The Best Chess Player You've Never Heard Of

The Best Chess Player You've Never Heard Of

GM MacMolner
Jul 26, 2012, 5:16 PM |

Hey guys,

How's it going? My last blog post was about an unknown game featuring one of the nicest moves in chess that I've ever seen. I'll continue along the same path this time, but instead about a player that I'm pretty sure most of you haven't heard of. Not only do most people not know of him, but he was also 5 time USSR Champion and had a lifetime winning record against World Champions! Maybe you know who I'm talking about by now but if not, the man I'm referring to is Rashid Nezhmedtinov.

Because a lot of people don't know who he is, they have no idea how he plays. Tactic books everywhere are filled with imaginative games played by players such as GM Tal; but in terms of imagination and aggression, Rashid may even outdo Tal!

Here is an example game played between two of the most aggressive players of all time, Nezhmetdinov and Tal. See what I mean!?

Games like this were commonplace for Rashid, and I would like to share some other great attacking games played by him and Tal in my upcoming Chess University class on these two players.

If you'd like to work on your tactics or attacking play then this class is perfect for you. If you'd like more information on this class you can go to this link It's on Saturday July 28th!

Nezhmetdinov has certainly inspired some of my play. It's been a while since I took a look at my own games, but having just played several tournaments such as the World Open, I feel like it's the perfect time to take a look back at what I've learned. I'd like to start with one of the tougher losses that I suffered which was to my friend, FM Eugene Yanayt.

The game started out as a very interesting Benoni in which I ended up sacrificing a piece in very unusual Benoni fashion (on a4)! The sacrifice seems to be sound and it resulted in a very double-edged position. I then sacrificed another piece and had a very nice position but was never quite able to find a way to put him away. Surely enough, he defended well, and after he consolidated, the tables turned, and I was now the one defending. We battled until we were both in very intense time pressure and I opted to decline a repetition, but made a mistake in our tense position and was soon punished. I think I had 6 seconds left in the final position and he had 9 so it was right down to the wire. 59... b2 would have been winning, not to mention many earlier chances. The loss was extremely frustrating, but in the end a fair result after not capitalizing on earlier chances.

My best effort of the summer took place in my most recent game. I was playing the White pieces against GM Evgeny Romanov, who is a strong Grandmaster from Russia. It started out as an Evan's Gambit declined and eventually the game reached a double rook endgame. I needed to win the game in order to tie for the U-2500 FIDE prize at the World Open. I have been putting in some work when it comes to my endgames, because I've always felt like they were one area of my game that I could improve, and it felt awesome to put some of what I have been learning to use.

I hope that these games can prove beneficial for some of you - even if hard work doesn't pay off right away, it's worth the wait. I love finding players like Nezhmetdinov to help inspire me. I hope to see some of Saturday at my Chess University class!