Kasymirich, Avanti

Kasymirich, Avanti‎

GM Julio_Becerra
25 | Chess Players

Alexander Tolush was born on the 1st of May 1910 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was a Soviet Russian chess grandmaster and also one of Boris Spassky's mentors! He got the title of International Master in 1950 and Grandmaster in 1953. He also earned the title of International Master of Correspondence Chess in 1965.

In Leningrad tournaments Tolush was champion in 1937, 1938, 1946 and 1947. He played in the USSR Championship ten times being second (+8=6−3) behind Keres in 1950, finishing fourth in 1952 (+8=7−4) and fourth in 1957 (+10=6−5) losing in the last round of the championship against the new star: Mikhail Tal!

His best international results were 1st place at Bucharest 1953 ahead of Petrosian, Smyslov, Boleslavsky and Boris Spassky, who was his pupil at that time; and second at Keszthely 1968 +7=3−1 behind Portisch.

Tolush was an imaginative attacking player and a lover of complicated positions; his favorite opening was the King's Gambit (widely used in the Romantic era), which also happens to have been played by Spassky! His rivals knew when it would generate an attack, since before going into a combination, he always said, "Kasymirich, Avanti!" (Kasymirich was his father name) and to hear these words more than one was put to tremble at what was coming.

To understand the real dimension of Tolush's legacy just remember some words of Viktor Korchnoi: "Spassky was lucky to have as a coach Tolush in his youth; had I had such a coach I would have progressed more quickly." Also Tolush was the trainer of Paul Keres and Ludmila Rudenko, second Women’s World Chess Champion.

Tragically he passed away in Leningrad on the 3rd of March 1969 two months before Spassky become World Champion.














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