October 17, 2011
Chess in Slovenian regions of the former Austro-Hungarian empire was known already at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Then chess was played by many companies at tables and clubs. Primarily the European level was reached by Slovenian problem composers (Josip Plahuta, Ivan Kos, Andrej Ursic).
The Slovenian chess players were successful also at the first Austro-Hungarian Championship in Graz in 1870. Gasper Kos won the second prize after the famous champion Johan Berger. In 1911 in San Sebastian, Dr. Milan Vidmar shared the second prize with Akiba Rubinstein after Jose Raul Capablanca. This was the initiative for the formation of the first chess club in Ljubljana on the 31 January 1912.
After the First World War in the kingdom of Yugoslavia, chess was spread enormously, and the Slovenian chess players (Dr. Milan Vidmar, Vasja Pirc) were among the best in individual and team competitions. International tournaments were held in Slovenia only (Rogaska Slatina 1929, Bled 1931, Ljubljana 1938). The Chess Federation of Slovenia was founded on 4 August 1935.
After the Second World War, in Yugoslavia chess continued to spread and developed everywhere. Portoroz Interzonal 1959 and Bled 1961 kept the chess tradition in Slovenia and the organisation of the 2002 Olympiad under the ledeardership of Boris Kutin was recognised by all as one of the best chess events ever organised.
The Slovenian chess players (Dr.Milan Vidmar, Vasja Pirc, Bruno Parma, Albin Planinc, Milan Vidmar, Jr., Stojan Puc and others) contributed to the development of Slovenian chess up to the 1970s. In the 1990s, Beliavsky arrived, one of the strongest world players.
The national team’s first appearance was in the Olympiad in 1992, the year the association joined the FIDE. Since then the Slovenian team has been present at every single FIDE and ECU Championship. Slovenia’s highest international-level tournament is the Dr Milan Vidmar Memorial, which was first held in 1969. The second-ranked is the Maribor International Tournament, first held in 1967, which was renamed in memory of Vasja Pirc. Meanwhile, the International Chess Festival, with an average of 200 participants, has been held for the last 21 years in Bled. Ljubljana and Nova Gorica can both boast a fine tradition in organising International.
In 2002 Bled hosted the thirty-fifth chess Olympiad, the biggest sport event ever organised in Slovenia.
The national champions were:
1937 Joze Sorli, 1946 Milan Germek, 1947 Milan Longer, 1948 Mlinar, 1951 Vasja Pirc, 1952 Milan Vidmar jr., 1953 Milan Germek and Vasja Pirc, 1954 Cveto Trampuz, 1955 Zdravko Gabrovsek, 1956 Branko Grosek, 1957 Slavko Krivec, 1958 Stojan Puc, 1959 Bruno Parma, 1960 Janez Stupica, 1961 Bruno Parma, 1962 Marjan Ankerst, 1963 Zvone Krzisnik, 1964 Marjan Ankerst, 1965 Stojan Puc, 1966 Janez Stupica, 1967 Stojan Puc, 1968 Albin Planinec, 1969 Rudolf Osterman, 1970 Vladimir Ivacic, 1971 Albin Planinec, 1972 Janez Barle, 1973 Joze Papler, 1974 Janez Barle, 1975 Ivo Mihevc, 1976 Vladimir Ivacic, 1977 Marjan Slak, 1978 Rok Krzisnik, 1979 Darko Steiner and Oskar Orel, 1980 Janez Barle, 1981 Janez Barle, 1982 Iztok Jelen, 1983 Iztok Jelen, 1984 Janez Barle, 1985 Leon Gostisa, 1986 Leon Gostisa, 1987 Leon Gostisa, 1988 Aljosa Grosar, 1989 Damjan Plesec, 1990 Igor Jelen, 1991 Aljosa Grosar, 1992 Leon Gostisa, 1993 Drazen Sermek, 1994 Leon Gostisa, 1995 Bogdan Podlesnik, 1996 Alexander Beliavsky, 1997 Marko Tratar, 1998 Drazen Sermek, 1999 Dusko Pavasovic, 2000 Primoz Soln, 2001 Aljosa Grosar, 2002 Adrian Mihalcisin, 2003 Jure Borišek, 2004 Tadej Sakelšek 2005 Blaz Bratovic, 2006 Dusko Pavasovic, 2007 Dusko Pavasovic, 2008 Lukas Lenic, 2009 Lukas Lenic, 2010 Lukas Lenic.