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Mind Over Matter-Queen Sacrifices!

Mind Over Matter-Queen Sacrifices!

kamalakanta
Dec 11, 2016, 4:42 PM 19

Hi, chess lovers!

I am inspired by the following games....looking at Emanuel Lasker's win against Euwe in 1934, where Lasker sacrifices his Queen and beats Euwe, one year before Euwe wins the World Championship Match! Lasker was 66, and had not played for 9 years!

And then, I have been looking over the last year at some games in which there is a spectacuilar Queen sacrifice....so why not start at the beginning?

The first game is from 1834...these are the games that Morphy studied, and some people feel that the games between McDonnell and La Bourdonnais (they played 85 games in six matches, all in 1834. They did not play more because McDonnell died!) are the first recorded examples of modern positional play.

During the next few days I shall be posting a few more examples of Queen Sacrifices.

Let us look at the first game!





 

Wow...mind over matter!

The next game is from the Zurich 1934 Tournament. Lasker was 66 years old, and had not played tournaments in 9 years!

Here is his game against Max Euwe, who would win the World Championship Title one year later!

 

                      Max Euwe
                    (1901-1981)

 



 

The next game we will see is between Vishy Anand and Teimour Radjabov. I believe Tadjabov has the talent to become World Champion. Maybe he does not want it; maybe it is not his destiny. But watch how, at the age of 16, he wins against Vishy Anand. That same year he won a great game against Kasparov. What a talent!

 

     Teimour Radjabov
          (1987-      )

 

 

 



 

The next example is from Efim Geller. Geller was one of the most talente and hard-working GMs ever. His contributions to opening theory are legendary. He has a plus score against a few World Champions, including Bobby Fischer, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Petrosian!

This game was played in the 1963 USSR team Championship. Let us see!


            Efim Geller-Viktor Korchnoi

 



 

The next game was played in Varna, in 1958 between Milko Bobotsov and Mikhail Tal. In this game, Tal sacrifices his Queen for two minor pieces in the opening....and wins!

 


                           Milko Bobotsov
                             (1931-2000)

 





"I also saw how Tal defeated Milko Bobotsov. The day before, after Tal finished his main-event game, he played speed chess, one game after another with Nikola Padevsky, all of those games were with Black pieces, so that he could play over and over the same variation, which made everybody -- and Tal most of all -- giggle, because it was a variation where Black -- that is Tal -- always at the same place sacrificed his queen for two light pieces, just so, as if for not apparent reason at all, just so that there was some good entertainment. Of those speed games, Tal won some, lost some -- of course, he was a good chunk of queen behind -- and everyone around was taking it as such a clever jest, a form of handicapping self. Tal clearly wanted to amuse himself, and thus he 'sacrificed' his queen game after game. There was much mirth about it all around, even a swim guard was watching the circus, and a Bulgarian woman player, a beauty in tiny bikinis, with which Tal played speed chess the day before under the unusual rule that gave him a win only when the game was a draw.

 

Among the many spectators that laughed merrily about those funny games between Tal and Padevsky was also Bobotsov. He too had a great time watching it all. The next day came the time for their 'serious game' Bobotsov-Tal which was a part of the match USSR-Bulgaria. The opening was a King Indian and it was played in a lightning speed; it was clear how eager was Bobocov to find out what had Tal prepared instead of that funny queen sac. And, right away, the position on the board was the one from yesterday speed games; and, right away, Bobotsov played that Nd5 and spectators gasped: Tal, without a flinch, grabbed the knight and sacrificed his queen, just the same as in all those crazy speed games of the day before. Even Bobotsov did not quite believe his eyes. He gave a bit embarrassed side-way smile and took the queen. The rest of the game lasted only a few moves -- and Bobotsov did not get to play much."

 

Jiri Vesely, <White-and-Black Memories>

The next game is from a telegraph match between Steinitz and Chigorin in 1890.

Steinitz and Chigorin were quite evenly matched. In Classical games: Wilhelm Steinitz beat Mikhail Chigorin 26 to 25, with 8 draws.

That is pretty close! Steinitz defended the Evans Gambit with Black, while Chigorin defended the Two Knights Defense against the Italian Game...let us see!

        Chigorin and Steinitz, two great rivals!


 




In the next game, Mikhail Tal (one of my favorite players) sacrifices his Queen on move 16 for Rook, Knight and the initiative...oh, did I mention that he also got a passed pawn on the 6th ramk, and that White's rook and bishop were still in their initial position? Take a look at the depth of Tal's concept!


