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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ion Gudju

     Ion Gudju (14 July 1897 – 1988) was a Romanian master. He was the son of Hercules Anton Gudju (1846-1920), one of the early promoters of Romanian chess. 
     Ion was a gifted player and promoter of chess in Romania, mainly between 1914 and 1932; in 1914 he founded and edited the first Romanian chess magazine.  He represented Romania in the 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad at Paris, where he became one of 15 founders of FIDE.  He served as Honorary Vice President of FIDE from 1982 to 1988. 
     He played in Chess Olympiads at The Hague 1928, Hamburg 1930, and Prague 1931. In 1971, he was elected honorary president of the Romanian Chess Federation and was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports. 
     In 1984 at the age of 87, Gudju was invited to the Chess Olympics by the then president, Florencio Campomanes, where he served on the appeals committee, but he did not play any games. 

Major events: 
1926/27 - 4th at Hastings B tournament 
1927 - 2nd Bucharest
1928 - 4th at Bucharest 
1929 - shared 2nd in the Romanian Championship and finished 1st at Bucharest 
1930 - tied for 2nd-5th at Bucharest 

     According to Chessmetrics, Gudju's highest rating was only 2276, but that rating was obtained on a very small number of games. 
     As an interesting aside, the book The Story of the Olympic Torch recounts how prior to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, when the Olympic torch arrived in Romania and was handed off to Dumitru Pyrvulescu Roman, a fly-weight Greco0Roman wrestling gold medallist from 1960, that when it arrived at the Dynamo Stadium in Bucharest filled with 40,000 people inside and thousands more outside, Roman passed the torch off to the 83 year old Gudju who was serving as president of the Romanian Chess Federation who then passed it off to Leon Rotman, a double canoeing gold medalist from 1956. 
     In the real world Gudju held a PhD in Chemistry from the Sorbonne.

As promised, here is a nice win of his from the 1924 Olympics.

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