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A. Kotov, M.

A. Kotov
M. Yudovich

The Soviet
There are more than four million chess
players in the Soviet Union. They include 80
international grandmasters, 112
international masters, about 800 masters,
and tens of thousands of candidate masters
and first-category players.
The names of grandmasters Mikhail
Botvinnik, Vassily Smyslov, Tigran
Petrosyan, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky,
Anatoly Karpov, Nona Gaprindashvili,
Maya Chiburdanidze and other Soviet chess
players are famous throughout the world.
Kotov and Yudovich trace the emergence
of the Soviet Union as the country of classic
chess, and elaborate the special features of
the Soviet chess school.
The authors study the style of play and
the games of the best Soviet chess players
and examine the creative legacy of the great
Russian masters of the past.



A. KoToH, MC)KHYHapoJ,HbiH Translated from the Russian by
poccMeitcTep Lev Kurilov
M. IO.QOBH'I, Me)K.QyHapo.QHbiH Designed by Vadim Gorin
maxMaTbl B CCCP
Ha aHZJIUikKOM J!3b1Ke


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English translation Raduga Pub

lishers 1982
Printed in the Union of Soviet Social
ist Republics

KIO 054-84

The Soviet Chess School .. .. . . . 7
TIME................................. 9
CHESS MASTERS .............. 15
THE 20th CENTURY........... 23
Chapter IV. ORIGINS... .. ... ................. ... 36
UNION.............................. 54
Chapter VI. MIKHAIL BOTVINNIK . .. .... 62
Chapter Vll. GENS UNA SUMUS! .......... 77
CHAMPION . ......... .... ... ... . .. 92
AND TOMORROW. .. ........ ... 103
Chapter X. "IRON" TIGRAN .............. .. 114
Chapter XI. STALWARTS 0 F CHESS. ... . 124
Chapter XII. BORIS SPASSKY ................ 132
PLAYERS ..... .. ... . .. . . . ...... ... . 138
WORLD CHAMPION ........ .. 147
SCHOOL ............................ 157
dental, not as a system, not as
an overall plan.
CHE S S SCHOOL The importance of the
Soviet school 's attitude can
hardly be overrated. To a cer
tain extent it means the rescue
of chess in its present state,
with its present rules.
In the thirties many peopl e
warned against the death of
chess due to draws, that its
For u s i n the West the term rul es shoul d be changed.
Soviet Chess School is quite The Soviet school has cl ear
vague. In the USSR it denotes l y demonstrated that there was
the continuation of the line no question of the death of the
from Chigorin to Al ekhine, game, but rather of those who,
Botvinnik and the younger by pl aying their games without
generation. due determination, could easi
Its clearest characteristic ly get into uninteresting drawn
feature is the full devel opment positions without vigour, with
of energy in every game, with out hope.
out any compromise. Onl y as Right after the war a great
a rare exception a sal oon draw period of prosperity in chess
is permissibl e in order to get started, and in order to pre
an additional day of rest. vent chess from falling back
Botvinnik added an extra again into earlier mistakes that
element to this: thorough prep this book has been written,
arations before a game, espe i. e. , to teach young pl ayers
cial ly in the opening. To and to remind them of the
achieve resul ts one has to glory of the Russian pioneers
work hard. Chigorin, Alekhine, Botvinnik
True enough, in other circ and their successors.
les too work is viewed as an
important factor but more inci- Max Euwe
Chapter I them with an army in four parts :
elephants , horses, chariots and
infantry. The aim of the game
O UT O F THE was to destroy the opponents'
pieces, and the pieces were
DEPTHS moved according to the throw of
the dice.
O F TIME The next step in the develop
ment of chess was shatranj the -

ancient chaturanga transformed

in the seventh and eighth cen
turies . This game, judging by
historical sources , emerged in an
Arabian caliphate.
India, it is common knowledge, In shatranj two opponents com
is the birthplace of chess. Until peted , and the outcome was no
recently people thought that the longer settled by fate (a throw of
game emerged about I ,500 years the dice) but by the powers of
ago. This view was supported by logic and the resourcefulness of
eminent scientists: Professor the players.
Murrey (Britain), the Dutch re It was in the form of shatranj
searcher Linde, the German his that chess arrived in Rus from
torian Bachman, and other the East. Somewhat later shatranj
specialists. appeared in Europe, making its
I ,500 years is a very respecta way there through the Mediterra
ble age . Yet archeologists have nean states .
established that chess is another Over the l 3- 1 4th centuries shat
four centuries older after excava ranj was reformed to make the
tions on the site of the ancient play more dynamic. New rules
settlement of Dalverzin-Tepeh in resembling the modern ones were
Central A sia. The expedition introduced : the Queen was given
from the U zbek Academy of greater mobility, a Pawn could
Sciences , headed by Professor advance two squares in the open
G. Pugachenkova, found there ing move , and castling became
two ivory chess pieces which possible.
archeologists think belong to a set For some time it was opined
from the time of the Kushan that the Russians became ac
kingdom . The chess pieces were quainted with chess during the
found next to coins minted by the Tatar-Mongolian invasions, and
Kushan king, whose rule dates this view was supported in a
back to the second century. number of books on the history
In the first stage of its develop of chess published both in Russia
ment chess was called and other countries . However,
chaturanga, derived from the research in recent years has
words chatur (four) and anga shown that chess was already
(detachment, unit). Four men known in old Rus, when the
took part in the game, each of Tatar-Mongolian invasion began

in 12.H. and there is plenty of The Russian name for chess
archaeological evidence. (shakhmaty) is a combination of
Excavations in the old Slav two words: shakh (shah), which
cities Kiev and Vyshgorod disco comes from Iran, and mat, which
vered some ivory chess pieces: a comes from the Arabian mat (he
Queen, Bishop and another piece is dead) or the Iranian mat (help
whose function it was impossible less, hopeless). The interesting
to determine since it was badly thing is that no other European
damaged. The pieces date from language has such a composite
the lith and 1 2th centuries . An name for the game .
expedition to one of the centres The names of the chessmen
of ancient Slav culture, Yaros also corroborate the fact that
lav 's Dvorishche. * also discov chess came to Russia not from
ered two chessmen: a Pawn and Europe but from the East.
Bishop dating from the 1 2th Korol (King) is a comparative
century. ly new word for Russian chess ,
Chessmen were also discovered and materialised at the beginning
in other old Russian citie s , in of the last century. Before that
Chernigov , for instance. Excava the piece was called shakh, and
tions of the Black Grave burial then tsar.
mound discovered chess pieces The use of the word tsar,
which specialists date back to the however, could have the most
l Oth century. unexpected consequences , as we
If these finds are insufficient see from this excerpt from N . Og
evidence that the ancient Slavs loblin's article "Everyday Life in
were familiar with chess, irrefuta the 1 7th Century," published in
ble proof comes from excavations the magazine Russkaya Starina
in Novgorod , one of the oldest ( 1 892). The excerpt is entitled
Russian cities, where l Oth "Dangerous Play of 1686".
century chess pieces from ap "In January 1 686 the Siberian
proximately 50 different sets un Department sent the sovereigns a
questionably belonging to people report by the Krasnoyarsk voivo
of different ranks were disco da, * Stolnik Grigory Shishkov, on
vered. Simple wooden chessmen, a 'matter of state .'
ivory pieces, and even several "Officer Timoshka Elfimov ac
gold and silver pieces were cused Officer Marchko
among them. Soviet scientists Khomyakov of a state offence: it
possess a unique archeological was claimed that Marchko was
collection: more than 250 differ playing chess with Andryushka
ent pieces from ancient Russian Volynshchik, when he took a
chess sets of the 1 1 th to the 1 7th piece from the board and ex
centuries . claimed: "I expected a ferz, but
How then did this game appear it's a tsar !" He began to curse the
in old Rus? Let us try to find an tsar. Three Krasnoyarsk officers
explanation in chess terminology . were there to hear it. Marchko

* Palace. * Head of the local army division.

was interrogated , but he denied as Knight, it is called 'ferz of all
the accusation , whereas the of kinds ' . "
ficers who were present claimed Butrimov , in his chess guide
that they had heard the cursing. " published in 1 82 1 , mentions a
The Krasnoyarsk voivoda re ferz "capable of galloping also as
ported the matter to his superior, a knight". The author considered
the Y eniseisk voivoda, Boyar the move outdated . He wrote that
Konstantin Shcherbatov , who or "such a move has been prohibited
dered Marchko Khomyakov to be by the law-makers of chess and
tortured. may be dependent on the condi
During torture he admitted that tions" .
he had cursed without thinking of Slon (elephant) comes from an
what he was saying. eastern term which has been ex
The unfortunate chess player actly translated into Russian, and
was then put behind bars. the name does not figure in the
Only a year later did the final chess terminology of other Euro
decision on the Khomyakov "af pean countries, where this piece
fair" arrive from the capital: is called Bishop , Clown or
Footman .
"Their Royal Majesties Tsars
Ladia is a distinctive Russian
and Grand Dukes loan Alex
word. "The term ladia could have
eyevich, Pyotr Alexeyevich and
derived from another language, "
Her Royal Majesty Sofia Alex the Russian historian Sargin
eyevna have ordered that Mar wrote, "had its Russian origin
chko be released . "
been not supported by the name
Ferz is i n Eastern chess ferzin of the main Slav means of con
(learned, wise) , a vizier. In all veyance, ladias being used both
European countries this piece is on rivers and the Caspian and
called daine or Queen. As the Black seas . "
German historian T. Las a pointed The interesting thing from this
out at the end of last century, the aspect is the discovery by ar
Russian name ferz indicates that cheologists of two ladias carved
chess was introduced directly by in a realistic manner during exca
the Persians and Arabs, and did vations in Grodno and Vol
not come through Europe . kovyssk. They belong to the 1 2th
I n Russia different periods had and 1 3th centuries.
their own individual rules of play. The first is made of stone, 5 . 5
The original piece "ferz of all centimetres long and 1 . 5 cen
kinds", for instance, was met in timetres wide . There are out
Russian chess in the 1 7th and riggers on the sides. There are
1 8th centuries, and even at the four soldiers in the boat, with
beginning of the 1 9th century. three shields on each side. On the
Dal , well-known for his studies of ivory Volkovyssk ladia the sol
Russian history , noted in the diers located standing at the
dictionary he compiled that shields along the sides are better
"when, by agreement, the ferz preserved.
makes all moves, i . e . , moves also But an acquaintance with chess

terminology poses the researchers in the Russian Kormchaya kniga
such problems as: how chess was proves that chess was known in
played in old Rus, what the rules Kiev Rus.
and customs of play were, and Church edicts censured, and at
how they changed. times prohibited chess up to the
Historical material shows that 1 7th century. Penalties even were
our forefathers were well ac fixed. The ecclesiastical Paisievs
quainted with the principles of ky sbomik (Paisi' s Collection)
shatranj , had an u p-to-date (the 1 4th and 1 5th centuries) pre
knowledge of all the changes in the scribed for chess players a daily
rules of play, and introduced ritual of 200 bows in order to
something of their own to the resist "the devil ' s temptation".
game . In old Rus, for instance, The clergy of St. Sophia's
there was a rule by which the Cathedral in Novgorod went even
game could begin with the simul farther, threatening chess players
taneous advance of two Pawns by with excommunication. The
both White and Black. Church could not ignore the fact
It is also typical that no that chess was already widely
foreigner describing medieval accepted: the Cathedral Code of
Russian chess noted that it dif 1649 no longer contained any
fered in any way from the game prohibition of chess.
as played in Europe. Moreover, even priests were
Let us now turn our attention unable to resist the attractions of
to other sources dealing with the game. In 1 73 1 , for instance ,
chess in Russia. the Kazan Metropolitan Silvester
The first written mention of Kholmsky sent the Holy Synod a
chess in old Rus is to be found in complaint about Metropolitan
the Kormchaya kniga, a collec Feodosi Yanovsky, stating that
tion of Church rules and canons Father Feodosi played chess at
compiled by the Serbian Arch night and had even ordered the
bishop Savva I at the beginning big bells to be taken down so that
of the 1 3th century. In 1 262 the their ringing might not distract
Bulgarian Duke sent a manuscript him from the game .
copy of the Kormchaya kniga to The popularity of chess in Rus
the Kiev Metropolitan Cyril III . sia was commented upon by
The Russian copy of the many foreign merchants, dip
Kormchaya kniga included some lomats, and travellers who visited
additions , such as the prohibition Muscovy .
of chess, which was declared a I n h i s guide to chess theory ,
game originating with the "law published in Western Europe in
less Chaldeans" , i . e . , pagans . 1 6 1 6 , Gustavus Selenus stated :
Several manuscript copies of "Russians or Muscovites play
the Kormchaya kniga, taken in chess very intelligently and ear
1 252, have been preserved in nestly, and they are so skilled
Serbia, and far from prohibiting that, in my opinion, other nations
chess, it did not even mention the will not be able to compete with
game . The condemnation of chess them easily."

We can therefore conclude that mostly those at the Tsar's court.
already 300 years ago chess was Empress Anna Ioannovna had a
quite widespread in Russia. special chess room equipped in
Many famed people of the time the St. Petersburg Winter Palace.
enjoyed the game. The Inventory Empress Catherine II herself
of Clothing and Property of the and many of her courtiers played
Times of Tsars Fyodor lvanovich, chess. The Empress' favourite ,
Boris Godunov and Vasili Shuis Potemkin of Tauris, who invited
ky mentions "cut-glass and jade the best chess players from all
chess sets, two chess pieces , one over Russia to St. Petersburg,
fish tooth , and others of bone ; was particularly fond of the
two chess boards , stone chess game.
pieces, on silver and gilded foot Catherine II invited to the capi
ing" in the Tsars' Treasury. tal the Hungarian mechanic Far
Chess set makers were appointed kas Kempelen, who had invented
to the Tsar ' s court. Their job was the machine Automaton Chess
to make sure that the chess sets Player. He gave demonstrations
were kept in good condition, and of his machine both in St. Peters
to make new sets. burg and in other Russian cities
Ivan the Terrible is renowned and towns.
for his love of chess . Peter I also
Here is a notice that appeared
liked to relax at the chess board .
in Tula on 5 November 1777 : "An
Many brief notes on chess have
exhibition of the 'automaton
been preserved in his diary. H ere
chess player' invented and built
are two of them:
by the mechanic Kempelen will
"14 October 1714. I spent the
be held in the concert hall. The
whole day at home and played
machine is so well designed
chess with Stepan Vytashchi . "
mechanically that the inventor
(Stepan, nicknamed Vytashchi,
invites the best players in the
served in his youth in the Preob
town to compete with it."
razhensky Regiment, and after
that became an official in the It was subsequently discovered
Tsar's court) . that a chess player so expert that
"21 November 1716. I played he could easily beat his oppo
chess with Bitka the whole day" nents was cleverly hidden in the
(Ivan Khrisanfov, nicknamed machine.
Bitka, Peter the First' s Court The Russian Emperor Paul I
priest, was his regular chess was a chess devotee from his
partner). very childhood. During his trip to
Ever since the famous assemb Paris ( 1 78 1 - 1 782) he more than
lies introduced by Peter I in 17 1 9 once visited the then famous
Russian chess skills had been chess club-the Cafe de Ia Re
developing at organised meetings gence, which a quarter of a
of chess players. century later was frequented by
The assemblies marked the Napoleon.
start of the meetings of chess At the end of the 1 8th century
players from the upper classes, chess enthusiasts in St. Peters-

burg began to assemble in the enthusiasts undoubtedly included
apartments of high-ranking offi talented players. Their creative
cials . These gatherings became effort influenced the development
the prototype for the future chess of chess in Russia, and led to the
clubs . appearance of outstanding mas
The Russian games of those ters who gained wide recognition
times have unfortunately not in Europe at the beginning of the
come down to us, but the chess 1 9th century.
Chapter II "chess evenings". At the age of
16 he was recognised the best
Russian . chess player, and re
THE FIRST mained so for 50 years .
Despite Petrov's respect for the
RUS SIAN game , he twice refused to take
part in international tournaments
C HE S S (London, 1 85 1 , and Paris , 1 862) .
Sergei Urusov , an eminent Rus
MASTERS sian chess player of that period,
claimed that Petrov "had guarded
his reputation with the Great Wall
of China". In reply Petrov wrote:
"Never have I sought to play
There are some people whom against European celebrities.
fortune seems to favour, conferr Chess is not my trade, and my
ing success and fame on them official functions leave me no
throughout their lives. Alexander time for trips abroad, nor do I
Petrov ( 1 794- 1 867), the first Rus have funds for such travels . "
sian chess player to gain The allusion to his official
worldwide fame, was one of functions and lack of money
these people (referred to as Pet merely concealed his real reasons
roff in the West). An offspring of for refusing to take part in inter
a noble family he began his national contests. In the social
career with a modest post in a St. circles in which Petrov moved
Petersburg office , and rose fast chess was regarded merely as a
to the rank of assistant secretary pleasant pastime, a not entirely
to the State Administration in serious occupation. And though
Warsaw. Petrov wrote that "chess, with
He was fascinated by chess the thought and calculation it
from his childhood. According to requires can be justly called a
his contemporaries, he already learned , serious, and fascinating
played well at the age of seven . game" , he was unable to break
His teacher was his grandfather, away from the traditions of his
Senator I. Sokolov , about whom environment.
he later wrote: "My grandfather Ironically, Petrov ' s administra
played chess every day from four tive affairs, which he considered
o'clock in the afternoon , until I 0 so important, sank into oblivion,
in the evening . . . He was even while his chess legacy lives on
considered the best player in St. and is developed in the works of
Petersburg." the thousands of his followers.
Petrov learned from his Great credit is due to Alexan
grandfather and was soon a better der Petrov for his work in form
player than him. The Senator told ing the national chess school, and
his friends about the boy's abili he is held in high esteem abroad.
ty, and the youthful Alexander His works on theory were consid
began to receive invitations to ered classic, and his games and

chess problems were published in much interesting and instructive
many countries. information on chess , its strategy
Of especial importance for the and tactics.
development of chess thought Butrimov stated that as a game
was Petrov's The Game of Chess "chess is not merely a pleasant
Systematised with the Addition of pastime, it also promotes , as
Philidor's * Games with Accom mathematics does, the habit of
panying Notes, which the author logical thought".
himself printed in 1 824 in an In the time of Butrimov Rus
edition of 300 copies, of which 50 sian chess players already under
are available today. stood the importance of contacts
This book, of great historical with others for improving their
importance for the development game, and greatly valued the
of chess thought, was published former's book.
in facsimile in 6,000 copies by the To return to Petrov's book, it
Fizkultura i sport Publishers in contains valuable information on
1 977. chess theory and practice and it
Petrov ' s book was not, how was a major factor in the
ever, the first of its kind. Chess emergence of the Russian chess
publishing started with the De school. Published 1 50 years ago,
scription of the Chinese Game of some of the theory is still valid
Chess by A . Leontiev, secretary today.
at the Russian Embassy in Peking For instance, Petrov criticised
( 1 775). This work is especially Philidor for "paying more atten
significant for its enumeration of tion to attack than defence". Of
all the Russian names for the importance also is Petrov ' s evalu
chess pieces . Chigorin noted sub ation of Philidor's theory that
sequently that "this is the most White, with the advantage of the
ancient record of Russian chess first move, had to emerge vic
terminology that has come down torious .
to us". Petrov wrote: "We cannot
The first article on chess in the agree with Philidor that whoever
periodical press was published in has the first move must necessar
1 8 1 5 in the Almanac Russian ily win. "
Museum. Philidor' s point o f view intro
Ivan Butrimov ' s Chess Play duced a certain fatality into chess
was published by the Senate theory and impoverished the
press in St. Petersburg in 1 82 1 , game. Petrov' s view held more
and contained much that was promise for chess.
known at the time about chess Let us take a look at the first
theory. In this first chess guide , postal game published in Russia,
its pages yellow with age, we find played between Petrov and three
chess amateurs from St. Peters
burg through the municipal post
Philidor, real name Franois Andre

Danican (1726-1795), an outstanding

office. The game started on 27
French master, the strongest player of the August 1 837, and lasted almost
second half of the 18th century. five months.

Petroff Defence DIAGRAM I


l . e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 This open

ing system was thoroughly de
veloped by A. Petrov and his
companion, the Russian master
3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5
Bd6 (5 . . . Be7 is better) 6. 0-0 0-0
7. c4
A variation that seems quite
modern. It was used, for exam
ple, by Alekhine, a hundred years
later in a game against Alexander
(Hastings, 1 933-1 934), when
Black continued 7... Nc6,
followed by 8 . Nxd5. The
1 7 . . . gxf5 18. Bg5 Rff8 19. Bh6
consultants' move was very
Rfc8 (a return to f6 is preferable
here) 20. Qd2 Qd8 Jaenisch
7 . . . f5 8. f4 c6 9. Be3 Be6 pointed out that 20 . . . Ng6 is also
10. cxd5 cxd5 ( 1 0 . . . Bxd5 should bad because of 2 1 . Rxc8+ Rxc8
have been played) 22. gxf5 Nxe5 23 . Qg5 + with a
1 1 . Nc3 Nc6 12. Rcl Rf6 decisive attack, or 20. . . Rxc I
It would have been better to 2 1 . Qg5 + Ng6 22. Nxg6 ! Rc7
continue symmetrical play 23 . Ne7 + Kf7 24. gxf5 , etc.
with 1 2. . . Rc8 . The attempt 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. gxf5
to launch an attack on White's (22. Qg5 + Ng6) 22 . . . Nxf5 (22 . . .
King m its strengthened Bxf5 23 . Qg5 + Bg6 24 . Qf6 also
position was doomed to loses) 23 . Qg2+ Kh8 24. Rxf5
failure . Qg8 25. Rf6 Bh3 26. Qg3 Qxg3+
27. hxg3 Black resigns.
1 3 . Bxe4 :xe4 14. NbS! Ne7 Petrov not only studied the
15. Nxd6 Qxd6 16. g4! strategy and tactics of chess ; he
A correct appraisal of the situa was also the author of a number
tion. Although Petrov had written of popular problems and endgame
that the Pawns shielding the King studies. His symbolic problem
. should only be moved from their "Napoleon' s Flight from M os
places in extreme necessity, the cow" originated in the events of
move is justified here as the key the War of 1 8 1 2 .
point of f5 cannot be ceded to
Black. DIAGRAM 2
16 . . . g6
17. f5! (by sacrificing a Pawn The Knights on e2 and f l (the
White gains the initiative) Russian cavalry) chase Black's

2-607 17
consider himself a player," wrote
Petrov . "In this respect chess
resembles poetry. A knowledge
of the rules of poetry does
not make a person a real poet
unless that person possesses
talent . "
Petrov rarely took part i n com
petitions, and therefore few of
his games have survived . Those
games , however, which did ap
pear in print, attracted the atten
tion of the entire chess world by
their originality and skill. Here is
one of Petrov's games played in
Paris in 1 863 against one of the
King (Napoleon) from Russia to strongest French masters.
the French capital .
l . Nd2 + Ka2 (Napoleon leaves
Moscow, which is designated by King's Gambit
the square b l ) 2. Nc3+ Ka3
3. Ndb1 + Kb4 4. Na2+ KbS A. PETROV P. JOURNOUD
S. Nc3+ Ka6
Here the Russians could wind 1. e4 eS 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 gS
up the struggle by mating Black' s 4. h4 g4 S. NeS Nf6 (this move
King with the move 6. Qa8+ +, is considered the best even
however they miss this opportuni now)
ty, so that Napoleon crosses the 6. Bc4 (in Petrov's time this
river Berezina (this is designated was the main continuation . Now
by the diagonal h l -a8). 6. d4 is considered stronger)
6. Nb4+ Ka7 7. NbS+ Kb8 6 . . . dS 7. exdS Bd6 8. d4 NbS
8. Na6+ Kc8 9. Na7+ Kd7 9. BbS + Kf8? (the correct move is
10. NbS+ Ke7 1 1 . Nc8+ Kf8 9 . . . c6)
12. Nd7+ Kg8 13. Ne7+ Kh8. 10. Nc3 Ng3 1 1 . Bxf4? ( 1 1 . Rg l
The Cossacks under the com is better)
mand of the Russian General I I... Nxh1 12. Qd2 Qxh4+
Platov force Napoleon to take 13. g3 Nxg3 14. Qf2 NfS 1S. Qxh4
cover in Paris (the h8 square). Nxh4 16. Bh6+ Kg8? (Bold but
Now the game concludes: risky attack by White. 1 6 . . . Ke7
14. Kg2+ + . led to Black' s advantage)
Petrov, typically, asserts that 17. Ne4! Be7 18. Be8 Nf3 +
the mastering of chess demands a 19. Kf2 NxeS 20. dxeS BfS
serious attitude and deep study, 21 . Nf6 + Bxf6 22. exf6 Nd7?
and that goal players are of (Black should have played 22 . . .
necessity gifted people. Na6) 23. Bxd7 Rxd7 24. Re1
"A knowledge of the moves (24. Rh l threatens Black even
does not mean that a person can more) 24. . . ReS 2S. Rxe8+ Bxe8

DIAGRAM 3 Jaenisch' s book was translated
into English and printed in Eng
land in two editions (London,
1 847, and Cambridge, 1 855). It
served as the basis and prototype
for many subsequent opening
guides , in particular the important
Handbuch des Schachspiels by
Paul Rudolf Bilguer.
Jaenisch ' s work of more than
500 pages describes specific
opening variations. The scope of
the work can be judged by its
length alone. Jaenisch illustrated
the basic variations of every
opening with games played by the
best chess players of his time.
We should stress that Jaenisch
was the first person to analyse in
Truly a fantastic posttlon. detail semi-closed and closed
Black has an extra Rook and openings. A number of the varia
Pawn but his pieces are in iron tions of the French and Sicilian
cage from which there is no defences now employed, and of
escape. the Queen' s Gambit, were also
26. Kg3 Bd7 27. c4 aS 28. a3 a4 proved to be of value m
29. c5 Bc8 30. d6 cxd6 31. cxd6 Jaenisch' s book.
Bd7 32. Kf4 Be6 33. Kg3 A draw. Here, for instance, is a varia
Petrov was not alone in his tion of the French Defence,
work on chess strategy and tac studied by Jaenisch, which is still
tics. A considerable contribution relevant today: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5
to the emergence of the Russian 3. e5 c5 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6.
chess school was made by Karl Jaenisch also analyses the
Jaenisch ( 1 8 1 3- 1 872), professor at Sicilian Gambit 1 . e4 c5 2. b4,
the St. Petersburg Institute of different positions of the Queen' s
Communications. While Petrov Gambit and, i n particular depth,
was the better tournament com the Slav Defence ( 1 . d4 d5 2. c4
petitor, Jaenisch surpassed him in c6).
the art of analysis and generalisa A keen variation of the Ruy
tion . Lopez in which so far the last
In 1 842- 1 843 Jaenisch published word has not been said: I. e4 e5
his two-volume work, A New 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5, has been
Analysis of Chess Openings, named after Jaenisch.
which contained a number of
original studies on various sys DIAGRAM 4
tems of play. Jaenisch indicates
that many of the variations were Like Petrov , Jaenisch paid seri
devised by Petrov . ous attention to chess composi-

2* 19
Bd2 5. Be6 + Kg3 6. Be5+ Kf3
7 . Bd5 +
The endgame develops
Jaenisch's favourite theme of the
promotion of a passed Pawn.
If instead of 2 . . . Ba5 Black
plays 2 . . . Bc7, it is possible to
continue 3. Be5 Bd8 (3 . . . Ba5
4. Bf4 Bxc3 5 . Be3 Bel 6. g7 Bg3
7. g8R) 4. Bf4 Bf6 5. Bh6 Bd8.
6. g7 Bc7 7. g8Q Bh2+ 8. Kf2
Bg3+ 9. Qxg3+ hxg3 10. Kgl,
The publication of Jaenisch's
book was not the end of his
analytical work. His articles and
studies were published in chess
tion. His problems and endgame magazines in many countries for
studies were well known through almost 25 years afterwards .
out the world. Here is one of The three-volume Treatise on
them, published in 1 859. the Application of Mathematical
Analysis to Chess Play, of inter
DIAGRAM 5 est to cybernetics specialists and
mathematicians working on
chess-playing computers, ap-
peared in 1 862- 1 863 . Unfortunate
ly Jaenisch was unable to com
plete this work.
The eminent Russian chess
players in the mid- 1 850s also
included the brothers Dmitri and
Sergei Urusov, Shumov and
Colonel Sergei Urusov ( 1 827-
1 897), hero of the Sevastopol
Defence, friend and chess partner
of Leo Tolstoy, was recognised
as the strongest player after
In 1 859 Sergei Urusov played a
match with Petrov . The latter
White is not in a good position won the competition ( + 1 3 -7 1 ) ,

to win. but declared after the match that

1 . fxg6 g2+ 2. Kgl BaS 3. g7 Urusov could compete quite suc
Bxc3 4. g8B (But not 4. g8Q or cessfully against the best foreign
g8R because of 4 . . . blQ+ 5. Bxbl players.
Bxd4+ 6. Bxd4 stalemate) 4 . . . The truth of Petrov' s words

was soon borne out by Sergei e.p. Bxd6 14. Rad l with advan
Urusov' s draw in a minor match tage for White. (Lombardy vs.
with Hungary ' s J. Kolisch, one Horowitz, New York, 1955)
of the strongest chess players of 12. Rad1 Nxa4 (this move is
the time (St. Petersburg, 1 862), faulty here; the correct line is
and victory in his match with the 1 2. . . Be6 1 3 . exd6 e . p . , Qxd6
German master P. Hirschfeld 14. Qb4 Qb6)
(Moscow, 1 866). 13. Qxa4 Bd7 14. Qe4 In the
This game is characteristic of Fichtl vs. Brzoska game ( 1 954)
the strength and style of the there followed 14. Qd4 Be6
Russian master. 1 5 . Bf4, and White ' s situation is
more advantageous
.. Bc6 15. Nd5 dxe5 16. Qxe5
Ruy Lopez Bd6 17. Qh5 ReS 1S. c4 Re4
S. URUSOV J. KOLISCH 19. Rd4 ReS ( 1 9 . . . Qe8 is better)
20. Qf3 Bc5? (the Queen should
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bd5 a6 have been moved to e8) 21. Rg4!
4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. d4 exd4 Bxe3 22. fxe3 Bxd5 23. Qg3! Qe7
7. e5 Ne4 S. Nxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4 24. Rxg7 + KhS 25. cxd5 Rxe3
Nc5 10. Nc3 0-0 26. Rgxf7! Rxg3 27. Rxe7 Rg7
28. Rff7 RagS 29. Rxg7 Rxg7
DIAGRAM 6 30. ReS+ RgS 31. RxgS+ KxgS
32. Kf2 and several moves later
Black resigns.
Urusov was famed as the in
ventor of the clever opening gam
bit 1 . e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3 . d4
exd4 4. Nf4. The curious compli
cations arising after 4. . . N xe4
were much analysed in the last
century .
Sergei Urusov ' s "Guide to the
Study of Chess", published in the
magazine Shakhmatny listok in
1 859- 1 86 1 , i s of great importance
for chess theory.
Shumov ( 1 8 1 9- 1 88 1 ) , the won
derful inventor of chess prob
lems , who promoted chess
theory, Mikhailov ( 1 828- 1 882) ,
The possibilities of this position one of the organisers of the
are now being studied. The con St. Petersburg Society of Chess
tinuations 1 1 . Bg5 , 1 1 . Nd5, in Amateurs and chess master Dmit
addition to Urusov ' s move, were ri Urusov ( 1 830- 1903) are
employed. also important in the history
1 1 . Be3 d6 This is better than of the development of Russian
1 1 . . . Nxa4 1 2 . Qxa4 d5 1 3 . exd6 chess.

The chess gatherings in the Shumov, for instance, wrote:
U rusov house were attended by "The game of chess is almost not
the best Russian players . A fre a game . In any case, it differs so
quent guest was the writer Ivan radically from all other games
Turgenev , also a chess en that it cannot be categorised with
thusiast. them. Chess falls somewhere be
These first chess gatherings, tween a game and art."
the beginnings of the future chess The efforts of the first Russian
clubs, mark a new stage in Rus masters to promote chess pre
sian chess development largely pared the ground for new talented
because the players of the time players to come to the fore and
saw chess as an important factor laid the foundations of a distinc
of education. tive Russian chess school .
Chapter III age of 1 6 . Now, by this age,
talented young chess players are
already approaching the master
ON THE class. Botvinnik, Spas sky,
Fischer, Karpov , Chiburdanidze
THRESHOLD and Kasparov were acclaimed
masters at 1 6 .
OF THE 20TH The young Chigorin was im
mediately attracted by chess. He
CENTURY sought consolation at the chess
board in order to forget the
indignities he was forced to
The distinctive Russian chess And there were many of those.
school was further developed and The despotism of the teachers
improved by the prominent Rus and educators was boundless . In
sian chess master Mikhail 1868 the seniors organised pro
Chigorin. tests demanding that whipping be
Chigorin shared the fate of stopped .
many outstanding figures i n the The St. Petersburg authorities
culture, science and the arts of intervened . Several of the pupils
those times. His innovational re were arrested, and many others,
search was at times considered including Chigorin, were ex
eccentric , while his new ap pelled.
proaches in chess strategy and Chigorin arrived in St. Peters
tactics were only acclaimed after burg, where he searched desper
his death. ately for a job. His hunt con
Chigorin's childhood was a tinued for three years, while he
hard one . Orphaned at the age of led a hungry life . Finally, in
nine he was handed over in July August 1 87 1 , he managed to get
1 859 to an orphanage , a tal l , an undistinguished office job .
gloomy building standing i n the The difficult straits in which
centre of the small town of Chigorin found himself forced
Gatchina. him to postpone his thoughts of
The atmosphere i n this public chess until some distant date. For
institution was oppressive, the almost five years Chigorin hardly
children being subjected only to touched the chess board , and he
fear and endless punishment. started to occupy himself with
Only some of the teachers treated chess seriously only in 1 874 ,
their charges with warmth and when he was already 24 years
care . The latter included the Ger old .
man-language teacher A. Schu The St. Petersburg chess
mann, who tried to organise players of the day used to gather
the children ' s leisure and taught in the Cafe Dominique. They
many of them to play chess. played exclusively for money.
Chigorin made his first ac Handicap tournaments were ar
quaintance with the game at the ranged , the special feature of

which was that the strongest Chigorin tied for third place with
players gave the weaker ones a the Polish master Winawer.
head start: a Pawn, Knight or Here is a game from the Berlin
even a Rook, but on condition tournament.
that a tournament fee was paid.
Chigorin became a regular vis
itor of the Dominique. In 1 874 Sicilian Defence
Chigorin's first game was pub M . CHIGORIN L. PAULSEN
lished-the game he lost to Mas
ter Ilya Shumov, who gave the I. e4 cS 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4
novice the start of a Pawn and a 4. Nxd4 Qb6 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6
move. 7. a3 Be7 8. Be2 0-0 9. 0-0 a6
At the end of the same year 10. Qd3 Qc7 1 1 . f4 d6 12. Qg3
Chigorin competed in a handicap Bd7 13. Be3
tournament, won by Emanuil
Shiffers ( 1 850- 1 904), who soon DIAGRAM 7
became a prominent international
master. Ilya Shumov came sec
ond , and Mikhail Chigorin , still
being given a start by his experi
enced opponents, was third .
Chigorin' s bold , original play
nevertheless attracted the atten
tion of the experts.
The magazine Vsemimaya illus
tratsia reviewed the results of
the tournament : "Third prize was
awarded to the young, second
category chess player who has
made brilliant progress in a very
short time ."
Chigorin's style of play gradu
ally took shape in his games
against the leading Russian chess
players, while his understanding A familiar position: the
of strategy and tactics developed. Scheveningen Variation of the
In the 1 880s Chigorin became Sicilian Defence frequently met
Russia's leading player. He was today .
one of the first Russian masters 13... Rad8? (An unhappy ma
to take part in international con noeuvre. Modern theory recom
tests, with excellent results. mends 1 3 . . . b5 or 1 3 . . . Rac8 to
Chigorin made his debut in the allow freedom of operation on
1881 Berlin Tournament, in which the Q-side).
the pick of the world's best chess 14. Nd2! (the intention is either
players competed: Zuckertort, to transfer the Knight to c4,
Blackburne , Winawer, Paulsen, aiming to advance it, if given the
Mason and other celebrities. chance, to b6, or to move it to f3 ,

from where it will be able to 36. Rxh7! Rxh7 37. Rxh7 Rf7
support the attack on Black's (37. . . Kxh7 38. Qh5+ led to
King) mate)
14. .. d5 15. e5 Ne8 16. Nf3 f5 38. Rh6 Nc4 39. Rxg6+ Kf8
17. Qf2 Qb8 18. Bb6 ReS 19. Bd3 40. Bf2 Bc8 41. Qh4 Ke7 42. Rg8
(Black's poor planning leads him Kd7 43. g6 Re7 44. Qxe7 + ! Black
into a cramped and hopeless situ resigns.
ation. Chigorin steadily piles on The then world champion was
the pressure) Wilhelm Steinitz, outstanding
.. Nc7 20. Nce2 Nca8 21. Be3 theoretician and player. An ever
Na5 22. b3 b5 increasing number of reports in
Gradually Black now returns to the press claimed that Steinitz'
the correct plan of campaign on only rival was Chigorin.
the Q-side, but valuable time has And when in 1 888 there was
been lost, and there are no talk of a world championship
squares on the c-file for him to Steinitz himself declared Chigorin
invade. to be a very worthy opponent.
23. h4 Nb7 24. b4! They had played four games in
Now the Knight on b7 cannot various international tourna
achieve anything useful, and ments, and in three games Chigo
Black does not manage to take rin had emerged victorious .
advantage of the weakened c4- The Havana Chess Club under
square. took to organise the world title
.. Qc7 25. Ned4 Nd8 26. g4! contest.
fxg4 27. Ng5 Bxg5 (If 27 . . . g6, Chigorin had not only to train
then 28. Qg3 with dangerous for the match, he was also faced
threats) with another problem which had
28. hxg5 g6 29. Kg2 Rb8 nothing to do with chess. He had
30. Rhl Rf7 3 1 . Rh6 Rg7 32. Rah1 to find the money for the trip.
Nf7 33. Rg4 Rf8 34. Qg3 Nd8 Subscription sheets were
35. Qxg4 Nb6? distributed throughout Russia.
Paulsen, who was considered Chess devotees collected , kopeck
the best defence expert, has firm by kopeck , the money necessary
ly strengthened his position. Only for the trip to Cuba.
his last move is a mistake and is In the Havana match , which
effectively rebuffed . It was held lasted from 20 January to 24
that Black could still retain equal February 1 889, Chigorin was de
ity after 35 . . . Bc8, but Grandmas feated, winning six games and
ter Vasyukov and Master Nikitin, losing ten. Only one game ended
proved that in this case the move in a draw , after both opponents
36. Qh3 also gives White a had missed chances for victory in
chance for victory. Here is one it.
of the possible variations: However, this match did not
36. . . Rff7 37. Rh6 Kf8 put an end to the contests be
(threatened by 38. Bxg6) 38. Nf3 tween the two players.
d4 39. Bxd4 Rxf4 40. Bc5 + Ke8 In 1 890- 1 89 1 Chigorin and
4 1 . Rxh7, etc. Steinitz arranged to play two

simultaneous games, with the pointed out, here 9 . . . Bd6 also
moves being exchanged by ca deserves attention in order to
bles. The reason behind the reply to 10. d4 with 10 . . . e4)
match was the discussion be 10. d3 0-0 11 . Nc3 Nd5 12. Na4
tween Chigorin and Steinitz on Bd6 13. Ng1 f5
the value of two then current
opening variations (one in the
Evans Gambit for Black and
another for White in the Two
Knights' Defence) recommended
by the world champion.
Hundreds of newspapers
throughout the world reported
and commented on the match .
Never before had any chess con
test aroused such interest.
Chigorin won both the games
brilliantly . Let us recall one of
these unique games, unique be
cause never since have leading
players competed in such a

Two Knights' Defence

W. STEINITZ M. CHIGORIN We should point out, by the
way, that Fischer interprets the
1. e4 e5 2. NfJ Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 position after the Knight's move
4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 to h3 otherwise , in a more mod
7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Be2 h6 9. Nh3 ern fashion, without placing great
It is theoretically proven that if hopes on his wall of Pawns. This
the Knight retreats to f3 , Black is is how his game with Arthur
sufficiently compensated . The Bisguier (Black) proceeded in the
controversial move of Nh3 , 1 963 New York Championship
which Steinitz defended, is still after 9 . . . Bc5 : 1 0. 0-0 0-0 1 1 . d3
disputed. Robert Fischer revived Bxh3 1 2. gxh3 Qd7 1 3 . Bf3 (in
it and made use of it in several the case of 1 3 . Bg4 Nxg4, fol
games. lowed by f5 , Black is in a good
Steinitz considered Nh3 the position to attack) 1 3 . . . Qxh3
best move, but Chigorin did not 14. Nbd2 Rd8 1 5 . Bg2 Qf5 (as
agree. Fischer pointed out, by playing
9 . Bc5 (the Knight on h3 is so
.. 1 6 . Qf3 White gains some advan
poorly placed that there is no tage) .
sense in exchanging it, even if 14. c3 Bd7 15. d4 e4 16. c4
this weakens the position of Ne7!
White's Pawns . As Fischer Black does not want to close

the f-file and is preparing to DIAGRAM 9
transfer the Knight either to f4 or
f5 in case the Pawn on f5 moves
to f4.
17. Nc3 Be6 18. b3 Steinitz per
sistently defends his theory of the
Pawn chain, whereas the situation
demands decisive action. He
should have played 18. f4 in an
attempt to mobilise his forces.
18... Bb4 19. Bb2 f4 Black at
tacks on all fronts, intending to
open play by sacrificing the Pawn
on f4. In opening the files Black's
advantage in development should
prove decisive.
20. Qc2-a disaster is imminent.
but there are no longer any satis
factory continuations. In the case
of 20. Kfl there is the powerful 25. . . Bxf3! Excellent play. B y
reply 20. . . f3 ! 2 1 . gxf3 exf3 sacrificing h i s Queen Black can
22. Bxf3 Ng6 and then Nh4, and attack White' s King with all his
in case of 20. a3 a good response forces .
is 20. . . Bxc 3 + 2 1 . Bxc3 Nf5 26. Qe6 + Kh7 27. Bxd4 Bxh1
22. Bg4 Rb8, etc. 28. Qh3 Nf5 29. Be5 Rae8 30. Bf4
Qxd4 2 1 . Kf1 (White is beautifully mated after
Black can attack strongly after 30. f4 Rxe5 3 1 . fxe5 Ng3 + + )
30... Nd4 31. Qxd3+ Be4 32.
2 1 . a3 f3 ! 22. gxf3 e3 ! 23. fxe3
Qh4 + . White could best defend Qxd4 Rxf4 33. f3
himself thus: 2 1 . Rd l Qf6 22. Chigorin pointed out White
a3 Bxc3 + 23. Bxc3 Qg6 24. cannot take the Pawn on a7. For
Kf l . instance, 3 3 . Qxa7 Rg4 34. f3
Bd3 + 35. Kf2 Rg5, and then Bc5 .
21... f3! 22. gxf3 exf3 23. Bxf3. 33. .. RefS 34 . Qxa7 c5 35. Qc7
23. Nxf3 is no consolation either. Nc6! 36. a3 Rxf3 + ! 37. Nxf3
C higorin saw this variation: 2 1 . . . Rxf3+ 38. Kg1 Bd2!
Bh3 + 22. Ke l Rxf3 ! 23 . Bxf3 Chigorin's attack was perfect,
Rf8 24. Be2 Ng6. and this is one of the most
23 . . . Bf5 24. Ne4 In the case of noteworthy games of the 1 9th
24. Rd I Black still retains the century.
attack by removing his Queen to Chigorin ' s victory over Steinitz
f4 or h4. made a great impact. "Steinitz's
Bxe4! 25. Qe2 primacy in chess has been shaken
Or 25 . Qxe4 Qxb2 26. Rb l for the first time in 25 years for
Qxa2. Also unsatisfactory is all the world to see," claimed the
25 . Bxe4 Rxf2+ 26. Qxf2 Qxe4 Russian magazine Shashechnitsa,
27. Nf3 Rf8 28. Kg3 Ng6. echoing a widely held opinion.

No wonder then that by the Chigorin himself, without re
end of 1 89 1 the second world sorting to the supernatural , disco
championship between Steinitz vered truly extraordinary poten
and Chigorin was already ar tial in the Evans Gambit and
ranged . Again Chigorin had to other gambit systems and was
traved to Havana, and once more able to attack in such a way that
Russian chess enthusiasts col even Steinitz was unable to
lected money for the trip. parry.
The second Steinitz vs. Chigo By the finishing game the score
rin match was one of the most was 9 : 8 (with five draws) in
dramatic in the history of chess Steinitz' s favour. In the conclu
competition. Both of the oppo sive ( 1 8th) game Chigorin (White)
nents made their favourite open quickly gained a decisive advan
ing lines and conducted a relent tage. Here is the position after
less, uncompromising game. Black's 3 1 st move.
People in Russia waited with
excitement for news from Cuba. DIAGRAM 10
"I am unable to overcome my
chess patriotism and I hope that
the Number 1 chess player will
be the Russian" , stated Leo
In a number of the games in
the match Chigorin made success
ful use of the bold Evans Gambit,
which was a formidable weapon
in his hands. Steinitz used closed
opening systems .
It is interesting that the Evans
Gambit was often discarded, only
to be revived, whereupon its op
ponents would discover another
Achilles ' heel. At the end of the
1 800s things had gone so far that
a spiritualism session was held in
Vienna, at which the admirers of Chigorin had plenty of time for
the gambit tried to call up the consideration. The control time
spirit of the famed French chess had just passed (the match was
player Louis Charles de Labour played with a time control of 15
donnais to ask for his opinion on moves an hour). The simple
this controversial variation . 32. Rxb7 would have led to vic
The spirit, alas, was unpre tory. Chigorin pondered for 20
pared for such consultations, and minutes and made a suicidal
the chess spiritualists, headed by move: 32. Bb4??, and after the
Master Kolisch , had to content obvious 32 . . . Rxh2+ he resigned.
themselves with an analytical This is one of the most drama
check of the position. tic examples of chess blindness.

Steinitz himself called his wm a Chigorin emerged as a major
Pyrrhic victory. chess player when Steinitz ' s
Chigorin was far superior to theories, later developed b y Tar
Steinitz in his understanding of rasch, reigned throughout the
correctness , strength and beauty world.
in the art of chess. But Steinitz While he could not deny that
unquestionably had more stami Steinitz had introduced much that
na, endurance and composure, was new in chess theory and had
and was more able to spread his a very high opinion of his skill,
strength in the long run, and take Chigorin disagreed with him on
into account the psychological principles of play. The chess his
aspects of the game . torian A. Narkevitch pointed out:
Just as the Steinitz vs. Chigorin "Steinitz's teaching in some way
matches were of epic quality, so reminds one of the ideological
Mikhail Chigorin's match in 1 893 trends of the second half of the
with the famed German Grand 1 9th century: positivism,
master Siegbert Tarrasch, mechanicism, rationalism in
Steinitz' s follower, made chess philosophy, naturalism in litera
history. This match , which took ture. Steinitz was a true son of
place in St. Petersburg, produced his time, both in his achievements
a number of excellent games . and discoveries , as well as in the
Chigorin, who competed i n limitations of his doctrine. He
many international contests, was was unaware of this limitation,
always a worthy representative of and he was inclined to consider it
Russian chess. He travelled to the expression of the absolute
London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, truth in chess . "
New York, Budapest and Vienna, The main aim o f the "new
where his talent was admired. school" led by Steinitz and Tar
A study of the past shows us rasch was to lay down laws of
that each generation discovers chess strategy and tactics dictat
Chigorin in its own way. His ing correct behaviour in all
contemporaries saw him as the foreseeable circumstances .
main figure in a romantic trend, a Creativity was thus limited to
talented improviser. However, a applying these "laws" at the right
thorough study of Chigorin' s leg time and place. Tarrasch, who
acy reveals that the Russian devised his own kind of traffic
champion was considerably ahead regulation for the chess board ,
of his time. was especially intent on making
Although Mikhail Chigorin chess subject to strict laws.
never became world champion, Chigorin revolted against this
his role in the development of narrow approach ; he thought that
chess thought is difficult to over the progress of chess theory
estimate. Chigorin's profound would inevitably refute many old
ideas, opening inventions and en conceptions. "What theory recog
dgame analyses have come down nises today it refutes tomorrow,"
to us and are now an important he wrote i n 1 90 1 . Chigorin strove
part of tournament practice. in his research for concrete,

exact analyses, avoiding the hazy attempts to contain it within cer
general arguments that were so tain narrow forms . "
dear to the hearts of the "new These ideas deserve some
school" ideologists. thought, for they were the basis
"General notions made their for new opening designs and what
appearance in chess literature seemed to be "incorrect" struc
comparatively recently , some 1 0 tures . An important feature of the
years ago" , wrote Chigorin in Russian school was to discover
1 893 , "probably with the not just separate moves, but sys
emergence of the so-called new tems in which these moves were
school proclaimed by Steinitz, the important link.
and took root for a very obvious Typical of Chigorin' s view of
reason: anyone, so to speak, can opening problems is his explana
occupy himself with this matter if tion of the move. 2. Qe2 (after
he is the least bit capable of 1 . e4 e6) which he employed in
dialectics , even when he has in his match with Tarrasch . For
sufficient knowledge of chess and many years the critics regarded
experience in analysis. this use of the Queen in the
"We should point out that opening as eccentric.
many of those who see them
selves as followers of this new DIAGRAM I I
school interpret Steinitz' s princi
ples completely inaccurately."
Note Chigorin' s last comment.
He always had a high opinion of
Steinitz as a chess theoretician ,
although he disagreed with him
on creative principles.
"In chess books and memoirs,
just as in conversation , one
hears: theoretically, more theoret
ically, etc. What is usually under
stood by that are the generally
accepted, commonly made
moves, whose only advantage is
to have been studied in greater
depth ," wrote Chigorin and, de
veloping his idea, he added: "In
actual fact in almost all openings
you can find moves which are not
inferior to the theoretical moves Chigorin wrote:
if they are used as the initial "Move 2. Qe2 in the first four
point of a whole combination of games of the match with Dr.
moves by a good and experienced Tarrasch caused the French De
player. Chess as a game is much fence to lose its usual character,
richer than one might suppose and it gave the others a certain
from the existing theory, which originality . . .

