Little Known Stein Brilliancy
I don’t really need to introduce the legendary Ukraine genius, Leonid Stein, to any of my readers. Twice champion of the Ukraine and 3 times champion of the Soviet Union, this incredibly talented player was denied the opportunity to fight for the World Championship on more than one occasion because of FIDE’s rules limiting the number of Soviet players who could play.
Dying way too young (at age 38, in bed with his mistress), Stein will always be our hero.
Below is a little known masterpiece from Stein that was played in the 7th round of the 1962 Ukraine Championship held in Kiev.
A diehard fan of the dynamic style of Alexander Alekhine, Stein sacrificed an entire Rook at one point in return for two dangerous passed pawns on the Queenside. Hardly a perfect game — the position was just so difficult and complex — a number of very original positions occurred.
All in all, a well deserved victory on the way to winning Stein’s 2nd Ukraine Championship!
The crosstable from the 31st Ukraine Championship. Lifted from an old Russian chess magazine, the handwritten data is typical of magazines in those long distant days.
Stein,L – Zurakhov,V
A remarkable fight! The game contains some very surprising and original ideas. Stein’s opponent, also Ukrainian, was a few years older and was a very talented player. A chemical engineer, Zurakhov won the 1952 Ukraine Championship and became a Soviet Master of Sport. He died in 1991.