"Efim Petrovich, what sort of punk is playing on our team?" Gufeld beats Smyslov!

"Efim Petrovich, what sort of punk is playing on our team?" Gufeld beats Smyslov!

Jan 21, 2018, 4:43 PM |

Gufeld beats Smyslov with Spectacular Double-Piece Sacrifice!


Some Masters are extremely creative, and their play challenges notions of what is "acceptable" or "sound".

These Masters are Artists of the chessboard, and when their ideas are accompanied by a world-class talent, their unique understanding of chess expands our notion of what is "sound" or "good". In one word, they are great Teachers, an they expand our understanding and appreciation of chess, and their games and ideas are a source of aesthetic pleasure to all chess lovers.

In this post, we pay tribute to Eduard Gufeld, who along with players like Geller and Bronstein combined extraordinary talent with an artistic temperament. These type of players, like Chigorin, Tartakower and Nezhmetdinov, are not always successful from the competitive point of view, but create games of immortal beauty and splendour.


Eduard Gufeld (1936-2002)


Eduard Yefrimovich Gufeld was born in Kiev, Ukraine (formerly USSR). He was awarded the USSR Master title in 1958. In 1960 he won the USSR Armed Forces Championship. Awarded the GM title in 1967 he was a well respected chess journalist and trainer. He was the personal trainer of Woman's World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze.

In tournaments he was 1st at Gori 1971, 1st at Tbilisi 1971, 1st= at Tbilisi 1974, 1st at Tbilisi 1980, 1st= at Havana 1985 and 1st at the American Open 1999. He passed away in Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles in 2002.



Today we shall look at such a game, a jewel of fighting chess!


This game was played between Vassily Smyslov (White) and Gufeld in the Soviet Spartakiad, a team event, in 1967.


                  Vassily Smyslov (1921-2010)




Vasily Vasiliyevich Smyslov was born in Moscow. A talented singer, Smyslov narrowly missed joining the Bolshoi Opera. Opera's loss was the chess world's gain. He was awarded the Soviet Grandmaster title in 1941. Moscow champion of 1942. He took his first win over Botvinnik at Moscow championship of 1943. Moscow champion of 1944/5. Sub-champion of the World in 1948. Shared the first place with David Bronstein in the 1949 Soviet Championship. Winner of Chigorin Memorial 1951. After his success at Zurich 1953, he became the challenger in 1954, but tied the match with Botvinnik. Soviet champion in 1955 sharing the first place with Efim Geller. Again winner of the Candidates Tournaments at Amsterdam 1956 and after winner of Alekhine memorial (drawing Botvinnik) the way was paved for Smyslov to become the 7th World Champion when he defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in 1957. His reign was short-lived as Botvinnik regained the title a year later. Smyslov would go on to many tournament victories such as Amsterdam 1964 (jointly), Havana 1965 in front of Robert James Fischer, and Monte Carlo 1969. In 1982 at the Las Palmas Interzonal Tournament, Smyslov finished second and qualified for the Candidates Matches, and at age 61 advanced past Robert Huebner in the quarter-finals (winning the spin of a roulette wheel to decide the tied match), then defeating Zoltan Ribli in the semi-final, before losing to young challenger Garry Kasparov in the final. Vasily Smyslov crowned a remarkable career by becoming the first Senior World Champion at Bad Worishofen in 1991. His father Vasily Osipovich Smyslov also played and was a strong amateur player.


Gufeld was in the same team as Geller and Botvinnik....let us look at the game!