Picture of the 16 year young Vlastimil Hort at the Chess Olympiad 1960 in Leipzig
The hosting nation of an international tournament, usually invites players from its own federation. That means, at Hastings, british player, and at Beverwijk / Wijk aan Zee, dutch players
were somehow "preferred partners" - with lesser chances for eastern or american players to get an entry spot. Let us therefore integrate Bosna, Sarajevo, and the cuban Capablanca Memorial as well.
Bosna, was a supertournament in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and after a break of ten years again from 1998 on until it switched to an Open in recent years.
Havana (Capablanca Memorial) was a supertournament
with its very first edition in 1962, during the Havana editions up and including 1971. Then it switched location several times - and was not that strong in the following decades. In recent years, the Capablanca Memorial can certainly be regarded as major
There are exact 10 chess players, winning three out of these four longest running annually recurring individual international chess tournaments at least once during their career:
Korchnoi USSR / Switzerland (in total 12 wins), all four Historic Grand Slam events:
Hastings (2x) # Wijk aan Zee (4x) # Sarajevo
(3x) # Havana (2x)
Portisch, Hungary (9 wins): Hastings (2x) # Wijk aan Zee (4x) # Sarajevo (3x)
Larsen, Denmark (6 wins): Hastings (3x) # Wijk aan Zee (2x) # Havana
Andersson, Sweden (6 wins):
Hastings (3x) # Wijk aan Zee # Camaguey & Cienfuegos (Capablanca Memorial) (2x)
Hort, Czechoslovakia (5 wins): Hastings (3x) # Sarajevo # Havana
Uhlmann, GDR (5 wins): Hastings (3x) # Sarajevo # Havana
Yugoslavia (4 wins): Wijk aan Zee # Sarajevo (2x) # Havana
Timman, Netherlands (4 wins): Hastings # Wijk aan Zee (2x) # Sarajevo
Tal, USSR (4 wins): Hastings (2x) # Wijk aan Zee # Sarajevo
USSR (3 wins): Hastings # Sarajevo # Havana
Hort, Uhlmann, Ivkov, and Suetin are "new names" on the list, they all missed to catch either Hastings or Beverwijk / Wijk aan Zee, but did win both Bosna (in Sarajevo) and the Capablanca Memorial (mostly
held in Havana).
Who is the player most times coming in as runner-up, but never winning the super-tournament at Berverwijk / Wijk aan Zee, do you guess it?
The answer is Vlastimil Hort: four times runner-up!, twice as clear second, twice as shared second; making it six podium finishes out of ten entries at Wijk aan Zee (Hoogovens) between 1968 and 1986. In 1975, Vlastimil
Hort surpassed the two soviet players Geller and Furman as well as Timman, Hübner, Gligoric, Browne, and the rest of the field, only half a point missing to clinch winner Portisch who drew his last game against dutch player Kick Langeweg after
eight moves meanwhile Hort's game versus Kavalek also ended up in a draw.
Vlastimil Hort, born 12 January 1944 in Kladno (the city is part of the Prague metropolitan area), is a Czech-born German Chess Grandmaster still active. IM 1962. GM 1965.
Hort was a top-ten player in the mid-1970s, and a regular top twenty-player from mid-60s to mid-80s. Vlastimil Hort was also a Candidate, 1977 in the quarter-final against Boris Spassky, a match lost after extra-time in extremis. On
the Wikipedia site there are some interesting background details. He is characterized as a truly fair sportsman: Hort
During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s,
Hort was one of the world's strongest and busiest players.
