Lajos Portisch turns 75 (UPDATE)

0 | Chess Event Coverage

Lajos Portisch celebrates his 75th birthday today. The legendary Hungarian grandmaster, currently rated 2523, was born on April 4th, 1937 in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary.

Portisch was one of the strongest non-Soviet players from the early 1960s into the late 1980s. His positional style earned him the nickname "Hungarian Botvinnik".

He participated in twelve consecutive Interzonals from 1962 through 1993, qualifying for the World Chess Championship Candidates' cycle a total of eight times (1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, and 1988).

Portisch set several all-time records in Chess Olympiads. He participated in a record 20 Olympiads from 1956 until 2000, playing a record 260 games, over a record six decades, and won 11 medals. His total Olympiad score is +121 =113 -26. Portisch led the Hungarian chess team to the gold medal in the 23rd Chess Olympiad held in Buenos Aires in 1978 with a personal score of 10/14. This was the only Olympiad not to be won by the Soviet Union between 1952 and 1990 (except in 1976 when Soviet Union boycotted the competition).

In Hungarian Chess Championships, he either shared the title or won it outright a total of eight times (1958, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1971, 1975, and 1981). He won many strong international tournaments during his career.

In 2004, Portisch was awarded the 'Nemzet Sportoloja', Hungary's highest national sports achievement award.

He still competes occasionally but these days his main hobby is singing operatic arias; he has a fine baritone voice, a quality shared by the late Vasily Smyslov.

Such a legend deserves a lengthy Wikipedia page, which he has. It is worth visiting. Congratulations to Lajos the Great!

Update: Laszlo Lajos points out in the comments that on the occasion of Portisch' 75th birthday, there was a mini-competition with four participiants: Portisch, Ljubojevic, Csom, Hort: 

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