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Ludek Pachman
Number of games in database: 1,137
Years covered: 1940 to 1999

Overall record: +365 -194 =575 (57.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (83) 
    E80 E81 E87 E95 E94
 English (45) 
    A17 A15 A16 A10 A13
 Ruy Lopez (41) 
    C86 C77 C83 C78 C89
 Sicilian (36) 
    B23 B76 B20 B36 B49
 Nimzo Indian (30) 
    E21 E56 E53 E32 E39
 Queen's Indian (28) 
    E14 E19 E17 E16 E15
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (75) 
    C67 C97 C69 C65 C91
 Nimzo Indian (63) 
    E32 E40 E45 E48 E46
 Sicilian (57) 
    B83 B43 B42 B93 B23
 Grunfeld (37) 
    D97 D94 D82 D86 D87
 Semi-Tarrasch Defense (31) 
    D41 D42 D40
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (31) 
    C97 C91 C95 C96 C84
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Pachman vs Eckert, 1940 1-0
   Pachman vs O Neikirch, 1958 1-0
   Z Domnitz vs Pachman, 1973 0-1
   Pachman vs Fischer, 1959 1-0
   Pachman vs G Gunnarsson, 1967 1-0
   J Jezek vs Pachman, 1953 0-1
   Pachman vs J H Donner, 1955 1-0
   P Trifunovic vs Pachman, 1947 0-1
   Pachman vs Timman, 1977 1/2-1/2
   Pachman vs Szabo, 1947 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Santiago (1959)
   Hastings 1954/55 (1954)
   Haifa Olympiad (Men) (1976)
   Havana (1965)
   Prague (1946)
   Bucharest (1954)
   Moscow (1947)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Lone Pine (1979)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Pachman: Meine Seine Besten Partien by Nimzophile
   Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman) by isfsam
   Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman) by Qindarka
   Dresden 1956 by Phony Benoni
   Moscow 1947 by suenteus po 147

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(born May-11-1924, died Mar-06-2003, 78 years old) Czech Republic (federation/nationality Germany)
[what is this?]

Ludek Pachman was born in Bela pod Bezdezem, Czechoslovakia. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1954, he was Czech champion seven times between 1946 and 1966 and won the West German Championship in 1978.

He won three Zonal tournaments and competed in six Interzonals, but never became a Candidate. Pachman did play Ilivitsky for the reserve place in the Amsterdam Candidates - Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956) - a match he narrowly lost. He also represented his country in eight Olympiads from 1952 to 1966, usually playing first board. Formerly an ardent Communist, Pachman opposed the Communist regime following the Czech uprising in 1968. He was imprisoned several times, which he described in graphic detail in his 1975 biography "Checkmate in Prague." He drew international attention to his plight by intentionally jumping headfirst from his prison bed, which caused permanent head and spinal injuries. Rather than being a thorn in their side as a political martyr, the authorities allowed Pachman to emigrate in 1972. He settled in West Germany, where he continued his chess career. He died on March 6, 2003.

Wikipedia article: Luděk Pachman

Last updated: 2017-11-10 06:53:54

 page 1 of 46; games 1-25 of 1,137  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Pachman vs Eckert 1-0241940CistaC13 French
2. Pachman vs Foltys  1-0431943ZlinC77 Ruy Lopez
3. Pachman vs V Stulik  1-0381943ZlinC19 French, Winawer, Advance
4. Pachman vs J Fichtl  1-0291943ZlinC11 French
5. J Dobias vs Pachman  ½-½661943UJCS-17.KongressE49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
6. X Vasicek vs Pachman  ½-½921943ZlinA45 Queen's Pawn Game
7. F Zita vs Pachman  1-0681943ZlinB83 Sicilian
8. Hromadka vs Pachman 1-0401943ZlinA03 Bird's Opening
9. Pachman vs K Prucha  ½-½451943ZlinE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
10. Saemisch vs Pachman 0-1291943Prague (Gambit Tourney)C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
11. C Kottnauer vs Pachman  ½-½301943ZlinA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
12. F Zita vs Pachman  ½-½411943UJCS-17.KongressE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
13. Pachman vs A Pokorny  1-0451943ZlinC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
14. Pachman vs K Petrik  1-0341943ZlinC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
15. J Holas vs Pachman  0-1321943ZlinC29 Vienna Gambit
16. Sajtar vs Pachman  0-1561943ZlinD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
17. M Foltys vs Pachman 0-1301943ZlinD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
18. Sajtar vs Pachman 1-0231943UJCS-17.KongressE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
19. Pachman vs J Kubanek 1-0461943PragueC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
20. Pachman vs Sajtar  0-1461943PragueB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
21. Pachman vs K Prucha  0-1371943PragueB72 Sicilian, Dragon
22. Pachman vs J Podgorny  1-0331943PragueC78 Ruy Lopez
23. Pachman vs M Dietze  ½-½561943PragueC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
24. M Bartosek vs Pachman  0-1531943PragueD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
25. Lokvenc vs Pachman 1-081943PragueE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
 page 1 of 46; games 1-25 of 1,137  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pachman wins | Pachman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-28-14  parisattack: <john barleycorn: Pachman's bio needs an overhaul, most definitely.>

