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F Olafsson 
Fridrik Olafsson
Number of games in database: 701
Years covered: 1947 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2392 (2382 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2570
Overall record: +207 -177 =311 (52.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      6 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (62) 
    B93 B92 B83 B27 B30
 English (46) 
    A15 A13 A17 A10 A16
 King's Indian (34) 
    E63 E60 E66 E73 E62
 Sicilian Najdorf (20) 
    B93 B92 B90 B96 B91
 English, 1 c4 c5 (18) 
    A30 A34 A35 A38 A37
 Reti System (18) 
    A04 A05
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (87) 
    B42 B48 B40 B52 B44
 King's Indian (40) 
    E69 E94 E80 E62 E95
 Nimzo Indian (33) 
    E54 E42 E59 E41 E57
 English (23) 
    A13 A15 A16 A14 A17
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C92 C86 C84 C77 C83
 Grunfeld (19) 
    D71 D91 D78 D73 D75
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tal vs F Olafsson, 1975 0-1
   F Olafsson vs Fischer, 1958 1-0
   O Rodriguez vs F Olafsson, 1978 0-1
   J Bodvarsson vs F Olafsson, 1947 0-1
   F Olafsson vs Tal, 1971 1-0
   F Olafsson vs Unzicker, 1970 1-0
   F Olafsson vs E Eliskases, 1960 1-0
   Gligoric vs F Olafsson, 1958 0-1
   V Rothuis vs F Olafsson, 2007 0-1
   Larsen vs F Olafsson, 1956 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1955/56 (1955)
   Lugano (1970)
   Hastings 1956/57 (1956)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   Hoogovens (1961)
   First Piatigorsky Cup (1963)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Snowdrops and Old-hands (2012)
   Dallas (1957)
   Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959)
   Zurich (1959)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Bled (1961)
   Reykjavik Open (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   IGM Friđrik Ólafsson by 64rutor
   Zurich 1959 by suenteus po 147
   Hoogovens 33th / Wijk aan Zee (1971) by zanzibar
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1971 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1969 by suenteus po 147
   99_Bad Lauterberg 1977 by whiteshark
   Mar del Plata 1960 by suenteus po 147
   Teesside 1975 by suenteus po 147
   Teesside 1975 by Tabanus
   First Piatigorsky Cup 1963 by Benzol
   Lugano 1970 by Phony Benoni

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FIDE player card for Fridrik Olafsson

(born Jan-26-1935, 80 years old) Iceland

[what is this?]
Friđrik Ólafsson was born in Reykjavik. In 1953, he took 3rd in the World Junior Championship. He tied for first with Korchnoi at Hastings 1955/56 (1955). A multiple-time Scandinavian champion, he became the first Icelandic grandmaster when he qualified in the Portoroz Interzonal (1958) for the Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959). After a number of years as one of the top non-Soviet players (he served as first reserve in the USSR vs. Rest of the World (1970) match, and shared first place at Wijk aan Zee (1976)), he receded from World Championship contests to devote himself to other things, including the FIDE presidency from 1978 to 1982. He is a lawyer by profession.

