Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Henrique Mecking
Number of games in database: 623
Years covered: 1964 to 2018
Last FIDE rating: 2553 (2600 rapid, 2589 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2635

Overall record: +231 -86 =298 (61.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 8 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (41) 
    B81 B90 B44 B67 B83
 King's Indian (30) 
    E81 E92 E93 E64 E84
 Ruy Lopez (29) 
    C69 C67 C92 C93 C95
 Nimzo Indian (26) 
    E41 E45 E44 E56 E47
 Modern Benoni (20) 
    A70 A56 A58 A79 A61
 Queen's Indian (16) 
    E15 E17 E14 E16 E19
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (85) 
    B90 B92 B96 B52 B53
 King's Indian (36) 
    E97 E63 E75 E60 E66
 Sicilian Najdorf (33) 
    B90 B96 B92 B99 B97
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C98 C96 C97 C95 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (26) 
    C98 C96 C97 C99 C91
 English (16) 
    A14 A15 A17 A16 A12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mecking vs A C Rocha, 1969 1-0
   L A Tan vs Mecking, 1976 0-1
   Mecking vs S Mareco, 2011 1-0
   Mecking vs L A Tan, 1973 1-0
   Najdorf vs Mecking, 1978 1/2-1/2
   Smyslov vs Mecking, 1973 0-1
   M Mrdja vs Mecking, 2006 0-1
   Mecking vs Tal, 1975 1-0
   Mecking vs Korchnoi, 1967 1-0
   Mecking vs Korchnoi, 1974 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Clube de Xadrez Sao Paulo Championship (1966)
   Brazilian Championship (1965)
   Buenos Aires / Rio Hondo Zonal (1966)
   Sao Paulo Zonal (1972)
   Brazilian Championship (1967)
   Kostic Memorial (1971)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
   BRA-ch sf (1965)
   Las Palmas (1975)
   Mar del Plata Zonal (1969)
   Mar del Plata (1971)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Bled Olympiad (2002)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   MecKing! by Okavango
   MecKing! by Lejgvs
   As 40 Melhores Partidas - Mecking by amadeus
   Henrique Mecking (Gordon) by Chessdreamer
   Henrique Mecking (Gordon) by Okavango
   San Antonio 1972 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1971/72 by suenteus po 147
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1971 by suenteus po 147
   San Antonio 1972 by JoseTigranTalFischer

   🏆 LXXXIV Campeonato Brasileiro Absoluto
   K Mekhitarian vs Mecking (Feb-11-18) 1-0
   Mecking vs L Rodi (Nov-18-17) 1-0
   N Delgado Ramirez vs Mecking (Nov-17-17) 1/2-1/2
   Mecking vs B Roselli Mailhe (Nov-16-17) 1-0
   P Felizes vs Mecking (Nov-15-17) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Henrique Mecking
Search Google for Henrique Mecking
FIDE player card for Henrique Mecking

(born Jan-23-1952, 71 years old) Brazil

[what is this?]
Henrique da Costa Mecking was born in Santa Cruz do Sul. He learned chess at the age of 6. He won his state championship at the age of 11. In 1965, when just thirteen years old, he won his country's championship, 2.5 points more than 2nd place. For this victory, many chess critics hailed him as "the next Fischer," referring to the fact that Robert James Fischer had won the US championship at fourteen. Mecking also won the Brazil championship in 1965 and 1967, never playing in another Brazilian championship, except for the 2011 edition (in which he placed third). In 1966, he was South American champion (jointly) with Julio Bolbochan, Oscar Panno and Alberto Foguelman. He played in the Sousse Interzonal (1967) at the age of 15 and won the Sousse speed championship. Mecking was awarded the title of International Grandmaster in 1971 (at the age of 19) after winning at Vrsac and taking 3rd at Hastings. South American champion at Sao Paulo, zt 1972, 2,5 points ahead of Oscar Panno and Miguel A Quinteros. He won two Interzonal events, Petropolis Interzonal (1973) (without a loss) and Manila Interzonal (1976) (only losing to Spassky). These and other tournament victories vaulted him to third place on FIDE's world rankings list in 1977, behind only World Champion Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi.

In 1979, Mecking was attempting his third consecutive Interzonal victory (Rio de Janerio) when he was forced to withdraw from the tournament, having been stricken with near-fatal illness (myasthenia gravis). It took 12 years for him to recover enough to resume his chess career. He still lives in Brazil and maintains a high rating, although he has not managed to rejoin the world's elite.

By 2009, Mecking was Brazil's fifth highest rated player. He took on the then Brazilian number one, Alexandr Hilario Takeda dos Santos Fier, in a match of four classical games in Sao Paulo, Brazil 23rd-27th September 2009. The match was drawn 2 all - Game Collection: Match - Mecking v Hilario Ta Fier - 2009.

