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Zoltan L Sarosy
Number of games in database: 11
Years covered: 1954 to 1999
Overall record: +5 -6 =0 (45.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

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ZOLTAN L SAROSY
(born Aug-23-1906, 108 years old) Hungary (citizen of Canada)
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Zoltan Sarosy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906 and has been playing chess for nearly a century.

He won the Hungarian Master title in 1943 and following a period in a refugee camp in Germany in the Second World War he moved to the Alsace region (France acquired the provincial territory from Germany) in 1948. In 1950 he drew a training match (2-2) with Alsace Champion Henri Sapin and then emigrated to Canada shortly after Christmas.

Settling in Toronto, he joined the Harmonie club, a German ethnic club that twice won the city's team championship league. He took a brief pause between 1957-60 to establish a variety shop, but in 1963 won the Toronto Championship. He was awarded the IMC title in 1988 after retiring from over-the-board play by the 1970s. His correspondence leagues saw him play in Germany, another team at Colmar in 1950 & later on in Canada. In 2006 he was inducted into the Canadian Chess Hall of Fame. Since having learned the game at age 10, he still continues to play even having surpassed the age of 108.

References: http://www.correspondencechess.com/..., http://chess.ca/zoltan-sarosy , http://wapedia.mobi/en/List_of_cent... , Wikipedia article: Zoltan Sarosy; http://www.angelfire.com/vt/rmarcon...; http://www.canadianchess.info/canad...


 page 1 of 1; 11 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Z Sarosy vs G Ward  1-032 1954 Concordia CC-Harmonie CC mA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
2. Z Sarosy vs L Day  1-048 1964 Canadian OpenE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
3. L Day vs Z Sarosy  1-049 1973 Toronto ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
4. V Zagorovsky vs Z Sarosy  1-033 1975 corr Wch11 sf03E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
5. Z Sarosy vs F Bohatirchuk 1-015 1976 NAmerica-ch2 corr7680+A23 English, Bremen System, Keres Variation
6. K Hayward vs Z Sarosy  0-150 1980 corr NATTA00 Uncommon Opening
7. N A Preo vs Z Sarosy  1-020 1983 corres N/AmerC44 King's Pawn Game
8. Quaker vs Z Sarosy 1-018 1983 corres CANC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
9. Z Sarosy vs W Riemer  1-055 1988 WT/M/GT/242A34 English, Symmetrical
10. P Ma vs Z Sarosy  1-040 1991 CCCA-70 GM tournamentB15 Caro-Kann
11. Z Sarosy vs L Kempen  0-142 1999 Pacific team tournamentE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Sarosy wins | Sarosy loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-06-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: He must be among the oldest players who are still active.
Sep-07-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  kellmano: There's an article on him in this month's chess magazine (England). There is an awesome picture of him. He looks like a seriously cool dude.
Sep-07-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: He beat me in my first Ontario Open, 1963. Clubs loved to have him as a member not only because he was strong and friendly, but also because he was a wizard at fixing malfunctioning clocks. Happy hundredth Zoltan!
Aug-23-07  pawnofdoom: Happy 101th birthday, Sarosy!
Aug-23-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: 102 years! Happy Birthday Mr.Sarosy!

Only 4 games listed in the Database? The man is a living chess legend. There would have to be a way to find more games-core-sheets.

Nov-26-10  Bridgeburner: Zoltan still graces this planet with his presence.
Jan-02-11  Bridgeburner: Here is an article from December 2010 written by the 104 year old legend about his life: http://www3.sympatico.ca/bobarm/pdf...
Jul-31-11  Lovuschka: I got no reply from Bob Armstrong so maybe you can send me that newsletter issue or re-publish it somewhere?
Aug-03-11  Lovuschka: I just got a reply tonight. Mr. Armstrong says he did not archive it and it is deleted. So if anyone has downloaded the issue, can he please send it?
Aug-24-11  Lovuschka: Wonderful news! Bob Armstrong managed to receive the newsletter from one of his subscribers, so I feel free to copy it to here so it will remain for the foreseeable eternity.

The following text is from <Zoltan Sarosy>, first printed in: Bob Armstrong: Scarborough Community of Toronto. Chess News & Views. Newsletter of Scarborough Chess Club. Issue # 12-8 -- December 15, 2010. Original publication on http://www3.sympatico.ca/bobarm/ = http://scarboroughchess.webhop.net/ The text is repeated here with permission of Bob Armstrong.

