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"Guille" the Best of the 70s in Cuba

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Aug 10, 2011
  • | 9301 views
  • | 26 comments

Guillermo Garcia Gonzales was born in Santa Clara on December 9, 1953 and learned chess at the age of six. His triumphs were predicted one day when an unknown woman, overwhelmed by the heat, took water at the Garcia residence in Santa Clara and gratefully made ​​the prediction to the lady of the house, "one of your four children bears the white cross on the roof of the mouth, and he will do great things.” The mother, intrigued, later found that the youngest of the three boys carried this mark; and the years would bear out the prophecy.

In 1971 he won the Junior National Championship, beating the 11 rivals, among them the famous Amador Rodriguez, Jose Luis Vilela and Nelson Pinal,  in Palmas de Gran Canarias. In 1974, he earned his first Grandmaster norm with 10 of 15, tying for second with Beliavsky and Olafsson and a point behind the tournament winner Ljubojevic. The participants included: Polugaevsky, Andersson, Larsen, Ribli and Kovalek. Larsen praised the game of Guillermo in that tournament.  That same year, he won his first national championship,  which he did twice more, in 1976 and 1983. Also in 1974 he got the International Master title.

 

Among his major victories are: Zurich in 1975 and Plovdiv in 1976, Orense in 1977; in 1978 the Zonal of Cuenca, Ecuador, and J. Rebelde in Havana. He won this tournament also in 1980, 82 , 85 and 86. He won in 1979 at Maspalomas in Spain; in 1980 at Cespedes in Bayamo, and the Capablanca Memorial in Cienfuegos,  (this was the first time a Cuban won this tournament); Pristina, in Yugoslavia in 1981, and the 1981 Zonal in Bayamo; in 1982 at Caracas, Venezuela. The same year he started with 6.5 of 8 in the Interzonal of Moscow, drawing in round 8 with Kasparov for the second time, the first draw having come in Banjaluka 79. Then he only got 1 point of 5 and lost in the last round, tying for fifth-sixth with Geller.

 

Other tournaments that can be considered quite successful were Villa Clara in 1984 and 1985. A particularly impressive result was when Guillermo won second place in the New York Open Tournament of 1988 with 6.5 of 9, behind only Ivanchuck. Unfortunately, the arbitrary imposition of the U.S. Treasury Department, based on the embargo against Cuba, prevented Guillermo from collecting his rightful prize rising to 10 thousand dollars. This was considered as the most interesting novelty of the event, in one of the issues of the magazine New in Chess, published in Holland, which saw the event as "a new and truly abominable case, the interference of politics in the affairs of sports." His money went into a blocked account in his name, and could only be extracted if he moved to another country. 

I had the opportunity to play a five minute game with him in the Capablanca Chess Club, in Havana. He was looking for Jesus Rodriguez who was also champion of Cuba, and Jesus asked him to play a game with me. He beat me, but it was a nice experience for me, because he was one of my idols; I remember, GM Vera always said to me that Guillermo and me, we had the same character. 

From 1974 until 1982, he defended the Cuban first board in Olympiads. Later he served on the second (1984 and 1986) and third in 1988. He  participated in 7 Olympiads, with  ( +32 =38 -20), andin six student team tournaments from 1969 to 1978 , winning   gold medals in the  first board ,in Mexico 77 and 78.

 

A fatal car accident severed his life on October 26, 1990 in Havana; he was preparing to intervene in the Olympiad. Cuba lost one of its leading figures, and an admired and beloved friend who will always be remembered.

 

 

 

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Comments


  • 17 months ago

    petercast68

    Julio, gracias por el articulo todos crecimos con las victorias del Guille. Sin duda uno de los mejores ajedrecistas cubanos de todos los tiempos.

    Julio,thanks for the article all grew up with Guille victories. Certainly one of the best cuban players of all time.

