A Deadly Game

  • SonofPearl
  • on 8/18/09, 10:11 PM.

Shocking and sad news from a recent tournament in Greece, where local amateur player Nikolaos Karapanos played a brilliant game against Israeli IM Dan Zoler in the first round, but collapsed and died following a time scramble at the end.

By remarkable chance, Zoler is a doctor and did his best to revive his opponent, but sadly Nikolaos did not recover.  Zoler resigned the game (he was in a losing position) and withdrew from the tournament.

Sincere condolences are offered to Nikolaos' family.

From the official site, GM Estratios Grivas annotates this fateful game.

8246 reads 41 comments
5 votes


  • 16 months ago


    That's an interesting news item.It's not sad IMO - except for the fact that the player was young. It would be the way I would wish to exit this world. RIP

  • 4 years ago


    This highlights the extreme stress that chess can cause, which I had not realised until reading this article. I had believed that this type of stress only happened with more active pursuits.

    A very sad loss for his friends and family.

  • 6 years ago


    from the philippines ,, our heartfelt condolences .. pahulay sa kalinaw Nikolaos

  • 6 years ago


    I feel my heart race after a very tense game. This is sad, for the Karapanos family, for Mr. Zoler, and for chess. Not to trivialize a lost life, but I would hope to exit in such good form. We have lost a brother.

  • 6 years ago


      Condolences to his family .... RIP

  • 6 years ago


    Darthstapler i didn't understand your point at all...

  • 6 years ago


    How terrible!  My condolences to Mr. Karapanos' family and friends, and best wishes to Mr. Zoler.

  • 6 years ago


    condolences to the family...

    it is an honor to die doing what you love to do... not many people will ever experience this privilege

  • 6 years ago


    Kind of like the guy in our home town that bowled a 300 and dropped dead of a heart attack right after.

  • 6 years ago


    How truly sad, to have such an event happen. 

      yet, how truly stellar the qualities Mr. Zoler demonstrated.

         Mr. Zoler exhibited true sportsmanship and human decency.   May he return to play more chess in the future - likely though it may be some time before he plays well in any time-scramble.   He may be scarred for life by this.

  • 6 years ago


    I must say that Mr. Zoler displayed a wonderful and remarkable sign of sportsmanship. Very rare gesture to be seen.

    R.I.P. to Mr. Nikolaos.

  • 6 years ago


    I felt his passion in chess.

  • 6 years ago


    Something similar happened at a tournament I attended.  It's shocking to see it suddenly in front of you.  That was very classy of his opponent to resign the game.

  • 6 years ago


    sad newsCry

  • 6 years ago


    Rest in peace, Nikolaos. Our thoughts are with you and your family

  • 6 years ago


    as a common chess adage, 2 Rooks are much more favorable to a Queen in the endgame. This game definitely exemplifies such.

  • 6 years ago


    Mr Nikos ran out of time and the arbiters wrote 0-1 but Mr Zoler asked them to change the result.

  • 6 years ago


    Thats so disrespectful Stapler. 

  • 6 years ago


    Oh, no.I knew this man. He was my teacher for cople of months.




    Kalo taksidi file

  • 6 years ago


    I was in the room next to the playing hall. My dad was there, it happened before his eyes. I was at the funeral. He was a wise man.


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