"It can, in any case, be discus
sed only in connection with the
entire subsequent plan and not in
isolation, as the chess critics
did . "
Yes, indeed , Chigorin was in
disputably right in asserting that
the opening cannot be viewed as
an isolated phase of the battle ,
for it is organically bound u p with
the whole game.
The strategic ideas behind 2.
Qe2 are now accepted in the
fashionable structures of the
King's Indian Defence and other
similar patterns.
Chigorin systematised many a3 by its worthlessness equals 2
opening patterns in which the loss tempos. Hence White loses the
of speed in developing the pieces equivalent of 3 moves.
does not detract from the posi "Nonetheless," added Tar
tion, because there are other rasch , "this variation, despite its
compensatory advantages. erroneousness, was often met in
We should stress here that tournament practice."
Chigorin' s interpretation of tempo C higorin wrote: "The people
was completely different from must not have ceased using it (the
that of Tarrasch and some other variation) because, among other
theoreticians. Now many leading things, they cannot understand
chess players share Chigorin ' s the wise arguments of the hon
point o f view . ourable doctor about lost tempos ,
This difference in approach to nor his arithmetic , for Black, by
tempo can be seen in the short moving his Bishop to b4, and
discussion between Chigorin and capturing with it the Knight on
Tarrasch in 1 90 l . c3 , makes not one but two
Here is a position from one of moves . "
the variations of the Sicilian De The main and serious reason
fence after l . e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 why players have now begun to
3. Nc3 e6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 use the move 7. a3 more fre
Nf6 6. Ndb5 Bb4 7. a3 quently lies in the logical thinking
of the player who is bold enough
DIAGRAM 1 :! to realise that even with three
"lost tempos" and the move 7. a3
Tarrasch considered that since White has better opportunities for
White had played his Knight on play than in the case of 7. Nd6 +
b5, he should be put in check on with the almost inevitable con
d6. By moving to a3 , White tinuation 7 . . . Ke7 8. Bf4 e5
wastes the equivalent of no less 9. Nf5+ Kf8 10. Bg5 d5 I I . exd5
than 3 moves. In itself the move Bxf5, etc.

As we know, modern theory Ruy Lopez and the Sicilian
sees the move 7. a3 as the Defence .
strongest in the given position. Another discovery by Chigorin
Now , too, none of the theoreti is also of vital significance: the
cians consider the tempo in isola possibility of putting up a suc
tion from the dynamics of the cessful struggle against the oppo
events taking place on the chess nent ' s Pawn centre by the pieces
board . Tarrasch' s counting of exerting pressure on the central
tempos cannot be decisive in squares . This idea was expressed
assessing the potential of the two in Chigorin' s defence in the
side s . Queen' s Gambit ( l . d4 d5 2. c4
Another assertion by Chigorin Nc6).
running contrary to Tarrasch ' s Although this particular idea
main rules was of tremendous was not proved to be reliable ,
significance for modern theory . neither the Alekhine Defence nor
The German theoretician and the Greunfeld Defence could
his followers held that have developed without it. In
every cramped position con general the idea of pressure
tains within it the embryo of by the pieces on the Pawn centre
defeat. has become one of the chief
Imagine , for instance, that this problems of Black ' s modern
opinion had held sway. It would strategy .
have prevented not only the de Let u s now examine another
velopment of such important example of how Chigorin under
openings as the King's Indian took the concrete analysis of a
Defence, the Sicilian Defence, position.
the Pirc-Ufimtsev Defence and
many others, but also completely
changed the entire strategy of DIAGRAM 1 3
modern ches s .
Chigorin advanced the idea that
"not every cramped position is a
sign of the superiority of the
opponent's game" . His statement
that "a cramped situation, too,
sometimes conceals for a certain
time its advantage, affecting the
outcome of the battle" is even
more definite.
These words of 1 895 were
Chigorin' s programme of action
where opening theory was con
cerned. Credit goes to him for
devising and introducing into prac
tice a number of versions of the
King's Indian Defence, and some
very important variations of the

Alexander Petrov

Sergei Urusov Karl Jaenisch

Mikhail Chigorin

Participants m the Third All-Russian

Tournament in Kiev, 1 903
A group of m embers of the Organisational Committee
and of participants in the All-Russian Masters Tourna
ment that was held in St. Petersburg in December 1 9 1 3
and January 1 9 1 4 . First row (sitting): V . P. Vertog
radov, P. A . Yevtifeyev, G. S. Salwe, Y . 0. Sosnitsky,
P. Malyulin, P . A. Saburov , N. N . Cutler,
G. Y. Lcvenfish , J . Taubenhaus, P . P . Saburo v ,
S . N . Freiman . Second row (standing): M . L . Lov ts k y ,
S . M . Levitsky, S . E . Al apin, A. I . Evenson,
A. D. Flamberg, A. A. Alekhine, B. Gregori,
Y. D. Bogol y ubov , P. P . Potyomkin, A. A. Durdin, and
F. I. Duz-Khotimirsky

Leo Tolstoy at the chessboard

Lenin (left) playing chess on Capri. Among the
V . I.
onlookers is Maxim Gorky

The membership card presented to V. I. Lenin by the

M oscow Chess Society

Alexander Alekhine
Nikolai Krylenko

Nikolai Ryumin

A lexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky
Chess, a game played in Central Asia
for many centuries , is still popular

ra a. m


A poster announcing a chess match
between the composer Sergei Pro
kofiev and the violinist David Oistrakh

A scene from the Oistrakh-Prokofiev

Chess is played everywhere in the
M ikhail Botvinnik and h i s wife

Mikhail Botvinnik at a su mmer resort

with his coach Vyacheslav Ragozin

Mikhail Botvinnik

' l'J
Mikhail Botvinnik and Jose Raul
Capablanca analysing a game

Mikhail Botvinnik in Turkmenia

Sergei Dolmatov
Salo Flohr Leonid Stein

K. Y. Voroshilov, C hairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR,

presenting the Order of Lenin to Vassily Smyslov in the Kremlin
Isaak Boleslavsky, David Bronstein,
Mark Taimanov

Yefim Geller

Lev Polugayevsky
This was the position in the Four months later. An interna
1 7th game of the C h igorin v s . tional tournament in London,
Tarrasch match after t h e moves 1 899.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 Lasker vs. Chigorin: 1 . e4 e5
4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 Nd7 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4
7. Ne2 f6 8. c3 Nb6 9. Bb3 Na5 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. NcJ b5
10. Bc2 Be6. 7. Bb3 0-0 8. d3 d6 9. Be3 Na5
"The Knight on a5 ," the critics 10. Ne2 c5 II. c3 Nxb3 12. axb3
claim, "stands poorly." (Chigorin Qc7.
had in mind the Tarrasch rule A precise sequence of moves.
that the edge of the board is a This line-up is typical of
bad position for a Knight. ) "But the Pawn chain a6, b5 , c5 , d6,
why then in the Two Knights' e5.
Opening is the Knight in an 1 904. International tournament
excellent position on the same in Cambridge Springs.
square?" Chigorin wrote. "In the Schlechter vs. Chigorin: 1 . e4
opinion of the gentlemen critics e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4
the Knight stands poorly, while I Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Rei b5 7. Bb3
saw clearly that White cannot d6 8. c3 0-0 9. b3 Be6 10. d4 exd4
turn this bad position to his II. cxd4 Bxb3 12. Qxb3 Na5
advantage." 13. QdJ c5.
Let us add that Chigorin' s de Over many years Chigorin
fence system with the move of tested the development of the
the Knight to a5 is today the Bishop from c8 to b7, to g4, but
central point in such an important in the game at the Ostende Inter
opening as the Ruy Lopez. national Tournament ( 1 905)
It is held by some, incorrectly, against Taubenhaus he employed
that Chigorin's research was im a continuation which proved to
provised, not systematic. Soviet be the precedent of the famous
grandmasters and masters learned Marshall Attack , which emerged
to look for new methods of play in 1 9 1 8.
and acquired the ability to de Taubenhaus vs. Chigorin: I. e4
velop systems and variations e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4
from Chigorin. Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Rei b5 7. Bb3
Take a look, for instance, at d6 8. c3 0-0 9. d3 Bg4 10. Nbd2
how Chigorin consistently kept Re8 1 1 . Nfl d5 12. exd5 Nxd5
on improving his system during 13. h3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nxe4
tournaments. Nxe5 16. Rxe5.
1 899. Consultants vs. Chigorin:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. d4 0-0 DIAGRAM 1 4
7. d5 NbS 8. Qe2 d6 9. Nel c5
10. c4 Bd7 1 1 . Bc2 b5.
The prototype of the future In t h e encounter with 0 . Duras
system: counterplay on the in the international tournament in
Q-side with a well strengthened Nuremberg ( 1 906) the Chigorin
centre. system, which is now known to

3-607 33
Vienna International Tour
nament, 1898

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6
4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. f4 0-0
7. Nf3 Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3


every chess enthusiast, took its

final shape.
I. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5
7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Na5
10. Bc2 c5 1 1 . d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2.


S o this currently popular posi

tion was first met in a game
played 80 years ago . After that a
keen struggle ensued:
10. g4 e6 1 1 . dxe6 fxe6 12. Bd2
Ne8 13. 0-0-0 Qf6 14. h4 Qf7
15. Qd3 Bh6 16. g5 Bg7 17. h5
gxh5 18. Be2 Bxc3 19. Qxc3?
( 1 9 . bxc3 is considerably
stronger) 19 . . . Ng7 20. Rh4 d5
21. cxd5 exd5 22. exd5 Rfe8
23. Bf3 b5 24. Rdh1 Nf8 25. Bxh5
Nxh5 26. Rxh5 Re4 27. Qh3 Rc4+
28. Kb1 Qxd5 29. Bc3 Rd8?
Chigorin had manoeuvred ex
cellently up to the point and was
Now take a look how Chigorin in an overwhelmingly superior
interpreted another of his inven position. But, as was often the
tions, the King's Indian Defence. case, he lost his nerve at the

crucial moment. The move 29 . . . Chigorin taught us not to suc
b4 led to victory, for instance: cumb to the self-deception of the
30. Be5 (30. Bf6 ReS) 30 . . Rd8
. "natural" moves, which seem to
and , as Chigorin wrote , White be obvious and safe .
lacked the time to make the move "The desire to take advantage
g6 with advantage . as fast as possible of an oppo
30. g6! Qe4+ 31 . Kal hxg6 nent's move which seems at first
32. ReS Qxh l + 33. Qxhl b4 sight erroneous may entice one to
34. Rd5 Black resigns. launch an attack along a false
This game could have had a path. Only by the gradual de
new say in theory but for a long velopment of one' s forces and
time it was not appreciated prop extremely discrete play, do you
erly , evidently because Black slowly acquire certain advan
lost. The result had its usual tages, and then you can deliver a
magical effect . decisive blow to your opponent",
Chigorin used the King's Indian wrote Chigorin in 1 897.
Defence in other games in re That was Mikhail Chigorin' s
sponsible contests , and the posi credo. He believed i n the creative
tions that resulted were usually diversity of chess, and did not
excellent. accept dogmatic assertions; he
Chigorin was a connoisseur of sought and discovered new
positional strategic play and a aspects of the inexhaustible
master of manoeuvre . He suc possibilities m the ancient
cessfully developed the founda game.
tions of such factors in position Former world champion Vasili
as the blockade , restriction of Smyslov wrote of Chigorin:
movement and centralisation. His "Chigorin is the founder of the
tournament games provide many Russian chess school. Enthusiasts
excellent examples of "strangula learn to play chess starting with
tion" positional play. Chigorin's games. No one has
Chigorin, of course, did not done so much for the develop
shy away from bold attacks and ment and popularisation of chess
made hundreds of beautiful com in Russia as Chigorin. We , Soviet
binations, but these tactical oper chess players follow his creative
ations were not an aim in them behests, revere his memory , and
selves but the best means of are profoundly grateful to him
winding up the positional phase for his selfless service to the
of the struggle. game."

Chapter IV Affairs did not fail to give confi
dential instructions: "The police
should maintain secret supervi
ORIGINS sion of the club, to ensure that
the members obey the rules, that
there is no disturbance of the
peace , particularly no prohibited
games, as well as works not
approved by the censorship, or
inappropriate opinions expressed
on religion and the government. "
Even a club for the nobility
and aristocracy was placed under
Jaenisch and Kushelev- secret police surveillance .
Bezborodko, the publisher of the The first Russian chess club
first Russian chess magazine and opened on 27 March 1 853.
one of the richest men in Russia, Jaenisch , who was elected secre
undertook in the mid- 1 9th century tary , compiled temporary rules,
the organisation of a real chess stating that the aim of the club
club . was to "promote a liking for the
On 10 July 1 852, the St. Peters noble and instructive game".
burg Governor-General sent the The club existed for seven
Ministry of Internal Affairs of the years , until 1 860. At times its
Russian Empire the following re membership was 1 00. Prominent
port : "Baron Meendorf, aide-de figures in Russian culture and
camp to the Tsar, Count writers such as Turgenev , Tolstoy
Kushelev-Bezborodko and Coun and Saltykov-Shchedrin attended
cillor Jaenisch presented a peti the chess gatherings.
tion asking to be allowed to The New Chess Manual, the
organise an assembly of chess first Russian chess code, which
enthusiasts in St. Petersburg, as made many of the disputed rules
is the custom in other European more precise, and provided the
capitals . " main regulations for contests,
The Governor-General sent the was published in 1 858.
Ministry a "draft of the rules for In 1 860 the club lost Kushelev
the aforesaid assembly" and Bezborodko' s financial assistance
stated that "in agreement with the and this fact put an end to its
conclusion of the chief of the existence. Almost two years pas
police" he did not object to the sed before a new chess club was
organisation of such an "as organised. It was reopened on 10
sembly. " January 1 862, its members being
Permission t o establish the club intellectuals , medium-rank offi
was received on 27 August 1 852, cials, writers, journalists , critics
and despite the fact that generals, and artists.
counts, princes and members of Nikolai Chernyshevsky, a
the State Council were among its prominent Russian philosopher,
members , the Ministry of Internal democrat and chess devotee, was

largely responsible for organising
the club. Dostoyevsky, Turgenev ,
Nekrasov, Pisaryev , Pomyalovs
ky, Pisemsky, Goncharov and
Saltykov-Shchedrin were also
among the members.
Many progressive people of
Russia were aware of chess' crea
tive educational value.
The great Russian poet Alexan
der Pushkin had in his library
French chess magazines and also
a book by Petrov presented to
him by the author. Another Rus
sian poet, Mikhail Lermontov,
was also fond of chess.
Leo Tolstoy played chess regu the offensive) 35. Qd4 Rg2+
larly both in St. Petersburg and at 36. Bd2 Bd7! (now White has no
his country estate of Yasnaya defence against the doubling of
Polyana. His constant partners Black ' s Rooks on the second
were Professor Goldenweizer of rank) .
the Moscow Music Conservatoire 37. h4 Rff2 38. Kc3 Rxd2
and Mood, who translated his 39. Qh8+ Kb7 40. h5 exd5
works into English . Tolstoy also 41 . exd5 Rxd5 42. h6 Bf5 43. Qf6
played frequently with the com Rc2+ 44. Kb4 aS+ 45. Ka4 Rc7
poser Taneyev. 46. Kb3 (there threatened with
Leo Tolstoy used to say that mate by the Bishop on c2) 46 ..

interesting combinations, not vic Rb5+ 47. Ka4 Bd7!

tory, should be valued in chess. White's King on a4 has no
Tolstoy also met Ivan defence against the discovered
Turgenev , a much stronger check by the Rook on b5 . If
player, over the chess board . 48 . Qf3 + , there is the simple
Whenever the latter was abroad 48 . . . Ka7. White therefore admit
he took part in tournaments , ted his defeat.
playing against well-known mas I van Turgenev was elected
ters. Here is the close of the vice-president of the chess con
Machusky v s . Turgenev game in gress, held in Baden-Baden in
the tournament of the best 1 870.
Parisian chess players in 1 86 1 . Prominent scientists, such as
the physicist Schilling, the chem-
DIAGRAM 1 7 ist Mendeleyev, and the
mathematicians Markov and
The unhappy positioning of Bugayev were attracted by chess .
White's King decides the issue. During Emanuel Lasker's visit to
Turgenev attacked decisively and Moscow at the end of the last
neatly: 33 . . . Rg8 34. Bc3 Ba4! (all century Professor Bugayev of
of Black's pieces are involved in Moscow University frequently

played light games with the world The true connoisseurs of chess,
champion, sometimes winning led by Chigorin, could not recon
from him. cile themselves to such a state of
There were also many strong affairs.
chess players among Russian The Russian master made the
musicians. We have already men development of the true art of
tioned Taneyev ' s games with Leo chess in his native land the aim
Tolstoy. of his life. Here is what he wrote
The composers Lyadov and in an article published in the
Rimsky-Korsakov enjoyed chess. Shakhmatny vestnik magazine in
Prokofiev was an excellent 1 885: "Organisation and activity !
player. In 1 909 he won a game That is the password and slogan
against Lasker, and in 1 9 1 0 of those who work for the future
against Jose Raul Capablanca. of chess in our land. It is not
Let us now return to the sec enough to love and study chess ;
ond Russian chess club, which all chess enthusiasts must join
existed for only five months. together in order to achieve the
On 8 June 1 862 , an announce common aims . Were it a matter
ment from the Military Governor of our personal opinion, of our
General of St. Petersburg ap desire, we would, without a mo
peared in the press, stating: ment's hesitation, without vacilla
"Considering it my present duty tion, propose a radical and much
to take all measures to put a halt needed undertaking: the establish-
to the alarming state of mind merit of an All-Russia Chess
among the capital ' s population Union with annual congresses
and preventing talk about current and tournaments to be held by
events, I feel it necessary to turn in different cities . "
close the chess club, in which Chigorin worked all his life to
these groundless speculations are see his dream become reality, but
spread, until further notice." that was to happen only many
After the announcement severe years after his death.
repressive actions were taken "Chess, like any art, needs a
against many members of the free life and to be able to attract
club, who were charged with talented people; no art can be
belonging to this "seditious" or created by limiting access to it",
ganisation. wrote Chigorin in 1 885. But how
"Until further notice" , the Gov could this problem be solved in
ernor-General had warned . Russia at the time?
It was not an easy matter to set The first step towards an All
up new clubs . Financial hardships Russia Union was the St. Peters
compelled chess players to take burg Chess Admirers' Society. Its
refuge in different clubs for card rules were approved by the au
players , cafes and restaurants. thorities on 3 1 October 1 879, but
This threatened to downgrade the society started functioning
chess to the level of gambling only on I I January 1 880.
games and lowered its cultural Attempts to unite chess en
importance . thusiasts were not supported, as

witnessed by a report published fore the goddess of chess all are
in the 1 880s by the Vsemimaya equal in the republic of art. Of all
illustratsiya magazine, which games, chess is the one that most
stated that there were only four unites and least divides people . "
chess clubs in Russia, and then Chigorin did all i n his power to
chess was played alongside card achieve his cherished aim: he
games. travelled to different Russian
Here is a typical example. In cities, advocating the idea of a
1 885 the Society of Chess Admir chess union, organised clubs,
ers , with 295 members, including conducted tournaments and
the Governor, was formed in matches, and wrote for the press.
Kazan . This seemed an impres Only in 1 907 , shortly before
sive figure but, as Shakhmatny Chigorin's death, did the St.
vestnik magazine noted, there Petersburg Chess Board submit
were only several chess players ; his Chess Union Statutes, sup
the others were interested only in plemented and altered in some
card game s ! Of the Society ' s sections, and Programme of the
annual budget of 3 ,000 roubles , Constituent Assembly for approv
only 1 8 were spent o n chess. al by the authorities. But every
In 1 886 C higorin drew up a thing was interminably held up in
plan for organising an All-Russia various offices and police depart
Chess Union, and was about to ments. In 1 909, at the Chigorin
ask noted provincial chess en Memorial Congress (he died in
thusiasts to start the necessary 1 908), fresh attempts were made
preparations. However, once to solve the problem, but these,
again the authorities put a spoke too, came to nothing.
in his wheel. The calculations in Shakhmatny
At the end of 1 886 Chigorin vestnik on the potential member
wrote bitterly in Shakhmatny ves ship of the Union are of interest.
tnik: "It has been impossible to According to these calculations,
proceed with the organisation of which surprise modern chess
an All-Russia Chess Union. We players , the clubs of St. Peters
could not distribute the printed burg had 80 chess players and
leaflet which we mentioned due those of Moscow 60.
to circumstances 'independent' of For comparison's sake: now in
us. Until the statutes are ap the chess section of the
proved we cannot act openly and Likhachov Motor Works in Mos
freely to realise our idea." cow there are about 2 ,000 mem
It is indicative that Chigorin bers. They include 1 1 masters , 1 2
put the word "independent" in candidate masters and a hundred
quotation marks . He was well first category players. The works
aware on whom the decision of has its own chess club with two
the problem depended and why it coaches.
was delayed . After all, these Finally , at the beginning of
words, too, are his: "In the noble 1 9 1 4, the Ministry of Internal
art of chess all the distinctions of Affairs granted permission for a
rank and wealth are erased. Be- chess players' society. It had

taken eight years for the draft of tournament, which was held at
the Charter sent for approval the home of Mrs . Milbert, well
during Chigorin' s lifetime, to be known for her cheap dinners, on
finally agreed upon ! Kirpichny Lane, attracted seven
The Constituent Assembly of competitors from St. Petersburg
the All-Russia Chess Society met and two from Moscow.
on 10 April 1 9 1 4, in the premises C higorin and Alapin tied for
of the St. Petersburg Chess As first place with 6.5 points each .
sembly. It was announced that 65 Chigorin won the play-off.
single members and about 800 The tournament regulations
group members, forming 22 local contained an unusual rule: if one
sections, had joined the Society. of the players overstepped his
Plans were outlined for the future time limit, play continued , but a
and, in particular, it was decided draw was recorded if that player
that the Society would hold its won and a loss if he drew .
Congress in 1 9 16. Only 20 years later, in 1 899,
But the outbreak of the First was the first official Russian
World War caused these plans to championship held. Twenty-eight
be abandoned, as was the plan to chess players from 1 2 cities
organise an International Chess gathered in Moscow. As ex
Union, which Russian chess pected , Chigorin won the main
players had discussed with the tournament, with Emanuel Shif
representatives of the British fers in second place.
Chess League and the German Typically, several participants
Chess Society. The World Chess of both the main and the collater
Federation (FIDE) was founded al tournaments played under
in 1 924. pseudonyms, not wanting to at
It is customary to date the tract the attention of their emp
history of chess tournaments in loyers to their participation in
Russia from September 1 853, such a "frivolous" undertaking.
when the St. Petersburg society There were many pupils and
of Chess Admirers organised the followers of Chigorin among the
first championship, culminating in competitors: Neriarokov, Levits
the victory of Sergei Urusov . ky and, of course, Shiffers .
The encounter between Petrov The Second All-Russia Tourna
and Urusov in St. Petersburg in ment, also held in Moscow, from
1 853 is considered the first offi 26 December 1 900 to 14 January
cial match. As we have already 1 90 1 , involved 1 8 players. Among
mentioned, it was won by Petrov . them only eight had also partici
For many years there was al pated in the first national cham
most no competition between pionship.
players of different Russian Chigorin won the second tour
cities. Only at the beginning of nament, 2 . 5 points ahead of Shif
1 879, on Chigorin's initiative, a fers, who came second. Interna
tournament was arranged in St. tional Grandmaster Janovsky was
Petersburg, which became a re third.
view of Russian chess skill . This The Kiev Chess Society organ-

ised the Third All-Russia Tourna was the first person in Russia to
ment in Kiev in September 1 903 . give, starting in January 1 889,
After the tournament a collection public lectures on chess theory;
of the games played was pub his promotion work in the press
lished for the first time in Russia. is also widely known.
In this third championship 1 9 Shiffers' game with Steinitz at
chess players from ten cities the Vienna International Tourna
competed. They included the ment in 1 898 gives a good idea of
newcomer Akiba Rubinstein, who his style of play.
was soon to become one of the
world' s best players, and conten Giuoco piano
der for the world title . Rubinstein
repeatedly stated that Chigorin' s V. STEINITZ E. SHIFFERS
games greatly influenced his play. 1 . e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5
"He did away with unsound tac 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5
tics , and contributed as many The move 6 . e5 leads to com
new ideas to openings theory as plications with no danger for
no one else ," wrote Rubinstein. Black. Usually 6. cxd4 is played
The participants also included here.
gifted masters who subsequently 6 . . . d5 7. Bb5 Ne4 8. cxd4 Bb6
competed frequently in interna 9. Nc3 0-0 10. Be3 f6 (10. . . f5 is
tional contests : Bernstein, Duz also good.) 1 1 . exf6 Nxc3 12. bxc3
Khotimirsky and Rabinovich. Qxf6 13. Qb3 Ne7 14. 0-0 h6
While Chigorin remained the (necessary in view of the threat
Russian champion, he gained his 1 5 . Bg5) 15. Ne5 c6 16. Be2? (an
victory with more difficulty: unhappy retreat . 16. Bd3 would
talented chess players were ap have been right . Shiffers indi
pearing in ever growing numbers. cated the variation 1 6 . . . Nf5
The Third All-Russia Tourna 1 7 . Bxf5 Bxf5 1 8. a4 with a dou-
ment was, unfortunately, the last ble-edged struggle) 16
. . Nf5
in the chess career of Emanuel 17. Ng4 Qe6 18. Rae1 Bc7
Shiffers ( 1 850- 1 904) , who had 19. Bd3 (the Bishop on e3 should
competed in many domestic tour have moved to d2) 19 . . . Nxe3 (but
naments and played several not 19 . . . Nxd4? 20. Bxd4 Qxg4
matches against the strongest 2 1 . Re7) 20. Nxe3 Qd6 (now
Russian masters . Black takes over the initiative
In 1 896 Shiffers lost, honoura and starts an energetic offensive
bly , to Steinitz ( +4, - 6 , = 1). on both flanks) 21. g3 Bh3
Shiffers took part i n eight inter 22. Ng2 b5 (forestalling the move
national tournaments, after 1 877 c4) 23. Re3 Rae8 24. Rfe1 Rxe3
being the Russian representative. 25. Rxe3 Qf6 26. Qc2 g5! 27. Qe2
His best result is sixth place at Bg4! 28. Qe1
one of the biggest international
tournaments of the 1 9th century DIAGRAM 1 8
(Hastings, 1 895).
Shiffers also did a great deal to 28 b4 ! (having tied his oppo
organise chess instruction. H e nent along the entire front , Black

champion Flamberg. Each played
three games against each of the
Chigorin was finding it ever
more difficult to play the young
opponents. "This is both a joy
(Russian masters are maturing)
and a sorrow because my
strength is failing" , wrote the
champion in a letter. Rubinstein
won, while Chigorin placed

French Defence

delivers a decisive blow. If 1 . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6

29. cxb4, Bb6!) 29. Be2 Bf5 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6
30. Rf3 g4 3 1 . Rxf5 (the last at gxf6 (6 . . . Bxf6 is more reliable)
tempt) 31 . . . Q:xf5 32. Ne3 Qe4 7. Nf3 f5 8. Ng3 c5 9. Bb5 + Nc6
33. Nxg4 bxc3 34. Ne3 Qxd4 10. c3 0-0 1 1 . Bxc6 bxc6 12. 0-0
35. Qb1 Qe4 36. Bd3 Qf3 37. Qc2 cxd4? ( 1 2 . . . Bb7 should have
Bb6 38. Nf5 Bxf2+ 39. Qxf2 Qxd3 been played) 13. Nxd4 Qc7
40. g4 Qd1 + White resign s . 14. Qh5 Kh8 15. Rfe1 f4 (here,
The fourth Russian champion too, 1 5 . . . Bb7 would be better)
ship was held in St. Petersburg 16. Ne4 f5 or 16 . . . c5 1 7 . Ng5 !
from 22 December 1 905 to 1 5 Bxg5 1 8 . Qxg5 cxd4 1 9 . Qf6+
January 1 906. There were not Kg8 20. Re5 with an irresistible
many good players among the attack. 17. Ng5 Bxg5 18. Qxg5 e5
entrants , International Master 19. Qh6 Bd7 20. Nf3 Rfe8 or
Salve won the title, but his vic 20 . . . Rae8 2 1 . Nxe5 ! 21. Ng5 (the
tory, in Chigorin' s absence, was most decisive) 21 . .. Re7 22. Qf6 +
not, of course, convincing. Rg7 23. Nf7 + Kg8 24. Nh6 + Kh8
In April 1 906 the official match 25. Rxe5 Qc8 26. Re7 Qf8 27. Rf7
for the title of Russian champion Black resigns .
between Chigorin and Salve was At t h e fourth Russian cham
held . pionship Blumenfeld, subsequent
Chigorin was already incurably ly a famous master, who studied
ill , but he won the match after a the theory and the psychology of
steady fight (+7-5 = 3) , and be chess, made his debut .
came Russian champion for the In December 1907 the Lodz
fourth time. Chess Society held the fifth Rus
I mmediately afterwaros a four sian championship. By this time
mao match tournament was ar Chigorin was unable to compete.
ranged in Lodz between Chigorin, Rubinstein ( 1 882- 1 96 1 ) became
Salve, Rubinstein and Warsaw champion. This excellent chess

player, whose ability developed
and strengthened in Russia before
the Revolution , was to become
one of the strongest grandmasters
of our time.
After the October Revolution
Rubinstein lived in Poland for a
long time and headed the national
team. An annual Rubinstein
Memorial Tournament is now
held in the Polish People's Re
public in his honour.
Here is a game from the Fifth
All-Russia Tournament, printed
throughout the world at the time .

Queen's Gambit next move reveals the depth of

Rubinstein' s idea," wrote
l. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 c5 4. c4 23. gxh4 Rd2!!
Nc6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. dxc4 Bxc5 7. a3
a6 8. b4 Bd6 9. Bb2 0-0 10. Qd2? DIAGRAM 20
(The Queen is unhappily placed
here. Rotlewi should have played
1 0 . cxd4) 10 . . . Qe7 1 1 . Bd3 dxc4
12. Bxc4 b5 13. Bd3 Rd8 14. Qe2
The eminent Soviet master
Romanovsky wrote of this open
ing: "It is now clear that the four
moves used by White to place the
Bishop on d 3 , and the Queen on
e2, mean the loss of two tempos .
This leads to h i s defeat."
15. 0-0 Ne5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5
17. f4 ( 1 7 . Rfd l would have been
better) 17 . . . Bc7 18. e4 Rac8
19. e5 Bb6+ 20. Kh1 Ng4!
21 . Be4 Qh4 22. g3

DIAGRAM 1 9 A remarkable position ! Har

mony, co-operation between
2 2. . . Rxc3!! pieces and precise calculation are
"One of the best ever combina inherent in Rubinstein' s combina
tions. Black's unusually effective tion.

24. Qxd2 Bxe4+ 25. Qg2 Rh3! the book, which was published in
White resigns . an edition of 1 ,0 1 0 copie s , were
After the fifth championship, excellently annotated by the then
where the talented master world champion Lasker. Many
Freiman ( 1 882- 1 946) made his amateur games were commented
debut, official national champion on by Alekhine.
ships were not held until after the This unique book (in fact, a
Revolution . bibliographical rarity) was pub
The I 909 Chigorin Memorial lished in 4,000 copies in 1 980 by
Congress holds a special place in Fizkultura i sport Publishers to
the history of Russian chess. The immense joy of chess enthusiasts.
programme included an interna The second tournament in
tional tournament and the First which the winner officially re
All-Russia Amateur Tournament, ceived the title of master was the
where the future world champion All-Russia Congress held in 1 9 1 1
Alexander Alekhine won convinc by the St. Petersburg Chess As
ingly, and which we shall discuss sembly. Forty chess players from
later. 1 8 cities took part in it, showing
The participants included many clearly how chess had spread
young people who revered the within Russia. The main tourna
C higorin traditions , especially ment was won by Chigorin's
Romanovsky ( 1 892-1 964), who pupil , Stepan Levitsky ( 1 876-
made a big contribution to the 1 924), an original chess player
development of the Soviet chess with a talent for good combina-
school, and Verlinsky ( 1 887- tion.
1 950). In 1 9 1 2 the attention of the
Poor chess organisation in Rus chess world focused on the All
sia, and the lack of a single Russia Congress in Vilnius (Au
directing centre also affected gust-September) . Only masters
chess ranking. Even in major who had upheld their title
Russian tournaments players in international tournaments
could not be awarded the rank of could compete in the mam
master, and Russian chess tournament.
players could become masters Rubinstein , who at the time
only by competing abroad . was world champion Lasker's
The 1 909 All-Russia Amateur chief rival, came first in a hard
Tournament at the Chigorin fight. Both Bernstein and Levits

Memorial Congress was the first ky proved once again the high
home contest to confer the title quality of their play. Nimzowich ,
of master on the winner, who, as from Riga, soon to become a
we know , was Alexander grandmaster and the author of an
Alekhine. in-depth study of chess theory
The Chigorin Memorial Con and practice, made a brilliant
gress produced many brilliant display of original play in Chigo
games , and the book published rin' s style.
about the Congress was met with The young St. Petersburg en
interest. The games described in gineer, and the future Soviet

grandmaster Grigori Levenfish 28. . . Bxc5! (this move settles
( 1 889- 1 96 1 ) also did well. the issue) 29. Qxc5 Qh3+ 30. Kgl
Here is a game from the main Rf5 31. Qc4 + Kh8 32. Qxf4
tournament : (neither is there any salvation in
32. Bxf4 because of 32. . . Qg4+
English Opening 3 3 . Kf l Rxf4 34. Qc3 Rbf8 , etc .)
A . ALEKHINE S. LEVITSKY 32 ... Rxf4 33. Bxf4 Rf8 34 . e3 Rf5
35. f3 Qxf3 36. Ra2 g5 37. Rf2
1. c4 eS 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 BcS Qe4 38. Rh2+ Kg7 39. Rg2 Rxf4
(usually now 3 . . . d5 , 3 . . . Bb4 or White resigns .
3 . . . c6 is played) 4. Bg2 Nc6 S. d3 A major Russian chess compet
(5 . e3 is better) 5 .. a6 6. a3 d6 ition was the All-Russia Tourna
7. Nf3 h6 8. NdS Be6 9. Qb3? (an ment between 1 8 masters held in
unhappy choice giving Black the St. Petersburg from 23 December
initiative) 9 0-0! 10. 0-0 (the 1 9 1 3 to 17 January 1 9 14.
Pawn on b7 cannot be taken: Alekhine and Nimzowich tied
10. Qxb7? Bxd5 1 1 . cxd5 N a5 , for first place.
and White loses his Queen) Here is a game that was an
10 . . . Rb8 1 1 . Nd2 NxdS 12. BxdS important one for the results of
Nd4 13. Qdl Bg4 14. Ret c6 the tournament.
15. Bg2 fS! 16. h3 Bh5 17. b4 Ba7
18. Nb3 f4 19. g4 Qh4! 20. c5 (if
20 . gxh5 , Nxb3 with a double
Caro-Kann Defence
blow at f2) 20. . . Nxb3 2 1 . Qxb3+ A. SMORODSK"\1. A . NIMZOWICH
Bf7 22. Qc3 hS! 23. d4 hxg4
24. hxg4 Bd5! (depriving White's 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4
King of a real defender) 25. dxe5 4. Nxe4 Nd7 S. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Ng3
Bxg2 26. Kxg2 Qxg4 + 27. Kfl e6 7. Bd3 Qc7 (tli.e start of a
dxcS 28. bxc5 dubious plan with castling the
Q-side. The simple 7 . . . Be7 gives
DIAGRAM 2 1 roughly an equal position. 8. Qe2
b6 9. Bd2 Bb7 10. 0-0 Bd6 ( 1 0 . . .
Be7 is better) 1 1 . Nf5 0-0-0? ( 1 1 . . .
0-0 should have been played)
12. Nxd6 + Qxd6 13. a4 c5 14. aS!
cxd4 15. axb6 axb6 16. Ba6
NbS ( 16. . . Nc5 is preferable)
17. Bxb7 + Kxb7 18. Ne5! Qe7
19. Ra4 Rd5 20. Rfal Nfd7
2 1 . Bb4 d3 (2 1 . . . Qxb4 22. Rxb4
Nxe5 would have been more
tenacious) 22. cxd3 Qf6


23. Qc2! Nc5 24. Ra7 + Kc8

25. d4 Black resigns .

separate performances by emi
nent foreign masters.
Great interest was aroused by
the lectures and simultaneous dis
plays given by world champion
Lasker (Moscow, 1 899) and the
performances by America' s
Grandmaster Henry Pillsbury
(Moscow, 1 902). He gave two
record displays of simultaneous
blindfold play and played a seri
ous game with Chigorin, who had
come specially from St. Peters
burg . The Russian chess Almanac
Chorny korol described the game.
"On Thursday, 5 December, a
The last pre-revolutionary com- . rare game was played in the
petition, which drew a strong Noblemen's Club: the strongest
entry , was the tournament held American player met the most
by the Moscow Chess Circle at powerful Russian chess player. It
the end of 1 9 1 5 and the beginning goes without saying that this
of 1 9 16. game aroused tremendous interest
Alekhine came first, with among the numerous spectators."
Nenarokov in second place.
Grigoriev and Zubarev stood out
among the young set . Subse Falkbeer Counter Gambit
quently both of them became M. CHIGORIN H. PILLSBURY
masters and eminent figures in
Soviet chess . 1. e4 e5 2. f4 d5 3. exd5 e4
Let u s conclude our survey of 4. Bb5+ (an old move ; now 4. d3
the past with a brief look at the is played here) 4 . . . c6 5. dxc6
international chess competitions bxc6 (Black's potential is excel
held in Russia before the revolu lent if he plays 5 . . . Nxc6) 6. Bc4
tion. Nf6 7. d4 Bd6 ("After the game
The first of these was the Pillsbury said that his plan to
match-tournament between four attack the Pawn on f4 had been a
grandmasters: world champion mistake: he believes that 7 . . .
Lasker and his chief rivals Nbd7 would be better s o as not
Steinitz, Pillsbury and C higorin to give White time to move his
(St. Petersburg 1 895- 1 896). Knight from g I to g3 and the
April and May of 1 896 saw the Bishop to e2," the Almanac com
match between Steinitz and Shif mented) 8. Ne2 Nbd7 9. Ng3! Nb6
fers in Rostov-on-Don, which we 10. Be2! Nbd5 1 1 . 0-0 Qc7
have already mentioned. 12. Nc3! ("I proposed to sacrifice
For many years after that there a Pawn . My opponent did not
were no representative interna take it because of the following
tional contests in Russia, only variation: 1 2 . . . Nxf4 1 3 . Ncxe4

Nxe4 1 4 . Nxe4 Nxe2+ 1 5 . Qxe2 defeat) 34. Qc3 Kd8 3S. QaS
Bxh2+ 16. Khl 0-0! 1 7 . g3 Bxg3 Black resigns.
1 8 . Qg2 Bd6 1 9. Bh6 and if 19 . . . Exclusively strong players were
f6, 20. Nxd6 , " wrote Chigorin.) attracted to the International
12. . . Nxc3 13. bxc3 0-0 14. c4 cS C higorin Memorial Tournament
IS. dS ReS 16. Be3 Kh8 17. Rb1 (St. Petersburg, 1 909) which we
Ng8 18. Qe1 fS 19. Qc3 Nf6 have already mentioned. Twenty
20. Qa3 Bd7 21. Rb3 Rab8 grandmasters and masters,
22. NbS NxhS 23. BxhS Rec8 headed by world champion
24. g3 Rb4 2S. Be2 aS 26. Bd2 a4 Lasker and Russian champion
27. Rb2 Rcb8 28. Rfb1 Rcb6 Rubinstein, vied for victory. The
29. Kg2 Rxb2 30. Rxb2 Qb8 representatives of Russia Berns
31. Bc3 Kg8 32. BhS! Kf8 tein, Znosko-Borovsky , Freiman ,
Duz-Khotimirsky and Salve
DIAGRAM 23 played on the whole well, while
C higorin' s successor Rubinstein
tied for first place with Lasker.
Duz-Khotimirsky, who beat both
of the winners, caused a sensa
tion . Here is the end of his game
with Lasker, who was Black.


"Pillsbury did not foresee

White's combination with the sac
rifice of the Bishop, but he
couldn't have saved the game by
playing 32 . . . g6. A general point:
White will withdraw his Bishop ,
exchange Rooks, then move his
Bishop to b2 or a l , depending on
Black' s moves, and will make use Black's situation is difficult.
of the open diagonal a l -h8," Lasker tries to tie his opponent
wrote Chigorin. up in complex tactics. This time
33. Bxg7 +! Ke7 (33 . . . Kxg7 the world champion didn't get
34. Qc3 + Kg8 35. Qf6 leads to away with it.

35. g3! Bxh4 (after 35 . . . Qh3 +
36. Kg1 Nh5 , the calm 37. Rd3
would repulse all threats)
36. gxh4 ReS 37. Rd3 Rcl 38.Qf3
Qf5 39. Rd4 g5 40. e6! Qe5
41 . Re4 Qd6 42. e7!
A curious ending. Black has at
his disposal a discovered check, a
mighty tactical weapon , but it, :, /

too, does not help him to change

the fatal course of events . The Zt: L, < - : \! /
world champion admitted his
In November 1 9 1 3 Capablanca
Q' Q Q
arrived in Russia. He gave very
successful performances in a
number of cities. In March 1 9 1 4
world champion Lasker visited with the threat of Qe7 ," wrote
Moscow . His encounters with Alekhine.
Bernstein ( + 1 - 1 ) and Alekhine This short but interesting game
were arranged by the Moscow appeared in chess theory manuals
Chess Circle. and became a distinctive standard
for the entire opening.
The international tournament of
Scotch Opening grandmasters held in St. Peters
A. ALEKHINE E. LASKER burg from 8 April to 9 May 1 9 1 4
marked the end o f chess activities
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 in pre-revolutionary Russia.
4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Nxc6 Lasker emerged victorious,
bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. exd5 cxdS 9. 0- Capablanca was second, and
0 0-0 10. Bg5 Be6 1 1 . Qf3 ("Evi Alekhine third. Rubinstein was
dently the best reply . 1 1 . Bxf6 not placed. It became clear that
Qxf6 1 2 . Qh5 g6 1 3 . Nxd5 is bad Alekhine and Capablanca were
because of 13 . . . Qd4 ! , and the world champion's main rivals.
1 2 . Nxd5 Bxd5 1 3 . Qh5 Rfd8!" Alekhine, brought up in Chigo
Alekhine.) 1 1 ..Be7 12. Rfe1 h6. rin's tradition, had developed in
Russian contests, and was de
DIAGRAM 25 servedly counted among the
world ' s strongest chess players.
13. Bxh6! gxh6 14. Rxe6 fxe6 "This outstanding success by the
15. Qg3 + Kh8 16.Qg6 A draw . young chess player testifies to his
"Black cannot avoid perpetual unusual talent, which should be
check if 16 . . . Qe8, 1 7 . Qxh6+ recognised when he achieves a
Kg8 18. Qg5 + Kh8 19. Q h6 + , real victory," stated Shakhmatny
etc. But White lacks the material vestnik.
to force an attack , if Black was Here is one of Alekhine's
to play no more than 16 . . . Bd6 splendid games .

Falkbeer Counter Gambit

1. f4 eS 2. e4 dS 3. exdS e4
4. d3 Nf6 5. dxe4 Nxe4 6. Nf3 BfS
(correct move is 6 . . . Bc5 7 . Qe2
Bf5, and if 8 . g4?, 8 . . . 0-0 with
formidable attacking power)
7. Be3 c6 S. Bc4 bS 9. Bb3 cS
10. d6! ("White causes simplifica
tions in his favour, taking into
account that he has an extra
Pawn. Black cannot take the
Pawn with his Queen because of
I I . Qxd6 followed by 1 2 . Bd5 ,"
Alekhine) 10 . . . c4 1 1 . QdS Nd7
12. QxfS Nxd6 13. QdS Be7 14. 0-
4 1 . Rxe6, and if 39 . . . R8d6
0 0-0 15. Nc3 Nf6 16. Qd2 cxb3
40. Qxh6 + ) 40. Qxf6 + KgS
1 7 . axb3 b4 1S. NdS Nf5
4 1 . Rxe6 R5d6 42. Qg6+ KhS (if
19. Nxe7+ Qxe7 20. Rfel RfdS
42 . . . Kf8, 43. Qf5 + Kg8 44. Re7)
2 1 . Bd4! Nxd4 22. Nxd4 QcS
43. Qxh6 + KgS 44. Qg6+ KhS
23. Rad1 RdS 24. b3 RadS 25. c3
45. QhS + ! KgS 46. Re7! etc.
h6 26. Qd3 Qd6 27. Qf3 NhS
The game actually proceeded
2S. Re4 Nf6 29. Re3 Nh5 30. Rfl
(after 37. Qh4): 37 . . . RxeS
Nf6 31. Rfe1 QcS 32. Kh2 ReS
3S. fxeS Rd1 39. Re3 Qg6
33. Rle2 KfS 34. ReS! ("Now
40. Qxb4+ Black resigns.
Black cannot play 34 . . . bxc3
Let us in conclusion examine
35. bxc3 Qxc3 because of
how Chigorin' s ideas were de
36. Rc2 !" Alekhine.) 34 . . . RedS
veloped by Russian chess
35. NfS Qb6 36. Qg3 NhS 37. Qh4
players, and how the foundations
of the Russian school were con
DIAGRAM 26 solidated.
We must first stress that Chigo
A very important point. Tar rin' s ideas on the cultural and
rasch claimed that 37 . . . Nf6 was social importance of chess were
sufficient for a draw. Alekhine imbibed by the progressive rep
disproved this by a precise resentatives of Russian chess.
analysis. But beforehand we must The main trend was the search
note that the collection of games for fresh ideas, the abandonment
from the St. Petersburg tourna of dogmatic and cliched play, and
ment was published in German, concrete analysis.
but was never published in There is a bond which stretches
Russia. between the ages, and it is pre
Here is Alekhine' s analysis: served by the creators of great
3S. Nxh6! gxh6 39. Re6! fxe6 art. Chigorin' s discussion with
(or 39 . . . R5d6 40. Qxf6 Rxe6 Tarrasch was continued by

4-607 49
Alekhine, who wrote back in
1 9 14: "I have always believed
that a single unsubstantiated, un
proven assertion, even when it
comes from an authority on the
given question, cannot convince
anyone . " He added: "There are
also contradictory views , re

peatedly expressed by Dr. Tar
rasch . . . I t is necessary to imagine
quite clearly in every case what
the given position demands and I .

to adapt oneself to this require

ment . " i,-:;. ''

The history o f chess thought in

Russia would be incomplete with

out a description of the attempts Petrov stipulated that from the
by Russian chess masters and position on the board White
promoters to produce special lit forces a reverse mate in 40
erature on creative play. moves. Later, however, shorter
The first such magazine pub solutions in 35, 32, 29 and finally
lished in Russian was the in 27 moves were found. This is
Shakhmatny listok ( 1 859- 1 863), the . Russian amateur Petrovsky ' s
the editor of which was solution o f the problem.
Mikhailov , an eminent figure in 1. Qf6 + Kg8 2. Rg7+ Kh8
the Russian chess movement. The 3. Qb2 Nc2 or 3 . . Nb3 4. Rg3+

magazine did a great deal to Nd4 5. Rh3+ Kg8 6. Qg2+ Kf8

promote chess , gathering around 7. Qg7 + Ke8 8. Qf7 + Kd8
itself the leading Russian masters 9. Qe7 + Kc8 10. Rc3+ Nc6
of those times, maintaining ties 1 1 . Qf7 Kd8 12. Qc7 + Ke8
with many chess adherents . One 13. Qc8+ Nd8 14. Rg7 Kf8
of the issues in 186 1 , for in 15. Rcg3 Ke8 16. Ke5 Kf8 17. Kf5
stance, consisted almost entirely Ke8 18. Kg5 Kf8 19. Kh6 Ke8
of letters from the provinces. 20. Nd2 Kf8 21 . Nf3 Ke8 22. Ng5
The magazine carried many in Kf8 23. Rh3 Ke8 24. Rh5 Kf8
teresting problems, games and 25. Qc5+ Ke8 26. Re7+ Kf8
analyses. Here, for instance, is a 27. Re6 + Kg8 28. Rg6+ Kh8
problem devised by Petrov in 29. Nf7 + Nxf7 + + .
1 859 and dedicated to the great The first Russian chess
American chess player Paul magazine closed down because
M urphy . there were not enough subscrib
ers. C higorin revived the
DIAGRAM 27 magazine in 1 876. He printed in it
games by Russian amateurs, as
You will easily spot that the well as a short Course of Opening
initial position of White' s pieces and Course of Endgames . The
forms the letter M on the board. magazine also worked to form an

organisation embracing all Rus war in Russia was at its height.
sia's chess players. The book was published on spe
Chigorin spared neither his cial instructions from the
strength nor his money for the People' s Commissariat of Educa
Shakhmatny listok, but in the tion. The seventh edition in 1 926
second half of 1 878 he was contained additions by Master
nevertheless compelled to cease Nenarokov .
publication for lack of money. The 203 pre-revolutionary
The magazine was again revived chess books included collections
in 1 879, but survived only until of games from several all-Russia
mid- 1 88 1 . tournaments, a collection of
A number of other chess games from the Chigorin Interna
magazines published in St. tional Memorial Tournament
Petersburg and Moscow shared a ( 1 909), and a number of works on
similar fate. All of them encoun the history of chess by Savenkov,
tered difficulties and did not last Sarghin, and Gonyaev, opening
long. In general , in the 58 years quides and chess almanacs. The
from the first issue of a chess difficulties involved in distribut
magazine to the revolution, ten ing chess books can be judged by
attempts were made to launch the fact that Ivan Savenkov's
chess magazines, and each time interesting The Evolution of
the shortage of funds proved an Chess ( 1 905) was published in an
insoluble problem. edition of 200 copies, while the
The total number of books and monumental The Ancient History
pamphlets (including the charters of Chess and Draughts ( 1 9 1 5)
of various chess clubs, and refer was published by the author him
ence material) published in Russia self, David Sarghin , in an edition
for almost a hundred years before of 300 copies.
the October Revolution amounted The collection of the games of
to merely 203 titles. the Third All-Russia Tournament
A paltry figure , especially was published in an edition of
when you recall that largest edi 900, while that of the Fourth
tion of any of these publications Tournament was even smaller-
was 2 ,000 copies. 500 copies . A small booklet enti
We should single out the tled Some Data on the A nalysis
Teach- Yourself Chess by Shif of the Chess Played by a Russian
ters, which ran to seven editions. Amateur was published in Sim
The last two of these were issued birsk in 1 875 in an edition of 500
in Soviet Russia. copies. It deals with the relative
The guide interestingly struc strength of the chessmen on the
tured and, dealing with problems basis of mathematical calcula
ranging from the simple to the tions. The author was the Sim
difficult, has brought up many a birsk chess player Ilyin (and there
generation of Russian chess is evidence that Lenin' s father,
players . Ilya Ulyanov was involved in it).
The sixth edition of this book Chess was a favourite pastime
appeared m 1 9 1 9 , when the civil in Lenin' s (Ulyanov) family. His

4 51
father was very fond of the could devote very littl e time to it.
game , as were Lenin' s brothers Here is a typical letter from him
and sisters. in Geneva to his brother Dmitri
In 1 889 Lenin worked in Sam Ulyanov . The letter was written
ara for the eminent lawyer Andrei in view of the fact that the latter
Khardin * as an assistant, fre had published his own problem to
quently visiting him at home, and be solved in two moves, in a
taking part in the tournaments magazine.
Khardin organised . Later Lenin "I have received your problem
played a correspondence match and got quite worked up about
with him. Unfortunately the re chess - I had forgotten literally
cord of this match has not sur everything. It must be a year
vived. This is what Lenin' s since I played and, in general,
brother Dmitri Ulyanov recalled : during the past few years I have
"That very winter Mark only played a few lightning or
Timofeyevich Yelizarov arranged very rapid games. I solved your
a postal match between Vladimir problem easily- R (Q8)- Q6.
Ilyich and the strong Samara But I saw a problem in Rech (a
chess player A. N. Khardin. The Russian newspaper- A uth.)
moves were sent by ordinary today that I could not solve
postcards . After a certain move at once and which I liked
Vladimir llyich, waiting for the very much . . . Beautiful bit of
reply, set the position up on the work!"
board several times and said: ' It The diagrams show Dmitri
will be interesting to see what he Ulyanov' s problem and the spec
does, how he is going to extricate tacular endgame study by the
himself from this position. I , at famous Russian chess problem
any rate, cannot find a satisfac setters- the Platov brothers .
tory reply . '
"Finally the long-awaited reply DIAGRAM 28
arrived. The chessmen were im
mediately distributed on the
board . I had become very In
terested in their game, and
thought Khardin ' s move ridicul
ous . At first Vladimir llyich was
puzzled, but then very quickly
got to the bottom of the situation
and said: ' Yes, indeed , a player
of tremendous power!' "
Lenin had a profound under
standing of chess, though he

* Andrei Khardin ( 1 842- 1 9 1 0), a Rus

sian liberal lawyer, one of Russia's
strongest chess players at the close of the
1 9th century.

