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Lubomir Kavalek
GM Lubomir Kavalek in 1980. 
Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Number of games in database: 1,066
Years covered: 1958 to 1998
Last FIDE rating: 2527
Highest rating achieved in database: 2600

Overall record: +320 -191 =548 (56.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 7 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (101) 
    B42 B96 B47 B32 B83
 Ruy Lopez (87) 
    C95 C93 C72 C81 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (53) 
    C95 C93 C92 C98 C90
 King's Indian (37) 
    E69 E90 E80 E63 E91
 Caro-Kann (34) 
    B17 B18 B14 B15 B13
 French Defense (27) 
    C16 C02 C18 C11 C19
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (123) 
    B93 B43 B83 B90 B98
 King's Indian (80) 
    E92 E62 E80 E67 E97
 Sicilian Najdorf (47) 
    B93 B90 B98 B92 B97
 Ruy Lopez (34) 
    C87 C95 C69 C93 C64
 English (29) 
    A15 A10 A16
 English, 1 c4 e5 (23) 
    A22 A21 A23 A26 A28
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Gufeld vs Kavalek, 1962 0-1
   Kavalek vs Matulovic, 1966 1-0
   Kavalek vs E Formanek, 1970 1-0
   Kavalek vs Khodos, 1965 1-0
   Gheorghiu vs Kavalek, 1969 0-1
   Kavalek vs W Pietzsch, 1967 1-0
   Portisch vs Kavalek, 1975 1/2-1/2
   Kavalek vs Karpov, 1970 1-0
   Kavalek vs Uhlmann, 1976 1-0
   Kavalek vs J B Bednarski, 1972 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1973)
   Andersson - Kavalek (1978)
   US Championship (1972)
   Lone Pine (1973)
   IBM Amsterdam (1973)
   Manila (1973)
   Hoogovens (1975)
   Linares (1981)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Montreal (1979)
   Buenos Aires (Clarin) (1980)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Thessaloniki Olympiad (1984)
   Haifa Olympiad (Men) (1976)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   USA Championship 1986 by Chessdreamer
   IBM Amsterdam 1973 by Tabanus
   Manila 1973 by Tabanus
   Amsterdam IBM 1977 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1970 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1969 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1975 by suenteus po 147
   Amsterdam IBM 1975 by Chessdreamer
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1972 by Phony Benoni

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FIDE player card for Lubomir Kavalek

(born Aug-09-1943, 77 years old) Czech Republic (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

Lubomir Kavalek was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He was awarded both the IM and GM titles in 1965. He's been Czech Champion in 1962 and 1968, was US Champion in 1972 sharing the first place with Byrne and Reshevsky 1973 (jointly with John Alan Grefe) and 1978 and West German Champion in 1981. More recently he helped Nigel Short in his World title bid in 1993 against Garry Kasparov.

Current blog at

Kavalek was the chess columnist for the Washington Post for 23 years, until that paper discontinued its chess column in January 2010. His columns are archived at and

Wikipedia article: Lubomir Kavalek

Last updated: 2017-09-20 04:39:14

 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,066  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kavalek vs Z Rutka  0-1321958CSR-ch sfA57 Benko Gambit
2. Kavalek vs J Rejfir ½-½401959Cerveny KostelecB41 Sicilian, Kan
3. Kavalek vs J Fabian  1-0481959Cerveny KostelecC02 French, Advance
4. F Blatny vs Kavalek 1-0291959Cerveny KostelecA07 King's Indian Attack
5. Kavalek vs Jansa  0-1291959Cerveny KostelecB02 Alekhine's Defense
6. F Zita vs Kavalek  ½-½411959Cerveny KostelecA04 Reti Opening
7. Kavalek vs M Herink  ½-½521959Cerveny KostelecC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
8. J Marsalek vs Kavalek 1-0571959Cerveny KostelecA45 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Kavalek vs R Weinstein  0-1501960WchT U26 07thB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. N Radev vs Kavalek  0-1381960WchT U26 07thE93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
11. Ake Olsson vs Kavalek  ½-½471960WchT U26 07thB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
12. I Szabo vs Kavalek  ½-½311960WchT U26 07thB42 Sicilian, Kan
13. Tan Hoan Liong vs Kavalek  1-0381960WchT U26 07thC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
14. Kavalek vs T Rakic  0-1331960WchT U26 07thE61 King's Indian
15. Kavalek vs S Momo  1-0651960WchT U26 07thC77 Ruy Lopez
16. Kavalek vs F Baumbach  1-0331960WchT U26 07thB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
17. M van Hoorne vs Kavalek  0-1361960WchT U26 07thB20 Sicilian
18. Kavalek vs G Kvist  ½-½241960WchT U26 07thC02 French, Advance
19. J Tabor vs Kavalek  0-1331960WchT U26 07thB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
20. Kavalek vs Gurgenidze  0-1371960WchT U26 07thB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
21. M Altschul vs Kavalek  1-0341961CSR-chB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
22. Kavalek vs Ujtelky 0-1231961CSR-chB06 Robatsch
23. J Trmal vs Kavalek  ½-½151961CSR-chA22 English
24. Kavalek vs J Lastovicka  1-0411961CSR-chC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
25. Pachman vs Kavalek  ½-½431961CSR-chA55 Old Indian, Main line
 page 1 of 43; games 1-25 of 1,066  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kavalek wins | Kavalek loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-20-14  RedShield: <Kavalek had a streak of genius s bit like Bronstein's.>

