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Ludek Pachman

Number of games in database: 1,558
Years covered: 1940 to 1999
Overall record: +525 -231 =799 (59.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (114) 
    E80 E81 E87 E61 E94
 English (63) 
    A15 A16 A17 A10 A13
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C86 C77 C70 C84 C83
 Nimzo Indian (47) 
    E21 E32 E53 E56 E39
 Sicilian (42) 
    B20 B23 B36 B81 B45
 Queen's Indian (39) 
    E14 E19 E17 E16 E12
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (106) 
    C67 C69 C97 C91 C85
 Sicilian (88) 
    B47 B83 B43 B85 B42
 Nimzo Indian (87) 
    E32 E40 E48 E46 E45
 Grunfeld (50) 
    D94 D82 D97 D86 D85
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (46) 
    C97 C91 C85 C95 C84
 Queen's Pawn Game (45) 
    A46 E00 A45 D02 E10
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Pachman vs Eckert, 1940 1-0
   Pachman vs O Neikirch, 1958 1-0
   Pachman vs Fischer, 1959 1-0
   Z Domnitz vs Pachman, 1973 0-1
   Pachman vs G Gunnarsson, 1967 1-0
   Pachman vs J H Donner, 1955 1-0
   Pachman vs L Steiner, 1948 1-0
   Pachman vs J Runza, 1946 1-0
   Pachman vs Szabo, 1947 1-0
   P Trifunovic vs Pachman, 1947 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Marianske Lazne / Prague Zonal (1951)
   Prague / Marianske Lazne Zonal (1954)
   Lima (1959)
   Dublin Zonal (1957)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1959)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1963)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1961)
   Hilversum Zonal (1947)
   Southsea (1949)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1954)
   Czechoslovak Championship (1953)
   Mar del Plata (1959)
   Gotha (1957)
   Reti Memorial (1949)
   Capablanca Memorial (1963)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 59 by 0ZeR0
   Pachman: Meine Seine Besten Partien by Nimzophile
   Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman) by xdetroiter
   Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman) by Retarf
   Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman) by isfsam

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ludek Pachman
Search Google for Ludek Pachman

(born May-11-1924, died Mar-06-2003, 78 years old) Czech Republic (federation/nationality Germany)
[what is this?]

Ludek Pachman was born in Bela pod Bezdezem, Czechoslovakia. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1954, he was Czech champion seven times between 1946 and 1966 and won the West German Championship in 1978.

He won three Zonal tournaments and competed in six Interzonals, but never became a Candidate. Pachman did play Ilivitsky for the reserve place in the Amsterdam Candidates - Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956) - a match he narrowly lost. He also represented his country in eight Olympiads from 1952 to 1966, usually playing first board. Formerly an ardent Communist, Pachman opposed the Communist regime following the Czech uprising in 1968. He was imprisoned several times, which he described in graphic detail in his 1975 biography "Checkmate in Prague." He drew international attention to his plight by intentionally jumping headfirst from his prison bed, which caused permanent head and spinal injuries. Rather than being a thorn in their side as a political martyr, the authorities allowed Pachman to emigrate in 1972. He settled in West Germany, where he continued his chess career. He died on March 6, 2003.

Wikipedia article: Luděk Pachman

Last updated: 2017-11-10 06:53:54

 page 1 of 63; games 1-25 of 1,558  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Pachman vs Eckert 1-0241940CistaC13 French
2. J Fichtl vs Pachman  0-1441943PragueB85 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical
3. Pachman vs K Petrik  1-0341943ZlinC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
4. Pachman vs K Prucha  ½-½451943ZlinE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
5. M Foltys vs Pachman 0-1301943ZlinD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
6. X Vasicek vs Pachman  ½-½921943ZlinA45 Queen's Pawn Game
7. K Opocensky vs Pachman  0-1281943PragueE03 Catalan, Open
8. R Sucha vs Pachman  0-1231943PragueC44 King's Pawn Game
9. B Thelen vs Pachman  1-0601943PragueA47 Queen's Indian
10. Pachman vs Foltys  1-0431943ZlinC77 Ruy Lopez
11. C Kottnauer vs Pachman  ½-½301943ZlinA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
12. J Dobias vs Pachman  ½-½661943UJCS-17.KongressE49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
13. Pachman vs A Pokorny  1-0451943ZlinC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
14. F Zita vs Pachman  1-0681943ZlinB83 Sicilian
15. Pachman vs Saemisch  ½-½521943PragueC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
16. J Holas vs Pachman  0-1321943ZlinC29 Vienna Gambit
17. J Sajtar vs Pachman  0-1561943ZlinD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
18. Pachman vs V Stulik  1-0381943ZlinC19 French, Winawer, Advance
19. J Sajtar vs Pachman 1-0231943UJCS-17.KongressE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
20. Saemisch vs Pachman 0-1291943Prague (Gambit Tourney)C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
21. F Zita vs Pachman  ½-½411943UJCS-17.KongressE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
22. Pachman vs J Florian  1-0291943PragueC40 King's Knight Opening
23. Pachman vs J Fichtl  1-0291943ZlinC11 French
24. Hromadka vs Pachman 1-0401943ZlinA03 Bird's Opening
25. O Novotny vs Pachman  ½-½561943PragueA47 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 63; games 1-25 of 1,558  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Pachman wins | Pachman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-28-14  parisattack: <john barleycorn: Pachman's bio needs an overhaul, most definitely.>

