Oscar Pomar - Former Chess Prodigy

Oscar Pomar - Former Chess Prodigy

billwall
Apr 27, 2008, 12:00 AM |
7 | Chess Players

 

Arturo Pomar-Salamanca was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on September 1, 1931.  He was a child prodigy, learning the game at age 4, and pupil of Alexander Alekhine during World War II (Franco’s regime in Spain paid Alekhine to train Pomar).  Pomar played in the Spanish championship at the age of 10.  He was the champion of the Balearuc Islands at age 11.  He played in his first international tournament at Madrid in 1943 at age 12.  He drew a game with Alekhine at Gijon in July, 1944 (Alekhine played a Danish Gambit, and the game was drawn in 33 moves).   Pomar was only 12, and he become the youngest player ever to draw a reigning world chess champion at a normal time control.  His record still stands today.  Pomar became a master at age 13.

In 1945, a book was published called Pomar.  Mis Cincuenta Partidas Con Maestros (Pomar, My 50 Games with Masters).  Pomar was onlly 14 at the time.  The authorship was ascribed to Pomar, but the author was Manuel de Agustin.

Pomar’s picture appeared on the cover of the March 1946 Chess Review.

Pomar won the Spanish championship 7 times (1946, 1950, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1966).

Pomar played 12 times for Spain in the Chess Olympiads from 1958 to 1980.  He won the individual bronze medal at Leipzig in 1960.

In 1950, he was awarded the International Master title.

In 1954, he tied for 1st with Larry Evans at the U.S. Open in New Orleans.  Each won $700 and Evans took the title on tie-break.

In 1960 he shared first place at Madrid, a zonal event.

In 1961 he shared first place at Torremolinos.  He took first place at Malaga 1964 and 1971.

He became Spain’s first grandmaster in 1962.

In 1962, he tied for 11th-12th in the Interzonal at Stockholm (won by Bobby Fischer).

He had a nervous breakdown in 1965, which affected his chess play.  He had another nervous breakdown at the Grandmaster tournament in Dundee in 1967 and never fully recovered.

His current rating is 2345, but he has not played in any tournament since 1992.  He was ranked in the top 50 in the world from 1959 to 1965.

He and his wife, Carmen, worked in a post office in a village in Spain, near Barcelona.

 


 


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