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Ludek Pachman
Number of games in database: 1,124
Years covered: 1940 to 1999
Overall record: +353 -191 =577 (57.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      3 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (82) 
    E94 E80 E87 E81 E60
 Sicilian (56) 
    B26 B76 B23 B20 B24
 English (42) 
    A15 A17 A16 A10 A14
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C86 C77 C83 C78 C89
 Nimzo Indian (28) 
    E21 E53 E56 E58 E41
 Grunfeld (25) 
    D86 D94 D78 D90 D97
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (74) 
    C97 C67 C69 C65 C83
 Nimzo Indian (62) 
    E32 E40 E48 E45 E21
 Sicilian (59) 
    B83 B40 B42 B43 B47
 Grunfeld (36) 
    D97 D82 D94 D86 D75
 Queen's Pawn Game (31) 
    E00 A45 D02 A46 E10
 Semi-Tarrasch Defense (31) 
    D41 D42 D40
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Pachman vs Eckert, 1940 1-0
   Z Domnitz vs Pachman, 1973 0-1
   Pachman vs Fischer, 1959 1-0
   Pachman vs O Neikirch, 1958 1-0
   Pachman vs J H Donner, 1955 1-0
   Pachman vs G Gunnarsson, 1967 1-0
   Pachman vs Uhlmann, 1966 1-0
   Pachman vs Kholmov, 1947 1-0
   Pachman vs Timman, 1977 1/2-1/2
   Pachman vs Gligoric, 1947 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Santiago (1959)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Hastings 1954/55 (1954)
   Geneva (1977)
   Havana (1965)
   Bucharest (1954)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   Moscow (1947)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Saltsjöbaden Interzonal (1948)
   Lone Pine (1979)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Pachman: Meine Seine Besten Partien by Garre
   Modern Chess Strategy I by Ludek Pachman by Bidibulle
   Dresden 1956 by Phony Benoni
   Moscow 1947 by suenteus po 147
   1965 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   Alekhine Memorial International Tournament, 1956 by Resignation Trap
   Mar del Plata 1959 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ludek Pachman
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(born May-11-1924, died Mar-06-2003, 78 years old) Czech Republic (citizen of Germany)
[what is this?]
Ludek Pachman was born in Bela pod Bezdezem, Czechoslovakia. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1954, he was Czech champion seven times between 1946 and 1966 and won the West German Championship in 1978.

He won three Zonal tournaments and competed in six Interzonals, but never became a Candidate. Pachman did, however, play Ilivitsky for the reserve place in the Amsterdam Candidates - Game Collection: Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956) - a match he narrowly lost. He also represented his country in eight Olympiads from 1952 to 1966, usually playing first board. Formerly an ardent Communist, Pachman opposed the Communist regime following the Czech uprising in 1968. He was imprisoned several times, which he described in graphic detail in his 1975 biography "Checkmate in Prague." He drew international attention to his plight by intentionally jumping headfirst from his prison bed, which caused permanent head and spinal injuries. Rather than being a thorn in their side as a political martyr, the authorities allowed Pachman to emigrate in 1972. He settled in West Germany, where he continued his chess career. He died on March 6, 2003.

Wikipedia article: Lud%C4%9Bk Pachman

 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,124  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Pachman vs Eckert 1-024 1940 CistaC13 French
2. Pachman vs K Prucha  0-137 1943 01B72 Sicilian, Dragon
3. Pachman vs A Pokorny  1-045 1943 ZlinC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
4. M Bartosek vs Pachman  0-153 1943 PrahaD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
5. F Zita vs Pachman  ½-½41 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
6. C Kottnauer vs Pachman  ½-½30 1943 ZlinA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
7. Pachman vs M Dietze  ½-½56 1943 PragueC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
8. M Foltys vs Pachman 0-130 1943 ZlinD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
9. J Dobias vs Pachman  ½-½66 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
10. Saemisch vs Pachman 0-129 1943 Prague (Ganbit Tourney)C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
11. Pachman vs J Fichtl  1-029 1943 ZlinC11 French
12. Lokvenc vs Pachman 1-08 1943 PrahaE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
13. Pachman vs M Katetov  0-124 1943 09C12 French, McCutcheon
14. Sajtar vs Pachman  0-156 1943 ZlinD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
15. Pachman vs V Stulik  1-038 1943 ZlinC19 French, Winawer, Advance
16. Alekhine vs Pachman 1-028 1943 Praha (18)E33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
17. Pachman vs Foltys  1-030 1943 PragueD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. F Zita vs Pachman  1-068 1943 ZlinB83 Sicilian
19. Pachman vs K Petrik  1-034 1943 ZlinC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
20. Sajtar vs Pachman 1-023 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
21. Pachman vs Foltys  1-043 1943 ZlinC77 Ruy Lopez
22. X Vasicek vs Pachman  ½-½92 1943 ZlinA45 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Pachman vs J Kubanek 1-046 1943 pragaC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
24. Keres vs Pachman  1-029 1943 PrahaE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
25. Pachman vs K Prucha  ½-½45 1943 ZlinE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,124  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pachman wins | Pachman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-11-10  HeMateMe: < It was the Fischer Era. I played in my first tournament in 1973 when I got out of the stupid army>

Hey, what if the Panama Canal had been invaded by a foreign power? You alone, were carrying out our foreign policy, on that lonely 3rd shift outpost. suck in that gut, soldier!

