Pal Benko turns 80

Pal Benko turns 80

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
Jul 15, 2008, 2:31 PM |
11 | Chess Players

Pal Benko (pictured) turned 80 years of age on 14th July 2008.  He was raised amongst poverty in Hungary and emigrated to the US in 1958 by defecting when attending a chess tournament in Iceland.

He went on to finish first, or shared first, in 8 US Chess Championships and gave his name to the popular Benko Gambit.  Were it not for his generosity, Bobby Fischer may never have become World Champion - Benko qualified for the world championship cycle in 1970, but gave up his place for Bobby and the rest, as they say, is history.

Benko is also a prolific and celebrated composer of endgame studies and chess compositions.

Here is one of his games with the defence that bears his name.  Happy birthday Pal Benko!


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