Article on Andor Lilienthal's 97th birthday

by ChessBase
7/8/2008 – Teaser... More...

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By Slobodan Adzic









Can you imagine someone saying: “I have beaten Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine”. Actually saying it today, the year 2008? But Andor Arnoldovich Lilienthal, who this year celebrated his 97th birthday, is the oldest living grandmaster. In his long career he has recorded wins against Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, as well as players like Tartakower, Najdorf, Bronstein and Taimanov. You don't believe us? Here are some games...

Lilienthal was born in Moscow on May 5, 1911 to Hungarian Jewish parents. He moved to Hungary at age two. He played for Hungary in three Chess Olympiads, 1933, 1935, and 1937. Emigrating to the Soviet Union in 1935, he became a Soviet citizen in 1939. Lilienthal played in the USSR Chess Championship eight times, with his best result being a first place tie with Igor Bondarevsky in 1940. He qualified for the Candidates Tournament once, in 1948.

From 1951 until 1960 he was Tigran Petrosian's trainer. Lilienthal began a friendship with Vasily Smyslov in 1938, and was Smyslov's second in his world championship matches against Botvinnik. He retired from tournament play in 1965 and returned to Hungary in 1976.

Lilienthal in the past five years

At the Cap d'Agde tournament of 2003 Andor Lilienthal was one of the special guests

Age difference 72 years: Lilienthal with FIDE champ Ruslan Ponomariov in 2003

With wife Olga on his 94th birthday in 2005

This is how the 94-year-old got around Budapest

Andor in his Toyota Yaris

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