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Ignas Zalys
Number of games in database: 116
Years covered: 1947 to 1988
Overall record: +60 -29 =27 (63.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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Most played openings
B28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation (6 games)
A04 Reti Opening (5 games)
D30 Queen's Gambit Declined (5 games)
B22 Sicilian, Alapin (4 games)
D39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation (4 games)
B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation (3 games)
D02 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)
E38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5 (2 games)
B18 Caro-Kann, Classical (2 games)
B23 Sicilian, Closed (2 games)

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(born Apr-03-1913, died 1991, 78 years old) Lithuania (federation/nationality Canada)

[what is this?]
Ignas Zalys was born in Lithuania on April 3, 1913. He later immigrated to Montreal, Canada. Zalys was one of the leading correspondence chess players in North America, and frequently played in USCF postal tournaments. He tied for first in the 1967 Golden Knights tournament.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 116  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Zemgalis vs I Zalys  1-0741947Hanau InternationalC07 French, Tarrasch
2. M Fox vs I Zalys  0-1611949Montreal Closed ChampionshipC07 French, Tarrasch
3. Prins vs I Zalys  0-1361951Simul, 20bB54 Sicilian
4. Prins vs I Zalys  0-1531951Clock simulA05 Reti Opening
5. I Zalys vs A Tanguay  1-0641952Montreal m2D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. J Stonkus vs I Zalys  ½-½531952Golden Knights corrA40 Queen's Pawn Game
7. I Zalys vs J O'Reilly  1-0211952Golden Knights corrD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
8. A L Brown vs I Zalys  0-126195253rd US OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
9. I Zalys vs J Sherwin  0-150195253rd US OpenE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
10. E J Van Sweden vs I Zalys  ½-½53195253rd US OpenA04 Reti Opening
11. I Zalys vs M Fleischer  1-058195253rd US OpenD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. J R Florido vs I Zalys  1-040195253rd US OpenB50 Sicilian
13. I Zalys vs M Yatron  0-161195253rd US OpenE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
14. L Kupersmith vs I Zalys  0-161195253rd US OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. I Zalys vs C Sharp  ½-½69195253rd US OpenD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. R Hurttlen vs I Zalys  1-030195253rd US OpenB54 Sicilian
17. I Zalys vs L E J Marquez  1-038195253rd US OpenE72 King's Indian
18. J T Westbrock vs I Zalys  0-144195253rd US OpenE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
19. I Zalys vs D Fischheimer  1-046195253rd US OpenD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. I Zalys vs E Werner  1-0311953Golden Knights corrD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
21. I Zalys vs A Tanguay  1-0281953Montreal m 5thD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. I Zalys vs E Werner  1-0221953Golden Knights corrD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
23. I Zalys vs J Karalaitis  1-0181955Golden Knights corrD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. J Wright vs I Zalys  0-1261955Golden Knights corrE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
25. J W Blaney vs I Zalys  0-128195556th US OpenE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 116  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Zalys wins | Zalys loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Brief biography:

1949 Montreal City and Quebec province speed chess champion.

Aug-22-15  wrap99: So that the single post from 2010 is not lonely, here are a couple of points. One: Interesting that a correspondence player would be a speed champ and two, Walter Browne's first published game (as a 14-year-old 52 years ago) is against this fellow and I think the game is worth looking at because of the O'Kelly Sicilian -- I believe this is prior to the correct reply to the early a6 was known.
Jun-19-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy>

Is this of interest?

Interrupted 1944 Lithuanian chess championship: The Vaitonis page says Vaitonis was leading this. Here it says Zalys was; and Vaitonis is not even mentioned in the letters to Uogele...

Jun-19-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> The letter Ignas Žalys sent to Anicetas Benediktovich Uogele is more reliable document then Vaitonis biography published on Canadian chess federation website On this website Vaitonis also mentioned as winner of 1942 Lithuania championship, which was not held at all.

Anicetas Uogele was good friend of Eugenijus Paleckis. On April 20, 2020 Uogele passed away.

Jun-19-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy> I agree regarding the reliability of the Vaitonis biography published on Canadian chess federation website, which I had long felt was suspicious in this regard.

Maybe the 1944 event was confused with the 1943 one where Vaitonis finished half a point behind the three leaders and perhaps could have been leading at one stage.

Regarding <1942 Lithuania championship, which was not held at all>, I have found confusing conflict in sources regarding this. Some don't mention it, implying there wasn't one, but then you get: Wikipedia article on the Lithuanian Chess Championship says Abramavicius won in 1942 (though they also repeat the Vaitonis myth for the 1944 one); and also the Lithuanian Wikipedia item on <Leonardas Abramavicius> says he was first in 1942. Why would they say this?

Jun-19-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> You right regarding confusing information about Lithuanian chess championship 1942. Some of the sources don't including them in the list of Lithuanian championships.

However with the reference to the article of
E. Šlekys "Nežinomas èempionatas" (Unknown championship) in "Šachmatų pasaulyje" (World of chess) magazine, 1992, Nr. 3-4, p. 40 in Wikipedia published tournament table of this event:

Meanwhile I'm taking back my sentence that <1942 Lithuania championship, which was not held at all>. I will discuss with Eugenijus Paleckis about reliability of the sources about this event.

Jun-19-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy>

Really great you have this!
Strange when you go along the index list at the bottom to bring up the Championships (which I've done in the past), this one doesn't come up.

I have to say it's a terribly weak Championship (and Vaitonis is not in it!). I guess Lithuanian chess still had to recover after the change of occupiers of the country (and of course Mikenas and Vistaneckis, playing in the USSR Championship semi-final at Rostov-on-Don when Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941, could not get back to Lithuania; also Jewish players were excluded).

Will be interested in what you and Eugenijus decide about the reliability of this information. (It is not in Bertasius.)

Jun-20-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> <Will be interested in what you and Eugenijus decide about the reliability of this information>

Eugenijus have in his archive the article of E. Šlekys "Nežinomas čempionatas" (Unknown championship) in "Šachmatų pasaulyje" (World of chess) magazine, 1992, Nr. 3-4, p. 40. The information about 1942 Lithuanian Championship on the webpage is correct.

Jun-21-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy> That's really good that this information seems to be reliable. I thought that this might be a difficult area.

Regarding the abandoned 1944 Championship, I don't see any mention in Zalys' letter that he was actually leading the event (contrary to what Egidijus Zeromskis says in his 2 June 2010 post on the Canadian chess discussion board). A score of 3 points out of 5 wouldn't necessarily be leading an event.

Do you have any further information on this event? (eg how the other players were doing, or the name of the 10th player.)

The letter says the tournament was held in Kulautuva, which is a village down the Nieman River, a little to the northwest of Kaunas. As such, I'm a little bit puzzled as to why the tournament was abandoned as soon as 7 July (date according to the letter). As part of the Soviet offensive 'Operation Bagration', it appears that Soviet forces crossed the Lithuanian border about 6 July 1944, and captured Vilnius on 13 July 1944. But Kaunas was not captured until 1 August 1944, which is more than 3 weeks after 7 July. So abandoning on 7 July with just 4 rounds to go seems a little bit precipitate, though I suppose the players would have been anxious to sort out their affairs and flee.

Jun-21-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> Unfortunatelly no other sources about abandoned 1944 Championship were found by me or Eugenijus. I also think that result 3/5 may place his in the leading group, but not necessarily make him a leader.

When Soviet Army advanced to the Lithuanian border, noise of artillery could be heard in Vilnius, located close to the border of Belarus and in Kaunas as well. The distance between Kaunas and Vilnius is only about 100 km.

Many Lithuanians were in panic, they scared being deported to Siberia. So abandoning the tournament on July 7 may not be surprising.

Jun-30-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> <Do you have any further information on this event?>

"On Sunday (July 2, 1944) at 4pm in Kulautuva will start Lithuanian chess championship games. On Sunday will be held blitz tournament.

The games will start at 5pm in the Trade Union hall (Akacija street), the adjourned games will be played in "Valgio" canteen from 9am. First round will be played on Monday (July 3, 1944).

Finally clarified that the following players will participate: Abramavičius, Arlauskas, Kukevičius, Šiliūnas, Žilevičius (Kaunas), Vaitonis, Škėma, Višomirskis, Repečka (Vilnius), Tautvaišas (Mažeikiai), Žalys (Ukmerge), Marcinauskas (Šauliai), Onufrijenko (Raseiniai), Seliokas (Mariampole)."

Source: "Ateitis", July 1, 1944, p. 7.


"Lithuanian chess championship started.
Participating 11 players.
Yesterday in Kulautuva started 1944 Lithuanian chess championship.
The players drafted the following numbers:
1. Tautvaišas
2. Kukevičius
3. Onufrijenko
4. Škėma
5. Žalys
6. Žilevičius
7. Abramavičius
8. Šiliūnas
9. Arlauskas
10. Seliokas
11. Marcinauskas

Tournament favorite Vaitonis and 2 other Vilnius representatives Repečka and Višomirskis are not participating.

After the ceremony was held blitz tournament in which participated 17 players, among them 9 championship players.

1. Tautvaišas 14/16
2. Žalys 12.5/16
3. Arlauskas 11.5/16
Today will be played 1st round of the championship."
Source: "Ateitis", July 3, 1944, p. 6.


"Yesterday in Kulautuva was played 1st round of Lithuanian chess championship.
Žalys - Šiliūnas 0.5-0.5
Seliokas - Onufrijenko 1-0
Kukevičius - Marcinauskas 1-0
Škėma - Arlauskas and Žilevičius - Abramavičius adjourned."
Source: "Ateitis", July 4, 1944, p. 6.


On Tuesday (July 4, 1944) was played 2nd roud of Lithuanian chess championship.
Šiliūnas - Žilevičius 0.5-0.5
Arlauskas - Žalys 0-1
Marcinauskas - Onufrijenko 1-0
Tautvaišas - Kukevičius adjorned in winning position for Kukevičius. Seliokas - Škėma game wasn't played since Škėma, the only player from Vilnius had to return to Vilnius.
The adjourned game from 1st round: Žilevičius - Abramavičius 0-1."
Source: "Ateitis", July 6, 1944, p. 3.

Jul-03-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy> Wow, fantastic find!! Your book will fill in many holes in the knowledge of Lithuanian chess history.

Certainly clarifies the story regarding <Vaitonis>.

Great that you managed to clarify who were the 14 players (and their home towns) who originally intended to participate. I wonder why <M. Birmanas>, the 1943 Champion, was not among them?

It's clear the Vilnius players were badly affected (justifiably) by the alarmingly rapid advance of the Soviet armies across Belarus.

Is the source you have (<"Ateitis">) on <>? I didn't find it there. I found two other publications of the same name covering 1944, but neither seemed to be a daily newspaper or contain this information.

Jul-03-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest>
<Great that you managed to clarify who were the 14 players (and their home towns) who originally intended to participate. I wonder why <M. Birmanas>, the 1943 Champion, was not among them?>

The 1st list of the 1944 Lithuanian chess championship participants was published in "Ateitis" on June 27th 1944 on the page 5.
It included 8 masters, Žukauskas, Birmanas, Abramavičius, Arlauskas, Tautvaišas, Vaitonis, Škėma and Žilevičius plus Šiliūnas, Kukevièius, Repečka, Višomirskis, Žalys, Lazdauskas (Šauliai) and Onufrijenko.

On June 30 1944 on the page 5 "Ateitis" updated status of the tournament. The changes included withdrawal of Birmanas and Žukauskas from the tournament and adding Seliokas to the participants list.

