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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remembering Andrija Fuderer, a gifted chess player and all-round talent

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

We have a lovely feature-obit from The Guardian by Leonard Barden. Barden has chosen to write about Andrija Fuderer, who died aged 80 last month, was an eminent chemical engineer and inventor with more than 50 patents to his name. Few in the chess media noticed his passing, yet long ago in his twenties he had been the game's most gifted attacker outside the Soviet Union.

Here is the earlier obit post in

Barden writes: Fuderer made an impressive international debut at Bled 1950, where the 19-year-old was fourth in a strong field and was praised for the style and elegance of his wins. A year later, he played for Yugoslavia against Britain in London and was paired with Jonathan Penrose, later ten times British champion and already the hope of English chess. I was on the next board, and was immersed in the opening when I heard a series of thumps down the table. Fuderer was blitzing Penrose and crashing through his defences with a knight and rook sacrifice. 
A Fuderer v J Donner, Beverwijk 1952. What happened when Black chose the wrong way to recapture on C5?
Fuderer was polyglot and friendly, and told me of his career dilemma. He was studying chemistry at Zagreb, played the piano in virtuoso style, and could aim for the world chess top. Which to choose? For the next few years he postponed the decision, as his chess career nudged upwards. In 1954 he qualified for the world title interzonal, scored a fine victory over Ewfim Geller at the Amsterdam Olympiad where Yugoslavia took the silver medals behind Russian gold, and finished third to Vassily Smyslov and Paul Keres at Hastings.

The fateful moment came at the 1955 Gothenburg interzonal. At halfway after ten rounds he was on 7-3, battling for the lead with David Bronstein and Keres. But the pairings were such that the six Soviets played each other at the start while in the second half Fuderer had to meet all six in successive rounds. Keres beat him in 18 moves and those last ten rounds were a disaster, four draws and six defeats.

So chemistry won. Fuderer took his doctorate at Zagreb, married in 1957, and after helping Yugoslavia to silver at the Moscow 1956 Olympiad gradually withdrew from chess. His swansong was the 1959 Soviet Union v Yugoslavia match at Kiev where, still only 28, he showed what might have been by beating Bronstein, the victor at Gothenburg, 3-1. In the late 1960s he quit Yugoslavia for good, living in Spain and working as a chemical engineer in Antwerp.

Even in his best chess years there were games where he settled for quick draws against much weaker opponents. An obituary by his son Miha helps explain why. Fuderer felt his greatest passion was for chemistry, and he used his tournaments outside Yugoslavia to acquire consumer goods which when he got home he could resell at a profit to finance his university studies. For chess, a great talent lost.

Read the full article at this link.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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  • At November 5, 2011 at 1:21 PM , Anonymous Volkswagon said...

    There are so many chess talents who "have blushed unseen and spent their sweetness on other air" - apologies to thomas gray


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