Life at Play
American-Czech Grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek (1943-2021) was a three-time US Chess Champion and one of the best chess writers of the last decades. He reached millions of chess fans with his much-acclaimed columns in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.
Kavalek could speak from experience as he had played with or met all the chess greats of the last century. He assisted Bobby Fischer during the legendary Match of the Century in 1972, and in later years, he was the second of Nigel Short and Jan Timman. He also was the tournament director of the prestigious World Cup organized by the Grandmasters Association. But first and foremost, he was an elite player, winning countless tournaments and brilliancy prizes.
Kavalek rose spectacularly fast to the rank of grandmaster. With attractive and sharp play, he twice won the national championship in his native Czechoslovakia. In 1968, after the Soviet invasion had ended the Prague Spring, he fled his home country and eventually settled in the United States with his wife Irena.
At the end of his life, Lubosh Kavalek started writing his memoirs. With humour, wit and passion, he put on paper the compelling story of his adventurous life and rich chess career. When he passed away in 2021, he had all but finished the book he had been working on with the Czech-American writer Jan Novak.
Kavalek’s memoir makes for compelling reading and evokes his fascinating journey in life and the chess world. His story is supplemented by more than fifty of his best games, many with Kavalek’s entertaining comments.
‘The rare chess book that can be read cover to cover.’ -- IM John Donaldson, Mechanics Institute Newletter