SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
CHESS LEGEND YURI AVERBAKH TURNS 90 THIS WEEK!
Yesterday, infact. Yuri Lvovich Averbakh was born on the 8th of February 1922 in Kaluga, Russia . Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1952 he was a World Title Candidate in 1953. He won the USSR Championship in 1954 and was Moscow Champion in 1949 (jointly) and 1962 (jointly). Averbakh won at Rio de Janeiro 1965
However, Yuri is best known for authoring a major (3 volumes) endgame work in the late 1950’s; he also edited the magazine Shakhmatny, became an International Arbiter (in 1969) and an International Judge of Chess Compositions. He also became President of the Soviet Chess Federation (1972-77) and took an active role on a number of important FIDE committees.
A more detailed bio of this legend can be found at ChessVibes
I find humorous the way most bio’s put it: he is ”currently’‘ the oldest living grandmaster. As though Yuri will soon likely voluntarily retire from said distinction! But chess players must be forgiven for their lack of tact and social skills…I met Averbakh once, at the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan. I tried to convince him to let Jonathan Berry to play for Canada (we were short a player–I don’t remember why–and Berry was present as an Arbiter). But Yuri was a stickler for regulations: he felt that putting Berry on the Canadian team at the last moment would put Russia et all at a disadvantage! So be it, and Berry has not forgiven me since!
SOME COMBOS FROM AVERBAKH’S GAMES
(Solutions here )
The dot indicates which side is Averbakh and find out how he wins!
Averbakh was never a fancy tactical player, preferring to grind out his opponents in endgames. Maybe that is why he was put in charge of the endgame project! However, he ocassionally showed some tactical flare, as the game below proves.
POSITION AFTER 19 MOVES
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN WITH A QUEEN SACRIFICE!!