Wikipedia article: Fri%C3%B0rik %C3%93lafsson

 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 701  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Bodvarsson vs F Olafsson 0-15 1947 IcelandA02 Bird's Opening
2. F Olafsson vs Ivkov  0-145 1951 BirminghamA91 Dutch Defense
3. F Olafsson vs L Barden  ½-½23 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)B30 Sicilian
4. O Benkner vs F Olafsson  ½-½80 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)E71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
5. E German vs F Olafsson  1-040 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)E95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
6. F Olafsson vs G Gaitanaros  ½-½40 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)B06 Robatsch
7. H Lambert vs F Olafsson 1-035 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)C77 Ruy Lopez
8. Julio Bolbochan vs F Olafsson  ½-½45 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
9. F Olafsson vs Grob  1-030 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)D51 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. C Doerner vs F Olafsson 0-140 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)E80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
11. F Olafsson vs E Myhre  ½-½38 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)C67 Ruy Lopez
12. Filip vs F Olafsson 1-044 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)D51 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. O Benkner vs F Olafsson  ½-½44 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)E70 King's Indian
14. F Olafsson vs C Poulsen  1-034 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)D43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. M Aleman Dovo vs F Olafsson  1-044 1952 Helsinki ol (Men)D24 Queen's Gambit Accepted
16. F Olafsson vs E Reichel  1-039 1953 CopenhagenB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
17. F Olafsson vs Tolush 0-133 1953 Hastings 1953/54B68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7
18. Larsen vs F Olafsson 0-138 1953 Wch U20 final-AE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
19. F Olafsson vs J Gudmundsson 1-024 1953 Reykjavik, IcelandB83 Sicilian
20. Ivkov vs F Olafsson  ½-½57 1953 Wch U20 final-AD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. K Darga vs F Olafsson  1-053 1953 Wch U20 final-AC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. F Olafsson vs J Penrose  0-141 1953 Wch U20 final-AC53 Giuoco Piano
23. O'Kelly vs F Olafsson  ½-½48 1953 Hastings 1953/54E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
24. F Olafsson vs C H Alexander  ½-½21 1954 Amsterdam ol (Men)A81 Dutch
25. C H Alexander vs F Olafsson  ½-½28 1954 Hastings 1953/54B57 Sicilian
 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 701  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Olafsson wins | Olafsson loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Allright I think I'm beginning to understand how the names go in Icelandic...<paulalbert> wrote on the <helgi olafsson> page, that if Fridrik Olafsson were Helgi's Olafsson's father, Helgi's name would really be Helgi Fridriksson, is this correct for anyone who has a grasp of the way names are pronounced in Iceland? Also does anyone know if Fridrik has any children?...thanks in advance
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: <Joshka> Go to under "Icelandic name". The patronymic naming system is explained there. Also on Wikipedia writeup on Fridrik Olafsson, it says he has two adult daughters. I think daughters in Iceland use a matronymic system, i.e., the last name is the mother's first name with "dottir" appended. Slavic names have some similar characteristics,but with complicated systems and spelling variants, middle name patronymics for example and "ova" endings for females. Paul Albert
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Paulalbert> Allright, yes, according to the says two daughter's.....allright thanks for sharing!
Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday Mr. president.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: thanks <chancho>

Celebrating today his 75th birthday, but not cg. Player of the Day? - A little more reference for this legendary gentleman of chess, please!

Congrats and many more to Icelandic first Chess Grandmaster, lawyer by profession and well-respected former President of FIDE, Fridrik Olafsson.

He beat (mostly as an amateur) Fischer, Tal and Petrosian twice and had also a win as the (then) reigning president of the world chess federation against the (then) reigning world chess champion Karpov at Buenos Aires in 1980 (tournament - no blitz, rapid or exhib).

Among others, Fridrik Olafsson won Hastings in 1955/56 (together with Korchnoi), Hoogovens Beverwijk in 1959 and Hoogovens Wijk an Zee in 1976 (together with Ljubjevic, ahead of Tal).

Olafsson is considered as the last democratic ruling FIDE president.


(very good, talisman).

Grandmaster OLAFSSON beat reigning champion KARPOV and PETROSIAN (two times, in his prime). Extraordinary.

Jan-26-10  Mr. President: <talisman> and <Morales>, thank you very much!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Olafsson's qualification to compete in the 1962 Stockholm Interzonal was rather unusual. After winning the European Zonal at Berg an Dal, the results were annulled after the Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Yugoslav masters withdrew from the tournament in protest at the Dutch authorities not granting Wolfgang Uhlmann a visa.

A replacement zonal tournament was held at Marianske Lanze in Czechoslovakia, which Olafsson also won.

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: Yes, I've heard that story too, from Horowitz's book on the World Championship. It's one of the few stories about ANY zonal that wasn't a US or USSR Championship. I'd love to see somebody compile a complete set of zonal crosstables, but I doubt anyone ever will. They're just too spread out. No one magazine seemed to cover them all.

Of course by the 70's, Olafsson wouldn't have had to qualify at all. As a participant in the previous Candidates, he would have been seeded into the next Interzonal. That's why there was no 3rd place (Larsen vs. Korchnoi) match in the 1971 Candidates or any 3rd place matches after. The 3rd place matches in 1965 and 1968 (both won by Larsen) had been held to determine who got a free interzonal spot. When all the Candidates got one, there was no more need for them.

Funny this should come up. Just this morning I had Fritz analyzing Olafsson's last round black win against Keres at the 1959 Candidates.

Keres vs F Olafsson, 1959

Jul-25-10  64rutor: Game Collection: IGM Friđrik Ólafsson
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Happy Birthday, GM Olafsson.
Jan-26-11  galdur: Thanx for the great collection 64rutor.

All the best, g.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Happy birthday and many more!

