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Remembering IM Emory Tate

Remembering IM Emory Tate

On October 17, the chess world suffered yet another devastating loss: IM Emory Tate passed away at age 56. Though he was taken from this world much too soon, Emory has left behind an unforgettable legacy, and he will forever be remembered as a fearsome tactician capable of out-calculating and out-sacrificing the very best. 

Let us join together in celebrating IM Tate's illustrious chess career by examining his greatest attacking victory. 

(Photo courtesy Chris Torres, Chess Musings.)

Russian chess players use the somewhat untranslatable word творец (tvorets, literal translation "creator") to describe a particularly inspiring chess player. A tvorets prioritizes aesthetic elegance over rating points, values the quality of his games rather than his standing in the tournament.

Above all, a tvorets is someone who keeps the beauty of our game alive, inspiring us to follow in his footsteps. Emory Tate was most definitely a tvorets. Let the following game, which we will break down into three unforgettable stages, serve as evidence!

Before we begin, an explanatory note is in order. The mesmerizing annihilation we are about to witness is Emory Tate's most famous game, and it has been published and discussed on various websites. To my knowledge, however, it has never received the thorough coverage that it deserves. With that, I invite you to sit back, crack open the Cabernet, and observe a tactical juggernaut at work.

Photo courtesy Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum.

Opening 

Take note: GM Leonid Yudasin is a lifelong proponent of the Najdorf, and in the late 1990s he was at the very peak of his career. But just at the moment when he has apparently weathered the opening storm, the real Emory Tate makes an appearance.

The Attack

Going for mate? Check. Two pieces down? Check. All right, we've narrowed it down to three players: Shirov, Tal, and Tate. Well, I'll let you in on a secret: it wasn't Tal, and it wasn't Shirov.

The Combination 

Make no mistake: for every such victory, Emory suffered countless painful losses, often the result of an overly extravagant opening experiment or unsound sacrifice. But in the eyes of a tvorets, the ends always justify the means.

Keep on sacrificing, Emory. 

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