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Happened Today in the Chess World - May 8, 2024


Montilla 1976: Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez - Source:

Today is the birthday of Grandmaster Juan Manuel Bellon-Lopez, born in Valencia, Spain, on May 8, 1950.
A five-time Spanish champion, he represented his country in eleven Olympiads between 1970 and 1992, winning a silver medal in 1978.
Throughout his career, he defeated Spassky (in a simultaneous exhibition), Tal, Kortschnoi, Timman, Larsen, Gligoric, Hort, Beliavsky, Ribli, R.Byrne, Andersson, and Ljubojevic.
Bellon Lopez was always distinguished for his brilliant tactical style, to the extent that Tal himself recognized him as his counterpart. Bellon and Italian GM Sergio Mariotti were among the seconds for GM Henrique Mecking in the match against Lev Polugaevsky in 1977.
Bellon Lopez is married to Swedish GM Pia Cramling and is the father of Anna Cramling-Bellon, a skilled player and famous YouTuber.
For years, he has coached the Swedish women's team, a country of which he became a citizen in 2017.

Juan Manuel Bellon Lopez (2385)-Eigil Pedersen (2200), Olimpiads in Skopje 1972
White to move


21.Rxe4! Rxe4 22.Nxh6 gxh6 23.Bxc8 Bxc8 24.Ng5+! hxg5 25.Qxg5 Rde8 26.Qh5+ 1-0

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