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Szabo, Laszlo

Laszlo Szabo (1917-1998) was a Hungarian Grandmaster (1950) and former Candidate for the World Chess Championship.  He was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 19, 1917.  Szabo was a National Master by the time he was 17.  He won the Hungarian championship eight times (1935, 1937, 1946, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1959, 1967), and tied for first, but lost the play-off on two other occasions.  In 1938-39, he won at Hastings.  Before World War II, he worked in the foreign exchange department of a Budapest bank.  During World War II, he was in a Hungarian Forced Labor unit where he was captured by the Russian army.  He was a prisoner of  war until after the end of World War II.  After the war, he was editor of the Hungarian national chess magazine. Szabo was the leading Hungarian chess player from 1945 to 1960, when Portisch became Hungary’s leading player.  In 1945, he took 2nd place in a tournament in Kecskemet and won 10 kilograms of lard.  In 1946, he tied for 4th, with Najdorf, at Groningen.  In 1947-48, he won at Hastings.  In 1948, he won an international tournament in Budapest, ahead of Gligoric, Foltys, Pachman, and Tartakower.  In 1949-50, he won at Hastings.  He became an International Arbiter in 1954.  He played on 11 Hungarian Chess Olympiad teams from 1935 to 1968.  He participated in three Interzonals (1948, 1952, 1955), taking 2nd in 1948.  He participated in three Candidates’ tournaments (1950, 1953, 1956), finishing joint third in 1956.  In 1979, he retired from active chess play.  In 1981, he wrote 100,000 Moves in 50 Years.  In 1986, he wrote, My Best Games.  He died on August 8, 1998. 

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