Andor Lilienthal - the last Chess Romantic

Andor Lilienthal - the last Chess Romantic

Gserper
GM Gserper
May 16, 2010, 12:00 AM |
37 | Tactics

As you probably already know, the World's oldest Grandmaster passed away last week. Just three days after celebrating his 99th birthday, Andor Lilienthal died. It is difficult to believe that just a week ago there was a living person who had wins over Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik and Vasily Smyslov!

I never had a chance to play him since he retired from competitive chess before I was born, and the only brief conversation I ever had with him consisted mainly of "Hi, how are you?"  Yet, I have a strange feeling like I knew him very well.  Maybe because he was popular in the former Soviet Union (his good nature and a great sense of humor made him a subject of many chess anecdotes and legends). Or maybe because of his attractive chess style he left many fantastic games that I learned in my childhood... Talking about his chess preferences, I cannot call him a professional chess player in the modern sense because looking at his games I always had the impression that an interesting position or a game meant more to him than a win (of course for the modern top players a win is the only thing that matters). Maybe this attitude prevented Lilienthal from achieving even better results. He was a great tactician and that's why he tried to get a sharp position right out of the opening even if it was in his opponent's favor.  One example is a clearly suicidal attempt to play a dubious opening 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5?! against GM Boleslavsky, who was one of the best theoreticians of that time.  As a result, Lilienthal lost that very important game in just 17 moves! Yet, due to his enormous natural talent, Lilienthal was mostly a winner in such sharp games. I want to show you some of Lilienthal's best games where his approach of complicating the position right out of the opening and going directly after his opponent's King worked perfectly. Try to solve the puzzles and play like Lilienthal!

Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move and read the annotations if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".

 

 


If you like sharp tactical fights I recommend you to look at Lilienthal games. I am sure you'll enjoy them!
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