not make the final playoffs. He has been European Junior Champion twice, 1968-69 (jointly) and 1970-71 and Hungarian Champion three times, 1973 (joint), 1974 and 1977 (joint). He has a fine tournament record and played in the 1984 USSR versus The Rest of The World match where he defeated Rafael Vaganian (+1, =3, -0). He is married to WIM Maria Grosch.

Wikipedia article: Zoltán Ribli

Last updated: 2017-06-20 10:56:00

 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,358  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ribli vs Szily  ½-½521967HUN-chA00 Uncommon Opening
2. C Meleghegyi vs Ribli  1-0331967HUN-chB22 Sicilian, Alapin
3. Ribli vs G Forintos  1-0541967HUN-chB27 Sicilian
4. L Lengyel vs Ribli  1-0561967HUN-chE60 King's Indian Defense
5. Ribli vs Szabo  0-1411967HUN-chB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
6. G Barcza vs Ribli  1-0391967HUN-chA15 English
7. Ribli vs L Barczay  0-1391967HUN-chB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Ribli vs P Szilagyi  ½-½391967HUN-chC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
9. I Bokor vs Ribli  1-0261967HUN-chB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. Ribli vs J Tompa  0-1441967HUN-chC78 Ruy Lopez
11. B Toth vs Ribli  0-1501967HUN-chD87 Grunfeld, Exchange
12. Ribli vs E Haag  0-1291967HUN-chB10 Caro-Kann
13. L Tipary vs Ribli  1-0411967HUN-chA45 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Ribli vs P Dely  0-1321967HUN-chB89 Sicilian
15. L Kovacs vs Ribli  ½-½521967HUN-chD71 Neo-Grunfeld
16. Ribli vs L Prelovszky  ½-½411967HUN-chB02 Alekhine's Defense
17. Csom vs Ribli  ½-½321967HUN-chB22 Sicilian, Alapin
18. Ribli vs M Umansky 0-1551968HUN-URSB33 Sicilian
19. Ribli vs Adorjan  0-1301968HungaryB35 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Modern Variation with Bc4
20. Ribli vs J Imre 1-0211968HungaryC44 King's Pawn Game
21. Ribli vs Anikaev 1-0291968HUN-URSB34 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
22. Ribli vs Anikaev  ½-½361968HUN-URSC44 King's Pawn Game
23. M Umansky vs Ribli  0-1391968HUN-URSB53 Sicilian
24. Beliavsky vs Ribli  0-1571968EU-ch U20D80 Grunfeld
25. M Umansky vs Ribli 0-1381968HUN-URSA16 English
 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,358  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Ribli wins | Ribli loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-20-06  Maatalkko: While not acting in classics such as "Dude, Where's my Car?", Zoltan is famous for being the greatest drawmaster of all time. He played in a bunch of top-level tournaments in the late 1980's, drawing about 80% of his games (so he always scored between 40-60%, quite respectable against top-flight competition).

For most of his career, Zoltan and his bubble-wrapped homies were so busy looking for the continuum transfunctioner that he often needed to leave his games early and took quick draws. Eventually he got so good at this that he was able to do it against the best, while keeping his groupies entertained at his parent's barn. Finally, when Ashton Kutcher & Co. helped him find the transfunctioner in 2000, Zoltan could focus on his games and has actually won a few games against weak grandmaster class opposition, including the Hotel Opatija tournament in 2002.

You can read more about Zoltan at

Sep-06-06  BIDMONFA: Zoltan Ribli

RIBLI, Zoltan

Jun-21-07  kellmano: Boring, boring Ribli.
Jun-21-07  ahmadov: <kellmano: Boring, boring Ribli.> It is not fair to accuse only Ribli... The other players are also drawing there games in the Bazna tournament... However, I am trying to understand them: chess is just an excuse for them to enjoy their time in Romania...
Dec-11-07  Brown: Certainly when all of you played Ribli and got crushed, the games were boring.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Ribli didn't dispute his reputation as a conservative player in 1988:

"A loss disturbs me too much. I'd rather wait. I'm never ready to take charge of weaknesses in my position to gain potential winning chances. There are many who do this, but it would be contrary to my personality to imitate them."

Sep-25-08  Sularus: no pic for this ancient eh
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: GM Zoltan Ribli Happy Birthday..
Sep-06-09  WhiteRook48: i believe i have heard of this guy
Mar-22-10  ozmikey: How to tell a chess tragic. When my baby daughter spills some of her milk during a feed, I now refer to her as Zoltan Dribbly.
Jun-16-11  Antiochus: Ribli achieved a definitive-artistic win with a creative opening Ribli vs B Thorfinnsson, 2005
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <BishopofBlunder: I like anybody with a cool name like Zoltan. It sounds like a comic book super-villain.>

You mean to say you've never heard of Spider-Man's great adversary, Joltin' Zoltan?

