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Semyon Furman
Aronin vs Furman, 17th USSR Championship, Moscow, rd 13, Nov 5, 1949.
Number of games in database: 758
Years covered: 1940 to 1977
Highest rating achieved in database: 2560

Overall record: +276 -200 =282 (55.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (67) 
    E59 E54 E53 E41 E40
 King's Indian (56) 
    E62 E60 E67 E69 E64
 Grunfeld (33) 
    D76 D85 D78 D87 D92
 Modern Benoni (29) 
    A56 A57 A61 A58 A79
 Queen's Gambit Declined (21) 
    D31 D35 D30 D38 D37
 English (21) 
    A15 A17 A13 A16 A10
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (99) 
    B44 B32 B46 B43 B42
 Ruy Lopez (54) 
    C95 C92 C85 C94 C97
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (38) 
    C95 C85 C92 C94 C97
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E29 E48 E55 E53 E54
 French Defense (20) 
    C18 C07 C16 C15 C05
 English, 1 c4 c5 (20) 
    A34 A32 A36 A37 A30
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   V Kirillov vs Furman, 1949 0-1
   Furman vs Smyslov, 1949 1-0
   Furman vs Keres, 1948 1-0
   Furman vs Konstantinopolsky, 1948 1-0
   Furman vs Bronstein, 1967 1-0
   Furman vs Korchnoi, 1954 1/2-1/2
   Furman vs Lilienthal, 1949 1-0
   I Vatnikov vs Furman, 1949 0-1
   Furman vs Kholmov, 1963 1/2-1/2
   Dzindzichashvili vs Furman, 1972 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Karseladze Memorial (1971)
   USSR Championship (1948)
   Leningrad Championship (1957)
   Madrid (1973)
   USSR Championship (1965)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   Bucharest (1954)
   Moscow (1970)
   USSR Championship (1967)
   Tallinn (1971)
   USSR Championship (1954)
   USSR Championship (1972)
   USSR Championship (1955)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   USSR Championship (1957)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Semyon Furman: The Walking ECO by Resignation Trap
   Madrid 1973 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Semyon Furman
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(born Dec-01-1920, died Mar-17-1978, 57 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Born in Pinsk, Furman was a factory worker in Leningrad, who developed his chess skills in his spare time.In 1931 his family moved to Leningrad, and Syoma Furman became a pupil of one of the leading masters in the city, Ilya Rabinovich. Rabinovich, who was to die of dystrophy in 1942 after having been evacuated to the city of Perm, is perhaps best known for his classic work Endshpil' (‘The Endgame'). He was a player of strongly positional style whose tastes and work ethic evidently rubbed off on the young Furman. He was a late bloomer by chess standards, not reaching even National Master strength until he was well into adulthood. For example, he made only an even score of 6½/13 in the All-Union Candidates-to-Masters tournament, Group 1, at Rostov-on-Don 1939. In the same event at Kalinin 1940, group 3, he was only able to score 5/11, and in the Leningrad Championship of 1940, he scored just 6½/16. His chess development was on hold during the next few years of World War II, as Leningrad was placed under siege by the Nazis, beginning in 1941. Organized chess started up again as the Second World War ended. In an All-Union Tournament of First Category players at Gorky 1945, Furman posted his first noteworthy result when he tied for first with Konstantin Klaman, at 11/15. At Tula 1945, Furman placed second with 10½/14, behind only V. Lyublinsky. In the Leningrad Championship of 1946, Furman tied for 8th-9th places, with 8½/17. In the USSR Championship semi-final (URS-ch15 sf), Leningrad 1946, Furman was unsuccessful in advancing, but made a highly respectable score of 9/18, to tie for 9th-10th places. He was moving up slowly through the incredibly deep Soviet vanguard.

The year 1947 brought some rewards for Furman. He tied for first place in the All-Union Championship of the Spartak Club, with Vladimir Simagin, at 15/19, but lost the playoff match. Then, in the Leningrad Championship, he tied for 3rd-4th places, with 11/17. At the Saratov 1947 National Tournament, he scored 7/11 for a tied 2nd-3rd place.

Furman qualified from the semi-final at Sverdlovsk 1947, for his first Soviet Chess Championship at age 27. In the final, he performed exceptionally well, placing third, only half a point behind joint winners David Bronstein and Alexander Kotov, with a fine score of 11/18 (URS-ch16, Moscow 1948). In the Leningrad Championship of 1948, he tied for 7th-10th places, with 9½/17. He tied for first-third places at Vilnius 1949, the semi-final for URS-ch17, with 11½/17, qualifying again for the Soviet final. In the Leningrad Championship of 1949, he was off form with 8½/18 to tie for 11th-13th places. Then, in the Soviet final later in 1949, again in Moscow (URS-ch17), he tied for 5th-7th places with 11½/19. In the 1950 Championship of the Spartak Club, he tied for 4th-5th places, with 6/11. Then at Gorky 1950, he was unsuccessful in qualifying for the next Soviet Championship final, as he could only score 9½/15, for fourth place.

