Oldrich Duras (30 October 1882, Pchery, Bohemia, then Austria-Hungary – 5 January 1957, Prague, then Czechoslovakia) was a leading Czech chess master of the early 20th century. FIDE awarded him the title of International Grandmaster in 1950, when the title was first introduced, in recognition of his achievements in the early twentieth century.
He was not only a leading player of his day but also a successful composer. During his early years Duras served the Austrio - Hungarian army in World War I. He participated in many major tournaments and was the Czech Champion for three years in 1905, 1909 and 1911. He also won the German Championship in 1912. His most noted international tournament successes were Bremen (1905), Prague (1908), Vienna (1908) and Breslau (1912) in which he tied for first in all four!
In 1914 Duras married a rich wife and shortly withdrew from competition. During his retirement, he turned to problem composition, where he ranked among the very best. He published many fine studies in the years between the wars.
In 1942, as a tribute to Duras' 60th birthday, a tournament was held in Prague, where Alekhine and Klaus Junge tied for first. He was also a spectator at the 1946 Prague tournament.
His style of play according to one source was that he was particularly strong in tactics and was a 'pure-calculator.’ On the other hand Harry Golombek wrote, “His years as a player characterized him as a clear positional player against whom tactical adventures were always fraught with risk.” Who are we to believe?!
500 of his games can be downloaded HERE.
In the following game Duras’ play is most impressive in the way he carried out his attack while his own K was threatened with disaster.