Neither was bald, either. They both just had one hell of a parting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It was Short and Kavalek that had the parting.
Feb-21-14  RookFile: <Kavalek: His recent claim that I did not contribute any original ideas sounds strange; he certainly did not tell me that at the time. Moreover, it now seems like the fewer ideas I had, the more money he wanted to pay me. >

End of story, as far as I'm concerned. Anybody who has spent 5 minutes with Short knows that he wouldn't agree to pay money unless it was worthwhile to him.

Feb-21-14  Shams: <RookFile> <Anybody who has spent 5 minutes with Short knows that he wouldn't agree to pay money unless it was worthwhile to him.>

As opposed to other GMs who would happily flush money down the drain?

Feb-21-14  RedShield: As far as opening preparation went, it's hard to see that Nigel had any cause for complaint; this was the one area in which he was more than a match for Garry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I can remember playing through most of the games in the 1993 match and Nigel certainly obtained a number of excellent positions. I'm not sure why but somehow he just wasn't able to capitalize on many of them.
Feb-21-14  RedShield: After the openings, the gods have placed the middle game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <I met with similar fate (as Martina Navritalova) after I left Czechoslovakia in 1968. Chess tournaments in which I participated were not reported or appeared without my name. The same year Martina left, a book of chess puzzles by two Czech grandmasters, Vlastimil Hort and Vlastimil Jansa, was published in Prague. The publisher Olympia printed 18,000 copies and when it was done, some censors discovered my name attached to one of the games. They did something unbelievable: they cut out the page with my name, printed a new one without my name and glued it back in the book. They did it page by page, book by book 18,000 times> - Lubosh Kavalek.
May-07-15  RookFile: <Shams: As opposed to other GMs who would happily flush money down the drain? >

Illogical, grasshopper. You overlook the possibility of simply not paying money, and doing the work yourself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <There is no physical punishment in chess; suffering goes on inside the mind. You defend a bad position for hours, you suffer. You lose, you suffer like in any other sport. Suffering euphoria comes when the opponent blunders in a winning position, but it is undeserved> - Lubomir Kavalek.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Jim Bartle: I don't remember the details. But Kavalek definitely thought he should have the biggest voice in what openings were chosen.

Shams: <JB> Well, that's not entirely unreasonable but of course that should have been discussed prior to his being hired. >

When you choose a second for a major match like that, its too late to build a new opening repertoire. A player chooses openings that produce positions that result in the type of positions he handles well. The idea is to strengthen one's handling of the openings he already has experience with, searching for nuances and refinements deeper in his existing opening knowledge. You can't just jump into all new lines in which you have had no practical OTB experience, because when you are out of book or facing unclear positions, instinct supports analysis. The last thing you would want is to be in completely uncharted waters solving problems for which your opponent is prepared. That would put you in continual time trouble. If i was selecting a 2nd it would be a player that prefers many of the openings i play, but has a different style or handling, so as to introduce new ideas or insights, or possibly find stuff that I have not considered, or overlooked in the lines i already play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: I certainly agree with that. As I remember, Short and Kavalek prepared the Marshall as the major defense against 1. e4, then Kasparov played anti-Marshall variations.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Lubomir Kavalek.

Player of the Day

Aug-09-16  Howard: His birthday is the same as mine, though he's quite a bit older.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kavalek discusses the beginning of his career and great games of Petrosian and Fischer:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Respect to the guy; he's been lunching out on boring stories of glory days for forty long years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I wonder why Kavalek says that Matulovic defeated Fischer in a match? He didn't.

Euwe was the only player to defeat Fischer in a match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: He has not written a column for the Huffington Post in over 4 months - is he OK?
Aug-09-17  Ironmanth: Happy birthday, Grandmaster Lubosh. Have appreciated your columns for many years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: His last column was 2/9 - hope he is Ok
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: If someone shot a movie about him, the actor who played Toby in the West Wing (whatever his name was) should play Kavalek.
Feb-25-19  Caissanist: I remember Kavalek referring to a game which he won through a double-rook sacrifice, after which "there then followed the hopeless struggle of his two rooks and three pawns versus my bishop and eight pawns". Does anyone know which game that would be? It sounds quite interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Caissanist> That's this game:-

Gufeld vs Kavalek, 1962

Feb-25-19  Caissanist: Thanks! Should have looked in notable games first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: What is he up to these days? Completely retired?
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