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Ortvin Sarapu
O Sarapu 

Number of games in database: 696
Years covered: 1940 to 1999
Overall record: +368 -123 =201 (67.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 4 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (88) 
    B22 B20 B32 B40 B90
 Ruy Lopez (67) 
    C77 C78 C84 C73 C71
 French Defense (26) 
    C05 C02 C15 C10 C04
 Queen's Pawn Game (17) 
    A46 D02 A40 A45 D01
 King's Indian Attack (14) 
 Nimzo Indian (13) 
    E48 E41 E55 E24 E54
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (61) 
    C84 C69 C99 C77 C78
 Sicilian (53) 
    B32 B21 B56 B57 B45
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (37) 
    C84 C99 C96 C89 C92
 Nimzo Indian (22) 
    E21 E59 E48 E47 E46
 Queen's Pawn Game (17) 
    A46 D02 A45 D04 D00
 King's Indian (16) 
    E60 E76 E66 E62 E72
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   O Sarapu vs Z Frankel, 1962 1-0
   O Sarapu vs Z Frankel, 1952 1-0
   L Vizantiadis vs O Sarapu, 1972 0-1
   O Sarapu vs H Matthai, 1948 1-0
   O Sarapu vs A L Wilkinson, 1967 1-0
   O Sarapu vs K W Lynn, 1982 1-0
   D Cooper vs O Sarapu, 1970 0-1
   Bogoljubov vs O Sarapu, 1949 0-1
   O Sarapu vs B Marsick, 1960 1-0
   O Sarapu vs V Secula, 1949 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Sarapu - Purdy Australasian Championship (1952)
   Siegen Olympiad Final-E (1970)
   New Zealand Championship 1977/78 (1977)
   1st Burroughs Computers Grandmaster (1978)
   Mercantile Mutual International Masters (1989)
   Australian Championship 1958/59 (1958)
   Oldenburg (1949)
   Australian Championship 1991/92 (1991)
   2nd World Senior Championship (1992)
   Thessaloniki Olympiad (1984)
   Australian Open 1990/91 (1990)
   Buenos Aires Olympiad (1978)
   Lucerne Olympiad (1982)
   Dubai Olympiad (1986)
   Manila Olympiad (1992)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   27th Australian Championship (1956-1957) by jessicafischerqueen
   1956-57 Australian Championship by optimal play
   1st Burroughs Computers Grandmasters Tt by Benzol
   85th New Zealand Ch by Benzol
   Sarapu - Purdy Match, Australasian Championship by Chessical
   1960 Australian Championship by optimal play

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(born Jan-22-1924, died Apr-13-1999, 75 years old) Estonia (federation/nationality New Zealand)

[what is this?]

Ortvin Sarapu was born in Narva, Estonia. He learnt to play chess at eight and took up the game seriously a few years later in the wake of the successes of Paul Keres. By the age of eleven he was able to play four games of simultaneous blindfold chess. Later in his career he played many ten to twelve board displays of this type. In 1940 he won the Estonian Junior Championship, but his chess development was interrupted by the Second World War. In 1943 he made his way via Finland to Sweden where he was interned for the rest of the war.

During Oldenburg (1949) Sarapu met New Zealander Robert Graham Wade, which led to his emigration to New Zealand in 1950. Sarapu won or co-won the New Zealand Championship 20 times, at the time the world record for any national chess championship. He also won the Australian title in the late 1950's, and tied the Sarapu - Purdy Australasian Championship (1952) (+4 =2 -4). He played in the Olympiads 10 times.

In 1966 Sarapu won the Zone 10 Zonal tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. As a result he was awarded the IM title and a qualification spot in the Interzonal tournament at Sousse, Tunisia in 1967. For his services to chess he was awarded an MBE in 1980.

Sarapu retired from international play at the beginning of 1998. His contribution to New Zealand chess and chessplayers cannot be overstated.

Wikipedia article: Ortvin Sarapu

Last updated: 2021-07-29 05:50:38

 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 696  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Rebane vs O Sarapu 1-091940Estonian Junior ChA22 English
2. J Tornerup vs O Sarapu  0-1331947Esbjerg, DenmarkE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
3. O Sarapu vs H Matthai 1-0201948HanoverB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
4. Laudowicz vs O Sarapu  1-0341948OldenburgC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
5. O Sarapu vs A Rankis  1-0651948OldenburgC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
6. O Sarapu vs C Toerber  0-1521948OldenburgC78 Ruy Lopez
7. A Selezniev vs O Sarapu  0-1571948OldenburgA92 Dutch
8. O Sarapu vs W Kuppe  1-0521948OldenburgB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
9. Doggett vs O Sarapu 0-1381948OldenburgE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
10. O Sarapu vs V Secula  1-0251949Hanover, GermanyC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
11. O Sarapu vs L Rellstab  ½-½261949OldenburgC77 Ruy Lopez
12. P Tautvaisas vs O Sarapu 1-0641949OldenburgC48 Four Knights
13. Rossolimo vs O Sarapu ½-½311949OldenburgC56 Two Knights
14. O Sarapu vs O'Kelly 1-0431949OldenburgC78 Ruy Lopez
15. H Heemsoth vs O Sarapu  ½-½521949OldenburgA14 English
16. O Sarapu vs J Enevoldsen 1-0181949OldenburgC77 Ruy Lopez
17. H Heinicke vs O Sarapu  1-0561949OldenburgE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
18. O Sarapu vs B H Wood 1-0441949OldenburgB20 Sicilian
19. E Walther vs O Sarapu 0-1601949OldenburgC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. Bogoljubov vs O Sarapu 0-1391949OldenburgE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
21. O Sarapu vs Saemisch  1-0771949OldenburgC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
22. E Zemgalis vs O Sarapu  ½-½461949OldenburgA15 English
23. O Sarapu vs Unzicker  ½-½521949OldenburgC78 Ruy Lopez
24. R G Wade vs O Sarapu 1-0251949OldenburgC48 Four Knights
25. O Sarapu vs W Kuppe 1-0221949OldenburgE15 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 696  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Sarapu wins | Sarapu loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-23-07  Mac3: Hi Jonathan,

The answer to your question is yes, I should have added in my surname McIntosh.

