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Forgotten Players

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A page, (created 09/04/2002); which is devoted to those players who have been completely forgotten by chess history ... or deserve to be better known than they are today. 

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There seem to be literally dozens of chess players who have been mostly ignored or forgotten by chess history. Some of these seem VERY unfair to me. This page will be a testament and an honor to those players. 

Chess Trivia -  I once stood on the brink of the world championship.  I was easily one of the world's best players.  (At that time.)  I won the Championship of the USSR - at least one time. I even have a variation in the Sicilian named after me. (A basic Pawn Structure too.)  I played hundreds of beautiful games, I was in the "Top Five" in the world.  I was beaten by David Bronstein in the Finals of a Candidates Match. (Bronstein went on to play a great match against Botvinnik  ...  and almost won.)  I might belong in the list of:  "The 100 Greatest Players of All Time."  Yet most players today cannot even name me. 

Who am I?

Answer -  My name is  Issac Boleslavsky.
(Coming soon ... a short bio and maybe a link to a few of his best games.) 

(Click  HERE  to see a game by this player ... but be warned. The game is 
  buried in the notes!!!  {See the note after White's tenth move.} 
  Click  HERE  to see this game deeply annotated ...  by popular request.) 


Another key aspect of Boleslavsky's career was his willingness to help and 
train other players.  Particularly  Petrosian  was to cite Boleslavky's help as a 
key component in his quest to win the World's Chess Championship. 


 GM  Issak Yefremovich Boleslavsky  - Born in June 09, 1919.    [more
(He died in 1977. FIDE awarded him the GM title in 1950.) 

He was a very strong player, opening theorist and trainer. For the later 40's and almost all of the decade of the 1950's he was probably in the  'Top Ten' in the world. According to some statistics by Jeff Sonas, (click here);  Boleslavsky was easily 2700+ for the years 1943 - 1953, especially accounting for rating inflation. (Which according to some has been more than 30 points a year.) 

Boleslavsky finished very well (usually top 5 in a large field) in almost all of the Soviet Championships in which he participated. For example, he scored what would today probably be a near 2800-clip in the U.S.S.R. Championships of 1945. (9 wins, 6 draws, only 2 losses.) He finished second only to Botvinnik, who was then at the height of his playing strength.

He tied for first with Bronstein in the VERY strong Candidates Tournament of 1950, actually winning the tournament on tie-breaks! But the right to play (challenge) Botvinnik was granted to a young and very powerful David Bronstein ... but only after a long and difficult play-off match. 

Boleslavsky was an innovator, his creative ideas and input was desired long after he had passed the peak of his playing strength. He was one of the very first to realize that an early ...e5;  in the Sicilian was not fatal - and that Black's counter-play often off-sets his potential weaknesses. (Several of my books refer to many of these variations as the Boleslavsky variation. Soltis even names the pawn-structure, "The Boleslavsky Wall," in honor and recognition of this great player and the advances to opening theory that he made. He also was one of the few of a young generation of Soviet players who were the first to employ and effectively use the "King's Indian Defense," in actual Master practice.) In his 1963 WCS match, Boleslavsky's analysis of many of the adjourned games were described as being "crucial" to Tigran Petrosian's eventual victory. 

I would like to one day to write a book on this player. Although other books have been written about Boleslavsky, it seems he often has not gotten his rightful place in chess history.  

(One chess historian describes Boleslavsky as being firmly in the list ... 
  of  "The 100 Best Players"  who ever lived!!) 

Chess Trivia  -  I easily belong in the list, "The 25 All-Time Best Chess Prodigies."  Rumor has it I was playing MASTER-level chess at age 10 or 11. (BEFORE Fischer ... something unheard of in those days!)  I was a world-wide sensation. (Headlines the over the whole planet.)  At age 14, I went to the FIDE Chess Olympiads, (as an almost complete unknown); and scored VERY well on board two. (In fact, I won the GOLD MEDAL for Board Two, with a score of 12 wins, 3 draws, and ONLY ONE {1} LOSS!!!)  Yet for many years, (nearly 30); FIDE refused to grant me the title of GM - which I fully and richly deserved. I also won one (relatively small) International Tournament, and a host of local and regional events. Yet I only get 3 (short) lines (of bio) in the book, "The Oxford Companion To Chess."  (By David Hooper and Ken Whyld.)  

