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Gipslis, Aivars

Aivars Gipslis (1937-2000) was a Latvian grandmaster (1967).   He won the Latvian championship 8 times (1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966).  He took 3rd place in the USSR chess championship in 1966/67.  At the Sousse Interzonal in 1967, Bobby Fischer asked for a free day to ease his tough chess schedule due to postponements.  After his demand was not met, Fischer did not show up for his game against Gipslis, and was forfeited.  Gipslis did not want to win on forfeit and wanted to play Fischer at Fischer’s convenience.  But Soviet officials told Gipslis he was not to play Fischer and to take the win on forfeit.  This caused Fischer to withdraw from the tournament.  He was playing for a local Berlin chess club when he collapsed from a stroke during the chess game.  He died in a German hospital after being in a coma for several weeks.  He was 63.  He held the grandmaster title in FIDE (over the board) and ICCF (correspondence).  He had been editor of the chess magazine Sahs/Shakmaty.  He was an economist.

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