Wikipedia article: Henrique Mecking

 page 1 of 25; games 1-25 of 622  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Mecking vs S Benevenga ½-½251964Porto AlegreC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
2. Mecking vs H van Riemsdijk  1-0321964Rio Grande do Sul ChampionshipD82 Grunfeld, 4.Bf4
3. Mecking vs D van Riemsdijk  ½-½421964Rio Grande do Sul ChampionshipD82 Grunfeld, 4.Bf4
4. Mecking vs A M Vieira  1-0361965BRA-ch sfB95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
5. J Goizutis vs Mecking  0-1541965BRA-ch sfC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
6. Mecking vs J Vilela 1-0501965BRA-ch sfA95 Dutch, Stonewall
7. Mecking vs C Peixoto  1-0321965BRA-ch sfB41 Sicilian, Kan
8. Mecking vs N Silveira ½-½351965BRA-ch sfC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
9. O Feiges vs Mecking  0-1371965BRA-ch sfC54 Giuoco Piano
10. F Trois vs Mecking  ½-½421965BRA-ch sfC78 Ruy Lopez
11. Mecking vs E Stenzel ½-½381965BRA-ch sfC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
12. S Dobrowolski vs Mecking  ½-½301965BRA-ch sfC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
13. P Toth vs Mecking  0-1621965Brazilian ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
14. E Stenzel vs Mecking  0-1471965Brazilian ChampionshipB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
15. Mecking vs M E de Freitas  ½-½321965Brazilian ChampionshipC58 Two Knights
16. C Peixoto vs Mecking  ½-½221965Brazilian ChampionshipE81 King's Indian, Samisch
17. F Vasconcellos vs Mecking  0-1371965Brazilian ChampionshipE75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
18. H Camara vs Mecking  0-1481965Brazilian ChampionshipC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
19. Mecking vs L Tavares da Silva 1-0511965Brazilian ChampionshipA61 Benoni
20. A C Rocha vs Mecking  0-1501965Brazilian ChampionshipE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
21. Mecking vs M Miranda ½-½471965Brazilian ChampionshipE46 Nimzo-Indian
22. Mecking vs J de Souza Mendes 0-1601965Brazilian ChampionshipB06 Robatsch
23. Mecking vs J B Moreira 1-0411965Brazilian ChampionshipE81 King's Indian, Samisch
24. Mecking vs F Alves 1-0341965Brazilian ChampionshipE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
25. Mecking vs E Cotta 1-0381965Brazilian ChampionshipA39 English, Symmetrical, Main line with d4
 page 1 of 25; games 1-25 of 622  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mecking wins | Mecking loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-23-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, GM Henrique Mecking.
Jan-23-16  lost in space: Happy Birthday. GM <HM>
Feb-24-16  zanzibar: This is the youngest picture of him I've ever seen:

(I think he's ~15 years old there, playing in this tournament: Sousse Interzonal (1967))

See also:

Jun-29-16  Nosnibor: <Zanzibar> In the book "Mequinho De Um Genio" by Rubens A.Filguth which is a biography of Mecking on page 31 there is photograph of him dressed in a coat and wearing a tie aged 12 years old in 1964.
Nov-25-16  disasterion: <‘Which player on the international circuit got on more of his colleagues’ nerves than any other? That’s easy − nine out of ten grandmasters would instantly nominate Henrique Mecking...

Over and over again, Mecking restlessly adjusted half the pieces until each occupied the exact geometric center of its square. It didn’t stop him that the rules forbade this when his opponent’s clock is running.

Nor did he confine his compulsive adjustments to the pieces. He was known to reach over to the other side of the table and line up his opponent’s pen to make it perpendicular to the chessboard edge and equidistant from the scoresheet margins.

His chess, however, was no indication of the tenseness underlying it. His style was classical, serene, positional and logical.’

Robert Byrne

Nov-25-16  Howard: Mecking was known, as I recall, for being a paranoid player. Kavalek remarked in his coverage of the Polugavesky--Mecking 1977 match that he changed seconds "as often as he changed shirts."

On another note, that book by Byrne was a classic potboiler, if you ask me ! It was just a rehash of his past NYT columns.

Jan-23-17  Ironmanth: Happy birthday, Grandmaster. I thrilled to your games when I was learning chess in the mid 70s. You and other super GMs made me believe in artistry, fight, and ideas. Many happy returns of the day, Henrique!
Jan-23-17  gmgomes: Mecking is currently playing at Floripa Chess Open.
Jan-23-18  arbivara: It has been announced that birthday boy (66 today) will be playing his 4th Brazilian championship next February:
Feb-21-18  diagonal: Great news!

Henrique Mecking (*1952) won his first national Championship of Brazil at age of 13 yrs 5mth in 1965 (and triumphed also in 1967):

The Brazilian Chess Championship in his final stage was played in a knock-out format; Henrique Mecking lost his semi-final to GM Krikor Mekhitarian (born to a Brazilian mother and a Lebanese father, both of Armenian descent, and National Champion in 2012).

Alexander Fier, a reputed and popular player at international Open Chess Festivals, then won that final above Mekhitarian convincingly, and is the Brazilian Champion of the year 2017 (crowned in 2018).