Those were the days: nice picture from the Olympiads, La Valletta, Malta, 10th round, 1980: Fridrik Olafsson facing Karpov on board one, with Geller, quite symbolically alongside Karpov, <<;> as posted above, in that year Fridrik Olafsson beat the reigning chess world champion at a tournament in Buenos Aires.

Fridrik Olafsson: great icelandic player and still the last democratic ruling FIDE president.

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: Happy Birthday Mr. President! and great player.
Jan-26-12  brankat: Best wishes for Your Birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Happy birthday and best wishes for Friđrik Ólafsson.

Here a game worth to comment: young Olafsson against legendary Savielly Tartakower, 1953 at Hastings *those where the days*

<F Olafsson vs Tartakower, 1953>

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Happy birthday to Friđrik Ólafsson who turns eighty today!

<Born 26 January 1935, GM since 1958, Friđrik Ólafsson was the strongest player in Iceland for many decades. He is a lawyer by profession, worked as an attorney, and was president of FIDE from 1978 to 1982. Fridrik Olafsson is certainly one of the strongest amateur players in modern era. In life outside of law and chess, he is married and has two adult daughters.

Fridrik Olafsson beat in classical games amongst others Tartakower (!), Eliskases, Taimanov, Najdorf, Reshevsky, Keres, Geller, Gligoric, Portisch, Hort, Uhlmann, Panno, Miles, Hübner, Timman, Bent Larsen (countless times, database has 40 games between the years 1953 and 2003 with an even head-to-head of 15 to 15 and 10 draws, both Larsen and Olafsson were born in 1935), as well as Fischer (twice), Petrosian (twice), Tal (twice), Karpov (Buenos Aires, Clarin) 1980 when Karpov was reigning world champion, and Korchnoi (Amsterdam, IBM) 1976.

Aged seventeen years, he won his first Icelandic Championship (in total, Olafsson is a six times national champion, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1961, 1962, and 1969). In 1953, he took 3rd in the World Junior Championship.

Shortly after this, he completed his studies in Law, he took a post in the Icelandic Ministry of Justice. He continued to be a part-time chess player during the next twenty years, but did not always enjoy the type of success that he might have attained had he been able to devote all of his energies to his studies of the game of chess prior to 1976 when he gave up his government post in order to become a full-time chess player for a brief period until he became president of FIDE in 1978.

He is a multiple-time Scandinavian and became the first Icelandic grandmaster: Olafsson was awarded the GM title automatically - together with Fischer - after they qualified in the Interzonal Portoroz 1958 for the Candidates 1959 in Bled / Zagreb / Belgrade (Tal winning, challenging Botvinnik successfully in 1960).

Fridrik Olafsson’s finest results of international note are his win at Hastings Congress 1955–56 (together with Viktor Korchnoi) and his two triumphs of the traditional Hoogovens tournament (today TATA Steel) at Beverwijk in 1959 (clear first ahead of Erich Eliskases), and at Wijk aan Zee in1976 (together with Ljubomir Ljubojevic;, ahead of Mikhail Tal as shared third).

Notable results include a third place together with Najdorf ahead of Reshevsky, Gligoric;, Benko, and Panno in the strong Piatigorsky Cup, Los Angeles 1963 (Petrosian and Keres won), Olafsson was runner-up with Gligoric, Petrosian and Ivkov, ahead of equal Mecking, Andersson, Hort and Hübner in Wijk aan Zee in 1971 (Korchnoi won), joint second at Las Palmas in 1974 (Ljubojevic won), and runner-up with Spassky, ahead of Bronstein and Hort at Tallinn in 1975 (Keres won).

Olafsson won several strong international invitation events at Reykjavik, in 1957 outright (ahead of Benko, Stĺhlberg, and Pilnik) plus three times the today well known Reykjavik Open, then played as an Invitational tournament round robin, in 1966 (II. tournament outright), in 1972 (V. tournament joint with Vlastimil Hort and Florin Gheorghiu), and in 1976 (VII. tournament joint with Jan Timman). After a substantial number of years as one of the top non-Soviet players, Olafsson was nominated also as first reserve in the USSR vs. Rest of the World match in 1970 where he played a sole game, losing it to Smyslov.

