Vasja Pirc (/ˈpɪərts/ PEERTS; Slovene pronunciation: [ˈʋâːsja ˈpîːɾt͡s]) (December 19, 1907 – June 2, 1980)[1] was a Yugoslav chess player. He is best known in competitive chess circles as a strong exponent of the hypermodern defense now generally known as the Pirc Defence.

Vasja Pirc
Pirc in the 1930s
Born(1907-12-19)December 19, 1907
Idrija, Carniola, Austria-Hungary
DiedJune 2, 1980(1980-06-02) (aged 72)
Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, Yugoslavia
TitleGrandmaster (1953)
Pirc vs. Euwe (1950)

Pirc was champion of Yugoslavia five times: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1951, and 1953.[2] He was awarded the International Master title in 1950, and the Grandmaster title in 1953. He was made an International Arbiter in 1973.[1]

Pirc was born in Idrija in 1907, then a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. He died in Ljubljana in 1980.

Sample game


Although Pirc had a minus record against Alexander Alekhine, he beat Alekhine with the black pieces in a blitz game in Ljubljana in 1930:

1.d4 e6 (Queen's Pawn Game, Horwitz Defense) 2.c4 (usually transposes to openings such as Queen's Gambit Declined, Nimzo-Indian or Queen's Indian) 2...Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2 b6 5.f3 Bxc3 6.Bxc3 d5 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 c5 9.Ne2 Nc6 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Qa4 Qd7 12.Qc2 Nb4 13.Bxb4 cxb4 14.b3 Rac8 15.e4 h6 16.e5 dxc4 17.bxc4 Nd5 18.Qd2 Nc3 19.Rae1 Rfd8 20.d5 exd5 21.c5 Rxc5 22.Nd4 Bc8 23.e6 Qc7 24.exf7+ Kxf7 25.f4 Ne4 26.Qb2 Rc3 27.Nf3 Kg8 28.Ne5 Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Qd4 30.Qe2 Bf5 31.g4 Ng3+ 32.hxg3 Bxd3 33.Nxd3 Rxd3 34.Rd1 Qe4+ 35.Qg2 Rc8 36.Rxd3 Qxd3 37.Rf2 Rc1+ 38.Kh2 a5 39.Rd2 Qe4 40.Qxe4 dxe4 41.Kg2 a4 42.Rd4 Rc2+ 43.Kf1 Rxa2 44.Rxb4 e3 45.Rxb6 e2+ 46.Kf2 a3 47.Ra6 Ra1 48.Kxe2 a2 0–1[3]


  1. ^ a b Gaige, Jeremy (1987), Chess Personalia, A Biobibliography, McFarland, p. 331, ISBN 0-7864-2353-6
  2. ^ Chess Informant, volume 30, tribute by Aleksandar Matanovic, Chess Informant publishers, Belgrade 1981.
  3. ^ "Alexander Alekhine vs. Vasja Pirc, Ljubljana 1930 (blitz)".