International Chess Federation
Saturday, 13 May 2023 15:07
Andras Adorjan (1950-2023)

FIDE is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of GM Andras Adorjan in his 74th year of age after a long and serious illness.

Born Andras Jocha in 1950 (he adopted his mother's maiden name Adorjan in 1968), Adorjan showed promise early on and, in 1969, became the European Junior Champion (Groningen). The same year he finished runner-up in the World Junior Chess Championship (Stockholm) to Anatoly Karpov. In 1970 he was awarded the IM title and three years later became GM after jointly winning the Hungarian championship. His second and only outright victory in the national championship came in 1984. 

Adorjan reached his peak in the late 1970s. At the Riga Interzonal (1979), he tied for third place with his compatriot Zoltán Ribli (winning two last games against Bent Larsen and Tony Miles) and qualified for the Candidates after drawing the tiebreaker match (+1 −1 =2). At the Candidates, he narrowly lost his quarter-final match to Robert Huebner.

Andras had an excellent record in team competitions. He was a part of the legendary Hungarian team at the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires (1978) that wrestled the gold medal from the Soviet team dominating this competition from 1952 to 1974.

As a coach, Adorján worked with Garry Kasparov and Peter Leko helping them prepare for World Championship matches. Known as one of the leading experts in the Grünfeld Defence, he influenced Kasparov and Leko in playing this opening.

In later years, Adorján concentrated on writing, becoming renowned for his series of books advocating the cause for black side – Black is OK, Black is Still OK, and Black is OK Forever.

FIDE extends its sincere condolences to Andras Adorjan's family, friends, and loved ones.

Photo: Dutch National Archive