Lubomir Kavalek


U.S. Chess

Hall of Fame

Inducted 2001







Born in Prague, Lubomir Kavalek became the youngest player to win the Czech Championship at age 19 in 1962. He would repeat the feat again six years later. In 1970, he immigrated to the US, where he completed his studies in journalism and literature. During the 1970s, he won or tied for first in the U.S. Championship three times and was rated in the world’s top 100 players continuously from 1962 to 1988, peaking at number 10 in 1974 with a rating of 2625. A veteran of nine Olympiads, Kavalek represented Czechoslovakia twice and the U.S. seven times. He also won more than 20 important tournaments over the course of his career.

Kavalek was also an active chess coach, organizer, and author. Most notably, he served as a second to Bobby Fischer during the 1972 World Championship, but he also trained Grandmasters Nigel Short, Yasser Seirawan, Robert Byrne, and Robert Hübner. He organized the first World Cup series in 1988-89 as executive director of the Grandmasters Association. He served as editor-in-chief of RHM Publishing from 1973 to 1986; during this time, he was responsible for that company’s proliferation of chess literature. He authored the Washington Post chess column from 1986 to 2010, then took up the chess column for the Huffington Post website.

Notable Games

Bill Hook
GM Lajos Portisch and GM Lubomir Kavalek compete at the 1984 Thessaloniki, Greece, Chess Olympiad
Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of the U.S. Chess Trust
Bill Hook
Walter Browne and Lubomir Kavalek at the 1982 Lucerne, Switzerland, Chess Olympiad
Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of the U.S. Chess Trust