                      Mikhail Tal


 




In the next game, Kasparov sacifices his Queen in the opening against Kramnik, for just two minor pieces and two pawns! Kramnik becomes unsettled and Kasparov scores a win against this difficult opponent!

     Garry Kasparov


 




The following game is quite remarkable. I do not remember how I came acquainted
with it, but it is quite special. Let us see GM Smagin win a brilliant victory! What a flight of fantasy!



   Sergey Smagin


Sergey Smagin (born in Norilsk, 8 September 1958) is a Russian chess grandmaster.

He played in the Soviet championships of 1985 and 1986, obtaining his best result at Riga 1986, where he placed 3rd-6th in a field of twenty.

His tournament successes include the following:

Smagin reached his peak Elo rating in April 2001, with 2613 points.

He currently plays in the Russian team championship with the Club MCF Moskva.

 




Next in line is Vasily Smyslov, one of the greatest players of all time!


         Vasily Smyslov
          (1921-2010)


This first Smyslov game was played in 1939...Smyslov was 18, Belavenets was 28. The Queen sacrifice is spectacular, although I am not quite sure it is correct. Nevertheless, even at this young age Smyslov shows great depth of concept. The final position is beautiful!



Sergey Belavenets



The folowing game is the 14th from the World Championship Match between Botvinnik and Smyslov. It was to be the first of Smyslov's three World Championship matches against Botvinnik.

In this game Smyslov plays the King's Indian Defense. Smyslov was known to be an expert in the Grunfeld Defense with Black, but here, on the Black side of the King's Indian Defense, he shows his hand works well in other systems as well!



       Botvinnik-Smyslov


 


About Smyslov:

 

Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov (Russian: Васи́лий Васи́льевич Смысло́в; 24 March 1921 – 27 March 2010)[1] was a Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster, and was World Chess Champion from 1957 to 1958. He was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship on eight occasions (1948, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1965, 1983, and 1985). Smyslov twice tied for first at the Soviet Championship (1949, 1955), and his total of 17 Chess Olympiad medals won is an all-time record. In five European Team Championships, Smyslov won ten gold medals.

Smyslov remained active and successful in competitive chess well into the 1960s and 1970s, qualifying for the finals of the World Championship Candidates' Matches as late as 1983. Despite failing eyesight, he remained active in the occasional composition of chess problems and studies until shortly before his death in 2010.

*****************************************************

 

"I will make 40 good moves and if you are able to do the same, the game will end in a draw." - Vasily Smyslov

 

"I consider chess an art. I grew up in an atmosphere filled with music and chess." – Vasily Smyslov

 

"My father instilled in me a love for so-called "simple positions", with the participation of only a few pieces. I was able to gain a deep feeling for what each piece is capable of, to sense their peculiarities, their strength and importance in various different situations on the board, the limits of their capabilities, what they "like" and what they "don't like" and how they behave... Such a "mutual understanding" with the pieces enables a player to see that which often remains concealed to purely logical analysis. It is then that the innate ability of a player, which I call a sense of harmony, manifests itself." - Vasily Smyslov

 

Befitting his monumental stature and imposing appearance, he is what may be called a stately walker. He walks in slow and measured step, his hands invariably folded behind his broad back, and his magnificently large head slightly bent, as if he were deeply in thought (and he probably is). He never stirs very far from his board, hardly ever more than some twelve or fifteen measured paces, which he will slowly, very slowly, take to and fro, up and down. And no one has ever seen him hurry back if he happens to be at the far end when his opponent punches his clock. – Unknown Source (on Smyslov)

 

"Smyslov's manner of play is somehow sneaky: he does not attack you directly, he does not mount a straightforward offensive, he does not threaten to give an immediate mate, but he steals up by other secret means, known only to himself. His unsuspecting opponents do not see through his secret plans, it appaers to them that everything is alright... Then they come to their senses, suspect something bad, but it is already too late!" - Max Euwe

 

"In the period 1953-58 Smyslov was undoubtedly the strongest tournament fighter. His talent was universal - he could play subtly in the opening, go totally onto the defensive, attack vigorously or manoeuvre cooly. And this is to say nothing about the endgame - here he was in his element. Sometimes he took decisions that were staggering in their depth... The combination of good calculation of variations, boldness, independence and natural health made Smyslov invulnerable at that time." - Mikhail Botvinnik