It's good to touch base with you again after a number of years.

Kind Regards, Andrew

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Hey cool, Andy, now I know; nice to hear from you again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jonathan> <Mac3> Can either of you tell me where the 1985 South Island Championship was played? I believe you played (each other) in that event.

Thanks in advance.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: My sister married a McIntosh and there was a McIntosh who was the Auckland Champion a long time ago That was Ian - my sister's husband's uncle! Ian played at Howick-Pak when I was there in the 70s to the late 80s and I had some tough games with him even though he was quite old then. He also donated the chess tables/baords that are still at ACC - he ran a laminated timber beam making company. <Benzol>s father (Engineer) will know all about them - they are very strong.

But all this probably has nothing to do with <Mac3> lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Benzol>, I think we had a draw in R1 in that SI, which was in NZ. I managed to win that one, with some fair wins over T van Dijk in an endgame and Denis Boyce in the middlegame, but some nasty moments against Anthony J Love and Robert Wansink (scored 1.5 from two probably lost games). Earlier that year I won the NI, which was much more convincing, e.g. O Sarapu vs J Sarfati, 1985
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jonathan> Where in the South Island was the event held. I have some of the games from an old NZ Chess Magazine from 1985 but it doesn't say where the event was played. You won the event and of your games there are the gamescores against the following : Andrew McIntosh, Tom van Dijk, Benjamin Martin, Anthony Love and Robert Wansink.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Benzol>, I am pretty sure that it was in Dunedin. I don't think I have that issue of the mag. Would you please send those games since I lost a lot of records when I moved to Australia. I recall that my win against Denis Boyce was published in the Evening Post chess column.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Jonathan> Thanks. I'll upload the games as soon as I can.
Aug-20-08  OneArmedScissor: The Biography needs a revision. It's got some pretty obvious grammatical errors in it.
Aug-20-08  wolfmaster: Handsome devil, isn't he?


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <wolfmaster: Handsome devil, isn't he?


He was quite old then. Look at yourself in the mirror when your his age...

Mar-21-10  Mac3: Great to see "Mr Chess" otherwise known as Ought-to-win Sarapu honoured here today.
Aug-12-13  jerseybob: Didn't Sarapu beat Walter Browne - by tiebreak - in a short playoff match for an Interzonal spot?
Nov-11-14  ljfyffe: Sarapu won the New Zealand correspondence
chess championship in 1968, and again in 1969,
the dates signifying when the tournaments started.
Nov-11-14  ljfyffe: Also, in 1965.
Jan-22-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Ortvin Sarapu.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Ortvin was quite proud of this game H Rossetto vs O Sarapu, 1972 and featured it in his regular chess column in the Auckland Star newspaper in 1972.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Sarapu's birthday the other day! Well he is no longer with us as they say. Old Ort. He was a prodigy but his chess was interrupted by WWII. He knew Keres of course. He played some great games, and was a likable man.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He has one of my favourite chess names.

I really like that picture of him up the top there↑. He looks avuncular, and I mean that in a good way.

He has a superb chess set. And he is <FULLY> prepared for an underpromotion to rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Could be vun baby, or tvin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The Sarapu Cup is named after IM Ortvin Sarapu. It is a new event, for school aged kids of all skill levels. It is an opportunity for them to play competitive chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: New Zealand Chess, Aug 1999, had a large tribute to Sarapu from his many admirers. There are some historical game notes and biographical information by his great friend and rival Cecil John Seddon Purdy, a tribute by Benjamin Martin, some annotations by me, notes by Sarapu himself, and all coordinated by Edward G A Frost

Sep-23-20  login:

'These MP3 [Audio] files

Part 1

Part 2

are recordings of an extensive radio interview with 20 times New Zealand champion Ortvin Sarapu. The interview was broadcast on Radio Pacific on 9th April 1990.

Courtesy of Ross Jackson, from his memorabilia collection.'


A little tribute on 'Chess Power' blog from CEO Paul Macdonald can be found here

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: The historic issue of The New Zealand Chessplayer, Feb 1951, p2. which welcomed Sarapu and his wife [Barbara] to the NZ chess scene, is now available online This has a photo of the very young Ortvin.

How prophetic it was:

?Now New Zealand has as a permanent resident Ortvin Sarapu, formerly of Estonia, a chess expert of master strength. ? Sarapu is unassuming and very ready do all in his power to assist in raising chess standards. As he is only 27, the Dominion may look forward to a lengthy period during which his beneficial influence on our brand of chess is likely to be felt.?

Apr-19-22  Cibator: <Jonathan Sarfati: The historic issue of The New Zealand Chessplayer, Feb 1951, p2. which welcomed Sarapu and his wife [Barbara] to the NZ chess scene, is now available online This has a photo of the very young Ortvin.>

That link takes you only to the Feb 1957 issue, with no way from there to get anywhere else. Instead, you need to go to:

- and do a bit of scrolling.

search thread:   
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