I fully concur. Eminent player, theoretician and writer.

In the mid-60s when MCO 10 was the standard opening reference his four volume Modern Chess Opening Theory (Open, Semi-Open, Queen's Gambit, Indian Systems) was much sought after. I was just recently looking through volumes of a periodical he did in the 1980s - Eroffnung-Up to Date. Great stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: From the "Hastings and St Leonards Observer" - Saturday 20 November 1954, p1.2.

"Ludek Pachman, the Czechoslovakian chess champion who is ornamenting the Premier at Christmas, has sent me quaint little game which he won blindfold performance. He doesn’t say how many he was taking on at once; I expect It was about 20. Apart from the two rook sacrifice which leaves the black queen marooned, note the futility of the black queen’s side".

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Bxg5 7. hxg5 Qxg5 8. Nh3 Qh6 9. Qg4 g6 10. Bd3 c5 11. f4 cxd4 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. Ng5 Qxh1+ 14. Kf2 Qxa1

click for larger view

<In for a penny, in for a pound! Black takes everything he can see lying around, crosses his fingers and hopes that he will be able to fiddle his way to the end-game.>

15. Nxf7+ Ke7 16. Qg5+ Kxf7

<"I expect he thought that the blindfold player had overlooked this. What a hope!">

17. Nd6+ Kg7 18. Qe7+ Kh6 19. Nf7+ Kg7 20. Ng5+ Kh6 21. Nxe6 Nf6 22. Qg7+ Kh5 23. Qxf6 h6 24. Be2# 1-0


Houdini recommends <15...Qh5> which it believes saves Black. It prefers <14.Kd2> which it concludes is advantageous for White.

May-03-15  john barleycorn: There is a free download available of Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <You know, comrade Pachman, I don't enjoy being a Minister, I would rather play chess like you, or make a revolution in Venezuela> - Che Guevara.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <It would also be feasible to look for parallels between the growth of chess ideas and the general development of thought in human society, for despite its individual characteristics chess cannot be divorced from other aspects of culture. Our game mirrors the intellectual level and cultural trends of the times. However, such a theme would require a separate, comprehensive treatment of its own, beyond the scope of this work> - Ludek Pachman.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Ludek Pachman.
May-11-16  RookFile: He wrote some first class chess books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I learned a lot from Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < PhilFeeley: How is it possible this guy doesn't (or didn't, I guess) have a rating?>

Pachman was 2510 on the January 1975 FIDE list, though clearly past his prime by then, aged fifty:

May-11-16  RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.
May-11-16  Howard: Probably back in the late 50's---that was probably his peak period.
May-11-16  john barleycorn: <Howard> Pachman's peak year was 1959 according to various sources.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.>

Hard to imagine that was not the case: a strong, professional GM who was a tough out, though not quite of candidate stature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <gawain> That book is 1 of the best books of all time IMO!
May-11-16  diagonal: <He must have been a top 20 player at one point>

His peak ranking was #14 in October 1959 (SONAS ELO, according to historical chessmetrics data).

Pachman was a solid player around the top twenty during the 1950s, and consistently a top fifty player of the world (today labelled as supergrandmaster) from 1947 to 1967, in a period when the top ten was heavily 'occupied' by players from the Soviet Union.

In 1958, at the Interzonal in Portoroz, Yugoslavia (Slovenia), he missed a possible play-off spot for the Candidate's only by half a point: the tournament was won by young and meteoric rising <Tal> with 13.5/20, <Gligoric> was second with 13, followed by <Benko> and <Petrosian> with 12.5, then <Olafsson> and <Fischer> (who was on friendly terms with Pachman these days) both with 12.0 points (all six players qualified to join <Smyslov> and <Keres> for the Candidate tournament in 1959 of the best eight players to determine the Challenger of reigning Champion Botvinnik in 1960).