 

"Smyslov is known as a player of very distinctive and interesting style, as a virtuoso of the endgame. Smyslov is a modern Capablanca. We have all learned something from his brilliant technique of playing endings." - Mikhail Tal

 

"I know the secret of Smyslov's staggering successes. He was able to transform himself in good time, finding a harmonious balance between play on "general grounds" and concrete calculation. Without necessity he does not "drive himself" into a maze of tiring calculations, but when the situation demands it he deeply and accurately calculates variations. Smyslov and I have much in common..." - Tigran Petrosian

 

"Smyslov never plays flippantly. He possesses a subtle positional feeling. He fights desperately in an inferior position." - Robert Fischer

 

"Youthful passion and wisdom, experience and recklessness are harmoniously combined in his play." - Anatoly Karpov

 

:Vasily Vasilievich has an incredible intuition, and I would call it his "hand" - that is, his hand knows on which square to place every piece, and he does not need to calculate anything with his head." - Boris Spassky

 

"He is truth in chess! Smyslov plays correctly, truthfully and has a natural style." - Vladimir Kramnik

 

"He mastered all elements of play. Smyslov was a brilliant endgame specialist, all in all his play resembled a smooth flow, like a song. When you look at his games, you have that light feeling as if his hand is making the moves all by itself while the man is making no effort at all - just like he was drinking coffee or reading a newspaper! This has the feel of Mozart's light touch! No stress, no effort, everything is simple yet brilliant. I like this feature of Smyslov and I am fond of his games." - Vladimir Kramnik

 

 

 

Mind over matter!

 

Another great positional player was Boris Spassky. At the beginning of his career, he had Alexander Tolush as his trainer. Tolush was a great atacking player, but Spassky needed more, so he turned to Igor Bondarevsky, and with him in tow he won the World Championship in 1969.

The following brilliant game by Spassky was played in the USSR Zonal Tournament in 1964. In that cycle, Spassky went all the way to the top, challenging Tigran Petyrosian for the World Championship, but losing the match, 12 1/2 to 11 1/2.

Still, Spassky has stated that his main virtue in is prime was that he had a better sense for the middlegame than his opponents.

In the following game, he crushes Geller from the Black side of a Ruy Lopez; Geller, no less! A year later, spassky would beat Geller in their Candidates' Match, on his way to challenge Petrosian.


        Boris Spassky

 


OK, the next game I witnessed in person! I became active in chess during the Fischer-Spassky match in 1972. In 1974 Spassky and Robert Byrne played a Candidate's Match in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I was hired to move the pieces on a demonstration board on stage! 

I could not believe my eyes, much less understand, when I saw Spassky's Queen sacrifice in the opening of the following game, from a Black side of a Ruy Lopez, Breyer Variation. Let us see!

Apparently, Byrne was also thrown off, because he returned the Queen very soon after...

Rashid G. Nexhmetdinov

RASHID GIBIATOVICH NEZHMETDINOV
(born Dec-15-1912, died Jun-03-1974, 61 years old) Russia
   
Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov was born in Aktubinsk, then part of the Russian Empire and now known as Aqtöbe, in Kazakhstan, into a poor peasant family of Tatar ethnicity. Orphaned when very young, he moved to Kazan in the Republic of Tatarstan at a young age under the care of his brother, and it was there that he learned chess by watching local games despite living for some time in great hardship.

He also became a renowned checkers (draughts) player, but it was chess that he turned to after leaving military service after the end of World War II. Notwithstanding this, when the 1949 Russian Checkers Semifinals were held in Kazan, Nezhmetdinov agreed to substitute for a player who didn't show up even though he hadn't played checkers for 15 years. He finished 12/16 without losing a game, earning the title of Soviet Master of Checkers. This also qualified him for the finals, where he finished 2nd.

Nezhmetdinov's participation in chess tournaments before World War II was intermittent. In 1927 at the age of 15, he played in Kazan's Tournament of Pioneers (an 18 and under event), winning all 15 games. In 1929 he won the junior section of the Kazan city championship, and the next year he finished first in the overall Kazan championship and earned a Category I rating. Nezhmetdinov earned the Candidate Master title by winning the All-Union Tournament at Rostov-on-Don in 1939, finishing undefeated with a 9/10 score. In 1941 Rashid was called to military service and stationed in Baikal, where he won the district chess tournament over some strong opposition, including Victor Davidovich Baturinsky and Konstantin Klaman.

