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Yuri Averbakh celebrates his 99th birthday

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Yuri Averbakh celebrates his 99th birthday

Yuri Averbakh is the oldest living chess grandmaster, who celebrated his 99th birthday on 8th February 2021. 

In 1949 and 1950, Averbakh became the champion of Moscow which was his first significant achievement. A few years later in 1954 he became the Champion of the USSR. 

In 1956, he shared 1st-3rd places in the USSR Championship with Mark Taimanov and Boris Spassky.  

Yuri Averbakh in a recent photo by Eteri Kublashvili.
Yuri Averbakh in a recent photo by Eteri Kublashvili.

He played in two inter-zonal tournaments (1952 and 1958) and the famous Zurich Candidates’ tournament in 1953. 

Aberbakh won tournaments in Jakarta, Adelaide, Vienna, Moscow (the Central Chess Club championship).  Others included in Rio de Janeiro, Christchurch the Rubinstein Memorial. As a member of the Soviet team, Averbakh also won the European Team Championships in 1957 and 1965.

Yuri Averbakha in action during an event in 9th January 1963. Photo credit Eric Koch / Anefo, Collectie / Archief : Fotocollectie Anefo.
Yuri Averbakha in action during an event in 9th January 1963. Photo credit Eric Koch / Anefo, Collectie / Archief : Fotocollectie Anefo.

He edited the Soviet chess periodicals Shakhmaty v SSSR and Shakhmatny Bulletin. Yuri Averbakh has also authored several books one which includes some of his best games.

Averbakh's selected games from Cadogan.
Averbakh’s selected games from Cadogan.

I have included two of his games from the Soviet Championship which illustrates his attacking style.

Yuri Averbakh v Georgry Ilivitsky

Yuri Averbakh v Efim Geller

The third and final game shows Yuri Averbakh launching a fierce Kingside attack with the White pieces.

Yuri Averbakh v Oscar Panno

Links

Interview with GM Jacob Aagaard.

Reflection on GM Ehlvest.