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GM Lubomir Kavalek in 1980. 
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Lubomir Kavalek
Number of games in database: 1,007
Years covered: 1959 to 1998
Last FIDE rating: 2527
Highest rating achieved in database: 2600
Overall record: +293 -184 =526 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      4 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (101) 
    B42 B96 B47 B83 B44
 Ruy Lopez (82) 
    C95 C93 C72 C67 C81
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (50) 
    C95 C93 C92 C96 C97
 Caro-Kann (35) 
    B17 B14 B15 B19 B18
 King's Indian (32) 
    E90 E69 E63 E80 E60
 French Defense (27) 
    C16 C19 C11 C02 C18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (118) 
    B93 B83 B43 B90 B52
 King's Indian (73) 
    E92 E62 E98 E97 E67
 Sicilian Najdorf (43) 
    B93 B90 B98 B97 B92
 Ruy Lopez (33) 
    C95 C87 C67 C69 C64
 English (28) 
    A15 A10 A16
 Reti System (22) 
    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
   Portisch vs Kavalek, 1975 1/2-1/2
   Gheorghiu vs Kavalek, 1969 0-1
   Kavalek vs W Pietzsch, 1967 1-0
   Kavalek vs Khodos, 1965 1-0
   Kavalek vs Fischer, 1967 1/2-1/2
   Kavalek vs Karpov, 1970 1-0
   Kavalek vs Uhlmann, 1976 1-0

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

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

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FIDE player card for Lubomir Kavalek

(born Aug-09-1943, 72 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 1,007  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kavalek vs Jansa  0-129 1959 Cerveny KostelecB02 Alekhine's Defense
2. Kavalek vs J Rejfir ½-½40 1959 Cerveny KostelecB41 Sicilian, Kan
3. F Zita vs Kavalek  ½-½41 1959 Cerveny KostelecA04 Reti Opening
4. Kavalek vs J Fabian  1-048 1959 Cerveny KostelecC02 French, Advance
5. F Blatny vs Kavalek 1-029 1959 Cerveny KostelecB26 Sicilian, Closed, 6.Be3
6. Kavalek vs M Herink  ½-½52 1959 Cerveny KostelecC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
7. J Marsalek vs Kavalek 1-057 1959 Cerveny KostelecA45 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Kavalek vs Gurgenidze  0-137 1960 WchT U26 07thB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
9. Kavalek vs F Baumbach  1-033 1960 WchT U26 07thB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
10. Tan Hoan Liong vs Kavalek  1-038 1960 WchT U26 07thC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
11. Kavalek vs S Momo  1-065 1960 WchT U26 07thC77 Ruy Lopez
12. N Radev vs Kavalek  0-138 1960 WchT U26 07thE93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
13. Kavalek vs G Kvist  ½-½24 1960 WchT U26 07thC02 French, Advance
14. Kavalek vs T Rakic  0-133 1960 WchT U26 07thE61 King's Indian
15. Van Hoorne vs Kavalek  0-136 1960 WchT U26 07thB20 Sicilian
16. A Olsson vs Kavalek  ½-½47 1960 WchT U26 07thB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
17. Kavalek vs R Weinstein  0-150 1960 WchT U26 07thB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. J Tabor vs Kavalek  0-133 1960 WchT U26 07thB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
19. I Szabo vs Kavalek  ½-½31 1960 WchT U26 07thB42 Sicilian, Kan
20. A Jongsma vs Kavalek  1-058 1961 WchT U26 08thA04 Reti Opening
21. Kavalek vs J Fichtl  ½-½38 1961 CSR-chC11 French
22. Kavalek vs E Aaltio  1-040 1961 WchT U26 08thB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
23. Kavalek vs J Florian  1-029 1961 CSR-chC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
24. J Trmal vs Kavalek  ½-½15 1961 CSR-chA22 English
25. Kavalek vs Filip  ½-½25 1961 CSR-chC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,007  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kavalek wins | Kavalek loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám, milý Luboši!
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Happy 70th!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: He is one of the finest players of the USA: Happy 70th birthday, GM Kavalek! Therefore, on the occasion of that very day, it is a very nice birthday greeting that has nominated your great game H Kokkoris vs Kavalek, 1968 to be the <Game of the Day on August 9th, 2013>!
Feb-13-14  Gambit86: His chess columns are awesome!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: As someone said a few posts ago, if Short had stuck with Kavalek then the sky would've been the limit.

Kavalek had a streak of genius s bit like Bronstein's.

Feb-20-14  Shams: <offramp> If I remember correctly from Lawson's book on the match, Kavalek basically stopped working about a third of the way through. If true, anybody would have sacked him.

I think in hindsight he was a poor choice at 50 years old. You need a young man's energy to be a good second.

Feb-20-14  Jim Bartle: 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. Or something like that. An excellent article, very detailed, don't know how true it is.

What was really interesting is that it went through how a player and his coach go about preparing openings for a match.

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.

Feb-20-14  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.

Feb-20-14  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.
Feb-20-14  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.
Feb-21-14  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.
May-07-15  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.
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