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Oldrich Duras

Number of games in database: 457
Years covered: 1900 to 1938
Overall record: +223 -104 =102 (63.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 28 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (114) 
    C77 C65 C66 C68 C67
 French Defense (23) 
    C01 C11 C14 C12 C10
 King's Gambit Accepted (12) 
    C33 C39 C37 C36 C38
 Orthodox Defense (9) 
    D51 D63 D53 D55
 Scandinavian (8) 
 French (8) 
    C11 C12 C10
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (42) 
    C84 C77 C78 C68 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (24) 
    C84 C92 C96 C90 C91
 Queen's Pawn Game (23) 
    D02 D00 A50 D05 D04
 Caro-Kann (20) 
    B13 B15 B12 B10 B16
 Queen's Gambit Declined (19) 
    D31 D37 D30 D39 D35
 Tarrasch Defense (11) 
    D32 D33
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
   Duras vs Teichmann, 1906 1-0
   Rubinstein vs Duras, 1912 0-1
   Duras vs Swiderski, 1908 1-0
   S von Freymann vs Duras, 1909 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Prague (1908)
   18th DSB Congress, Breslau (1912)
   31st DCA Congress, Hilversum (1903)
   Barmen Hauptturnier-A (1905)
   Rice CC Masters (1913)
   15th DSB Congress, Nuremberg (1906)
   17th DSB Congress, Hamburg (1910)
   Abbazia (1912)
   Vienna (1908)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   Scheveningen (1905)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   Ostend-B (1907)
   Karlsbad (1907)
   Karlsbad (1911)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Oldřich Duras Selected Games by Edwardhan
   American Chess Bulletin 1913 by Phony Benoni
   American Chess Bulletin 1912 by Phony Benoni
   Abbazia 1912 by sneaky pete
   Scheveningen 1905 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Oldrich Duras
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(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 19; games 1-25 of 457  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Distl vs Duras 0-1291900Club GameB01 Scandinavian
2. Vitacek vs Duras 0-1261900Club GameC22 Center Game
3. V Vlk vs Duras 0-1291900Family FeudD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. NN vs Duras 0-1261901Club GameC50 Giuoco Piano
5. Allies vs Duras 0-1231901Club GameD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Duras vs Schlechter 1-0351901Friendly MatchC70 Ruy Lopez
7. Boucek vs Duras 0-1201902PragueC55 Two Knights Defense
8. Duras vs Brozek / Doorschak 1-0291902Consultation gameB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
9. Duras vs J Kvicala 1-0181902Brilliant-Game Contest of Czech Chess ClubC67 Ruy Lopez
10. Duras vs V Vlk 1-0301902Family FeudC67 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. Duras vs V Dyk 1-0171903Czech Chess Club ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
19. A Speijer vs Duras 0-129190331st DCA Congress, HilversumD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
20. W Meiners vs Duras  ½-½57190331st DCA Congress, HilversumC96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Duras vs J F Heemskerk 1-040190331st DCA Congress, HilversumC49 Four Knights
22. J Esser vs Duras  ½-½44190331st DCA Congress, HilversumD00 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Duras vs M Lange 1-031190331st DCA Congress, HilversumA07 King's Indian Attack
24. Duras vs F Brown 1-050190331st DCA Congress, HilversumB01 Scandinavian
25. P S Leonhardt vs Duras 1-075190331st DCA Congress, HilversumD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 457  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Duras wins | Duras loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.

Feb-03-19  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.

Mar-27-19  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.

Mar-27-19  vonKrolock:

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?
Dec-19-19  Chesgambit: Very strong chess player
Premium Chessgames Member
  louispaulsen88888888: I am playing over analysis and games in an old book, Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit. I look at the moves and annotations first, then try to figure things out for myself. Lastly I have my computer ( ok, engine) look at it and the machine points out my many errors. The book is from 1916 and a lot of the analysis is pretty bad by today’s standards, but there are several pages of analysis by Duras. The great majority of it stands the test of time, even when subjected to review by Stockfish and Wasp. It left me quite impressed.
Jul-12-22  Nosnibor: Game 75 is duplicated by game 76. Does anybody have any details of the Rice Gambit tournament. Who was the winner and details of other entrants?
Jan-12-23  stone free or die: I found another source that could have been used for the cropped photo shown here:

<ACB v10 N8 (Aug 1913) p174>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Wrong photo, right source ;)
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