Pal Benko Is Free

Pal Benko Is Free

GreenLaser
NM GreenLaser
May 9, 2009, 12:00 AM |
8 | Chess Players

Pal Benko was born July 14, 1928 in Amiens, France to Hungarian parents and raised in Hungary. Benko won the Hungarian Championship in 1948. In 1957, after playing board 1 for Hungary in the World Student Team Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland, Benko entered the U.S. embassy in order to escape from Hungary which was ruled by communists, who in turn were Soviet controlled. With freedom and more opportunity, he became an international master in 1950 and an international grandmaster in 1958. He won the U.S. Open eight times from 1961-1975. He reached the candidates matches in 1959 and 1962. In 1970, Benko gave his interzonal spot to Bobby Fischer, which allowed Fischer to win the world championship in 1972. His name appears on the Benko Gambit and Benko's Opening. He is well known as a writer on the endgame. He has been writing an endgame column for decades in "Chess Life," the magazine of the US Chess Federation. He wrote the books "Pal Benko's Endgame Laboratory" and "Basic Chess Endings." The latter is a revision of Reuben Fine's classic. In 1995, Benko was awarded the international master title as a composer of studies. The following game was played in 1951 while Benko was still in Hungary. However, it was not played in 1921, before he was born, as some sources have it. Unlike many of Benko's positional games leading to the endgame, this concludes with a combinational attack.

 

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