Lubomir Kavalek : biography
Lubomir (Lubosh) Kavalek ( born August 9, 1943) is a Czech-American world-class chess player. He was awarded both the International Master and International Grandmaster titles by FIDE in 1965. He won two Czechoslovak and three U.S. championships, and was rated among the world’s top 10 players. He was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame in 2001. Kavalek is also a chess coach, organizer, teacher, commentator, author and award-winning columnist.
Chess career highlights
Kavalek played in four Czechoslovak championships. Three results were significant:
- 1962 - became the youngest player to win the Championship of Czechoslovakia at age 19. (Kavalek 12.5/17, Hort and Blatny 11)
- 1963 - shared second place (Pachman 14.5/19, Kavalek and Filip 13.5, Hort 12.5)
- 1968 - won the all-time strongest Championship (Kavalek 15/19, Hort and Smejkal 14, Filip 13, Pachman and Jansa 12)
Kavalek finished first in three U.S. championships.
- 1972 - shared first place with Samuel Reshevsky and Robert Byrne at the U.S. Championship tournament in New York; Byrne won the playoff in Chicago in 1973.
- 1973 - co-winner with John Grefe.
- 1978 - winner with a 10-4 record, a full point ahead of James Tarjan.
- 1968 - first major international victory in Amsterdam (Kavalek 10.5/15, Bronstein 10)
- 1970 - On the way to the United States in 1970, Kavalek won another strong tournament in Caracas (Kavalek 13/17, Leonid Stein and Panno 12, Benko, Ivkov and Karpov 11.5)
“During the 1970s Kavalek was one of the most active and successful tournament competitors from the USA.”
The best year - 1973
Besides sharing first place at the U.S. championship, Kavalek won four tournaments:
- Lanzarote (Kavalek 8.5/10, Andersson 8, Ljubojevic 7.5, Ribli 7)
- Netanya (Kavalek 11/15, Reshevsky 10)
- Montilla, shared first (Kavalek and Pfleger 6/9)
- Bauang (Kavalek 7.5/9, Ivkov and Quinteros 6.5, Larsen 6)
He also finished third in Amsterdam (Petrosian and Planinc 10, Kavalek 9.5, Spassky 9) and in Manila (Larsen 12.5/15, Ljubojevic 11.5, Kavalek 11).
Because of these results, Kavalek moved in 1974 to number 10 in the world on the official FIDE rating list with 2625 points. Also in 1974 he shared first place in Solingen (Kavalek, Polugaevsky 10/14, Spassky,Kurajica 8.5).
Zonals and Interzonals
Kavalek finished third at the 1966 The Hague European Zonal (Gligorić 12.5/16, Bilek 12, Kavalek 11.5) and qualified for the 1967 Interzonal in Sousse, where he was one of the three players to draw with Bobby Fischer. In the Manila Interzonal in 1976, Kavalek finished seventh.
He also qualified for the 1979 and 1987 Interzonals.
Other notable results
Other first places
- Split 1964 (Kavalek and Kurajica 9/11)
- Varna 1965 and again in 1967
- Zwolle in 1967
- The Hague 1968
- Netanya 1971 shared first (Kavalek and Parma 10/15)
- The West German International Championship in Bochum in 1981 (Kavalek 12/15, Hort 10.5)
- Mentor Hall of Fame Classic, Alexandria 1996 (Kavalek 2.5/4, Benko, Bisguier and Curdo 2, Denker 1.5)
- Dutch Open in Dieren in 1969 with a 10-0 perfect score
- Leipzig in 1965 (Pietzsch 10.5/15, Kavalek and Liberzon 10). The last GM norm.
- Polanica Zdroj in 1968 (Smyslov 11.5/15, Kavalek 10.5)
- Waddinxveen, the Netherlands, in May 1979 (Karpov 4.5/6, Kavalek 3, Hort 2.5, Sosonko 2)
Bizarre Montreal 1979
In 1979, Kavalek played in the double-round Man and his World Chess Challenge in Montreal, which he also organized. It was the most bizarre result of his career. He finished last in first half with 1.5/9, but won the second half with 6.5/9. He ended tying for seventh place overall.
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