Here is the paradoxical solution
(White begins and wins): 1. Bf6
d4 2. Ne2! a l Q 3. Nell Qa5.
Unexpectedly Black is unde
fended against two threats:
4. Bg5 + + and 4. Bxd4 + .
4 . Bxd4+ Kxd4 5. Nb3 + , and
White wins .
The next diagram shows Dmitri
Ulyanov 's problem (its solution is
mentioned in the letter).


Lenin loved chess , and had

read widely about the game.
After the revolution he some Chess Circle . Lenin's member
times played with Nikolai Krylen ship card is now kept in the
ko, first chairman of the AII Lenin Museum in Moscow . The
U nion Chess Section and Ulyanov family' s chess table and
People's Commissar of Justice. the chess clock which belonged
In 1 923 Lenin was elected Hon to Lenin are also on display
orary Chairman of the Moscow there.
Chapter V In the summer of 1920 the first
chess tournament was organised
by the chess enthusiast Alexander
CHE S S Ilyin-Zhenevsky. Cables were
sent to all the military areas
I N THE SOVIET throughout the country:
"A chess tournament will be
UNION held in Moscow on 1 October. I
order that the area be widely
notified of the tournament. Infor
mation about those wishing to
take part in the tournament is to
be sent to the Military Training
Headquarters in Moscow n ot
later than 15 September . Permis
The development of chess in
Russia after the victorious Great sion to take part will be sent by
October Socialist Revolution in cable.
1 9 1 7 can be divided into several
Deputy Chief, Military Training
stages . The first entailed reviving
chess. The young Soviet state Headquarters, Zaks "
was building a new life, while A remarkable tournament in
hunger and economic dislocation the years of hunger and devasta
were rampant in the country . But tion ! Despite the difficult condi
even in this most difficult period tions in this first championship,
the Soviet government showed many interesting games were
concern for the development of played, particularly that btween
culture, including chess. From Ilyin-Zhenevsky and Alekhme. A
the very first days steps were long fight eventually produed . a
taken to support chess players , most complicated Pawn endmg m
and lay the foundations fr a which the grandmaster playing
chess organisation later destmed Black was in a bad position.
to influence world chess. When the time came to continue
The stormy period of 1 9 1 4- 1 9 1 8 the game Alekhine handed his
had led to a reduction in the opponent a notebook whi h con
number of chess players , but tained variations of the adJourned
there were still many chess mas position.
ters whose enthusiasm, knowl "Here we have a draw !" he
edge and experience made it pos said and proceeded to prove that
sible to revive the former glory of he was right.
the Russian chess school. This endgame is now consi
Among the leaders of that dered a classic example of a good
period were Grandmaster Alexan Pawn ending.
der Alekhine, masters of the
older generation Grigori Leven DIAGRAM 30
fish, Pyotr Romanovsky, Fedr
Duz-Khotimirsky, Ilya Rabi In this position Alekhine
novich, and others. (Black) has the move. It is easy

White went on to play 39. c4,
but this was followed by 39 . . . b5
40. cxb5 cxb5. The opponents
agreed to a draw.
The 1 920 RSFSR championship
i was an important event, bolster
ing interest in chess. Even when
life was at its most difficult
enthusiasts managed to revive the
New social conditions called
for new organisational forms .
Soon after the tournament chess
circles were set up in workers'
clubs and factories . The number
of chess amateurs grew at an
unprecedented rate. The Supreme
to see that his situation is dif Council of Physical Culture took
ficult. If 38 . . . a5 , White places charge of centralising chess ac
his opponent in the zugzwang, tivities. For the first time in chess
i.e. , forces him to move his King, history the development of the
which leads to the loss of the game was entrusted to a state
Pawn on h4. If 38 . . . d5 39. exd4 organisation.
cxd4 40. b4 b6 4 1 . a4, and Black An All-Union Congress , which
cannot count on surviving. played a tremendous role in

The following line also leads to strengthening the organisation of

defeat: 38 . . . c5 39. a4 b5 the chess movement, was held in
40. axb5 axb5 4 1 . b3 or 38 . . . b5 Moscow in August 1 924. It pro
39. b4 c5 40. e5 ! cxb4 4 1 . ed. claimed chess to be a means of
Black can resign. Finally , nor can promoting culture and education
38 . . . b6 save Black in view of among the masses.
39. b3 a5 40. c4! b5 4 1 . cxb5 Nikolai Krylenko, People's
cxb5 42 . a3 . Commissar of Justice, Lenin's
That is what Ilyin-Zhenevsky friend , did much to develop a
thought, too, but Alekhine ad chess organisation throughout the
vanced his Pawn on the edge of country.
the board one square . In 1925 the first international
38... aS!! An excellent move ! tournament was held in Moscow ,
No matter how White plays now , and again for the first time, at
he cannot force Black's King state expense. The games of the
from g5-square , while White's champions, and the stirring
King stands on h3 . If 39. b4?, moments were constantly re
then Black wins, proceeding ported in the press, showing
39 . . . axb4 40. cxb4 b5. Neither the Soviet people' s interest in
does 39. a4 give White anything chess.
because of 39. . . b5 40. b3 bxa4 Of particular interest was the
4 1 . bxa4 d5 ! A draw . encounter between Capablanca,

then the world champion , and The 1 925 International Tourna
Ilyin-Zhenevsky. ment was the culmination of the
This was the position after period when chess was re
White' s 3 1 st move. established and consolidated , the
next problem was to train young
DIAGRAM 3 1 chess players. Chigorin' s and
Alekhine' s legacy served as the
foundation for educating young
talented chess players , who thus
gained the necessary knowledge
and experience. The young gener
ation was helped by the state ,
public organisations, and espe
cially the trade unions. Chess was
structured and organised, the
major role in this process being
played by sport committees and
trade union physical culture
Young Pioneer Palaces became
the main centres for trammg
chess enthusiasts and they pro
duced many a talented player.
The early 1920s were domi
Black seems to be in a bad nated by the older chess masters,
way: the Queen has to retreat, whereas by the end of the decade
and White will inevitably threaten the younger players were begin
mate with Rh3 . ning to put pressure on their
The Soviet master discovered older colleagues in high-level con
an unexpected way to both re tests.
pulse his opponent's threat and During one of the free days at
gain decisive superiority. He the 1925 International Tourna
played: 31... exf4! 32. Rxe3 fxe3 ment Capablanca gave a simul
Black's Queen is exchanged for taneous exhibition in Leningrad .
a Rook and a Knight, clearly One of the games against the
inadequate compensation, but world champion was won by the
Black' s pieces are so active that 1 4-year-old Leningrad schoolboy
White fails to save himself. Were Mikhail Botvinnik.
Capablanca to move 3 3 . Re t , After this important game, Bot
then playing 33 . . . Rb2 34. Rxe3 vinnik competed successfully in
R d l + 35 . Kh2 Rdd2, Black can many tournaments in Leningrad ,
launch a good attack , and and then took part in the next
threatens the Rook' s invasion of USSR championship, where he
the second rank. tied for fifth place with Vladimir
33. Qel Rb2 34 . Qxe3 Rd2 Makagonov and was awarded the
35. Bf3 c4 36. a3 Bd6 37. Qa7 c3 title of master. He was then only
White resigns. 16 years old .

In subsequent years the The Botvinnik vs. Flohr match
talented Leningrader was always took place in 1 933 in two rounds:
at the top. He was less successful six games were played in Mos
at the 1 929 national champion cow and the concluding ones in
ship, but the Seventh USSR Leningrad . At first Botvinnik's
Championship in Moscow in 1 93 1 lack of practice in international
brought Botvinnik his reward: contests was telling. In the first
competing against the older mas game he missed a tactical blow
ters and his own age group he and lost ; after four draws he lost
won the national title of the the sixth game. He left for Lenin
Soviet Union for the first time. grad , having lost two points to
In the 1 933 USSR champion Flohr.
ship Botvinnik again led the field The Leningrad half of the
and became national champion match, however, Botvinnik con
for the second time in a row. ducted superbly. The seventh and
There was no doubt that he eighth games were drawn, and for
would become the leading Soviet the ninth he prepared an original
chess player. His most experi move in Flohr' s favourite Caro
enced rivals had to make room Kann Defence. He gained a deci
for him, while the younger set sive advantage and made good
realised that Botvinnik was a far use of it. Without giving Flohr a
superior player. chance to collect himself, Botvin
At that time many interesting nik continued to attack in the
works on theory were published. next game . He managed to out
V sevolod Rauzer, Vassily Panov, play Flohr in the Dutch Defence
Vyacheslav Ragozin and others and win yet again. The score was
devised some new and interesting even.
systems of development, discov The last two games were
ering at times unexpected moves drawn, and the final match result
in seemin_gly well studied varia was a draw . Botvinnik had
tions. proved that the leading Soviet
The appearance of talented players could compete with the
young chess players, with Mikhail best grandmasters of the West on
Botvinnik in first place, raised equal terms .
the question of testing the This was also confirmed by
strength of Soviet masters against contests over the next few years.
the best grandmasters of the In 1 934 Grandmaster Max Euwe
West. and M aster Hans Kmoch arrived
At that time Alexander in the USSR, and Botvinnik won
Alekhine was world champion, first prize in the tournament in
with Lasker and Capablanca no which they played.
longer such formidable rivals . The young master Nikolai
Grandmaster Salo Flohr from Ryumin from Moscow showed
Czechoslovakia was doing well in his striking talent for combina
international tournaments, and tions. Unfortunately he did not
he was invited to the Soviet live long ( 1908- 1 942). In his en
Union. counter with Euwe, an example

of beautiful play, this was distant parts of the country began
the position after Black' s 23rd to attend tournaments . Chess also
move. spread widely in the national
republics. Its unprecedented scale
DIAGRAM 32 in the USSR aroused the admira
tion of the international grand
masters who visited the country.
They called the country , where in
1 936 more than 700,000 people
had taken part in trade union
tournaments , the Eldorado of
Although by that time there
were many strong players ,
Mikhail Botvinnik, Grandmaster
No. 1 , surpassed them all. His
outstanding successes in interna
tional tournaments in the 1 930s
advanced him into the ranks of
the contenders for the world title.
In 1 935 Alexander Alekhine unex
pectedly lost the title match to
Max Euwe of the Netherlands.
According to the terms signed
Ryumin brilliantly concludes before the start of the match ,
with an attack on Black's Alekhine had the right t o a return
King. match and Euwe, expecting here
24. g6!! Qf4 (a different con again he would easily outplay
tinuation would not lead to a Alekhine, who had lost his sport
successful defense. In the case of ing form, readily agreed to one .
24. . . hxg6 25. hxg6 Qxg6 Botvinnik thus had to wait to
26. Bxf3 , Black cannot repulse discover who would be world
the attack from White's Rooks champion after the return match
along the open g- and h-files. In in 1 937.
the case of 24 . . . Qf5, the issue is Alekhine won brilliantly with a
settled by 25. Bxf3 Bf4 26. Ne7 + score of + 1 0 -4= 1 1 .
Kh8 27 . Bxg7 + ) Meanwhile Botvinnik continued
25. Nxf4 Bxf4 26. e3 fxg2 to win game after game . A par
27. Rh4! BgS 28. gxh7 + Kxh7 ticular triumph was his result in
29. Qc2+ Kg8 30. Rg4. (Black's the 1 936 Nottingham Tourna
situation is hopeless, so Euwe ' s ment, in which he tied for first
following last moves are futile) place with Capablanca. General
30. . . Ne6 31. f4 Bf3 32. Rxg2. attention was attracted by Botvin
Black resigns . nik' s endgame against Tar
By the mid- 1 930s the Soviet takower, in which he settled the
chess movement had grown con issue of the game by a series of
siderably. Players from the most elegant sacrifices .

DIAGRAM 33 achievement was unquestionably
with Capablanca-his combina
tion still delights chess en
thusiasts after more than 40


Q l

22. Rxf6! Kxf6 23. QhS Ng6

24. NfS! This move immediately
places Black in a hopeless posi
tion. Were Black to capture the
Knight: 24 . . . Bxf5 then, by play
ing 25 . exf5, White will simply The picture gives no hint of
take the Knight on g6. Neither what is to come . Botvinnik, how
does 24 . . . Rh8 save the situation ever, by sacrificing two pieces,
because of 25. h4 Bxa2 26. R d l places Black's King in a hopeless
Rad8 27. Bg5 + hxg5 2 8 . Qxg5+ situation .
Ke6 29. Ng7 + + . The move made 30. Ba3!! Qxa3 (if the Queen
by Black merely delayed his retreats to e8 White wins:
defeat. 30 . . . Qe8 3 1 . Qc7 + Kg8 32. Be7
24. .. Rg8 25. Qxh6 Bxa2 Ng4 33. Qd7)
26. Rdl Rad8 27. QgS+ Ke6 31. NbS + ! gxhS (can do no
28. Rxd8 f6 29. Rxg8 Nf4 30. Qg7 better with Black 3 1 . . . Kh6
Black resigns 32. Nf6 Qc l + 3 3 . Kf2 Qd2+
In 1938 the AVRO-Tournament 34. Kg3 Qxc3 + 35. Kh4 Qxd4+
was held in Holland, attended by 36. Ng4 + ) 32. QgS + Kf8
the strongest grandmasters of the 33. Qxf6 + Kg8 (retreat by the
times headed by world champion King to e8 would obviously lead
Alekhine. to mate in two moves)
Paul Keres and Reuben Fine 34. e7 (it remains now for
tied for first place. Mikhail Bot White to get his King out of the
vinnik was third. reach of Black's Queen. Botvin
The Soviet champion won quite nik calculated well in advance all
a number of games, including one possible checks from Black's
against Alekhine. But his greatest Queen)

34 . . . Qcl + 35. Kf2 Qc2+ Soviet chess players revere
36. Kg3 Qd3+ 37. Kh4 Qe4+ Alekhine as one of the founders
38. Kxh5 Qe2+ 39. Kh4 Qe4+ of the national chess school, and
40. g4 Qel + 41. Kh5 Black study his versatile chess legacy.
resigns . Collections of Alekhine' s games,
Botvinnik's successes in the and works analysing his play are
tournaments in 1 933- 1 938 unques always being published. Alekhine
tionably gave him the right to Memorial Tournaments are held
challenge the world champion regularly , attracting grandmasters
Alekhine to a match. from all over the world.
Botvinnik started negotiations Work never ceases to try to
immediately after the A VRO find forgotten games by the first
Tournament. Alekhine had al Russian world champion.
ways recognised the Soviet Alekhine left this world unde
champion's right to such a match feated . After lengthy discussions
and readily accepted the chal FIDE decided to organise a
lenge. Detailed negotiations were match-tournament between the
already under way to decide the five leading grandmasters.
schedule of the match that was
This historic tournament took
impatiently awaited throughout
place in the spring of 1 948. The
the world , but the start of World
first two rounds were held in the
War II frustrated all the plans.
Hag1,1e, the last three in Moscow.
Soon after the rout of nazism a
Five grandmasters were chosen
fight for the chess throne started
to participate: Mikhail Botvinnik,
in Europe.
Paul Keres and Vassily Smyslov
Alekhine, abandoned and sick,
(USSR), Max Euwe (the Nether
lived in those years in the small
lands) and Samuel Reshevsky
resort of Estoril near Lisbon. He
(USA) .
was depressed, upset by the deci
sion of the organisers of the Botvinnik took the lead from
tournaments in London and Hast the very start . He finished the
ings in 1 945 , who had unjustly first half well ahead of the rest of
accused him of collaboration and the participants, and in Moscow
revoked the invitations already he set an even faster pace. Three
sent to him. days before the end of the con
At this time Botvinnik repeated test, in the 22nd round, the chief
his challenge for a match for the referee, Yugoslav Grandmaster
world title. Milan Vidmar, stopped the clock
Alas ! for the second time the and addressed the audience in the
Alekhine-Botvinnik match was Hall of Columns of the Trade
not fated to take place. On the Union House in Moscow.
night of 25 March 1 946, the weak "As a result of today' s game
heart of the world champion stop Grandmaster of the Soviet Union
ped beating. In the morning he Mikhail Botvinnik has won first
was found dead at his table, next place in the match-tournament
to which stood chessmen on the and the title of world chess
suitcase stand. champion . "

His words were met with an ( 1 5 . . . ReS 1 6 . Qxd4 Na4 1 7 . B a t
ovation by both the players and N c 5 would provide more resis
the audience . Botvinnik's friends tance . Now Botvinnik's pieces all
and colleagues embraced him. concentrate on his opponent's
The match-tournament left K-side)
chess enthusiasts many substan 16. Qxd4 Qc7 17. cS! dxcS
tial games , and those by Botvin 18. RxcS Qf4 (Black's affairs
nik were particularly interesting. would not improve with 1 8 . . . QdS
Here is one of the masterpieces 19. Qe3 , after which White' s
from the tournament, the Botvin threats cannot b e countered)
nik vs. Keres game. 19. Bel Qb8 20. Rg5 Nbd7 (or
20 . . . NeS 2 1 . Nh5 f6 22. Nxf6+
with defeat for Black. Here, too ,
DIAGRAM 35 Botvinnik settles the issue with a
beautiful Rook sacrifice)


There is considerable tension in

the centre , but the formidable
white Bishop on b2 allows Bot
vinnik to launch a powerful at
tack on his opponent's K-side. 21. Rxg7 + ! Kx? 22. Nh? +
14. e4! (White leaves the al-h8- Kg6 (Black's position remams
diagonal open, whereas the er hopeless wherever the King re
roneous move 1 4 . exd4 d5 would treats to)
have allowed Keres to block the 23. Qe3! B lack resigns . He can
position) no longer resist the threat of
14. .. Be6 15. Rcl Re7 mate.

Chapter VI knowledge of openings. This is
evident to everyone now, al
though thirty or forty years ago
MIKHAIL even strong chess players held
B OTVINNIK different points of view. In any
case, they devoted little attention
to the analysis of opening varia
tions. Mikhail Botvinnik , we dare
say, was the first to raise the role
of research and new moves in the
" A person who is interested
in the integrity of the game
must prepare for it beforehand",
For almost 50 years Mikhail wrote Botvinnik, and he himself
Botvinnik has been competing in always strictly observed this
major tournaments and matches, rule.
promoting chess, and helping to Discoveries can only be made
train gifted young people. His when you know everything disco
work is characterised by tremend vered before, as we all know, and
ous knowledge and the strict criti Botvinnik showed himself to have
cal approach to both his own play a wide knowledge of the chess
and that of others. opening. He did not learn by rote
From his early years Botvinnik the whole series of variations:
had developed special qualities Botvinnik was able to take every
which helped him to rise rapidly thing he saw in the games of his
to become the leading chess colleague s , and comprehend it
player in his own country and critically, analyse it and trans
throughout the world . form it with his imagination and
Botvinnik enhanced his natural resourcefulness.
talent for strategy and analysis by "A person who wants to be
daily study, in which his capacity come an outstanding chess player
for self-criticism played a major must perfect himself in the
role. The system he developed in sphere of chess analysis ," Botvin
preparing for tournaments is nik used to say.
based on a correct assessment of This has been his rule through
his own merits and faults, strict out his life.
self-control and steps taken in Botvinnik made many opening
time to eradicate the shortcom discoveries, prompted by tourna
ings in his play. This obviously ment games he played. At the
demands will power and the abili very start of the 1 940s several
ty to control one's passions and games were played in the Soviet
emotions. These qualities enabled Union with such variations of
Botvinnik to reach the chess the Nimzovich Defence: 1. d4
summits. Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5
Success in modern tournaments 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5
deperlds to a great extent en a 8. 0-0-0

DIAGRAM 37 0-0 19. Rdl bS! (Now Black's
Knight can move to the important
square d4) 20. QxbS Nd4 21.
Qd3 Nc2+ 22. Kbl Nb4 White
This attack by Black prepared
during analysis at home brought
Botvinnik success. The following
game from the international tour
nament in Moscow in 1 935 was
also won rapidly by Botvinnik.
Spielmann related that during his
trip from Warsaw to the Russian
frontier a foreign journalist told
him in strict confidence that he
had succeeded in discovering a
complete counter to Panov 's
Variation in the Caro-Kann De
fence, Botvinnik's favourite
In the Mikenas vs. Botvinnik weapon. The journalist talked so
game (USSR championship, 1 940) insistently that Spielmann was
Black continued thus: 8 . . . 0-0 almost hypnotised, and he wasn't
9. dxcS Bxc3 10. Qxc3 gS I I . Bg3 even surprised that he was lucky
Ne4 12. Qa3. enough to be told about this
Next year, in an important variation almost free of charge,
game at the match-tournament for merely for the price of a bottle of
the title of absolute champion of wine. Who could describe Spiel
the USSR Keres, playing White mann's joy when he was paired
against Botvinnik, decided on the with Botvinnik in the very first
attack used by Mikenas . This, round ! In his mind' s eye he
however, led White to immediate already saw himself with a hefty
disaster. point in the score table and
In reply to 8. 0-0-0 this time played fast, without thinking.
Botvinnik played 8. . . Bxc3! When, however, he looked care
9. Qxc3 gS 10. Bg3 cxd4! fully into his position, he noticed
II. Qxd4 Nc6 (and Black can to his surprise that he had lost his
safely attack, which Botvinnik Queen.
confidently does to bring him to Here are Botvinnik's thoughts:
victory) "I already knew about the move
12. Qa4 BfS 13. e3 ReS 14. Bd3 6 . . . Qb6, and I was able to
(hoping to hide the King on b I thoroughly analyse the position.
Botvinnik allows his opponent to The move is unsatisfactory chief
do this, but prepares a new blow) ly because Black, instead of
14 . . . Qd7 15. Kbl Bxd3 + developing the pieces, tries
16. Rxd3 QfS! (White must sac to attack with the Queen
rifice a Pawn to free himself from alone . "
the pin) 17. e4 Nxe4 18. Kat This is the game :

Caro-Kann Defence 9 . . . Qxa2 10. Bc4 Bg4 l l . Nf3
Bxf3 12. gxf3 Black resigns.
M. BOTVINNIK R. SPIELMANN "I spent only 20 minutes think
Moscow, 1935 ing over the entire game , and that
merely in order to check my
1 . c4 c6 2. e4 dS 3. exdS cxdS home analysis," wrote Botvinnik
4. d4 Nf6 (this is one of the most about this game.
popular variations of the old de Here is another example of
fence, named after the Moscow an opening variation thoroughly
master Panov) 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. BgS analysed and prepared by Botvin
Qb6 (that is Spielmann's innova nik. Alekhine, too, was a con
tion. The correct continuation is noisseur of opening variations.
6 . . . dxc4 or 6 . . . e6) 7. cxdS Qxb2 For his first encounter with Bot
8. Rei (This simple reply coun vinnik he had prepared an ex
ters his opponent's idea. Neither tremely sharp variation where
Spielmann nor his "consultant" White attacks his opponent' s de
had noticed this Rook move) fence lines from the very start.
8. Nb4 (Other alternatives are
also poor 8 . . . NbS 9. Na4 Qb4+
1 0. Bd2 or 8 . . . Nd8 9. Bxf6 exf6 Sicilian Defence
10. Bb5+ Bd7 1 1 . Rc2 Qb4 A. ALEKHINE M . BOTVINNIK
1 2 . Qe2 + ! Be7 1 3 . Bxd7 + , and
Nottingham, 1936
Black's King cannot hold out
long in the centre of the board) l. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4
9. Na4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7
7. Be3 Nc6 8. Nb3 Be6 9. f4 0-0
DIAGRAM 38 10. g4
This very same move was
made in the Levenfish vs. Bot
vinnik game at the Third Moscow
International Tournament ( 1 936).
It goes without saying that
Alekhine knew this game and had
armed himself with the system
containing the move 1 0 . g4. Bot
vinnik was prepared for such a
10. . . dS! (Botvinnik had made
the same move against Levenfish,
who continued 1 1 . e5 d4 ! N xd4
Nxd4 1 3 . Bxd4 Nxg4 with even
Alekhine chose a new road of
attack, but here again he did not
catch Botvinnik unawares. l l . f5
Black's Queen is trapped. It Bc8 12. exdS Nb4 13. d6 (This
has to be ceded. move is one of Alekhine' s dis-

coveries . If 1 3 . fxg6 hxg6, then How many times before Bot
comes 1 4. Bf3 . 14 . . . Nxg4 or vinnik had this variation of the
14 . . . Bxg4) Queen' s Gambit been played:
13. . . Qxd6 14. Bc5 1 . d4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. Nf3 Be7
4 . Nc3 Nf6 5. Bg5 0-0 6. e3 a6
7. cxd5 exd5 8 . Bd3 c6 9. Qc2


Alekhine evidently thought that

this move gave him an advantage,
but Botvinnik is not unprepared.
14. . . Qf4! (by sacrificing two
pieces, Botvinnik forces a draw In the Botvinnik vs. Alatortsev
by perpetual check) game played in Leningrad with
15. Rfl Qxh2 16. Bxb4 Nxg4 (a the participation of Euwe and
draw is now inevitable) 17. Bxg4 Kmoch, Botvinnik puzzled his
Qg3+ 18. Rf2 (the unwary 1 8 . . . opponent by the following unex
Kd2 would lead at once to the pected move.
loss of the game after 10. g4! (A move based on a
1 8 . . . B h6 + ) 18 . . . Qg1 + 19. Rfl subtle comprehension of the situa
Qg3+ 20. Rf2 Qg1 + A draw . tion. White is obliged to attack as
Botvinnik' s sudden and some fast as possible on the K-side,
times seemingly paradoxical even before making the necessary
opening inventions stunned his move of castling the Q-side)
opponents. When players later 10 . . . Nxg4 (Black threatened by
checked the variations linked 1 1 . B xf6 Nxf6 1 2. g5 , while
with these inventions they were 10 . . . h6, weakens the position on
convinced that Botvinnik's moves Black's K-side too much)
were based on a deep understand 1 1 . Bxh7 + 'Kh8 12. Bf4 Nf6
ing of the position on the board, 13. Bd3 Nh5 14. h3 Nf6 15. Be5
a precise calculation of the posi Black is in a very difficult posi
tional factors. tion, and Botvinnik compels his

5-607 65
opponent to capitulate within sev he discovered an original method
eral moves. of countering all of Black's de
15 .. Ng8 16. 0-0-0 Nh6 17. Rg1 signs which he had not noticed
Be6 18. Qe2 Bf5 19. Bxf5 Nxf5 during play .
20. Nh4 Black resigns. 13. f4! Qe7 14. Kf2 (White ' s
Botvinnik ' s tournament games King o n f 2 makes Black naturally
include many started with well want' to move his Knight to c5)
known variations embellished 14. . . Nf8 15. c5! (Botvinnik
with unexpected moves . Let us clears the way for the Bishop on
close our account of Botvinnik ' s f l , thus launching an attack on
opening repertoire with another Black's King, which soon breaks
of his inventions . up Blac k ' s entire position)
15 . . . dxc5 16. Bb5+ Nd7 (bad,
English Opening too, are 16 . . . c6 1 7 . Nxc6 or
16 . . . Kd8 1 7 . Rad 1 cxd4
M. BOTVINNIK G. LEVENFISH 1 8. Rxd4, when White's attack
1 2th USSR Championship, Moscow can't be stopped. The continua
1940 tion 1 6 . . . Bd7 1 7 . Nf5 Qf6
1 8 . Qe4 + Ne6 19. Bxd7 + Kxd7
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 20. Rhd 1 + also loses)
4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Bg5 h6 17. Nf5 Qf6 18. Rad1 g6 (Or
7. Bh4 Bxc3 + 8. bxc3 Ne5 9. e3 1 8 . . . a6 1 9. Qe4+ Kd8 20. Bxd7,
Ng6 10. Bg3 Ne4 1 1 . Qc2 Nxg3 and White wins)
12. hxg3 d6 19. Nxh6 Rf8 20. g4
Black's position is hopeless,
DIAGRAM 4 1 and Botvinnik precisely realises
his advantage with several
energetic conclusive moves .
20 . . . a6 2 1 . g5 Qe6 22. Be2 Nb6
23. Ng4 Ke7 24. Nf6 Qc6 25. Rh7
Bf5 26. e4 Be6 27. f5 Black
We have dwelt only on Botvin
nik' s fast moving original designs,
but there are many quieter varia
tions and complete development
systems among his inventions.
We shall now tum to some of
these. Botvinnik's game with
Denker from the USSR-USA
radio match in 1 945 , also printed
in this book, is typical of the
Botvinnik Variation.
Botvinnik was always dis
In one of h i s earlier games tinguished by his mastery of the
Botvinnik had played 1 3 . Rd l . middle game. His strategic ideas
On analysing this game at home, are deep , and his tactical blows

unexpected. One of the most moves. After 1 8 . cxe4 Nxe4
interesting examples of the tacti 1 9 . Nxe4 Bxd5 Black is in a very
cal solution of a chess game is strong attacking position. The re
the Rauzer-Botvinnik encounter treat of the Bishop to f3 would
in the 1 933 USSR championship. amount to abandoning the posi
tion . )
.. exf3 1 9 . c 5 Qa5 20. Red1?
(this move leads to the immediate
collapse of White ' s position.
20. Qd3 defends more reliably)
20. . . Ng4! 21. Bd4 f2+ 22. Kfl
(the sequel 22. Kh 1 Rxd5
23 . Nxd5 f l Q + loses the Queen.
But the King's retreat to f 1 al
lows Botvinnik to move his
Queen to the K-side and launch a
decisive attack)
22.. Qa6+ 23. Qe2 Bxd4 24.
Rxd4 Qf6 25. Rcd1 (if 25 . Qd3
Re8, Black wins . )
2 5. . . Qh4 26. Qd3 Rfe8 27. Re4
f5 28. Re6 Nxh2+ 29. Ke2 Qxf4
White resigns.
Mikhail Botvinnik contributed
The action was concentrated in greatly to the theory of the
the centre of the board . White's strategic bases of the middle
position seems at first sight to be game . Chess theoreticians and
more active . But Botvinnik, play tournament grandmasters before
ing Black, counters energetically, Botvinnik concentrated on study
capturing the initiative. ing opening variations. Only some
16. . . d5 (this advance of the of them made half-hearted at
Pawn is part of some very compli tempts to understand thoroughly
cated variations already worked the most complicated stage of
out precisely by Botvinnik. White play-the middle game . Botvin
has no choice in his reply) nik, in his study of the most
17. exd5 e4! (Another unex diverse aspects of chess theory,
pected blow involving sacrifices) turned his attention to the middle
The possible continuations stage.
from that position were analysed He was the first to systematise
by chess players throughout the several typical middle game posi
world. To this day Botvinnik's tions. Every chess player knows
manoeuvre is considered a per that in modern chess certain
fect example of transition to a situations resemble each other in
counter-attack using a sudden their strategic patterns , by their
combinational blow. structural forms. Botvinnik set
18. bxc4 (White would not have himself the task to systematise
benefited more from other typical situations, to find in

s 67
them the most effective methods
of play based on an exact calcu
lation of the positional factors .
This is of great assistance in an
actual game. If you have studied
the position, if your home
analysis has adequately assessed
the potential of both yourself and
your opponent, then all you have
to do in the tournament hall is
to shape these plans, to make
them more exact and adapt them
to the actual position on the
Back in his youth Botvinnik
played a game in which he built
up an interesting central wedge
position . Formidable central for later game, which we will nm
mations enabled him to restrict analyse.
the opposing pieces, to unhurried This is the Lisitsyn vs. Botvir
ly rearrange his own pieces and nik game played a year later i
deliver a telling blow at the op the 1 932 Leningrad Champior
ponent in his most vulnerable ship.
spot. He subsequently used this
method in some important games . DIAGRAM 44
It was obviously backed up b y
research, helping h i m solve the
most difficult problems over the
board .
This is the strategic method: it
is best illustrated by a concrete


The diagram shows the Kirillov

vs. Botvinnik game in the
Seventh USSR Championship in
1 93 1 , in which English Opening
was used. Botvinnik skilfully ar
ranged his Pawns and placed his
Knight on d4, at the head of a
wedge. Black's positional advan Take a good look at the di5
tage was so great that he won. tribution of Black's pieces an'
The method of actually making Pawns. In military strategy
use of superiority in such posi structure like this can be arrange'
tions was best demonstrated in a both for defence and for breakin.

through a section of the front, would have been no weak Pawn
and it is called a wedge. All of left on e2)
Botvinnik' s pieces are gathered in 30. Bg2 Bd5 31. Nf3 Rf7 (White
a wedge with the spearhead on declines to exchange his Bishop
d4. Black's impenetrable cohe on g2, and so Botvinnik enlists
sion deprives White of any pos the Bishop standing on the side at
sibility of delivering a telling blow f8)
at a weak point. Black is invul 32. Kh2 Bd6 33. Bh3 Qd8
nerable , but he has no intention 34. Rabl Rfe7 35. Ngl Bc7
of limiting himself to defence. H e 36. Na3 Bb7!
rearranges h i s pieces in the See how well Black' s pieces
necessary way , breaks through are mobilised . It only remains to
White' s lines and expands make the move 37. . . Qd5 , and
his attack to reach White's White will be in a very bad way.
King. So Lisitsyn himself makes haste
Botvinnik, in his study of simi to exchange Bishops.
lar positions had discovered some 37. Bg2 Bxg2 38. Kxg2 Nd5 39.
important strategic ideas, accom Nc2 Qd6!
panying them with strong tactical
blows. DIAGRAM 45
21. Qdl Bg4 (Strategically a
correct move. As 22. f3 is ex
tremely bad, White is compelled '(
to exchange on d4, after which
the e-file opens up along which
Black can conveniently attack the
l i
Pawn on e2)
22. Bxd4 exd4 23. Qd2 Bf8
24. Rel ReS
The next link in Black's plan is
to concentrate his major pieces
on the open file. White will have
no easy task to defend the Pawn
on e2.
25. h4 Bh3 26. Bf3 Re7 27. Nh2
Rce8 28. Khl Be6 (reorientation:
the Bishop moves towards d5,
when it will be exchanged for the
Bishop on f3 , which will com A triumph for Black's strate
pletely weaken the Pawn on e2, gy: there is no defence against
and in addition will reveal the the check from Black's Knight on
weakness of the White squares e3.
around White ' s King) 40. Na3 Ne3+ 41 . Khl Ng4 42.
29. b3 Nb4 (Botvinnik plays Qf4
precisely and systematically. It This is a losing move for
would have been bad to move White. Neither does 42. Kg2 save
29 . . . Nc3 30. e4 ! when there the situation because of

42 . . . Nxf2 ! 43 . Kxf2 Qxg3 + 20. h3 (d5 is safe for White.
44. Kfl Re3 45 . Nf3 Qh3 + Were Black to play 20 . . . Bb7
46. Kg l Bh2 + 42 . Rfl Qd5 + is now, then after an exchange of
completely hopeless. Bishops , one of White' s Rooks
42. . . Qxf4 43. gxf4 Nxf2+ 44. would take this point, supported
Kg2 NxdJ White resigns. from e4 by the Queen. So Kann
Botvinnik made a deep study makes haste to exchange his c4
and analysis of middle game posi Pawn, thereby weakening the sig
tions, where as a result of suc nificance of d5)
cessful opening operations he 20. Ba6! 21 . BdS bS 22. cxbS
would take complete possession RxbS (This facilitates White ' s
of some central point. The task. 2 2 . . . Bxb5 would have been
strength of the piece on that point more reliable, with 23 . c4 Bc6!
allowed him to expand his aggres Now White has an overwhelming
sive plans over the whole board. ly superior position)
This plan was carried out most 23. c4 Rb6 24. Rbl Rd8 (The
expressively and neatly in the following line was bad: 24 . . . Rfb8
Botvinnik-Kann game at the 1 1 th 25. Rxb6 Qxb6 26. f6! with the
USSR championship in 1 939. fatal threat of 27 . Qg6. If Black
replies 25 . . . Rxb6, there follows
DIAGRAM 46 26. Qa4 ! and White's threats be
come very serious)
25. . Rxb6 axb6 26. e4 (The
Bishop on d5 is now invulnerable,
and White breaks into the enemy
camp through the a-file)
26. .. Bc8 27. Qa4 Bd7 28. Qa7
Be8 29. Rfbl Rd6 30. a4 (The
Queen has broken through the
a-file, and the Rook will penet
rate the enemy camp along the
30. . . Kh7 31. aS bxaS 32. QxaS
Rda6 33. QxcS Ra2 34. Qe3
(Black is minus a Pawn, but
worse is still to come)
34 . . Qa6 35. Rb8 Qa4 36. Kh2!

(This underlines Black's hopeless

Black's situation doesn't seem position. In the case of 36 . . . Qc2
dubious , although there is a there follows 37. Qg3 Rat
weakness at d5. This weakness 38. Rxe8 Qdl 39. Qg6 + fxg6
alone, however, is sufficient for 40. Bg8 + Kh8 4 1 . Bf7+ Kh7
White to develop a crushing at 42. Bxg6 + + )
tack. Botvinnik takes possession 36. . . Ra3 3 7 . QcS Ra2 38. Ra8
of the outpost on d5 and, with its Qxa8 39. Bxa8 Rxa8 40. QxeS Bc6
strength , develops his men ac 41. Qc7 Resigns.
tively .

Botvinnik analysed also posi these squares , after which he
tions with a fixed centre when occupies them with his pieces.
White' s and Black' s Pawns but Black intensifies his pressure
ted into each other. For instance, against the central positions so
a White Pawn on d4 and a Black expressively that the logic and
Pawn on d5, while next to them conviction of his game cannot but
are open files, in our case "c" arouse the admiration of a true
and "e" . Both opponents have to chess lover.
realise concrete strategic plans, 15 . . . Bf5! (The aim is simple: to
taking into account such a posi exchange the white-squared
tion. Mikhail Botvinnik was Bishops, after which c4 and e4
famed for his skilful play in such would be entirely defenceless)
situations which matched the pre 16. Qc2 Be4 17. b5 (This opens
cision of a computer. the way for Black's Knight
Botvinnik often used such cen to reach c4 via a5 . The
tral designs. Let us take two move 1 7 . Rad I would be more
examples to demonstrate Botvin prudent)
nik's characteristic play in similar 17 . . . Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Na5 19.
positions, unquestionably de Ng3 Nc4 20. Bel Rac8 The first
veloped during home analysis. part of the plan has been
In the Stolberg-Botvinnik game achieved: Black' s Knight is reli
at the 1 2th USSR championship ably strengthened on c4. Now
( 1940) this was the position after Botvinnik carries out the "occu
White ' s 1 5th move: pation" of e4 with the same
DIAGRAM 47 21 . Ra2 Bf8 22. a4 Bb4 The
piece defending e4 has to be
taken or forced out of action .
23. Nd1 N e4 24 . f5 Nxg3
25. Qxg3 Bd6 26. Qf3 Be7
27. Qg3 Bf6 28. Bxh6 Bxd4+
29. Kh1 f6!
Botvinnik takes advantage of
any opportunity to strengthen his
positions. In the course of the
next few moves all of his pieces
establish themselves firmly in the
centre and finally make the oppo
nent's forces retreat.
30. Bel Re4! 31. Qd3 Ne5 32.
Qb1 Rc4!


White' s central squares c4 and

e4 are weak. With strict consis An interesting position ! Black' s
tency Botvinnik further weakens pieces, concentrated i n the central

4. e3 b6 5. Ne2 Ra6 6. a3 Be7
7. Nf4 d5 8. cxd5 Bxfl 9. Kxf1



. .

squares , are a formidable force "."ft
capable both of defending them / .
selves and attacking. No wonder
that the next moves mean defeat
for White. This is how Black
realises his advantage:
33. aS Bc5 34. b6 a6 35.Nb2 The centre is fixed . Botvinnik
Rc3 36. Bd2 Rb3 37. Qc2 Qb5 knows the strength of his Knights
38. Rcl Rf8 39. Rd1 Re2 40. Qc1 on c3 and f4, which are attacking
Rxh3+ ! 41. gxh3 d4 White the opposing Pawn on d5, and
resigns . carries out an unusual attack on
In this game Black brought the flank. He had unquestionably
home his advantage by basing his developed this new method of
plan on the dynamic strength of play in a well-known variation
his centralised pieces on the most during his preparations for the
important squares attacked by match .
the d5 Pawn, and with a fixed 10. g4! c6 1 1 . g5 Nfd7 12. h4
centre . Bd6 13. e4!
In some games Botvinnik, By moving into the open space
when necessary, carried out a Botvinnik sharply changes the
peculiar transformation, instan structure in the centre . The posi
taneously making his fixed centre tion is now open and the active
into an open one. White pieces immediately launch
In the second game of the an attack .
Botvinnik vs. Smyslov match for 13. . . dxe4 14. Nxe4 Bxf4
the world title in 1 954 the follow 15. Bxf4 0-0 16. h5!
ing moves in the Nimzovich De By several energetic moves ,
fence were made: which most probably had been
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 already anticipated by Botvinnik

before the game, White achieved distributing his strength , and pre
a winning situation. As always , serving sufficient energy for the
Botvinnik realises his advantage decisive rounds.
precisely and consistently. Botvinnik paid tremendous
16 . . . ReS 17. Nd6 Re6 18. d5 attention to his physical fitness
Rxd6 19. Bxd6 Qxg5 20. Qf3! by skiing in winter, swimming,
White wins the Exchange and rowing, and hiking in sum
launches an attack. Smyslov's mer.
attempt to save himself in the But, of course, the most impor
endgame also fails . tant aspect of Botvinnik' s prep
20. . . Qxd5 21. Qxd5 cxd5 arations for tournaments was a
22. Rei! Na6 23. b4 h6 24. Rh3 special emphasis on psychology.
Kh7 25. Rd3 Nf6 26. b5 Nc5 He further developed the princi
27. Bxc5 bxc5 28. Rxc5 Rb8 pal guidelines , given in their
29. a4 Rb7 30 . Rdc3 Resigns . times by Lasker and Alekhine,
The examples here show to both experts on the chess
what extent Botvinnik's systemat player' s psychology.
isation and studies of typical po Alekhine wrote about a chess
sitions occurring in the middle player's behaviour in important
game were important for winning tournaments: "I believe that the
decisive encounters. That is why following three factors are neces
his followers-chess players both sary for success : firstly , an
in the USSR and around the awareness of one's strength and
world-continue further studies weaknesses; secondly, an exact
of typical situations in the middle understanding of the opponent's
game . strength and limitations; and
Chess players at the turn of thirdly , an aim which is higher
this century did not attach special than just a minute's satisfaction.
importance to their preparations This aim I see in scientific and
for tournaments. Alekhine was artistic achievements, which
the first to start practicing such places chess among the other
preparation. But it was Mikhail arts ."
Botvinnik who laid special em Botvinnik more than once
phasis on preparations for re proved that his aim in playing
sponsible contests . It was he who chess was to achieve the scien
taught his followers to daily carry tific and artistic results of which
out analytical, physical and Alekhine spoke. He thus con
psychological training. siders chess a difficult and ver
We have already mentioned satile art. We have already dealt
analytical preparations, and we with his ability to discern the
shall deal with it more in the strong and weak points of his
coming pages . As far as physical rivals. Botvinnik ' s games include
training is concerned it can be many in which he was able to
said that Botvinnik himself is an force on his opponent a most
example of a chess player capa unpleasant distribution of pieces.
ble of playing in a most gruesome Mikhail Botvinnik is an objec
chess competition by correctly tive judge of his own strengths

and weaknesses. He admitted , for King's Indian Defence
instance , in annotations to his
games: "This shows my perma M . BOTVINNIK M. TAL
nent weakness , my lack of com Return Match, Moscow , l % 1
binational vision . " Such honesty
is rare . 1 . d4 Nf6 2 . c4 g6 3 . Nc3 Bg7
Botvinnik often demonstrated 4. e4 d6 5. f3 Nbd7 6. Be3 e5
his ability to play decisive tourna 7. Nge2 0-0 8. d5 NbS
ment and match games. That is, A typical strategy in this inter
games which demand the maxi esting variation of the King's
mum energy, will power, self Indian Defence. Black plays f5 ,
possession and staying power. while White, shifting the King
Twice Botvinnik won the world away to the Q-side, is preparing
championship in the last, the 24th to start an offensive on the
game- against Bronstein in 1 95 1 , K-side, taking advantage of the
and Smyslov in 1 954. weakness afforded by the move
In both of them his play was f5 . This, however, does not mean
perfect. that the advance of the Pawn to
Another quality also distin f5 is a mistake, for were Black ' s
guished Botvinnik in the course Pawn be held u p o n f7 , his
of his chess career: he could opportunity for defence would be
draw conclusions from his de even less. Such contradictions are
feats and take drastic measures to the hallmark of complex modern
eradicate shortcomings in his chess.
play. Examples are provided by 9. Qd2 f5 10. 0-0-0 a6 II. Kb1
his two return matches : against Ndf6
Smyslov in 1 958 and against Tal This move by Black is not good
in 196 1 . Neither of his opponents since it allows Botvinnik to open
expected Botvinnik to be able to up the h-file, which is favourable
recover his sporting form and to for him . It would be more pru
repeat the match with all the dent to retreat the Knight from
power of a champion. h5 to f6, which leaves Tal more
In the world championship opportunity for defence. .
match in 1 960 Mikhail Tal more 12. exf5 gxf5
than once won by bold, and at
times overly reckless, attacks on DIAGRAM 50
the enemy positions. Botvinnik
made inaccurate moves, especial 13. Ng3
ly in complicated parts of the Simple and convincing. By
middle game. In the repeat match launching an attack on the Pawn
a year later, Tal naturally tried on f5 , White forces his opponent
once again to use the same at to exchange on g3. Black cannot
tacking method. This time a sur now play 1 3 . f4 with advantage
prise awaited him. Botvinnik, as because of 1 4 . Nxh5 fxe3
in the next game, for instance, 1 5 . Nxf6 + Qxf6 16. Qc2 ! with
confidently and precisely beat White in an excellent position.
back his opponent' s attacks. 13. .. Qe8 14. Bd3! Nxg3

24. fxg4! (Now the Bishop on
c2, the Knight on c3 and the
Rook on f I are included in the
attack on the Black King, and
Black is soon lost although the
Queens have already disappeared
from the board)
24 . . . Bg4 25. Rg6 + Kf7 26. Rfl
Ke7 27. Rg7+ (a decisive check .
Had Black replied with 27 . . . Rf7,
then the winning line would have
been: 28. Rxf7 + Kxf7 29. Ne4. It
would, however, have been better
for the King to retreat to d8,
although in this case, too ,
28. Ne4 would have led to a swift
Neither does 1 4 . . . Qg6 improve victory)
Black's position, as White plays 27 . . . Ke8 28. Ne4 Nd7 (but not
1 5 . Nxh5 Qxh5 1 6 . h3 with the 28. Nxe4? 29. Ba4 + )
inevitable g4. Sometimes a Pawn 29. Nxd6 + Kd8 30 . Rxf8 +
is sacrificed in such situations: Nxf8 31. Nxc4 Bd7 32. Rf7 Kc7
1 4 . . . e4 !? 15. Nxh5 Nxh5
1 6 . fxe4 f4, and evidently this DIAGRAM 5 1
would have been Tal ' s best
method of play.
15. hxg3 c5 16. Rh6 (immediate
ly starting operations along the
open file. With the exchange of
the Bishop on g7 Black's chances
for a successful defence are even
. Qg6 1 7 . g4 b5 18. Bxg7
Kxg7 19. Rh4 bxc4 20. Bc2 h6!
Tal defends himself in the best
way . This modest Pawn move
allows Black to exchange Queens
and thereby somewhat weaken
his opponent's offensive on the
21. Rdh1 Qg5 22. Qxg5+ hxg5
23. Rh6 fxg4
This exchange, however, J s 33. d6+ Resigns.
clearly unfortunate. After the In recent years Botvinnik has
powerful move 23 . . . e4 24. fxe4 not competed . Professor in the
N xg4 25. Rxd6 fxe4 White would sphere of electronics and
have found it much harder to cybernetics , holding a doctorate
bring home his advantage. in technical sciences, Mikhail

Botvinnik heads a laboratory de Botvinnik' s correspondence
signing an "electronic grandmas school, recently established,
ter" , a machine capable of play where he instructs young chess
ing chess. players, comments on their games
The second half of the 1 970s and gives consultations on
saw the publication of a number analysis , has deservedly won
of scientific works and books on recognition. Many young chess
chess by the former world enthusiasts studied under Botvin
champion. Botvinnik' s book of nik to become masters and gran
recollections called The Achieve dmasters. For example, grandma
ment of a Goal published in a ster Garry Kasparov , the 1 980
large edition aroused particular world junior chess champion, to
interest. name but one .
Chapter VII Botvinnik thought the match
for the world title should be held
once in three years in accordance
GENS UNA with the FIDE rules. The main
principles of these rules are : the
SUMUS ! world is divided into zones , the
victors in the zonal tournaments
meet each other in interzonal
tournaments . The winners of
these meet in short tournament
matches . The victor receives the
right to play the world champion
At the beginning of the 20th for his title.
century chess became very popu This clear-cut system was ap
lar in many countries. Interna proved by the FIDE Congress.
tional tournaments, matches, and
Since then, every third year for
team competitions were held in
more than 25 years the world
ever growing numbers. This made
champion defends his title in a
it necessary to establish an inter
match with the strongest grand
national organisation to unite
master among the contenders.
chess players and promote chess
The Soviet Chess Federation,
in all parts of the world.
whose representative in that
A constituent congress of the
period was world champion, did
International Chess Federation
all in its power to protect this just
(FIDE) took place in Pari s in
principle of competition from any
1 924. Its main principle was the
equality of all its members : the
FIDE flag bears the dictum: Of all the contests in the FIDE
GENS UNA SUMUS (WE ARE programme, the personal and
ALL ONE FAMILY) . team championships are , of
In its first 25 years the Interna course, the main events for all
tional Chess Federation not only chess players. The history of the
would not unite chess players, selective trials of the last decades
but was incapable even of or has a lot to tell us, and in this
ganising matches for the world chapter we will deal with the
title . World champions merely struggle for the world title from
ignored the decisions and the 1 948 to 1 975 inclusive, and the
opinion of FIDE , and themselves best games played in these con
chose their opponent (at times a tests.
weak one) and laid down the Several months after Mikhail
conditions and time of the Botvinnik became world cham
championship . pion, the first interzonal tourna
At the 1 948 FIDE Congress in ment opened in Salchobaden, a
Stockholm Mikhail Botvinnik suburb of Stockholm. It was dis
proposed that a strict system for tinguished from all the rest be
conducting world title matches be cause its competitors were not
established. the winners of zonal tourna-

ments, but chess players put on draw with Stahlberg. Bronstein,
the list by the votes of special however, by sacrificing a Pawn to
ists. Keres , developed a formidable
Seven Soviet chess players attack , won this important game
were among those invited to Sal and caught up with Boleslavsky.
chobaden. Sepecially worthy of The two friends finished with the
mention is the outstanding suc same number of points. An extra
cess of the 24-year-old master match had to decide who would
David Bronstein, who did particu challenge Botvinnik.
larly well : in the last round he Boleslavsky had risen rapidly
literally wrested the victory from from a first-category player to
the Hungarian champion Laszlo become a grandmaster. Boleslavs
Szabo, himself in excellent form. ky was distinguished by his ex
Only two years later did the traordinary speed of thought- at
first challengers' tournament take the end of a game his clock rarely
place, with the beautiful island on showed more than an hour spent
the Danube in the centre of on thought. His outstanding
Budapest as the venue. Before natural talent happily combined
the tournament it had been sup with his capacity for hard work.
posed that the right to play Bot He could retain in his memory a
vinnik for his title would be tremendous number of games,
contested by two of the particip especially new theories. A
ants in the 1 948 tournament taciturn player, he was always a
Vassily Smyslov and Paul Keres . very dangerous opponent. In an
But these forecasts
. were mis- encounter with Boleslavsky a
taken . player with a first-class knowl
From the very start the edge of chess openings risked
talented Soviet grandmaster Isaac being suddenly confronted with a
Boleslavsky spurted ahead . With position which Boleslavsky had
his knowledge of openings, he is already thoroughly analysed . This
the author of many original de is what happened when the famed
velopment systems, including the Soviet grandmaster Vyacheslav
famed Boleslavsky System in the Ragozin had to come up against
Sicilian Defense. In excellent this "knowledge" of his .
form , Boleslavsky was half a In the 1 943 Moscow champion
point ahead of his closest rival, ship , where Boleslavsky played
David Bronstein. On the last day White, the following position oc
he met grandmaster Gideon Stahl curred.
berg of Sweden, who was playing
poorly , and so thought that he DIAGRAM 52
could count on a victory and the
right to a match with the world 21. Bh3 Qxd4+ 22. Khl Qxe5
champion. 23. Bd2 c5 (The capture of the
But Boleslavsky miscalculated : Pawn on b2 by Black' s Queen
thinking that Bronstein would be would be a mistake in view of
unable to win his last game with 23 . . . Qxb2 24. Bf4 d4 25 . Bxg3
Keres, Boleslavsky made a quick d3 . 26. Rad l )

33 . . . Qg7 34 . Bf4!
Boleslavsky concludes the
gaine in precise fashion. He at
tacks the Black King, and holds
up Black's Pawns in the centre
by active play. .
34 . . . c3 (It would be better to
play 34 . . . Rd8 35 . Rg5 Qxg5
36. Bxg5 d2 37. Bxd2)
Boleslavsky now launches a
spectacular attack .
35. Rg5 Rad8 36. Be6 + Kh8
37. Be5!


