Ivan Farago. Some Games from the Hungarian Chess Legacy.

Ivan Farago. Some Games from the Hungarian Chess Legacy.


Warning!! I have time on my hands, so this is a long article!! One to dip in and out of.

Not to worry though - most people will give this article the full Pele dummy! 4-20 here.

So. A couple of post ago, my friend @RoaringPawn put something fascinating in the comments.

A list of the seven most active players of all time. I would certainly have guessed at Korchnoi, Timman and Ivanchuk, but there were two names that I would never have guessed. Heiki Westerinen and Ivan ( I always think of him as 'Istvan' - no idea why! ) Farago.

Indeed - one online database website has over 4000 games of his over a period of around 50 years.

I knew of him back in my early days - I remember getting the bulletin of a Hastings tournament that he played in - and most recently noted him playing in a team event, and the World Senior Championships.

Farago in 2010, from an Icelandic site. 
Those who follow my rag bag of assorted chess ramblings will know that I am a big student of Hungarian chess history - way back to Szen in the early 19th century, through to the young guns of today.
Farago is almost an ever - present over a long period of time when you look at the Hungarian Championships tables, and the national team, and such guys catch my attention.

With work not forthcoming for a couple of days, I have had time to revisit my chess past and go over the games of one of 'The Forgotten'. No, not all 4000, - but about 60 or 70. When I came across a game that I enjoyed I saved it, and  will present the games here for  anyone else to enjoy too. 

No notes - just the games - in no particular order, just as they come out of the file, and some pictures. 

Enjoy the games, and join me in wishing an overlooked Grandmaster - in the true sense as I view it - a place in the hearts of chess lovers around the World. Cheers Ivan, and thanks for a couple of enjoyable days.

First up a game - early in both of their careers -  against this world title candidate, who I really like!

Sax against Lemtschko, from Lugano 1984.

The game is typical for both players - Sax - recently departed I think, but stand to be corrected on that!  - had a very sharp style. Farago could fight it out too, and exploits the weakening of White's King's defences with a beautiful counter-attack.

The pieces lined up on one file make a lovely impression at the finish!

A picture of the two payers - well, you can see the back of Farago's head! - from 1979, I think - 


An even earlier game against another Hungarian legend, and author of the 'Black is O.K. series.

Adorjan - seated - in 1977!?

The loser of the next game was also the loser of the game that kicked all this off, I think, in the post mentioned above. He also lost a game in my article on Jon Mestel!! Sorry mate - I will redress the balance at some point.

Sigurjonsson left - against Sosonko. Via wiki.

It is just relentless pressure from Farago, with a brave piece sacrifice and a slow motion attack. I really like this game!!

The next game is utterly insane against an opponent who specialised in insane chess! I only started to look at him quite recently, thanks to postings by my friends. before that, I could only quote one of his games, so thanks guys!

Planinc whipping out the Benoni himself!! Against the lovely Jan Hein Donner at Wijk an See in 1973.

The next opponent is Igor Zaitsev.

No kidding. What a player!, (Not to be confused with Alexandr Zaitsev - also  a fine player, who i am lucky enough to have a Russian language book about.) One time second of Anatoly Karpov, and still with us in to his 80's, as far as I know.

Greetings, and respect Igor!

A gem of a game. Note the move 19. Bc4, with the idea of 20. Nxh6 followed by Qg6+. As I say, Farago was on the sharp end of positional chess. Of all the games here, that one made the biggest impression on me. A good friend and chess journalist once published one of my games with a comment along the lines of ' the Pawn weaknesses are irrelevant - what matters is the activity of the pieces', so perhaps I like that game because it is my own style.

The loser of the next game - Bela Perenyi,

lived far too short a life. A fine player - his name will be known to those who - like me - have studied a line in the Sicilain Defence that is named after him.

An original and fascinating game.

As I remember, Mihai Suba

Suba at the 24th World Senior Championships.

spent some time in England, and became a noted openings theoretician - particularly strong in hedgehog positions. 

If you are in a hurry, go to move 29, and see what you would play as Black! ( hint. you have  to find the defence 3 moves later. Brilliant chess. It all looks so easy when these guys do it!!)

The loser of the next game was a fascinating player to study!! One of the most creative and fearless of the players that I grew up studying.

Ljubojevic - Seirwan. London. 1982

To summon up a mating attack in this line - which has a long history - is almost magical, complete with a beautiful final move.

A game for the text books - Farago sacrifices a couple of pawns for the sake of development, and keeping the Black King in the centre. One of those games that we can all understand and enjoy, but never quite manage to emulate!

And to finish, a wonderfully inventive game. I spent a long time studying this line in my younger days after seeing a game of Lasker's from 1924.  Again, sharp positional chess, with a keen tactical eye.

A nice game to finish on, as it exemplifies Farago's chess style. His 24th and 25th moves are just wonderful chess, in my opinion.

I hope that those of you who looked in, and stuck with it, enjoyed the chess. As I say, it is not a 'best games  of' effort - just some games that i have looked at over the last couple of days.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!!