Open main menu

Florin Gheorghiu (born 6 April 1944) is a Romanian chess player and university lecturer in foreign languages.

Florin Gheorghiu
Florin Gheorghiu (World Junior Chess Championship 1961).jpg
Gheorghiu in 1961
CountryRomania
Born (1944-04-06) 6 April 1944 (age 75)
Ploiești, Romania
TitleGrandmaster
FIDE rating2378

Born in Ploiești, on 6 April 1944, while the American bombers attacked the country's capital, his prodigious talent for the game was evidenced by his many early achievements; he became an International Master in 1963 and Romania's first Grandmaster just two years later. He was also awarded the title of World Junior Chess Champion (on tie-break) in 1963 at Vrnjacka Banja.

In his home country there were few who could rival his dominance of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He won the Romanian Championship nine times (the first at age 16) and represented his country in all of the Chess Olympiads between 1962 and 1990, playing first board on ten occasions (1966–1974, 1978–1982, 1988–1990).

Gheorghiu was a lecturer in French at Bucharest University and also speaks English, Russian, German, and Spanish.[1]

Chess careerEdit

 
Gheorghiu (far right) playing against Anatoly Karpov

Gheorghiu has seldom been regarded a serious contender for the world chess championship title, although he regularly participated in the cycle and at other prestigious events. His placings at four Interzonal Tournaments (world championship qualifiers) confirm that he was not as strong as the world's elite players at the time, but could nevertheless perform consistently well at a high level. At Petropolis 1973 he finished 14th, at Manila 1976 10–13th, Riga 1979 5–6th and twelfth at Moscow 1982. At the Riga Interzonal, he only narrowly failed to qualify for the Candidates Matches. Overall, he participated in 9 zonal and 4 interzonal tournaments.

When playing at his peak on the regular international tournament circuit, he won on many occasions, including Hastings 1967–68 (with Hort and Stein), Reykjavik 1972 (with Hort and Ólafsson), Orense 1973, Torremolinos 1974 (with Torre), Lone Pine 1979 (with Gligorić, Liberzon, and Hort), Novi Sad 1979, Biel 1982 (with Nunn) and Lenk 1990. He was always a formidable opponent at the U.S. Open tournament and finished first in three successive years—1979, 1980 (with Fedorowicz) and 1981 (with Christiansen and three others).

Playing for his country, he gathered 461 games in 65 contests (including friendly matches with other nations), summing up to an overall result of 145 wins, 274 draws and 42 losses. Details are given in the table below.