24. Rael Qxb2 25. Bf4 Qf6?

This move, as Boleslavsky con
vincingly proves, loses. Subse
quently Botvinnik found it neces
sary to play 25 . . . d4 26. Bxg3 d 3 .
Botvinnik tested this powerful
continuation for Black against
Boleslavsky a year later in the
tournament in Sverdlovsk. The
game continued thus: 27 . Be6+
Kh8 28. Be5 , after which
28 . . . Qc2 is best (instead of the
move made by Botvinnik
28 . . . Qd2) and leads to a draw.
26. Bxg3 d4 27. Re6 Qg5
28. Kh2 c4 29. f4!
This is the Pawn that will deal
a decisive blow at Black. Rago Black resigns. After 38. Rf8 +
zin' s attempt to get his Pawns Rxf8 39. Bxg7 mate is inevitable.
moving in the centre is belated. I saak Boleslavsky ( 1 9 1 9- 1 977)
29. . . Qh5 30. f5 d3 31. f6 gxf6 had an exceptional knowledge of
32. Rf5 Qg6 33. Rexf6! chess openings. He was admired
The Pawn' s fast advance to f6 for the depth of his strategic
deprives Black's King of a Pawn plans, and the beauty of his
cover, and White's pieces now sudden tactical attacking moves .
conclude their attack. Boleslavs This next game shows how grace
ky had obviously looked at this fully Boleslavsky realized his ad
move in his analyses of all the vantage against Smyslov in the
possibilities of this complicated 1 950 match-tournament m

opening variation . Budapest.

Queen's Gambit gxf6 1 6 . Bh4 Rg8 1 7 . Rfe 1 Rg4
1 8 . Re4! with a strong attack for
I. BOLESLAVSKY V. SMYSLOV White, and if 1 4 . . . Kf8 , 1 5 . Rad 1
Bc6 1 6 . Nd4 leaves White with a
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. decisive positional advantage .
Nf3 dxc4 5 . . a4 c5 13 . . . Nh5 (this retreat, too, has
This continuation was previ its faults, as Boleslavsky pro
ously considered quite satisfac ceeds to prove with his next
tory for Black. After the ex move)
change of Queens the ending
offers ample opportunity for de DIAGRAM 54
fence and counterplay . Boleslavs
ky's assessment of the system
somewhat differed from that gen
erally accepted . He proved con
vincingly that the advance of the
Pawn was premature , and that
5 . . . Bf5 is better play.
6. e4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 Qxd4
8. Nxd4 e6.
Now the White Knight can
move to the favourable position
on b5. Black cannot prevent this
since, in the case of 8 . . . a6, there
would follow 9. e5 and 1 0 . Nd5
with a big positional advantage
for White.
9. Ndb5 Na6 10. Bxc4 Bc5
1 1 . Bf4 Ke7
Smyslov considered that the
endgame already started , and so 14. Be3! shows a fine understand
he left his King in the centre. But ing of opening strategy . It would
Boleslavsky proved him wrong have been weaker to play
and discovered a method of or 1 4 . Bg5 + f6 1 5 . exf6 + gxf6
ganising a direct attack against 1 6 . Bh4 Rhg8 1 7 . Rfe 1 -Rg4
Black's King. Castling the K-side 1 8 . Re4 Rag8, and Black is in a
would have been better for good position. Now Black is com
Black: 1 1 . . . 0-0. pelled to open up the f-file , after
12. 0-0 Bd7 13. e5! which his King will be attacked
This is the move which proves by the Rooks.
Black's system of play wrong, 14 . . . Rhc8 (attempting to avoid
now that his King is stuck on e7 . opening the file. In the case of
Black at once finds himself in a 1 4 . . . Bxe3 1 5 . fxe3 g6 1 6 . Nd6
difficult situation after his the two Black Pawns, on b7 and
Knight' s retreat from f6. In the f7, are attacked)
case of 13 . . . Ne8 there would 15. Be2 g6 16. Ne4! Bxe3 (or
follow 1 4 . Bg5 + f6 1 5 . exf6+ 16 . . . Bb4 1 7 . g4! Ng7 1 8 . Bg5 +

Kf8 19. Nf6, winning a Pawn and 1 948 and in the tournament of
gaining an overwhelming position challengers for the world title in
al advantage) 1 950.
17. fxe3 Rc2 (brings closer the In the 1 930s Flohr won many
disaster which could have been first prizes in international tour
averted by the move 1 7 . . . Bc6) naments against the strongest.
18. Nd6! Rf8 or 1 8 . . . Rxe2 His play was distinguished by the
1 9. Rxf7 + Kd8 20. Rf8+ depth and logic of his plans and
19. Bxa6! bxa6 20. g4 Ng7 by the precise calculation of vari
21. Nf6! ations.
Flohr's filigree technique was
DIAGRAM 55 especially evident in his endings .
His victory over Szabo in the
1 950 Budapest match-tournament
of claimants for the world title
was won in the endgame. Flohr is
playing White.


A spectacular end to the at

tack. 22. Nxh7 threatens, but the
Rook cannot escape because of
Rxf7 + .
21... Bc6 The last attempt at
counterplay, but Boleslavsky
plays precisely to the very end .
22. Rfcl! Black resigns. After Flohr calculates the variations
22 . . . Rxc l + 2 3 . Rxc 1 he cannot exactly and brings the battle to a
prevent invasion by White' s victorious finish.
Rook. I f he plays 2 2 . . . Rg2+ 45. g6! hxg6 46 . hxg6 Re7+ (the
23 . Kfl Rxh2, he is beautifully sequence 46 . . . Kxg6 47. Ne5+
mated: 24. Rxc6! Rh 1 + 25 . Kg2 Bxe5 48. Rxd7 Bxb2 49. Rxd5
Rxa l 26. Rc7+ Kd8 27. Rd7 + + . also loses)
Andre Liliental and Salo Flohr 47. Kd1 Kxg6 (This merely
were among the players in the brings the end nearer. The best
first interzonal tournament in continuation is 47 . . . Rg7 ! 48. Nb4

6-607 81
Kxg6 49. Nxd5 Be5 50. Rxg7 DIAGRAM 57
Kxg7 5 1 . b4 Bd4, which still
leaves Black some hope of salva
48. Nf4 + Kf5 49. Nxd5 Rd7
50. Rxc7 Rxd5 + 5 1 . Kc2 Ra5
52. a3 Ke5 53. Rd7 Ke6 54. Rd2
Rh5 55. Kb3 Rh4! 56. Rd8 Ke7
57. Rd5! (Flohr's technique is im
maculate . The move 57 . Rb8 is
weaker because of 57 . . . Rh6
58. Kb4 Kd7 59. Kb5 Kc7
60. Rg8 Rh5 + )
5 7. . . Rg4 58. Kc3 Rh4 59. b3
Rg4 60. Rd4 Rg3 + 61. Kc4 Rg5
62. Rd5 Rg4+ 63. Kb5 Rg3
64. b4 Rg6 65. Ka6 Rh6 66. bS
After the war grandmaster
Flohr did well in many important The diagram shows a position
tournaments , although he never from this game. Black still seems
managed to equal his former to harbour the hope of destroying
achievements. We nevertheless the White Pawn on g7 and or
feel it is a shame that he gave up ganising a stubborn defence. But
chess competition as early as he the Soviet grandmaster, as White,
did. calculated all the possibilities and
Flohr was the author of witty with the following sacrifice of a
articles and these were held in as piece he demonstrated B lack's
much esteem as his tournament helpless position.
play. 17. Bxh7 + ! (Black's King is
Grandmaster Liliental gained now forced to leave his refuge in
recognition in the early 1 930s , the corner of the board and move
when he played successfully in about under attack from White's
international tournaments. He pieces)
subsequently also did well i n 17... Kxh7 18. Qh5+ Kxg7
nationwide tournaments . In the 19. Rad1 (This "quiet" move em
1 2th USSR Championship in 1 940 phasises the hopelessness of
he tied for first place with grand Black's position. Grandmaster
master Bondarevsky. Liliental had taken into account
Liliental did relatively well at all the sequences of the sacrifice:
the Interzonal Tournament in Black' s King cannot escape pur
Stockholm in 1 948, where he suit. If, for instance, Black now
played several striking combina plays 1 9 . . . Qc8, then 20. Rfe 1
tional games and was placed Nf6 2 1 . Qg5 + Kf7 22. Rd6 leads
fifth . His game with Miguel Naj White to victory. Neither is there
dorf of Argentina was particularly salvation in the defence
memorable . 19 . . . Qc7 , after which White con-

tinues his attack with 20. Qg4) The Botvinnik-Bronstein match
19. .. Qf6 20. Rd7 + Kf8 aroused tremendous interest.
21. Rxb7 Nd8 22. Rd7 Nf7 Bronstein was not the opponent
23. Qd5 Botvinnik would have chosen, as
It is interesting that almost the world champion had twice
none of White's moves lead to lost to him.
check. This shows that Liliental' s To compound matters, after
combination was conceived and becoming world champion Bot
carried out not only on the basis vinnik had not competed in tour
of calculation of the variations naments for a long time, as chess
but also on a subtle and intuitive had to take second place to his
understanding of the position. work on his doctoral thesis in
23. . . Rb8 24. Ret f3 25. Re3 technical sciences. Botvinnik sub
Resigns. sequently wrote about this
Even if B lack makes the best period: "In my match with Brons
move 25 . . . Ng5, 26. h4 settles the tein the interruption in public
issue. appearances cost me very dear: I
Grandmaster Liliental now had not played then for almost
lives in Budapest, where his three years and painfully felt my
youth was spent. lack of the necessary training . "
To return to the 1 950 match The Botvinnik-Bronstein match
tournament. The play-off be started with a series of four
tween Boleslavsky and Bronstein draws . The fifth game went to
was an unusually stubborn con Bronstein . But by that time Bot
test. Bronstein won the first and vinnik had realised that his young
seventh games, but those who opponent was not totally confi
underestimated Boleslavsky ' s dent in the endgame. In the sixth
fighting spirit were mistaken. H e game Bronstein made a mistake
won the eighth game and after in a very simple ending, and
two draws evened the score by a instead of half-point he got a
victory in the eleventh encounter. vexing zero . In tlie next, seventh
The twelfth game, too, was game, Botvinnik won again.
drawn. The 12 games provided Then again came three draws ,
for by the rules were inconclu and in the 1 1th and 1 2th games
sive, and so the first win in the the opponents inflicted defeats on
additional games was to settle each other. Another four draws
the issue. In the 14th game for followed. Towards the end of the
tune smiled upon Bronstein: in a match Bronstein managed to win
theoretical variation which he had three important games , but he
analysed with Boleslavsky, ironi lost the 1 9th and 23rd games,
cally enough, some time ago , he after some inaccurate moves in
on this occasion discovered a the endgame. The last game
stronger move which enabled him ended in a draw, and the score
to win. The first contender for a was even 1 2 : 1 2. In keeping with
match with the world champion the rules , Mikhail Botvinnik re
was the Moscow grandmaster tained the world title.
David Bronstein. It was the first time in the

6 83
history of chess that representa 11
. Ng4 12. g3 It seems a
tives from one country had com dangerous move, but Botvinnik
peted for the world title, and this had thought out all the necessary
was to happen again frequently defence moves.
over the next 20 years . Bronstein 12
. f5 13. Nc3 a6 14. Rel Nc6
played many interesting games in 15. Bfl! This is the right defence !
the match , one of which we will The Bishop is transferred to g2,
show the reader. The tactical and White ' s K-side is thus reli
abilities of the young grandmaster ably protected.
are immediately evident in this 15
. Nd8 16. Bf4 Bd6 17. Bxd6
game. Qxd6 18. Bg2 Nf7 19. c5 Qc7
20. Rcl
Nimzovich Defence White is now preparing his
Pawn's dangerous advance onto
M . BOTVINNIK D. BRONSTEIN the central d5 .
Fifth Game of the Match 20. . . ReS 21. Na4 b5 22. Nc3
1 . d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 Since Black finds himself
4. e3 0-0 5. Bd3 cS 6. Nf3 b6 cramped he seeks to intensify
7. 0-0 Bb7 8. Na4 play on the King's flank. At last
One of the better known varia he manages to do it.
tions of the Nimzovich Defence, 23. d5 fxg3 24. fxg3
used in tournaments for almost Bronstein subsequently took re
the last 40 years . It was this sourceful advantage of the weak
variation, for instance, that was ness of e3, thus making it
played in the Alatortsev vs. Lisit less dangerous for White to
syn game at the USSR Cham take on g3 with the Pawn from
pionship in 1 937. White avoids h2.
doubling his Pawns on the c-file 24 ... exd5 25. Qd4 Nf6 26. Nh4
and wants to begin encircling ReS
Black's Bishop on b4. Black ex Bronstein does not allow
changes on d4 to release his White' s Knight on to f5, and with
Bishop, this leading to the the threat 27 . . . Rfe8 he forces
strengthening of White' s centre. Botvinnik to switch play into the
8. . . cxd4 Later, in the endgame stage.
Taimanov-Botvinnik game (Mos 27. Rxe5 Qxe5 28. Qxe5 Nxe5
cow, 1 963) Black was not flus 29. Nf5 Nc4 30. Rd1?
tered by the threat and calmly White inaccurately calculates
played 8 . . . Qe7 . the possible tactical variations
9. a3 Be7 10. exd4 Qc7 1 1 . b4! and his position becomes critical .
Botvinnik pondered this move for This may be partly the result
52 minutes . He decided to take of the big loss of time in the
firmer hold of the centre with his opening and consequent time
Pawns, thinking quite rightly , that trouble. It would be correct
he could repulse White's tactical to play 30. Nxd5 Nxd5
threats on the K-side without 3 1 . Bxd5 + B xd5 32. Ne7 + Kf7
losses. 3 3 . Nxd5.

DIAGRAM 58 d2 ! 40. Nxd2 Nf2 +4 1 . Kh4
Ng2 + 42. Kg5 (42 . Kh5 Rf5 + + )
42 . . . g6 ! 43 . Rf6 (or 43 . Kh6
Ng4+ 44. Kg5 Rf5 +45. Kxg4
Ne3 + 46. Kh4 Rh5 + + ) 43 . . . Kg7
44. Rxf8 h6+ + .
37. . . d3 38. Rd6 RxfS 39. Rxd7
Ne3+ White resigns.
David Bronstein 's games con
tain many i nteresting ideas. The
following game, played at the
Alekhine M emorial Tournament
in Moscow ( 1 97 1 ) is a good exam
ple. Bronstein was awarded a
special prize for the new theory
demonstrated in this game .

30 . . . Kh8! A clever mov e ! Sicilian Defence

Bronstein makes i t impossible for
the Knight to give check on e7 ,
and at the same time sets a trap I. e4 cS 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 c:xd4
for his opponent. Were Black 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6 . Be3 Bg7
now to play 3 1 . Nxd5 Bxd5 7. f3 Nc6 8 . Qd2 0-0 9. Bc4 Bd7
32. Bxd5 Nxd5 3 3 . Rxd5, after 10. Bb3 QaS l l . 0-0-0 Rfc8.
33 . . . g6 ! he would lose the Knight. This is one of the most compli
If it moves to any other square cated variations of the Sicilian
the issue is settled by 34 . . . N e3 ! , Defence, called the Dragon Vari
with the advantage o f a Rook for ation . White attacks on the
Black. K-side, but Black is planning a
31. Rei Nxa3 32. Nd6 Bc6 counter-attack at the other end of
33. Ral Nc2 34. Rxa6 d4! with a the board. The moves made had
double aim: to take advantage of frequently been met in games
the far advanced passed Pawn played in previous tournaments.
and, exchanging the Bishop on Now , too, Bronstein sacrifices a
g2 , to weaken White' s King, with Pawn and launches his attack.
a decisive influence on the final
moves of the game.
35. NxbS Bxg2 36. Kxg2 Ng4 DIAGRAM 59
37. NfS.
An interesting situation with 12. h4 NeS 13. hS! NxhS
many intricate variations possi 14. NdS!
ble . If White had played instead After the compulsory exchange
37. Ne4, Bronstein would have of Queens the threats along the
carried out a mating attack: opened h-file are difficult for
37 . . . d3 38. Nbc3 Nce3 + 39. Kh3 Black to repulse.

chess gained in prestige. It be
came common for Soviet grand
masters to win at international
tournaments .
In 1 952, for the first time, the
USSR team took part in the
world team championship- the
Chess Olympiad, which is some
times called the Tournament of
Nations. The Soviet chess team
won first place in the final tour
nament and returned to Moscow
with the gold challenge trophy: the
Hamilton-Russel Cup. For more
than 30 years this honorary chal
lenge trophy has stood in the
Central USSR Chess Club. Once
14 . . . Qxd2+ 15. Rxd2 Kf8 every two years the chess team
16. g4! takes the Cup to the next Olym
This is the point of the entire piad, only to return home again
plan based on the sacrifice of the with it.
Pawn. Now , in case of the retreat The Second Interzonal Tourna
of the Black Knight from h5 to ment, held in Salchobaden in
f6, White continues 1 7 . Nxf6 1 952 , was also won by Soviet
Bxf6 1 8 . Rxh7 and can exert chess players, even more con
considerable pressure along the vincingly than on the first occa
open h-file and on f7. Parma tries sion. Whereas in 1 948 four of the
to save the game by sacrificing five winners were Soviet grand
his Bishop for three Pawns, but masters , in the second all the five
this doesn't help. prize-winning places were taken
16 . . . Bxg4. The move 16 . . . e6 is by Soviet chess players. FIDE, in
stronger, giving Black an oppor order to avoid holding an exclu
tunity for defence. sively Soviet tournament, allowed
17. fxg4 Nxg4 18. Bg5 Nhf6 several more grandmasters who
19. Nxf6! Bxf6 20. Nf3 Kg7 placed . sixth and lower, i . e . ,
21. Bxf6 + Nxf6 22. e5! Szabo (Hungary), Gligoric
This breakthrough in the centre (Yugoslavia) and Stahlberg (Swe
gives White the opportunity to den) to take part , as well as
win the weak Pawn on f7, after former world champion Max
which Black' s situation is hope Euwe and Samuel Reshevsky of
less. There still followed: the USA.
22.. dxe5 23. Nxe5 Ne4 24. Rdh2 The Second Interzonal Tourna
h5 25. Nxf7 Rc7 26. Rg2 Rf8 ment was marked by another
27. Bd5 Nc5 28. Ne5 Rf5 special feature . Apart from Alex
29. Rxg6 + Kh7 30. Bg8+ ander Kotov , who finished 3 .5
Resigns. points ahead of the other prize
In subsequent years Soviet winners, the rest of Soviet chess

players were representatives of DIAGRAM 60
the young generation. Tigran Pet
rosyan and M ark Taimanov tied
for second place, while Efim
Geller was fourth and Yuri Aver
bakh fifth. All of them were
awarded the title of international
grandmaster for this achievement
(only Geller won the title earlier).
A year later the second chal
lengers' tournament was held
in Switzerland. The FIDE Cong
ress overrode its former decision,
and expanded the number of
competitors to 15. Twenty
eight games in 30 rounds: tru
ly a marathon chess contest!
"The winner will be the one
who has enough strength , without White moved his Knight from
the aid of his second, to reach c3 to e2, with its aim of g I , thus
the tournament hall on the last to reliably defend h3. His plans
day," joked grandmaster Miguel are upset by a sudden combina
N ajdorf. This time the struggle tional blow .
for first place was between four 30
Qxh3 + ! ! The queen IS
grandmasters: Vassily Smyslov, sacrificed for a mere Pawn.
Paul Keres, David Bronstein and There had to be a reason for such
Samuel Reshevsky. Smyslov a rare sacrifice. White' s King is
went into the lead almost from now forced to leave the safety of
the very start. He played consis h2, with every move penetrating
tently, not taking excessive risk, deeper into the enemy camp,
while not abstaining from some where inevitable destruction is in
complicated designs. As a result store for him. The exclusiveness
Smyslov finished two points of the position lies in the fact
ahead . and Black knows this-that
The 1 953 tournament was dis White's army cannot come to the
tinguished by its many interesting aid of its King and is compelled
games which were subsequently to watch its sovereign perish.
annotated by Bronstein in his The 31. Kxh3 Rh6+ 32. Kg4 Nf6 + !
International Grandmasters ' 32. . . Rf8 would have been
Tournament. We have chosen a weaker because of 3 3 . N xf4
game from the tournament which Nf6+ 34. Kf5 Ng4 + 35. Kxg4
astonished the audience with its Rg8 + 36. Ng6+ Rxg6+ 3 7 . Kf5
unusual final combination and Rh5 + 38. Rg5 Bxg5 39. Kg4 ! ,
was awarded a special prize for with only a small advantage for
its beautiful style. Black.
This position is taken from the 33. Kf5 Nd7. Black, seeing the
Averbakh vs. Kotov game: possibility of merely repeating the

moves until the 40th (control) his limited material, for m
move is reached, decides to calm stance-46. Kg4 ! Nf6 + 47 . Kf5
ly check the variations considered Ne8+ 48. Kg6 Rg8 + 49. Kxh6
before the sacrifice of the Queen. Nf6, etc.
He simply does not notice that 44. Kxg5 Rf7! The concluding
33 . . . Ng4! immediately settles the manoeuvre. The Rook creates the
issue. threat of mate in two: 45 . . . Rg7 +
34. Rg5 Rf8 + 35. Kg4 Nf6 + and 46 . . . Rf6 + + .
36. Kf5 Ng8+ 37. Kg4 Nf6 + 45. Bh4 Rg6+ 46. Kh5 Rfg7
38. Kf5 Nxd5+ 39. Kg4 Nf6 + 47. Bg5
40. Kf5 Ng8+ 41 . Kg4 Nf6 + White cannot avoid the threat
42. Kf5 Ng8+ 43. Kg4 Bxg5. of mate and prolongs the game by
continuous sacrifices .
DIAGRAM 6 1 47 . . . Rxg5 + 48. Kh4 Nf6
49. Ng3 Rxg3 50. Qxd6 Rg6
5 1 . Qb8+ Rg8 White resigns .
I n the spring of 1 954 Botvin
nik's second world title match
took place in Moscow, and again
his opponent was a formidable
one . For many years Vassily
Smyslov had competed with the
world champion in many tourna
ments and had to his credit vic
tories in numerous international
and USSR contests. He was in
the prime of life, only 33 years
old. He came to the match with
an excellent knowledge of theory,
and with a peerless technique,
especially in the endgame .
Botvinnik had learned his les
Black cannot be repulsed , for son from the match with Brons
instance, 44 . Ng3 Be7 45 . Nh5 tein, and realised that he had to
(or 45 . Rh 1 Nf6 + 46. Kg5 Rg6 + compete in tournaments if he was
47. Kh4 N xe4+ ) 45 . . . Nf6 + to retain his sporting form. Bot
46. Nxf6 Rfxf6 with mate inevita vinnik had been placed only fifth
ble: 44. Nxf4 Bxf4 and B lack in the 1 95 1 national championship
wins. Neither is White saved by and had not done very well at the
the sequence 44. Bg3 Nf6+ Mar6czy Memorial Tournament
45 . Kf5 Ne8+ 46. Kxg5 Rg8+ in Budapest in 1 952.
47. Kxh6 Nf6 ! , with mate in two . The world champion had thus
In the case of 44. Rh l ! Rxh l made serious efforts to get back
45 . Kxg5 (White cannot play his form , competing in several
45 . Qxd6 due to 45 . . . Nh6 + and major tournaments, from 1 952 to
46 . . . Nf7 + ) 45 . . . h6+ ! Black's at 1 954. In the 1 952 USSR Cham
tack cannot be repulsed despite pionship Botvinnik tied for first

place with Mark Taimanov , and Memorial Tournament in Mos
after winning a play-off was cow , which attracted many strong
awarded the gold medal. Botvin players.
nik thus came fully equipped for In this next three-year period
his match with Smyslov. ( 1 954- 1 957) Soviet chess players
The match was an uneven one. further consolidated their interna
Botvinnik won three and tied one tional standing. The USSR team
of the first four games , but then won two Olympiads in Amster
losing four and winning only one . dam in 1 954 and in Moscow in
The first 1 2 games, just half of 1 956, and in 1 957 won the Euro
the match, ended with an even pean team championship .
score of 6:6! In the same period the Soviet
This was followed by another student team became world
three victories for the world champions for the first time.
champion, but then, after a series Another first was the winning of
of draws, he lost the 20th and the world junior chess champion
23rd games . History was repeat ship by Boris Spassky, an 1 8-
ing itself: as in the match with year-old undergraduate from
Bronstein the world title hinged Leningrad University. Leningrad
on the last game . Botvinnik' s has produced many gifted chess
only advantage was that this time players, among them, of course,
he played White. the talented grandmaster and
Smyslov chose the King's In noted pianist Mark Taimanov. He
dian Defence, and Botvinnik con had played chess as a child, and
fidently gained a big positional soon developed a serious interest
advantage. And again, just as in the game, sharing his time
with Bronstein, he agreed to a between it and music. At the age
draw , although he had every of 1 9 he was awarded the title of
chance of winning. Why take the master, and in the 1 952 interzonal
risk? Anything can happen when tournament, tying for second
under stress . The match culmi place, he became a grandmaster.
nated in a 1 2 : 1 2 draw , and so, as Twice, in 1 953 and 1 97 1 , he
in the match with Bronstein, Bot competed for the right to chal
vinnik retained his title. lenge the world champion.
Unsuccessful attempts to win Taimanov did only moderately
the world title usually disheart well in the challengers' tourna
ened the contenders, so weaken ment in Zurich, despite the many
ing their game. Not so Smyslov. excellent games he played there.
Over the next three years he Taimanov ' s (White) final attack
played in tournaments and Olym on Petrosyan is particularly re
piads with the same confidence nowned.
and strength as before the match
with Botvinnik. He won first
prize at the international tourna DIAGRAM 62
ment in Zagreb in 1 955, after
which he shared first place with White gains a noticeable advan
Botvinnik at the 1 956 Alekhine tage in space and decides to

launch a direct attack on the 37 . . . Bxg6 38. Qxe6+ Bf7
K-side. To start with he puts 39. Qf6, leaving Black nothing to
maximum pressure on Black, and count on.
primarily the Queen, by attacking 38. h7 + Kxh7 39. Qxf7 + Ng7
along the diagonals and the open 40. Kf2 Resigns. Yet another
b-file. young Soviet player, grandmaster
24. Ba4! Rd7 25. Rbl Yuri Averbakh, took part in the
White doesn 't win the ex 1 953 challengers' tournament in
change , hoping for something Switzerland. He played a number
more . of games with great skill, demon
25 . . . Qd8 26. Bxd7! strating an ample grasp of chess
White does not risk sacrificing strategy and tactics , skill in
his Queen, since in the case of realising an advantage, and an
26 . . . Qxh4 27 . Bxe6+ Kh8 excellent knowledge of endgame
28. Bxd5 Ra7 29. Rb8 Qd8 technique. Averbakh later pub
30. Be6 White will have both a lished a famous three-volume
material advantage and powerful work on endgame theory.
Pawns in the centre . His victory in the following
26 Qxd7 27. Rg3 Na7 28. Be7
. game was due precisely to end
Bf7 29. Qg5 Bg6 30. h4 Nc6 game play.
31. Ba3 Nd8 32. h5
This nimble Pawn will be cru
cial in White' s final attack. DIAGRAM 64
32. . . Ne6 33. Qh4 Bf7 34. h6 g6
35. Qf6 Qd8 36. Be7 Qc7. The diagram shows a position
from the Euwe vs. Averbakh
DIAGRAM 63 game (the 1 953 challengers' tour
nament) after White' s 32nd move.
37. Rxg6+ ! A beautiful sacrifice ! White's situation seems solid, but
37 . . . hxg6. No better is A verbakh correctly calculated

not managed to wrest the world
title from Botvinnik. In the sum
mer of 1955 the Third Interzonal
Tournament was held in Goteborg
(Sweden). This time FIDE de
cided to hold it according to new
regulations: almost half of the
participants were included in the
group of contenders for the world
title. First place in Goteborg went
to Bronstein , the winner of the
First Interzonal Tournament in
Stockholm. The Soviet grandmas
ters Keres , Petrosyan, Geller and
Spassky, Hungary' s Szabo, Filip
of Czechoslovakia, and Argenti
nians Panna and Pilnik, also went
that he could sacrifice a piece forward to compete for the right
and settle the game. to challenge the world champion .
32. . . Nd6 33. Ke3 Nb5! 34. f4 The third challengers ' tourna
Nc8 35. f5 Ncd6 36. Nf4 Nxa3! ment held in 1 956 was won by
That is the decisive move! Av Vassily Smyslov, who for the
erbakh had for a long time been second time in a row had to play
basing his game on the strength Botvinnik for the world title. H e
of this Knight sacrifice. Black's played this 1 957 match with great
Pawns on the Q-side cannot now confidence. At the start neither
be contained . of the opponents managed to gain
37. Bxa3 NbS 38. Bel . an advantage , but Botvinnik's
The only retreat. Possibly strength gave way , and out of the
White counted on the continua remaining games he managed to
tion 38 . . . a3 39. Kd2, with a win only one. Capturing the lead
chance of retrieving the game but ership, Smyslov went ahead , and
38 . . . Nxc3!+ 39. Ne2 Nbl + ! played excellently until the end.
White resigns . He became the world ' s seventh
In the 1 954 match Smyslov had champion.
Chapter VIII first. In the year that Smyslov
left school ( 1 938) he took first
place in the USSR junior chess
THE SEVENTH championship and became a can
didate master.
WORLD When child prodigies appear in
chess, the way they play , with
C HAMPION dashing attacks, bold combina
tions, sacrifices and yet more
sacrifices, inevitably attracts at
tention . At this stage the en
thusiasm is obvious, but it is
difficult to tell whether he will
In 1 935 Moscow had osted an achieve anything, and whether he
international tournament, at has any real talent. But if the
tended b y such legendary figures games of a young chess player
as Lasker and Capablanca. Soviet show a predilection for the end
chess enthusiasts expected much game and the ability to play a
from Botvinnik. game on a positional basi s , there
Every round at the Museum of can be no doubt that he has great
Fine Arts was watched b y an promise. These were the kind of
elderly, somewhat slow-moving games played by Lasker, Capab
man accompanied by a red lanca, Rubinstein, Botvinnik,
headed boy . The Smyslovs, Smyslov, Petrosyan, and Fischer.
father and son, watched the more Smyslov worked hard at chess
interesting games, standing most even as a child. He was helped
often at the table where Capab and guided by older and more
lanca played. experienced players, at first by
For the Smyslovs chess was a his father, then in children ' s
family hobby . "I became in clubs b y professional teachers .
terested in chess in 1927," the The year 1 935 saw the first
grandmaster recalled subsequent publication of a game by Smys
ly. "My father, an engineer, was lov , in the 64 newspaper. It was
devoted to music and chess . He played in the Moskvoretsky
retained these interests to the end House of Young Pioneers cham
of his life and I inherited them pionship .
from him in the early years of my
childhood. "
Smyslov Jr. was 1 4 years old QUEEN'S PAWN OPENING
when he started to play in tourna K. Gerasimov V. Smyslov
ments. At first his rivals were his
classmates , and then the chess l. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6
players of the Moskvoretsky 4. Bd3 c5 5. b3 Nc6 6. Bd2 Bd6
House of the Young Pioneers. 7. 0-0 Qc7 (7 . . . 0-0 is simpler and
In the spring of 1 936 he was more reliable)
awarded the second sport rating 8. a3 b6 9. c4 Bb7 10. Nc3 a6
in chess, and in the autumn the 1 1 . Rel

1 1 . dxc5 bxc5 1 2. cxd5 exd5 follows 2 1 . . . Bh2+ 22. Kh 1
1 3 . Re i is better. Nxf2 + + .
1 1 . . . cxd4 12. exd4 0-0 13. Na4 21. Bd4 Bh2+ 22. Kh1 BxeS +
Bf4 White is now bound to lose
The move to c5 must be fore men and he resigns .
stalled . 14. c5 will now be fol When the participants in the
lowed by 14 . . . b5 1 5 . Nb6 Rad8 1 938 Moscow championship were
16. b4 Ne4, and if 1 7 . Bxe4 dxe4 told that Vassily Smyslov would
1 8 . Rxe4, then comes 18 . . . Ne7 also be competing, this did not
19. Re t Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Bxh2+ make any special impression as
2 1 . Kh 1 Bf4, with equal oppor nobody viewed the schoolboy as
tunities for both sides. 14. Ne5 a serious rival.
dxc4 15. bxc4 NxeS 16. dxe5 Qc6! But with every new game
17. Bfl? Smyslov' s play attracted ever
The correct move is 1 7 . Qf3 , greater attention from both the
simplifying play. 17 . . . Rfd8 players and the audience . The
18. Qb3 Ng4 19. h3 young chess player was confident
in both combinational and posi
DIAGRAM 65 tional technique, was well able to
realise an advantage, and has an
excellent knowledge of theory.
The secondary school pupil be
came a testing ground for the
participants in the tournament,
and many masters "failed" the
test. The 1 7-year-old Smyslov
finished ahead of many promi
nent chess players and was
awarded the title of master.
French Defence

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6
4. e5 Ng8
Retreat to d7 is more useful for
5. Qg4 h5 6. Qf4 c5
19 . . . Rd3! 20. Qxb6 6 . . . b6 7 . Nf3 Ba6 is more
Black's Rook cannot be taken logical .
either by the Bishop (because of 7 .. dxcS
. Bxc5 8. Nf3 Nc6
mate on g2) or by the Queen (in 9. Bd3 Nb4 10. 0-0
view of 20 . . . Bh2+ 2 1 . Kh 1 "There is a great belief these
Nxf2 + , etc . ) days in the advantage of two
. Rxh3! An effective con Bishops", wrote Vassily Smyslov .
tinuation of the attack. If "It is, however, interesting to
2 1 . Qxc6 is npw played, there recall that C higorin readily at-

tacked with two Knights and 28. Nxe6!
often won. There are no compul Few young chess players would
sory laws of play in chess that have refrained from launching an
apply to every position, for if attack here, switching the play
that were so chess would lose its into an ending with major pieces,
appeal and fade away . " but an analysis shows that the
10 . . . Nxd3 1 1 . cxd3 Bd7 move 2S. h4 provides Black with
12. Be3 Be7 real opportunities to save the
After 1 2 . . . Bxe3 1 3 . fxe6 the situation.
f-file could become the main Smyslov also considered this
highway for a dangerous attack variation : 2S . . . Qb2 29. R e t Qc3
by White . 30. Re3 Qal + 3 1 . Kh2 Qd4 but
13. Qg3 g6 14. Bg5 Nh6 the continuation 32. Rg3 will not
15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Racl Nf5 do because of 32 . . . Qxh4+
17. Qf4 Kf8? 3 3 . Kgl ReS .
Black spends a lot of time on 28 . . . Rxe6 29. Qd8+ Kg7
the King's manoeuvre. He should 30. Qxd5 Qxa2 31 . h3 Qb2 32. d4
have played 1 7 . . . 0-0. Rb6 33. Qd7 a5 34. Qa7?
18. Ne2 Kg7 19. Rc7 Rhc8 (34. QdS ! is stronger) 34 . . .
Now a Pawn has to be ceded. Qxb3?
If 1 9 . . . RabS, then 20. Qg5 is Black replies to a mistake with
very strong. 20. Rxb7 Rcb8 a mistake . 34 . . . Qxd4? is bad in
21. Rxb8 Rxb8 22. b3 ReS view of 35. e6 ! , but 34 . . . Rxb3 !
23. Ned4 Qa3 24. Nxf5 + exf5 would provide a defendable posi
25. Qg5! Be6 (25 . . . Qxa2 is bad tion , and if 35. e6, then there
because of 26. Qf6+ KgS follows 35 . . . Rb7.
27 . Ng5 ReS 2S . e6) 26. Qf6 + 35. Qxa5 f4 36. Qd2 f3 37. d5
Kg8 27. Ng5 ReS fxg2 38. Kxg2 Qc4 39. d6!
A decisive offensive. After
39 . . . Qe4 + 40. f3 Qxe5 4 1 . d7.
Rb2 42. dSQ White wins.
The game continued 39 . . . Rb7
40. Rdl Rd7 41 . Qd5 Qf4 42. Qd4
Qg5 + 43. Kh2 Kh7 44. Qe4 Kg7
45. Rd4
The very simple and appealing
45 . Rgl leads to unnecessary
complications, i.e . , 45 . . . Qd2
46. Rg2 Ra7 47 . f4 Qdl 4S . f5
Ra t .
45 . . . Ra7 46. Qf4 Qxf4 + (or
46 . . . QdS 47. Qf6 + , and after the
exchange of Queens the passed
d-Pawn settles the issue) 47. Rxf4
g5 48. Rf5 Kg6 49. Rf6 + Kg7
50. h4 gxh4 5 1 . Kh3 Ra4 52. d7

Ra8 53. Rd6 Rd8 54. f4 Kf8 55. f5
Ke7 56. f6+ Resigns.
This was Smyslov's first tour
nament encounter with a grand
In 1 940 the Large Hall of the
Moscow Music Conservatoire
was placed at the disposal of the
participants in the 1 2th USSR
Championship. Smyslov, now a
student, was competing at such a
high level for the first time. His
debut brought him third place,
ahead of such players as Botvin
nik and Keres.
"Smyslov's career is just begin
ning," stated the magazine Shakh
maty v SSSR, "nonetheless he 21 . . . Qd8 22. Qc2 a5 23. Rcdl
plays with maturity and consum Bf8 24. Qd3 Be7 25. Nc3 Bb3
mate skill . " Good or bad, Black was ob
In 1 94 1 , shortly before the start liged to play 25 . Bxf3 . The move
of the war, a tournament between chosen makes matters even worse
the strongest Soviet chess players for him.
took place in Leningrad. Smyslov 26. Rbl a4 27. Nd2 h4 28. Nxb3
came third, after Botvinnik and hxg3 29. hxg3 axb3 30. Qc4, the
Keres . The title of grandmaster aim being to move Qa4-Qa8 with
was conferred on Smyslov for mate on B7. Black has no satis
this achievement. At that time he factory defence.
was the youngest grandmaster in 30 . . . f5 31. Qa4 Bd6 32. Qa8
the world . QgS 33. NdS!
Here is the finale of a game Now e7 is under attack and
played in this competition. mate is inevitable. Black resigns.
In June 1 94 1 Nazi Germany
DIAGRAM 67 attacked the Soviet Union . The
war lasted four long years , but
Smyslov , playing White, car did not put a stop to cultural
ried out a perfect attack on activities.
Boleslavsky ' s position. A number of tournaments be
There followed : 19. c5! Bd5 tween grandmasters and masters
Otherwise , after c6, Black ' s took place in Moscow, Lenin
Bishop would have been blocked. grad , Sverdlovsk, Kuibyshev and
20. Racl Rde8 21 . c6 other cities in 1 94 1 - 1 944. Soviet
This method is one of slow chess lost many talented players,
strangulation. Smyslov declined but nonetheless preserved its vit
the combinational solution ality, and prestige as a sport.
2 1 . Nd6+ cxd6 22. cxb7 + Kb8 Competitions during the war
23. Rc7. years confirmed Smyslov's high

class and showed him to be Here is a game from this tour
Botvinnik ' s chief rival . nament.
The 1 3th U SSR Championship
in 1 944 was indeed fought largely
between Botvinnik and Smyslov. Budapest Gambit
Scoring a victory in their personal V. SMYSLOV H. STEINER
encounter, Botvinnik won his
match against Smyslov and took I. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ne4.
first place, and the latter was The American master clearly
second. wishes to involve the game in
The tournament revealed Smys tactical complications, but we
lov' s increased tactical skill. reap as we have sown.
His play became more 4. N3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Nxd2
dynamic, decisive and precise. 6. Nbxd2 Nc6 7. a3 Bxd2 +
Smyslov never aimed purely for 8. Qxd2 Qe7 9. Qc3 0-0.
effect in his attacks . Black wants to regain a Pawn
Smyslov himself defined his after 9 . . . Re8, but this transpires
understanding of strategy and tac to be far from simple.
tics thus: "A good player must 10. Rd1 ReS 1 1 . Rd5! b6 12. e3
aim to combine the main strategic Bb7 13. Be2 RadS 14. 0-0 NbS
plan with the skilful use of tacti
cal means in solving problems DIAGRAM 68
facing him. "
The radio match between the
USSR and USA teams in 1 945
aroused tremendous interest.
Smyslov played in this famed
match against the strongest
American chess player of those
times, Samuel Reshevsky.
The two radio games with Re
shevsky were Smyslov ' s first in
ternational appearance . He coun
tered the former's strength and
experience with imagination, pre
cise calculation and excellent
technique. Smyslov won both
The initial post-war internation
al competitions marked Smyslov 15. Rcl !
out as one of the challengers for White sacrifices the exchange
the world title. The result of the and gains a powerful Pawn
tournament in Groningen (the centre.
Netherlands) held in 1 946 was 15
. Bxd5 16. cxd5 d6
indicative. Botvinnik emerged If 1 6 . . . c5 then, as Smyslov
victorious , Euwe came second, pointed out, 1 7 . Bb5 is very
and Smyslov took third place. strong.

17. Bb5 Rf8 18. e4! a6 19. Bd3 pieces, was tested in the tourna
dxe5 ment.
1 9 . . . Rfe8 is more persistent. There is no need to enumerate
20. Nxe5 Rd6. all of Smyslov's achievements.
After 20 . . . f6 Smyslov intended He is, after all, to this day an
to reply 2 1 . Ng4 in order to indispensable participant in, and
transfer the Knight to f5 (via e3). in many cases also the winner of,
21. . . Nc4 Rh6 22. Ne3 Qh4 the biggest international competi
Black hopes to attack, but all tions.
his attempts are thwarted by The five-year period from 1 954
White. to 1 958 inclusive went down in
23. Qxc7 Rf6 24. g3 Qh5 25. e5 chess history as a fight between
The attack by the central Botvinnik and Smyslov for the
Pawns settles the issue. world title. They first met in the
25 . . . Rh6 26. h4 Qf3 27. Rc4! spring of 1 954. The 24 games of
b5 28. Rf4 Qh5 29. Ng4 Rg6 this match guide us through the
30. Bxg6 Qxg6 31. e6 Qb1 + intricacies of chess , and testify to
32. Kh2 f5 33. e7 Re8 34. Qd8 the beauty of the game .
Resigns. Here is one of them:
This game is clear-cut and sim
ple, but this simplicity testifies to
Smyslov' s mastery of the game. French Defence
Smyslov also did well in the V . SMYSLOV M. BOTVINNIK
1 5th USSR Championship ( 1 947)
and two international tourna I . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4
ments held in the same year in 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4
Warsaw and M oscow. 7. Qg4 Ne7 8. bxa5 dxc3 9. Qxg7
In 1 948 FIDE arranged a tour Rg8 10. Qxh7 Nd7 1 1 . Nf3 Nf8?
nament of the world' s strongest An unhappy move. 1 1 . . . Qc7 is
grandmasters laying claim to the better.
world title, and deservedly in 12. Qd3 Qxa5 13. h4 Bd7
cluded Smyslov in the list of 14. Bg5!
competitors . White' s plan is clear. Smyslov
As we know, first place went manages to keep Black's King in
to Botvinnik and the second to the centre , and this decisively
Smyslov. influences the further course of
The tournament confirmed that the game .
Smyslov possessed outstanding 14 . . . Rc8 15. Nd4 Nf5
combinational "vision" and intui The move 1 5 . . . Rc4 would be
tion. bad because of 16. Qe3 , and if
The young grandmaster also 1 6 . . . Ra4, then 1 7 . Rb l follows .
proved himself an innovator as a 1 6 . Rb1 !
theoretician. His system in the This move is still very strong
Grtinfeld Defence, which was a now . If, for instance, 16 . . . Qxa3 ,
development of Chigorin' s idea then there follows 1 7 . Nxf5 exf5
of the battle for the centre 1 8 . Rxb7 Rxg5 19. hxg5 Qc l +
with pressure exerted by the 20 . Q d l Qxg5 2 1 . Qxd5 Qc 1 +

7-607 97
22 . Qd l Qf4 23 . Rh3 ! , and Black the world champion. The result
cannot avoid defeat. of the match was 1 2 . 5 points
In the case of 16 . . . b6 there against 9.5 in Smyslov ' s favour
would follow 1 7 . Nb5 with the ( + 6 - 3 = 1 3) .
threat of 1 8 . Qxf5 , and after It i s interesting that Smyslov
1 6 . . . Nxd4 1 7 . Qxd4 White is in a won the very first game in which
better position. he played Black. By this stage
16 . . . Rc4 17. Nxf5 exf5 Smyslov had overcome his old
18. Rxb7! weakness of playing less confi
dently with Black.
DIAGRAM 69 According to the rules then
existing (later revoked by FIDE)
the world champion, if he was
defeated, had the right to a return
match the following year. Botvin
nik took advantage of this rule
and challenged Smyslov to a
While Botvinnik had been the
weaker player in the 1 957 match,
in the repeat match Smyslov was
not up to his usual standard . In
the first three games he got as
many zeros. The match subse
quently continued according to a
pattern of a win , a loss and
several draws, and then again the
same monotony. But the differ
ence in three points remained .
Although Botvinnik made some
Black's King IS now under mistakes towards the end of the
crossfire. match , even passing the time
18 . . . Re4 + limit when he was in the better
White counters this move bril positio n , nonetheless, all he had
liantly, but neither would to do was to draw the game
1 8 . . . Rxg5 1 9. hxg5 Re4+ with before the last three, and he
20. Be2 save Black from losing. would regain the world title. He
19. Qxe4! lost the 22nd game , and in the
A spectacular sacrifice of the following game "a victorious
Queen, which concludes White's peace" was registered. Botvinnik,
attack. the longest reigning among the
19. . . dxe4 20. Rb8+ Bc8 Soviet world chess champions,
2 1 . Bb5 + Qxb5 22. Rxb5 Ne6 became world champion for the
23. Bf6 Rxg2 24. h5 Ba6 25. h6 fourth time.
Black resigns . The three Botvinnik vs. Smys
In 1 957 Smyslov won the right lov matches involved a total of 69
for the second time to challenge games . The overall count of + 1 8

- 1 7 = 34 m Smyslov ' s favour ways and means to move chess
speaks for itself. The world ahead ."
champion spells a whole era in These precisely have always
chess. What new elements did been Smyslov ' s aims during his
Smyslov introduce into this an chess career. Guided by Chigo
cient game? rin ' s work he has done much to
Smyslov himself answered that develop the theory, strategy and
question thus: "The quest for tactics of chess .
truth is my main aim in chess. Smyslov h a s never been a retir
Chess is the constant quest for ing person, and he is very in
better concepts, a better plan, the volved in the activities of Soviet
most powerful moves, the discov chess, writes books and articles
ery of concealed , clever ways to for chess journals.
achieve a goal . " Smyslov was awarded the
Tigran Petrosyan, Smyslov's Order of Lenin, the highest hon
rival for many years, said of him: our, for his work to promote
"The ability to detect and demon chess and pass his experience on
strate to the stunned opponent to young people. As a child
the finest nuances of the so Smyslov was seriously interested
called simple positiOns places in singing. He wanted to become
Smyslov in the same class as the a professional singer. His tutors
classic players . " were specialists in their field , and
Smyslov' s play has been com he took part in concerts. He even
pared with Capablanca' s , and fea sang with the famed tenor Ivan
tures specific to Rubinstein and Kozlovsky. Smyslov ' s en
other great masters of the past thusiasm for chess meant the
have been discovered in his Soviet stage lost a promising
games. However, such historical singer.
comparisons are not always very In the 1 959 challengers' tourna
convincing. Smyslov is Smyslov, ment (Bled - Zagreb-Belgrade)
a man with a strikingly individual Smyslov took fourth place, after
character and views. Tal, Keres and Petrosyan. There
Some critics claim that Smys he played with Bobby Fischer for
lov as a theoretician is merely a the first time. The four games
follower of Chigorin. Indeed, between them produced the result
Smyslov inherited many of 1 : 1 , with two draws.
C higorin's ideas. Smyslov himself As a winner of the Interzonal
noted that he found Chigorin's Tournament in Amsterdam ( 1 %4)
view of chess as a peculiar art: Smyslov was numbered among
that cannot be encompassed or those competing to challenge the
expressed through some kind of world champion. Smyslov lost to
mathematical formula particularly Geller in a match in 1%5, the
appealing. score being 5 .5 :2.5 in Geller's
"It seems to me , " wrote Smys favour.
lov, "that in our times a chess Time takes its toll, and Smys
player has to aim for breadth of lov was evidently no longer cut
vision, for a steady search for out to be world champion. Even

7 99
now, however, he remains one of
the leading grandmasters, his
chess career an enviably long
Smyslov won a total of nine
gold medals as a member of the
USSR team at world chess Olym
piads, in which Smyslov played
1 07 games , with 69 victories, just
two (sic !) defeats and 36 draws.
Smyslov played in an Olympiad
for the first time in 1 952 ( l Oth
Olympiad , Helsinki). The game in
which he defeated grandmaster
Barcza of H ungary is an interest
ing one.
21. Nc4 A crushing defeat. Black
Ruy Lopez resigns.
Twenty years later, at the 20th
Jubilee Olympiad (Skoplje , 1 972)
I. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 Smyslov was again a member of
A continuation which cannot the USSR national team, the only
equalise chances, but the Hun one from the winning Soviet team
garian master counted on Smys in 1 952.
Jov being unacquainted with this Picking up 1 1 points in the 1 4
old variation. games played at the 20th Olym
4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4? (5 . . Bb6
piad , Smyslov emerged as one of
is better) the leaders in this competition . In
6. e5! Nd5 7. 0-0 0-0 8. cxd4 the following game the veteran
Bb6 9. Bc4! Nce7 10. Bg5! Qe8 encountered L. Ljubojevic, a
1 1 . Qb3 very promising grandmaster from
the younger generation.

