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Jorge Puig Laborda
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1962

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(born Aug-02-1928, died 1989, 60 years old) Spain

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Spanish journalist who created the Chess Oscar in 1967.

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Puig Laborda vs Johan Bink  1-0481962Hoogovens-B2C64 Ruy Lopez, Classical

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-16  diagonal: Jorge Puig Laborda, journalist, organizer, and tournament director.

The maker of the world elite chess tournament series at <Palma de Mallorca> and <Las Palmas>, as well as the inventor of the <Chess Oscar>.

Jorge Puig was an important personality on international chess circuit in the 1960 to the 1980s, and forever a great name in chess history. His merits were not on the sporting side but in the organizational side.

He succeeded in raising the international invitation elite tournament series at Palma de Mallorca (1965-1972, including an Interzonal) and at Las Palmas (1972-1982, including an Interzonal), as well as some other prominent events with a more local coloring (for instance at Olot series).

The tournament that he founded in Palma de Mallorca up to be the probably best chess tournament *series* in the world at that time, and on occasion the strongest chess event of the year, eg. in 1968 (including then reigning World Champion Petrosian, then reigning Vice World Champion and coming Challenger Spassky, plus Korchnoi, Candidate's finalist in 1968, Danish Larsen as defender from 1967, or Gligoric and Ivkov from Yugoslavia: Palma de Mallorca (1968). Korchnoi, who already had triumphed at Wijk aan Zee in January 1968, also took Palma de Mallorca in December 1968, both won at his first participation.

Within just eight annual editions between 1965 and 1972, all, really all WWII World Chess Champions (from Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky to Fischer) made their attendance in Palma de Mallorca. An incredible feat to achieve for an organizer in those days!

==> Albo d'Oro at Palma of Mallorca (note: World Champions Botvinnik, Smyslov, Petrosian, and Spassky failed to win at closed Palma de Mallorca tournament series):

Puig also launched the Las Palmas series (initial years from 1972 to 1982, later unregularly played, culminating and ending in 1996, Kasparov won a double round robin with six out of the seven Elo best ranked players of the world).

==> Albo d'Oro at Las Palmas (note: Larsen as well as the World Champions Tal, Smyslov, Kramnik, and Anand failed to win at Las Palmas invitation tournaments): (including a picture of Jorge Puig in the corresponding Las Palmas tournament series pdf)

Nov-16-16  diagonal: (continuation)

In retrospective, <Palma de Mallorca> and <Las Palmas> can be regarded as legitimate predecessors of the <Linares> series by Luis Rentero Lechuga.

By the way, there is only one player in the world who could win at all <the big three Spanish international invitations series> in the late second half of the 20th century: it is NOT a World Champion, it is not Korchnoi (he is in fact one of only two players to win at both, Palma de Mallorca, and Las Palmas, but twice missed a (co-)win at the later Linares by half a point), it is not Larsen (he never won at Las Palmas or Linares), it is not Portisch (he won the inaugural edition at Las Palmas, but never at Palma de Mallorca or Linares), ... it is (somehow forgotten) Ljubomir Ljubojevic. Chapeau, Ljubo!

Puig was not only devoted to "his" tournament series, he also promoted other important chess competitions such as Madrid 1973 (rapidly rising Karpov won and earned his first Chess Oscar at the end of the year: Game Collection: Madrid 1973) or various national and regional events. Palma de Mallorca and Las Palmas hosted many pretty strong Open Chess Festivals, sometimes additionally to an invitation tournament, sometimes independently.

His collaboration with the Spanish Chess Federation and the FIDE under Rogard, Euwe and Olafsson was also very strong (under Campomanes, Puig lost influence).

In the media, Puig remains famous for inventing the <Chess Oscar>. He was the driving force behind the International Association of Chess Press (AIPE) which also created the famous Chess Oscar in 1967 (donated to great Bent Larsen), an international award given annually to the best chess player. The winner is selected by votes that are cast by chess journalists from all across the world. Though the formal leader of AIPE was Mr. Sven Novrup from Denmark, Jorge Puig Laborda delivered the prize Oscar by himself!

Unfortunately the history of the Oscar was interrupted after the Awards of 1988 by a sudden death of the founder (then, after a pause, the Chess Oscar was resumed in 1995 and have been organized by the Russian chess magazine 64).

In 1989, the whole chess family mourned the passing of one of its greatest organizers and founder figures, Jorge Puig Laborda. Rest in peace.

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