After the War, when he dedicated himself to chess, he came 1st in a tournament organised within the Soviet Military Administration in Berlin, 1946, triumphing over future Master and Ukrainian champion Isaac Lipnitsky. After he demobilised in 1947, he began a long and distinguished career, starting with 2nd place in the final of the Russian Federation (RSFSR) Championship behind Nikolay Novotelnov. Later that year Nezhmetdinov finished =2nd in an All-Union Candidate Master tournament, earning him the right to play a classification match in 1948 against Vladas Ivanovich Mikenas for the title of Soviet Master. He drew the match 7-7 (+4-4=6), but did not gain the coveted Master title, because the examiner got draw odds. Two years later, in 1950, he won the Russian Federation Chess Championship against a very strong field and finally earned the Master title. He won the Russian Championship four more times: in 1951 ahead of Nikolai V Krogius, in 1953 ahead of Lev Polugaevsky, in 1957 ahead of Boris T Vladimirov, and in 1958 in Sochi ahead of Viktor Korchnoi. In Sochi Nezhmetdinov played his immortal game against Lev Polugaevsky Other excellent results in the RSFSR Championships included 2nd in 1954 behind Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich, =2nd in 1956 behind Shamkovich and alongside Krogius and Polugaevsky, and clear 2nd in 1961 behind Polugaevsky after a playoff mini-match against Vladimir Antoshin, Anatoly Lein, and Lev A Belov to earn a spot in the finals of the 1961 USSR Championship. He also finished =3rd in 1963 behind Lein and Georgy Ilivitsky.

Nezhmetdinov was also a regular participant in the USSR Championship cycles in their various incarnations, consistently participating in the quarter and semi finals eliminations for the USSR Championship between 1947 and 1969. His best results were =1st with Isaac Boleslavsky and Vitaly Georgievich Tarasov at the 1956 semi-final, and =1st with Boris Spassky at the 1958 semi-final. He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th with victories over Efim Geller, Salomon Flohr, and Andre Lilienthal. He also did well against Grandmaster competition in the Moscow 1957 edition, scoring 2.5/3 against three future world champions, drawing with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and beating Spassky and Mikhail Tal.

In 1954, accompanying Soviet Masters Korchnoi, Semyon Abramovich Furman and Ratmir Kholmov, Nezhmetdinov participated in the Bucharest International tournament, one of only three times he played outside the USSR. He rose to the occasion, defeating International Masters Miroslav Filip, Robert Wade, Bogdan Sliwa, and Grandmaster Gideon Stahlberg. He won the tournament brilliancy prize against Enrico Paoli, and finished clear second behind Korchnoi. In recognition of this performance, later that year FIDE awarded him the International Master title. Results in other tournaments include =2nd behind Mark Taimanov at the 1961 Chigorin Memorial and 3rd at the Baku International in 1964 behind Antoshin and Vladimir Bagirov. He participated in the Soviet Club Championships in 1952, 1954 and 1964, winning individual and team silver for his team DSO Spartak in 1952 on board 6, individual and team gold for Spartak in 1954 on board 5, and individual gold on board 6 for Spartak in 1964. He was also a member of the RSFSR Team that played matches with other Soviet Republics, with his best result coming at Vilnius 1958 where he played board 1 for the RSFSR and led them to a 3rd place finish, and also took the individual bronze medal ahead of Paul Keres, David Bronstein, Efim Geller, and Boleslavsky. In 1973 Nezhmetdinov played his last tournament, placing only 3rd behind a weak field in the Latvian Open. He fell ill and did not finish all of his games. However, he did win his last brilliancy prize in his game against Vladimir Karasev.

Nezhmetdinov was renowned for his imaginative attacking style. His famous and widely published game at Sochi 1958 against Polugaevsky is considered to be one of the best attacking games of the 20th century. He assisted Tal in preparation for the latter's 1960 World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik. While he beat many of the world's top players, he was never awarded the GM title even though he won 5 Russian Championships. Nezhmetdinov published an autobiography including his 100 best games entitled Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess (republished by Caissa Editions in 2000). Alex Pishkin published a similar tome entitled Super Nezh, Chess Assassin in 2000.

Nezhmetdinov passed away in Kazan in 1974.

