Isaac Lipnitskiy: ukrainian Maestro

Isaac Lipnitskiy: ukrainian Maestro


Hello, my friends!

Last week I received a post box from my friend Alexander @AlexanderMatlak from Kiev. When I opened the package, I am found the book inside. It was a book about an outstanding ukrainian chess player of the middle of the last century, his name was Isaac Lipnitskiy.

This book received my attention, and a couple of free evenings.


Therefore, today there will be an unusual blog.

I will tell you about the great chess player who defeated players like Botvinnik, Smyslov, Petrosyan, and whose work was highly praised by the legendary Bobby Fisher.

Student, chess player, soldier...

Isaac Oscarovitch Lipnitskiy was born 25 June 1923 in Kiev, big and beatifull city on the river Dnipro in Ukraine. He began his chess lessons at the Pioneers' Palace and the authors of the book meticulously track his youthful games, as well as an unsuccessful sports debut in the pre-war championships in Kiev.

During the Second World War, Isaac was one of many who joined the Soviet army. Lipnitskiy fought in the battle of Stalingrad and served in the army for two more years after the victory over the Nazis.


Ober-mayor Arthur Verner and mayor of
soviet army Isaac Lipnitskiy

One of the most interesting chapters of the book will tell us about the impossible match between the American and Soviet administrations of Berlin in 1946.

The match ended after the victory of soviet players on all boards (10 -0).

If you think that the victory became a easy trophy.... Know that opponent Lipnitsky was an experienced American chess player (of German origin), a member of the Brooklyn Marshall chess club.


Having demobilized and returning home, the former officer decides to become a professional chess player.


Lipnitsky won the Ukrainian Championship in 1949 at Kiev, with a very strong sport result 15½/19 (+14 −2 =3). This earned him the Master title. Efim Geller, future famous soviet Grandmaster, was second on this tournament.

Lipnitsky had the best result of his career at Moscow in 1950, where he scored 11/17 (+8 −3 =6) in USSR championship, to tie for 2nd–4th places, along with Lev Aronin and Alexander Tolush, only half a point behind mighty chess champion Paul Keres.


Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Lipnitskiy

Isaac was not only the strongest practitioner of his time.

As early as 1951, he became the chess correspondent of the popular magazine "Ukraine", and in 1953 he was preparing (in co-authorship with Boris Ratner) a book entitled “Selected games of Ukrainian chess players”. 

But his second book "Questions of Modern Chess Theory" became an absolutely legendary work.

“... Lipnitsky’s original intention was modest enough to write a monograph on the Ragozin defence. However, the maestro prefaced the main part with the introduction of the general laws of a chess game, in order to further illustrate them with concrete opening lines. As a result, the introduction became the main content of the book, and the second part of it, The Ragozin defence, is a secondary illustration!"

Botvinnik borrowed very important recommendations on this book; Mark Dvoretsky and Anatoly Karpov mentioned “Questions of Modern Chess Theory.” at different times. “One of the first books that Bobby read and reread was carrying with him was Lipnitsky’s book,” writes John Collins, about Robert J Fisher.

Lipnitsky did not become a chess long-liver like Botvinnik or Korchnoi.

He died at age 35 years, in Kiev in 1959 from kind of chronic leucosis...

And I am really pleased to get acquainted with the chess legacy of Isaac Lipnitsky.

This is one of the maestros who made up the legendary Ukrainian chess school, the style of fearless attack masters!

Today, Ukraine remains one of the strongest chess countries.


This season we have already become champions for the bullet chess in teams champ, and we plan to keep our title in blitz chess as well.

My special thanks:

to the author of the book @Ninifu


and my friend Alexander @AlexanderMatlak