"Vlasti" won near all other recurring individual Chess Classics in the sixties, seventies and eighties:
Hort won three times at Hastings (1967/68 1.-4. with Stein, Suetin
and Gheorghiu; 1974/75 1. as sole first; 1975/76 1.-3. together with Bronstein and Uhlmann, ahead of Korchnoi, followed by Taimanov, Sigurjonsson, Sosonko, under the players as well Bisguier and a bunch of young brits, chasing for a (next) gm norm including Miles,
Stean, Keene, Nunn, Hartston and Bellin), twice at Biel (1981 with Lobron as winner on tie-break; and 1984 declared ex-aequo winner with Hübner), twice at Dortmund (1982 clear first, and 1985 1.-3. with Razuvaev,
winner on tie-break, and Kindermann), winning outright Venice 1969, Sombor (Parcetic Memorial) 1970, Gloggnitz (Schlechter Memorial) 1971, Havana (Capablanca Memorial) 1971, Banja
Luka 1976, London (Lord John Cup) 1977, Stip 1977, Polanica-Zdrój (Rubinstein Memorial) 1977, and Sarajevo (Bosna) 1980.
Hort was 1./2. equal with Keres, ahead of Shamkovich, Uhlmann, Pachman, Stahlberg, Filip, Fuchs, and among others Kavalek, Jansa, Robatsch, Pomar Salamanca and Pirc at Marianske Lazne 1965 (his first big international cap), 1./2. with
Portisch at Kecskemet (Toth Memorial) 1966, 1./2. with Matulovic at Skopje (Turnir solidarnosti) 1969, 1./2. with Andersson, ahead of reigning World Champion Spassky, who finished sole third, Szabo, Romanishin, Pomar,
etc. at Gothenburg 1971, 1.-3. with Gheorghiu and Fridrik Olafsson at Reykjavik (5th) 1972 (then a biannual closed invitation tournament, today played as a highly reputated annual Open), 1./2. with Lutikov at Leipzig
(DSV) 1973, 1./2. with Sax at Vinkovci 1976, and 1./2. finishing undefeated with +5 as first on tie-break scoring, tied with Sax again at the distinguished and strong IBM-Amsterdam in 1979, one of his finest tournament
Vlastimil Hort won also some of the most prestigious Open at his time, as one of very few Non-US player the U.S. Open Chess Championship in 1974 together with Benko, Lone Pine in 1979 alongside
with Gheorghiu, Liberzon, and Gligoric, the inaugural OHRA Invitational Open at Amsterdam in 1982 with Short, and outright in 1987 (that OHRA Invitational Open is indicated as B-group, cause contrary to the year 1982,
there was a six-headed round robin section, too), or the inaugural edition of the American Summer at Berline (Open, later labelled Berliner Summer) 1983, beating (ex-)compatriot Ludek Pachman
in the last round and achieving 8.5/9 points as clear first of 270 participants! He is also a record five-time (sole or shared) winner of the Brocco-Open in San Bernardino.
Hort was a six times champion of Czechoslovakia
between 1969 and 1977, after switching to the german federation during the mid-eighties, twice champion of FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) in the late 1980s and he won the first championship of the reunified Germany
in 1991. Hort was Czechoslovak Junior Champion in 1960 and 1962.
In April 1977, Hort put on one of the most amazing exhibitions of simultaneous chess ever performed. He played 550 opponents -- 201 simultaneously
-- and lost only 10 games, after thirty hours of play in Iceland. In 1984, he played 663 games in a simultaneous exhibition in thirty-two and a half hours at Porz, West Germany.
At the Chess Olympiad, Hort made 14 appearances between 1960 and 1992 (including
three editions for Germany), mostly playing on board one and winning the team silver medal with Czechoslovakia in 1982 at Lucerne.
Vlastimil Hort beat individually his highly reputated opponent
Lev Polugaevsky with 2.5 to 1.5 on board four at the USSR vs. Rest of the World match in Belgrade 1970. Hort (born in 1944) was then the youngest starter of all 24 nominated players.
Best Elo rating: 2620 in 1977 (FIDE), 2725 in 1977 (SONAS chessmetrics)
Elo ranking: =6th in January 1977 (FIDE yearly list), 7th in July 1977 (SONAS monthly list)
Wijk aan Zee in the wild seventies: Vlastimil's brilliant win in 1975 against Walter Browne:
Browne vs Hort, 1975 (from www.chessgames.com)
The player with the absolute highest number of second places at Wijk aan Zee is Vishy Anand, not only winning this tournament a record five times, but also coming in additionally six times as sole or shared runner-up!