Again everything is remarkably

Irregular Opening
simple, but Black's strategy has L. UUBOJEVIC V. SMYSLOV
been countered, and his position (Yugoslavia) (USSR)
cracks in all directions.
11 ... c6 12. Nbd2 h6 13. Bxe7
Nxe7 14. Ne4 d5 1. b3 Nf6 2. Bb2 b6 3. f4 Bb7
A desperate move, but Black 4. e3
cannot otherwise develop his The young Yugoslav grandmas
pieces. ter wants to deflect his experi
15. exd6 e.p. Nf5 16. Rfe1 Qd8 enced opponent from elevated
17. Ne5! Nxd6 18. Nxd6 Qxd6 theory .
19. Bxf7 + Rxf7 20. Qxf7 + Kh7 4 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 cS

7. 0-0 0-0 8. a4 Nc6 9. Na3 dS 20. b4 Bxb4 21 . Qa1 QcS+
10. Qel e6 1 1 . NeS d4!? 22. d4 Qc3 23. Qxc3 Bxc3
There was no compulsion to The Rook on e l has no conven
make this move, but Smyslov ient square to which to retreat.
challenges his young rival. 24. NbS Bxe1 2S. Rxel BxbS
12. Bf3 NdS 13. exd4 Nxd4 26. axbS Nc7 27. Bc6
14. Bxd4 cxd5 1S. Qe4 Neither will 27 . Nc6 Nxb5 !
Black appears to lose a Pawn 28. Nxd8 Rxd8 save the situation.
without compensation, but Smys 27 Re7 28. c3 a6 29. Bb7

lov had foreseen all the details: Or 29. bxa6 Nxa6 30. Rb l f6
1S. . . Ba6 16. Rfe1 Qc7 3 1 . Ng4 Kf7 32. Rxb6 Ra7, and
17. Qxd4 Rad8 18. g3 Rfe8! Black should win.
Black plans to transfer his 29 ... NxbS 30. Bxa6
Bishop to f8 with the threat of 30. Nc6 Rxb7 3 1 . Nxd8 Rd7
Bc5. 32. Nc6 Nxc3 is also poor.
19. Rad1? 30 . . . Na7 31. Rb1 bS 32. BxbS
The most natural but, as is so Reb7 33. Bd3 Rxb1 34. Bxb1 NbS
frequently the case, by no means 3S. c4 Nxd4 White resigns.
the best move. Either 1 9 . Kh 1 or And now , almost 60 years old,
1 9. Qb2 would be correct. the veteran performs successfully
in competitions . H visits differ
DIAGRAM 7 1 ent countries, radily handing
down his experience to young
chess players, demonstrating his
unfading skill .


l -

' /.- ' /

1 9. . . Bf8!
A knockout move. If 20. Qb2,
then 20 . . . Qc5 + is decisive, and
in the case of 20. Kg2 the win
ning line is 20 . . . Bxa3 2 1 . Ng4
Bf8 22. Bxd5 Bg7 !, with all the The Pacis vs. Smyslov game
ensuing consequences. reached this position in the 1 980

tournament held in the health White' s King has no place to
resort m Baguio m the Philip hide.
pines. White attacked on the 30 . . . Nh4 31. Qe6 + Kg7
Q-side, but Black's attack 32. Net
directed against White's King If 32. Ke2, Nxf3 ! 3 3 . Rxf3
was considerably more danger Qxe4 + , etc.
ous. 32. Nd2 Nxf3 ! 3 3 . Nxf3 Qxe4
26. . . h5! 27. Qc2 hxg4 28. is also bad.
hxg4 Rh3 29. Qc8 Qh7 30. 32. . . Rh2+ 33. Kgl Ng6
Kf2 34. Ng2 Qh3 35. Rc2 Nh4!
A vam effort to escape, for White resigns.
Chapter IX the total of 28 games he played at
the 1 959 challengers' tournament
in Bled . Although Tal lost four
TAL games, he won the remaining 1 6 !
The match between the 24-year
YESTERDAY , old Mikhail Tal and Mikhail Bot
vinnik was therefore awaited with
TODAY AND impatience.
In the spring of 1 960 Botvinnik

played his fifth world-title match

as reigning champion. Mikhail Tal
was so irrepressible in his on
slaught that his play at times
In the 1 957 USSR champion looked like sheer gambling.
ship 20-year-old Mikhail Tal from Perhaps Tal' s vigorous style of
Riga was awarded first place. play put Botvinnik off his bal
Tal ' s performance with his spir ance, because Tal took the initia
ited game , combinative play, sac tive at the very start of the match
rifices and tactical blows came as and exploited his success to gain
a surprise . He made sacrifices in an overall victory with a consid
almost every game, and whether erable margin. Mikhail Tal , then
his opponents accepted or de 24, became the eighth player in
clined the offer, they were over history to win the world title.
whelmed by tactical attacks. It is Tal is well known to and ad
this dynamic creativity that mired by chess connoisseurs all
prompted people to describe the over the world. His clever and
Riga chess player as a trouble bold combinations seem to take
maker, wizard , magician , and so us back to the jousts of the
on. knights of the past.
Tal ' s rise to fame was a rapid What kind of person is Tal , this
one- in 1 957 he was simply a 20th-century romanticist, who
master, in 1 958 grandmaster, and rose so swiftly to become world
the winner of the Protoroz inter champion?
zonal, a year later he did better "Chess is a specific form of
than the other competitors in the creativity, the chess player being
challengers ' elimination round author, critic and performer
and qualified for a world-title simultaneously," said Mikhail
match with the reigning champion Tal. "What attracts me most of
M ikhail Botvinnik. all in chess is intellectual rivalry,
Even in the challengers' tour the clash of ideas and the test of
nament Tal' s unusual play was , will power.
indeed, astonishing. Usually par "Chess mirrors the essence of
ticipants in such tournaments man, his distinctive features . I do
showed circumspection and a not think that machines will ever
voided risks where possible. Tal, demonstrate individual traits of
however, played with flair and character and the clash of ideas.
verve, drawing only eight out of To gain success in chess , one

1 03
must have great enthusiasm and played against masters and candi
talent . Good chess players are date-masters for the first time.
born, great ones are made . The entrants to the Riga cham
"I am an optimist, and I re pionship included two masters,
member Napoleon's words to the six candidate-masters and 1 3
effect that a soldier who does not first-grade players, Mikhail being
carry a marshal ' s baton in his one of the latter. Mikhail finished
knapsack is a bad soldier. " far below the prize-winning
Mikhail Tal was born in Riga places in the scoretable.
on 9 November 1 936. His father, Nevertheless, in some games he
a doctor, was a chess devotee showed himself a very gifted
and taught his seven-year-old son player. Misha was, however, too
the rules of the game . Mikhail, excitable, tended to underesti
however, developed a real inter mate the resources of his oppo
est in chess only at the age of 1 2 . nent's defence, and his technique
I t so happened that Misha's was poor.
cousin, who was never parted It took Mikhail Tal another two
from his pocket chess set, was years of persevering work to
visiting his relatives in Riga dur make his game more steadily
ing his vacation. Mikhail asked successful.
his cousin to play with him, but In 1 95 3 , Tal became Latvian
proved no match at all , losing champion . A. Koblents, master,
one game after another. finished runner-up, while third
"Where have you learnt to play place went to Tal ' s rival in many
chess so well?" inquired Mikhail. junior chess competitions- Aivar
"At the Young Pioneers' Gipslis, now an international
Palace . And I have a chess rating grandmaster.
already," came the reply. This was an encouraging
It was then that Mikhail de achievement. But only when Tal
cided to enrol at the chess club of competed in the 1 953 USSR team
the Riga Young Pioneers' Palace. championship did he attract the
The year was 1 948. attention of chess fans. The Lat
The young Tal soon gained vian team, made up mainly of
chess ratings. He qualified as a young players, did very well .
player of the third, second and Mikhail Tal put up a splendid
first grades without special diffi performance, scoring four-and-a
culty. And then, quite naturally , half points out of a possible
came reverses, with his oppo seven, and winning the right to
nents ever stronger and more play a match for the title of
experienced . master.
Mikhail often did well at Riga This match was held in Riga in
schoolboys' chess tournaments , 1954, with candidate master
although reverses also did occur Mikhail Tal, now a student at
when he became too excited , and Riga University, battling it out
overestimated the potential of his against master Vladimir Saigin
position. from Byelorussia, who had more
In 1 95 1 the Riga schoolboy than once won Byelorussian

1 04
championships. First one player, success, emerging victorious in
then the other would come out on one of the three groups of the
top, but in the long run Tal, semi-finals of the 23rd USSR
supreme with the score of + 8 championship. In January 1 956
- 6 , qualified for the title of Mikhail Tal passed a major test in
master. the finals of the USSR champion
It was, perhaps, this match ship, tying for fifth place with
which for the first time showed two of the other entrants and
that Tal' s play had become ver confidently emerging as one of
satile, the aim for combinations the country ' s leading players.
no longer an end in itself for the Tal took part for the first time
young chess player. in an international competition in
The tournaments and matches 1 956. A member of the Soviet
in which Mikhail Tal appeared in students' team, he played at the
1 955, when he took part for the world student chess champion
first time in trials for the USSR ship. The USSR team came first.
individual championship, were a Tal, playing on Board 3, scored
decisive test of everything he had four points out of a possible
so far accomplished. five.
The zonal of the USSR cham And now for one of his games.
pionship in Vilnius involved the
best players from the Baltic area,
Byelorussia and the Karelian Au King's Indian Defence
tonomous Republic. Of the total
of the 1 7 games he played in this M . TAL (USSR)
tournament, Tal won seven, lost
two and drew eight, scoring 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7
1 1 points and tying for third 4. e4 d6 5. f3 0-0 6. Be3 Nbd7
place. 7. Qd2 e5 8. d5 Ne8 9. 0-0-0 f5
The magazine Shakhmaty v 10. exf5 gxf5 1 1 . g4 f4 (a naive
SSSR (Chess in the USSR) said attempt to block the K-side.
then about the Riga player: "Tal The position requires vigorous
is a gifted master of combinative counterplay, continuing 1 1..

play, who quickly finds his bear Nc5)

ings in complicated positions . At 12. Bf2 a5 13. Bd3 Nc5 (at this
times, however, his play seems to stage the move does not achieve
be flimsy and he fails to show its aim because White has gained
precision in making the most of control of the important central
an advantage . " point e4. )
Indeed, Tal had played too 14. Bxc5 dxc5 1 5 . Ne4 b6 1 6 . h4
recklessly in several games of the
tournament, overestimating the DIAGRAM 73
potential of his position, and he
was still playing an unconvincing Tal attacks simply and energeti
endgame . cally. It would be most persistent
Towards the end of 1 955 for Black here to play 16 . . . Nd6;
Mikhail Tal scored his first major but instead:

1 05

16 . . . Nf6 17. Qc2 Nxe4 (or 1 7 . . .

h6 1 8 . Ne2 , after which the Rook
occupies the g-file) Tal' s spectacular move 30. e5!,
18. Bxe4 Qd6 (if 1 8 . . . h6, then came as a surprise to all who
1 9 . d6! Rb8 20 . d7 and so on) werefollowing the game. The
19. Bxh7 + Kh8 20. Be4 a4 breakthrough in the centre i s
21. g.S Black resigns. indeed beautiful . Indeed, White
The year 1 957 brought major strikes in a sector of the board
competitive chess successes and where Black is strong. The e5-
wide recognition to Mikhail Tal . Pawn is threatened with capture
From 20 January to 22 February by four chessmen simultaneously ,
the 24th USSR Championship and the g5-Bishop is also about to
was held in Moscow, with Tal perish.
(nine games won, two lost and The game developed as fol
ten drawn) winning the USSR lows: 30. . . Rxe5 (if 30. . . fxg5
title. then 3 1 . Bxg6 hxg6 32. Qh8+
An appreciable rise in the stan Kf7 33. Rh7 + ) 31. Bxg6 Rb7 (if
dards of Tal ' s play was evinced, 31... hxg6; 32. Qh8 + Kf7
among other things, by the fact 3 3 . Rh7 + clinches matters . 3 1 . . .
that of the eight grandmasters , Rxg5 32. Bxh7+ Kf7 3 3 . Ne4 is
who took part in the tournament, equally bad) 32. Ne4! fxg6 33. Rfl
five lost their games to the Rxe4 (the only possible way of
new champion of the Soviet forestalling a catastrophe on f6)
Union . 34. Bxe4 Rg7 35. Rf6 Bxg4 (or
And now for the end of his 35 . . . Ng6 36. Rxg6) 36. Rfl Nd7
game with Alexander Tolush, 37. Rxd6 Qe8 38. Rxa6 Kh8
playing Black. The swift smash 39. Bxh7! (without giving Black
ing of the Black King's position even a moment's respite) 39. . .
has become a classical example NbS 40 . Bf5 + Kg8 41 . Be6 + Bxe6
of attack. 42. Rxe6 Black resigns .

1 06
Mikhail Tal ' s performance at inventive when it came to chess
the USSR championship brought combination, and this endears
him the title of grandmaster. H e him to all chess connoisseurs.
was at the time a fifth-year stu
dent in the Department of His DIAGRAM 75
tory and Philology at the Univer
sity of Latvia.
The next four years held a
string of successes in store for
Mikhail Tal .
The year 1958 saw him win the
USSR championship and the in
terzonal tournament in Portoroz,
Yugoslavia, and again the best i
individual results at the 1 3th
Chess Olympiad in Munich;
The year 1 959 brought him first
place at the international tourna
ment in Zurich and at the
marathon challengers' tournament
(Bled, Zagreb and Belgrade) ;
The year 1 960 held the final
stroke in this brilliant four-year
period , the match with Mikhail This is a position from the Tal
Botvinnik and the winning of the vs. Smyslov game played at the
world title. 1 958 challengers' tournament.
The list is, indeed, eloquent. The game continued as follows:
Competition history has witnes 14. Qh4!?
sed but very few examples of The exclamation and question
chess players making such tre marks mean that even now, many
mendous progress in so short a years after the encounter, com
time! mentators have not managed to
I n all these tournaments and determine whether Tal's sacrifice
matches Tal distinguished himself was a correct one .
by spectacular, unusual and reck Yet we might ask whether it
less play, at times excessively really matters much that at times
risky, but always interesting and over the board , and more often in
bold . subsequent analyses , some of
Tal astonished the chess world Tal' s plans were proved incor
by his attempts always to gain the rect. And, indeed, he never
initiative, to attack. Nothing claimed to be infallible : "I did
would stop him from this, neither make mistakes, but these never
positional weaknesses, nor the included a statement that I never
consequent need to sacrifice ma err", wrote Tal himself. "Well,
terial . just try and see through my
Mikhail Tal ' s games involve puzzles during the battle, in the
sacrifices galore. Tal was very very heat of the struggle, when

1 07
delay (as a result of spending too and is ready to take risks. Tal
much time on pondering one's fights whether his position is
moves) may mean death . " good or bad, creates difficulties
1 4. . . bxc4 1 5 . Qg5 Nh5 (If 1 5 . . . for his opponent, finding latent
g6? then 1 6. Nh6 + Kg7 1 7 . Bc3 potential .
Qxa2 1 8 . Nh4 Qal + 1 9. Kd2 Qa6 Tal ' s answer to a reporter's
20. N4f5 + Kh8 2 1 . Ke2 ! with question as to whether he had
White's attack becoming irresisti taken "unjustified risks" in his
ble) 16. Nh6 + Kh8 17. Qxh5 games at the challengers ' tourna
Qxa2 (as analysis has show n , ment tells us a great deal .
Black should have defended him "Everything depends on what
self by playing 17 . . . Bf6 !) 18. Bc3 one regards an unjustified risks . I
Nf6 (a very dangerous continua was not sure of the correctness
tion is 1 8 . . . f6 1 9. Rhe 1 gxh6 of the decision I took only in the
20. Qxh6 Rg8 2 1 . Ng5 and so on) game with Smyslov. Although at
19. Qxf7! Qa1 + ( 1 9. . . ReS a certain point I should have
20. Qg8 + and 2 1 . Nf7 + + ) forced a draw, I relied on the fact
20. Kd2 Rxf7 21 . Nxf7 + Kg8 that my opponent was in time
22. Rxa1 Kxf7 23. Ne5+ Ke6 trouble. Analysts will, perhaps,
24. Nxc6 Ne4+ 25. Ke3 Bb6 + find quite a few such points in
26. Bd4 Black resigns. my games. I'll add that in such
At that same challengers' tour company it is generally difficult
nament, Mikhail Tal beat Robert to play without taking risks . "
Fischer in all his four games with
him . DIAGRAM 76
What lies behind Tal ' s succes
ses and what has he contributed
to chess?
Even connoisseurs disagree in
their views on Tal 's play . There
has been a persistent note of
disbelief in some commentators'
notes in the legitimacy of the
victories gained by the Riga
grandmaster, with critics pointing
out the numerous instances when
Tal found himself in a difficult
position, the many times he could
have lost, if this or that had not
The point is that chess means a
struggle-the struggle of plans
and ideas; it tests the opponents'
wills. This position arose in game 1 7
Tal's strength lies in the fact o f the challengers ' tournament.
that he is not afraid of complica Tal here continued 12. 14?! This
tions, indeed actively seeks them, is how he commented himself on

1 08
this move: '"An awful, anti bility of a tactical struggle on
positional, incredible move ' ,- the either side.
words all commentators without "Secondly, the weakness of
exception have used describing White' s rear can be brought into
the move. One might conclude play only by undermining his
that White had never read a chess position in the centre , whereas
text-book, because it is common such moves as c5 and e5 would
knowledge that 1 2 . f4 weakens add considerably to the strength
White' s black-squared periphery, of White's Bishops.
immobilises the Bishop, and "And, lastly, Black will be able
places his King in jeopardy. to mount an attack on the K-side
"I do not think the reader will only after castling the Q-side, but
hold me immodest if I say that I then White' s Pawn on the Q-side
was concerned with all these will also be set in motion."
considerations during the game. Logical reasoning? There can
Yet, it is a fact that the horrible be no doubt that it is. The reader
move, 1 2 . f4, was made. Why? will now see from the game that
I 'll now try and set forth my ensued how all of Tal' s clever
thoughts in brief. calculations were justified, even
"First of all , I was convinced - though White was on the brink of
that there was no trace of the a precipice.
advantage White had possessed at 12... 0-0-0 13. a3 Qc7 14. b4
the opening stage. Still, by play Nb6 15. Be2 Be7 16. Qd3 NfdS
ing 1 2 . Qd2, White could, proba 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. c4 Nf6
bly, secure a draw. 19. Rabl Qd7 20. Rbdl Kb8
Incidentally, White did not 21 . Qb3 Qc7 22. a4 Rh4 23. aS
have much to choose from in this Nc8 24. Qe3 Ne7 25. QeS Rhh8
position: the Bishop on g5 is 26. bS cxbS 27. QxbS a6 28. Qb2
under attack, and any retreat Rd7 29. c5 Ka8 30. Bf3 Nc6
would have been inconsistent; 31. Bxc6 Qxc6 32. Rf3 Qa4
exchange on f6 is absolutely 33. Rfd3 Rc8 34. Rbl QxaS
senseless ; defending the Bishop 35. Rb3 Qc7 36. Qa3 Ka7 37. Rb6
by playing Qc I is passive. The Qxf4 38. Ne2 Qe4 39. Qb3 QdS
negative aspects of all these con 40. Rxa6+ Kb8 41. Qa4
tinuations are therefore the most
"At last, my roving glance DIAGRAM 77

stopped at 1 2 . f4. At first, I even

felt somewhat awkward, because Black has no defence against
the demerits of this move were the threat of mate; Botvinnik
most conspicuous. Its merits therefore resigned. Black' s error
were less obvious, but they were was his 39 . . . Qd5? (he should
still present, though they lay , so have played 39 . . . Ka8).
to speak, not entirely on the Soon after the match with Bot
chess plane. vinnik, world champion Mikhail
"First, this move needs to be Tal led the USSR team at the
refuted, which involves the possi- 14th Chess Olympiad, held in

1 09
recommendation enough) 6. . .
cxd5 (we know that 6 . . . cxb5
enables White to launch a strong
attack after 7 . Nb5) 7. Qg4 Nge7
(7 . . . Kf8 would have been ans
wered by 8. bxa5 dxc3 9. a4 ! ,
opening the way for the Bishop

1 -
from c 1 to a3) 8. bxa5 dxc3
9. Qxg7 Rg8 10. Qxh7 Nbc6
1 1 . Nf3 Qc7 (but not 1 1 . . . Qxa5 ,

because of 1 2 . Ng5 Rf8 1 3 . f4,
/J 0
and his centre strengthened ,
Wh te would start pushing his
J h-Pawn squard 12. Bb5 Bd7 ( 1 2 . . .
;: Rxg2 is ineffective, in view of 1 3 .
Kfl ! Rg8 1 4 . Rg1 Rxg1 1 5 . Kxg 1 ,

and the way i s open again for the

advance of the h-Pawn) 13. 0-0
Leipzig, scoring 1 1 points out of 0-0-0 (more promising is 13 . . .
15. Nxe5, as Tigran Petrosyan
Tal ' s encounter with Fischer,
suggested after the game)
leader of the US team, attracted
14. Bg5?
the attention of both the spec
Fischer wrote in his notes that
tators and competitors. Larry
the correct move here would

Evans, Fischer' s coach, said that have been 1 4 . Bxc6, giving the
the game, the first between the following sequence: 14 . . . Bxc6 (if
rivals after Tal had won the 14 . . . Qxc6, 1 5 . Bg5 d4 1 6. h4 ! , or
world title , proceeded in the man
14 . . . Nxc6 1 5 . Re i , with the sub-
ner of past masters . The aggres sequent Bg5 and h4) 1 5 . Qxf7 d4
sive-minded Fischer quickly sec
( 15 . . . Rxg2+ 1 6 . Kxg2 d4
ured a winning position. He was 1 7 . Kg l Rg8+ 1 8 . Ng5 is incor
imprudent enough, however, . to
rect) 1 6 . Qxe6+ Bd7 ( 1 6 . . . Kb8
allow Tal to embark upon a senes
1 7 . Ng5) 1 7 . Qxe7 Rxg2 1 8. Kxg2
of brilliant sacrifices . The storm
Bh3 + 1 9 . Kxh3 Qxe7 20. Bg5 ,
lasted for seven moves and ended
and White is bound to win .
in perpetual check.
14 ..Nxe5!
And now for this interesting
game .
French Defence
R. FISCHER M. TAL The beginning of a series of
spectacular moves. Fischer ad
1 . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 mitted that he thought Tal was
4. e5 c5 5. a3 BaS (the usual 5 . . . just trying to complicate the
Bxc3 i s more reliable) 6 . b4 ! (this game .
bold move was recommended by 15. Nxe5
Alexander Alekhine, and that is Fischer wrote that he had at

1 10
Smyslov , was strikingly different
from the 1 960 Botvinnik-Tal
match. This time it was Botvinnik
who dictated his will, calmly re
pulsing Tal ' s reckless attacks . By
the end of the 1 2th game , Botvin
nik was three points ahead , which
predetermined the outcome of the
whole affair. The return match
ended in a 5-point lead for Bot
vinnik. In the year of his 50th
birthday, Mikhail Botvinnik
scored another major victory in a
return match , this time over the
young chess player distinguished
by his outstanding talent for com
binational play.
first intended to play 1 5 . Bxd7 + , This time Botvinnik countered
but then noticed that after 1 5 . . . Tal ' s impulsive performance with
Rxd7 16. Nxe5 (if 16. Bxe7, 1 6 . . . his scientific , analytical method
Nxf3 + 1 7 . Kh1 Qxh 2 + ) of play, and by preparing for the
1 6 . . . Qxe5 1 7 . Bxe7 Rh8 ! , B lack match by thoroughly analysing
would win the piece back and his opponent's merits and de
gain the initiative) merits.
15. . . Bxb5 16. Nxf7 Bxfl! "Improvisation is the great
17. Nxd8 Rxg5 18. Nxe6 Rxg2+ thing in Tal' s style of play ,"
19. Kh1! wrote Botvinnik. "A study has
White survives in a difficult shown that Tal is strong at the
position. 1 9. Kxf l is ineffective board in far from every posi
in view of 1 9 . . . Rxh2 ! 20. Qf7 (or tion . . . Tal feels good only in
20. Nxc7 Rxh7 etc . ) 20 . . . Rhl + , games with a lot of room for
and White would be in desperate manoeuvre, particularly if he has
need of advice. the initiative. This lop-sidedness
19 . . . Qe5 (an interesting variant in his style somewhat detracts
is 19 . . . Qc4 20. Qxe7 Rg8. White from his strength in practice, and
saves the game only by playing this has, probably , had a substan
2 1 . Nf4 ! , if 21... Qxf4?, tial impact on the outcome of the
22. Qxe6+ Kc7 23 . Qxg8) match."
20. Rxf1 Qxe6 21. Kg2 Qg4+ After his loss of the return
Drawn match , Mikhail Tal still went on
A downward trend in Mikhail to do well for several years, but
Tal's career became evident in the standard of his play was
1 96 1 , when his short stay on the nevertheless declining steadily ,
chess throne ended in the loss of which disappointed his numerous
a return match to Botvinnik. fans and admirers.
This return match as had been Tal was obviously living
the case three years before with through a serious crisis. Would

he manage to regain his former Ufimtsev Defence
The beginning of 1969, when he
experienced quite a few reverses,
was a particularly grim time for 1. Nf3 g6 2. e4 d6 3. d4 Nf6
Tal. His result at the USSR 4. Nbd2 (a disputable continua
championship of that year was a tion, but Tal is fond of breaking
sad one: 10.5 points out of a new ground. The usual move here
possible 22. is 4. Nc3)
"Tal is no longer the Tal we 4 . . . Bg7 5. Bc4 0-0 (5 . . . Nxe4 is
used to know ," some critics premature in view of 6. Bxf7+
wrote. Kxf7 7. Nxe4 with good oppor
Their conclusions were once tunities for White) 6. Qe2 c6 (the
again proved premature . Towards extravagant 6. . . Nh5 deserved
the end of that same year, I %9, attention)
Tal came first at an international 7. Bb3 Bg4 8. e5 dxe5 9. dxe5
tournament in Tbilisi. Nd5 (9 . . . Nd7 is parried with the
"I was perfectly aware ," wrote very unpleasant 10. e6!)
Tal, "that I had to back up 10. 0-0 Nd7 17. h3 Bf5 12. Ret
this success, for, indeed, it had Qc7 (Black has deployed his
been preceded by too many pieces well ; at this juncture he
failures." could have fully equalised by
The grandmaster from Riga set playing 1 2 . . . Nc5. The move he
himself to surpass the standards actually made is less effective)
of the Tal of old. "I now see " , h 13. Nfl Rad8 14. Ng3 Be6
said, "quite a few shortcomings 15. Qe4 (Black's King, like a
in the play of 'former Tal ' . And I magnet, seems to attract Tal ' s
would like, if I can to present thoughts. The Queen i s ready for
myself not only as the 'former ' , the move to h4) 15. . . Rfe8
but even, i n some respects , a s a 16. Qh4 f6 (it is dangerous to
'new Tal' , said Tal giving the lie accept the offer of the Pawn, for
to the sceptics' dismal forecasts. example: 1 6 . . . Nxe5 1 7 . Ng5, or
With ever greater energy he again 16 . . . Bxe5 1 7 . Nxe5 Nxe5 1 8 . f4
undertook to reach the top in Nd7 19. f5 , and the columns of
class. White' s pieces approach Black ' s
Let us turn to the chess events King)
of the 1972-1973 period. As a 17. Bh6! Nxe5 (The best move
member of the USSR national here is 1 7 . . . Bf7, but the Dutch
team Tal took part in the 20th master has already fallen prey to
(jubi ee) Chess . Olympiad
in Tal's combinational play and
Skoplje, Yugoslavia ( 1 972), w1th treacherous traps)
the Soviet team again, for the
eleventh time, winning the gold DIAGRAM 79
medals . Tal ' s score was a record 18. Rxe5! fxe5 19. Ng5 Bf6
one: 14 wins in 16 games . 20. Nxe6. Black resigns.
Here is one of the games he "How do you manage to rout
played at the Olympiad: your opponents so quickly?"

1 12
haven't read even one decent
obituary on myself to be able to
speak about my 'renaissance ' .
There i s a much simpler explana
tion. I didn't feel well for a
number of years , and I played
badly. I have felt O . K. for a few
years now, but, evidently, this
seems hard to believe. If my
success in Baku can convince the
sceptics, I 'll be very pleased
Unfortunately, Mikhail Tal's
form has still left something to be
desired in recent years. Excellent
results have alternated with re
verses and failures. The ' question
Alexander Alekhine was once of Tal' s "renaissance" remains
asked. "I make them think inde unanswered.
pendently," came the answer. Let us quote Tigran Petrosyan,
Mikhail Tal shares Alexander who had this to say about Mikhail
Alekhine's stand. Tal : "Tal is the player who has
On the eve of 1 97 3 , Tal scored produced the most spectacular
yet another outstanding success : games in modern chess. In his
in the 40th USSR Championship, games, perhaps modern, some
held in Baku, he came confident what slow chess, has most fully
ly first, winning the USSR title recalled the major strategic factor
for the fourth time. of time. Even very strong players
When the championship came have again realised that today,
to an end, a correspondent from too, one has to prize time.
the Sovetsky sport newspaper put "His remarkable imagination
this question to Tal: "Many news and brilliant power of calculation
papers speak about Tal ' s 'renais have entered Tal ' s name in the
sance' . Any comment?" The list of the great chess players of
quick-witted Tal answered: "I all times . "
Chapter X by complicated strategic struggle
with the elements of positional
play prevailing. "
IRON TIGRAN Petrosyan is also akin to
Capablanca in his keen ability
to sense danger. Former world
champion Fischer once said that
Petrosyan saw danger 20 moves
before it actually appeared .
Petrosyan ' s strength, however,
lies , of course, not only in per
ceiving his opponent's designs,
but primarily in his own cleverly
The Fifth Challengers' Tourna conceived and consistently im
ment was held in Cura<;ao in plemented plans.
1962. As usual, it was marked by To some chess critics Pet
tough competition , although the rosyan' s play appears to be com
play was somewhat upset by pletely devoid of emotion, exces
Tal ' s state of health. He had to sively rational. "Petrosyan means
be taken to hospital and aban circumspection," they claim.
doned the tournament before Such assessments stem, evi
playing all the games . dently, from insufficient knowl
Tigran Petrosyan came first. edge of the ex-world champion's
For many years, from one chal versatile games, rich as they are
lengers' tournament to another in creative ideas. Combinative
Petrosyan had kept occupying play has never been alien to
ever higher places and, at last, Petrosyan, nor has he ever feared
won the right to play a match complications; he does, however,
with the world champion. Pet dislike taking chances in venture
rosyan's logical plans, outstand some play. His attacks rest on a
ing level of technique, rich intui solid positional basis, and his
tion and singular talent enabled consistent manoeuvering aims to
him, in the above tournament and prepare for a combinative out
ensuing match , to prove the cor burst.
rectness of his views and to "Some people believe", said
manifest the advantages of his Petrosyan, "that I am too cautious
style of play. in my playing. It seems to me
Tigran Petrosyan is a recog that they have missed the point. I
nised virtuoso of strategic man try to avoid taking chances.
oeuvring and positional play . Those who count on luck should
"My playing has been strongly play cards or roulette . . . Chess is
influenced by Capablanca's and something quite different. "
Nimzovich's games," said Pet Petrosyan has achieved much
rosyan , answering a question on in life and in chess. A decisive
the development of his style of role in improving his mastery of
play. "At present my favourite the game was played by the chess
positions are those distinguished club of the Young Pioneers'

1 14
Palace in the city of Tbilisi. Here 11 . . . Bxd3 12. Qxd3 c6 13. Nf3 0-0
the young Petrosyan received ex 14. 0-0 Nd7 1S. a4 Rfe8 16. Rfcl
cellent training and became one Qd6 17. bS Bc7 18. Ra2
of the best chess players in By accurate and consistent
Georgia. manoeuvring White increases the
Tigran ' s early successes m threats on the Q-side, while Black
chess, however, were marred by is trying in vain to mount an
misfortune: both his father and, attack on the K-side . The young
soon afterwards , his mother died. Petrosyan saw the real extent of
As the eldest in the family he had his opponent's threats
to shoulder difficult respon 18 . . . Re6 19. Rac2 Qa3 20. bxc6
sibilities. He had to go to work, bxc6? (the correct move here is
and there was little free time left. 20 . . . Rxc6 in order to continue, in
However, chess, as before , was reply to 2 1 . Qb5 , 2 1 . . . Nb6, with
foremost on his mind. for example , 22. a5, a6 ! , and
Slowly but surely, Tigran Pet Black' s position is perfectly de
rosyan reached one stepping store fencible)
after another on his way to higher 21 . Qa6 Nb6 22. aS
standards of play. In the 1 947 "22. Qb7 is also strong here,"
semi-finals of the USSR champ wrote Petrosyan. "White is in no
ionship, Tigran, then 1 6, won the hurry to make this move, how
title of chess master. One of the ever, preserving it as a threat."
games of that time will give the Just note the clarity of the
reader an idea of his style of young chess player' s thinking and
play. his self-control.
22. . . . Re7 23. g3 Rb8
Nimzovich Defence
1. d4 nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4.
Qc2 dS S. cxdS exdS 6. BgS h6 7.
Bxf6 (7 . Bh 4 c5 8 . 0-0-0 leads to
an extremely intense game)
7 . . . Qxf6 8. a3 BaS (Black should
have exchanged pieces on c3, but
the experienced master V eresov
did not want to simplify the
9. b4 Bb6 10. e3 BfS 1 1 . Bd3 (this
natural move demanded precise
calculation. Black could play 1 1 . . .
Qg6, to which Petrosyan spotted
the treacherous reply: 1 2 . Bxf5
Qxg2 1 3 . f4 ! Qxh l 14. 0-0-0
h5-there was the threat of 1 5 .
Bg4 - 1 5 . Qf2, and Black I S
bound to lose his Queen)

s 1 15
24. Nd2! (this simple move White' s last move is typical of
confronts Black with insoluble Petrosyan ' s tactical foresight. He
problems. There is a threat of 25 . might well have fallen into a trap .
Ndb l ) The variant given in the preced
24. . . Nc4 25. Qxc6? ing notes would not work with
Lack of experience makes it the King on h7, for example, 37.
self felt, however. Petrosyan dxe6? Bxcl 38. e7 Qa6 ! , and
seems to have been carried away Black draws the game).
and fails to see the simple solu 37 . . . NcS 38. Qd4. Black overstep
tion: 25. Nxc4 dxc4 26. Qxc6 ped the time limit on this move.
Bxa5 27. Nd5, etc. His position is in any case , hope
25. . . Nxd2 26. Nxd5 BxaS! less, for example, 38 . . . Qxd4 39.
(White has underrated the impor exd4 Ne4 40. Rxd2 ! Nxd2 4 1 . d6,
tance of this move. The struggle and the passed Pawn cannot be
continues with fresh force) stopped.
27. Nxe7 + Qxe7 28. QdS Bb4 29. In 1 949, Tigran Petrosyan made
Rc7 Qf6 30. Rxa7 Nf3+ 31. Khl his debut in the finals of the
Ng5 32. f4 Ne6 33. Ra8 (Pet USSR championship. Despite an
rosyan's technique, naturally, left unsuccessful start with five
much to be desired at the time. A games lost in a row, Petrosyan
more precise continuation here is, displayed amazing self-control in
of course, 3 1 . Rb l , tying Black's this critical situation and scored
hands) half the possible points in the
33. . . Rxa8 34. Qxa8+ Kh7? (it remaining encounters. It was
was necessary to play 34. . . Bf8 or then that the expression "iron
34 . . . Nf8) 35. Qe4 + ! g6 (35 . . . Kg8 Tigran" was first used by com
is equally ineffective with 36. d,5 mentators .
Bd2 37. dxe6 Bxc l 38. g7) 36. d5 Accustomed to hard, persever
Bd2 31. Rdl ! ing work from his adolescence,
Petrosyan made great efforts to
DIAGRAM 8 1 master chess during those years.
He thoroughly analysed games,
checking the correctness of his
plans and establishing the causes
of failures .
It must b e said that all the best
Soviet chess players have ac
cepted an objective , self-critical
analysis of their games as the
most important method of im
provement. In doing so , they
follow the experience of Chigo
rin, Alekhine and Botvinnik, who
always strove to reveal the under
current concealed in chess games.
In the 1 950 USSR Champion
ship, Petrosyan made a better

1 16
showing, with some of his games
creating a good impression. Here
is one of them, where the young
master energetically repulsed his
opponent' s unjustified attempt to
assume command of the game.

Queen's Gambit

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4.

d4 c6 5. cxd5
A decision typical of Pet
rosyan. He generally dislikes pos
itions with a "suspended centre" ,
situations where the strategic out completes the development of his
lines of the battle remain indefi pieces first. His attack on the
nite for a long time. The trading K-side leads to his opponent's
of Pawns at d5 creates a stable surrender.
Pawn formation and enables 15 . . . Bg5 16. gxh5 Kh8 (or 1 6 . . :
White manoeuvre calmly . Bxe3 + 1 7 . Kb l Kh8 1 8 . Qe2
5 . . . exd5 6. Qc2 Bd6 (the latter Bxd4 19. Qd2, and White is
move is a premature attempt to bound to win)
display activity. The correct con 17. Qf2 f5 18. h4 Be7 19. Qf4.
tinuation here is 6 . . . Be7) 7. Bg5 Black resigns .
0-0 8. e3 Bg4 (the intention is to The tournament over, Pet
transfer the Bishop to g6 and to rosyan responded somewhat in
strengthen the castled position. differently to the laudatory re
Petrosyan succeeds, however, in marks of many critics, for, in
disrupting his opponent' s plan) deed, he was well aware of the
9. Ne5 Bh5 10. f4 Qa5 (the best drawbacks in his playing and
possibility for defence was 10 . . . knew that he had still to accom
Qe8 so as to try and exploit the plish a great deal on the road to
weakness of the Pawn at e3) mastery .
1 1 . Bd3 h6? (the last hope for Work, work and more work !
survival was 1 1 . . . Ne4, sacrificing Another test came in the 1 95 1
a Pawn. Now Black's moves are USSR Championship.
forced responses) Petrosyan got off to an unsuc
12. Bxf6 gxf6 cessful start again, losing the first
two games . The tournament was,
DIAGRAM 82 however, far from over, and
"iron" Tigran continued with
13. g4! fxe5 14. fxeS Be7 15. great enthusiasm, with a real
0-0-0! fighting spirit. Not only did he
Excellent. White is in no hurry improve his tournament standing ,
to win the piece back; instead, he but he also succeeded in tying for

1 17
runner-up position with Yefim passing to tactical tasks, he usual
Geller, with only Paul Keres ly finds the optimal variant of
ahead of him. piece development for both at
Here is one of the games from tack and defence .
the end of the championship. 15. Bd2 d5! (a timely break
through , enabling Black to take
Sicilian Defence the initiative) 16. Nxd5 (if 1 6 .
exd5, 1 6 . . . e 4 is very unpleasant
16 . . . Rxc2 17. fxe5 Nxd5 18. exd5
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 Nxe5 19. Nd4 (White no longer
4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 (a has any adequate defensive
calm continuation, which creates moves)
no special difficulties for Black. 19. . . Nd3 20. Ncx2 Nxf2 +
6. Bg5 or 6. f4 are more active) 21. Rxf2 Bxd5 22. Bxd5 QxdS
6 . . . e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. f4 23. Bc3 Qc4 24. Raft f6 25. Rd1
(9. Be3 is better) Re2 26. b3 Qe4 White resigns.
9.. Nbd7 10. Qe1 b5 1 1 . a3 Bb7 A simple and convincing game .
12. Bf3 ReS 13. Kh1 ReS 14. Qf2 The year 1 95 1 determined Tig
Bf8 ran Petrosyan 's leading position
in modern chess. It marked the
DIAGRAM 83 beginning of a long series of wins
in international tournaments and
matches. His style of play was
taking its final shape.
Petrosyan won the title of in
ternational grandmaster at the in
terzonal tournament in Stockholm
in 1 952, where he lost not a single
Chess players began to say that
it was almost as hard to win from
Petrosyan as to see the reverse
side of the Moon. He is an expert
at conducting defence in difficult
positions. Petrosyan confidently
finds latent defence potential ,
where even very strong and ex
perienced chess players would
not be able to repulse their oppo
Just take a look at how pur nent's onslaught.
posefully Black has deployed his Tigran Petrosyan capitalises on
forces . This ability to create a a positional advantage , usually
clear-cut strategic position in with the precision reminiscent of
keeping with his style of play is Capablanca' s and Rubinstein' s
one of Petrosyan ' s strong points. achievements in this field .
Without diverting his attention in But, n o matter how paradoxical

1 18
it may appear, the fact that Pet A chess player with a style like
rosyan sees too much over the this must possess remarkable in
board is at times an impediment. tuition. And intuition is, indeed,
The point is that Petrosyan spots Petrosyan ' s powerful weapon ,
not only unusual combinations which often guards him against
for himself, but also sees the mistakes , enabling him to find
amazing ways in which they and exploit his opponent' s un
could be refuted by his opponent. noticeable errors , to see through
At times, Petrosyan's unsuspect his calculations and designs.
ing, placid opponent unwittingly From 1 952 onwards , Tigran
passes through numerous tests Petrosyan, after becoming a lead
and dangers , which are but a ing grandmaster, joined the list of
product of the grandmaster's rich likely contenders for the world
imagination . title.
This, incidentally , explains the Another feature typical of Pet
large number of draws among rosyan was the gradual build-up
Petrosyan' s games . These draws of his tournament and match
are not a result of "iron" Tigran's results. Every setback, every
non-competitive spirit, or a sign game lost became for him a
of his lack of will-power; they are jumping-off ground , as it were,
an expression of Petrosyan' s for fresh effort, for new vic
striving for logic, for the truth in tories .
chess, and of his dislike not only This is, for instance, how Pet
of taking unjustified risks, but rosyan' s showing changed in the
even of embarking upon chess challengers' tournaments : fifth
combinations without clear refer place in 1 95 3 ; tie for third place,
ence-points, without reliable with four others, in 1 956; third
beacons. place in 1 959; and first place in
What is particularly typical of 1 962, which gave him the right to
"iron" Tigran' s game? First of all , a match with world champion
his aim for clear-cut games, Mikhail Botvinnik.
where the struggle for the initia Here is one of the games he
tive does not involve complica played at the 1 962 Challengers'
tions that cannot be properly Tournament.
assessed, for a steady accumula
tion of minor positional advan
Reti Opening
tages, for a methodical improve P. BENKO (USA)
ment in the positioning of his T . P ETROSYAN (USSR)
pieces, the striving to eliminate 1. g3 d5 2. Nf3 c6 3. Bg2 Bf5
his opponent's threats long before 4. 0-0 e6 5. d3 Nf6 6. Nbd2 Nbd7
they start influencing the course 7. Qel h6
of the game . When playing with An interesting idea: Petrosyan
Petrosyan, you realise at times , in seems to be inviting White to
amazement, that the plans you advance his central Pawns. At the
conceive are parried in advance same time, he takes into account
and the attacks you contemplate the fact that Black' s lack of
are similarly disrupted. elbow room is temporary , while a

1 19
weakening of White ' s Pawns will

( " ;/:;:, ;;:-,:x
continue to be felt for a very long // '
time to come .
8. e4 Bh7 9. Qe2 Be7 10. e5
Ng8 1 1 . Nb3 Bf8!
./(:- j
One has to have a profound
understanding of the game of
chess in order to play like thi s . In
Tarrasch ' s lifetime, Black's man
oeuvres would have seemed a
gross violation of the fundamen
tal principle of opening theory.
12. c4 Ne7 13. Nbd4 Nf5
14. Nxf5 Bxf5 15. cxd5 cxd5
16. d4
White has obviously failed to
see through his opponent's de
signs. While setting up his posi Black to double Rooks on the
tion at the centre, Benko has f-file, he will be confronted with
opened up possibilities for B lack a mating attack .
to operate on the flanks . 36. Rfl Rxb3 37. Nc5 Rbxa3
16 ..a5! 17. Be3 Be7 18. Rfcl 38. Nxb7 Rd3 39. Nd6 Kh7
0-0 19. Qb5 a4 20. Nd2 Ra7 One -Of Petrosyan ' s famous pre
21. Nb1 NbSPPetrosyan' s pieces ventive moves. There is no need
manoeuvre impressively. for Black to hurry: White is
22. a3 Nc6 23. Nc3 Qa5 24. Bfl bound to sustain material losses.
f6! (A well-timed and well-placed 40. Nb5 Rb8 41. Rb2 Rf3
blow . White has transferred the 42. Rbbl Bf5 43. Rb2 g4!
bulk of his forces to the Q-side, White resigns, because he has
but Black's counter-attack is no satisfactory defence against
being started on the other side) 44 . . . Bd3 .
25. f4 fxe5 26. fxe5 Bg5! I n the spring of 1 % 3 , chess
27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Qxa5 Rxa5 fans all over the world waited for
29. Rd1 Raa8! (making it possible news from Moscow, the venue of
for the Knight to move via a5 to the match between two Soviet
b3 or c4. For the sake of this grandmasters, Mikhail Botvinnik
incursion, Black even sacrifices a and Tigran Petrosyan, for the
Pawn) world chess title.
30. Bb5 Na5 31. Bxa4 Nc4 32. b3 The match against Tigran Pet
Nb2 33. Rdcl Nxa4 34. Nxa4 Bh3 rosyan was for Botvinnik the
35. Ra2 Rf3 grimmest one of all his matches
for the world title. Although he
won the first game, the score
DIAGRAM 84 soon changed in Petrosyan's
It transpires that White has too Botvinnik wrote later, explain-.
many weak points. If he allows ing the reasons for his defeat,

1 20
that he had failed to "program modern chess theory and prac
me" himself to meet the unusual tice.
manner of Petrosyan' s play, the
chief quality of whose talent, in DIAGRAM 85
his opinion, was the amazing
ability to position his pieces so
that they could defend one
another. He wrote further that he
had been in poor form himself. It
is easy to pick up the sad under
tones when he says that a "chess
player does not win a game when
he is not very keen on winning".
Mikhail Botvinnik was already
52 ; it is also symptomatic that
after losing the title, he re
nounced any attempt to reclaim
Botvinnik, grandmaster number
one in Soviet chess , had been
world champion for 15 years
(excluding two one-year intervals
in 1957 and 1960). He was suc This posttton arose in the 1 8th
ceeded by Tigran Petrosyan . game of the Botvinnik vs. Pet
Petrosyan held the title for six rosyan match. White's game
years . During that period, he took seems fairly good: he has a pro
part in many competitions and tected passed Pawn, and all the
studied various aspects of the art squares, through which invasion
of chess. In 1968, he defended by Black ' s forces is possible , are
his thesis on the psychology of guarded. It is instructive to see
struggle in chess, and the title of how Petrosyan gradually reveals
Candidate of Science (Psycholo the latent defects in his oppo
gy) was conferred upon him. nent's formation.
In 1 966 Tigran Petrosyan re 43. . . NeS 44. Rfl?
tained the world chess title in a Even Botvinnik fails to sense
hard-fought match with Boris danger here . He should have
Spassky (the score of the match played 44. Nc4 Ncx4 45 . bxc4
was 12.5- 1 1 .5 in Petrosyan ' s Bg6 46. Ne3 , at equalisation .
favour) . Spassky' s repeat-attack 44 .
. Bg6 45. Kel Nc8! 46. Rf2
in 1 969 led to a change of cham Rf7 47. Kd2 Nd6
pions. Spassky won with a score Although only a few moves
of 1 2 .5-10.5. have been played, B lack' s pieces
The games of these three have become noticeably more
matches for the chess crown , in active.
which Petrosyan's play is of the 48. Nf5 + BxfS 49. exfS
highest standard, have become a (49. Rxf5 _ left White with better
most valuable aid in studying opportunities, but Botvinnik still

regarded his position as defensi taken is the view of Petrosyan as
ble) 49. . . . c4! 50. Rb1 b5! (bril a dry, excessively rational chess
liantly played. It seems as though player.
the entire Q-side has been set The game continued as follows:
into motion) 51. b4 c3 + ! (the 24. Rxf4! Rxf4 25. Be6 + Rf7
sacrifice of a Pawn enables the (or 25 . . . Kf8 26. Qh8+ Ke7
Rooks, too , to start pursuing 27 . Qxh7 + Ke8 28. Qh5 + )
White ' s King). 26. Ne4 Qh4 27. Nxd6 Qg5 +
52. Kxc3 Rc7+ 53. Kd2 Nec4 + 28. Kh1 Raa7 (28 . . . Qxe3 also
54. Kd1 Na3 55. Rb2 Ndc4 loses with 29. Bxf7 + Kf8
56. Ra2 axb4 57. axb5 Nxb5 30. Qh8 + Ke7 3 1 . Nf5+ Kd7
58. Ra6 Nc3+ 59. Kcl Nxd5 32. Be6 + Kc7 3 3 . Qg7 + )
60. Ba4 Rec8! 29. Bxf7 + Rxf7 30. Qh8 + ! Black
A typical point: Black can give resigns
discovered check. Petrosyan is in A spectacular final move.
no hurry to use this weapon, Petrosyan did not take his loss
however. Instead, he increases of the world title as a major
pressure still further. catastrophe. He remained equally
61. Net Nf4 White resigns (if active as a player and researcher.
62. Rh2, 62 . . . Ne3 + 63 . Kb2 Rei
64. Nf3 Nd3 + , etc . ) . THREE KNIGHTS'
A splendid example of attack OPENING
prepared through positional ma
noeuvring. ED . .GUFELD T. PETROSYAN
USSR Championship, 1 %9
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6
Great masters do not like to
play according to the boo k ; they
create the book themselves. The
usual move here is the perfectly
good 3 . . . Nf6.
4. d4 exd4 5. Nd5 Bg7 6. Bg5
Nce7 7. Nxd4 c6 8. Nc3
Although 8. Nxe7 leads to the
equalisation of chances, White,
naturally , wants more .
8... h6 9. Be3 Nf6 10. Bc4 0-0
1 1 . Qf3?
Strange as it may seem, this
"natural" move brings White
close to disaster. But one has to
be Petrosyan to make the hidden
obvious .
This position from the l Oth White should have castled
game of the first Petrosyan v s . instead.
Spassky match shows h o w mis- 11 . . . d5! 12. exd5 c5!