Sources

Russian tournament and match archive: http://al20102007.narod.ru/; Photo of bust of Nezhmetdinov in Kazan: http://www.russiachess.org/images/s.; Bust and plaque on a building: http://www.russiachess.org/images/s.; <jessicafischerqueen>'s three-part YouTube documentary: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis. with addendum at Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

*Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Wikipedia article: Rashid Nezhmetdinov


Any article about Queen sacrifices would be incomplete without some examples from the games of Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov...
We are talking about a true artist and warrior of the chessboard. He was one of Tal's trainers when Tal won the World Championship in 1960. Let us look at two of his games!

The first game is against Oleg Chernikov, from a USSR Team Championship in 1962....

 

 

The second game is considered Nexhmetdinov's Immortal Game. It was played against Lev Polugaevsky in a Semi-Final of the USSR Championship in 1958. Let us see!

 


  Lev Polugaevsky

 

Lev Abramovich Polugaevsky (Russian: Лев Абрамович Полугаевский; 20 November 1934 – 30 August 1995) was an International Grandmaster of chess and frequent contender for the World Championship, although he never achieved that title. He was one of the strongest players in the world from the early 1960s until the late 1980s, as well as a distinguished author and opening theorist whose contributions in this field remain important to the present day.

Lev Polugaevsky was born in Mogilev in the Soviet Union (now Mahilyow, Belarus). Unlike many of his grandmaster colleagues, his development in chess came slowly, and he did not receive even the Soviet master title until he was an adult. His progress then accelerated rapidly, however, and by the late 1960s he was one of the world's strongest players, as was recognized by his participation in the famous "USSR vs. Rest of the World" match of 1970. In this match he occupied fourth board, losing one game to Vlastimil Hort and drawing his other three. Polugaevsky won at Mar del Plata in 1962 and 1971. He won or tied in the USSR Chess Championship three times. He played regularly in qualifying events to select a challenger for the world championship, qualifying for Candidates matches on four occasions. His greatest advancement toward the title came during the 1977 and 1980 cycles, when he defeated Henrique Mecking and former world champion Mikhail Tal, respectively, in quarterfinal Candidates matches, before succumbing both times in the semifinals to the eventual challenger, Viktor Korchnoi.[1]

Polugaevsky was a noted theorist whose work on a number of openings has stood the test of time. He is best remembered for a variation of the Sicilian Defense that bears his name: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5!? This Polugaevsky Variation of the Najdorf Sicilian leads to extraordinarily complicated tactical play on which the last word has still not been said, although theory as of 2005 seems to give White the upper hand.

 

At the time this game was played (1958), Polugaevsky was 24 years old, and Nezhmetdinov was 46 years old (not exactly a youth!)....

 

 

The next game is spectacular, because the Queen sacrifice ends the game, yet it is beautiful....the Queen offers herself right in front of the castled position, and mate becomes unavailable! One of Bronstein's gems!

 


   David Bronstein

 

 

The final position of this game deserves its own diagram!

 

      Mind over Matter!

 

That last game by Bronstein reminds me of another famous Queen sacrifice, perhaps Frank Marshall's most famous tactic, against Levitsky in 1912!

 


     Frank Marshall
      (1877-1944)

 

Again, the final position in this game deserves a diagram of its own!



 Legend has it that the spectators were so thrilled by Marshall's last move, they showered the board with gold coins!

Mind over Matter!


The following game is a jewel by Almira Scripchenko, the only woman to have played in the National French Chess Championship.

In the following game, she proceeds to outplay GM Fressinet!



        Almira Skripchenko
            (1976-     )


Almira Skripchenko
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Almira Skripchenko

Full name
Almira Skripchenko
Country
France
Born
17 February 1976 (age 40)
Kishinev, Moldavian SSR, Soviet Union
Title
International Master
Woman Grandmaster
FIDE rating
2447 (December 2016)
Peak rating
2498 (January 2002)
Almira Skripchenko (born 17 February 1976) is a French chess player who has achieved the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster. She won the second European Women's Individual Chess Championship in 2001.

