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Lubomir Kavalek
GM Lubomir Kavalek in 1980. 
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Number of games in database: 1,012
Years covered: 1958 to 1998
Last FIDE rating: 2527
Highest rating achieved in database: 2600

Overall record: +297 -186 =523 (55.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 6 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (100) 
    B42 B96 B83 B47 B80
 Ruy Lopez (84) 
    C95 C93 C72 C81 C67
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (51) 
    C95 C93 C92 C90 C96
 Caro-Kann (35) 
    B17 B19 B14 B15 B13
 King's Indian (32) 
    E69 E90 E80 E63 E91
 French Defense (26) 
    C19 C16 C11 C02 C14
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (121) 
    B93 B43 B83 B90 B52
 King's Indian (73) 
    E62 E92 E98 E80 E67
 Sicilian Najdorf (44) 
    B93 B90 B98 B97 B92
 Ruy Lopez (33) 
    C87 C95 C67 C69 C92
 English (28) 
    A15 A10 A16
 Reti System (23) 
    A04 A05
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gufeld vs Kavalek, 1962 0-1
   Kavalek vs E Formanek, 1970 1-0
   Kavalek vs Matulovic, 1966 1-0
   Gheorghiu vs Kavalek, 1969 0-1
   Portisch vs Kavalek, 1975 1/2-1/2
   Kavalek vs W Pietzsch, 1967 1-0
   Kavalek vs Karpov, 1970 1-0
   Kavalek vs Fischer, 1967 1/2-1/2
   Kavalek vs Khodos, 1965 1-0
   Sosonko vs Kavalek, 1979 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1973)
   Andersson - Kavalek (1978)
   US Championship (1972)
   Lone Pine (1973)
   Manila (1973)
   Hoogovens (1975)
   Montreal (1979)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Amsterdam IBM 1969 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1977 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1970 by suenteus po 147
   Manila 1973 by Tabanus
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1975 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1982 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1972 by Phony Benoni

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FIDE player card for Lubomir Kavalek

(born Aug-09-1943, 73 years old) Czech Republic (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Lubomir Kavalek was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He was awarded both the IM and GM titles in 1965. He's been Czech Champion in 1962 and 1968, was US Champion in 1972 sharing the first place with Byrne and Reshevsky 1973 (jointly with John A Grefe) and 1978 and West German Champion in 1981. More recently he helped Nigel Short in his World title bid in 1993 against Garry Kasparov.

Current Blog at

Kavalek was the chess columnist for the Washington Post for 23 years, until that paper discontinued its chess column in January 2010. His columns are archived at and

Wikipedia article: Lubomir Kavalek

 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,012  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kavalek vs Z Rutka  0-132 1958 CSR-ch sfA57 Benko Gambit
2. Kavalek vs J Fabian  1-048 1959 Cerveny KostelecC02 French, Advance
3. F Zita vs Kavalek  ½-½41 1959 Cerveny KostelecA04 Reti Opening
4. J Marsalek vs Kavalek 1-057 1959 Cerveny KostelecA45 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Kavalek vs M Herink  ½-½52 1959 Cerveny KostelecC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
6. Kavalek vs J Rejfir ½-½40 1959 Cerveny KostelecB41 Sicilian, Kan
7. Kavalek vs Jansa  0-129 1959 Cerveny KostelecB02 Alekhine's Defense
8. F Blatny vs Kavalek 1-029 1959 Cerveny KostelecB26 Sicilian, Closed, 6.Be3
9. Ake Olsson vs Kavalek  ½-½47 1960 WchT U26 07thB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
10. Kavalek vs F Baumbach  1-033 1960 WchT U26 07thB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
11. Kavalek vs Gurgenidze  0-137 1960 WchT U26 07thB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
12. I Szabo vs Kavalek  ½-½31 1960 WchT U26 07thB42 Sicilian, Kan
13. Kavalek vs S Momo  1-065 1960 WchT U26 07thC77 Ruy Lopez
14. Tan Hoan Liong vs Kavalek  1-038 1960 WchT U26 07thC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
15. Kavalek vs T Rakic  0-133 1960 WchT U26 07thE61 King's Indian
16. N Radev vs Kavalek  0-138 1960 WchT U26 07thE93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
17. Kavalek vs R Weinstein  0-150 1960 WchT U26 07thB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. M van Hoorne vs Kavalek  0-136 1960 WchT U26 07thB20 Sicilian
19. Kavalek vs G Kvist  ½-½24 1960 WchT U26 07thC02 French, Advance
20. J Tabor vs Kavalek  0-133 1960 WchT U26 07thB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
21. Kavalek vs J Lastovicka  1-041 1961 CSR-chC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
22. Kavalek vs J Skacel  ½-½34 1961 CSR-chB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
23. Opocensky vs Kavalek  0-131 1961 CSR-chB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
24. Kavalek vs Jansa  ½-½48 1961 CSR-chE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
25. Kavalek vs Filip  ½-½25 1961 CSR-chC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,012  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kavalek wins | Kavalek loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Shams> My recollection is on similar lines to yours. If someone pulled a stunt like that with me, they would get the bum's rush.
Feb-20-14  Shams: <JB><Kavalek wrote a long two-part article in Inside Chess, claiming that it became impossible to work with Short as he refused to listen to him any more.>