I fully concur. Eminent player, theoretician and writer.

In the mid-60s when MCO 10 was the standard opening reference his four volume Modern Chess Opening Theory (Open, Semi-Open, Queen's Gambit, Indian Systems) was much sought after. I was just recently looking through volumes of a periodical he did in the 1980s - Eroffnung-Up to Date. Great stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: From the "Hastings and St Leonards Observer" - Saturday 20 November 1954, p1.2.

"Ludek Pachman, the Czechoslovakian chess champion who is ornamenting the Premier at Christmas, has sent me quaint little game which he won blindfold performance. He doesn’t say how many he was taking on at once; I expect It was about 20. Apart from the two rook sacrifice which leaves the black queen marooned, note the futility of the black queen’s side".

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Bxg5 7. hxg5 Qxg5 8. Nh3 Qh6 9. Qg4 g6 10. Bd3 c5 11. f4 cxd4 12. Nb5 Kd8 13. Ng5 Qxh1+ 14. Kf2 Qxa1

click for larger view

<In for a penny, in for a pound! Black takes everything he can see lying around, crosses his fingers and hopes that he will be able to fiddle his way to the end-game.>

15. Nxf7+ Ke7 16. Qg5+ Kxf7

<"I expect he thought that the blindfold player had overlooked this. What a hope!">

17. Nd6+ Kg7 18. Qe7+ Kh6 19. Nf7+ Kg7 20. Ng5+ Kh6 21. Nxe6 Nf6 22. Qg7+ Kh5 23. Qxf6 h6 24. Be2# 1-0


Houdini recommends <15...Qh5> which it believes saves Black. It prefers <14.Kd2> which it concludes is advantageous for White.

May-03-15  john barleycorn: There is a free download available of Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy

May-08-15  TheFocus: <You know, comrade Pachman, I don't enjoy being a Minister, I would rather play chess like you, or make a revolution in Venezuela> - Che Guevara.
May-23-15  TheFocus: <It would also be feasible to look for parallels between the growth of chess ideas and the general development of thought in human society, for despite its individual characteristics chess cannot be divorced from other aspects of culture. Our game mirrors the intellectual level and cultural trends of the times. However, such a theme would require a separate, comprehensive treatment of its own, beyond the scope of this work> - Ludek Pachman.
Mar-06-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Ludek Pachman.
May-11-16  RookFile: He wrote some first class chess books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I learned a lot from Pachman's Modern Chess Strategy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < PhilFeeley: How is it possible this guy doesn't (or didn't, I guess) have a rating?>

Pachman was 2510 on the January 1975 FIDE list, though clearly past his prime by then, aged fifty:

May-11-16  RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.
May-11-16  Howard: Probably back in the late 50's---that was probably his peak period.
May-11-16  john barleycorn: <Howard> Pachman's peak year was 1959 according to various sources.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < RookFile: He must have been a top 20 player in the world at one point.>

Hard to imagine that was not the case: a strong, professional GM who was a tough out, though not quite of candidate stature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <gawain> That book is 1 of the best books of all time IMO!
May-11-16  diagonal: <He must have been a top 20 player at one point>

His peak ranking was #14 in October 1959 (SONAS ELO, according to historical chessmetrics data).

Pachman was a solid player around the top twenty during the 1950s, and consistently a top fifty player of the world (today labelled as supergrandmaster) from 1947 to 1967, in a period when the top ten was heavily 'occupied' by players from the Soviet Union.

In 1958, at the Interzonal in Portoroz, Yugoslavia (Slovenia), he missed a possible play-off spot for the Candidate's only by half a point: the tournament was won by young and meteoric rising <Tal> with 13.5/20, <Gligoric> was second with 13, followed by <Benko> and <Petrosian> with 12.5, then <Olafsson> and <Fischer> (who was on friendly terms with Pachman these days) both with 12.0 points (all six players qualified to join <Smyslov> and <Keres> for the Candidate tournament in 1959 of the best eight players to determine the Challenger of reigning Champion Botvinnik in 1960).