Born in Kishinev to a Ukrainian father and an Armenian mother, both pedagogues and chess coaches, Skripchenko started playing chess when she was 6 years old.[1]
In 1991, Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union. This meant that Skripchenko could take part for the first time in the World Youth Chess Championships. She was crowned World Under-16 girls champion in 1992 at Duisburg, Germany[2] and in 1993, she took the bronze medal at the World Under-18 girls championship.[3]
She married French Grandmaster Joël Lautier in 1997 and consequently moved to live in France. Despite separating from Lautier in 2002, she became a French citizen in 2001 and continued to make France her home. Skripchenko then married French Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet and in January 2007, gave birth to a daughter.[4]
In 2001, at 25 years old, she celebrated her biggest success ever, winning the Women's European Individual Chess Championship.[5] She was at this time chosen "best sportsperson in 2001 in Moldova" and decorated with the Order of National Merit in her native country.
In 2004 she won the North Urals Cup, the second international super-tournament for female chess players. Held in Krasnoturinsk, the nine-round single round-robin tournament featured ten of the strongest female players in the world. Skripchenko finished a half point ahead of Maia Chiburdanidze, the former Women's World Champion, and also defeated her in their individual encounter. In 2005 she won the Accentus Ladies Tournament in Biel. Skripchenko reached the quarter-finals at the Women's World Chess Championship in 2000, 2001 and 2010.[6]
Living in Paris and representing France in tournaments since 2002, Skripchenko has become a noted ambassador for the game in Europe. She competed in the Men's French Individual Championship (2002, 2003). She won the Ladies' French Chess Championship in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010,[4][7] 2012 [8] and 2015. In team play, she won the French National Chess League with NAO Chess Club (2003 and 2004) and with Clichy Echecs (2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013) and the German Chess Bundesliga with Werder Bremen (2005). Her career victories also include three Nationale ladies titles (which she earned with Baden-Oos in 2003, 2004, and 2005) and five European Club Cup victories with Cercle d'échecs de Monte-Carlo (in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013[9]).
Almira Skripchenko has taken part in several Chess Olympiads (with Moldova, then with France), each time playing on her team's top board. She is also a member of the ACP Board (Association of Chess Professionals).

 


OK, here is a great game by someone I did not know about: William Henry Krause Pollock

   

William Henry Krause Pollock

 

Mind over matter!


Both Bronstein and Gufeld write about chess as an Art, and about how your opponent is a partner in the creation of a masterpiece...

Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888) is an example of this. The next game against Adolf Anderssen is a work of Art, and was played when Anderssen was at the height of his powers.


    Adolf Anderssen
     (1818-1870)




Johannes Zukertort
    (1842-1888)

The game features the Cozio Defense in the Ruy Lopez. Here is a short synopsis about the Cozio Defense, from a book review about the book "Anti-Spanish: The Cozio Defense", by Alexei Dreev, 2014

"1.e4,e5; 2.Nf3,Nc6; 3.Bb5,Nge7.

The Cozio Defence to the Spanish Game (Ruy Lopez) was popular in the second half of the nineteenth century, being played by both Adolf Andersen and Wilhelm Steinitz, but was later overshadowed by the Chigorin Defence (3..a6).

In the 1980s and 1990s the theory of the Cozio was developed by Ivan Sokolov and also Alisa Galliamova, Maxim Sorokin and Ruslan Shcherbakov. In the modern Cozio Black attempts to steer the play into channels similar to other open games with rapid development, instead of the slow manoeuvring usually associated with the Spanish Game.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the development of the variation was given a new impulse and its popularity increased considerably. This was connected with the new and interesting idea that Black could give up the centre with ..exd4. This variation is played by famous Grandmasters like Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin."


Footnote: Here is a game by Peter Svidler, playing Black against Timofeev in the Russian Super Finals in 2011. He plays the Cozio and wins!
Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Mykhaylovych Ivanchuk, also transliterated as Vasyliy or Vasyl (Ukrainian: Василь Михайлович Іванчук; born March 18, 1969), is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster and current World Rapid Chess Champion.

A leading player since 1988,[1] Ivanchuk was ranked No. 2 three-times (July 1991, July 1992, October 2007).[2] His erratic results has seen him drop as low as 30th in July 2009[3] before returning to the top ten in the next list.[4]

Ivanchuk has won Linares, Wijk aan Zee, Tal Memorial, Gibraltar Masters and M-Tel Masters titles. Ivanchuk was the 2007 World Blitz Chess champion,[5] won the Melody Amber rapid in 1992 and shared the combined event in 2010.

In 2011, by the decree of the President of Ukraine, Ivanchuk was awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise IV degree.[6]

In 2016, Ivanchuk won the World Rapid Chess Championship in Doha, Qatar by defeating the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen among many others .[7]



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