He played eight Chess Olympiads between 1952 and 1980. His best score was at Varna in 1962 (+10, = 8), winning the individual Gold medal on board one. In 1955 and 1957, Olafsson played twice a match with Herman Pilnik, winning both.>

(to be continued)

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <Fridrik Olafsson‘s best result in World Chess Championship competition was in the 1958 Interzonal tournament at Portorož, where he finished equal 5th–6th, as said, automatically earning the grandmaster title and qualifying for the 1959 Candidates Tournament (the last stage to determine the challenger to the World Chess Champion). In that quadruple event of eight Candiates, held at Bled, Zagreb and Belgrade, he scored wins against Fischer, Petrosian (beating him in their individual mini-match twice (!!) with one draw and one loss), Keres, Gligoric, and Benko - but however, he finished finally seventh, suffering with his lively style too many losses (three out of four against Tal, winner with meteoric rise and uncompromising vigor, and against Keres, once more arriving on second place).

Olafsson was Petrosian's nemesis in that tournament. Petrosian who came in third behind Tal and Keres, ahead of Smyslov and Fischer, drew all his four games against Tal and scored one win with three draws against Keres, but was forced to reckon his chances of success as compromised. Petrosian's round 15 game can't have helped his spirits, though it became a highlight for Fridrik Olafsson> Petrosian vs F Olafsson, 1959

<Their adjourned game was finished on a balcony overlooking Zagreb's Republic Square, where a giant demonstration board had been erected: "A crowd of... 5,000 assembled to watch. Olafsson won to... great acclamations... When he tried to go back to the hotel... the crowd insisted on carrying him on their shoulders." (Harry Golombek, 4th Candidates' Tournament, 1959- Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade- September 7th - October 29th" Hardinge Simpole, 2009 (First published as BCM Quarterly No.3, 1960))

Olafsson won the Zonal at Berg en Dal (1960a), above amongst others Bent Larsen. He also won the Special Zonal at Mariánské Lázne; (1961) which incorporated also players who could not compete at Berg en Dal, among them strong Eastern players as Filip, Uhlmann, and Szabó, all former or future Candidates. In the Interzonal at Stockholm in 1962, Fridrik Olafsson finished moderate on position eleven / twelve out of 23 players. He receded from World Chess Championship contests to devote himself to his profession.

He worked as a lawyer at the Icelandic Ministry of Justice and at the Icelandic Parliament.

In 1978, Friđrik Ólafsson won the election against Svetozar Gligoric; and succeeded Max Euwe as President of the international chess governing body FIDE and served for four years in this capacity.

During the tenure he presided over the 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship match. Since Korchnoi emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1976, the Soviets were holding Korchnoi's son, Igor and his wife Bella. Olafsson delayed the planned September 19 start date of the match 1981 in a bid to get the Soviets to release Victor's son and wife. For this attempt, Olafsson drew the wrath of the Soviets, who then backed the FIDE Vice-President, Florencio Campomanes for Presidency of FIDE. After losing the election in 1982 at Lucerne against the latter, Olafsson was appointed General Secretary to the Icelandic Parliament Althing.

Fridrik Olafsson continued to play occasionally into the 21st century, winning a rapid match against fellow veteran Bent Larsen in 2003 by a score of 5–3.

Today, he has retired from practicing law and lives in his native country of Iceland which in 1972, hosted the most famous chess match ever held, the World Chess Championship between Boris Spassky and Robert James "Bobby" Fischer. Fridrik Olafsson contributed much to the organiszation of this legendary event.

The respected statistician Jeff Sonas (chessmetrics) ranks Olafsson as the #13 player of the world in 1958. His best ranking in the FIDE ELO list was the #14= player in the world in 1969 (unofficial list based on results of the period between January 1966 and Spring 1969), Fridrik Olafsson remained a top fifty player (today regarded as Super Grandmasters) from the mid fifties until the early eighties. His highest ELO rating was 2600 (FIDE), his highest historical ELO 2692 (SONAS).

Olafsson usually played the Sicilian Defence against 1.e4 and the King's Indian Defence and Nimzo-Indian Defence against 1.d4. With White, he usually played the English Opening, but he also played 1.d4, 1.e4 and 1.Nf3 many times.

Happy birthday, good health, many more inspirational games and best wishes for Friđrik Ólafsson!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Ólafsson's 80th Birthday Honorary Tournament:

Recent game: Friđrik Ólafsson vs. David Navara (Reykjavik op) 1/2:1/2 F Olafsson vs Navara, 2013

Jan-26-15  Eastfrisian: 80 years. Congrats Mr. Olafsson.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: One year for each square of a badly constructed chess board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: Or one for each square of a Capablanca chess board:
Nov-07-15  Mr. V: It's never too late to run again for the FIDE presidency . . .
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