A little known attacking gem
Most young players today have probably never heard of Yakov Estrin or perhaps they might have accidentally seen an old opening monograph with his name attached in someone’s chess library and never given it another thought.
There was a time when the same could be said of me. But as I grew into a mature player and delved deeper into the secrets of chess, Estrin’s name began to gain more significance.
And for good reasons: a first rate opening theoretician and analyst, a World Correspondence Champion and a brilliant attacking player, Yakov Estrin’s games and ideas were studied by the top masters of his time, including the legendary Mikhail Botvinnik.
Estrin was fortunate to have lived in what many consider the most creative and interesting period of post-WW2 chess. Estrin himself made many significant contributions.
A famous photo from 1958 when a young Bobby Fischer visited the Moscow Central Chess Club.
Yakov Estrin was born in Moscow in 1922 and died at age 63 in 1987. Trained as a lawyer, Estrin decided to dedicate himself to chess. His personal specialty was correspondence chess: he won the title of grandmaster of correspondence chess in 1966, and became World Correspondence Champion in 1976. Estrin also won the IM title in 1975 for his over the board play.
Estrin has authored and/or collaborated in the writing of numerous chess books — including top notch opening manuals ( ‘vintage’ openings such as the King’s Gambit and the Two Knights Opening, and modern lines like the Grunfeld, which he co-wrote with Botvinnik ) — and I consider myself fortunate to have most of them in my library.
The game below is one of Estrin’s most brilliant – but relatively unknown – tournament efforts. Played in 1969 and against the strong IM Boris Katalymov.
The game is typical of Estrin’s dynamic style and features an unrelenting fight for the initiative from start to finish. Enjoy!
Estrin,Y – Katalymov,B