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Ludek Pachman
Number of games in database: 1,115
Years covered: 1940 to 1999
Overall record: +355 -192 =565 (57.3%)*
   * 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) 
    E80 E87 E81 E95 E94
 Sicilian (49) 
    B26 B23 B76 B20 B24
 English (42) 
    A15 A16 A17 A10 A14
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C86 C77 C78 C83 C82
 Nimzo Indian (28) 
    E21 E53 E56 E59 E41
 Queen's Indian (25) 
    E14 E19 E17 E16 E12
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (74) 
    C97 C67 C69 C65 C95
 Nimzo Indian (62) 
    E32 E40 E45 E48 E20
 Sicilian (56) 
    B83 B40 B42 B43 B93
 Grunfeld (37) 
    D97 D94 D82 D86 D70
 Semi-Tarrasch Defense (31) 
    D41 D42 D40
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (30) 
    C97 C91 C95 C96 C84
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 G Gunnarsson, 1967 1-0
   Pachman vs J H Donner, 1955 1-0
   Pachman vs Timman, 1977 1/2-1/2
   Fischer vs Pachman, 1959 0-1
   Pachman vs Uhlmann, 1966 1-0
   Pachman vs Szabo, 1947 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Santiago (1959)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Hastings 1954/55 (1954)
   Havana (1965)
   Prague (1946)
   Bucharest (1954)
   Moscow (1947)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   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 (Pachman) by Qindarka
   Alekhine Memorial International Tournament, 1956 by Resignation Trap
   Modern Chess Strategy I by Ludek Pachman by Bidibulle
   Dresden 1956 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ludek Pachman
Search Google for Ludek Pachman

(born May-11-1924, died Mar-06-2003, 78 years old) Czech Republic (federation/nationality 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 - 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 1,115  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Pachman vs Eckert 1-024 1940 CistaC13 French
2. Pachman vs K Prucha  0-137 1943 Prague CSRB72 Sicilian, Dragon
3. Hromadka vs Pachman 1-040 1943 ZlinA03 Bird's Opening
4. F Zita vs Pachman  ½-½41 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
5. Pachman vs J Podgorny  1-033 1943 PrahaC78 Ruy Lopez
6. Pachman vs K Prucha  ½-½45 1943 ZlinE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
7. Pachman vs M Dietze  ½-½56 1943 PragueC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
8. C Kottnauer vs Pachman  ½-½30 1943 ZlinA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
9. M Bartosek vs Pachman  0-153 1943 PrahaD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
10. Pachman vs A Pokorny  1-045 1943 ZlinC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
11. J Dobias vs Pachman  ½-½66 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
12. Pachman vs M Katetov  0-124 1943 Prague CSRC12 French, McCutcheon
13. Saemisch vs Pachman 0-129 1943 Prague (Ganbit Tourney)C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
14. Sajtar vs Pachman  0-156 1943 ZlinD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
15. M Foltys vs Pachman 0-130 1943 ZlinD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
16. Pachman vs K Petrik  1-034 1943 ZlinC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
17. Pachman vs Foltys  1-030 1943 PragueD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Sajtar vs Pachman 1-023 1943 UJCS-17.KongressE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
19. Pachman vs V Stulik  1-038 1943 ZlinC19 French, Winawer, Advance
20. Lokvenc vs Pachman 1-08 1943 PrahaE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
21. Pachman vs J Fichtl  1-029 1943 ZlinC11 French
22. Pachman vs J Kubanek 1-046 1943 Prague CSRC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
23. Pachman vs Sajtar  0-146 1943 PragueB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
24. X Vasicek vs Pachman  ½-½92 1943 ZlinA45 Queen's Pawn Game
25. J Holas vs Pachman  0-132 1943 ZlinC29 Vienna Gambit
 page 1 of 45; games 1-25 of 1,115  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pachman wins | Pachman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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).


Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: Pachman's bio needs an overhaul, most definitely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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?

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <Che Guevara, quoted by Ludek Pachman in: Checkmate in Prague: Memoirs of Ludek Pachman
London, Faber and Faber. 1975>
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: There is a free download available of Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <It would also be feasible to look for parallels between the growth of chess ideas and the general development of thought in human society, for despite its individual characteristics chess cannot be divorced from other aspects of culture. Our game mirrors the intellectual level and cultural trends of the times. However, such a theme would require a separate, comprehensive treatment of its own, beyond the scope of this work> - Ludek Pachman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Ludek Pachman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: He wrote some first class chess books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I learned a lot from Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < PhilFeeley: How is it possible this guy doesn't (or didn't, I guess) have a rating?>

Pachman was 2510 on the January 1975 FIDE list, though clearly past his prime by then, aged fifty:

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.
May-11-16  Howard: Probably back in the late 50's---that was probably his peak period.
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <Howard> Pachman's peak year was 1959 according to various sources.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.>

Hard to imagine that was not the case: a strong, professional GM who was a tough out, though not quite of candidate stature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <gawain> That book is 1 of the best books of all time IMO!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <He must have been a top 20 player at one point>

His peak ranking was #14 in October 1959 (SONAS ELO, according to historical chessmetrics data).

Pachman was a solid player around the top twenty during the 1950s, and consistently a top fifty player of the world (today labelled as supergrandmaster) from 1947 to 1967, in a period when the top ten was heavily 'occupied' by players from the Soviet Union.

In 1958, at the Interzonal in Portoroz, Yugoslavia (Slovenia), he missed a possible play-off spot for the Candidate's only by half a point: the tournament was won by young and meteoric rising <Tal> with 13.5/20, <Gligoric> was second with 13, followed by <Benko> and <Petrosian> with 12.5, then <Olafsson> and <Fischer> (who was on friendly terms with Pachman these days) both with 12.0 points (all six players qualified to join <Smyslov> and <Keres> for the Candidate tournament in 1959 of the best eight players to determine the Challenger of reigning Champion Botvinnik in 1960).

Ludek Pachman finished that Interzonal with 11.5 points (together with Bronstein, the unlucky World Champion Challenger from 1951, and others; great Larsen, already a GM since 1956, born the same year as scandinavian compatriot, advancing (then IM) Olafsson, was sole 16th, Averbakh, Szabo, Filip, Matanovic (the only player to beat Tal) Panno, Rossetto failing all, it was pretty close in a strong field: <> 21 participants, and one Interzonal tournament per three-year-cycle.

FIDE ELO started later, just when Pachman's otb strength began to fall considerably.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: In 1955, at the previous Interzonal tournament in Gothenburg (it was a 21-player round robin, with the top nine players qualifying for the Amsterdam Candidate’s in 1956), Pachman already was missing a possible play-off spot to advance only by half a point. The winner was <Bronstein> with 15/20 (an impressive +10 =10 -0), <Keres> was sole second with 13.5, <Panno> was clear third at 13, followed by <Petrosian> 12.5, <Geller> and <Szabo> each had 12 and the other qualifiers were <Filip>, <Pilnik> and <Spassky> with 11.

Just missing out with 10.5 were Ilivitsky and Pachman, they even played a reserve playoff match for the gallery: Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956).

Aug-21-16  Pyrandus: Pachmann vs Portisch?
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