LXXXIV Campeonato Brasileiro Absoluto 2017, held from 2018/02/06 to 2018/02/15: (Result matrix) (Starting list)

If Mecking wins the national title again for one of the next years, Mecking would realise the longest period between the first and the last national champion title, a record currently held by Viktor Korchnoi with an incredible 51-year span, from 1960 USSR-ch (outright) to 2011 Switzerland-ch (winning in speed play-off vs. GM Gallagher).

Feb-21-18  Marmot PFL: Glad Mecking is still alive and playing. Whenever I see the name of an older GM (esp one with his medical issues) I fear the worst.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What happened in 1965 is not news, great or otherwise. What might happen in future is also not news.
Feb-21-18  whiteshark: <Marmot PFL> Me, too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Just playing over some of the games from a book (short) by Byrne of his games and those of the other contenders for the World Champs which Karpov won. One of the matches is between Korchnoi and Mecking.

Mecking played some good games and interesting also even today. Got some good if not always winning positions and then let himself down in the endings or with some ill-considered move.

But the games are interesting and Mecking did well. I wondered what had happened to him. Came here and I seem to recall he got ill.

That is sad for him that he got so ill. He recovered somewhat (or completely?) but didn't maintain his high ranking.

But it is good to see he is still alive and it seems still at least occasionally playing in tournaments etc.

Sep-19-20  login:


One person on this list of outstanding Brasilian amateur athletes of 1966 (without titles?!) made an immense fortune (there might be a spelling mistake or I'm just plain wrong).

Sep-19-20  vonKrolock: Well spotted... why there's an 'h' in the middle of the surname, and the final letter is not doubled?! Curious, probably the journalist was "playing by ear", or this sample of carelessness in spelling was already received... Why not 'Leminho'... !?
Sep-19-20  login:

Oi, had a look at 'your' chess set. The board (material?) has a 'celtic' touch (finer Art nouveau ornamental elements, knots as black squares). The pieces on the other hand are quite 'heavy', Jaques Staunton unweighted set variants come to mind - the rooks are very interesting. In short, I have no clue at all :-)

Possible contacts

Fora do assunto, sinto muito Grande Mestre Mecking mas tem que ser

Sep-19-20  vonKrolock: Hello, the board and the pieces have each a different origin: The board is molded from marble powder and some kind of resine. The pattern is really very curious, maybe of Irish inspiration... The original board was lost (better: forgotten) after some event. It was a fine work of marchetry... The set of pieces: my original mistake was to assume that it was an ordinary one, and to use it intensively in everyday purposes during a turbulent period. Now I know clearly that it's kind of a vintage item. Unweighted, yes. Besides of the fine design, and delicate work, the types of wood are not those used here in South for this purpose, so I guess they came from abroad (the UK!?). Thanks for Your thoughts, and for the interesting links, that may be very helpful. ... (* not least: for the brazuca song)
Sep-20-20  login:

Restoring the integrity a bit with


and a more recent video interview (in Portuguese)


'.. molded from marble powder ..' explains the still present permanent shine of the surface. Looking at something like this, one can find wondrous matchings going together with the overall composition of both items - Insular art is a good call of yours. At the same time the material is quite noticeable for the 'maker', too. First impression looking at the pieces was a Russian style (⅔), topped with Staunton 'heads' mashup. There I gave up for good ...

Jan-19-21  savagerules: I see where Mecking, at least on Facebook, is still going strong with trying to win souls for JC before the apocalypse arrives and giving out herbal recipes to help you heal. He's one of a kind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Such a shame about his illness. A Karpov-Mecking and/or a Kasparov-Mecking WC match would have proven riveting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's possible the Soviets would have objected to the sprinkling of holy water over the board.
Mar-19-21  Z truth 000000001: Very early footage of Mecking, 14-years old, playing his first time at Hastings 1966:


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <In 1979, Mecking was attempting his third consecutive Interzonal victory (Rio de Janerio) when he was forced to withdraw from the tournament, having been stricken with near-fatal illness (myasthenia gravis). It took 12 years for him to recover enough to resume his chess career. He still lives in Brazil and maintains a high rating, although he has not managed to rejoin the world's elite.>

Not so much was known about MG at the time, Mecking just disappeared from the face of the earth. A shame, today's medications can control MG, with varying degrees of success. Mecking might have remained a force in the chess world.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: The timing of Mecking's illness was especially unfortunate with respect to his chess career. The 1979-1981 World Championship cycle was the big opportunity for the world's elite players, not so much to become World Champion, but to at least get a world championship match. In the previous cycle, Korchnoi was dominant, and in the cycle that followed, no one was going to stop Kasparov. In the 1980-81 candidates, however, Korchnoi seemed more vulnerable, and the teenaged Kasparov wasn't participating. I think that Mecking would have had real chances if he hadn't got sick. He would have been a big underdog against Karpov, but at least he might have wound up as the official challenger.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 10)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC