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Karel Hromadka
Number of games in database: 286
Years covered: 1908 to 1945

Overall record: +112 -93 =81 (53.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Vienna Opening (36) 
    C29 C28 C25 C26 C27
 King's Indian Attack (16) 
 Sicilian (14) 
    B83 B40 B42 B41 B21
 Bird's Opening (12) 
    A03 A02
 French Defense (10) 
    C00 C10 C11 C07
 Caro-Kann (9) 
    B15 B18 B13 B12 B10
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (28) 
    C77 C87 C70 C79 C84
 Slav (17) 
    D15 D14 D12 D10 D11
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (9) 
    C87 C84 C96 C97
 Sicilian (9) 
    B29 B40 B21 B32 B25
 Orthodox Defense (9) 
    D55 D51 D69 D63 D60
 Giuoco Piano (7) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Hromadka vs K Treybal, 1912 1-0
   Hromadka vs Tarrasch, 1922 1-0
   Hromadka vs M Schreiber, 1936 1-0
   Hromadka vs S K Rozental, 1917 1-0
   I Abonyi vs Hromadka, 1908 0-1
   Hromadka vs A Vaits, 1912 1-0
   Hromadka vs M Kirschen, 1911 1-0
   Hromadka vs Lasker, 1923 1/2-1/2
   Opocensky vs Hromadka, 1942 0-1
   Hromadka vs Graf-Stevenson, 1937 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Paris Unofficial Olympiad (1924)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1927)
   Cologne-A (1911)
   Baden-bei-Wien (1914)
   Duras 60 mem (1942)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   London Olympiad (1927)
   Bad Pistyan (1912)
   Bad Pistyan (1922)
   non-FIDE Munich Olympiad (1936)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Olomouc (1944) by philmsu

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Karel Hromadka
Search Google for Karel Hromadka

(born Apr-23-1887, died Jul-16-1956, 69 years old)

[what is this?]

Karel Hromadka was born in Großweikersdorf, Austria-Hungary (it is now in the district of Tulln in the Austrian state of Lower Austria).

He was second to Oldrich Duras at the 4th Czech Chess Association Congress (Major Tournament) in Pilsen in August 1911.

Hromadka was defeated 4-7 in a match held in Prague (1912) by Frantisek Treybal 1. He was invited to play in the Russian National Tournament (Hauptturnier) in Vilnius (1912) coming first ahead of Efim Bogoljubov with 15/19. He finished second in the 18th German Chess Federation Congress (Hauptturnier A) in Breslau. Hromadka was Czech champion (Championships of Bohemia) in 1913 and Czechoslovak champion in 1921 (=Ladislav Prokes).

Hromadka studied philosophy at Prague University, but with the outbreak of World War I, he was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army and served on the Eastern Front in Galicia. He remained in the Czech army until March 1939, when the Nazi occupation regime in Czechoslovakia forced him to retire.

Hromadka took part in the uprising in Prague in 1945 and acted as a Russian interpreter for the first Soviet troops who arrived in the capital of Bohemia. In 1946, he was arrested and accused of sabotage against the communist authorities in the Prague uprising. Although he was later rehabilitated, in 1947 Hromadka tried to commit suicide and was interned for two years in a psychiatric institution. He died suddenly in 1956 and is buried in the Olsany cemetery in Prague.

Wikipedia article: Karel Hromádka 1 Di Felice, Chess Results, 1901-1920, page 187

Last updated: 2022-09-12 03:48:25

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 301  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. I Abonyi vs Hromadka 0-1131908Prague casualC48 Four Knights
2. Hromadka vs A Dusek  1-0291908Preliminary TournamentC44 King's Pawn Game
3. J Dobias vs Hromadka  1-0641908Prague-BC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
4. J Kvicala vs Hromadka  1-0311909Prague mC48 Four Knights
5. J Kvicala vs Hromadka  0-1451909Prague mA84 Dutch
6. J Kvicala vs Hromadka  1-0411909Prague mC49 Four Knights
7. J Kvicala vs Hromadka  1-0381909Prague mB25 Sicilian, Closed
8. J Brach Sr vs Hromadka  ½-½351909Brno m1B40 Sicilian
9. J Brach Sr vs Hromadka  ½-½351909Brno m1C80 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. J Brach Sr vs Hromadka  ½-½261909Brno m1D04 Queen's Pawn Game
11. G Nyholm vs Hromadka  0-1341910Hauptturnier-AC78 Ruy Lopez
12. Hromadka vs A G Conde  0-1611910Hauptturnier-AC28 Vienna Game
13. S Rozental vs Hromadka  0-1481910Hauptturnier-AC56 Two Knights
14. A Dusek vs Hromadka  0-1411911PlzenB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
15. F Anderlitzka vs Hromadka  0-1641911PlzenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
16. Hromadka vs J Dobias 1-0181911PlzenB12 Caro-Kann Defense
17. Hromadka vs W Schelfhout  1-0621911Cologne-AC10 French
18. J Davidson vs Hromadka  0-1441911Cologne-AC50 Giuoco Piano
19. Hromadka vs J Esser  ½-½701911Cologne-AA07 King's Indian Attack
20. M Lowcki vs Hromadka  ½-½321911Cologne-AD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Hromadka vs H Ziolo  1-0431911Cologne-AC11 French
22. J Barton vs Hromadka  0-1341911Cologne-AB40 Sicilian
23. Hromadka vs Rotlewi 0-1371911Cologne-AC29 Vienna Gambit
24. Hromadka vs G Nyholm  0-1201911Cologne-AB01 Scandinavian
25. A Donegan vs Hromadka 1-0331911Cologne-AD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 301  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Hromadka wins | Hromadka loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-27-07  c o r e: I know the Benoni with 3...d6 as the Hromadka System, but it seems to also be classified as a variation of the Modern, since it includes the kingside fianchetto. If anyone can shed light on this please do.
Feb-27-07  ganstaman: Well, I asked about it on Jun 13th, here: Benoni Defense (A56)

There were a few posts on it after, and I see I've included a link to the OE on October 22. It's listed there under 10 ECO codes and 3 different opening names. This probably would be the best place for discussion on it.

Jul-23-07  whiteshark: Here is a wild and crazy game from 1936 Olympiad, worth thorough analysis.

[Event "olm final"]
[Site "Munich GER"]
[Date "1936.08.17"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Hromadka, Karel CSR"]
[Black "Danielsson, Goesta SWE"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A02"]
[PlyCount "45"]
[EventDate "1936.08.17"]

<1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 g5 5. d4 g4 6. Ng5 Qe7 7. Qd3 Nc6 8. c3 f5 9. h3 Nf6 10. hxg4 Nxg4 11. Na3 Bxa3 12. bxa3 Bd7 13. g3 O-O-O 14. Bg2 Kb8 15. Rb1 b6 16. Bf4 h6>

click for larger view

<17. Qa6> (17. Rxb6+!) <hxg5? 18. Rxb6+!! axb6 19. Qxb6+ Ka8 20. Qa6+ Kb8 21. O-O Qb4 22. axb4 gxf4 23. b5>

click for larger view


Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <GrandPatzerSCL: He looks like a military officer. Was he a Nazi soldier?> Officer yes, Nazi never. Hromadka was a major (later colonel) in Czechoslovak Army.

Hromadka is one of the few foreigners ever who won their master title in (Tzar's) Russia: in 1912 Hromadka won Vilnius B (and the title) ahead of Bogolubov.

(Source: Jan Kalendovsky)

Apr-23-09  WhiteRook48: Happy former champion Hromadka!
Jul-02-09  schroedingers cat: Erm, why is he wearing that uniform?
Jul-04-09  myschkin: . . .

El soldat Karel Hromadka (1887 - 1956)

"...Aquests fets, <després d'una vida tan difícil>, van acabar d'afeblir l'estabilitat psíquica de Hromadka, que el 1947 va intentar suicidar-se llençant-se des d'un cinquè pis; després d'aquest intent no reeixit va ser internat durant dos anys en una institució psiquiàtrica en la que va rebre, entre d'altres tractaments, teràpia d'electroshocks. ..."

(in Catalan)

Jul-04-09  Valmy: I can try a translation to english, just let me know...
Jul-04-09  myschkin: . . .

Oui <valmy>
that would be nice! IMO the article is worth a translation (have not checked the sources).

Just give it a try

Jul-04-09  visayanbraindoctor: <Runemaster: Yes, a forgotten player, but a quick check shows wins for Hromadka against Bogolyubov, Spielmann, Tarrasch and Reti, and there may be more.>

<Gypsy: Hromadka is one of the few foreigners ever who won their master title in (Tzar's) Russia: in 1912 Hromadka won Vilnius B (and the title) ahead of Bogolubov.>

I am one of those who believe that the GM title has been devalued in the past 2 decades. Hromadka was clearly as strong as a GM. Yet FIDE just awarded him an IM when it started giving out titles post WW2. There must be dozens of players like him, both before WW2 and before the 1990s, who if they were living and active today probably would have made the GM norms very comfortably.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: The story of Hromadka on piqued my interest, so using various translation tools I believe I have produced something which approximates to the Catalan original.

* * *

The history of chess is full of fascinating characters are often ignored when their results were not outstanding or have not stood the test of time. Karel Hromadka corresponds precisely to this category. Hromadka is better known for the black wall of pawns d6-e5-c5 in the Benoni variation bearing his name, than, for example, for having twice won the Czech championship in 1913 and 1921, or for his successes in other minor tournaments.

Outside of chess Hromadka's life is much more interesting. Karel was born in Prague in 1887 into a humble family. He had five brothers and his father who were (pelliser?). He graduated brilliantly from High School at Lytomisl and began university studies in Prague at the Faculty of Philosophy, but the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) dramatically changed his life. He was soon recruited into the Austro-Hungarian army and served on the Eastern Front in Galicia. As soon as his regiment reached the front, Hromadka, like many other soldiers of Czech origin (a community that had historic nationalist claims against Austrian imperial crown) he crossed the lines and gave himself up to Russian Navy. He spent a year in a prison camp and in July 1916 joined the newly established (Czarist) Czechoslovak Legion.

He spent the year 1917 at the Ukrainian city of Zborov where his meritorious participation in the fighting against German and Austrian troops gained him promotion to an officer rank. That same year saw the disintegration of the Czarist Russian army, the occurrence of the Soviet Revolution and a peace treaty signed between the Soviets and Germans.

This created a rupture between the Czech troops and their former natural Slavs allies, leaving no other solution than to either surrender or escape. The Czechs began an extraordinary journey by train across Russia from Europe to Siberia. Their plan was to reach Vladivostock and embark on ships to transport them to the Western front. Thus, in a foreign land and now regarded as an enemy, this small Czech army seized control of the Trans Siberian Railway and sequestered locomotives and carriages which they fitted with military equipment to defend themselves from attack during the thousands of kilometers of their escape route.

Near the city of Pensa, Karel Hromadka and his unit suffered heavy attack by the Red Army. Hromadka was seriously injured suffering bayonet and bullet wounds in both the forearm and chest, but he still managed to make his way back to the train to continue the journey. He seems to have then had to undergo more than twenty surgical procedures, and most of them without any anaesthesia.

Overcoming other and smaller attacks, the battalion and Hromadka reached their destination, Vladivostock, and embarked for Europe. Forced though technical problems to land in Japan, Hromadka had the pleasure of giving several simultaneous displays for members of the allied army and also the Japanese population. Finally, his ship reached its destination and Hromadka had a new state, born at the end of the war - Czechoslovakia. He remained in the Czech army until March 1939, when the Nazi occupation regime in Czechoslovakia forced him to retire.

Karel took part in the uprising in Prague in 1945 and acted as a Russian interpreter for the first Soviet troops who arrived in the capital of Bohemia. Ironically, in 1946 he was arrested and accused of sabotage against the communist authorities in the Prague uprising. This was in revenge for his epic journey in 1917. He was found guilty of the charges, although the President of Czechoslovakia ultimately quashed these and rehabilitated Hromadka, giving him the rank of colonel on his retirement.

This traumatic episode, on top of such a difficult life, finally upset Hromadka's mental balance, and in 1947 he tried to commit suicide by jumping from a fifth floor. He survived, but he was interred for two years in a psychiatric institution where he received, among other treatments, electro-convulsive therapy. Hromadka died suddenly in 1956 in Prague and is buried in the Olsany cemetery in Prague.

Compared to the trajectory of his life, any chess reference may seem insignificant. On the contrary, it may be justified by including his beloved Benoni in the arsenal of our defences, or at least when we are faced with the wall of a black pawns d6 and e5-c5 by taking a moment to imagine the man who was part of an extraordinary epic which took place across Russia 90 years ago.

This post is based in part on information contained in the excellent work of Dr. Vlastimil Fiala on Hromadka. Thanks, Vlastimil.

Jul-04-09  Valmy: If been off from home and now that I am back I have the pleasure to see that <Chessical> did the job! Thanks a lot!
Jul-04-09  visayanbraindoctor: Aside from Hromadka and Treybal were there other Czech or Slovak chess players joined the Czechoslovak Legion?
Sep-25-09  tranquil simplicity: THANKYOU! THANKYOU Chessical and Valmy in enlightening a chess enthusiast as myself about "forgotten" Chess Greats! I took up Chess very late in life but have progressed rapidly. I have a love for the Art that makes me deeply interested in it's practitioners including those that history has tended to forget. Thank you again. (Touched by the Hromadka story)
Sep-25-09  Open Defence: cant FIDE give him the GM title posthmously ?
Oct-08-09  tranquil simplicity: I fully agree with you there Open Defense. Karel ought to be awarded GM status posthumously. Infact I feel that there is a list of Great Chess players that ought to have that title; CHIGORIN, BLACKBURNE, MORPHY, PAULSEN,ZUCKERTORT, SPIELMANN, OPOCENSKY, DE RIVIERE etc etc. These artists work continues to be enjoyed by the likes of you and I and ought to be celebrated owing to it's QUALITY!!
Oct-12-09  Open Defence: for people like Morphy the must create a stratospheric title something on the line of a <Hall of Fame>

possible candidates for the Hall of Fame

1.Morphy - for his development of the open game
2.Steinitz - for his development of the closed game
3.Lasker - for probably being one of the only modern masters to have significantly raised end game theory

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <for people like Morphy the must create a stratospheric title something on the line of a <Hall of Fame>>

There could be a "Caissaland" donated by a former ex-champ billionaire...

I can see Morphy's display already- a recreation of New Orleans in the 1850's.

You walk along wide boulevards and up the steps into Morphy's childhood home, where a lifelike 12 year old Paul is playing visiting Johannes Loewenthal in front of his family.

Next stop, the Prague ghetto where young Wilhelm is playing stakes in a cafe...

Apr-23-11  The17thPawn: He also has a victory against Breyer in a delightful KGA:)
Sep-22-11  wordfunph: Karel Hromadka was mentioned by GM Raymond Keene in his 1985 book The Evolution of Chess Opening Theory..

<The Modern Benoni is a typical opening where Black aims at basic imbalance and dynamic counterchances, rather than "equalisation". Historically, it escaped stricture from the pseudo-classical school, mainly because it did not exist at that time! In the 1920s the lesser-known master, Hromadka, favoured a form of it, but he exerted little or no influence on the leading players of his day...">

Jul-25-12  kramputz: <GrandPatzerSCL> You are sick thinking of "Nazi"s
Apr-23-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Karel Hromadka.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Interesting to note that Hromadka's profile picture shows him wearing his Czech army uniform while playing in a tournament. Was it his decision to wear his uniform while playing, or did the Czech Army make him wear the uniform if he was playing in a tournament?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <vbd....Hromadka was clearly as strong as a GM. Yet FIDE just awarded him an IM when it started giving out titles post WW2....>

Very few players received the GM title from FIDE at its inception in 1950; even Bogolyubov, twice Alekhine's challenger, was not awarded his straight away.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> You're right that FIDE was quite parsimonious in awarding titles in 1950. It handed out only 27 GM titles at that time. Bizarrely, Isaac Kashdan only got his title four years later. According to Chessmetrics, he had been the world No. 2 for 20 months in 1932-34. Outrageously, FIDE never awarded any title to Mir Sultan Khan, who lived until 1966.

As for Bogo, I think FIDE denied him the title initially because he had a position as chess instructor in the German army. See FIDE gave him the title in 1951, and he died the next year.

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