Ludek Pachman finished that Interzonal with 11.5 points (together with Bronstein, the unlucky World Champion Challenger from 1951, and others; great Larsen, already a GM since 1956, born the same year as scandinavian compatriot, advancing (then IM) Olafsson, was sole 16th, Averbakh, Szabo, Filip, Matanovic (the only player to beat Tal) Panno, Rossetto failing all, it was pretty close in a strong field: <> 21 participants, and one Interzonal tournament per three-year-cycle.

FIDE ELO started later, just when Pachman's otb strength began to fall considerably.

May-12-16  diagonal: In 1955, at the previous Interzonal tournament in Gothenburg (it was a 21-player round robin, with the top nine players qualifying for the Amsterdam Candidate’s in 1956), Pachman already was missing a possible play-off spot to advance only by half a point. The winner was <Bronstein> with 15/20 (an impressive +10 =10 -0), <Keres> was sole second with 13.5, <Panno> was clear third at 13, followed by <Petrosian> 12.5, <Geller> and <Szabo> each had 12 and the other qualifiers were <Filip>, <Pilnik> and <Spassky> with 11.

Just missing out with 10.5 were Ilivitsky and Pachman, they even played a reserve playoff match for the gallery: Prague Candidates Reserve Playoff (1956).

Aug-21-16  Pyrandus: Pachmann vs Portisch?
Dec-19-16  parisattack: <RookFile: He wrote some first class chess books.>


Back when single-volume Evan's MCO 10 and Horowitz's Theory and Practice were about all available in the English language on chess openings, along came the translation of Pachman's four volume set Modern Chess Theory. It was a very hot property at the local chess club! I probably loaned out Indian Systems a dozen times. (The others - Queen's Gambit and Closed Games, Open Games, Semi-Open Games.) The Spring Books editions were most collectible.

Then came the English Invasion with the Batsford 'Whites' and of course Ken Smith's many monographs on specific openings.

In the early 1980s Pachman did a serial similar to Euwe's Schach Archiv - 'Eroffnung - Up to Date' with some fine variation-specific analysis.

Dec-19-16  zanzibar: <parisattack> I guess you're talking about the 1960's then?

If it were the 1970's, do the Chess Digest series on opening qualify?

(I'm not too familar with the Batsford series, but the Chess Digest series also had white covers - and were very extensive in topics:

I think Smith's pamphlets were also published by this company.)

Dec-19-16  parisattack: Those are what I call the Batsford 'whites' because of the covers. I think Chess Digest/Batsford had some sort of arrangement as some of mine say the former, some the latter.

Chess Digest/Ken Smith did a zillion of those little opening monographs, I don't have a full listing, but think first were late 60s. Soltis did many of them - some good, some bad, some ugly. :)

The early 'bis' series came out in the same time period but those never got translated into English.

Dec-19-16  zanzibar: <Those are what I call the Batsford 'whites' because of the covers. I think Chess Digest/Batsford had some sort of arrangement as some of mine say the former, some the latter.>

That's what I thought then, although I think I've only seen the Chess Digest label (but admittedly, I haven't seen too many).

<Chess Digest/Ken Smith did a zillion of those little opening monographs, I don't have a full listing ...>

Yes, it would be quite a task to document the entire list. I was happy to find the Tartan series documented (etc.)

I haven't looked too deep, but there's this link with some Ken Smith stuff:

which includes many positive comments about Smith.

(Might have to hop over to his bio...

Kenneth Ray Smith

Is this the guy? His bio only mentions his publications on the Smith-Morra)

Dec-20-16  parisattack: That's Ken Smith, alrighty. He was a very big man. Played in a few Colorado tournaments. I have some of his old book lists and a rather comprehensive list which <Ed Labate> was kind enough to share with me a few years ago.

Chess Digest (his magazine which ran for several years late 60s-early 70s) had some excellent content but production values were generally awful...nothing like for example Purdy's Australian Chess Review, Check! or Chess World.

Thanks for the Tartans link <Zanzibar>! I will add it to my list of sources.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here is a collection of mates and combinations from Ludek's games: Find the winning move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I read his autobiography many years ago. I barely remember anything now, but I do remember it was an engaging read, profoundly political, and passionate.
Aug-07-19  Nosnibor: One of the few non Soviet players to have a good score against Bobby Fischer with 2wins,4 draws and 2 losses.
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