The Best Amateur of All-Time

The Best Amateur of All-Time

GM Julio_Becerra
Jul 14, 2010, 12:00 AM |
42 | Chess Players

Milan Vidmar (22 June 1885 – 9 October 1962) was a Slovene electrical engineer,
chess player, chess theorist, philosopher, and writer born in Ljubljana, Austria-Hungary (now Slovenia). He won renown especially in the field of electrical engineering in power transformers and transmission of electric current. He completed his studies at the Vienna Technical College and was Professor and later a Dean at the Technical Academy in Ljubljana. In 1948 he established the Institute of Electrotechnics that now bears his name.

Vidmar was a top-class chess player, probably one of the top half dozen players in the world from 1911 to 1929, all the while remaining an amateur; therefore, his chess achievements are all the more remarkable!

During his college days Vidmar received the instruction that made him a chess master.

He was not as successful in chess as the best players of his epoch like Alekhine,
Lasker, Capablanca, Rubinstein, and Nimzowitsch; nevertheless he was never
completely out of the running! With impressive regularity, he took third place even in the strongest tournaments. Those uniform results indicate that he always put all his strength into the game.

His successes include high places at some of the top chess tournaments of his time: second and third prizes with Rubinstein in San Sebastian 1911, half a point behind Capablanca, second at Mannheim 1914 behind Alekhine, first at Vienna and Berlin in 1918, third in London 1922 behind Capablanca and Alekhine, third at Semmering 1926, fourth in New York 1927 and shared fifth at Carlsbad 1929, behind Nimzowitsch, Capablanca, Spielmann and Rubinstein!

Vidmar wrote several books on chess: Half a Century at the Chessboard, Chess, Conversations on Chess with a Beginner, and The Golden Times of Chess. Besides, he was a popular and respected figure in the chess world and he became the chief referee at the Hague/Moscow 1948 Match-Tournament to select the new World Champion.

He was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950 and he passed away in Ljubljana in

His son, Milan Vidmar Jr. was an international master of chess, in all probability the strongest chessplayer son of a legendary figure of Chess!












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