If this is the best he can come up with in defending his conduct, I think it's pretty telling. It wasn't Short's job to listen to Kavalek; it was Kavalek's job to listen to Short.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: I don't remember the details. But Kavalek definitely thought he should have the biggest voice in what openings were chosen.
Feb-20-14  Shams: <JB> Well, that's not entirely unreasonable but of course that should have been discussed prior to his being hired.

Did he respond at all to the charge that he stopped working? Because if he just glossed over that, I'm ready to call the fight right now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: No, he certainly said he kept working.

Here's a nasty back-and-forth between the two from 2005:

Feb-20-14  Shams: <JB> I'm keen to read that, but your link isn't happening for me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Try "short kavalek "inside chess"" in Google, it was the first one for me: "Short : I am not dead."
Feb-20-14  Shams: Thanks. Adding a hyphen to the end of the URL you link to repairs it.
Feb-20-14  RedShield: <Kavalek had a streak of genius s bit like Bronstein's.>

Neither was bald, either. They both just had one hell of a parting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It was Short and Kavalek that had the parting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: <Kavalek: His recent claim that I did not contribute any original ideas sounds strange; he certainly did not tell me that at the time. Moreover, it now seems like the fewer ideas I had, the more money he wanted to pay me. >

End of story, as far as I'm concerned. Anybody who has spent 5 minutes with Short knows that he wouldn't agree to pay money unless it was worthwhile to him.

Feb-21-14  Shams: <RookFile> <Anybody who has spent 5 minutes with Short knows that he wouldn't agree to pay money unless it was worthwhile to him.>

As opposed to other GMs who would happily flush money down the drain?

Feb-21-14  RedShield: As far as opening preparation went, it's hard to see that Nigel had any cause for complaint; this was the one area in which he was more than a match for Garry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I can remember playing through most of the games in the 1993 match and Nigel certainly obtained a number of excellent positions. I'm not sure why but somehow he just wasn't able to capitalize on many of them.
Feb-21-14  RedShield: After the openings, the gods have placed the middle game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I met with similar fate (as Martina Navritalova) after I left Czechoslovakia in 1968. Chess tournaments in which I participated were not reported or appeared without my name. The same year Martina left, a book of chess puzzles by two Czech grandmasters, Vlastimil Hort and Vlastimil Jansa, was published in Prague. The publisher Olympia printed 18,000 copies and when it was done, some censors discovered my name attached to one of the games. They did something unbelievable: they cut out the page with my name, printed a new one without my name and glued it back in the book. They did it page by page, book by book 18,000 times> - Lubosh Kavalek.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: <Shams: As opposed to other GMs who would happily flush money down the drain? >

Illogical, grasshopper. You overlook the possibility of simply not paying money, and doing the work yourself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <There is no physical punishment in chess; suffering goes on inside the mind. You defend a bad position for hours, you suffer. You lose, you suffer like in any other sport. Suffering euphoria comes when the opponent blunders in a winning position, but it is undeserved> - Lubomir Kavalek.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Jim Bartle: I don't remember the details. But Kavalek definitely thought he should have the biggest voice in what openings were chosen.

Shams: <JB> Well, that's not entirely unreasonable but of course that should have been discussed prior to his being hired. >

When you choose a second for a major match like that, its too late to build a new opening repertoire. A player chooses openings that produce positions that result in the type of positions he handles well. The idea is to strengthen one's handling of the openings he already has experience with, searching for nuances and refinements deeper in his existing opening knowledge. You can't just jump into all new lines in which you have had no practical OTB experience, because when you are out of book or facing unclear positions, instinct supports analysis. The last thing you would want is to be in completely uncharted waters solving problems for which your opponent is prepared. That would put you in continual time trouble. If i was selecting a 2nd it would be a player that prefers many of the openings i play, but has a different style or handling, so as to introduce new ideas or insights, or possibly find stuff that I have not considered, or overlooked in the lines i already play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: I certainly agree with that. As I remember, Short and Kavalek prepared the Marshall as the major defense against 1. e4, then Kasparov played anti-Marshall variations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Lubomir Kavalek.

Player of the Day

Aug-09-16  Howard: His birthday is the same as mine, though he's quite a bit older.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kavalek discusses the beginning of his career and great games of Petrosian and Fischer:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Respect to the guy; he's been lunching out on boring stories of glory days for forty long years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I wonder why Kavalek says that Matulovic defeated Fischer in a match? He didn't.

Euwe was the only player to defeat Fischer in a match.

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