  • 3 years ago

    expertmanny

    Hi, Luis estoy orgulloso de tus logros y que tengamos aqui en Miami un GrandMaster como tu.Yo tambien soy de origen cubano;pero a pesar que vivo aqui hace 30 a~os empeze a ser parte de Chess.com hace muy poco.No sabia sobre el tragico accidente de Quillermo;perdimos uno bueno.Yo soy de la misma epoca de El y le sequia su trayectoria deportiva cuando yo estaba aun en Cuba.Creo que un dia hace algun tiempo atras te escuche en la radio promoviendo tu Academia de Chess.Bueno buddy quizas algun dia nos conoscamos personalmente y te de un estrechon de manos.Sique adelante y que El Se~or te bendiga.

  • 3 years ago

    IranianPersianGulf

    thanks for it

  • 3 years ago

    chhajlani

    Indeed he was a great player.

    Nice end games too to solve

  • 3 years ago

    blackdragon71

    Indeed he had a great insight. Marvelous combinations!

  • 3 years ago

    chessfj

    Thanks GM Julio Becerra, a natural cuban talent, for the article.

    GM G. Garcia was inspiration and master for many people and players of Cuba and Latinamerica, he was a complete style, great in positional and tactical situations, despite he dos not take excesive risks for nothing, a very deep strategical aproach of the game. Also, a very nice person, human and friendly man.

    our respect and memory for him

  • 3 years ago

    chessproblemo

    A Senor like Capablanca. Hasta la vista Senior Garcia!

  • 3 years ago

    wouterkabouter

    really good article, thx for sharing

  • 3 years ago

    glenarreglo

    Smile

  • 3 years ago

    matthewliu2000

    thanks, really good article :)

  • 3 years ago

    kd2013

    nice article... Laughing

  • 3 years ago

    FrancisCake

    re piola

  • 3 years ago

    pinetree

    Nice :)

  • 3 years ago

    ishamael13

    Nice article. I don't know many Cuban players, other of course than certain household names:) So it was nice to learn a new one and practice my skills solving the exercises. Oh, the one before last was very difficult for me. Would have certainly lost on time in real time tournament. LOL.

  • 3 years ago

    karangtarunasemarang

    thanks....Smile

  • 3 years ago

    Ekem

    JULIO GRACIAS POR EL EXCELENTE COMENTARIO DE QUIEN FUE MOTIVACION PARA MUCHOS EN 13-14 15-16 Y JUVENILES. SOY DE VILLA CLARA Y GUILLE JUNTO A ECHEVERRIA NOGUEIRAS ARNALDO CIRO Y HUERTICA FUERON DE GRAN APOYO. FE DE ESTO LO DOY JUNTO A RODNEY FRANK Y DEMAS. AH Y NO OLVIDO LA PARTIDA QUE ME GANASTE POR EL ORO EN SANCTI SPIRITUS 1988.

  • 3 years ago

    Ekem

    JULIO te agradezco el excelente comentario. a veces no nos acordamos de quienes fueron motivacion para nosotros en categorias13-14 15-16 y juveniles.soy de villa clara y GUILLE junto con ARNALDO. ECHEVERRIA Y NOGUEIRAS nos apoyaron mucho. fe de esto te doy junto a RODNEY. FRANK y los demas. ah y no olvido la partida que me ganaste por el oro en SANCTI SPIRITUS 1988.

  • 3 years ago

    markronilodevera

    Cool

  • 3 years ago

    BruiserMac

    Viva Cuba Libre...R.I.P..

  • 3 years ago

    fish_food

    "Unfortunately, the arbitrary imposition of the U.S. Treasury Department, based on the embargo against Cuba, prevented Guillermo from collecting his rightful prize rising to 10 thousand dollars"

    Rather interesting statement.... so the U.S. acted arbirtrarily? So we are to understand that the policy was not uniformly applied to anybody from Cuba? There were other players, or perhaps other people in different sports, from Cuba, who collected their prize fund? You might give at least one.

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