Some Vasily Panov Combinations, and a Beautiful Bonus

Some Vasily Panov Combinations, and a Beautiful Bonus


O.K. Everyone. fancy switching the engines off for half an hour an trying to work some stuff out for yourselves? Seven games here. I have given them in full with some light notes, with a focus on the start of the combination so you can try to see how you get on.

A few days ago my friend @Spektrowski threw the name of the forgotten Soviet master Abram Poliak into a conversation. Two of 'his' losses came straight to mind. Cruel, but true.

One was easy to find - but it turned out to be another Poliak entirely!!

The game is quite known - it even has a name 'The Ukranian Immortal'. Here it is for those of you who have never experienced the thrill of seeing it for the first time.

The other one - Abram this time - had me digging through the indexes of various books to find it. The winner was Vasily Panov. The two of them played in the finals of the 1929 U.S.S.R Championships, and in the group photo from the event they are next to each other in the second row from the front. 3rd left is Panov, and 4th left is Poliak.

No, Panov isn't smiling! I don't recall a photograph where he is!! Maybe he just didn't like cameras.

The game.

While I was in the book - this one -

I quickly dug out some more nice combinations. firstly one that I can't find online, from 1929.

All following photographs from the above book.

A game against someone I wrote a much overrated article about - which did, however, produce some fabulous stuff in the comments!

Panov in 1939.

O.K. That one wasn't so tough - the next one is a bigger test, as there are various good moves. Try to find Panov's elegant solution. Then go over the whole game - it's really rather wonderful .

No. He didn't even smile in cartoons!!

It is interesting to compare the opening of the next game with the Makogonov one, which was played earlier. The combination - in a dominating position to be sure - is one for the anthologies.

The final game is from a Moscow Championship. The whole game is baffling. I love my endgames and have spent a lot of time with this one. To post it here, I checked some of my conclusions with the engine - and learned how little i understood!!

I have said many times that being champion of Moscow - particularly through the 1940's and 50's was a better result than winning the national title of a country outside of the U.S.S.R. A quick glance at the crosstable of the event the game is from came up with at least eight players who were to hold the Grandmaster title, back when the title was not so easy to get. I don't think any country could boast that many for a long time afterwards. and not all the Moscow players were there.

Moscow Championship 1944. Via the incredible rusbase.
Panov giving us his Alekhine impersonation!

O.K. Got the Gresking game to load - but without the notes.  Hope you enjoyed it - probably more so without my words of wisdom!!