Remembering Igor Bondarevsky

Remembering Igor Bondarevsky


Today, May 12th, we have the anniversary of the birth of five grandmasters:

  1. Dragoljub Velimirović of Serbia, who was born on this day in 1942, became a GM in 1973 and passed away on 5/22/2014.
  2. Zenón Franco Ocampos of Paraguay was born in 1956 and became a GM in 1991.
  3. Aleksa Striković of Serbia was born in 1961 and became a GM in 1996
  4. Tejas Bakre of India was born in 1981 and became a GM in 2004.

The Grandmaster I am featuring today is the late Igor Bondarevsky who was born on this day, May 12th, 1913 in Rostov-on-the-Don, Russia. He became a Grandmaster in 1950 at the inception of the official title, and he became Grandmaster of Correspondence Chess in 1961. He was also an International Arbiter as of 1954.

In 1936, he won an All-Union first category tournament in Leningrad by two full points. His undefeated result earned him a score 11.5/14 (9 wins and 5 draws).  He reached his career peak by sharing first place with Andor Lilienthal at the 12th USSR championship, Moscow 1940, ahead of Paul Keres, Isaac Boleslavsky and Mikhail Botvinnik. Bondarevsky qualified for the Candidates Tournament at Budapest 1950, but he was unable to play because of illness. Thereafter he played only a few tournaments, a notable result being his second place behind Svetozar Gligorić at the Hastings Congress 1960/61.

Bondarevsky coached Boris Spassky during his ascent to the World Chess Championship, beginning in the early 1960s, culminating with Spassky's win over Tigran Petrosian in the 1969 title match.His wife, Valentina Kozlovskaya, is also a strong player.

The following is an interesting game against Soviet International Master Lev Aronin (1920-1982)