<Is the source you have (<"Ateitis">) on <>? I didn't find it there.>
The "Ateitis" is on <>. It is accessible from the following link:

No search option provided, you have to browse and read newspapers to found the articles related to chess.

Jul-04-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy>
Hmm, looking again at <>, I now find only one publication "Ateitis" covering 1944, and it comes up as you give. Strange. Thanks. No functioning search option on this site is a major disadvantage, yes you have to go through every page of every relevant paper in the time period you are interested in. This must have cost you and Eugenijus many, many hours work. The site is slow as well. I've found it works a bit better on Firefox than on Chrome.

Good that you found a mention of Birmanas after all. At least we know he wasn't in jail or something. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall earlier than the others. Nevertheless, he didn't manage to escape if he wanted to, as he is still in Lithuania after the war. Same applies to Abramavicius, Zilevicius, Disleris, Gordon.

Jul-04-20  chesshistoryinterest: <hemy>
I guess while we are on a roll with Lithuanian Championships, there's another nut to crack.

The <Contenders tournament> for the 1933 Lithuanian Championship, held 27 November - 20 December 1932, Kaunas: There are significant problems with this one.

In your post of 13 October 2018 on the Mikenas page, Vladas Mikenas (kibitz #151) quoting <Bertasius>, you give the scores as: 1. V. Mikenas 12,5/14
2. P. Vaitonis 9/14
3. M. Luckis 8,5/14
4. I. Vistaneckis 8,5/14
5. L. Abramavičius 6,5/14
6. D. Žilevičius 3,5/14
7. S. Disleris 3,5/14
8. G. Gladšteinas 3/14
However, these scores add up to a point too low, so there's an error somewhere unless there was a double default/withdrawal.

(Mikenas' column of 17 December 1932 does say Zilevicius withdrew about Round 12 (something regarding his game with Disleris and Luckis' "ugly behaviour"? in his previous game - you will be able to translate it better than me), but presumably his opponents would have been given a win by default.)

<Lithuanian Wikipedia> has Gladsteinas with 3.5 points, but this still adds up to half a point too low.

But I also found the following - "Latvis", 14 January 1933, page 3

Here the top scores are given as:
Mikenas 11.5
Vaitonis 9.5
Vistaneckis 7.5
Luckis 7.5
This is very different to what Bertasius gives. I wonder what Bertasius' source was?

Information on the end of this tournament is sparse, perhaps because it finished just before Christmas (finish date of 20 December 1932, which presumably comes from Bertasius, may also need confirming). I didn't find anything on it in "Lietuvos Aidas" from 18 December 1932 - 21 January 1933 (Saturday, 24 December, when Mikenas would have had a column seems to be a holiday - no newspaper online; column of 31 December only has puzzles; column of 7 January 1933 devoted to Lithuania-Latvia match; I couldn't find a column on 14 February); nor in Mikenas' columns in that paper of 21, 28 January 1933, 11, 18, 25 February 1933 (I didn't find a column for 4 February 1933). I also found nothing in "Rytas" from 20 - 31 December 1932.

(I did find Mikenas columns in "Lietuvos Aidas" on the event for 3 December 1932, page 15; 10 December 1932, page 11; 17 December 1932, page 13; and a game Abramavicius - Vaitonis in 11 March 1933, page 14, but of course, these don't address the end of the event.)

The <Lithuanian Chess Federation> was established in 1930. Would they have kept a record of this event?

Also, in his series of crosstables on events in which Arlauskas played, <Butnorius> gives the crosstables of the 1935, 1937 and 1938 Contenders tournaments. These are not in the newspapers as far as I know, so Butnorius must have had other sources. Perhaps these sources, or his material on this period, would also give the crosstable for the 1932 event if they can be found.

This 1932 event is the only one of these events in the 1930's for which the crosstable is missing. Would nicely complete this series if it can be found.

Jul-04-20  hemy: <chesshistoryinterest> So far no additional information about this tournament found by me.

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