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Mark Taimanov

Mark Taimanov

May 18, 2008, 12:00 AM 7 Chess Players

Mark Taimanov was born in the Ukraine in 1926.  In 1952, he became a Grandmaster.  He was also a concert pianist.  In 1970, he was accused of buying a point from Matulovic for $400 at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal in 1970.  When he lost to Fischer 6-0 in Vancouver, British Columbia, he returned to the USSR in disgrace.  Normally grandmasters are not searched when crossing the border to the Soviet Union, but Taimanov was asked to open his luggage for examination.  They found one of Solzhenitsyn's banned books which Taimanov brought from Canada.  He was stripped of his title 'Honored Master of Sport' and deprived of his monthly earnings for holding the grandmaster title. Both were returned to him when Fischer also beat Larsen 6-0.  In 1993 he won the World Veterans' Championship.  In 1957, Taimanov said he would give up chess if Tal could win the USSR chess championship twice in a row.  Tal did win in twice in a row, in 1957 and 1958, but Taimanov continued to play chess.  Taimanov played more games than any other in the Soviet championships.  He played 436 games in 23 Soviet championships from 1948 to 1976.  He won the Soviet championship in 1956.

 Here is a nice game which he played in the Soviet championship in 1960.  He makes a few sacrifices and offers up his queen a few times.  In the end, he has a nice mate threat.


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