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Oldrich Duras
Number of games in database: 443
Years covered: 1900 to 1938

Overall record: +219 -102 =98 (64.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 24 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (111) 
    C77 C65 C66 C68 C67
 French Defense (21) 
    C01 C11 C14 C12 C10
 King's Gambit Accepted (12) 
    C33 C39 C38 C36 C37
 Scandinavian (8) 
 Four Knights (8) 
    C49 C48
 Orthodox Defense (8) 
    D51 D63 D53 D55
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (38) 
    C84 C77 C68 C78 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (23) 
    C84 C92 C90 C96 C91
 Queen's Pawn Game (22) 
    D02 D00 A50 D04 D05
 Caro-Kann (19) 
    B13 B15 B12 B10 B18
 Queen's Gambit Declined (18) 
    D31 D37 D30 D39 D35
 Four Knights (11) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Duras vs E Cohn, 1911 1-0
   Vitacek vs Duras, 1900 0-1
   Duras vs Spielmann, 1907 1-0
   Duras vs Spielmann, 1912 1-0
   Duras vs Z Barasz, 1912 1-0
   Duras vs H Wolf, 1907 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Duras, 1912 0-1
   Duras vs Teichmann, 1906 1-0
   Duras vs Swiderski, 1908 1-0
   Spielmann vs Duras, 1907 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Prague (1908)
   18th DSB Kongress (1912)
   15th DSB Kongress (Nuremberg) (1906)
   1st Trebitsch Memorial (1907)
   Abbazia (1912)
   Hamburg (1910)
   Quadrangular Masters (1913)
   Vienna (1908)
   Scheveningen (1905)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   Karlsbad (1907)
   Mannheim (1914)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   American Chess Bulletin 1913 by Phony Benoni
   American Chess Bulletin 1912 by Phony Benoni
   Abbazia 1912 by sneaky pete
   Scheveningen 1905 by Phony Benoni
   Vienna 1907 by suenteus po 147
   Lasker annotates by bishop

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Oldrich Duras
Search Google for Oldrich Duras

(born Oct-30-1882, died Jan-05-1957, 74 years old)

[what is this?]
Oldrich Duras, born in Prague, was one of the world's premier tournament players from 1905 until the start of the First World War. His successes include joint first prizes at Vienna 1908 (shared with Carl Schlechter and Geza Maroczy), Prague 1908 (shared with Schlechter again) and Breslau 1912 (shared with Akiba Rubinstein). He was a three time Czech Champion (1905, 1909 and 1911) and he also tied for first in the German Championship of 1912. In 1950, on the basis of his earlier tournament achievements, Duras was officially awarded the grandmaster title by FIDE.

Duras variations include: 1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘c6 3. ♗b5 ♘f6 4. d3 d6 5. c4 & 3 ... a6 4. ♗a4 ♘f6 5. d3 d6 6. c4, & the semi-Duras is: 3 ... d6 4. d4 ♗d7 5. c4.

Wikipedia article: Oldrich Duras

 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 443  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Distl vs Duras 0-1291900Club GameB01 Scandinavian
2. V Vlk vs Duras 0-1291900Family FeudD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Vitacek vs Duras 0-1261900Club GameC22 Center Game
4. Allies vs Duras 0-1231901Club GameD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. NN vs Duras 0-1261901Club GameC50 Giuoco Piano
6. Duras vs Schlechter 1-0351901Friendly MatchC70 Ruy Lopez
7. Duras vs V Vlk 1-0301902Family FeudC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Duras vs Brozek / Doorschak 1-0291902Consultation gameB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
9. Boucek vs Duras 0-1201902Prague -C55 Two Knights Defense
10. Duras vs J Kvicala 1-0181902Brilliant-Game Contest of Czech Chess ClubC67 Ruy Lopez
11. Duras vs J Kvicala 1-0321902Czech Chess Club ChampionshipC25 Vienna
12. Stastny vs Duras 0-1181902Club GameC42 Petrov Defense
13. Duras vs P Dohnal 1-0201902Czech Chess Congress, VeseliC67 Ruy Lopez
14. Traxler vs Duras 1-0191902Veseli-MezimostiC54 Giuoco Piano
15. Duras vs L Vetesnik 1-0301902Czech Chess CongressC66 Ruy Lopez
16. Duras vs Raskovsky 1-0261902Czech Chess CongressC67 Ruy Lopez
17. Duras vs Veirauch 1-0261902Simultaneos ProductionC66 Ruy Lopez
18. J W te Kolste vs Duras 0-1611903DCA Congress 31stC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. W Meiners vs Duras  ½-½571903DCA Congress 31stC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. Duras vs A Neumann 1-0231903DCA Congress 31stC40 King's Knight Opening
21. Loman vs Duras 0-1391903DCA Congress 31stC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. Duras vs M Lange 1-0311903DCA Congress 31stA07 King's Indian Attack
23. J Esser vs Duras  ½-½441903DCA Congress 31stD00 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Leonhardt vs Duras 1-0751903DCA Congress 31stD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
25. A Speijer vs Duras 0-1291903DCA Congress 31stD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 443  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Duras wins | Duras loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-22-14  Karpova: Duras visited the 'Societa scacchistica Triestina' (Trieste, Italy) from November 23 to December 2, 1909.