-----

At the age of 10, I had to go to see a former classmate. He had a checkered board on the table with variously shaped figurines on it. After receiving introductory explanations, it was love at first sight for me. In those days there were no courses for aspiring young players. In the two cities I had spent my high school years even chess clubs did not exist. The only opportunity to meet opponents was in summer on the benches of swimming pools and parks. In my second year at the university in Vienna I saw in the window of a bookstore a magazine, Wiener Schachzeitung. I bought a copy and read therein an announcement of the Vienna Chess Federation. I wrote to the address and received promptly an invitation. I joined a chess club and got acquainted with organized chess. I played in tournaments and read chess books so that after graduation back home, on a chance meeting I played 5 games against the player who was considered the best in the city, winning 4, he sighed: "Wow! You have learned to play in Vienna!"

My first job took me to Nagykanizsa. There was a chess club and I won the City Championship. Returning to Pecs where they founded a chess club in the meantime too I encountered tougher opposition. Being a city with a university, there were strong out of town student players. In the city championship I succeeded to defeat the favourite and won 1st.

In 1933 we moved to Budapest In the capital city was the real chess life in Hungary with some fifty clubs competing in 3 leagues for the main event of the year: the City Team Championship. I joined the leading club, Pesti Hirlap, and started right in a tournament without masters or master-candidates. I captured first. In summer of the following year I entered a tournament arranged by a smaller club. After winning first place, I was approached by the president with the proposition to play for them on first board. They were in the third league and wanted to fight themselves higher. In Pesti Hirlap I had one of the lower boards. So I accepted. With more enforcements we moved up even into the First League. About this time I had the opportunity to play in a tournament for the Cup of the Mayor and won it.

Playing on Board 1 in the First League I met strong opposition and was successful even against a few masters. The most spectacular was against Geza Fuster, in that year Champion of Hungary, ( in the fifties he also "defected" and emigrated to Toronto ). In 1939 I played in Master Candidates Tournament and ended up with a poor result after ruining promising positions. The winner admitted in his interview that he was lost only against Sarosy. Dr. Vecsey, the commentator wrote: "Sarosy after reaching an advantageous position seems to lose interest in the game."

In 1943 they held another Master Candidates Tournament in Diosgyor and my club president talked me into entering it. From the qualifying round I squeezed into the final as sixth, only to win it and the Hungarian Master title However, to prove myself as a master was not anymore possible. The war events reached Hungary and all chess activity came to a halt.

On Good Friday of 1945 I hitched a ride on a German army truck and left Hungary never to return. Over a three-month stay in Salzburg to near starvation, I caught a repatriation train to Germany and found "permanent" residence in a refugee camp in Dorfen/Obb. Next year I read about the foundation of the new German Correspondence Chess Association and having in the small Bavarian town no opposition that I could not beat blind-folded, I joined immediately. The first two tournaments were easy wins. In my next, a Master Class group in which one of my opponents was Lothar Schmid, the later GM and arbiter of the famous Fischer/Spassky WC match in Reykjavik in 1972. I was easily polished off and finished third.

In 1948 in my aspiration to seek emigration to overseas, I moved to Elsass, the former German province annexed by France and in Markirch, a small town with several textile factories there was no opportunity for chess. By 1950 I made some contacts and in the summer I played on board two for the team of the Colmar C.C. in the annual Coupe de France matches. We fought ourselves into the final in which the great Paris Caissa C.C. defeated us.

Aug-24-11  Lovuschka: (continuation of previous posting)

-----

Then end of August a newspaper notice! Canada revised its immigration laws and I was eligible to apply. On Nov.22 I received an invitation to the Consulate in Paris and after five long years of struggle I had a visa to leave good old Europe. I arrived in Toronto on Dec.27. Reading in the chess column of The Star that the city championship will start in the Toronto C.C, I joined and entered the tournament. I finished only 5th in the final group. The Ontario Championship was held as a 6 round Swiss over the Easter weekend. Despite a couple of not well-played games, in the final round I had to face Frank Anderson, the Canadian Champion. I had White and so the opportunity to employ my pet variation of English that I developed already in the early thirties. It took him as a complete surprise and he got in great time trouble. I won. Even so I was only second but this got me to play for Toronto in team matches Board 2 . A few years later I met Anderson again, but same variation earned me only a draw.