1 22
DIAGRAM 87 13. NbS (or 1 3 . Nde2 Bg4 14.
Qg3 Nf4 with a formidable
13 . . . a6 14. d6 Nf5 15. Nc7 Nxd6!
16. 0-0-0
Grandmaster Gufeld is trying to
entangle Petrosyan in complica
tions. 1 6. Nxa8 Nxc4 is bad, with
the Knight on a8 doomed.
16 . . . Qxc7 17. Bf4 Bg4 18. Qd3
b5! 19. Bd5 Rad8 20. f3 b4
21 . Qxg6 Kh8 (not 2 1 . . . bxc3 ,
of course , in view of 22.
22. Qd3 bxc3 23. fxg4 Qb6
Black conducts his offensive
very forcefully . White' s position
is falling to pieces.
Two well-aimed blows, and it 24. b3 Qb4 White resigns.
becomes obvious that White's Surely any expert attacker
pieces, instead of supporting, would be willing to have this
only hinder each other. game to his credit.
Chapter XI elimination rounds barred him
from taking the coveted first
place in challengers'competitions.
STALWARTS Keres won tournaments with a
very strong entry, was three
OF CHES S times champion of the USSR,
and competed in interzonal tour
naments, too ; when it came to
direct encounters between chal
lengers, however, fate, as though
deliberately , somehow failed to
favour him. On several occasions
it seemed that he would be fortu
Paul Keres ( 1 9 1 6- 1 975) was one nate enough to emerge on top,
of the bright stars of ches s . His but the slightest degree of indeci
first victories in the late 1 930s sion or inaccuracy on his part,
were particularly notable: he tied and K..:res would finish runner-up
for top place with Reuben Fine at in the final score table, while
the famed AVRO-Tournament of another challenger played a
1 938. world-title match .
Chess connoisseurs have al Fate decreed that Keres should
ways admired the Estonian grand be four times runner-up , and
master's style, his knowledge of never once come first in the
theory , the breadth and unusual challengers' tournaments.
character of his plans, as well as In tournaments Paul Keres
his tactical resourcefulness and played against the strongest chess
filigree technique. players of this century . He won
The winner of the A VRO games from many, demonstrating
Tournament was granted the op the superiority of his technique,
portunity to challenge the reign and showing inventiveness and .
ing champion Alexander Alekhine combinative imagination . One
in a world-title match . Keres took memorable example is his game
his time in availing himself of this with Capablanca at the interna
opportunity, however, for, in tional AVRO-Tournament in Hol
deed, he was then only 22 and land in 1 938.
felt sure that time was on his
side. Alas, he certainly had cause DIAGRAM 88
to regret this later.
How could the young Keres Keres (White) resorts to a
know that fate would, over the clever tactical stroke, exploiting
next 35 years, deny him the the fact that Black's pieces must
chance of not only winning the defend his Pawns at a6 and c6,
world title, but even of playing a and starts an irresistible attack on
world-title match? -Although the weak f7-point in his oppo
Keres was regarded as the main nent's K-side.
aspirant for the world champion 22. Ne6!
ship, each time the whims of the Black cannot take the Knight,

1 24
move, but he believed that it
could be answered by 26 . . . Rf8.
Only later did he notice that
White would then play 27 . Nd6 ! ,
deciding the outcome of the en
counter at once.
27. g3, Qc8 28. Rxf4 Qxg4
29. Rxg4 Kxf7 30. Rd7 +
The culmination of White's
winning manoeuvre begun with
22. Nd6 ! B lack loses the end
game, and Keres wins easily . The
game continued as follows :
30 . . . Re7 31 . Rxe7 + Kxe7
32. Bxg7 Ra5 33. a4 ReS 34. Rb4
Ke6 35. Kg2 h5 36. Rc4 Rxc4
because he will then lose his 37. bxc4 Kd6 38. f4 Black
Bishop on d6. 22. . . Bh2+ does resigns.
not save Black, either, in view of The following game was de
23 . Kh l fxe6 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 cided during the opening stage.
25 . Rd7 , with disaster for Black Keres employed an unusual
at g7. thrust by his Bishop, involving
Similarly futile is 23 . . . Ne5, an the decisive offer of a Knight.
attempt at counter-attack . White
would then simply play: 24. Bxe5 Sicilian Defence
Qxe5 25 . Nc5 , and Black's game P. KERES A . KOTOV
is hopeless.
22. . . Qb8 23. Ng5! Challengers' Tournament,
Budapest, 1950
Black is unable to counter the
two threats- the direct 1 . e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4
24. Qxf7 + , and the transfer of 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 Qc7
White's Queen, via g4, to h 5 . 7. Bg5 Nbd7 8. 0-0 e6 9. Bh5
Capablanca, o f course, parries In this well-known theoretical
the immediate threat first. position Keres plays a move
23. Rb7 24. Qg4 Bf4!
which seems strange and out-of
An excellent defence. In the place. 10. . . Nxe6 is threatening,
event of an exchange on g5, the but it is easily parried. The
threat to Black' s K-side would be Bishop thrust, however, contains
removed. a camouflaged tactical threat,
25. Rc4 Rb5 with the opponent failing to see
This looks like Black's best it. Black should now answer it
move; but Capablanca fails to see with 9 . . . Nxh5 1 0 . Qxh5 Ne5 or
his opponent's combinative blow. even 10 . . g6, with a complicated

25 . . . Bxg5 would have left him game ; however, he believes that

better chances for defence. his Queen raid will make White's
26. Nxf7! ReS Bishop return to e2.
Capablanca saw the Nxf7 9

1 25
DIAGRAM 89 11 . . . Kd8 12. Bg4!
The simplest move leading to
victory. 1 2 . . . Qe8 will be an
swered by 1 3 . Bxd7.
12 . . . Qe5 13. f4 Qxe4
(or 1 3 . . . Qxb2 - 1 4. Rb 1 Qa3
1 5 . Bxd7 Bxd7 1 6 . Nxf6, and
White wins)
14. Bxd7 Bxd7 15. Nxf6 gxf6
16. Bxf6 + Kc7 17. Bxh8
As a result, White has won the
Exchange and Black's King is in
a precarious position. Keres pro
ceeds to make the most of the
advantage without difficulty.
17 . . . Bc6 18. Qd2 Bh6 19. Rae1
Qg6 20. Re7 + Kd8 2 1 . Rfe1 a5
22. Bd4 Ra6 23. Qf2 Bf8
24. Bb6+ Kc8 25. Re8 + Bxe8
10. Nxe6!! 26. Rxe8 + Kd7 27. Rxf8 Black
A brilliant combinative idea, resigns .
the purpose of which will become Passions, a s usual, were run
clear after White's next move. ning high in the press centre,
The Knight is sacrificed in order during the fifth game of the
to force black' s King to stay in match between Lev Polugayevsky
the centre. The offer is not based and Anatoly Karpov , challengers
on a concrete calculation of va for the world title . Where had
riants; it rests on an intuitive Polugayevsky made his fatal mis
insight into the secrets of a given take? After all, Karpov ' s position
position. had appeared critical .
10 . . . Qxe6 1 1 . Nd5! There were doubts expressed,
This simple move throws the questions asked and guesses
hopelessness of Black's game to made from every corner.
bolder relief: if he now takes the Paul Keres said nothing for a
Knight, Black will succumb to long time, listening to everybody,
threats along the open e-file , for and then proceeded to demon
example, 1 1 . . . Nxd5 1 2 . exd5 Qf5 strate beautiful combinations and
1 3 . Re 1 + Ne5 1 4 . f4 h6 1 5 . g4 paradoxical variations all showing
Qh7 ( 1 5 . . . Qd7 16. fxe5 hxg4 the possibilities latent in any,
1 7 . e6 !) 1 6 . Bh4 g6 1 7 . fxe5 gxh5 even seemingly simple, position.
1 8. Qe2 ! Kd7 19. e6+ ! fxe6 No one argued with Keres, so
20. dxe6 + , and Black loses. authoritative were his evalua
The following spectacular tions, so great was his prestige.
finale is also possible after For forty years he had been one
1 8 . Qe2 ! 1 8 . . . Bxg4 1 9 . Qc4 ! ReS ! of the world' s strongest chess
20. exd6+ Kd7 2 1 . Qxc8 + ! ! players.
Kxc8 22. Re8 + Kd7 23 . Rd8 + + . Forty years ! 1 934 saw the first

1 26
publication by many chess DIAGRAM 90
magazines of games by the 1 8-
year-old student Paul Keres. The
name was unknown at the time,
but the games , with spectacular
combinations and puzzling com
plications , were quick to attract
the attention of connoisseurs.
Games such as those could
only be produced by a player of
singular talent, from whom great
victories would be expected in
competitive chess . "I like this
young man' s style of play", said
world champion Alexander
Alekhine. "Paul Keres has a great
future before him in chess."
Alekhine was not mistaken.
Excellent results in major interna
tional competitions quickly raised White to play and win.
Paul Keres to the rank of one of The task seems incredible , but
the strongest grandmasters in the just look at the main variant of
world. the solution :
Keres 's theoretical investiga 1 . Kc8! a 4 2 . Kd7 a 3 3. Kxe7
tions were also widely recog a2 4. Ra7! Kh8 5. h7 Kxh7
nised. Collections of games by 6. Ke8+ Kg6 7. e7 KhS 8. Ra3!
this outstanding Soviet grandmas Kh4 9. RaS Kg4 10. Kf7 Rfl +
ter have been published in many 1 1 . Kg6 Re1
countries . It is not surprising that Black seems to have a good
the aggregate edition of his books defence, but, an interesting de
on chess theory and manuals for sign for cornering the Black King
beginners has exceeded half is now brought into play.
a million copies. These books 12. Ra4+ Kh3 13. Kf6 Rfl +
teach one to understand and love 14. KgS Rg1 + 15. Kh5 Re1
chess . 16. Ra3+ Kg2 17. Rxal + and
Keres was one of the few White wins .
grandmasters recently to concen "Chess is the most interesting
trate on chess composition. One game of all the games known to
hundred and eighty of his prob mankind," said Keres. "It is an
lems and 30 of his studies have art, a creative endeavour, a test
been published, and many of of wills. Chess enriches man,
them have been awarded prizes in widens his horizons, and makes
international and Soviet contests. an important contribution to de
And now for one of his studies, veloping friendly contacts be
which won first prize in the tween people . "
USSR chess composers' contest, This latter idea was characteris
held in 1 947 . tic of his affirmation of the social

1 27
significance of chess: Keres was complicated struggle , with combi
an untiring populariser of the art nations galore . This is, for exam
of chess, and he organised teach ple, how beautifully Geller won
ing of chess to schoolchildren and his encounter with ex-world
young people in Estonia. Paul champion Max Euwe in the 1 953
Keres was awarded the Order of Challengers ' Tournament.
the Red B anner of Labour for
his services to the ches s move DIAGRAM 91
This outstanding grandmaster
visited many countries , and,
wherever he went, he shared his
knowledge and wealth of experi
ence with chess devotees . He
never looked down on chess
players whose showing was in
ferior to his ; he was a welcome
guest everywhere.
Paul Keres met eight world
champions over the board . H e
played successfully with Capab
lanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik,
Smyslov , Tal, Petrosyan, Spas sky
and Fischer.
Keres's memory is revered in
his home country of Estonia. The
Keres House, a chess club with
thousands of members, has been The position seems to offer
opened in Tallinn, the capital of White fairly good chances for
the republic. A number of defence. The subsequent ma
monograph s have been published noeuvres of the Black Queen and
on the life and games of Paul Bishop, however, make White' s
Keres. Teams from factories and defeat inevitable. The Soviet
rural chess clubs travel from all grandmaster continued as
over the Soviet Union to partici follows:
pate in the annual Keres Memori 52.. Qcl + 53. Kf2 Bh2!
al Tournament. White' s King is now threatened
Yefim Geller another Soviet by Blac k ' s Queen, supported by
grandmaster, emerged considera the formidable black-squared
bly after Keres. His swift rise at Bishop.
the 1 7th U S SR championship in 54. Qg7 Bf4 55. Kg2 Be3
1 949 marked the start of Geller ' s 56. Rfl Qd2 57. Rf7
career in major competitive Black is faced with mate in one
chess, and he soon began to rank move, but the White King is the
as one of the world' s strongest first to perish .

grandmasters . As a rule, he 57. . . Qxe2+ 58. Kg3 Qel +

gained his victories in a very 59. Kf3 Qhl + 60. Kg3 Qgl +

1 28
Mikhail Botvinnik
Vassily Smyslov

Boris Spassky
Tigran Pctrosyan

Mikhail Tal
Anatoly Karpov at the age of mne

World Champion Anatoly Karpov

The late FIDE President Max Euwe
and Anatoly Karpov
Two grandmasters: Olga Rubtsova
and her daughter Yelena

Kira Zvorykina and Elizavcta


E . BbiJ< OBA
Nona Gaprindashvili and Elizaveta
Nona Gaprindashvili
Maya Chiburdanidzc
Alexander Belyavsky and Artur
Yusupo v
Gary Kasparov

Vitali Tseshkovsky
Oleg Romanishin

Yuri Balashov
Y elena Akhmylovskaya

Rafael Vaganyan

Yuri Razuvayev
A scene in the press office during the
match between Nana Alexandria and
Irina Levitina

Chess players are found everywhere i 1

the Soviet U nim

A capacity audience for the Tigran

Petrosyan and Boris Spassky world
title match
Tigran Petrosyan gives a simultaneous
exhibition for Young Pioneers


l E
61. Kf3 Qf2+ 62. Ke4 ReS+ Pawn attack on the Q-side, while
63. Re7 Qh4 + White resigns. White is thinking of an offensive
A connoisseur of opening sys on the K-side. The question now
tems and an energetic player, is who will be the first to seize
always looking for ways to attack the initiative.
in his inimitable style, Yefim 13 . . . Rad8 14. Rhf1 b5 15. f5!
Geller has won games against the Fischer hopes, by sacrificing a
strongest grandmasters. Special piece, to be able to deal decisive
mention should be made of his blow at his opponent at f6 in the
wins over former world champion future . This leads to complica
Robert Fischer. tions with unexpected tactical
strikes .
15. . . b4 16. fxe6! bxc3
Sicilian Defence 17. exf7 + Kh8
The Pawn is immune- 1 7 . . .
R. FISCHER YE. GELLER Rxf7 will be followed by
Skoplje, 1967 1 8 . Bxf7 + Kxf7 1 9. Qc4+ and
20. Qxc6
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 18. Rf5! Qb4 19. Qfl
4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 It took Fischer 45 minutes to
7. Be3 ponder this move. Now Black
Both Fischer and Geller are is under a threat because 20.
well versed in opening variations, Rxf6 Bxf6 2 1 . Qxf6 ! gxf6 22.
particularly where the Sicilian Bxf6+ + .
Defence is concerned. The US 19. . . Nxe4 20. aJ?
grandmaster had analysed this The US grandmaster proves, in
sequence at length and often used very intricate variants , that the
it in his tournament games . Geller unexpected 20. Qf4 ! would lead
boldly accepts the challenge of to White' s victory.
complications. The move actually made
.. Be7 weakens b3 and enables Geller to
Fischer regards this move as implement an exceptionally
unsuccessful and suggests im beautiful counter-attack.
mediately starting active opera 20. . . Qb7 2 1 . Qf4
tions on the Q-side: 7 . . . a6 8. Bb3 White pursues his pre-
Qc7 9. Qe2. conceived plan for attack on the
8. Bb3 0-0 9. Qe2 K-side, threatening 22. Rh5 . He
White's idea is to castle the has , however, overlooked his op
Q-side, but his Queen's position ponent' s stunning reply .
must be chosen with care. 9. Qd2
could be answered by the un
pleasant 9 . . . Ng4! DIAGRAM 92
9. .. Qa5 10. 0-0-0 Nxd4
I I . Bxd4 Bd7 12. Kb1 Bc6 21 . . . Ba4!!
13. f4 Fischer has been taken l{naw
The games on the sides are ares.
obvious: Black is preparing for a 22. Qg4 Bf6! 23. Rxf6 Bxb3!

9-607 1 29
into his own . In the interzonal
tournament held in Stockholm in
1962, Fischer came first, two and
a half points ahead of his nearest
rivals . The next four prize
winners were all Soviet grand
masters , but, according to the
rule then existing that there could
be no more than three winners
from any one country in an
interzonal tournament- Leonid
Stein was eliminated from the
subsequent challengers' tourna
By the mid- l 960s Soviet chess
players were faced with increased
competition from grandmasters of
This forces Fischer to surren other countries. Bent Larsen was
der immediately. Only 24. cxb3 winning many first prizes in tour
can save him from the threat of naments against the strongest
24 . . . . Ba2 + and mate (Qxb2), but grandmasters in the world.
then there follows 24. . . Nxf6 ! , Svetozar Gligoric and Borislav
and White i s i n dire straits. White lvkov- of Yugoslavia, Lajos For
therefore resigns . tisch of Hungary, and Wolfgang
Yefim Geller's major success Uhlmann of the German Demo
was the winning of the USSR cratic Republic were also playing
title in 1 980, which shows that well.
the veteran chess player still At the 1 964 interzonal in
ranks as one of the strongest Amsterdam, four grandmasters
grandmasters. He also did ex Bent Larsen, Mikhail Tal, Vassily
tremely well at the 22nd Chess Smyslov and Boris Spas sky ,
Olympiad in Malta at the end of finished at the top of the score
1980. table .
After five three-year champion In 1%5, an elimination round
ship periods, FIDE decided to was held between them. In the
considerably amend the rules. quarter-final match Spassky beat
First of all, it cancelled return Paul Keres 6-4, and in the semi
matches, and then challengers ' final match defeated Yefim Gel
tournaments , decreeing that in ler - 5 . 5-2. 5 . Spassky won against
future the best eight grandmast Mikhail Tal- 7-4 in the finals,
ers , as determined by interzo and thus the right to play a
nal tournaments, would play a world-title match.
series of short ( 1 0- 1 2 games) The first Petrosyan vs. Spassky
elimination matches between match was played in 1 966. Boris
themselves. Spassky had not had enough time
The early 1 %0s were when to build up a diverse opening
Bobby Fischer of the USA came repertoire which would enable

1 30
him to manoeuvre m the again and faced Tigran Petrosyan
marathon match , avoid his oppo yet again over the board .
nent's well-prepared sequences, Boris Spassky defeated Tigran
and impose his own will on him. Petrosyan in this second world
Petrosyan won. title match with a score of 1 2.5-
Three years later, Boris Spas 1 0 . 5 , and became the tenth world
sky qualified as challenger No. I champion.
Chapter XII tiona! Master was conferred upon
In 1 955, Spassky won the
B ORIS SPAS S KY world junior chess championship
in Belgium which until that time
had not been won by a single
Soviet player.
The calendar of high level
chess tournaments that year was
such that immediately after the
junior chess championship Spas
sky took part in the interzonal
tournament at Goteborg as a

Boris Spassky's aptitude for prize-winner of the 1 955 USSR

chess was already apparent at the championship.
age of eleven . The Leningrad The new tournament was
Chess Federation did its utmost marked by another success. By
to assist the young chess player finishing as one of the nine prize
whose mastery of the game was winners, Boris Spassky won the
improving from year to year. At right to enter a challengers ' tour
one time Spassky enjoyed athle nament.
tics, clearing 1 80 em in the high Indicative of Spassky' s skill
jump, but his gravitation towards was the game he played with
chess prevailed, and he began to grandmaster Pilnik of Argentina.
devote all his free time to the
game . Sicilian Defence
Boris quickly covered the ini
tial stage of the road in chess, B . SPASSKY G . PILNIK
becoming a first-category player; Goteborg, 1955
then he qualified as candidate
master. He did well at USSR 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4
chess tournaments and in Lenin 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6
grad championships: in 1 949 he 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 h6
won the Leningrad junior chess Chess variations and systems
title, and three years later came of development are also a matter
second among the masters of his of fashion. In the Sicilian De
home town . fence, for example, a particular
Spassky soon gained the title of system of development becomes
chess master in 1953, putting up most popular at a particular time
an excellent performance at an and is then used very frequently
international tournament in in tournament games. Later, the
Budapest with a strong field of new move is forgotten or an
entrants from nine countries; the effective countermove is found,
Leningrad schoolboy tied for and another innovation takes its
fourth place with grandmasters place.
Szabo and Boleslavsky. For this During the Goteborg interzonal,
achievement the title of lnterna- White's best method of attack

1 32
was considered to be Bg5 and the 13. BbS!
subsequent f4 and Qf3 . Argenti This spectacular surprise move
nian player had more than once refutes Black's defence. The
analysed this sequence and, after Bishop on b5 cannot be taken in
finding good variations for Black, view of the dangerous threat of
decided to adopt this system. 1 4 . Rfl + . Keeping Black' s King
9. Bh4 g5 within its sights, the Bishop helps
This counter-offensive was to intensify White's attack .
thought to be most effective. 13. . . Kg7 14. 0-0 Ne5
Black, by gaining e5 for his The numerous analyses, which
Knight, seems to secure an excel were, naturally, made of this
lent game , but grandmaster Pilnik fashionabl!O variation later,
is heading for something unex showed that Black had had no
pected . satisfactory defence .
10. fxg5 Nfd7 1 1 . Nxe6! If Black makes a different
A beautiful offer of his Knight reply, White still manages to se
by White, the purpose of which cure a decisive edge: 14 . . . Qg8
will become clear after his 1 3th 1 5 . g6 ! Bxh4 16. Qxh4, and Black
move. B y exposing the Black is bound to lose . For instance,
King, Spassky proceeds with the 16 . . . Kxg6 1 7 . Bd3 Ne5 1 8 . Rf6+
offensive, without giving Pilnik a Kg7 1 9. Raf l . Or 1 6. . . Qd8
minute' s respite. His attack is 1 7 . Rf7 + Kxg6 1 8 . Re7 ! , and
swift, and the involved combina White's threats cannot be re
tive variations are precisely cal pulsed.
culated . 15. Bg3 Ng6 16. gxh6+
11 . . . fxe6 12. Qh5+ Kf8 The simplest move. Black has
to return to the centre.
16... Rxh6 17. Rf7 + Kxf7
DIAGRAM 93 18. Qxh6
This shows the advantageous
posting of the Bishop at b5,
which denies e8 to Black's King.
Black must urgently take the
18. . . axbS 19. Rfl + Ke8
20. Qxg6 + Kd7 21 . Rf7 Nc6
Pilnik fails to find the most
persistent line of defence - 2 1 . . .
Kc6. But even then White would
have a winnable game, playing
22. Qh7. For example, 22 . . . Bg5

23 . e5 d5 24. Qd3 Qa5 25 . Nxd5 !

exd5 26. Qg6+ . If, however,
Black decides to do away with
the Knight on c3 by playing 22 . . .
b4 (in reply to 22. Qh7), White
wins by continuing 23 . Nd5 exd5

24. Rxe7 d4 25. Qf7 Ra6 26. ReS. the last two games . He could
22. Nd5 either play cautiously and qualify
If now 22 . . . exd5, 23 . Qxd6+ for the next stage of the trials,
Ke8 24. Qq6 Kd7 25 . exd5 Rxa2 or, by staking his all, he could try
26. Qf5 + , and Black's King is to win the USSR championship.
doomed, for example, 26. . . Ke8 The young player decided to take
27 . Rf8+ Bxf8 28. Qg6 + Ke7 the risks-who can blame
29. Bh4+ Kd7 30. dxc6+ bxc6 him ? - and lost in both rounds;
3 1 . Qd3 + . he therefore failed to qualify for
22. . . Rxa2 23. h3 Qh8 24. Nxe7 the interzonal and lost every
Nxe7 25. Qg5 chance of capturing the USSR
Emphasising the hopelessness title.
of Black ' s position. Spassky set about preparing for
25. . . Ral + 26. Kh2 Qd8 the next elimination round among
27. Qxb5 + Kc7 28. Qc5 + Kb8 challengers for the world title.
29. Bxd6 + Ka8 30. Bxe7 Ra5 The long-awaited zonal competi
31 . Qb4 Black resings. tions eventually arrived. Again
A chess player's climb to the the young grandmaster had very
summits of fame has its ups and real chances of being among the
downs and is not always straight. four candidates to the subsequent
At the 1 956 Challengers' Tourna interzonal . This time, however,
ment in Amsterdam, Spassky tied Spassky 's performance was
for third place with four others. marked by indecision, the burden
This was a considerable success of his past reverses evidently
for the 20-year-old grandmaster, weighing heavily upon him. He
all the more so since many simi played the last game poorly, ad
lar competitions still lay ahead. journed it in a bad position and
Boris Spassky did well in other as a result was excluded from the
tournaments, too, while at the elimination round for another
same time preparing for new three years.
challengers ' matches. If only he Three years later, Spassky, al
had known then that he would though he got off to a start that
have to wait for such an oppor lacked confidence, proceeded to
tunity for almost nine years ! take first place in a zonal tourna
In 1 958 Riga was the venue of ment.
the 25th USSR Championship, The way to the world title was
the top prize-winners of which open !
were to go on to an interzonal The first Petrosyan vs. Spassky
tournament, the next step on the match was held in the spring of
path to the world title. Spassky 1966. The challenger mounted
made an excellent showing almost swift attacks, and, when playing
throughout the difficult competi Black, put up persistent defences,
tion, practically ensuring himself launching counter-offensives time
a place at the interzonal, but he and again. In this playing there
was suddenly tempted by the was everything he needed for
prospect of winning the USSR winning the world title, except
title by scoring two victories in one thing: he was poorly pre-

1 34
pared as regards the opening Black must be careful after
stage. As a result, "iron" Tigran moving his Knight to d7 . The
retained the world title. Three immediate 7 . . . e6 can be an
years later, however, the rivals swered by the offer of a Bishop:
met over the board in a match 8. Bxe6! fxe6 9. Nxe6, with
again . White starting a very dangerous
Chess fans, recalling the inten attack.
sity of their former encounters, 8. Qd2 h6 9. Bxf6 Nxf6
awaited this new world title 10. 0-0-0
match with impatience. In the Spassky geared his opening
first match, "iron" Tigran had variation to an attack on the
resisted the vigorous attacks of K-side. Subsequently, however,
his younger opponent, but would Black would be able to position
he manage this time to offset his King differently by castling
Spassky' s mastery at attack with on the Q-side. This is why the
his own defence abilities? trading of the Bishop for the
In the 1 966 match Spassky ' s Knight was not White' s best
theoretical preparation had been move. 9. Bh4 would have been
inadequate, but this time he and preferable.
his coach grandmaster Bon 10 . . . e6 1 1 . Rhe1 Be7?
darevsky had studied in detail all A serious psychological miscal
recent theoretical analysis. This culation on the part of Petrosyan.
kind of training, as Spassky had Spassky had played the preceding
expected, was quick to benefit games of the match in a calm
him during the match. positional manner, avoiding swift
Winning a few games at the thrusts, where one always has to
start, Spassky was in the lead. burn one ' s boats. This had a
Although later Petrosyan man calming effect upon Petrosyan,
aged to equalise, Spassky showed who seemed to believe that to
high standards of play at the wards the end of the match
crucial stage of the match and Spas sky, being in the lead, would
scored the 1 2 . 5 points needed for not take risks. The situation it
victory . self, however, prompted Spas sky
Boris Spassky became the to embark upon sharp tactical
tenth world champion. play.
Spassky's best game in the 12. f4 0-0 13. Bb3 ReS 14. Kb1
second match with Petrosyan Spassky carries out his last
was, undoubtedly, game 1 9 . preparations for a decisive assault
on the K-side. The King has to
Sicilian Defence be sheltered reliably to prevent
Black from using possible count
B. SPASSKY T. PETROSYAN er-attacks for defensive purposes.
Moscow, 1%9 14 ... Bf8
1 . e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 15. g4!
Ncd7 7. Bc4 Qa5 A signal for attack. Petrosyan

White ' s attack cannot be re
21. e5 dxe5 22. Ne4! NbS
The only move. White
threatened the simple 23 . Nxf6,
because Black could not play
Nxe4 in view of 23 . Rxf8+ and
mate on g7.
23. Qg6! exd4
White would have won beauti
fully after 23 . . . Nf4 24. Rxf4 exf4
25 . Nf3 ! Qb6 26. Rg5 ! (26. c3 is
also possible). A spectacular
move now follows to clinch the
game .
10. Ng5!

has to accept the offer of the DIAGRAM 95

Pawn, for otherwise White's
Pawns would push forward irre
pressibly .
1 5. . . Nxg4 16. Qg2 (major oper
ations will now proceed along the
open file) 16 . . . Nf6 17. Rg1 Bd7
( 1 7 . . . Qc5 would have been more
reliable, but even in this case
1 8 . Nf3 ! with the subsequent e5
would render White' s attack Ir
18. f5 Kh8 19. Rdfl Qd8
White threatened fxe6 and then
Rxf6. The weakness of g8 is the
keynote of White' s subsequent
combinative play in attack.
Petrosyan had planned his de
fence correctly , but makes a seri
ous mistake in carrying it out. A
later analysis proved that Queen Black resigns .
at e5 would have provided better After 24 . . . hxg5 2 5 . Qxh5 +
protection for the Knight , at f6. Kg8 26. Qf7 + Kh8 27 . Rf3 , mate
20. fxe6 fxe6 is inevitable.
Here, too, 20 . . . Bxe6 2 1 . Nxe6 After winning the world title,
fxe6 would have left more hope Spassky , unfortunately, began to
for survival , although Spassky avoid major competitions, prefer
could still have carried out the ring tournaments of secondary
same plan: 22 . e5 ! dxe5 23 . Ne4 importance where the standard of
Nh5 25. Qg6 Qh4 26. Rg4, and play was not so high .

1 36
As a result his form slipped ress by leaps and bounds. After
somewhat, and this was already routing all his rivals on the way
apparent at the Alekhine Memori to the world title, Fischer won
al Tournament in Moscow in over Boris Spassky, too.
1 97 1 . Robert James Fischer became
Six months later Spassky was the eleventh world champion, re
to defend his title against Bobby placing Boris Spassky who, at the
Fischer, whose enthusiasm and age of 35 , was still in the prime
energy were causing him to prog- of his life.
Chapter XIII the Soviet male players could not
but inspire women's chess .
The death of Mencik, like the
WOMEN C H E S S death of Alekhine, meant the
absence of a world champion for
PLAYERS several years. At the end of 1 949
and the beginning of 1 950, a
FROM THE tournament of the strongest
women chess players from many
S OVIET UNION countries was organised, with the
winner to be named world
Soviet player Lyudmila Ruden
The 1 935 International Tourna ko made an excellent showing in
ment in Moscow evoked great that very testing competition and
interest, with the excellent per won the women's world chess
formance of the veteran player title. A master of combinative
Lasker, the rise of the young play, Rudenko had been intro
Botvinnik, and Vera Mencik, the duced to chess at the age of ten.
only woman participant. She had competed in tournaments
Vera Mencik who held the as early as the 1 920s, taking
women's world chess title in prize-winning places in USSR and
those years and represented Bri Leningrad championships, had
tain, lost all her games at the been a participant in the USSR
tournament. Despite this, her vs. Britain team match in 1 946,
very presence and attempts to and in the matches between
measure her strength against the Leningrad and Budapest, the
strongest grandmasters was a USSR and Czechoslovakia in
very good sign for chess. 1 954, and in other major competi
On one of her days free from tions.
tournament play, Mencik gave an Rudenko ' s style of play is
exhibition of simultaneous play characterised, for example, by
against the strongest Soviet the end of her game with Mora of
women chess players. While she Cuba, played at the world
had not done well against the women' s chess championship in
men, the women's chess cham 1 950.
pion routed her opponents:
women' s chess was not of a good DIAGRAM 96
standard in the Soviet Union in
those days. Rudenko, playing Black,
Vera MenCik died in an air raid mounts a swift attack on the
on London in 1 944, and women Q-side.
chess players were left without a 25
... f6!
leader. A very clever move strategical
After the war women 's chess ly . The centre must be
tournaments began to be held in strengthened before launching a
many countries. The successes of flank attack.

1 38
in 1 953 with a score of 7-5 with
two draw s .
Bykova started taking part in
tournaments in 1 935. Working
hard at theory and improving her
play, she won the Moscow title in
1 938. A persevering player with a
strong will, she chose to improve
her play still further by entering
men' s chess tournaments. In 1 950
Bykova came third in the
women ' s world chess champion
ship, and three years later, as we
have already said , became world
Challenged by Olga Rubtsova
Bykova lost the world title but
26. Kh2 Ra7 27. Nel Rfa8 confidently regained it in 1 958 in
28. Nbl QaS 29. Nd3 Nxd3 a return match. Only 14 games
30. Rxd3 Qa4! 31. R3d2 Qc4! were played ( 1 6 games, in all,
Rudenko conducts her position were to be played under the
al attack splendidly . The transfer rules) .
of her Bishop at e7 to the g l -a7 Bykova defended the world
diagonal causes commotion in title in yet another match in 1 960,
White' s camp. this time against Kira Zvorykina
32. f3 BcS 33. Qd3 Qa2! 34. c3 from Byelorussia. Bykova won,
White's position on the Q-side retaining the title, which she held
is increasingly weakened. Ruden for seven years.
ko will soon deal a decisive blow . Bykova's style of play is dis
34 . . . Bc4 35. Qc2 Bb3 tinguished by precise calculation
36. Rd8 + Bf8! and the ability to manoeuvre on a
An unusual way of crowning a positional level . She plays well in
well-conducted offensive. Black's the endgame and efficiently
Queen occupies an important pos makes the most of material and
ition at a2, paralysing White' s positional advantages . The gifted
forces. The White Queen must chess player also has a flair for
now retreat, after which Black combinative attack, which is
takes the Rook at d 1 , winning the shown by the following example.
exchange, and building up an
overwhelming positional advan DIAGRAM 97
tage. White therefore resigns .
A s world champion, Rudenko This position arose in the
laid the ground work for Soviet Bykova v s . Kogan game (the
women' s chess for years to Moscow vs. the Ukraine match
.come. Rudenko held the world of 1 954). A few energetic moves
title for three years, ceding it to by the world champion put Black
Yelizaveta B ykova, who beat her in a crisis situation.

1 39
pionships out of a total of 23 . In
1 959 Olga Rubtsova did better
than Rudenko and Bykova in a
tournament involving world's
strongest women players and won
the world title.
Everyone in the Rubtsov fami
ly plays chess. Olga's husband
holds the title of master, and her
youngest daughter Yelena that of
international grandmaster.
Olga Rubtsova is at her best
with swift attacks. An example of
this is offered by the finale of her
game with Karff from the USA at
the 1 950 world championship.
22. a4! Qb8
If 22. Qb4, 23 . Nd3 , and White DIAGRAM 98
can play more freely. This, of
course, would be a lesser evil for
Black, who now comes under
decisive combinative attack from
23. Nc6 Qc7
23 . . . Rxel + is also bad, be
cause of 24. Rxel Qc7 25 . Ne7 +
followed by 26. Qxa8 + .
24 . Re7!
Excellent! If 24. . . Bxf4, the
simple 25. Rxc7 gives White a
decisive material edge .
24 . . . Rxe7 25. Bxd6 Black
The third Soviet holder of the
world title, Olga Rubtsova,
learned to play chess from her
father Professor Nikolai Rubtsov, Rubtsova (White) demolishes
a prominent metallurgist, and a the Black King's position by
great chess fan. Her first success smashing the Pawn shield.
came in 1 926. She came first in a 30. Nde7 + Kf7 31. Nxg6! Qc5
large women ' s chess tournament, Black cannot take the Knight,
the first one held in the USSR . because of Qh7 + . But even with
Rubtsova subsequently won the the next move, Black's King has
Moscow title and the USSR title no chance of escaping pursuit.
more than once. She has set a 32. Qg3 Ke6 33. Nf4 + Kd7
record of a kind by competing in 34. Rdl Bxe4 35. Qg7+ Kc6
17 USSR women' s chess cham- 36. Rxd6 +

Black's game is hopeless . The the same age and older. In the
concluding vigorous moves 1 96 1 challengers' tournament
follow: Nona put up a splendid perfor
36. . . Qxd6 37. Nxd6 Rd8 mance, winning the right to battle
38. Qb7+ Kxd6 39. Qxe4 Kc7 it out against world champion
40. c3 Rd6 41. Nd5 + Kc6 Bykova.
42. Nf6 + Kc5 The world title match in 1 962
The game was adjourned at this was marked by Nona's obvious
point, and the American player supremacy. Yelizaveta Bykova
resigned without resuming play. managed to draw only four
The popularisation of chess and games, with Gaprindashvili' s five
the organisational work done wins bringing her the world title
among the young was bound to at the age of 2 1 .
affect the women ' s chess move The nature of Nona Gaprin
ment, too. Up-and-coming dashvili's victories, her style of
players were trained in the Young play, and her successes in men' s
Pioneer Palaces . Nona Gaprin chess tournaments prompted one
dashvili from Georgia was soon to assume that she would reign
destined to emerge as a leading long as world champion: Nona
light in chess . kept the honourable title for 1 6
Nona was born into the family years.
of a teacher in a agricultural Gaprindashvili's victories were
college . She had five brothers, convincing. She surpassed her
and as the only sister invariably rivals in her knowledge of theory,
joined in all their activities. This in strategic mastery , and in acute
is why Nona is so keen on sports, combinative play. In high-level
and, chess apart, her favourite competitions Nona showed strong
game is football. will, endurance and the ability to
Nona attended the Tbilisi muster her strength at crucial
Young Pioneers' Palace, con moments.
stantly improving her standard of Nona has done well in interna
play. She followed her success in tional men ' s chess competitions,
school competitions with wins in too, competing as an equal
USSR tournaments. Her mastery against experienced masters and
of chess improved from year to grandmasters. And now for a
year. The results of tournament game she played with grandmas
trials showed Nona as a chess ter B . Kuraica of Yugoslavia.
player of rare ability . Commen
tators said that here was a future Sicilian Defence
world champio n , and she lived up
to their forecasts. N . GAPRINDASHVILI
When Gaprindashvili took part B. KURAICA
in an elimination round of chal 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4
lengers for the world women' s 4. Nxd4 Qc7 5. Nc3 e6 6. g3 a6 7 .
chess title, her victories seemed Bg2 bS?
only natural . She easily proved A premature move. 7 . . . Nf6
her superiority qver rivals both of should have been played.

8. h3 Nge7 9. Nde2 b5 10. 0-0 25 . . . e5 26. Kxg2 Kxe7 27. fxe5
Bb7 1 1 . a3 Bxe5 28. Qe4 Rac8 29. fxg6 Rxf1
1 1 . Bf4 is also good here. 30. Kxfl Qc4
11.. d6 12. Be3 g6 13. Qel Bg7 Although Black has put up a
14. Rad1 Na5 resourceful defence in a difficult
It is now obvious that the position, Gaprindashvili proceeds
outwardly aggressive continuation confidently and consistently to
7 . . . h5 was but a vain show of make the most of her advantage.
strength. B lack has failed to 31. g7 Kd7 (if 3 1 . . . Kf7, 32.
grasp the initiative on the K-side; Qh7 Rg8 33. Nf5 is dangerous for
moreover, his position o n this Black) 32. Qh7 Qg8 (32. . . Rg8
side has been weakened as there would have left more chances for
is a threat of White' s Pawns a successful defence, for example
advancing f4 and f5 . 3 3 . Qf5 + Kc7 34. Ne6 + Kb6 and,
15. Bel 0-0 16. f4 Nc4 17. Kh2 in reply to 35 . Qf7 , 35 . . . Rxg7 is
Qc5 18. Rd3 f5? possible) 33. Qf5 + Ke7 34.
Another totally unprovoked Qg5 + Kd7 35. Qf5 + Ke7 36. Qe4
weakening. The proper move Kd7
here is 1 8 . . . a5 . Black, in the hope of a draw,
19. b3! Nxa3 must bring the Queen back to c4,
White would also have an ad but male pride goads Kuraica to
vantage with 19 . . . Nb6 20. Be3 take a ruinous path.
Qc7. 37. Qb7 + Rc7 38. Qxa6 Bxd4

39. Qxb5+
DIAGRAM 99 An inaccuracy because of time
trouble . A winning continuation is
39. Rxd4! Qxg7 40. Qxd6+ Kc8
4 1 . Qa6 + , etc. The next move
enables Black to spin out his
39. . . Rc6 40. Qf5 + Kc7 41.
Rxd4 Qxg7


The game was adjourned at this

point. White has an extra Pawn,
but many technical difficulties
must be overcome. Nona carries
on very confidently, however,
even at the technical stage of the
20. b4 Qxb4 21 . Bxa3 Qxa3 22. 42. Ra4 Qc3 43. Qf7 + Kb6 44.
Nd5 Qc5 23. Nxe7 + Kf7 24. exf5! Qf2+ Kb5 (44 . . . Rc5 is more per
Bxg2 25. Nd4! sistent). 45. Rh4 ReS 46.
Splendid, indeed. White Qe2+ Kb6 47. Qd3 Qf6 + 48 . Rf4
threatens the decisive Qxe6. Qe6 49. Kg2 Kc7 50. Re4 Qf6 5 1 .

1 42
White Rook children's chess club
championships. Her game im
proved until she emerged victori
ous in tournaments in Georgia,
her home, and took prize-winning
places in USSR competitions.
Nona Gaprindashvili and Maya
Chiburdanidze are the only two
women to hold the title of grand
master in both women's and
men' s ches s . We have already
given the Gaprindashvili vs.
Kuraica game, where the promi
nent Yugoslav player succumbed
to Nona Gaprindashvili's "spell".
And now for a game in which
Rc4! (the trading of Rooks in Maya Chiburdanidze routed the
creases White' s chances for vic experienced grandmaster V. Tuk
tory) 5 1 . . . Rxc4 52. Qxc4+ Kb6 makov in the 1 980 USSR men' s
53. Qb3+ Kc7 54. Qc4+ Kb6 55. chess championship (First Divi
Qd5 Qg6 56. Qd3 Qf6 sion).
Now , experiencing a time trou
ble, Kuraica blunders. He should Sicilian Defence
have played 58 . . . Qe8 .
57. Qe3+Kc7 58. Qa7+ Kc6 59. V. TUKMAKOV
Qa6+ Kd5 60. Qb5+ Resigns.
This was a game distinguished 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4.
by real mastery, with interesting Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7.
plans and subtle manoeuvres , f4 Qc7 8. Qf3 b5 9. 0-0-0 b4?
and, inevitable mistakes , without The position prior to Black's
which chess would not be chess . last move, has more than once
Many other up-and-coming been seen in games at major
women chess players, Nana tournaments. Everything in this
Alexandria, Irina Levitina, Marta acute variation is on the verge of
Litinskaya, Yelena Akhmylovs a precipice. Any mistake either
kaya, and Nana Ioseliani, to men by White or Black may land one
tion but a few , have appeared in or the other in a critical situation.
the USSR. The b-Pawn should not have
Soviet women chess players, as been pushed ; Black should have
the results of the Chess Olym strengthened his defence in the
piads and other major competi centre.
tions have shown, hold the lead 10. e5! b7 1 1 . Qh3 dxe5
ing positions . In conclusion, let
us dwell on world champion DIAGRAM 1 0 1
Maya Chiburdanidze. 1 2 . fxe5 Qxe5 13. Bxf6 Qxf6
Maya's chess career began in ( 1 3 . . . gxf6 is better) 14. NebS!
school tournaments and at the BcS?

1 43
Another and decisive blunder. 22. . . Rb6 23. Bd5 Rf6 24.
Black should have accepted Bxe6 + Nxe6 25. Rxe6 Rbxe6 26.
Chiburdanidze's challenge and Ret Kh8 27. Rxe6
played 14 . . . axb5 . White is two Pawns up and
15. Nxe6! (a brilliant decision: brings home her advantage easily.
White's attack is uncounterable) An impressive finale !
15... axb6 (if 1 5 . . . fxe5 1 6 . Even before the world title
Qh5 + Qf7 17. Nc7+ Kf8 18. match which Chiburdanidze
Qxc5 + , etc .) 1 6 . Bxb5 + Nc6 17. played with Gaprindashvili in
Bxc6 + Bxc6 18. Nc7+ Kf8 19. Nxa8 1978, Maya had set a number of
Of4+ 20. Kb1 Qb8 21. Rhfl Be7 amazing world records , even
22. Qe6 Resigns. though records are not officially
Maya is a very resourcesful registered in chess.
player; she has excellent com It will be recalled that Maya
binative vision and is bold in became a master at the age of 1 3
attack . This is, for example, the (sic !), international grandmaster
finale of one of the games played at 1 6 , and world champion at 1 7 !
at the 1974 USSR women' s chess This i s unprecedented i n the his
championship. In this encounter tory of chess.
Chiburdanidze played White ver After successfully passing
sus the experienced and strong through the elimination round,
Grinfeld . Maya Chiburdanidze, as we have
already said, had to play in 1 978
against Nona Gaprindashvili in the
world-title match .
The game continued as follows : The struggle was exceptionally
19. Bxc5! dxc5 20. Nxc5 Nd8 21. tough , with the events developing
Nxe6 Ndxe6 22. Qb3 dramatically. Nona Gaprindash
Pressure along the e-file and vili doubtless underrated her
the a2-g8 diagonal clinches the rival . Indeed, prior to the match,
game. she had had four encounters with

Chiburdanidze, winning all the to Black. 1 2 . d4 should have been
four games. played) 12 . 0-0 13. h3 Qd5 (the
It is interesting that their first Queen's post at h5 was precari
game was in a simultaneous ous, and 1 4 . Bg5 threatened to
exhibition the world title-holder block all routes of escape)
gave to the best girl chess players 14. Bd2 Rfd8 15. Qc2 Rac8 16.
of Tbilisi. Nona Gaprindashvili Bc3 c5 17. Radl h6 18. Qb3 b6
failed to take into account the 19. e4?
fact that Maya had taken seven In the positional struggle,
league strides in her development where the chances are almost
as a chess player, that she had equal, Gaprindashvili upsets the
been improving from one balance, hoping to launch a swift
competition to another. attack . The hope will soon be
Her amazing talent, great thwarted against the background
capacity for work, self-criticism of substantial defects that have
and exactingness- these are the arisen in the White camp.
components of the success Maya 19
.. Qe6 20. Nh4
Chiburdanidze deservedly gained, It seems that the Pawn at f2
winning the match against Nona will take two leaps to reach the
Gaprindashvili with a score of f5-square , after which the black
8 . 5-6.5. King's position will be smashed.
And now for one of the games Delay would now be suicidal for
of the match . Black.

