154 ( +1 | -1 )
Wolfgang Unzicker 1925-2006
The strongest West German Grandmaster before Robert Huebner has died of a heart attack on holiday in Portugal at the age of 80. Unzicker was an amateur player throughout his career being a judge of an administrative court. He became a Grandmaster in 1954. He won the German Championship 7 times and played in 12 Olympiads, on top board in 10 of them.
His best results were probably joint 1st with Spassky in the Chigorin Memorial Sochi 1965 and 4th= in the famous 2nd Piatigorsky-Cup behind Spassky, Fischer and Larsen. He never made any serious impact in the world championship only playing two Interzonals finishing 9th in 1952 and 16th in 1956. His top board status in the Olympiad meant he played all the greats of the time and in 1950, he shared the prize for best top-board score (+9 =4 -1) with Miguel Najdorf for his performance on first board for the West German team at the Dubrovnik Chess Olympiad. A quick flick through his games reveals he had at least one victory over Tartakower, Bogoljubov, Gligoric, Keres, Reshevsky, Fischer, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Larsen, Donner, Timman, Ljubojevic, Korchnoi and Tal. He had a solid classical style and had draws against most of the world's best players of his era in addition to the list above such as Petrosian, Euwe, Karpov and Short.
Although he seems to have stopped playing major events in 2002 he played for his team club "Tarrasch Munich" almost to the end and the Mainz Chess Classic organised an 80th birthday rapid event where he competed with Karpov, Korchnoi and Spassky in August of 2005