Who am I?

Answer -  My name is  Daniel A. Yanofsky.
(Coming soon ... a short bio and maybe a link to a few of his best games.) 

Chess Trivia  - I am (maybe) one of the best chess players who ever lived. 
I have a plus score against many players who (eventually) won the World Championship. (!!)  I might be one of the most feared attacking players/tacticians of all time. (I played several games which are considered some of the most ferocious - and beautiful - attacks of all time. GM Andy Solits  considers my win over Polugaevsky - to be in the list of: "The Ten Best Games of The 20th Century.")  Some  (several famous Russian players), have put me in the "Top Ten" attackers of all time!  In the Soviet Championship of 1957, I scored 2.5 out of 3 against Tigran Petrosian, Mikhail Tal, and Boris Spassky.  I wrote the first chess manual (ever) in the Tartar language. I also fought in World War II, and was a decorated veteran. Yet I was never fully trusted by the Soviet Government, and so I was never allowed to travel abroad. I also was  never  granted the title of  GM.  
 (This is something FIDE should obviously repair!!)   
Who am I?

Answer -  My name is  IM Rashid Nezhmetdinov.
(Coming soon ... a short bio and maybe a link to a few of his best games.) 
{Note: A couple of books have come out recently on this player, so now he is not 
 as nearly as obscure as he once was!}  

 (Click  HERE  to go to a page where you can download  ALL  of this player's games! 
    --->  Sorry, they are not annotated. I did not wish to violate anyone's copyright.) 

(Click  HERE  to see one of the greatest combinations ever played!  "Super-Nez's" Queen 
  sacrifice (vs. Polugaevsky) will be discussed and analyzed as long as chess is played!!) 
(Click  HERE  to see a great game by the attacking master,  R. Nezhmetdinov. (vs. Belov)) 
(Click  HERE  to see yet another great game by the attacking master, 
  Rashid Nezhmetdinov. (vs. Kotkov)) 
(Click  HERE  to see yet another game by the great Master of Attack. (vs. Chernikov)) 


 November 30th, 2003:   I just got a book of this great players games. 
Hopefully more of this great players games will enchant me ...  
and I will be so enthralled that I will annotate them and post them here. 

Chess Trivia  -  I am a chess player that most of you have NEVER (!!!) heard of even heard of  ...  even the most jaded of players - who have been involved with chess their whole lives - don't know who I am. Those who have heard of me know me only as an obscure chess analyst; with my name buried in the notes of some famous chess game.  I was also a member of a team of faithful analysts who provided the world's greatest (Russian) players new moves and ideas.  GM Andy Soltis  calls me, "a wasted resource."  (!!)  I was a Ural Mountains factory worker who, (some say against all odds, or in violation of reason); managed to qualify for an Interzonal ... and almost made it to the Candidates Tournament. I never gained the title of FIDE GM ... but I probably deserved it.  (Maybe a lot more than many players who were actually awarded the title.)  I was also a feared competitor, who had defeated dozens of "better known" players.  (I have seen at least 6 - 7 of his wins in various sources over the years.) 

Who am I? 

Answer  -  My name is  Georgy Illivitsky.
(Coming soon ... a short bio and maybe a link to a few of his best games.)
 {A sad note: 40+ years after playing in the 1955 Interzonal ... ill and living on a very 
  paltry pension; this formerly great player committed suicide.}  

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  Copyright (©) A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2012. 
  Copyright ©  A.J. Goldsby, 2013.  All rights reserved. 

  Page last updated on: Monday, May 27, 2013 .

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