Reti Opening DIAGRAM 103

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. c4 c6 4.
Bg2 dxc4 5. a4 g6 6. Na3 Qd5
Violating the generally ac
cepted canon s , the Queen joins in
the fray earlier than other pieces.
Yet, one cannot help commend
ing Chiburdanidze for her specific
appraisal of the situation. The
Queen' s raid leads, eventually, to
the trading of the white-squared
Bishops, which weakens White' s
7. 0-0 Na6 8. Net (since the
Knight will all the same have to
return to f3 , 8 . Nh4 was a better
.move.) 20..Nb4!
8... Qh5 9. Nxc4 Bh3 10. Nf3 Many know how to play ac
Bxg2 l l . Kxg2 Bg7 12. d3 (a cording to rules, but only the
passive move ceding the initiative chosen few can find exceptions

10-607 145
to those rules. It was until recent
ly believed (and it must be frank
ly stated that some hold such a
view even now) that women do
not play chess as well as men.
Let us not start a discussion, but
moves similar to Black's last are
proof of a high degree of
mastery !
21. Bxb4 cxb4 22. Rfel
There was a threat of 22 . . .
Nxe4, while 22. Oxb4 could be
answered by 22 . Rxd3 ! Yet, in
. .

the latter variation White would

have some chances for counter
play, whereas the text dooms her
to passivity.
22.. . Nd7 23. Qc2 NcS 24. b3 Rcxd3 33. Rxd3 Rxd3 34. NdS
a6! Rxf3 White overstepped the time
DIAGRAM 1 04 "I've already played more than
600 tournament and match
Black's last i s a short-cut move games ," Maya Chiburdanidze told
to exploiting her positional advan journalists recently. "I'll keep on
tage. By ousting the Knight from playing regularly in the future,
the c4-square , Black opens up the too. The world champion must be
way for her pieces to the numer a playing champion- ! fully
ous weak points on White' s agree with Anatoly Karpov on
Q-side. this point."
25. Nf3 bS 26. axb5 axb5 27. Answering questions about her
Ne3 Na4 28. Qa2 (any other ambitions and plans, Maya said:
moves open to the Queen also "My ambition is to become a
lead to the loss of the Exchange . good doctor," and added with a
White is already in dire straits) twinkle in her eye: "In chess, I
28. . . Nc3 29. Qa5 Nxdl 30. aim to become world champion in
Rxdl Qxb3 31. QxbS Rc3 32. Qb7 men's ches s . "
Chapter XIV the correct moves myself. A year
later my knowledge of chess was
firmly consolidated. I developed
ANATOLY a taste for the game . I began to
take part in school competitions
KARPOV , regularly, and then I started at
tending a chess circle at the
1 2TH WORLD Young Pioneers ' Palace in
C HAMPION Soon, the Karpovs moved to
Tula, an old Russian metal
In April 1 975 , the International working centre . There Anatoly
Chess Federation (FIDE) proc Karpov won his first gold medal,
laimed the 24-year-old Soviet for finishing secondary school
grandmaster Anatoly Karpov 1 2th with honours.
world champion , a decision passed In the summer of 1 96 1 the city
because Bobby Fischer, had for of Borovichi, in Novgorod Reg
feited the title by refusing to play ion, was the venue of the all
a title match , and approved by Russia junior chess competitions;
all . 1 0-year-old Anatoly travelled
Although Anatoly Karpov's from Zlatoust to take part in the
chess career is comparatively tournament.
short, he is noted for his remark The local newspaper Krasnaya
able understanding of the game, Iskra (Red Spark) said about
precise calculation, intuition, and him: "Anatoly Karpov , the
a deep knowledge of chess youngest of the entrants cannot
strategy and tactics . In short, he even see the whole board sitting
has everything which disting on an ordinary chair. The um
uishes a chess player of world pires had to procure a special
class . prop for him."
Anatoly Karpov was intro To many experts' surprise, the
duced to chess in early childhood youngster scored five points out
by his father, Yevgeny Karpov, of a possible 10 in the tourna
an economist, who worked in a ment. Summing up the results of
factory in the town of Zlatoust, the competition, a sports com
in the Urals . This is what Karpov mentator noted that: "There is no
himself has to say about this doubt that Anatoly Karpov has a
time: great talent for chess. Let us
"From my early years I wish this most gifted junior chess
watched my father playing chess . player all possible success . "
He was very fond o f sitting over That success was not long in
the chessboard; he was said to be coming. At the age of 1 1 , Anatoly
a good amateur. I think Dad was Karpov became a candidate
about equal in strength to a chess master, at 1 5 , a master; and at
player with a second grade. At 1 9 , an international grandmaster
five, or to be more precise, at and the world junior chess title
four-and-a-half, I learnt to make holder.

1o 147
Anatoly Karpov is really ex The winner of many interna
ceptionally talented, but his tional tournaments, Anatoly Kar
abilities developed so quickly be pov was adjudged the best chess
cause of a conducive environ player of 1973 and awarded the
ment. When Anatoly Karpov was Chess Oscar Prize. In 1 974, he
1 3 , he enrolled at Mikhail Botvin again won this award, given by
nik' s chess correspondence the International Federation of
school. The pupils of the school Chess Writers. Connoisseurs
are given written assignments by pointed not only to the high
the former world champion. Then standard of the young grandmas
they send their homework to him, ter's achievements in competitive
and he thoroughly checks and chess as such , but also his crys
reviews it. Botvinnik'.s pupils tal-clear strategic plans and his
gather for a session two or three ability to carry out well
times a year, during which they considered plans and to decide
discuss and comment on moves, the outcome of a game with
and consult their teacher. Karpov moves unexpected , yet fully con
greatly benefited from this sonant with the special features
school, which taught him, basical of a given position.
ly, how to work in a planned, Experts spoke highly of the
well-organised and considered game which Karpov won from
way . grandmaster V. Hort of Czechos
When Karpov became a stu lovakia at the Alekhine M emorial
dent of economics at Leningrad Tournament in Moscow , where
University, he began to take les Karpov tied for first place with
sons from international grandmas grandmaster Leonid Stein. In this
ter Semyon Furman , a prominent game , Karpov's manoeuvres
Leningrad expert, who remained struck one as being unexpected
his coach and true friend until the and at times paradoxical , but they
latter' s death . were actually the result of deep
What then does Anatoly Kar insight into the position, a short
pov think of chess? cut, and most correct way of
"Chess to me ," he said, "is a making the most of White's ad
battle of brains and a test of vantages . The game was ac
wills. In every game I play to knowledged to be the best one at
win, although each time in a the tournament.
different manner , depending on
my opponent' s style of play.
Anyone who has devoted himself Sicilian Defence
to a favourite pursuit is bound to A . KARPOV V. HORT
strive for perfection ."
Anatoly Karpov made fast 1 . e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4.
progress , learning useful lessons Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4
from tournament encounters , and This move is an idea taken
studying the experience of from Keres: to oust the oppo
champions both of the past and nent's Knight from f6 and to start
the present. an attack on the K-side.

1 48
6 . . . Nc6 (the simple 6 . . . h6 is many more games and taken part
preferable) 7. g5 Nd7 8. Be3 a6 9. in many many more competetions
f4 Be7 10. Rg1 Nxd4 l l . Qxd 4 e5 than any of his predecessors.
12. Qd2 exf4 13. Bxf4 Ne5 Even Karpov ' s very first per-
As Karpov indicated, 1 3 . . . Qb6 formance at the Portoroz-
14. Rg3 Qxb2 is ineffective, in Ljubljana tournament was
view of 1 5 . Rb1 Qa3 1 6. Nd5 . marked by success- and this de
14. Be2 Be6 15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. spite the fact that the world ' s
exd5 ( 1 6 Qxd5 is equally good) eight stronger grandmasters were
16.. Ng6 17. Be3 h6!? (Black's among the entrants. After another
last move leads to considerable series of encounters on Board
complications. 1 7 . . . 0-0 would be One in the USSR Games (Spar
better) 18. gxh6 Bh4+ 19. Kd1 takiad), the world champion com
gxh6 20. Bxh6 Bf6 21 . c3 Be5 22. peted in an international tourna
Rg4! (this forestalls the Queen's ment, held in Milan. This was a
move to h4. The h2-Pawn is of no gathering of outstanding grand
material importance under the cir masters with the highest ELO
cumstances )22... Of6 (a better) ratings- the digital indicators of
move is 22 . . . Bxh2, restoring their prowess. Karpov ' s loss to
material equality) 23. h4! Qf5 F. Andersen of Sweden came as
(23 . . . Nxh4 is bad, because of 24. a sensation at the start of the
Bg7) 24. Rb4 Bf6 25. h5 Ne7 26. tournament, but the world
Rf4 Qe5 27. Rf3! Nxd5 28. Rd3 champion himself viewed the set
Rxh6 back calmly .
A forced move. If 28 . . . Ne7 , "Don't worry, for heaven ' s
28. Bf4 will be decisive. sake," h e told one o f his col
29. Rxd5 (but not 29. Qxh6, in leagues . " I ' ll come first all the
view of 29 . . . Bg5 and 30 . . . Ne3 + ) same . "
29. . . Qe4 30 . Rd3! And he d i d prove his suprema
The manoeuvres of the Rook cy-six victories brought Karpov
are beautiful and interesting: it first place. Karpov also had the
has compietely disorganised best competitive performance in
Black' s defences by its last five 1 975, and this won him the Oscar
moves. There is a threat of 3 1 . Prize again. British publishers
Bf3 now , and Black has to agree had already compiled a collection
to a forced sequence. of the young champion's games.
30 . . . Qh1 + 31. Kc2 Qxa1 32. They wrote that they believed
Qxh6 Be5 33. Qg5 Black at this that the reader would enjoy going
point overstepped the time limit. through the games as much as
His game is hopeless . they themselves enjoyed working
After h e was acclaimed world on the material for the book.
champion, Anatoly Karpov said: Another two years brought
"I believe that the champion of Karpov both tournament succes
the world must play, play and ses- six first places-and new
play." And he has done just that. trophies. These included the
Over the six years of his reign, USSR champion gold medal (the
the young chess king has played Soviet grandmasters regarded this

1 49
award as a particular honour) behind Anatoly Karpov ' s activity
and the fourth Chess Oscar in a as a populariser of ches s .
row. The most recent three-year
A champion's reign is never period ( 1 978-8 1 ) still further
serene, for every three years he strengthened Karpov's prestige as
is bound to defend his title . the world's strongest player, as
Karpov succeeded in doing this, witnessed by his outstanding vic
too: although after a brilliant start tories and the excellent quality of
he slowed down the pace of his his games . Chess fans have been
offensive for a number of intrigued by a change in the
reasons, he succeeded in scoring world champion's style of play,
a decisive victory in a match held which came about precisely dur
in Baguio, in the Philippines, and ing this three-year period .
retained the title for another A thorough study o f the games
three-year period. of chess players of the highest
The Chess Federation of the rank shows that their style of
USSR has every right to be proud play changed during their long
of its leading player. Not only chess careers. Capablanca, for
does Anatoly Karpov enter chess instance, after starting with spec
competitions regularly, he also tacular, keenly tactical gems , sub
successfully combines practical sequently went over to employing
play with analytical work. He has calm, positional methods of strug
had a book of his best games gle. On the contrary , Mikhail
with commentaries published , and Botvinnik, leader of the Soviet
he writes many articles and notes school of chess, used the calm
on games . Such analytical work methods at the beginning of his
not only enables beginners to chess career, and then proceeded
learn from him, but also makes to increasingly sharpen his style
for higher standards for Karpov of play, using combinative
himself. attacks .
The young champion devotes Anatoly _Karpov seems to be
much of his time to the popular following m Botvinnik' s foot
isation of chess. He is Editor-in steps. From early childhood, he
Chief of the chess magazine 64. astonished people with his filigree
The world champion tours the technique and ability to conduct
USSR, delivering lectures, giving the endgame in a masterly man
exhibitions of simultaneous play, ner. This brought him many vic
and attracting new players to tories . Nowadays Karpov has
chess. begun to resort ever more exten
The 1 2th world champion also sively to acute tactical methods
plays a great role in the life of of play, with extremely intricate
FIDE as a member of the Central combinative plans appearing in
Committee . He has done a great his games ever more frequently.
deal to increase the contingent of This makes his style of play
FIDE member-countries , particu versatile and enables him to
larly among the developing coun choose diverse ways of gaining a
tries . Gens una sumus is the idea decisive advantage . And now for

1 50
examples of Anatoly Karpov ' s
"new" playing.

Sicilian Defence

Bad Kissingen, 1980

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4.
Nxd4 Nf6 5: Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7.
0-0 Be7 8. f4 0-0 9. Kh1 Nc6
The famous Scheveningen Var
iation of the Sicilian Defence,
which has been employed in top
level tournaments for decades
now . Black prepares for an attack
on the Q-side, while White' s
pov calculated a series of tactical
pieces are geared t o a n assault o n combinative sequences . Let us
the K-side. take a look at these variants .
10. Be3 Bd7 1 1 . Qel Nxd4 12. I f 26. . . Rad8, which seems to
Bxd4 Bc6 13. Qg3 b5 14. a3 g6 be most dangerous, 27 . fxg6
Black's last is a dubious move
Rxd 1 + 28. Nxd l Qxd 1 + 29. Rfl
making it easier for White to Bxfl 30. gxf7 + Kh8 3 1 . Qxe5 !
attack and open up the files on
Bxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Qg4+ 3 3 . Kf2
the K-side. More cautious chess
Qg7 34. h4 ! , and Black cannot
players refrain from this provoca
prevent the Pawn's advance to
tive advance of the g-Pawn.
h6. It was really not so simple to
15. Bf3 Qc7 16. Rad1 Qb7 17.
think eight moves ahead in such a
Precise calculation by the Nor was it easy to analyse
world champion. If 1 7 . . . Nxe4 1 8 . another involved saquence arising
Nxe4 Bxe4 1 9. f6 Bd8 20. Qh4 after 27 . . . hxg6 28. h3 Rd3 29.
Bxf3 2 1 . Qh6 Bxg2+ 22. Kg 1 , Qxg6+ ! ! fxg6 30. Rxf8+ Kh7 3 1 .
and Black cannot avoid mate . R2f7 + Kh6 32. Rh8 + Kg5 3 3 .
17 . . . e5 18. Be3 b4 19. axb4 h4+ + .
Qxb4 20. Bg5 An admirable example of
Karpov energetically "'!oves . his Anatoly Karpov's calculation in
pieces nearer to Black s Kmg, combinative play !
without sparing his Pawns. 26 . . . Rac8 27. Rc2 Qa1 28. fxg6
20. . . Qxb2 21. Rd3 Qxc2 22. hxg6
Bd1 Qb2 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Rxd6 Here the reader can again ad
Bd5 25. Rf2 Qcl mire a spectacular set of com
binative sequences analysed by
the world champion. After the
26.Rxf6! seemingly strong 28. . . Rxc 3 ,
Before making this move, Kar- Black's King is beautifully mated:

29. gxf7 + Kh8 30. Qxe5 Qxd 1 + from the international tourna
3 1 . Rfl + + . No less admirable ment in Bugojno (Yugoslavia) in
is the following vanat10n: 1980.
30. . . Re3 31. Qxa l Re1 +
32. R f l + + .
29. Rd6 Rc7 Slav Defence
Yet another spectacular finale A. KARPOV M. TAL
is: 29 . . . Rfd8 30. Qxe 5 Rxd6 3 1 .
Qxd6 Rxc3 32. Qd4 Re3 3 3 . 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4
ReS+ K h 7 3 4 . Rh8 + + . c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6.
30. Qxe5 Rfc8 31. Qd5 Kg7 32. Bd3
Qd4+ Kh7 33. Nxb5! Resigns . The Merano Variation of the
A brilliant conclusion of Slav Defence has long been fa
White's resourceful performance. mous for acute complications in
Anatoly Karpov' s style of play volving active operations by the
had already changed by the time pieces.
of the world-title match in Baguio 6 . . . dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 a6
in 1 978, when he employed acute 9. e4 c5 10. d5
variations, sacrificed pawns and Analysts the world over have
sought for complication. Many spent a great deal of time on
explained this not only by the seeking new lines in the sequence
champion's desire to modify his with 1 0 . e5 . The world champion
style of play, but also by the prefers attack in the centre
influence of the grandmasters through the advance of the
with whom he had prepared for Queen' s Pawn.
the match and analysed the ad 10.. c4 1 1 . dxe6 cxd3
journed games. His friends , inter Another possibility is 1 1 . . .
national grandmaster Igor Zait fxe6, because the text still allows
sev, and particularly former White to retain an appreciable
world champion Mikhail Tal, positional edge.
have long been known for their 12. exd7 + Qxd7 13. 0-0
resourcefulness and preference 1 3 . Bg5 or 1 3 . e5 are the moves
for acute , complicated positions. usually seen here . Karpov opts
This co-operation could not but for another line of continuing
influence the world champion, attack.
and the style of his victories and 13 . . . Bd7 14. Rei Bb4 15. Ne5
the direction of his creative en Qe6
deavour in chess have changed This move, too, means that
noticeably. Karpov today willing White retains the initiative. The
ly agrees to extremely intricate Queen ' s other possible retreats
complications , and his plans con do not make for equalisation. For
tain many fantastic inventions, example, 1 5 . . . Qe7 1 6 . Nxd3
and unexpected combinative Bxc3 1 7 . bxc3 0-0-0 1 8 . f3 or 1 5 . . .
moves. It is interesting that Qd4 1 6 . Nxd3 0-0-0 1 7 . Nxb4
Mikhail Tal himself fell a prey to Qxb4 1 8 . Qc2, and White' s initia
similar inventiveness on the part tive become dangerous.
of Karpov . This is their game 16. Nxd3 Bxc3

DIAGRAM 1 06 checkmating Black's King. Just
analyse every variation-this will
be a spectacular picture of com
binative positions ! For example,
32. . . Kc5 3 3 . Nd3 + Kc4 34.
Rb4+ + . Or 32. . . Ka5 3 3 . Rd2
Rc4 34. Ra2 + Ra4 35. Bc3 + and
36. Rxa4+ + .


17. Nf4!
A subtle interpolation, with ac
curate calculation of possible
chances for attack . Despite the
trading of Queens, White finds
energetic ways of continuing the
attack on Black' s King.
17.. Qd7 1S. bxe3 Nxe4 19.
Qxd7 + Kxd7 20. Ba3 RheS 21 .
Red1 + Ke7 22. f3 Nf6 23. Bd6 + ! 33. Rd4+ Ke5
Kb6 24 . e4! Black ' s King is beautifully
With a few energetic moves , mated in the case of 33 . . . Kc3 ,
the world champion opens up too. For instance, 34. Rd3 + Kc2
files on the Q-side and finally (34 . . . Kc4 35. Rc3 + +) 35. Rb2 +
demolishes the position of Kct 36. Ne2+ + .
Black's King. After this Anatoly 34. Nd3+ Resigns
Karpov mounts a decisive attack Again, after 34 . . . Kc6 35. Re t +
in typical Tal fashion. Kb6 36. Rb4+ Ka7 37 . Ra t + Ba6
24.RaeS 25. exb5 axb5 26. a4! 38. Bd4+ Ka8 39. Rxa6+ + .
RedS 27. axb5 Rd7 28. Rd4 RedS Karpo v ' s results both in com
29. Rad1 ReS 30. Be5 Re7 petitive chess and in invention
The continuation 30 . . . Rxd4 3 1 . are considerable. Karpov is in the
Bxd4+ Kxb5 32. Bxf6 gxf6 3 3 . prime of his life; he is exacting
Rd7 would not improve Black's towards himself and ready to
position either. solve the most challenging prob
31. Rd6+ Kxb5 32. Rb1 + Ke4 lems . His own words, "chess is
The world title holder has cal my life, but my life is not only
culated all the possible ways of chess", are an accurate reflection

of how matters actually stand.
His life is devoted to meaningful ,
and profound work o n chess. A n
example of this i s the following
game played at the World Chess
Olympiad in Malta in 1 980.

Caro-Kann Defence

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4.
c4 e6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Be7 7.
This variation of the Caro
Kann Defence leads to an acute
strategic struggle in the centre.
Through subtle manoeuvring and 23 . . . Qb6 24. Qxh6 Nxe5 25.
the redeployment of his pieces, dxe5 Bf8
Karpov soon gains a considerable The Pawn on e5 can now
positional edge. become an object of attack.
7 Nxd5 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. 0-0 0-0
Black's pieces have grown active ,
10. Re1 Nf6 1 1 . a3 Qd6 12. Be3 and White ' s material advantage is
Rd8 (Black' s attack is focussed so far inconspicuous because of
on the central Pawn, but he fails his opponent' s very dangerous
to develop his Queen's Bishop counterplay.
suitably) 13. Qc2 Bd7 14. Rad1 26. Qg5 Qe6 27. Ba2 Bb5 28. h3
Rac8 15. Bg5! h6 16. Bh4 Qb8 17. Rd7 29. Qe3 b6 30. Qf4 Bc4 31.
Qe2 Be8 18. Bb1 Nd5 19. Qd3! Bb1 Bb3 32. Rd2 a5 33. Bd3 Rdc7
(the beginning of a series of 34. Kh2 Rcl 35. Rd2 Rxa1 36.
subtle manoeuvres leading to the Rxe1 Bc2
capture of a Pawn) Karpov methodically consoli
19 g6 20. Bg3 21. Nxd5 exd5
dates his position, preparing for a
22. Ne5 Qc7 decisive offensive on the K-side.
37. Ba6 ReS 38. Be2 Bf5 39.
Rd1 Qc6 40. Rd2 Rc2 41 . Bf3 Be6
DIAGRAM 108 42. Qd4 Rxd2 43. Qxd2 Qc4 44.
Be2 Qa2
23. Qe3! Although Black's last seems to
A decisive blow in the struggle be an active move, the Queen's
for a material advantage. Black is trip to the far comer of the
unable to protect his h6-Pawn. In board, where it has nothing to do,
reply to 23 . . . Kh7 or 23 . . . Kg7; gives a fresh impulse to White's
White would play 24. Ng4 ! , with pieces .
formidable threats. Black has to 45. Bf4! Bc5 46. Be3 d4
reconcile himself to the loss of This appears to be an active
his Pawn. move, but, in effect, leads to a

1 54
weakening of the black squares 53. h4!
on the K-side - the Bishop on c5 The beginning of a swift com
is unable to guard the black binative attack. The Pawn is
squares next to its King. Karpov pushing forward to h6, after
makes energetic and resourceful which Black's King will be in dire
use of this circumstance. straits . Karpov has skilfully pre
47. Bg5 Qd5 48. Bf6 Bf8 49. pared for this surprise attack and
Bd3 Bg7 50. Qf4 Kh7 51. f3 b5 52. conducts it confidently and
Kg3 Qd7 53. Bxg7 Kxg7 54. Qf6 + energetically.
Kg8 53. . . Qe8 54. h5 Bc4 (if 54 . . .
gxh5 55. Qh6 !, and the threat of
DIAGRAM 109 56. Bh7 + is decisive. Even now
Black has no defence, however)
55. h6! Qf8 56. Bxg6! finally
ripping open the position of the
Black King, who comes under
cross-fire from all of White ' s
56. . . Qxh6 (if 56. . . fxg6, 57.
h7 + , and Black loses immediate
ly) 57. Bsf7 + kh7 58. Qf5 + Kh8
58. Qc8 + Resigns.
This is how Anatoly Karpov ,
the 1 2th world champion, i s play
ing now: subtle positional ma
noeuvres plus swift combinative
tactical attacks.

Finally , let us look at Anatoly

Karpov ' s tournament record.

Year Competition Number of Games Results Place


l%9 World Junior

Chess Championship, Stockholm 17 12 0 5
1 970 RSFSR championship, Kuibyshev 17 8 0 9
Caracas 17 8 2 7 4-6
1 97 1 Semi-finals of the 39th USSR cham-
pionship, Daugavpils 17 9 0 8
1 8th Students' Chess Olympiad,
Mayaguez 8 7 0
USSR team championship, Rostov-
on-Don 7 6 0

1 55
Year Competition Number of Games Results Place

Finals of the 39th USSR champion-

ship, Leningrad 21 7 2 12 4
International Tournament, Moscow 17 5 0 12 1 -2
1 972 I nternational Tournament, Hastings 15 8 6 1 -2
USSR Olympiad, Moscow 10 5 2 3
1 9th Students' Chess Olympiad,
Graz 9 5 0 4
20th World Chess Olympiad, Skopl-
je 15 12 2
International Tournament, San An-
tonio 15 7 7 1 -3
1973 International Tournament, Budap-
est 15 4 0 11 2
USSR team tournament, Moscow 4 2 0 2
Interzonal Tournament, Leningrad 17 10 0 7 1-2
5th European championship, Bath 6 4 0 2
41st USSR championship, Top Divi-
sion, Moscow 17 5 1 11 2-6
International Tournament , Madrid 15 7 0 8
1 974 Quarter-final challengers' match with
Lev Polugayevsky, Moscow 8 3 0 5
Semi-final challengers' match with
Boris Spas sky, Leningrad 11 4 6
2 1 st World Chess Olympiad, Nice 14 10 0 4
Final challengers' match with Viktor
Korchnoi, Moscow 24 3 2 19
1 975 April 3. Anatoly Karpov proclaimed
world champion
Portoroz-Ljubljana, Yugoslavia 15 7 0 8
USSR Games
Board One, Riga 7 4 0 3
Roundrobin Tournament,
Milan, Italy 10 3 1 6
Semi-final match with Petrosian 4 0 0 4
Final match with Portisch 6 1 0 5
Skoplje, Yugoslavia 15 10 0 5
USSR Cup team tournament, Board
One, Tbilisi 6 2 0 4
Amsterdam, Holland 6 2 0 4 1
1 976 Manila, the Philippines 6 4 2
Montilla, Spain 9 5 0 4

1 56
Year Competition Number of Games Results Place

USSR championship, Top Division,

Moscow 17 8 8
1 977 Bad Lauterberg, Federal Germany 15 9 0 6
European team championship, Board
One, Moscow 5 5 0 0
Las Palmas, Spain 15 12 0 3
Tournament on the occasion of the
60th Anniversary of the October
Revolution 17 5 2 10 2
Tilburg, Holland II 5 0 6 I
1978 Bugojno, Yugoslavia 15 6 8 1 -2
World title match, Baguio, the Philip-
pines 32 6 5 21 victo-
1979 Munich 5 2 0 3
Montreal 18 7 I 10
Waddingsveen 7 4 0 2
Tilburg II 4 0 7
1 980 Skara 6 0 I 5
Bad Kissingen 6 3 0 3
Bugojno II 5 0 6
Amsterdam 14 7 l 6
1980 Tilburg 12 4 0 7
Buenos Aires World Chess Olym-
piad, 13 4 2 7 4-5
Valletta 12 6 0 6
Chapter XVI take revenge, but their hopes still
failed to materialise: 7 . 5-2. 5 . The
total score of the radio match-
THE SOVIET 1 5 .5-4 . 5 - created a sensation in
the chess world.
C H E S S SCHOOL A year later a team of US
players flew to Moscow . The
match again convincingly showed
the superiority of Soviet chess
players: 1 2 .5-7.5.
Teams from other countries,
such as Britain and Czecho
slovakia, also lost to Soviet chess
I n the spring of 1 945, when players. It became obvious that a
World War II was still going on , new chess force had appeared in
it was suggested that chess radio the world, and was gaining
match between the Soviet and strength from year to year. A
American teams might be ar special school of training and
ranged. Soon after the war was instruction had emerged, produc
over, the details of the competi ing talented chess players every
tion were finalised, and the match year.
was held in September 1 945. What then are the distinguish
Prior to the opening of the ing features of this school of
match a photograph showing all chess , what has enabled it for 25
the US players-ten of the years now to hold the leading
strongest US grandmasters and positions in the world and its
masters-was sent from New representatives to gain victories
York. Even before the war the in the o verwhelming majority of
US team had won the world title international chess competitions?
several times at World Chess The achievements of Soviet
Olympiads, and come out on top chess players are the result of a
at other major competitions. clear-cut formulation of methods
At that time Soviet chess of studying chess, of a critical
players were practically un approach to chess creativity, of
known-people in the USA knew the availability of a well-balanced
of Botvinnik, Flohr and a little system of instruction and prac
about Smyslov and Liliental , tice- of everything covered by
while the remaining players had the notion "the Soviet chess
never competed in tournaments school" .
abroad. Only Ragozin had once In the Soviet Union chess has
(in 1 937) played at Semmering. long been recognised as an in
The results of the first day of alienable part of general culture,
the radio match discouraged the and this is why major chess
Americans : 8 - 2 in favour of the tournaments held here are fi
Soviet team. No one had nanced by the state, the best
foreseen such a setback. On the theatrical and concert halls are
next day, the Americans tried to placed at their disposal and a

network of chess clubs has ap Soviet chess players took from
peared in the USSR in recent Chigorin a special approach to
years. It is no wonder that under opening systems, which is expres
these circumstances chess sed in a number of specific varia
players' standards are rising. In tions even in our time. Chigorin
the Soviet Union, millions of opposed dogmatism in chess . The
people play chess, and every school of the German grandmas
game played by a grandmaster is ter Tarrasch tried to reduce the
analysed the next day by chess positional teaching of Wilhelm
fans throughout the country. Steinitz, founder of chess theory,
The support given in the Soviet to a code of rules and dogmatic
Union to young players is of canons. This was an attempt to
particularly great importance. emasculate the creative element
There are chess clubs and circles of chess , to water down the
at schools, in factories, at collec game .
tive farms and in institutions, Soviet chess masters learned
which open up boundless oppor from Alekhine how to properly
tunities for improving the young prepare themselves psychological
chess devotees ' standards of ly for games, adopting his crea
play. The chess circles at the tive and self-critical approach to
Palaces of Young Pioneers pro games played. And, of course,
vide a great many of the up-and they have tried, at least in some
coming players. Suffice it to say measure , to develop that excep
that such famous chess players as tional combinative insight which
Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Tig brought fame to the genius of
ran Petrosyan , Vassily Smyslov , combinational play.
Anatoly Karpov, Lev Po Soviet players have studied the
lugayevsky, David Bronstein legacy of the two great chess
and others received their early masters, which was passed onto
chess training in Young Pioneer them by the older players , who
Palaces. The strength of play had played with Alekhine and
shown by these youngsters has even seen Chigorin. But what
long been known throughout the really matters is , of course , the
world. study of their games , analytical
Soviet chess players have built investigation s . It is no mere
up their school of chess on the chance that so many books pub
basis of the creative principles of lished in the USSR are devoted
Chigorin and Alekhine. All our to the chess legacy of Alekhine
chess players with higher qualifi and Chigorin.
cations have, of course, studied The Soviet chess school does
Nimzovich' s and Rubinstein' s not negate the interesting qual
games , not to mention Lasker ' s ities of this ancient game as a
and Capablanca' s , but Chigorin sport, but it regards the creative
and Alekhine were the players essence of chess, the logic of its
who had the greatest influence on plans and the elegance of its
the development of chess in the combinations as elements of art
Soviet Union. and science. The scientific ap-

1 59
proach to chess has enabled our ployed by his predecessors. After
grandmasters to investigate open the well-known moves of the
ings more closely, to gain a better Queen' s Gambit: I . d4 d5 2. c4 e6
grasp of the fine points of the 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c6 5. Bg5, he
middle game and to unravel intri did not play 5 . . . Nbd7 or 5 . . . Be7 ,
cate points of the endgame . And, as his colleagues had done many
naturally, the entire system of times in high-level games, but
preparing for tournaments rests boldly took the Pawn: 5 . . . dxc4 6 .
on scientific foundations. e4 b5 7 . e 5 h 6 8 . Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5
From the early days of the hxg5 1 0 . Bxg5 Nbd7
existence of chess opening
theory, it was accepted that in DIAGRAM 1 10
the starting position the initiative
belonged to White; Black, before
seizing the initiative, had, first
and foremost, to secure equalisa
Chigorin and Alekhine adhered
to an entirely different principle .
Not that of equalisation, but the
ensurance of equal chances for
counterplay for Black. This prin
ciple served as the basis for the
theory of openings adopted by
Soviet chess players.
We all know how much effort
Lasker and Capablanca expended
in seeking ways and means of
equalising the position in the fa
mous Queen' s Gambit. Lasker
invented and tested a line of Black's plan is obvious: he is
defence named after him, where out to create a formidable Pawn
he traded several pieces and, "fist" on the Q-side, hoping in the
therefore , took the edge off future to bring this Pawn forma
White's pressure. The same aim tion into active play. Black, in
was pursued by Capablanca in his addition, opened up files on the
no less famous Exchange Varia K-side, intending to use them for
tion of the Queen' s Gambit: in mounting an attack on White's
many games where the Cuban King.
played Black, exchanges of An important role in this coun
chessmen went on until practical ter-attack will be played by the
ly only the two Kings remained a8-h l and b8-h2 diagonals, and
on the board. also by the advance of the Pawn
Just before the last war, Bot from c6 to c5 with a view to
vinnik had begun to use a system undermining White' s last main
of development for Black that stays in the centre.
differed strikingly from that em- Subsequently, a way was found

1 60
to happily forestall all these
threats, but at first the sudden
counter-attack in one of the most
original opening vanatiOns
brought a brilliant success.
This is how , for example, play
continued in the Denker vs. Bot
vinnik game of the USSR-USA
radio match :
1 1 . exf6 Bb7 12. Be2 Qb6 13.
0-0 0-0-0 14. a4


White can no longer repel all the

threats along the open files and
This method of attack underlies
the whole system of development
suggested by Botvinnik and is a
classic example of a modern in
terpretation of opening problems,
where Black's counter-attack is
considered as important as
White' s direct attack.
20. Qcl
Black threatened mate : 20 . . .
Bc5+ 2 1 . K h l Rxh2 + ! 22. Kxh2
Black now launches an attack Rh8 + ; besides, White' s Bishop
in the centre , subsequently carry on g5 is in jeopardy, since Black
ing it over to the K-side. threatens 20 . . . Qc5 + and 2 1 . . .
14 b4! 15. Ne4 c5 16. Qbl !
Qxg5 .
S o far White has defended the In reply to 20. Be3 , a possible
centre in excellent fashion. I n the continuation is 20 . . . Bc5 2 1 . B xc5
case of 16. Qc2, 16 . . . c3 ! ! is a Qxc5+ 22. Kh l Rxh2+ with a
decisive move with 1 7 . bxc3 Qc7 ! mating attack .
1 8 . Ng3 cxd4 1 9. c4 Nc5 with a 20..Bc5+ 21 . Kh1 Qd6
consideralj>le advantage for Black. Again an excellent attack.
16 Qc7 17.Ng3 cxd4 18. Bxc4
. .
Black plans 22 . . . Rxh2 + ; and if
Qc6 19. f3 d3!! 23. Kxh2 Rh8+ 24. Bh6, 24 . . . d2
is decisive.
DIAGRAM 1 1 2 22. Of4 Rxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Rh8+
24. Qh4 Rxh4+ 25. Bxh4 014
The beginning of B lack's deci White resigns.
sive offensive on the K-side. A similar trend towards a

11-607 161
counter-attack at the opening counter-operations devised during
stage is typical of many systems home analyses . There followed:
investigated by Soviet players. 9. . . fxg5 10. Rh3 g4 1 1 . Nf4 Nxe5
Such are the Merano Variation 12. dxe5 gxh3 13. Bxh7 Rxh7 14.
with its numerous ramifications, Qxh7 h2!, and Black soon gained
and many systems of the King's victory.
Indian Defence. Soviet grandmas We have discussed opening
ters also willingly employ such systems, and the development of
openings as the Dutch Defence pieces, where more attention is
and Ufimtsev Defence , where paid to counter-attack. It goes
Black from the very first moves without saying that even the
works to establish counter grandmaster has at times to resort
attacking formations. to blind, passive defence, but we
Soviet theoreticians have made are speaking of a principled ap
quite a few studies of various proach: in most instances it is a
new methods of launching a counter-attack, counter-measures
counter-attack . Take a look at the that the players of the Soviet
following position. school of chess aim for ; that is
what they have been taught from
DIAGRAM 1 1 3 their early steps by masters of
the older generation.
There is yet another feature of
the way openings are interpreted
by the Soviet chess school. Its
best representatives have always
been distinguished by their depth
of insight into variations .
The game on Board Two o f the
1945 radio match, that we have
already mentioned, was notable
because grandmaster Smyslov
made his moves almost instantly :
h e spent a mere six minutes on
his first 25 moves, while his
opponent Samuel Reshevsky had
to ponder each of his moves at
length . The point is that Soviet
I t arose after Black' s 1 4th chess players, in preparing for
move in the Panov vs. Yudovich the match, had investigated a
game at the l Oth USSR Cham most complex variation employed
pionship, held in Tbilisi in 1 937. in the game, whereas it was
In the well-known variation of completely unknown to the
the French Defence, after the Americans.
initial moves 1 . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. This is how the Smyslov
Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Reshevsky game proceeded :
h4 f6 7. Bd3 c5 8. Qh5+ Kf8 9. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4.
Nxd5. B lack resorted to keen Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7.

1 62
Bb3 dS 8. dxe 5 Be6 9. c3 BcS 10. of our chess magazines by
Nbd2 0-0 1 1 . Bc2 fS 12. Nb3 Bb6 amateurs from all parts of the
13. Nfd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4 15. country.
cxd4 f4 16. f3 Ng3 17. hxg3 fxg3 In the sixth game of the
18. Qd3 BfS 19. QxfS RxfS 20. Alekhine-Euwe return match ,
BxfS Qh4 2 1 . Bh3 Qxd4+ 22. Kh1 held i n 1 937, the Russian cham
QxeS 23. Bd2 pion stunned his opponent by the
unexpected offer of a Knight: 1 .
DIAGRAM 1 1 4 d4 d5 2 . c 4 c 6 3 . Nc3 dxc4 4. e4 eS
s. Bxc4 exd4 6. Nf3!?
Euwe, after pondering his next
move for a long time, played 6 . . .
b5? and, following the natural 7 .
NxbS, had soon to resign. Was
Black in a position to repulse the
sudden onslaught? Chess theoreti
cians spent several months on
analyses, and arrived at the con
clusion that Alekhine' s attack
was correct and that in all varia
tions Black was not in a position
to repel it.
Suddenly a Soviet chess news
paper published a sensational arti
cle. Goncharo v , an amateur
player from a small town, had
discovered that by playing 6 . . .
It is not difficult to see that dxc3 7. Bxf7 + Ke7 8 . Qb3 cxb2! !
every move by White and every
reply by Black had to be verified DIAGRAM 1 1 5
by extremely precise calculations.
Smyslov had done so while pre
paring for the game, whereas
Reshevsky had to solve every
problem over the board.
This match took place more
than 30 years ago . In our time,
there are so many such analyses
that they cannot be accommo
dated in chess books of a normal
size. It is interesting that not only
prominent grandmasters and
theoreticians in the field of open
ings discover new moves. At
times analyses of well-known
positions of astonishing profundi
ty are sent to the editorial offices

11* 1 63
Black not only repulses the and not only o f grandmasters and
attack, but is even left with a masters.
decisive edge. The Steinitz-Tarrasch school,
There and then, Goncharov prevalent at one time, determined
offered the following varia some laws governing chess
tions: play, but Soviet players have
9. Bxb2 Qb6 ! 1 0 . Ba3 + c5 1 1 . invested them with new creative
Bxg8 Rxg8 1 2 . Bxc5 + Qxc5 1 3 . content.
0-0 Qh5 ! ! ( 1 4 . Qxg8 i s no good It has long been known that a
because of 1 4 . . . Be6 1 5 . Qh8 Nc6 backward Pawn is always a weak
and White ' s Queen is trapped). point. But here is what Boleslavs
Other continuations do not im ky offered as a variation of the
prove White ' s position - all of Sicilian Defence. I . e4 c5 2. Nf3
them have been refuted by Gon Nc6 3 . d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5 .
charov . Nc3 e5 .
Analyses o f major variations
on piece development patterns in DIAGRAM 1 1 6
the modern opening theory are
made throughout the world, new
moves are discovered, and well
known sequences made more pre
cise. But nowadays these inves
tigations are made using all those
things which the Soviet chess
school has popularised for many
years now, i . e . , the principle of
full-fledged play by Black, of the
broadest scope for creative imagi
A chess player's ability to spot
a combination is a major quality
conducive to unravelling the most
complicated positions, to discov
ering many things still unknown
in chess. Chigorin, and particular
ly Alekhine had inimitable combi
national perception, and it is this Black voluntarily creates a
quality that their followers are "backward" Pawn in his camp.
trying to develop. According to the old canons , this
Soviet masters have discovered is a serious mistake, a prelude to
the methods instrumental in de losing the game. But for several
veloping the requisite combina decades now the world's
tional vision. Collective work has strongest grandmasters have been
made these methods generally ac using this opening system, with
cessible. This has enabled Soviet White rarely managing to gain an
chess players to attain very high advantage.
standards of combinational play, Here is another example.

1 64
DIAGRAM 1 1 7 Defence has long been classed
among the dubious sequences . "
There are many similar exam
ples of a modern dynamic in
terpretation of chess weaknesses
in opening systems.
The law of chess strategy that
an open file should be occupied
immediately has prevailed for
nearly a hundred years now. In
most cases that is precisely what
is done. Strategists of the Soviet
chess school, however, interpret
the notion "an open file" some
what differently.
The diagram, below, shows a
position from the Keres vs. Stahl
berg game played at the challeng
ers' tournament in Zurich in 1 953.
David Bronstein writes on this
position: "Here, it seems to me,
it is time to reveal for the
reader's benefit the secret of the
Pawn at d6 in the King's Indian
Defence. This Pawn, although it
is on the open file, is a hard nut
to crack-it is not easy to get at
it. It appears simple to move the
Knight from d4, but the point is
that White needs that Knight
precisely at d4; its task is to keep
its sights on the squares b5, c6,
e6 and f5 and neutralise the
Bishop at g7 . Only after White
manages to prepare for meeting
Black's attacks (a3 , Be6, f5) can
the Knight leave the centre , but
in the meantime, Black, too, will
succeed in regrouping his forces.
Therefore, the weakness of the
Pawn at d6 proves imaginary. Black played here 16. cS, at

"Many weaknesses are imagi once opening two files , where his
nary when modern methods of Rooks soon firmly established
play are used in this opening themselves. This was a superficial
variation. And , indeed, it is be assessment of the position , how
cause of the 'everlasting' weak ever. In this particular position
ness at d6 that the King's Indian the only open file controlled by

1 65
White is of greater importance DIAGRAM 1 1 9
than Black ' s two open files .
Keres convincingly proved the
correctness of his appraisal of the
position, which had taken its
specific factors into account. The
game continued as follows:
17. Qe1 Be4 18. Rf4 Bg6 19. h4
cxd4 20. exd4 Rac8 21. Qe2 Rc7
22. Rdfl h5 23. Rf3 Rec8 24. Bd3
Bxd3 25. Rxd3 g6
White is in full command of the
game. Blac k ' s Rooks have simply
no purpose to serve at c2 or c 1 .
26. Rg3 Kh7 27. Rg5 Qf8 28.
Qe4 Qh6 29. d5 (29. Rf6 is more
energetic, completely blocking
Black' s K-side). 29. . . exd5 30.
Qxd5 Qf8 31. e6 Qc5 + (an unjus
tified sally. By playing 3 1 . . . f5 , After the game Petrosyan said
Black would have retained hopes that, while elaborating this varia
of winning; now, however, he tion, he had regarded white's
loses the endgame) 32. Qxc5 bxc5 game as almost winnable in view
33. exf7 Kg7 34. f8Q + Rxf8 35. of the presence of "Pawn islets"
Rxf8 Kxf8 36. Rxg6 c4 37. Rg5 in Black ' s camp . Earlier, one
Rb7 38. Rxh5 Rxb2 39. ReS Rc2 would not have paid any attention
40. Kh2 Ke7 41 . h5 c3 42. Rc6 to the fact.
B lack resigns. Soviet theoreticians have made
The Soviet chess school, by a great contribution to studying
assimilating everything valuable endings of different kinds. These
which the brilliant men of chess investigations are most fully rep
have contributed to theory , has resented in a three-volume collec
also adopted the notion of "Pawn tion, Endgame, under the general
islets", which was rarely encoun editorship of Yuri Averbakh,
tered earlier , a notion introduced which has been translated into
by Capablanca. Today , the as many foreign languages and en
sessment of this factor by our joys great popularity. The collec
leading grandmasters becomes at tion gives a systematised classifi
times decisive. cation of endings of all types,
The diagram below shows a formulates the major laws gov
position from the fifth game of erning play in certain positions,
the 1 963 Petrosyan vs. Botvinnik and contains analyses of such
match. very intricate endings as two
1. c4 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Knights v s . a Pawn, Rook's Pawn
Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 0-0 6. Be2 dxc4 7. plus Bishop v s . Pawn, with every
Bxc4 c5 8. d5 e6 9. dxe6 Qxd1 + analysis showing a deep insight
10. Kxd1 Bxe6 1 1 . Bxe6 fxe6 into the position in question .

