Aivars Gipslis. Some Games and Pictures.

Aivars Gipslis. Some Games and Pictures.


Afternoon Everyone!

Yep, I am back with another of the forgotten or neglected. My regular readers will know what to expect, and for anyone joining me for the first time - welcome to my little world of chess and chessplayers that you have never looked at before. Feel free to use the comments section as a little chess chatroom - we are all friends on my posts!!

SO!! A few days ago the subject of Soviet chess in 1967 was touched on in a post of my friend @kamalakanta - apologies for not having the link to hand. It reminded me that many months ago I had started to put some stuff together for a short post on Gipslis - 1967 was a big year for him. 

Two relevant crosstables from the incredible Rusbase - note the players who finished behind him in those two tournaments ( I make it 26 genuine Grandmasters) - the man was seriously good!!

His name would be better known were it not for an unfortunate combination of circumstances. He was  - as you can see from the above tables - at his best at a time when the USSR had so many world class players that it was almost impossible to fight your way past them, and he was only the number 2 in his home country of Latvia. The number one was a guy called Mikhail Tal!
Being second to Tal is not so bad!

There is a photo - that is now well published - of the two young men together. The book 'Team Tal' dates it as 1953, and I have used it for the header picture.

So, those of you who know how I do these little articles will know the format.

First port of call was this book.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures that I have scanned from that book - they are what they are.

Normally I choose six games - not on the basis that they are a 'best games of' selection, but because I have previously spent a lot of time on them ( I can usually tell from how many margin notes are scribbled in the relevant book!) and recognized them. Plus some pictures - I love my chess pictures, and like to make new ones available for people to look at.

No biography stuff - not my thing, but a couple of links for those interested in that side of things - they have games that I has not included here.  

Limiting myself to six games turned out to be impossible - the book mentioned lists around 150 tournaments that Gipslis played in(!!) but I have cut it down to 7. ( I have not even included a win against Smyslov - my regular readers will understand what I mean!!)

Incidentally, like Furman and Konstantinopolsky, who I have posted on recently, he was also a respected theoretician ( his game notes contain a mass of relevant game quotes) and a significant trainer/second. A picture from the Malta Olympiad of 1980.

 Enough of my nattering - enjoy the games and pictures!

Firstly, I like to include a fun game in these posts, so will put it in first.

Karpov's early losses are interesting in themselves. Here he gets utterly destroyed, and there is also a photograph of Gipslis at the event - with Petrosian looking on.

This next game is just astounding! To actually play this over the board. Wow. I am sure that it is not 'engine perfect', but it is a beautiful work of chess art, in my humble opinion.

Another 1953 photograph, from Parnau in Estonia.

As noted above, Gipslis was never one to avoid a theoretical debate. The opening of the following game was one such debate at the time, which involved a number of elite level players.

Despite running the engine over this next game, I am still baffled!!

A photograph from Parnau 1981, with Gufeld and Nei. It fits in with the next game.

A fabulous game - the retreat to e2 is incredible chess, in my opinion.

To finish with, my favorite Gipslis game. A true Grandmaster battle. Thanks for joining me in another journey into the games of the overlooked and forgotten.