Yuri Averbakh. A Master of Attack, Not Just Endgames!!

Yuri Averbakh. A Master of Attack, Not Just Endgames!!


O.K. So last time round I posted Averbakh's reminiscences of his training games with Botvinnik, and the subject matter rather got lost in among the universal respect and admiration for one of the great chess personalities. Fine with me!!

Well, of course, especially for players of my - pre tablebase - generation, there is a tendency to think of Averbakh as one of the great endgame experts, which indeed he was.

He himself says that he learned chess the wrong way round, becoming a strategist before he learned properly about tactics and combinations. I can understand that.

He gives the first writer that he really studied was Nimzovich, while for me it was Reti. Same thing in principle - you learn to see chess as a strategic and organic whole, whist the tacticts become secondary.

Slight difference between us is that Averbakh was  hugely talented! I decided to post 4 games from the 'development' stage of his career. i.e. before he became a Grandmaster that show that in his area of 'weakness' he wasn't so bad!! Anyway, I like the games, and hopefully you will enjoy them.

A quick quote from his Best Games book, from which I have stolen the game notes.

" My investigative character forced me to make a serious study of the endgame, that phase of the game where individual pieces battle against each other. Initially I published several articles, and then thought about a book devoted to various types of endings. 

Since I was not capable of carrying out thyis work on my own, I gathered a small group of masters, and we enthusiastically got down to work. After a study had been made of endings in which neither side has more than one piece, I9 initially had the idea of moving on to endings with a greater number of pieces, but, thank God, I stopped in time. It became clear to me that such a work would kill chess, as the game would be transformed into a competition in which the one who won would not be the one who plays better, but the one who knows more.''

Prophetic words, i.m.h.o.

O.K. Let's go enjoy some chess. Limited myself to 4 games this time. Hope you enjoy them.

This first one is from a beast of a tournament in which the young Averbakh found himself. As he says, it was in effect the Soviet Championship. One factor that has been commented on is Simagin's result!!

You will have to do the right click and save stuff to enlarge it - my tech skills get no better


The next one is well known, but rather nice!! It was played against the famous trainer of Korchnoi and Spassky, amongst others.


If Tal had played the following game it would probably be posted all over the internet, but he didn't, and it isn't!! The loser,

Grigory Goldberg. ru.wikipedia.org

was a one time trainer of Botvinnik.

While I was downloading the game file, I took a shot of the tournament table, which shows how strong you had to be to make a USSR Championship final back then. Averbakh wasn't even a Grandmaster at the time - go look at some of the names who finished behind him!

( Yep, right click, save, etc again!!)

To round off for today, a game that I really love. One of my favourite concepts is sacrifice followed by quiet move, and this one is a lovely example. More of a Grandmaster combination than a flashy sac, sac, mate, in my view. ut that's just my view!!

And you get a technical endgame to learn from as well!! Yep, often great combinations end up as technically winning endgames guys . O.K.!! Just clambered off my soap box!!

Averbakh. Round one of USA - USSR match. 1954. Griffin on twitter yet again.