In 1953 I joined the German Club "Harmonie" and we won twice the Team Championship in which 5 ethnic clubs took part and even in the team of the Toronto C.C. were only two players born in Canada. Between 1957 and 1960 I ceased playing chess. With my wife we took over a variety store that allowed no free time.

In those days chess tournaments were mainly 6-round weekend Swiss events which did not suit me at all. I usually won my games in the first round, then being by nature a "lark", next day I felt sleepy and lost. The third day was better and very often I wound up with a 4-2 score.

I succeeded to win a YMCA tournament that was played on several weekends. In 1963 in the Metropolitan Championship I defeated again Geza Fuster, winning the title and the trophy. Two years later in the same event I won my games vs. all four of the higher rated players, but drew against the two lower rated, and practically throwing away the last in a silly Caro-Kann vs .Kegel.

In one Labour Day six-round Swiss I managed to stay in the fore-front and to face Vranesic in the last round. Needing only half a point, he offered a draw after the 7th move which I gladly accepted, hardly able to keep open my eyes. In a Swiss I made 2nd!

From here on I started slipping and my results got worse and worse. In 1967 I was invited to play in a correspondence chess match vs. Denmark. From then on I continued to play C.C Soon I abandoned OTB altogether and played only in CCCA tournaments. Consequently I won four championships and finished 2nd 8 times. I started to play in international tournaments too, soon exclusively. After fulfilling a first norm and thereafter the second, in 1988 I was awarded by the ICCF the title of International Correspondence Master.

In the mid nineties Mr. Cleeve gave me a chance to fight in a tournament for the GM title, but it was once again my old habit that after reaching advantageous positions I became careless and let it slip away. By the end of the year 2000 all my postal games were running out and I thought I could not finish any new ones started at my age. Incidentally, I read an article in the Toronto Star about computer courses for seniors. Oh, could that be possible? Instead of those courses I bought a PC, got two lessons by my vendor's son, acquired a couple of books and I was on. After purchasing a chess program I started to play email tournaments. At first in the CCCA, then in international organizations. I advanced in ratings, and was invited to more prestigious tournaments.

Two years ago in June, after recovering from a severe four week dry cough, I felt that the time has finally come "even for me" to give it all up . At my 100th birthday several chess magazines ( Hungarian, German, British ) brought articles about my chess career. The chess columnist of the Hungarian-Serbian sportjournal claimed in it that I am the oldest active chess player in the world.

Aug-24-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Holey moley! What a great find for his 105th birthday!

Happy birthday Zoltan!

Aug-25-11  Lovuschka: Bob Armstrong also sends the following links. Quoting from Bob's mails. SH

-----

Downloads of CCCA games, of which many are Sarosy's, are at: http://correspondencechess.com/ccca...

For complete events, one can go to:
http://correspondencechess.com/ccca...

452 Sarosy (over the board) games are available on CanBase (scroll down to near the bottom): http://canbase.fqechecs.qc.ca/playe...

Aug-25-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <452 Sarosy (over the board) games are available on CanBase (scroll down to near the bottom): http://canbase.fqechecs.qc.ca/playe>...

The links to these games don't seem to be working.

Aug-25-11  Lovuschka: You're right. I checked and the games collections work so you might want to look if there are Sarosy games. http://canbase.fqechecs.qc.ca/cbv/a...
http://canbase.fqechecs.qc.ca/cbv/c...
Aug-25-11  Prugno: Great to see his memory is still so good at the age of 105! He must be one of the last citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who still remembers those days...
Aug-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: amazing, one for the books!

happy birthday IMC Sarosy..

Aug-23-12  Lovuschka: Congratulations on the 106th birthday!
Aug-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Still alive? Happy Birthday then!
Aug-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Still alive all right. Happy birthday.
Aug-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  hansj: Happy Birthday Zoltan! It was very interesting to read your story.
Sep-05-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Happy 107th birthday, IMC Sarosy!
Dec-07-13  Lovuschka: French article from 2011: http://hebertparleechecs.com/HPE23v...
Jul-21-14  Lovuschka: Sarosy confirmed to be still active, although retired from chess. http://sawyerbdg.blogspot.de/2014/0... (see comments)
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