Town Year Contest's name + = -
Tbilisi 1960 friendly match S. S. R. Georgia – Romania (b. 5) 1 3 0
Leningrad 1960 World student team ch. VII (reserve 1) 5 1 1
Bucharest 1961 friendly match Romania – S. S. R. Georgia (b. 5) 3 1 0
Karl Marx-Stadt 1961 friendly match East Germany – Romania (b. 1) 1 0 1
Bucharest 1962 friendly match Romania – Bulgaria (b. 4) 1 1 0
Budapest 1962 friendly match Hungary – Romania (b. 5) 0 2 0
Marianske Lazne 1962 World student team ch. IX (b. 1) 4 8 1
Varna 1962 Olympiad XV (b. 3) 6 8 1
Bucharest 1963 friendly match Romania – Hungary (b. 1) 2 0 0
Krakow 1964 World student team ch. XI (b. 1) 7 3 0
Sinaia 1964 preliminaries of European team ch. (b. 3) 4 2 0
Tel Aviv 1964 Olympiad XVI (b. 2) 8 8 1
Bucharest 1965 friendly match Romania – Poland (b.1) 1 1 0
Hamburg 1965 European team ch. III (b. 1) 1 7 2
Sinaia 1965 World student team ch. XII (b. 1) 8 4 1
Örebro 1966 World student team ch. XIII (b. 1) 8 5 0
La Habana 1966 Olympiad XVII (b. 1) 9 7 3
Bucharest 1966 friendly match Romania – S. S. R. Latvia (b. 1) 0 2 0
Warsaw 1967 friendly match Poland – Romania (b. 1) 0 2 0
Sofia 1967 preliminaries of European team ch. (b. 1) 2 4 0
Harrachov 1967 World student team ch. XIV (b. 1) 4 7 0
Lugano 1968 Olympiad XVIII (b. 1) 3 14 0
Novi Sad 1969 friendly match Yugoslavia – Romania (b. 1) 0 2 0
Bucharest 1970 friendly match Romania – Yugoslavia (b. 1) 0 2 0
Siegen 1970 Olympiad XIX (b.1) 6 10 3
Bamberg 1971 friendly match Romania – West Germany (b. 1) 0 2 0
Atena 1971 Balkaniad III (b. 1) 1 2 1
Bucharest 1971 preliminaries of European team ch. (b. 2) 2 0 0
Sofia 1972 Balkaniad IV (b. 1) 2 2 0
Skopje 1972 Olympiad XX (b. 1) 5 12 3
Bath 1973 European team ch. V (b.1) 0 5 2
Paris 1973 friendly match France – Romania (b. 1) 1 1 0
Poiana Brașov 1973 Balkaniad V (b. 1) 0 4 0
Nisa 1974 Olympiad XXI (b. 1) 5 13 0
Poreci 1974 Balkaniad VI (b. 1) 0 3 0
Istanbul 1975 Balkaniad VII (b. 1) 0 4 0
Crans Montana 1976 preliminaries of European team ch. (b. 1) 1 3 0
Bucharest 1976 friendly match Romania – R. F. G. (b. 1) 0 2 0
Athens 1976 friendly match Greece – Romania (b. 1) 2 0 0
Athens 1976 Balkaniad VIII (b. 1) 1 2 1
Moscow 1977 European team ch. VI (b. 1) 1 5 1
Albena 1977 Balkaniad IX (b. 1) 2 2 0
Bucharest 1977 friendly match Romania – West Germany (b. 1) 0 2 0
Boras 1978 preliminaries of European team ch. (b. 1) 0 2 0
Băile Herculane 1978 Balkaniad X (b. 1) 3 1 0
Buenos Aires 1978 Olympiad XXIII (b. 1) 5 9 0
Bensheim 1979 friendly match West Germany – Romania (b. 1) 1 1 0
Istanbul 1980 Balkaniad XII (b. 1) 2 3 0
Malta 1980 Olympiad XXIV (b. 1) 3 7 2
Athens 1981 Balkaniad XIII (b. 1) 2 2 0
Luzern 1982 Olympiad XXV (b. 1) 3 5 4
Băile Herculane 1983 Balkaniad XV (b. 2) 2 2 0
Zinnowitz 1983 friendly match East Germany – Romania 0 4 0
Eforie Nord 1984 friendly match Romania – East Germany 0 2 2
Skopje 1984 Balkaniad XVI (b. 1) 0 4 1
Salonic 1984 Olympiad XXVI (b. 2) 5 8 1
Iraklion 1985 Balkaniad XVII (b. 1) 2 2 0
Luzern 1985 World team ch. I (b. 2) 0 7 2
Dubai 1986 Olympiad XXVII (b. 2) 3 9 0
Kastela Stari 1988 Balkaniad XX (b. 1) 0 6 0
Salonic 1988 Olympiad XXVIII (b.1) 3 7 3
Haifa 1989 European team ch. IX (b. 1) 0 9 0
Kavala 1990 Balkaniad XXI (b. 1) 0 4 2
Novi Sad 1990 Olympiad XXIX (b. 1) 3 8 1
Debrecen 1992 European team ch. X (b. 1) 1 4 2

Gheorghiu is renowned for his success against the reputedly solid Nimzo-Indian Defence. The variation comprising an early f3 for White (which is allied to the Sämisch Variation) became his trademark weapon, improving on the games and development work of Lajos Portisch and Gyozo Forintos before him. The system is now referred to as the Gheorghiu Variation in many chess opening manuals and has been employed by tactical experts such as Alexei Shirov.

Notable gamesEdit

Here is how Gheorghiu, playing White, beat future world champion Bobby Fischer at the Havana Olympiad in 1966. This was the only competitive game Fischer ever lost to a player younger than himself.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 0-0 7.cxd5 exd5 8.e3 Nh5 9.Qc2 Re8 10.g4 Nf4 11.h4 c5 12.Kf2 Ng6 13.Bd3 Nc6 14.Ne2 Be6 15.g5 Rc8 16.h5 Nf8 17.g6 fxg6 18.hxg6 h6 19.Qb1 Na5 20.Nf4 c4 21.Bc2 Rc6 22.Ra2 Nd7 23.a4 Nf6 24.Ba3 Qd7 25.Rb2 b6 26.Rb5 Nb7 27.e4 dxe4 28.Bxe4 Rcc8 29.Re5 Bg4 30.Nd5 Rxe5 31.Nxf6+ gxf6 32.dxe5 Nc5 33.Bxc5 Qd2+ 34.Kg3 Bxf3 35.Bxf3 Rxc5 36.Qc1 Qxc1 37.Rxc1 Rxe5 38.Kf4 Kg7 39.Be4 h5 40.Rd1 Re7 41.Rd5 Kh6 42.Rd6 Kg7 43.Rc6 h4 44.Rxc4 h3 45.Kg3 Kh6 46.Bb1 Re3+ 47.Kh2 Re1 48.Bd3 Re3 49.Rh4+ Kg5 50.g7 1–0[2]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Sunnucks, Anne (1970). "The Encyclopaedia of Chess". St. Martin's Press: 145. LCCN 78106371 Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Gheorghiu vs. Fischer, Havana 1966". Chessgames.com.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit