Gennady Kuzmin 16.1.1946 – 28.2.2020
Grandmaster Gennady Kuzmin passed away last week in his native Ukraine at age 74. Long since retired as an active player, Kuzmin had since become a world famous trainer. Amongst his best known students count Maia Chiburdanidze, Andrei Sokolov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Areshchenko and Katarina Lahno, all of them world championship quality grandmasters.
Tal, Ribli (with his back to the camera) and Kuzmin at the 1974 Olympiad in Nice. Kuzmin scored a fantastic +10, winning an individual Bronze medal, and also sharing the Gold medal for being part of the winning Soviet team.
Listing all of this hugely talented player’s tournament achievements would take much time and space. Amongst his many victims include world champions Tal, Petrosian and Smyslov.
I limit myself to noting that Kuzmin prematurely reached his peak in his mid-20s and by sometime around 30 years old was already getting worse results. For this reason he was soon eclipsed by the generation of talented players born in the early to mid 1950’s. Today few young players outside of the Ukraine have even heard of his name or know that he was once considered a future world champion.
Gennady Kuzmin’s forte as a player was an uncanny ability to grasp the initiative early on in the game, reminiscent of the great Alexander Alekhine.
Kuzmin quickly became one of the most feared attackers of his time, and his collection of best games includes some of the most inspiring examples of attack in modern chess.
I think that any up and coming player would find it hugely beneficial to his development to play over Kuzmin’s games.
A couple of impressive victories
gm Kuzmin,G – gm Averbakh,Y
Moscow 1974 (1-0)
gm Kuzmin,G – gm Groszpeter,A
Kusadasi 1990 (1-0)
gm Kuzmin,G – gm Andersson,U
Croatia 1975 (1-0)