GrahamClayton: Osman Palos was born October 29, 1949, in Gracanica, Yugoslavia. He was the strongest player in Tuzla, the second largest city in Bosnia, for many years until he left in the late 1980s. His best years as a chess player were in the mid-1980s. During this time he received the IM title in 1985 and achieved his peak FIDE rating of 2440 in 1987. His best ever result was winning the Pula Open in 1986 with a GM norm performance score of 10 from 11. Two other good results were 8.5 from 13 in a Category 4 (2328) round robin in Tuzla in 1991 and =2nd with GM Ikonnikov behind GM Klinger at the 138 player Werfen Open in 1992. Palos was a regular participant in Yugoslav Team Championships in the 1980s , winning the gold medal on board 5 in 1982 with a score of 6 from 9.
Osmand played often in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, collecting many GM scalps including those of Ikonnikov, Kudrin, Vukic, Kupreichik and Khenkin among others. Palos was a big fighter when healthy and not one to respect reputations. To get an idea of his persistence play over his 107 move draw with GM Eingorn from Graz 1987.
Palos loved to play blitz and could often be found between rounds indulging in his favorite pastime. He was an inconsistent but dangerous opponent who could pose a danger to anyone. One example: his 2-0 score versus GM Krasenkov in the 1997 New York City Blitz Championship.
Much of his life Osman worked as a businessman, only becoming a full-time chess professional when things started to deteriorate in Yugoslavia. One of his last important duties in his old town was directing the Women's Interzonal in Tuzla in 1987. Fleeing the Balkans he spent several years playing in Western Europe before talking a position as a chess trainer in the United Arab Emirates in 1993.
Palos first arrived in Chicago in late 1996, quickly establishing himself not only as one of the top players in the city but also one of the best chess coaches.Neil Gleason of Madison, Wisconsin, remembers: "In early 1999, I spent an evening arguing politics with him. The next morning, he gave me a 10 minute lesson in the exchange Caro Kann ("play simple chess") over breakfast, whereupon I proceeded to use it with white to notch 2 convincing victories that same day in a quick tournament. He was a skillful instructor who would readily demonstrate that chess is a very simple game."
Palos was already in poor health by the time he arrived in the United States but he still managed to hold a USCF rating over 2400 until the last few years of his life, peaking at 2477. He was especially proud of his two wins over GM Goldin, one of the best players in the US. His last major event was the Lindsborg Rotary Open in December of 2002 where he scored a respectable fifty percent against a field averaging 2442 FIDE.