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Lajos Portisch
Photograph copyright © 2006 Milan Kovacs (  
Number of games in database: 2,750
Years covered: 1955 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2467 (2426 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2655

Overall record: +939 -417 =1365 (59.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 29 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (200) 
    E92 E62 E60 E69 E75
 Nimzo Indian (142) 
    E41 E54 E57 E30 E55
 Queen's Indian (124) 
    E12 E14 E15 E17 E19
 Grunfeld (86) 
    D97 D78 D92 D85 D94
 English (86) 
    A17 A14 A10 A15 A16
 Queen's Gambit Declined (82) 
    D37 D35 D31 D38 D30
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (297) 
    B43 B42 B47 B40 B97
 Ruy Lopez (163) 
    C95 C92 C93 C69 C72
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (101) 
    C95 C92 C93 C85 C94
 Nimzo Indian (89) 
    E41 E38 E54 E55 E21
 Queen's Indian (87) 
    E12 E15 E19 E17 E14
 French Defense (83) 
    C16 C18 C09 C02 C01
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Portisch vs Tal, 1964 1/2-1/2
   Portisch vs S Johannessen, 1966 1-0
   Portisch vs Petrosian, 1967 1-0
   Portisch vs Larsen, 1972 1-0
   Portisch vs DeFirmian, 1989 1-0
   Suba vs Portisch, 1984 0-1
   Keres vs Portisch, 1967 0-1
   Portisch vs Petrosian, 1974 1-0
   Portisch vs B Berger, 1964 1-0
   Portisch vs Karpov, 1975 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   San Antonio (1972)
   Hoogovens (1972)
   Hoogovens (1975)
   Las Palmas (1972)
   Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979)
   Palma de Mallorca (1966)
   Biel Interzonal (1976)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Moscow (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Politiken Cup (2012)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Selected Games of Lajos Portisch by StuporMoundi
   Exchange sacs - 4 by obrit
   Grandmaster Portisch by keywiz84
   Milan 1975 by suenteus po 147

   R Rapport vs Portisch (2014) 1/2-1/2
   Portisch vs R Rapport (2014) 0-1
   R Rapport vs Portisch (2014) 1-0
   Portisch vs R Rapport (2014) 0-1
   Y Boukhris-Ferre vs Portisch (Aug-04-13) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Lajos Portisch
Search Google for Lajos Portisch
FIDE player card for Lajos Portisch

(born Apr-04-1937, 80 years old) Hungary

[what is this?]
Lajos Portisch was born in Zalaegerszeg. He won the Hungarian Championship for the first time in 1958, and in 1961 he became a grandmaster. In 1960, he qualified from the Madrid Zonal for the Stockholm Interzonal (1962), where he came equal 9th. In 1963, he won the Halle Zonal ahead of Borislav Ivkov and Bent Larsen and advanced to the Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) where he came 8th. Over the course of his career he qualified for the Candidates eight times and played for his country in nineteen consecutive Olympiads (1956-1996). He had another fine tournament finish with an equal 2nd with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian after Anatoly Karpov at Milan (1975). At the Biel Interzonal (1976), he qualified again with an equal 2nd after Bent Larsen, and went on to win the Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal (1977) match, but then lost the Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1977) match. He led the Hungarian team to an unprecedented 1st place finish ahead of the Soviets at the Buenos Aires Olympiad 1978.

He still lives in Hungary, and is still active in local tournaments. His younger brother is Ferenc Portisch.

English language interview with Portisch on 1 Feb 2012, Part 1:, and Part 2: YouTube tribute to Portisch

Wikipedia article: Lajos Portisch

 page 1 of 110; games 1-25 of 2,750  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. M Bely vs Portisch  1-063 1955 HUN-ch 11thC45 Scotch Game
2. Portisch vs Mednis  ½-½50 1955 Wch U20 final-AA40 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Portisch vs P Dely 1-022 1955 HUN-ch 11thA69 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack, Main line
4. Szabo vs Portisch 1-040 1955 HUN chE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
5. L Tipary vs Portisch  ½-½89 1955 HUN-ch 11thA43 Old Benoni
6. S Johannessen vs Portisch  ½-½26 1955 AntwerpC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
7. F Jenei vs Portisch  ½-½57 1955 HUN-ch 11thD02 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Portisch vs I Bilek  0-151 1955 HUN-ch 11thB40 Sicilian
9. K Honfi vs Portisch  0-141 1955 HUN-ch 11thB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
10. Portisch vs E Gereben  1-041 1955 HUN-ch 11thE89 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox Main line
11. J Foldi vs Portisch  ½-½25 1955 HUN-ch 11thB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
12. Portisch vs F Csiszar  1-048 1955 Voros LobogoD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
13. Portisch vs Benko  0-136 1955 HUN-ch 11thE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
14. G Barcza vs Portisch  ½-½26 1955 HUN-ch 11thE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
15. Portisch vs F Koberl  1-047 1955 Voros LobogoA44 Old Benoni Defense
16. Portisch vs T Florian  1-066 1955 HUN-ch 11thB53 Sicilian
17. Portisch vs V Muller  1-050 1955 Wch U20 prel-BD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. M Farre vs Portisch  1-060 1955 Wch U20 final-AE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
19. I Johannsson vs Portisch  0-126 1955 Wch U20 prel-BE15 Queen's Indian
20. S Schweber vs Portisch 1-054 1955 Wch U20 prel-BE41 Nimzo-Indian
21. D Keller vs Portisch  0-148 1955 Wch U20 final-AB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
22. S Schweber vs Portisch  0-138 1955 Wch U20 final-AE41 Nimzo-Indian
23. Portisch vs L Hallstrom  ½-½33 1955 Wch U20 final-AD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
24. Spassky vs Portisch  1-036 1955 Wch U20 final-AE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
25. Portisch vs K Lloyd  ½-½41 1955 Wch U20 prel-BE75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
 page 1 of 110; games 1-25 of 2,750  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Portisch wins | Portisch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-31-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Owerbart>

some attractive Portisch games/finishes:

Portisch vs S Johannessen, 1966

Portisch vs I Radulov, 1974

Portisch vs Petrosian, 1974

Portisch vs J Benjamin, 1987

(Hat tip: Informator 85)

Sep-06-11  Owerbart: Thanks a lot for the info!
Sep-06-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @Owerbart

you're welcome. I have ordered the 1979 Varnusz book of Portisch's best game recently, so no doubt I will come across some other attractive games which I can post about here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: entertaining Portisch trivia from Grandmaster Chess by Glenn Flear..

<Postisch, who is noted for practising his singing in his hotel room during tournaments(!) has been one of the top players in the world for thirty years.>


Sep-25-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<wordfunph>

Portisch told me that he might have followed singing if he hadn't followed chess. He was like Smyslov: a talented GM and singer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <SimonWebbsTiger> thank you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <spawn2: <Eduardo Bermudez>

<Actually, Portisch played in 20 olympiads!!!>

In this coming Olympiad, GM Eugenio Torre of the Philippines will equal the record of the great Mangyar Chess Legend.>

Maybe so, but there's no comparison between the two players' careers, solid one though Torre has had, with a Candidates appearance to his name, which even some of his better-known contemporaries never managed.

Sep-25-11  ewan14: Zagreb 1965 - Portisch comes fourth
despite beating joint
winners , Ivkov and Uhlmann , and beating
World Champion Petrosian ( again )
Oct-05-11  JohnBoy: There is a beautiful game lost by Portisch as black - like 25-30 moves long w/ queenless middlegame king hunt. Clearly not it LP's notable games. Bonus points for anyone who can identify it for me. It ought to be GotD.
Oct-06-11  Retireborn: <JohnBoy> that sounds like the famous Botvinnik-Portisch game from Monte Carlo 1968, it wasn't queenless though.
Oct-10-11  JohnBoy: <Retire> - nah - that's not it. White was some lesser eastern euro (not rooskie) master. Don't even know if the guy was a GM.
Oct-12-11  JohnBoy: Here it is - Portisch was white, my bad, against Pinter. Pinter was not a GM when I was active, although he was when this was played. It has already been game of the day. I love it.

Portisch vs Pinter, 1984

Oct-13-11  Retireborn: <JohnBoy> Oh yes, that's one of my favourite games too. 27.Bxa6 would have just about saved the game, according to Pinter's own notes in Informator.

Another spectacular Portisch loss that I enjoy revisting is this one:

Hartston vs Portisch, 1974

That's evidently been GotD too.

Nov-20-11  jackpawn: Sad that such a great player has only 5 pages of comments. Portish was a world class player for about 25 years, but apparently he's forgotten today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Interesting interview with Portisch (linked in the bio).
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: bump!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: An interesting Interview with GM Portisch on

Something I personally found interesting:

Q - How would you characterize your own style in chess?

A - Positional. I was always very positional.

I interviewed Portisch for the school newspaper when he was in Denver on the way to the Church's Fried Chicken tournament. I had always thought he said he and Fischer were both tacticians. But upon reading the CB piece, I pulled the actual news clipping (Colorado Daily) for 22 Nov 1972:

Q - What of the new World Champion? You have played him often and have a credible record against him. How would you say your style differs from his?

A - As far as style, there is actually little difference. We are both positional players. The biggest difference is that I prefer to open the game with 1. P-Q4 and Fischer always prefers 1. P-K4.

Portisch was very pleasant through the entire interview - but it was tough to get him to volunteer much more than a basic answer to my questions. He seems to have opened up some in the intervening years.

Feb-02-12  bronkenstein: That shameless bump reminded me of the mentioned interview part one ---> and freshly available part two (the final part) --->
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Doesn't anyone read bios? The interviews were posted there as soon as chessbase published them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Bios?! Bios!? We need no stinkin' bios.
Feb-03-12  AlphaMale: Bios are not the place for links to newly published articles/interviews.

<Portisch was very pleasant through the entire interview - but it was tough to get him to volunteer much more than a basic answer to my questions. He seems to have opened up some in the intervening years.>

I'm confused. When did you interview him?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <parisattack> I knew you were a renowned international author, but conducting chess interviews too? Their are many interesting facets to you, my friend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <TheFocus: <parisattack> I knew you were a renowned international author, but conducting chess interviews too? Their are many interesting facets to you, my friend.>

:) I did the chess column for the school during the high-tide of the Fischer interest when just about everyone wanted to learn chess. The club went from 15 or so members to over 100 for a few months. A few perks there - but perhaps not for the younger ears. Over a beer or two or three at the Shorebird beach bar, perhaps soon?

I did also interview Linda Ronstadt right after she broke from the Pony. WHAT A DOLL!

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <AlphaMale ....I'm confused. When did you interview him?>

Evening of 20 November 1972. Went to the then fashionable Playboy Club with him and the club 'big wigs' afterwards. Recounted earlier in this Forum.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Over a beer or two or three at the Shorebird beach bar, perhaps soon?>

You got it. Shorebird used to be my hangout on Sundays after a morning in the sun. I would go for mai tais and a mahi mahi sandwich!

They have a great breakfast and lunch buffet too.

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