Nov-10-10  Diagonale du Fou: <Karpova: Edward Winter's feature article "Pachman, Bohatirchuk and Politics" from 2003: >

At the foot of the article Winter includes two rare photos of Bohatirchuk. And unfortunately, given the context of his written dispute with Pachman, B. apparently bore a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler (quite coincidentally, of course, as one of the photos is dated 1927). This happenstance resemblance may have contributed further to his problems with the Soviet dictatorship in 1937.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Luděk Pachman>

Correct pronunciation of his name-

Audio/visual file:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <jessicafischerqueen: <Luděk Pachman> Correct pronunciation of his name- >

Yup, it sounds about right.


<wordfunph: Ludek Pachman's books.. >

He apparently wrote about 80 different chess works, including tournament books. His first big text-book was a four tome opening manual: <The Theory of Modern Chess>. Since opening manuals get out of date rather rapidly, I am not sure if it was ever translated into English.

Looking at the shelf behind me, I see at least one book of his in English that has not been mentioned: <Chess Endings for the Practical Player>.

Sep-04-11  Oceanlake: He also wrote a nice book on the Queen's Gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: He also wrote "Semi-Open Games" (1.e4 without 1...e5) and "Indian Defenses." Those, together with his Queen's Gambit book and Barden's book on the Ruy Lopez, were my opening bibles for years.
Sep-05-11  SimonWebbsTiger: anybody else who finds John Watson's comments on Pachman's work in <Secrets of Modern Chess Stragey> slightly disingenuous?

I revisited the Pachman trilogy and he, throughout, mentions dynamism and the exceptions to rules. Anyone who reads Watson would think Pachman was a dogmatic duffer, IMO

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "When you have a hopeless position you should allow your clock to run very short of time. Then you should play blitz in the hopes that your opponent will get excited, move quickly, and make a game-losing blunder!

- GM Ludek Pachman

Jun-15-12  MORPHYEUS: He accepts the lose gracefully.
Dec-13-12  happyjuggler0: <"When you have a hopeless position you should allow your clock to run very short of time. Then you should play blitz in the hopes that your opponent will get excited, move quickly, and make a game-losing blunder!>

Here is an account of the actual game where that quote originated from:

The game is in the cg database: Pachman vs Doda, 1965

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <wordfunph: Ludek Pachman's books..

any other books of Ludek?>

A big piece of work in its time was Pachman's

<Modern Chess Theory> This is a 4-volume, encyclopedic opening manual; significant work, though I am not clear whether it was ever translated from Czech.

Towards the end of his career, he wrote a number of series aimed more at club and/or beginning players. (Have <Chess Endgames for Practical Player>; it's fairly useful.)

Pachman also wrote some Tournament Books -- an early Capablanca Memorial, a pamphlet on a match Fedor Bohatirchuk played against 8 Prague masters (in late 1944 I think), and so on.


Wikipedia puts ~80 books to Pachman's credit.

May-11-13  Eastfrisian: Already ten years ago. Time runs.
May-11-13  ketchuplover: ...out for us all. sweet dreams :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Gypsy - <Modern Chess Theory> This is a 4-volume, encyclopedic opening manual; significant work, though I am not clear whether it was ever translated from Czech.>

Wonderful set of books! They and MCO 10 were the 'bibles' of opening theory before the British Invasion in the mid-1970s. Can be had in German or English. Multiple editions in English from 1964-1971. The first English from Seville w/DJs are fairly tough to find.

He also did a nice ongoing opening theory series in the 1980s although only in German, 'Eroffnung- up to date.'

The Practical Players series - sometimes called the Black Series - Openings, Middlegame, Endgame are also great reads.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: How is it possible this guy doesn't (or didn't, I guess) have a rating?
Sep-12-13  Morttuus: Ludìk Pachman also wrote several books about chess psychology. I managed to buy one; it's called "How to outsmart your opponent-Psychology and tricks in chess" (1990). But nowadays, these books are pretty tough to buy, and I am not sure if they were translated into other languages; maybe in German, but I really don't know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <PhilFeeley: How is it possible this guy doesn't (or didn't, I guess) have a rating?>

He shows on Chessmetrics. Highest appears to be 2608 in 1959, #20.

