GM Lubosh Kavalek has some very fine articles on the Huffington Post. The name Kavalek may not mean much to a lot of today’s players who are ignorant of chess history of the great players og yesteryear, but at one time Kavalek, a Czech-American, was a world-class player.
Kavalek won two Czechoslovak and three U.S. championships, and at one time was rated among the world’s top 10 players. He was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame in 2001.
Kavalek was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He studied communication and journalism at Charles University. He won the championship of Czechoslovakia in 1962 and 1968. When Soviet tanks rolled into Prague in August 1968, Kavalek was playing in the Akiba Rubinstein Memorial in Poland, in which he finished second. Kavalek, who had always hated Communism, decided to defect to the West rather than return to Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia. He bought several crates of vodka with his winnings, used them to bribe the border guards, and drove to West Germany.
In 1970, on the way to the United States, Kavalek won a strong tournament in Caracas. He played the first half under the Czechoslovakian flag, the second half under the American flag. He represented the United States before officially setting foot in his new adopted country.
Kavalek moved to Washington, D.C., studied Slavic literature at George Washington University and worked at Voice of America. In 1973 he became a full-time chess professional. He later became a United States citizen and now lives in Reston, Virginia.
Kavalek finished third at the 1966 The Hague European Zonal (Gligorić 12.5/16, Bilek 12, Kavalek 11.5) and qualified for the 1967 Interzonal in Sousse, where he was one of the three players to draw with Bobby Fischer. In the Manila Interzonal in 1976, Kavalek finished seventh. He also qualified for the 1979 and 1987 Interzonals.