Ludek Pachman finished that Interzonal with 11.5 points (together with Bronstein, the unlucky World Champion Challenger from 1951, and others; great Larsen, already a GM since 1956, born the same year as scandinavian compatriot, advancing (then IM) Olafsson, was sole 16th, Averbakh, Szabo, Filip, Matanovic (the only player to beat Tal) Panno, Rossetto failing all, it was pretty close in a strong field: <> 21 participants, and one Interzonal tournament per three-year-cycle.

FIDE ELO started later, just when Pachman's otb strength began to fall considerably.

May-12-16  diagonal: In 1955, at the previous Interzonal tournament in Gothenburg (it was a 21-player round robin, with the top nine players qualifying for the Amsterdam Candidate’s in 1956), Pachman already was missing a possible play-off spot to advance only by half a point. The winner was <Bronstein> with 15/20 (an impressive +10 =10 -0), <Keres> was sole second with 13.5, <Panno> was clear third at 13, followed by <Petrosian> 12.5, <Geller> and <Szabo> each had 12 and the other qualifiers were <Filip>, <Pilnik> and <Spassky> with 11.

Just missing out with 10.5 were Ilivitsky and Pachman, they even played a reserve playoff match for the gallery: Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyrandus: Pachmann vs Portisch?
Dec-19-16  parisattack: <RookFile: He wrote some first class chess books.>


Back when single-volume Evan's MCO 10 and Horowitz's Theory and Practice were about all available in the English language on chess openings, along came the translation of Pachman's four volume set Modern Chess Theory. It was a very hot property at the local chess club! I probably loaned out Indian Systems a dozen times. (The others - Queen's Gambit and Closed Games, Open Games, Semi-Open Games.) The Spring Books editions were most collectible.

Then came the English Invasion with the Batsford 'Whites' and of course Ken Smith's many monographs on specific openings.

In the early 1980s Pachman did a serial similar to Euwe's Schach Archiv - 'Eroffnung - Up to Date' with some fine variation-specific analysis.

Dec-19-16  zanzibar: <parisattack> I guess you're talking about the 1960's then?

If it were the 1970's, do the Chess Digest series on opening qualify?

(I'm not too familar with the Batsford series, but the Chess Digest series also had white covers - and were very extensive in topics:

I think Smith's pamphlets were also published by this company.)

Dec-19-16  parisattack: Those are what I call the Batsford 'whites' because of the covers. I think Chess Digest/Batsford had some sort of arrangement as some of mine say the former, some the latter.

Chess Digest/Ken Smith did a zillion of those little opening monographs, I don't have a full listing, but think first were late 60s. Soltis did many of them - some good, some bad, some ugly. :)

The early 'bis' series came out in the same time period but those never got translated into English.

Dec-19-16  zanzibar: <Those are what I call the Batsford 'whites' because of the covers. I think Chess Digest/Batsford had some sort of arrangement as some of mine say the former, some the latter.>

That's what I thought then, although I think I've only seen the Chess Digest label (but admittedly, I haven't seen too many).

<Chess Digest/Ken Smith did a zillion of those little opening monographs, I don't have a full listing ...>

Yes, it would be quite a task to document the entire list. I was happy to find the Tartan series documented (etc.)

I haven't looked too deep, but there's this link with some Ken Smith stuff:

which includes many positive comments about Smith.

(Might have to hop over to his bio...

Kenneth Ray Smith

Is this the guy? His bio only mentions his publications on the Smith-Morra)

Dec-20-16  parisattack: That's Ken Smith, alrighty. He was a very big man. Played in a few Colorado tournaments. I have some of his old book lists and a rather comprehensive list which <Ed Labate> was kind enough to share with me a few years ago.

Chess Digest (his magazine which ran for several years late 60s-early 70s) had some excellent content but production values were generally awful...nothing like for example Purdy's Australian Chess Review, Check! or Chess World.

Thanks for the Tartans link <Zanzibar>! I will add it to my list of sources.

Jun-10-18  WTHarvey: Here is a collection of mates and combinations from Ludek's games: Find the winning move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I read his autobiography many years ago. I barely remember anything now, but I do remember it was an engaging read, profoundly political, and passionate.
Aug-07-19  Nosnibor: One of the few non Soviet players to have a good score against Bobby Fischer with 2wins,4 draws and 2 losses.
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