Under Hungary's Soviet-aligned former regime, he ran a museum of curiosities: Ribli's Believe It Or Else.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Best chess name ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: It'd be nice to have a pic for this two-time candidate and former world top ten. Oh, and happy birthday!
Sep-07-12  waustad: He's now the captain for the Austrian Open Olympic team. Happy B'day, but losing 0-4 to the Czech squad probably wasn't what he had in mind for today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Happy Birthday Zoltan!
Sep-08-13  RedShield: Not to be confused with <salt and vinegar>.
Sep-04-14  waustad: Markus Ragger speaks well of him:
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I found this commentary online about Ribli's good performance in <Subotica izt (1987)>:

<In the first tournament in Subotica, Sax, Short, and Speelman qualified. Lubomir Kavalek withdrew after six rounds; his results are not included in the totals for the other players. Robert Hübner was invited, but declined to participate. As a result, Ribli had a free day during the last round. To show his displeasure, he refused to take part in a playoff against Tal, which could have been important, if a reserve spot had opened up in the Candidates Tournament. >

Does anybody know if this is true?

I know that Ribli didn't do the play-off with Tal for the alt spot, but was it really because he was unhappy over a last round bye?

(Which would be unfortunate scheduling - since he couldn't play all-out for a win at the end.)

Feb-24-15  Paint My Dragon: <Z> It would be hard to get to the absolute truth behind this, because players who don't observe the rules can be punished. He therefore told Tal that he was going home to seek medical advice. Reading between the lines of BCM's report however, it was clear that Ribli had arrived with the plan of drawing with his closest rivals and defeating the rest. Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that for him and he was probably generally disappointed, in addition to his thoughts on the last round bye fiasco. In actual fact there were many disruptions to the schedule, not just the Hubner debacle. Kavalek also scratched part way through in controversial circumstances, causing more byes. Alburt and Tal both took illness breaks meaning that planned rest days were filled with re-scheduled games and some games I believe were even played in hotel rooms. Hard to imagine how that could happen! And other strange stuff - Short wearing shorts caused an uproar (yes, there was a FIDE dress code even then). Also, Tal was giving regular simul exhibitions during the tournament - a bit crazy, it didn't seem to help him in the end.
Feb-25-15  Retireborn: <Paint my Dragon> According to Jon Speelman's tournament report in NiC it was actually only Ribli who complained about Short's shorts, in consequence of which Nigel did *not* wear said shorts v Ribli. I don't think anybody else cared. Speelman mentioned that somebody else - I think it was Lev Alburt - was also wearing shorts. It was a hot June, no doubt!

A few years later I played against Ribli myself (in a simul!) and he was a nice enough guy. Probably he was having an unhappy time in this tournament because of the muddled schedule, as you say.

Feb-25-15  Paint My Dragon: <Retireborn> Thanks. Yes, I should have said "caused an uproar in the media". The incident got front page attention in the UK national newspapers. <Infra dignitatem>, or an infringement of dignity, was how it was termed. Short had previously incurred the wrath of Campomanes at Biel in 1985 for a similar offence. But as you say, only Ribli officially complained this time, and Short had to make the undertaking not to wear the offending items if anyone else objected in advance, in writing. Temperatures were recorded above 30 Centigrade.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Can't help but chuckle at this thread. What is it about British and pants?!

A mention in the tournament bio surely is merited, with a pointer to the above.

<Infra dignitatem>, might even deserve an entry in the vocabulary list.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eduardo Bermudez: 1) Tigran Petrosian: 94
2) Boris Spassky: 86
3) Vasily Ivanchuk: 84
4) PaulKeres: 76
5) Zoltan Ribli: 67
6) Vladimir Kramnik: 64
7) Mikhail Tal: 62
8) Borislav Ivkov: 51
9) Julio Bolbochán: 50
10) Gennady Sosonko: 47

More consecutive games without losing in Olympiads !!

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Ribli wins a World Chess Legends Exhibition in Spain:

World Chess Legends was a Rapid and Blitz combined round-robin tournament of four former top players which took place from 27-30 June 2017 in Platja d'Aro, Spain:

Karpov, Ljubojevic, Ribli and Timman played six rounds of Rapid, followed by another six rounds of Blitz.

Ribli won the blitz play-off against Karpov 2-0 (note: some sources were published before the play-off, or do only show the Rapid or Blitz standings alone).

Official website:; http://www.platjadarochessfestival....

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