Květa Eretová

* 1926  †︎ 2021

  • „It’s dangerous when a political party has no mercy. It will kill, doesn’t matter. A human life is unique and should be protected. And everyone should grant that protection to others, should treat them well. And even when the others do something bad, I am not here to first cast a stone at them.”

  • „It happened at that time – that was around 1968, maybe earlier, I’d have to look it up – in short, they called me in to collaborate with the State Police. They called me, because I was supposed to go to a tournament somewhere and they lured in all the sportsmen going abroad. So, they called me to Hybernská street, and I told them I couldn’t do it, that I didn’t know what they would ask of me and that I simply wouldn’t do it. Then they called me in again and I thought that I would never ever travel abroad again, but despite that I said: ‘I cannot be a collaborator, I could never sleep. And what would you want from me anyway?’ And he told me: ‘You are friends with Dr. Skála, you go there in the evenings and spend a lot of time there. He goes to theatres and takes you with him everywhere.’ And I said: ‘And I should inform on these people what they discuss when they host me and when we play cards or chess?’ They said: ‘We need that, we need that.’ But I said no, that I would not do it.”

  • „Then the war was over. I remember it was a Saturday, we were still working on Saturdays. I was going from work, got out of a tram and there around the church below the main train station were German soldiers, lying with guns. So, I wondered what was going on and suddenly a man grabbed me, took me into a house and asked where I had been going. I said: ‘I’m going to the train station, to go home.’ And he said that I wouldn’t be going anywhere, because there was fighting at the station and the Germans would shoot me. So, I survived the worst day when the Germans had still been defending themselves with gunfire. The man took me into some basement, where there had been many people already. And then the trains didn’t operate and in about five days it cleared out and I walked the twenty-five kilometers all the way home to Kolovraty.”

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    Praha, 23.11.2018

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I wanted to achieve something

Květa Eretová in the 1960ss
Květa Eretová in the 1960ss
zdroj: archiv pamětnice

Květoslava Eretová, née Jeništová, was born October 21, 1926 in Prague. She was thirteen when the World War II had started. After the war she found herself a place to live and a job as a technical drawer. Later, she was employed as a planner at the Ministry of Industry, where she joined the chess club ‘Kovostroj’ as part of the so-called socialist commitment. She became a Czech chess champion for the first time in 1955 and had won a record 23 medals from the national championships during her active career – ten gold, ten silver and three bronze medals. She represented Czechoslovakia from the mid-1950s on numerous international tournaments and won several medals from the Chess Olympiads, attended a number of simul and interzonal chess tournaments – her greatest achievements are the tenth place from the Candidates Tournaments for the World Chess Championship 1959 in Plovdiv and 1964 in Sukhumi. In 1957 she earned the International Master title and in 1986 the Grandmaster title. In the 2005 survey on the best chess player of the century she finished second after the chess legend Věra Menčíková (the first Czech women’s world chess champion).