Jun-17-14  zanzibar: <RE: Books by Pachman>

His memoir of his early life and days behind the Iron Curtain, entitled <Checkmate in Spring>, is mentioned here:

It no long sells for $108.27. Here is a snippet of the snippet ChessBase quotes:

<During the 1943 Prague tournament, Pachman's first serious event at the age of 18. In Checkmate in Prague he writes:

"After [my win over Foltys], the great Alekhine invited me to his room. He got me to demonstrate my game, made a few comments, praised me, and then showed me his game, explaining several hidden combinations and also accepting praise. Mrs. Alekhine was there with her two cats. I had to hold one for a bit and the wretch scratched me, but it was a marvellous evening, something in the nature of a high-point in my life so far.

Alekhine took to inviting me in every day. We always analysed something and I soon discovered that it was no good disagreeing with him because it made him angry. So I just listened reverently to what he said. He invited me for coffee, too. In the Luxor cafe, it seemed, one could get real coffee under the counter – an expensive luxury for which I had to foot the bill. Alekhine, I discovered, made a point of not paying. Usually there was someone with him, otherwise he simply walked out of the restaurant. The waiters knew him, so they sent the bill to the tournament director. I learnt also from a very annoyed Mr. Kende that by threatening to walk out of the tournament, Alekhine had extracted a 5,000 crown addition to his original 40,000 crown fee. Luckily I was saved by an unexpected patron. He was Mr. Stork, a trader and landowner, who presented me with an enormous salami in recognition of my achievement, plus an invitation to lunch every day at his house. The meals were better than any I have eaten even in peacetime, and by doing without supper I was able to pay for Alekhine's coffee.">

* * * * *
<RE: Pachman's rating - ATH 2520 (1976)>

As regards his rating - I agree, all established players deserve to have a published rating. The trouble is digging it out.

The amazing <OlimpBase> has done all this archival work, and <CG> perhaps should utilize it more for cases such as this.

Here is the data I found (from <OlimpBase>), showing his dob, title date, and ATH (the last entry). I left off the data after that.


1967 06 CSR 2540
1969 00 g CSR 2510 CZE
1970 00 g CSR 2510
1971 01 g CSR 2510 CZE
1971 07 g CSR 2510 0 CZE
1972 07 g CSR 2510 0 CZE
1973 07 g CSR 2515 5 CZE
1974 05 g CSR 2510 -5 CZE
1975 01 g GER 2510 0 GER
1976 01 g GER 2520 10 GER

Jun-17-14  zanzibar: I noticed the bio gives his GM title from 1954. Does this mean <Olimpbase>'s FIDE listing of 1967 omits the title?

(Actually, FIDE started tracking ratings in 1971, so the earlier ratings must be from USCF).


Jul-03-14  john barleycorn: Pachman's bio needs an overhaul, most definitely.
Dec-28-14  zanzibar: <You know, comrade Pachman, I don't enjoy being a Minister, I would rather play chess like you, or make a revolution in Venezuela.

- Che Guevara>

Anybody know the source of this quote offhand?

Dec-28-14  john barleycorn: <Che Guevara, quoted by Ludek Pachman in: Checkmate in Prague: Memoirs of Ludek Pachman
London, Faber and Faber. 1975>
Dec-28-14  zanzibar: Thanks Mr. barleycorn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <john barleycorn: Pachman's bio needs an overhaul, most definitely.>

I fully concur. Eminent player, theoretician and writer.

In the mid-60s when MCO 10 was the standard opening reference his four volume Modern Chess Opening Theory (Open, Semi-Open, Queen's Gambit, Indian Systems) was much sought after. I was just recently looking through volumes of a periodical he did in the 1980s - Eroffnung-Up to Date. Great stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: From the "Hastings and St Leonards Observer" - Saturday 20 November 1954, p1.2.

"Ludek Pachman, the Czechoslovakian chess champion who is ornamenting the Premier at Christmas, has sent me quaint little game which he won blindfold performance. He doesn’t say how many he was taking on at once; I expect It was about 20. Apart from the two rook sacrifice which leaves the black queen marooned, note the futility of the black queen’s side".

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Bxg5 7. hxg5 Qxg5 8. Nh3 Qh6 9. Qg4 g6 10. Bd3 c5 11. f4 cxd4 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. Ng5 Qxh1+ 14. Kf2 Qxa1

click for larger view

<In for a penny, in for a pound! Black takes everything he can see lying around, crosses his fingers and hopes that he will be able to fiddle his way to the end-game.>

15. Nxf7+ Ke7 16. Qg5+ Kxf7

<"I expect he thought that the blindfold player had overlooked this. What a hope!">

17. Nd6+ Kg7 18. Qe7+ Kh6 19. Nf7+ Kg7 20. Ng5+ Kh6 21. Nxe6 Nf6 22. Qg7+ Kh5 23. Qxf6 h6 24. Be2# 1-0


Houdini recommends <15...Qh5> which it believes saves Black. It prefers <14.Kd2> which it concludes is advantageous for White.

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