1 66
This is far and away not the wrote: "I have been very impres
only example. In the USSR the sed by this exhibition which
reader is offered a wide choice of shows what the USSR has
literature on all stages of the achieved in the art of ches s . "
game. Chess books are published In his entry, international mas
in 18 languages of the peoples of ter Sajtar from Czechoslovakia,
the USSR. member of the FIDE Bureau,
Chess books are published in pointed out: "I have viewed with
the USSR, as a rule, in editions great interest the creative work of
averaging 1 00,000 copies. Some Soviet writers and chess players,
books, however, are put out in which shows the mass scale of
massive quantities . The text-book the chess movement in the
The Chess Player's Primer (in USSR. The scope of publishing
Russian) by international master activity in the field of chess is
Panov was published in 1 964 in amazing. "
an edition of 240,000 copies . Works b y Soviet theoreticians
Chess for Beginners by grand and researchers on the theory of
master Igor Bondarevsky ( 1 966) , openings, the middle game and
A Journey to the Kingdom of endings are renowned throughout
Chess by grandmaster A verbakh the chess world. "An inexhausti
and master Beilin ( 1 972) -both in ble source of creative ideas"- is
Russian-and many other books how grandmaster Svetozar
have been published in an edition Gligoric of Yugoslavia has de
of 200,000 copies each . scribed these works . A similar
An exhibition on chess litera opinion has been expressed by
ture in the USSR, was organised former world champion Robert
in Moscow by the Lenin Library Fischer, who made a special
and the USSR Chess Federation. point of studying Russian to be
The exhibition hall of one of the able to read Soviet chess litera
world ' s largest libraries accom ture in the original .
modated numerous stands . Vis Many authors abroad write
itors to the exhibition were able about Soviet chess players . Col
to see chess literature published lections of games by Mikhail
in Russia from the end of the Botvinnik , Vassily Smyslov,
1 8th century to our times. Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosyan,
In the Visitor's Book, one's Boris Spas sky, Paul Keres and
attention is attracted by the en David Bronstein have been pub
tries made by leading officials of lished in the USA, Britain, the
FIDE . Federal Republic of Germany,
Grandmaster Max Euwe of Argentina, Spain and several
Holland, President of FIDE at other countries . Selected games
the time, wrote: "I am amazed by by Soviet masters in two volumes
everything I have seen during my have been published in the FRG.
visit to this extensive exhibition It is not easy to select the more
of chess literature . " important works from among the
Rabell Mendez o f Puerto Rico , vast number of chess books pub
the then Vice-President of FIDE, lished in the USSR. We must,

1 67
however, mention the fundamen Selskaya zhizn. A contest con
tal three-volume work Botvinnik 's ducted on a giant scale by the
Contribution to Chess, which army newspaper Krasnaya zvez
contains an analysis of all Botvin da brought in 76,869 letters from
nik has done in the field of chess. readers in 1 972. A contest to
A series of books on the world ' s solve problems and endgame
outstanding chess players are studies organised by the news
published in large editions, win paper Vechernyaya Moskva early
ning extensive public recognition. in 1 973 resulted in 1 9,000 post
Many works have been put out cards with readers' solutions .
for the benefit of young amateurs The chess departments of
and coaches working with chil newspapers arrange a number of
dren. very interesting competitions.
The following data on Soviet The newspaper Vodny transport,
chess periodicals, too, are very for example, has for many years
impressive. now been conducting radio
The monthly Shakhmaty v SSR matches between Moscow' s chess
(Chess in the USSR) is published clubs at factories and the staffs
in the Soviet Union in an edition of polar stations in the Arctic
of 60,000 copies, and the monthly Circle. Some newspapers sponsor
Shakhmatny byulleten (Chess international chess composers'
Bulletin), in an edition of 25 ,000 contests.
copies; the fortnightly magazine A large number of books on
Shakhmaty (Chess), is published the history of chess are published
in Riga in an edition of 60,000 in the USSR. Recently master
copies ; the monthly, Byulleten Mukhitdinov successfully de
tsentralnogo shakhmatnogo kluba fended a thesis on the history of
(Bulletin of the Central Chess chess in Uzbekistan . A number
Club) in an edition of 30,000 of important studies on the his
copies ; and the chess magazine, tory of chess in Russia have been
Shakhmatnoye obozreniye (Chess published by Moscow historian
Review) is published twice a Linder, while his book, Chess in
month in an edition of 1 00 ,000 Russia, edited by Academician
copies . This latter periodical is Strumilin and put out in 1 964,
edited by world champion Anato was extremely popular.
ly Karpov. Similarly of great importance
There are permanent chess de are the following studies of the
partments in almost 700 Soviet history of chess: Shatranj by
newspapers and magazines. The Academician Orbeli and Trever
scale of the work they do is from the Leningrad Hermitage
tremendous. The one contest held Museum, published in 1 936; The
by the newspaper Sotsialistiches History of Chess: A Short Out
kaya industria, alone brought line ( 1 93 1 ) and Chess in the
36,000 letters to the editorial of USSR: Historical Outlines ( 1 938)
fice. More than 20,000 amateurs by Kogan ; Chess Over 1 ,400
take part in postal chess competi Years (in Georgian , 1 957) by
tions organised by the newspaper Vadbolsky; The East-the Home

1 68
of Chess (in Uzbek, 1%4) by psychological problems of chess
Mukhitdinov; and Chapters of play, with international master
Chess History (in Azerbaijanian, Alatortsev , Cand. Sc.
1 %6) by Kuliyev. There are also (Pedagogics) in charge of it. A lot
profiles of leading Soviet women of theses on the subject of chess
chess players , and a number of have been written in the USSR.
important studies on chess com This keen interest in chess is,
position, and the psychology fac of course, determined not only by
tor in chess play. the specific problems of the
Chess analysts are not the only game , but also, and primarily, by
people interested in the psycholo the fact that modern science re
gy of chess. Chess can be used gards chess play as a suitable
for important experiments in the model for research on creative
field of general psychology. processes in general .
As long ago as 1 926 a book was At the 1 8th International Con
published by a group of resear gress of Psychology, held in Mos
chers from the Moscow laborato cow in 1 %6, five papers were
ry of experimental psychology read on aspects of the chess
and psycho-engineering, who had player' s thinking. Many promi
examined the participants in the nent scientists are busy studying
1 925 International Tournament. these problems and try on this
In recent years international basis to work out chess program
grandmaster Krogius has carried mes for electronic computers.
out important scientific investiga Nor bert Wiener, the "father of
tions in the field of chess cybernetics", was the first to
psychology. His book, On the start working in this field .
Psychology of Chess Play, had a Experts believe that research
great impact on the elaboration of into the specific features of a
modern methods of training. chess player' s thinking will help
Another book of his, Man in to solve problems of heuristic
Chess, was published in 1 967 , programming. Indeed, despite the
where he analyses in detail the availability of strictly defined
psychological factors of chess rules, there is no practical option
battles and gives a number of in chess of choosing an optimal
interesting recommendations . strategy which would supply an
Other works by Krogius , on swers to the question of which
the psychology of conflict situa side will win or is a draw inevit
tions, have also been duly ac able . .
knowledged by scientific and A chess player, in pondering
chess circles . In 1 980 Assistant over his next move, does not
Professor Krogius of Saratov analyse all the possible moves ,
University s uccessfully defended but, guided by general considera
his doctoral thesis on aspects of tions and intuition , limits his
the psychology of the chess game. quests to a comparatively small
The Central Research Institute number of variations. Even after
of Physical Culture has set up a making a decision, in most in
special laboratory to study the stances a chess player is unable

1 69
to prove that it is the only correct this kind will have to be guided
one. Therefore, in situations of a by those, generally speaking,
problematic nature a chess player very limited criteria which can be
makes his choice by heuristic expressed in logical form, and,
methods . therefore , it will have to be
Chess is a n especially promis content with a very modest place
ing field for a study of thought in the t:1ble of tournament re
processes , because the game in sults . "
volves a great deal of unclear and Modest because i t i s not calcu
uncertain situations. Nearly every lation that determines succes in
move calls for the creative solu chess. Strength in chess lies in
tion of a problem. the ability to evaluate a position.
Professor Klaus, a prominent It is hard to say whether Bot
cybernetics expert, pointed out vinnik' s idea of developing an
that the game of chess was an "electronic grandmaster" will
abstract expression of struggle in materialise. All that can be said is
general, and could be employed that the work of mathematicians
for a study of conflict situations. and cyberneticians to understand
Iri the opinion of Academician human thought has been going on
Trapeznikov the game is a good continuously.
model for applying the theory of "I expect," wrote Mikhail Bot
decision-making. vinnik, "that a programme will be
In the last ten years or so, developed capable of winning
Mikhail Botvinnik D.Sc. (Tech from a grandmaster. But not for
nology), has accomplished a great the sake of sensation. This will
amount of work studying the laws make it possible to use the intel
of chess thought and framing lectual abilities of electronic com
chess programmes for electronic puters in many spheres of science
computers. In 1 966, he published and technology and, in the first
a paper entitled The A lgorhythm place, in the economic field."
in Chess Play; and set himself the This is what Arlazarov and
task of teaching a computer in Bitman, prominent mathemati
the near future to play chess at cians, wrote about the pos
grandmaster level. The results of sibilities of machine and man in a
this work are not yet known. chess game. "The view has so far
Smilga, a Soviet scientist and been current among chess players
chess player, wrote: "In theory it that the outcome of a game in
is possible to develop computers certain positions is determined
which would store the experience not only by the position itself,
of chess play , improving at the but also by the creative per
same time its quality. In theory, sonalities of the players. And this
although there is still a long way is really so, if chess players are
to go before achieving this, it is unable to calculate variations of a
possible to make a computer sufficient number of moves
memorise all the openings and ahead .
endings known in chess theory. "As a matter of fact, the total
But even an ideal computer of number of positions that can arise

1 70
is finite . Therefore , in any posi ceded their places at the chess
tion, including the initial one, the board to machines.
result is predetermined . We must remember, however,
"The important thing is that that chess-playing robots are the
what has been said is not a creation of man. Every intelligent
matter of a chess or philosophical move by a computer is a victory
credo, but a fact that can be for man , the triumph of his intel
proved mathematically . The ini lect. And the world robots ' chess
tial position is therefore , a win championship was not a struggle
ning one for White, a draw, or, of thoughtless automatons, but
maybe, even a winning one for rather competition between
Black, although we do not yet people who have succeeded m
know which one of the three developing a symbiosis of
possibilities will , in fact, material mathematics and chess.
ise . It stands to reason that Summing up the results of the
should we be able to develop a competition , Trapesnikov, direc
machine which can calculate all tor of an institute of the USSR
possible variations any number of Academy of Sciences, wrote the
moves ahead, we will know the following in the newspaper Prav
answer. da: "Any game means an un
"Unfortunately (or, perhaps countable number of variations.
fortunately), not only does such a The chess player has to limit
machine not exist, it cannot be himself to pondering merely some
developed at all . " possibilities , the most promising
This is, indeed, a very substan ones from his point of view.
tial remark, especially so , if one "But can one not use a
considers the fact that its authors machine and to quickly analyse a
are experts who worked on the larger number of variations and
programme for the Soviet compu select the best ones? It is under
ter which took part in a very stood that this will be meaningful
interesting chess programme com only if the machine manages to
petition, held in 1 974. go through all or nearly all the
A world robots' chess cham variations. What if a complete
pionship seemed a fantastic idea. analysis is impossible, however?
It nevertheless became a reality . "It is here that method s of
The first tournament was held reducing analysis, which play a
according to what is known as central part in chess programmes
the Swiss system, in four rounds . where it is necessary to calculate
Winning all the four games, the a vast number of variations,
Soviet Caissa Programme , de come into their own.
veloped by the Moscow Institute "A decisive step in this direc
of Economic Management Prob tion has been the development of
lems came first, taking the world a method of 'borders and evalua
electronic chess title. Chess re tions' . . . Workers at our institute
ports were full of familiar terms have lately advanced on this
and struck one as incredible. For road still further, suggesting a
the first time ever, human beings new method of reducing analysis

on the basis of a productive idea mediate difficulties . After 1 6 . . .
of the similarity of different un 0-0 1 7 . Rxe4 Bc5 , White would
identical variations." have found it hard to defend his
Robots' chess competitions are position .
now held regularly , with increas 1 7 . Ne5
ing numbers of entrants . The A human would have played
field of entrants at the 1 980 1 7 . Nxe4, obtaining an irresistible
championship comprised 18 prog attack here, for example, 17 . . .
rammes. fxe4 1 8 . Qxg7 Rg8 1 9. Rxe4+
And now for a game between Ne7 20 . Qe5 , etc. But computers
computers. Given below is one of are programmed to stint material
the games played in the First sacrifices.
World Championship. 17. . . Nxe5 18. Bxe5 Bxc3
19. Bxc3 ( 1 9. Qxc3 is, of course,
Ruy Lopez much more effective)
CAISSA (USSR) 19. . . Rg8 20. f3 Qb7 21. Bxg7
FRANZ (AUSTRIA) A mistake, after which Black
again has a superior game . B efore
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. taking the Pawn at g7 , White
d4 exd4 5 . Qxd4 White' s intention should have traded Pawns at e4.
is obviously fast development. 2 1 . . . Qb6+ 22. Bd4 Qg6 23. g3
5 . . . Nge7 6. 0-0 f6 0-0-0 24. fxe 4 fxe4 25. Bf6 Rd5.
Black's last is not easily ex 26. Rxd5 Bxd5 27. QeS Qf7
plained . In subsequent play , how 28, Rd1 Bxa2 29. Qxe4 Kb8
ever, Franz proves that it is quite 30. Be5 ReS
justified. Black's last is a natural move,
7. Bf4 Be6 8. Nc3 Qc8 not only for a computer. This
A human would undoubtedly pinning of the Bishop appears
have played 8 . . . a6, equalising the very attractive. It is a losing
chances. move, however, because of the
9. Rad1 Bf7 combination spotted by Caissa,
Black' s sixth move created this distinguished for its tactical vis
refuge for the Bishop. ion. 30. . . Qe6 was correct.
10. Qb4
A strange , yet by no means,
pointless move. Franz intends to DIAGRAM 1 20
activate its Queen by moving it to
g4. Now , however, 1 0 . . . Qg4 can
be answered by 1 1 . Bxc6 + . 30. Qc6!
10. . . a6! 1 1 . Bxc6+ Nxc6 A decisive move. There is a
12. Qa4 threat of 3 1 . Qb6+ or 3 1 . Rd7 ,
The right move here is 1 2 . Qa3 . while in reply to 30. . . Rxd5 ,
12.. b5 13. Qa3 d5! 14. b4 White mates in two moves.
Bxb4 15. Qb2 dxe4 16. Rfe1 f5 30 . . . Qg6
Greed is the downfall not only This precipitates a defeat. 30 . . .
of human beings. By defending Rf8 i s more persistent. Incidental
his Pawn , Black runs into im- ly, the tournament has shown

One of the flight controllers
wrote about the purpose of this
game in the newspaper Pravda:
"The programme of the Soyuz-9
spaceship envisages the alterna
tion of work, rest and recreation,
a regimen more favourable for
the space crew. Chess means
actively spent leisure time. It
invigorates the central nervous
system, and creates a positive
emotional reaction. A change in
activity is always beneficial for
people working hard and, particu
larly, for those on such a
challenging mission as a space
that all robots "feel at a loss" and flight. "
blunder in difficult positions. W e present, below, the space
31. Qxc7 + Ka8 32. Rd7 Qf5 crew vs. Earth team game :
33. Qc6 + + .
Though the standards of play Queen's Gambit Accepted
by electronic computers are, of
course, not yet high, they will SPACE EARTH
doubtless be so in the future This
will, of course, not affect the 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e3
general level of play. Chess is a 3 . Nf3 is more often seen here,
creative process. Chess survives which forestal ls Black's next
as a game because it is intrinsical move.
ly heterogeneous. The chess 3 .. e5 4. Bxc4 exd4 5. exd4 Nc6

player' s strength lies not only in The usual continuation here is

logic, knowledge and the ability 5 . . . Bb4+ 6. Nc3 Nc6 7 . Nf3 0-0,
not to make mistakes. His power with rougly equal chances .
of imagination, intuition and Black's last is one of the latest
search-in a word, creativity recommendations by theoreti
are what makes man stronger cians.
than any computer. 6. Be3 Bd6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. N3
Our modern age opens up new 0-0 9. 0-0 Bg4 10. h3 Bf5 (a better
opportunities for chess. During move is 1 0 . . . Bh5)
the flight of the Soyuz-9 space 11. Nh4
ship, in 1 970, for example , a The space crew delivers a neat
radio game was played between blow. White prepares for moving
cosmonauts A. Nikolayev and their Queen to f3 .
V. Sevastyanov and the Earth 11 . . . Qd7 12. Qf3 Ne6 13. g4
(Air Force Colonel General 1 3 . Qxb7 would have been a
N . Kamanin and space pilot risky move, in view of 1 3 . . . Rab8
V. Gorbatko). The cosmonauts 14. Qxa7 Bxh3 ! but the next move
played White. is far from the best choice. Cor-

rect is 1 3 . Bg5, with good oppor 25. Bxc4
tunities for attack. It was possible to sacrifice the
13 . . . Bg6 14. Rae1 Kh8 15. Bg5 Bishop by taking the g6-Pawn ,
Neg8! leading t o unforeseeable compli
Black' s last shows the purpose cations. But in their state of
of the preceding move by their weightlessness the space crew
King. The transfer of the Knight seemed to be reluctant to direct
to g8 considerably strengthens the game along the road to the
Black's defences. unknown.
25. .. bxc4 26. Bd2
Prudence again. The energe
tic 26. d5 ! would have enabled
White to take a formidable initia
26. . . Rxel 27. Rxe1 Nd5 28. g5
Qd6 29. Nxd5 cxd5 30. Bf4 Qd8

31. Be5 +
Earth's team can now breath a
sigh of relief, for the space
crew 's threat is over. The con
tinuation 3 1 . Qg3 would still have
spelled danger.
31. .. f6


16. Ng2 Rae8 17. Be3 Bb4

18. a3
For a long time it was danger
ous to take the Pawn on b7 , but
now it is possible. Instead of 1 7 . . .
Bb4, Black should have played
17 . . . c6. White could have played
here 1 8 . Qxb7 .
18 .. Bxc3 19. bxc3 Be4 20. Qg3
20 . . . Qa4 ! is more active .
21. f3 Bd5 22. Bd3 b5 23. Qh4
g6 24. Nf4 Bc4!
The Bishop on d3 , occupying a 32. gxf6 Nxf6 33. Bxf6 + Rxf6
formidable post, must be 34. ReS + Qxe8 35. Qxf6 + K.g8
removed . Here the opponents, having

1 74
exhausted all their resources , ag mean ; primarily , the great popu
reed to a draw. larity of chess among all sections
Symptomatically enough , chess of the population.
is very popular in the Starry "It would be wrong to presume
townlet space centre . This is that all this is due to the special
what the cosmonauts have to say talent of the Soviet people for
about the game. chess. It goes without saying that
V. Gorbatko: It is excellent we have a wealth of talent, but
training for one's memory, par the chief thing is the conditions a
ticularly visual memory, socialist society provides for the
without which no pilot can fly advancement and training of
modern planes, let alone people with talent," wrote
spaceships. Chess develops fast Mikhail Botvinnik.
reactions. Chess has come to hold a
V. Sevastyanov: It seems to me special place in the Soviet
that what really matters is the people ' s life. Currently, chess
ability to make decisions under sections and clubs in the USSR
time pressure. This is a requisite have a membership of about four
quality for people of many pro million chess players. Chess has
fessions. On the other hand, in become very popular even in
this age of complexities , people such territories and regions where
speak ever more frequently about before the revolution there were
the links between man and very few literate people, never
machine. Research in the sphere mind chess players. This strikes a
of chess programming can be sharp contrast with the conditions
employed for many practical pur in a socialist society, where
poses, primarily, for improving chess, combining the beauty and
functional control systems. tension of the sporting struggle
What then do we mean by the with precision and depth of calcu
term chess culture? lation, demanding boldness and
This concept covers the total daring, has become a means of
achievements in the sphere of education, and acquired a social
chess, which in the Soviet Union force.
is regarded as a sport, art and State support for the chess
science. An organic component movement is supplemented to a
of the notion "chess culture" is large extent by public support
the ability to make use of the from trade unions and sports
knowledge that has accumulated societies . This ensures the popu
over time and practical experi larity of chess, a reliable material
ence. We can safely say that basis and truly democratic leader
chess culture in the USSR has ship.
taken shape on the basis of criti Tournaments and matches are
cally perceiving and processing viewed as a means of further
the achievements of all the pre popularising chess. They are held
ceding epoch s . in order to discover talented chil
When speaking o f the develop dren, to improve the mastery of
ment of our chess culture , we the leading representatives of the

Soviet chess school . The existing account the beneficial influence
chess ratings system not only of chess on man' s psychological
determines a chess player's level make-up, character and will
but also provides him with pros power. It has been recognised
pects for sporting and creative that chess can develop certain
growth. abilities, particularly that of logi
The growth in its popularity of cal thought.
the game made it imperative to An analysis of the nature of
train instructors. For the first chess confirms thi s . The game of
time in chess history, a depart chess requires logical thinking,
ment of chess was established, in for the game depends not only on
1 966 , at the Moscow Central In the pieces and pawns, but also on
stitute of Physical Culture . Sec the special features of the
ondary school leavers, and first players' psychology, their physi
grade chess players, who pass the cal preparedness . The game of
entrance examinations, are enrol chess is a manifestation of both
led at the department, which pro the will to . win and artistic
vides a four-year course in line creativity , the player aiming to
with the syllabi of higher educa surmount all barriers and realise
tion establishments, with special his plans and ideas.
emphasis on chess. The graduates
of the Institute qualify as secon Almost every chess player, in
dary school teachers and chess resolving problems over the chess
trainers. board, strives to raise his stan
The teachers at the Department dards in the spheres of theory
are: M . Botvinnik, D.Sc. (Tech and practice. To this end chess
nology), former world cham enthusiasts increase their theoret
pion ; T. Petrosyan, Cand. Sc. ical knowledge, develop their
(Psychology), also former world ability to analyse and calculate
champion, grandmasters Yuri variations, and learn to under
A verbakh and Alexei Suetin; Pro stand the position, a most dif
fessor A . Gulyayev , master of ficult task. At the same time we
chess composition ; and other must remember that although
eminent experts . there are abilities specifically ap
Not only has the Department plicable to chess, the develop
of Chess given a higher education ment of one' s intellectual powers
to a number of up-and-coming is of much greater importance
chess players, but also enabled from the social standpoint.
them to make progress in com Society is not indifferent to the
petitive chess. While still a stu fact that the game of chess dis
dent of the Department, Yuri ciplines thought, teaches one to
Balashov won the title of grand correctly organise one's thought
master, and post-graduate student processes: chess demands a
Yuri Razuvayev became an inter lengthy and constant concentra
national grandmaster . tion of attention. After all , in
The Soviet public , and cultural chess , one pays for every mo
and sports organisations take into ment of slackened concentration

1 76

.. t , ,,

People of all ages play chess in the

Soviet U n ion.
Space pilot V. V. Gorbatko
Valeri Salov - a new generation of
with unpleasant moments and,
that is unclear. We have only
maybe, a lost game. recently discovered at what age it
Chess also demands enterprise, is most expedient to start teach
inventiveness, and resourceful ing children the ABC of chess,
nes s ; players have to overcome for there were no scientifically
many a difficulty, and to face substantiated recommendations
dangerous surprises. The necessi on this problem. One of the
ty of constant persistence, self pioneers in the study of this
control, and purposefulness, and theme was N. Krogius, D.Sc.
of correctly appraising the oppo (Psychology) . His book, Age Dis
nent' s plans and intentions, deter tinctions in Intellectual Abilities
mine the major educational value proves on the basis of an analysis
of chess. of many facts that chess can be
Strength at chess lies in a taught to children beginning from
person's powers of thought. Intel the age of five.
lectual competition , the test of The scientist ' s theoretical as
one ' s strength in logic and calcu sumptions were based, among
lation, imagination and resource other things, on the experience of
fulness -that is what attracts us teaching chess in Play School
in this ancient game . Chess holds No. 2 of the Moscow District in
a unique status among all other Leningrad. All the children in this
games, making it a cultural factor play school, 5-6 years of age, can
of social significance. play chess and enjoy the game .
Chess has become an intrinsic When the children start going to
part of the work of children's school, the teachers note their
sports organisations and non ability to think and reason inde
scholastic establishments: the pendently.
Young Pioneer Houses and V. Grishin, a specialist in edu
Palaces, and Young Pioneer cational methods at the M inistry
camps. "Chess is an excellent of Education of the Russian Fed
way of training consistent logical eration , has for many years now
thought. The game of chess been doing special and successful
should enter into primary school work on chess in play schools.
life as an element of intellectual He is one of the co-authors of an
culture ," wrote Academician illustrated book A Chess Primer,
V . Sukhomlinsky, an outstanding meant for children 5-7 years of
figure in Soviet pedagogics. age. The book came off the press
The scientifically grounded in 1972 in an edition of 200,000
forms and methods of chess in copies.
struction help to educate the Children' s institutions outside
modern cultured person, and at the school network, the Young
tract many young people to Pioneer Palaces and Houses,
chess. have long become centres for the
Despite the thousand-year-old popularisation of chess among
history of the game, chess Soviet schoolboys and girls, and
pedagogics is, in effect, at its they organise wide-ranging chess
initial stage . There is still much competitions among youngsters .
It became imperative to consider teams are made u p of the pupils
whether it is possible and worth of one school, where an internal
while to include chess in the championship has already been
school curriculum . held. Entrants can be chosen
Many such attempts have been from among pupils aged seven to
made, and we can now safely say fifteen.
that both teachers and parents Then the Young Pioneer teams
favour the inclusion of chess in compete on district, city and re
school programmes . Educational public level and, finally, the sur
ists see the chess lesson as a sort vivors gather during the summer
of Jesson in logic. holidays for the final champion
The teaching of chess has now ship . These competitions, known
been introduced in a number of as the White Rook tournaments,
Moscow schools. Similar work is annually attract up to a million
being done successfully in Lenin participants.
grad, Chelyabinsk, Riga, Perm Millions of young amateurs !
and Tbilisi. Interesting results These are the future of Soviet
have also been achieved in school chess- new masters and grand
No. 80 in Voronezh, in Chuvash masters , people devoted , heart

school No. 3 in the city of Kan and soul , to the game .

ash , and in many other primary The Soviet school of chess has
and secondary schools. always been proud of the abun
The sports boarding school set dance of talented children. Within
up in Moscow also has a chess the USSR today there is a large
department. Here the schoolchil group of gifted masters, who will,
dren are taught according to the undoubtedly, move to leading
general programme for secondary positions within the next few
schools and have lessons in chess years.
strategy and tactics five times a We should mention, first of all,
week. the world junior chess champion
The USSR junior chess com Gary Kasparov , on whom FIDE
petitions, which are preceded by conferred the title of grandmaster
numerous selective trials in all in 1 980 .
the Union Republics, have been Kasparov has played chess
conducted since 1 934. Children's since early childhood, competed
chess sections and clubs i n the in the Young Pioneer tourna
Young Pioneer Palaces and ments in his home city of Baku in
Houses also began to be set up in Azerbaijan , and then on a nation
the 1 930s. wide scale.
The popularisation of chess Kasparov' s hero i s Alexander
among children has assumed a Alekhine, and his teacher in the
particularly large scale in recent flesh is Mikhail Botvinnik. He
years . The newspaper Pioners himself has said that he owes
kaya pravda, which has a circula everything he has achieved in
tion of 1 0,000 ,000 , has taken to chess to Botvinnik.
holding nationwide competitiOns "Way back, when the 1 0-year
of Young Pioneer teams. Such old Gary joined my correspon-

dence course," Botvinnik recal Gruenfeld Defence
led, "I was surprised at his ability
to figure out complicated varia G . KASPAROV J . PR IBL
tions, and also at his frank and European Team Chess Championship
strong desire to achieve the mas Skara, 1 980
ter ' s level . "
This was i n 1 972, and from 1 . d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5
1 977 , when Gary was 1 5 , he 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3
started gaining ever greater suc Bg7 7. Nf3 b6
cess in chess . The Czechoslovak master
Kasparov did excellently in the chooses a rare plan of develop
Top League of the USSR cham ment. Usually seen here is 7 . . .
pionship, and came first at an Bg4.
international tournament in 8. Bb5+
Yugoslavia, where his rivals were An important check somewhat
14 grandmasters. He was on the disorganising Black's forces. 8 . . .
USSR national team which won Nd7? is ineffective , i n view of
the European championship and 9. Bc6, while the trading of
the gold medals at the 22nd Chess bishops after 8 . . . Bd7 renders 7 . . .
Olympiad in Valletta, Malta. He b6 unconvincing. Hence the next
also achieved the best result on move:
the Soviet team: 9.5 points out of 8... c6 9. Bc4 0-0 10. 0-0 Ba6
a possible 1 2 . (after 1 0. . . Bb7 1 1 . Qe2 c5
Gary's great talent i s happily 1 2. Bg5 , White' s game is better).
combined with a high degree of 1 1 . Bxa6 Nxa6 12. Qa4 Qc8
exactingness towards himself, 13. Bg5 Qb7 14. Rfel (but not
with the ability to work hard and 14. Bxe7, in view of 14 . . . Rfe8,
perseveringly . These qualities of taking the Pawn on e4).
his no doubt bear the imprint of 14. . . e6 (a better move was
Botvinnik's beneficial influence. 14 . . . Rfe8)
A characteristic feature is that, 15. Rab1 c5 16. d5!
like Botvinnik in his younger day , This unexpected offer of a
Kasparov was an excellent pupil Pawn enables White to seize the
at school. He finished secondary initiative.
school with a gold medal and has 16.. . Bxc3 17. Red1 exd5
been accepted to study at the 18. exd5 Bg7
Azerbaijan Institute of Foreign It was pointless to attempt the
Languages. rearrangment: 1 8 . . . Nc7 1 9 . Be7
Soviet chess fans have big Rfe8, because of the unpleasant
hopes of Gary Kasparov and look incursion 20. Qd7 !
forward to his participation in the 19. d6 f6
matches of challengers for the
chess crown . DIAGRAM 123
The following two games give
one an idea of the striking and Black seems to believe that by
unusual play of the young grand osting the Bishop from g5, he
master. will render the Pawn on d6 harm-

u 179
less; he is, however, heading for 27. Qc3+ Kg8 28. Rd7 Bf6
an unpleasant surprise. 29. Qc4+ Kh8 30. Qf4! Qa6
20. d7! fxg5 21. Qc4+ Kh8 Black seems to have lost his
22. Nxg5 bearings confronted by an av
Kasparov ' s brilliant combina alanche of crushing blows. More
tive plan is based on the fact that chances for survival were offered
Black' s pieces are isolated and by 30. . . Bg7 ! 3 1 . Qxc7 Qxc7
the Knight on a6 is completely 32. Rxc7 Bd4 3 3 . Rfl a5 , but
immobilised . If now 22. . . Bd4 even in this case 34. a4 would be
23 . Rxd4 ! cxd4 24. Qxd4 + Kg8 an indisputable proof of White's
25. Ne6, demolishing all Black's superiority. The next move loses
fortifications. at once.
22. . . Bf6 23. Ne6 Nc7 24. Nxf8 31 . Qh6 Resigns .
25. Rd6! Be7 A n excellent victory for the
White threatened 26. Rxf6, but young grandmaster.
the next move does not save
Black from trouble. English Opening
World Junior Chess Championship
Dortmund, 1980

26. d8Q! 1 . Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 Bg7

Another surprise. The Pawn's 4. Bb2 c5 5. c4 d6 6. Bg2 eS
fast advance is very impressive. Kasparov chooses a sequence
26 Bxd8
. leading to complicated play.
Similarly unconsoling is 26 . . . Black has no intention of ceding
Rxd8, because of 27 . Rxd8 + control of the central squares to
Bxd8 28 . Qf7, and if 28 . . . Qd5 him.
29. Qxd5 Nxd5 30. Rd l , and so 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. Nc3 0-0 9. d3
on. In a game at the European

1 80
Team Championship (Skara, the f-Pawn has already been post
1 980), Master Webb of Britain ed at f5.
played here 9. e3, but after 9 . . . 23. Qc3 Nf6 24. d4 Bc8
Bf5 1 0 . d4 e4 ! 1 1 . Ng5 Re8 The game has grown very
1 2. dxc5 dxc5 1 3 . Nb5 Re7 , acute. 24. . . Ne7 was more de
Black obtained a good game . pendable.
.. Ne8 25. Rcd1 cxd4 26. exd4 Ne7
An interesting idea. Black 27. d5 Ng6 28. Nd3
moves the Knight to c7, from It seems that White is unaware
where it will also cover d5, to of the imminent danger to his
open the way for the Pawn to position, for otherwise he would
advance to f5 . have played 28. a4.
10. Nd2 Nc7 1 1 . e3 Be6 12. Ret 28 . . . Nh4 29. Rgl b5!
( 1 2. a3 was better here. The
natural 1 2 . Nd5 was wrong , be DIAGRAM 1 25
cause of 1 2 . . . Bxd5 1 3 . cxd5
12. . . Qd7 13. Ret
Gary Kasparov indicated that
White should have sought compli
cations by playing 1 3 . f4.
13 . . . Rad8 14. Nde4 h6 15. f4 f5
16. Nf2 exf4 17. gxf4 Qf7 ( 1 7 . . . g5
was more energetic).
18. Qd2 g5 (even now this
move is possible, but it is no
longer as dangerous to White as it
was before).
19. Ne2 d5 20. Bxg7 Qxg7
2 1 . Kh1
According to Kasparov , White
would have had good prospects
after 2 1 . Ng3 !
But what is the purpose of A preconceived strike. Now
Kasparov 's offer of a Pawn? In White' s centre collapses, and he
case of 2 1 . cxd5 Bxd5 22. Rxc5 has to retreat all along the line.
Bxg2 23 . Kxg2 Nd5, Black would 30. Ne5 bxc4 31. Qxc4 Bb7
have started a keen combinational 32. d6+ Kh7 33. Bxb7 Qxb7+
battle with good chances for 34. Qc6 Qxc6+ 35. Nxc6
success. It appears at first sight that
2 1 . . . dxc4 22. bxc4 Ne8 White ' s game is quite good, but
Black's last is a wise preven Black's next move sharply
tive move indicative of genuine changes the picture.
grandmaster' s play. White hoped 35 . . . Ne4!
his Knight could make a swift 36. Rgfl Mate on f2 threatens .
raid : Ng3 and Nh5, but Black In reply t o the possible 3 6 . Rge 1 ,
returns the Knight to f6, because Kasparov indicated the following

beautiful vanat10n: 36. . . Rc8 ! points of chess, but he, undoub
37. d7 Rxc6 38. d8Q Rxd8 tedly, had common sense and
39. Rxd8 Rc2 with a decisive that natural intuition is a sure
attack. If 40. Nd4, a very effec sign of talent.
tive move is 40 . . . Rg2 ! . That competition brought Vale
36. .. Rxd6 37. Rxd6 Nxd6 ry a special prize for persistence
38. fxg5 hxg5 39. Rdl ReS! and courage in chess. The young
40. Nd4 Re3 41 . Kgl Ne 4 Leningrader held every inch of
his ground on the board , and
DIAGRAM 126 even experienced opponents did
not find it particularly easy to
topple him.
From that time on Valery be
came a constant entrant at Young
Pioneer tournaments. Soon , he
qualified as a candidate-master;
in 1979 as a master, and a year
later won the world cadets' chess
title, which is contested by chess
players under 1 7 .
The following game gives one
an idea of the style of play of the
youngest Soviet champion.

Sicilian Defence
Even with only a few pieces World Cadets' Chess Championship
left Kasparov skilfully creates a Le Havre, 1980
mating net around White' s King. The cadets' tournaments have
42. Rbl Rd3 43. a4 Rd2 been held regularly since 1 977.
Resigns. The Le H avre cham pionship
gathered a field of entrants from
* * *
47 countries. The game we are
now going to look at was of great
When in 1 973 the old Russian importance in the struggle for
city of Izmail was the venue of a first place.
regular finals tournament of the 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4
Young Pioneers' White Rook 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6
Chess Club, the performance of 7. bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6
Valery Salov, a nine-year-old 10. Nd5 f5
pupil from school No. 1 1 in This variation , which is disting
Leningrad , attracted the experts' uished by a struggle of exception
attention . al tension at the opening stage
Of course, the youngster did has become known as the
not yet know much about the fine Chelyabinsk variation, as its

1 82
najor sequences were thoroughly Let us assess the position for
malysed by the young both sides. Indeed, White is not
:helyabinsk grandmasters only a Pawn up , but he also has
{evgeny Sveshnikov and A . Pan two connected passed Pawns on
:henko. the Q-side. Black, nevertheless,
1 1 . Bd3 Be6 12. c4 has sufficient chances for coun
Also seen in tournaments is terplay . White will find it hard to
2. Qh5 Rg8. It is difficult to activate his Rooks, while Black's
Lppraise the implications of the Bishop will be excellently
.acrifice of a piece: 1 2 . Bxb5 ! ? positioned at g7.
Lxb5 1 3 . Nxb5 ; after all, the 20. a4
eningrad schoolboy believes in Not the best, although it seems
he reliability of Black's position. a natural continuation . Apparent
12. . . Qa5 + 13. Kfl Bxd5 ly stronger is the modest 20. a3 .
.4. exd5 ( 1 4 . cxd5 has also been The Ivanovic vs. Sveshnikov
ried in tournaments, which Black game (the USSR-Yugoslavia
Lnswers by 1 4. . . Ne7, and if match, 1 976) continued as fol
5. exf5, Bg7 ; for the Pawn sac lows: 20. Qe8 + Kf6 2 1 . g4 Re7
ifice Black has good chances for 22. Qb8 Ke5 , and in an acute
LCtive play). encounter Black gained victory.
14 . . . Nd4 15. cxb5 axb5 16. Nc2 20 . . . Bg7 2 1 . Qcl Rb8 22. Rb1
llxc2 17. Qxc2 e4 18. Qc6+ Ke7 (there was the threat of 22 . . .
This is how the young play Rxb5) 22. . . Rxb5!
oday. Castling has been con Salov still opts for this move,
. igned to oblivion, and the Black which is, in effect, a subtle posi boldly sets out for the tional combination. Black relies
niddle of the board. on the fact that White's Rook on
19. Bxb5 Ra7 h 1 is actually out of play.
23. axb5 Qxb5+ 24. Kg1 Qxd5
DIAGRAM 1 27 25. h4 Qc5!


An excellent move convincing

ly showing that in the person of
Valery Salov Soviet chess has a
player of great potential . Only a
master of high class can agree to
the trading of queens in such a
position. Less attractive is 25 . . .
Be5 , which i n the game between
grandmasters Torre and Quin
teros (Amsterdam, 1977) gave an
advantage to White after 26. Rh3
f4 27 . Ra3 ! Rd7 28. b4.
26. Qxc5 dxc5 27. RhJ Rb7
28. Ret? (28 . Kfl would have left

1 83
28. . . Bd4 29. b3 f4!
White's Rook now feels un
comfortable even on h3 .
30. Kfl f5 31. Rc2 Ra7 32. Ke2
Ral 33. Rd2 Rgl 34. Rh2
The Rook' s post is unenviable.
The young Leningrader' s strategy
has acquitted itself well.
34 . . . Bc3 35. Rdl f3+ 36. gxf3
exf3+ 37. Kd3 Rxdl + 38. Kxc3
Rfl 39. Kc4 Kd6 40 h5 h6
White is in dire straits . The rest
of the game is a precise realisa
tion of the advantage gained.
41 . Kc3 Ke5 42. Kc4 Rcl +
43. Kd3 Rbl 44. Kc3 Rgl!
45. Kc4 Rg2 46. Rhl Rxf2
more chances for a successful 47. Kxc5 Rb2 48. b4 f2 49. b5 Kf4
defence) . 50. b6 Kg3 White resigns .
THE B ATTLES as the challenger for the world
title from the elimination round
of tournaments and matches held
FOR THE in keeping with the procedure
approved by the International
WORLD Chess Federation (FIDE).
The match , which was played
CHE S S CROWN on the same terms as the previ
ous one, took place in the Italian
health-resort town of Merano.
Anatoly Karpov made a brilliant
showing in this strenuous competi
tion and gained a convincing victo
"The competition for the world ry with the score of 6 won , 2 lost
title is the most vivid exciting and and 1 0 drawn games .
instructive period in the history The match has shown quite
of chess. This chapter deals with clearly that the Soviet Grandmas
the struggle between styles and ter today has no equal in the
schools; it is a treasure store of strength of play and in the depth
chess art preserving the gems of of comprehension of chess .
the world champions' creative The Soviet government asses
thought. It is precisely in this sed the sporting and creative
period that the general progress achievements of Anatoly Karpov
of chess is reflected in the more highly, awarding the three-time
convincing and impressive exam world champion the Order of
ples . " Lenin.
This was written b y the out We present here one of the
standing Soviet Grandmaster games of the match in Merano.
Vyacheslav Ragozin, who had
been Mikhail Botvinnik' s coach
for many years .
In the year 1 98 1 the chess Queen's Gambit
world witnessed two most inter V. KORCHNOI A . KARPOV
esting contests in the struggle for
the chess crown. 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Be7
World champion Anatoly Kar One of the unnoticeable and
pov defended his title for the nonetheless substantial fine
second time. His first match as points that are characteristic of
chess king was played in 1 978, modern opening theory. Against
his opponent being Victor Korch the usual 3 . . Nf6, White can play

noi . The match which was to be 4. Bg5 , and subsequently the

played until one of the opponents Knight on gl may, if given the
obtained six victories was held in chance, develop on e2.
Baguio, the Philippines . Anatoly 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 0-0
Karpov won the match by a score 7. Rei dxc4.
of 6 won, 5 lost and 2 1 drawn. A continuation that is rarely
Victor Korchnoi emerged again met. It is common knowledge

1 85
that the relinquishing of the are in B lack's favour. White
centre is fraught with serious should have played 1 6 . Rfd l .
consequences, but world cham 16. . . Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Bc6
pions themselves determine the 18. Nxc6 Rxc6 19. Rc3
laws of strategy . Karpov has in Having incorrectly appraised
view a plan of active counterplay his possibilities, White counts on
on the Q-side. creating threats on the K-side.
8. e3 White should have agreed to
In the case of 8, e4, the evening up the chances after 19.
interesting line is 8 . . . Nxe4 ! ? Rxc6 bxc6.
9. Bxe7 Nxc3 1 0 . Bxd8 N x d 1 19. . . Qd6 20. g3
1 1 . Be7 ReS 1 2 . Ba3 Nxb2 Here, too, 20. Rdl , or even
1 3 . Bxb2 b5 . Black has three Rxc6, is preferable.
pawns for a piece. However, it 20. . . Rd8 21. Rd1 Rb6!
can be presumed that the world Karpov manoeuvres with much
champion, in answer to 8. e4, finesse. He begins to re-group his
would also have replied as in the forces, aiming at the pawn on d4.
game. 22. Qe1 Qd7!
8 . . . c5 9. Bxc4 cxd4 10. exd4. Earlier the rook on b6
The move 1 0. Nxd4 a6 holds threatened to invade the b4
out no promise for White, and square , whereas now it can freely
Black has a reliable defence. move to d6 . The aim is one and
10 . . . Nc6 1 1 . 0-0. the .same: pressure on the Pawn
Now White hopes to grasp the on d4 .
initiative by a breakthrough to d5 . 23. Rcd3 Rd6 24. Qe4 Qc6
Of course, this breakthrough 25. Qf4
should be prepared, but it is The line of play 25 . Qxc6 Nxc6
necesssry for Black to take pre 26. d5 is ineffective in view of
ventive measures well in 26 . . . Nb4. Without making a sing
advance . le obvious error, White inadver
11 . . . Nh5! tently gets himself into difficul
A deep understanding of the ties.
situation. The simplification of 25. . . Nd5 26. Qd2 Qb6
the position is favourable for 27. Bxd5.
Black. As a result of exchanges, The move 27 . a3 would be
the weakness of the isolated stronger, preventing the thrust
pawn on d4 may tell. Nb4.
12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. Bb3 Nf6 27 . . . Rxd5 28. Rb3 Qc6 29. Qc3
Black assumes control over the Qd7 30. f4
central square d5 . The challenger Ever more weaknesses appear
is now striving to activate his in White's camp, but Black really
pieces. threatened the breakthrough e5.
14. Ne5 Bd7 15. Qe2 30 . . . b6 31. Rb4 b5
Here 1 5 . Qf3 would be better. Restricting the mobility of
15 .. ReS 16. Ne4 White' s rook and threatening the
A questionable decision. A s we murderous 32. . . a5 ; therefore ,
have already noted, exchanges White' s reply is a forced one.

1 86
* * *
32. a4 bxa4 33. Qa3 aS
34.Rxa4 Qb5. 35. Rd2 e5!
World champion Maya Chibur
DIAGRAM 1 2 9 danidze, a student of the Tbilisi
Medical Institute, had to defend
her title of Chess Queen for the
first time in 1 98 1 . Her rival was
Nana Alexandria, a grandmaster
from Tbilisi, who had already
fought in world tournaments .
The match took place in Bor
zhomi and Tbilisi. The formula
for the. duel has remained un
changed for more than 20 years,
with play for a majority of points
in 16 games.
The struggle this time was very
tenacious, winding up in an 8-all
tie, and Maya Chiburdanidze,
being the title-holder, retained her
chess crown .
Here is how Grandmaster
Nikolai Krogius, who heads the
Splendid. Breaking hrough Chess Department of the USSR
White's fortifications m the Sport Committee, characterises
centre and on the K-side, Karpov the results: "The match was inter
organises the invasion of the esting and tense. One can safely
White king ' s camp with his major say that, by and large, it was a
pieces. struggle between equals . Nana
36. fxe5 Rxe5 37. Qal Qe8! Alexandria showed her advantage
Black' s manoeuvres make a in the opening phase. She also
strong impression. He threatens conducted the games in which
38. . . Rei + . White has to put up she had the initiative with confi
with the invasion of the second dence. Maya Chiburdanidze,
rank by the opponent's rook. though her theoretical prepared
38. dxe5 ness proved inferior, demon
If 38. Kf2, Rf5+ settles the strated high sporting qualities and
issue. surpassed her rival in positional
38. . . Rxd2 39. Rxa5 Qc6! manoeuvring.
40. Ra8+ Kb7 41. Qbl + g6 "In general , the match was a
42. Qfl most intersting duel of the
Vainly hoping for 42 . . . Qxa8? world ' s two strongest women
43 . Qxf7 + , and White survives. chess players."
42 .. Qc5+ 43. Khl Qd5 + The following game is charac
White resigns. If 44. Kg 1 , teristic of the subtle positional
44. . . Rd l . An excellent achieve play of the world women' s chess
ment by the world champion ! title-holder.

1 87
Bird Opening White' s pieces occupy the do
minant heights and her bishops
M. CHIBURDANIDZE have acquired much strength .
N . ALEXANDRIA 26. . . ReS 27. Bd4 Kc7 28. Rf5
1. g3 d5 2. f4 h5!?
The struggle assumes an unusu DIAGRAM 1 30
al and keen character at once.
The natural continuations here
are 2 . . . Nf6 or 2 . . . c5.
3. Bg2 h4 4. Nc3 c6 5. d3 hxg3
It did not pay to hurry with this
exchange. It would have been
better to play 9 . . . Qb6 in order to
reply to 10. Nf3 with 1 0. h 3 .
6. hxg3 Rxh1 7. Bxh1 Qb6

8. Nf3 Bg4 9. Na4 Qa5+ 10. c3

Nd7 1 1 . Be3 Nh6 12. b4 Qc7
13. Nc5 Bxf3
This exchange is also unjus
tified . It was possible to play
13 . . . Nf5 or 1 3 . . . f6, taking the e5-
square under protection.
14. Bxf3 Nf6 15. Qa4 Nf5
16. f2 e5 17. g4! Bxc5 18. bxc5 It is interesting to watch White
Ne7 19. fxe5 Qxe5 20. Qd4 Ng6 limit the mobility of Black's
21. Rb1 Qxd4? pieces gradually and methodi
Black should have refrained cally.
from exchanging queens . It was 28. . . Re7 29. Bf2 Nde5 30. g5!
necessary to play 2 1 . . 0-0-0, and
. Nxf3+ 3 1 . exf3 Rd7 32. Rf6 Nf8
if 22. Qb4, 22. . . Rd7 with both 33. f4 b6 34. Bd4 c5 35. Be5+
sides having good chances for Kd8 36. f5 Ke8 37. Rh6 Rd8
vigorous play . 38. Rh8
22. Bxd4 0-0-0 23. Kd2 Nd7 Black has been completely im
23 . . . Nh4 24. Rh l Nxf3 + mobilised, with the threat of Bg7
25 . exf3 Ne8 provided better hanging over her. There is no
chances for a successful defence. satisfactory defence any longer.
24. Bxg7 Nxc5 25. Rh1 Nd7 38. . . f6 39. Bxf6 Rd6 40. Bg7
26. Rh5 Black resigns.
part in competitions and are clas
IN LIEU sified sportsmen.
About a million young chess
OF AN AFTER amateurs annually compete at
open tournaments organised all
WORD over the Soviet Union by the
popular children's "White Castle"
club. The finals of these tourna
ments are held during the summer
Time flie s , and this book, pre holidays and are a colourful chil
pared about three years ago , dren ' s festival.
naturally requires a number of Dozens of new chess clubs
changes and additions . It should have begun functioning recently,
be pointed out, however, that including big and specially de
these changes do not affect the signed ones like the Palace of
fundamental positions of the Chess in the city of Lvov , the
Soviet chess school either in the Trade-Union Club in Moscow,
promotion of chess in this coun and clubs in Minsk, Brest ,
try or in the presentation of Leninakan and other cities .
creative problems. Chess i s being publicised o n an
In the last few years, state and ever-increasing scale by the
Party organisations in the Soviet press, radio and TV . For exam
Union have adopted a series of ple, about 70,000 chess amateurs
important decisions aimed at the took part in a problems competi
still wider development of physi tion organised by the editorial
cal education and sports . Grow board of the newspaper Agricul
ing attention is being paid to tural Life. Another tournament,
encouraging the general public in sponsored in 1 983 by the USSR
town and country alike to engage Chess Federation and the news
in sports including chess. Every paper Soviet Sport, drew 55,000
thing is being done so that physi participants.
cal education and sports may be A new form of public chess
an acknowledged necessity for instruction , universities of chess
every Soviet person in the inter culture, has become widespread
ests of better health and heigh in the last few years. These
tened creative activity. unusual educational establish
Here are a few facts testifying ments, run on a public basis,
to the further growth of the chess make it their objective to raise
movement, which is becoming a the cultural level and skill of the
factor of increasing significance students.
in Soviet society. As a rule , lessons in the univer
According to the figures for sities take place twice a month
I January 1 983, the number of and are conducted according to a
chess players in clubs and precisely worked out plan. All
societies totalled 3 ,9 1 2 ,000. It who wish may attend , and les
should be mentioned that these sons are given by experienced
are people who regularly take players.

1 89
At these universities, hundreds work, there are references to
of amateurs learn the methods of such leading modern scientists as
independent analytical work ; they Academicians Ivan Vinogradov
study the history of chess, the (Maths) , Pyotr Kapitsa (Physics)
problems of organising and con and Iosif Orbeli (History).
ducting competitions, and As early as in 1 933, the well
methods of learning the rudi known English reference book,
ments of strategy and tactics. Who 's Who, wrote that chess
Such universities are function was the main relaxation of the
ing successfully in the Central famous Soviet physicist, Pyotr
Chess Club of the USSR, the Kapitsa.
Moscow Polytechnical Museum, Against the background of the
the Tbilisi Palace of Chess , the mass development of chess , the
Krasnodar and Riga Trade-Union successes of Soviet chess-players
Houses and in many other cities, are becoming more and more
big and small. impressive .
The growing interest of the Anatoly Karpov has been three
people in the art of chess can be times world champion, beating
seen from the fact that the aver international grandmaster V . Kor
age edition of a book on chess chnoi in contests for world supre
published in the USSR during the macy.
last few years has run close to The "chess crown" has been
1 00 ,000 copies . In 1 982 alone, 1 6 won by Maya Chiburdanidze.
books came out in the languages Women's chess in the USSR is
of the peoples of the USSR notable for the fact that among
Georgian, Uzbek, Kirghiz, Esto the four claimants to the hon
nian, Lithuanian , Tatar and oured title of World Champion
Tadjik. there were only Soviet women
Nor is it only textbooks and chess-players in 1 983 : Nana
guides to chess techniques that Alexandria of Tbilisi, Irina Leviti
are being brought out in large na of Leningrad , Lidia Semyono
editions. The general public is va of Kiev , and Nana Ioseliani of
interested in the aesthetics, Tbilisi.
psychology and history of chess. The 1 982 World Youth Champ
Many publishing houses are keep ion was Moscow student Andrei
ing this in mind. Nauka Pub Sokolov, and in 1983 world
lishers, for example, brought out supremacy among the juniors of
a book by world champion up to 1 6 years of age was won by
Anatoly Karpov and Yevgeny a 1 4cyear-old schoolboy from
Gik (Cand. Tech . Science), The Zheleznovodsk, Alexei Dreyev ,
Chess Kaleidoscope, in an edition who was awarded the title of
of 300,000 copies. The same pub Master by the International Chess
lishing house has brought out a Federation (FIDE). At the 1 982
book by Sergei Grodzensky World Chess Olympiad, a brilliant
(Cand. Tech Science), Chess in victory was won by the USSR
the Life of the Scientists, running team, in which, along with World
to 250,000 copies . In this research Champion Anatoly Karpov ,- Were

1 90
experienced grandmasters Lev players published by the Internu
Polugaevsky , Yefim Geller, Tig tional Chess Federation in 1 9M3 ,
ran Petrosian, and representatives according to the Elo rating, over
of the younger generation H arry half were Soviet grandmasters
Kasparov of Baku and Artur and masters.
Yusupov of Moscow. The whole chess world is famil
It should be noted that twenty iar with the names o f such out
year-old Kasparov has recently standing Soviet players as 1 ,ev
moved to the forefront as one of Polugaevsky of Moscow, Rafae l
the world' s best chess-players. Vaganian of Erevan, Oleg
He has won a series of major Romanishin and Alexander Be
international contests, and milit lyavsky of Lvov , Vladimir Tuk
ant style of his brilliant and well makov of Odessa, and others.
thoughtout game is winning the A steady stream of new arri
sympathy of chess fans all over vals is joining the leading ranks
the world. of the Soviet chess-players. It i s
There is now a means of typical that i n the Higher League
evaluating the strength of a chess of the 1 98 3 Championship of the
player. This is the system worked Soviet Union, the younger
out by A. Elo, an American pro players should have crowded out
fessor. The highest number of experienced tournament warriors .
points, 2,7 1 0, was won in 1 983 by Twenty-two international grand
Anatoly Karpov. For a long time, masters took part in the semifi
none of the grandmasters suc nals of the championship and
ceeded in beating the 2 ,700 bar only three of them were admitted
rier except for Harry Kasparov to the Higher League .
who, after the tournament at The Soviet Chess Federation,
Niksic (Jugoslavia), came very which has been headed for the
close to Karpov and is evidently last few years by a dedicated
going to be his main rival in the chess enthusiast, Vitaly Sevas
struggle for world supremacy. tyanov, Pilot-Cosmonaut and
A team of Soviet students won twice Hero of the Soviet Union,
a brilliant victory at the 1 983 is continuing to develop fruitful
World Youth Championship held cooperation with the International
in Chicago, USA. Chess Federation in its various
It is not possible to enumerate spheres of activity. A wide re
all the sports achievements of sponse from chess amateurs was
Soviet chess-players, men and evoked by a open letter, pub
women alike, but we will simply lished in 1 98 3 , from the leading
mention that in nearly all the Soviet grandmasters and world
world championships sponsored champions. It included the fol
by the International Chess Feder lowing statement: "International
ation, the representatives of the chess competitions in which we
Soviet Union have won and are take part are a means of cultural
continuing to do so. exchange , of strengthening
One more significant fact. In friendship and mutual relations
the list of the world ' s best chess- between people of different coun-

tries . In the course of these We call on all the world's
meetings , we have many times chess-players actively to join the
become convinced of the sincere struggle for the preservation of
desire of our fellow grandmasters life on Earth , which is threate
and masters and of all chess ned by a thermonuclear catas
players for peace. Convincing trophe . "
testimony of this was the Appeal T o these penetrating words i t
for Peace, unanimously adopted can only be added that the noble
in November 1 98 2 by the General motto of the International Chess
Assembly of the International Federation "Gens una Sumus" is
Chess Federation, whose mem a pledge that chess might flourish
bership includes the federations in the Soviet Union and all over
of 1 20 countries . the world.
Alexander Kotov was an Mikhail Yudovich is an
international grandmaster, international master , an in
1 948 U S SR Champion , con ternational correspondence
tender for the world chess grandmaster, and has
title in 1 950- 1 95 3 , and five played in many international
times a member of the tournaments . Yudovich is
Soviet team winning the the author of eighteen
world championship . Kotov books on the theory and
has written twenty books on practice of chess which
chess and chess player s , have been published in the
and studied the work of USSR and abroad . He is
Alexander Alekhine . a notable chess teacher
Kotov ' s novel White and and coach and worked for
Black, adopted for stage at many years with e:
the Gmwl Theatre_in_Mo - champion Yel