22-board Simul on November 24 saw Duras score +18 -2 =2 (lost to Badern and Horn, drew Brandmayr and Machnich).

20-board Simul on November 28 led only to +11 -5 =4 (lost to Brandmayr, Dr. Kern, Lutwak, Martin and Torre (!); drew Bezeg, O. Ebner von Ebenthal jr., Machnich and Schwarz).

There were also individual games, e. g. Nandor Müller og Hungary beat Duras on November 23.

There were also 4 individual games against Matteo Gladich:

1st game: Draw after 6 hours of play.

2nd game: Duras won after 5 hours of play.

3rd game: Gladich won after 11 hours of play.

4th game: Draw after 6 hours of play.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', May 1910, pp. 155-156

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Oldrich Duras!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: In the photo above, one can clearly see the silver chain he kept attached to his left (glass) eye.

He lived to be old, 74. Was he rich too?

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <<karpova>, Here is a nice win by Duras as White during one of his 1910 simul games:


1. ♖c1+ ♔b8 2. ♕b4+ ♔a8 3. ♗f3+! ♖xf3 4. ♕e4+! 1-0>

Ah, yes! ...Qxe4 allows the aesthetically pleasing 5.Rc8#

<The game finally ended around 2:00 a.m., and I staggered home exhausted but too wound up to sleep for several hours.>

This is one reason I don't really miss tournament play. I <always> got paired against those idiots.

In one tournament, my opponent kept playing with a king and 4 pawns against my king, 3 pawns, and Rook+Knight!

By the time he resigned, we had a grand total of 20 minutes to eat lunch before the next round. And since the venue was a library, that time included leaving the library to find a place to buy food.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Yes, I will say he was underrated. A 38 year career with only 99 currently known losses? Not too shabby. Some of his endgames were really great. He also did not draw very much, but I can't be sure if that's a good or bad thing until I play through a lot more of his games.
May-04-17  Paarhufer: <SteinitzLives: Yes, I will say he was underrated. A 38 year career with only 99 currently known losses?> His career basically ended already after 15 years with the Great War.
May-31-17  zanzibar: There's another photo of him circulating on the net, I believe it is a cropped version coming from this source:


May-31-17  zanzibar: It's curious, and in need of explanation, why such a strong player should essentially disappear from chess post-WW1, only to return in the mid-late-1930's.


May-31-17  zanzibar: Ah, within the early pages of commentary is this, unfortunately unsourced, explanation by Honza Cervenka:

Oldrich Duras (kibitz #4)


May-31-17  zanzibar: His bio should probably mention his editorship of the ACB's 5e Rice Gambit Supplement (1914) - which also is likely the source of <CG> portrait of him above (<CG>'s version being cropped):


May-31-17  zanzibar: Looks like <CG> has a fairly goodly slice of his games, i.e. ~430 vs. the 539 mentioned here:

<Jan Kalendovsky: The Complete Games of Oldrich Duras. The first book on Duras to appear in English. Career record, Tournaments and Matches tables, Biography, 539 games, Openings and Players index. 180 pages. Paperback. ISBN 1 901034 06 2. Chess Masters Series (3)>


May-31-17  zanzibar: <

[Event "casual"]
[Site "Brixen IT"]
[Date "1916.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Allies"]
[Black "Duras, Oldrich"]
[Result "0-1"]
[EventDate "1916.??.??"]
[Stub "fragment - ending"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


1...d4 2.Rb4 d2 3.Rc2 Qa6 4.b3 Qf1+ 5.Kb2 dxc3+ 6.Ka3 Qc1+ 7.Rxc1 dxc1=Q+ 8.Ka4 Bd7+ 9.Ka5 b6+ 10.Ka6 Qf1+ 11.Kb7 Bc6+ 12.Kxc8 Qa6+ 13. Kd8 Qd3+ 14.Kc7 Qd7+ 15.Kb8 Qb7# 0-1


From a 1941 newspaper:

(Duras made it a little harder on himself than it needed)


Jun-01-17  zanzibar: Ah, correction, Brixen is more likely in Austria.
Premium Chessgames Member
  freewheel: Brixen or Bressanone is a town in South Tyrol in northern Italy, located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Bolzano.
Feb-01-19  JimNorCal: I hadn't realized Duras had traveled to the US.

Also, I read somewhere that he married a wealthy widow and dropped out of chess in order to manage her estate. That conflicts with the explanation provided at Zanzibar's May 31 link.

Feb-01-19  zanzibar: I'm just stopping by for a second, having noticed <JNC>'s post, but unfortunately having missed <freewheel>'s post.

Addressing the latter, I have to admit I can't remember why I posted the correction, and should be faulted for not at least providing a hint as to the details.

But I think there might be two Brixen's out there:

That's about the limit of the my efforts for tonight - a review of the original source might provide better info.

Not sure about the mention of Duras in the US... maybe there's a post I'm not seeing at the moment?

Oh, ciao bella/bello.

Feb-02-19  JimNorCal: Duras played in a 1913 US tournament. Nothing complicated. I thought Duras was mostly inactive in chess then, at least, not a globe trotter.
Feb-02-19  zanzibar: A bit more detail about Duras' career:


Among the last tourneys before the war [i.e. WW1] with Duras’ participation were in 1913 Lodz, Warsaw, St. Petersburg and Moscow, in 1914 New York City (he took second behind Capablanca).

Turn to composing

The war stopped his participation in international tourneys, and even when it was over he did not return to playing, leading Duras to pursue the creation of chess compositions instead, but also writing for Ceské Slovo from 1922 to 1931.

Being a Czech composer, he followed the Bohemian style in his three-movers (mates in three moves)...


According to Wikipedia, an exhibition match with Ossip Bernstein in Prague 1938 saw three games with the “Duras gambit”, also known as “Fred Defense”, 1.e4 f5 2.exf5 Nf6 which is regarded as not fully sound today. However, "Mala..." tells us that it actually was a couple of spontaneous quick friendly games between the old friends Bernstein and Duras with that opening on January 27, 1938.


As an interesting fact, this match would not have happened if Bernstein’s life was not literally saved by chess two decades prior. When he, a financial lawyer in Odessa, was caught by the Cheka (Soviet secret police) in 1918 for supporting capitalism, the firing squad officer, a chess lover, recognized his name and demanded to play chess against him as a proof that he was indeed the chess master. Bernstein won and was set free, taking the opportunity to flee to Paris. There are many interesting stories like this in chess history.>

Feb-02-19  JimNorCal: Bernstein "was caught by the Cheka (Soviet secret police) in 1918" but released due to being recognized as a strong chess player.

I've heard the same story about Alekhine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <JimNorCal: I've heard the same story about Alekhine>

Yeah, great stories.

That's what they are: stories. How true they are is another matter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here’s a 1923 study, courtesy of Jeno Ban’s book on the tactics of endgames:

click for larger view

1.Bg2! Ke3 2.h4 Kxf4 3.Bf3! Ke5 4.h5 Ke6 5.Bd5+! Ke7 6.h6 Kf8 7.Kd2

Black’s king can neither approach the pawn nor move away. White will capture all Black’s pawns, causing zugzwang.

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <keypusher> A very good bad Bishop indeed!

O. Duras "Časopis českých šachistů" 1923, Mention

But "<my>" source was "1234 Modern End-Game Studies, by Sutherland and Lommer, 1938.

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

O. Duras "Národní Listy" 1938 #3 (4x4 board)

Image of a postcard featuring this same Problem, courtesy of <Graham Clayton>

Mar-27-19  Olavi: The bishop seems to be superfluous for the solution, but it does give a couple good tries: 1.Rc2? and 1.Ba4? at least.
May-22-19  Rama: Just solved a tactical puzzle from the game Vik-Duras Prague 1899. I wanted to see the entire game but here we only go to 1900?
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