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Arturo Pomar

Arturo Pomar in 1972

Arturo Pomar Salamanca (born September 1, 1931, Palma de Mallorca) is a Spanish chess grandmaster (GM).


A chess prodigy (he won the championship of the Balearic Islands at the age of 11 and became a master at 13), and a pupil of Alexander Alekhine, he became quite famous. He drew a game with his teacher at the age of thirteen, becoming the youngest player ever to draw with a reigning World Champion at a normal time control. His record still stands. The game itself was an exciting "back and forth" affair, with Pomar actually managing to outplay the World Champion in the endgame and reach a winning ending. However, inexact play allowed Alekhine to draw in a game that lasted over 70 moves. During the war years, Pomar also had the opportunity to play Alekhine in some other tournament games, which he lost, and the Estonian GM Paul Keres at least once; Keres won.

In October 1943, he took eleventh place in Madrid (Paul Keres won). In 1944, he took fifth place in Gijón (Alekhine won). In 1945, he tied for fourth/fifth in Madrid (Alekhine won); took fourth in Gijón (Antonio Rico won); and shared third place in Almeria (F. López Núñez and Alekhine won).

After World War II, he shared sixth place at the 1946 London tournament (Herman Steiner won) and won a short match against Jacques Mieses (1½-½) there. He tied for 12-13th at Barcelona 1946 (Miguel Najdorf won); tied for 15-16th at Mar del Plata 1949 (Hector Rossetto won); won at Santa Fe 1949; tied for second/third place, behind Paul Michel, at Rosario 1949; shared first at Paris 1949; tied for second/third at Gijon 1950; took 15th at Madrid 1951 (Lodewijk Prins won); took 14th at Bad Pyrmont 1951 (zonal); took 2nd at Hollywood 1952; tied for first/second at New Orleans 1954 (US Open); won at Gijón 1955; tied for second/third at Madrid 1957; won at Santander 1958; shared first with Francisco José Pérez at Madrid 1959.

In 1960, he shared first with Svetozar Gligorić, Lajos Portisch and Jan Hein Donner in Madrid (zonal) and tied for second/third in play-off there. He tied for first/second at Torremolinos 1961; tied for 11-12th in Stockholm 1962 (interzonal, Bobby Fischer won); took fifth at Enschede 1963 (zonal, Gligorić won); won at Málaga 1964; took fourth at Málaga 1965 (Antonio Medina won); shared first with Alberic O'Kelly de Galway and Klaus Darga at Palma de Mallorca 1965; took second, behind Mikhail Botvinnik, at Amsterdam 1966 (IBM tournament); took second, behind Mikhail Tal at Palma de Mallorca 1966; tied for 10-12th at Beverwijk 1967 (Boris Spassky won); took eighth at Palma de Mallorca 1968 (Viktor Korchnoi won); took 13th at Palma de Mallorca (Bent Larsen won); won at Málaga 1971, tied for 12-14th at Madrid 1973 (Anatoly Karpov won).

He was the Spanish Champion seven times (1946, 1950, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, and 1966), and Sub-Champion four times (1951, 1956, 1964, and 1969).

Pomar played for Spain in Chess Olympiads twelve times:

He won individual bronze medal at Leipzig 1960.

Awarded the IM title in 1950 and GM title in 1962.

Notable chess games