Not an Ordinary Grandmaster

  • GM dbojkov
  • | Mar 9, 2011

Aivars Gipslis is not a well known name among chess fans around the world, but was a remarkable person dedicated to our beautiful game. Born on February 8, 1937 in Latvia, he started playing chess at the age of twelve, which was normal by that time, although nowadays we have already seen some young lions achieving the GM title at that age. He was from the same generation of Mikhail Tal, and they often competed in the Latvian championship during Tal’s young years. After winning his second USSR title the Magician from Riga returned home for his next trophy, but managed to finish only third. “I scored 16.5/19, my highest score ever, but two more players made 17.” The championship decided a curious case, in which Tal took a hot bath while reading the fresh chess bulletin and preparing against Gipslis. Aivars read a page further:


Altogether Aivars Gipslis won 8 Latvian championships, one bronze medal from the strong USSR championship, and took part at the Interzonal in Sousse 1967. However, his major success was the tie for 2nd-5th places at the super strong Alekhine Memorial in Moscow 1967 ahead of Boris Spassky and Tigran Petrosian and together with Mikhail Tal, Vasily Smyslov and Milko Bobotsov .

In 1972 he won the best game prize of the Chess Informant for this wild, although not entirely correct, game:


Since 1966 he started helping Nona Gaprindashvili in her defense of the women's world crown. Their productive cooperation lasted till 1979, after which Gipslis was many time USSR women's team trainer, and helped the ladies win several gold medals at the Olympics.

Apart from being a GM over the board, he was also an ICCF GM, respected chess writer, and editor of the famous Latvian magazine “Chess” from 1963 on. His contribution to chess was less flashy compared to many other players, but significant.

Aivars Gipslis passed away on 13 April 2000, after having created many interesting games:




  • 6 years ago


    I like his relatively quiet moves! I think he should be known for this concept!

  • 6 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    Indeed, Gipslis was not that famous name, but you can see for yourselves how greatly he contributed to chess in so many aspects.

  • 6 years ago


    deeply tactical.. plays like Tal.. particularly liked the last one...

  • 6 years ago


    His annotations in Informator 18 are very instructive.

  • 6 years ago


    Thank u for introducing unfamous person who as well contributed to chess
  • 6 years ago


    wow verry good games!

  • 6 years ago


    Beautiful games. Deep tactics and pretty finals.

  • 6 years ago


    nice games and very well written article...I can't see the time to read your next one 

  • 6 years ago

    FM VPA

    I met him long long time ago! He was a great Master & a wonderful person. God Bless His Soul Peace in Heaven. Eternally!

  • 6 years ago


    Aivars Gipslis (February 8, 1937 – April 13, 2000)

  • 6 years ago


    ...and the year of his birth is? 

  • 6 years ago


    and the year of his birth is?

  • 6 years ago


    @Rogalentis: White is not obliged to capture with the rook, and after 23...Rxf1? 24.Kxf1, Black is simply down the exchange. Good tactical awareness on your part, though.

  • 6 years ago


    I like games by A. Gipslis-fundamental strategy.In first game we see very deep 15. Rd2!! (R returns from d6)Now books shows only 15.Rd1-and now -2011!(Gipslis -Tal -1958).I like this game( I was born in 1958) - one variation-22.Qd4!!(A.Gipslis played22.Bf7)22....Rhf8 23. Rf4! Nf7 24.Qf2! Bc2 25. Bb7! Kb7 26.Rc2 Nc6 27.Qf3! Rd6 28.Kb1 Kb8 29. Ne4 Nd4 30. Qd3 R6d8 31.Nf6 Nc2 32 Nd7 Kb7 33..Qe4 Ka7 34. Rf8 Rf8 35. Nf8 Qe1 36. Qe1 Ne1 37. g4!-this was best ,shortest way of realization!

  • 6 years ago


    @ Rogalentis:

    Well, on 23...Rxf1, white will play 24. Kxf1, not 24. Rxf1.

  • 6 years ago


    Kupreichik, Viktor D (2440) vs. Gipslis, Aivars (2560)
    URS-chT / Moscow
    what about 23...Rxf1 24.Rxf1 Nd3+?
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