The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Yuri Averbakh

Yuri Averbakh
Averbakh in 1963. Photo: Dutch National Archives, CC.
Full name
Yuri Averbakh
Feb 8, 1922 - May 7, 2022 (age 100)‎
Place of birth
Kaluga, Russia


Yuri Averbakh is a Soviet chess grandmaster, world championship candidate, and Soviet champion. His Soviet chess championship came in 1954 with an incredible 14.5/19 score (10 wins and nine draws). 

Previously, Averbakh finished fifth at the 1952 Stockholm Interzonal, which qualified him for the famous 1953 Zurich Candidates tournament. There he tied for 10th out of 15. Averbakh remained an active chess player into the 1980s and even played two serious games in 2007 at the age of 85.

The oldest GM in history, Averbakh turned 100 years old in 2022. The popular variation of the King’s Indian Defense above, where White develops the bishops to e2 and g5 before moving the knight on g1, is named after him.

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