The Tallin Pearl- Maia Chiburdanidze!
Chiburdanidze with her mother
and with her trainer,
GM Gufeld spins a tale:
THE TALLIN PEARL
"There was once what is known symbolically as the "club of Vera Menchik". Grandmasters whose pride suffered in tournament games against the legendary champion became members of this club.
The foundation of the "Club of Maya Chiburdanidze" dates back to 1975. But it wasn't until she had won the chess crown that she began to beat members of the sterner sex. In 1980 an All-Union qualifying tournament was held for the next USSR men's championship. Maya led the tournament most of the way and only two draws in the concluding stage enabled the ex-junior world champion, V. Chekhov, to get ahead of her and obtain the only pass to the top league. But even the second place of young Maya, who had left behind a lot of masters and grandmasters, was an excellent achievement. A convincing example of this is her game against Dvoiris, called by reporters "The Tallin Pearl".
The prelude to this game is curious. In 1973 in Portoroz Portisch, Geller and Polugaevsky were playing for the two remaining passes to the Candidate's tournament. In the first game Polugaevsky used an interesting novelty against Geller and won. We spent half a night with Efim Petrovich analyzing the game and we found an excellent refutation. But we were not able to use it, and for many years chess players repeated polugaevsky's idea. Nobody saw the efficient refutation we had found."
Chiburdanize at the Lucerne Olympiad in 1982,analyzing with Kasparov and Gufeld. Looking on are Nana Ioseliani, Nona Gaprindashvilli and Nana Alexandria, with GM and many-times Latvian champion Aivar Gipslis standing.
"I had no secrets for Maya. But having approached this variation while studying the opening, I was at a loss: was it ethical to show the variation found jointly with others? But taking into consideration that 50% of the "shares" belonged to me, I found a solution and said: 'Maya, in this position White can forcefully achieve a superior position. I can't tell you how, but I leave it to you to find for yourself.' The next day Maya discovered the idea and used it against Dvoiris and won."
This jewel of a game won the first prize for theoretical achievement in the 29th edition of Informator!
Note: I was intrigued, while writing this blog, about the fact that Polugaevsky, in his book "Grandmaster Preparation", where his comments on the game with Geller come from, had not mentioned Gufeld's refutation of his move, 11....Qb6.
And now, checking the publication date of both books, the truth is discovered! Gufeld's book "My Life in Chess", where he publishes the Chiburdanidze-Dvoiris game from 1980, was published in 1994, while Polugaevsky's "Grandmaster Preparation" was published in 1977, 3 years before the Chiburdanidze game! Mystery solved!