In the URS-ch21 at Kiev 1954, Furman scored 10/19 to tie for 7th-9th places. He earned his first international tournament opportunity for Bucharest 1954, where he tied for 6th-7th places with a fine 10/17. He was in the middle of the field in URS-ch22 at Moscow 1955, with 10/19, in a tie for 10th-11th places. It was a similar story for URS-ch24, Moscow 1957, where he scored 10/21 for 12th place. He had a good tournament at Kiev 1957, scoring 11½/19 to tie for 2nd-5th places, behind only Tigran Petrosian. His form dropped for URS-ch25, Riga 1958, as he could only make 6/18 for 17th place. At URS-ch26, Tbilisi 1959, he was again below 50 per cent with 8/19 for 15th place.

Anatoly Karpov is quoted as saying of Furman that he played better with White "by an order of magnitude, of perhaps even two, than with Black". Many of his best games are model examples of strategy in their respective openings.

Wikipedia article: Semyon Furman

Last updated: 2021-12-01 02:21:40

 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 769  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Furman vs A Zamikhovsky  0-1381940Candidate to MasterC78 Ruy Lopez
2. N Novotelnov vs Furman  1-026194015th Ch LeningradC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
3. Petrov vs Furman  0-124194015th Ch Leningrad (sf-2)E43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
4. I Rabinovich vs Furman  1-053194015th Ch LeningradB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
5. Furman vs M Bonch-Osmolovsky  1-0441940Candidate to MasterE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
6. Sokolsky vs Furman  0-147194015th Ch LeningradD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
7. M Bartosek vs Furman  0-1401946Leningrad-PragueD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
8. Tolush vs Furman  1-025194620th Ch LeningradC30 King's Gambit Declined
9. Bronstein vs Furman 1-0571946URS-ch sf 15thC09 French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line
10. Furman vs M Bartosek  ½-½401946Leningrad-PragueE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
11. Furman vs L Shamaev  0-1451947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
12. V Saigin vs Furman  0-1511947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
13. R Nezhmetdinov vs Furman  0-1231947Spartak Club chC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
14. Furman vs I Vistaneckis  1-0391947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Furman vs N Novotelnov  1-0411947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD59 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower
16. A Chistiakov vs Furman  1-0391947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
17. Furman vs Koblents  1-0271947URS-ch sf SverdlovskE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
18. Furman vs Ufimtsev  1-0401947URS-ch sf SverdlovskE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
19. Furman vs Geller 1-0411947URS-ch sf SverdlovskD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. P Dubinin vs Furman  0-1371947URS-ch sf SverdlovskB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
21. Tolush vs Furman  1-0251948LeningradC30 King's Gambit Declined
22. Furman vs Taimanov  ½-½37194822nd Ch LeningradE41 Nimzo-Indian
23. Furman vs E Gershkovich  0-13419481st Soviet Team-ch finalD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
24. Furman vs Lisitsin  0-1421948USSR ChampionshipD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Lilienthal vs Furman 0-1441948USSR ChampionshipD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 769  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Furman wins | Furman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Furman Bio:
Dec-01-09  talisman: happy birthday master furman.
Dec-01-09  Dredge Rivers: Whatever happened to his brother, Mark? :)
Dec-01-09  Shams: <Dredge Rivers: Whatever happened to his brother, Mark? :)>

He stopped getting tourney invites because he wouldn't play with the black pieces.

Dec-03-09  talisman: <Shams> now that's funny!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Was he a detective on the O.J. case?
Dec-03-09  talisman: <HeMateMe> right...i think he went to utah.
Dec-01-10  dx9293: Happy Birthday to the hard-working Grandmaster and one of the first "super trainers" in chess history.
Dec-01-10  Infohunter: My strongest impression of GM Furman was formed when I saw the game wherein he brought off a win by the Double Bishop Sacrifice--with the Black pieces yet! That game was V Kirilov vs Furman, 1949.
Feb-09-11  wordfunph: Based on GM Genna Sosonko's book Russian Silhouettes, Viktor Korchnoi remembered how Semyon Furman, at a tournament in Scandinavia, each morning bought a roast chicken which then cost a dollar, which he would stealthily consume during the course of the day as his sole food.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Rare live film footage-

<Karpov> v <Vaganian> Blitz training games 1975

(with special guest appearance by Semyon Furman)

Jan-03-12  wordfunph: "He studied chess all the time. He liked to use a pocket set since we didn't have much room in the house. But even without a set, he was all the time thinking about chess, in the train, in the bus. I know that look, when he listened to and did not hear what I was saying to him --- he was all wrapped up in chess."

- Alla Furman (wife of GM Semyon Furman, on GM Furman)

Dec-01-12  The Last Straw: Happy Birthday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Bronstein mostly went solo (by choice and by circumstance) yet before and during Gothenburg 1955 he worked with Furman, and ran away with the tournament with a +10 =10.

In Sorcerer's Apprentice he goes on to say that he was not surprised to learn that the amazingly strong and mature play of the young Anatoly Karpov was honed under Furman's training.

Dec-01-13  RedShield: <Bronstein mostly went solo> He looked the type.
Dec-01-13  offramp: I have a list of 757 games by GM Furman.

As white he played 391 games.

With those white pieces he scored +185, =126, -76.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. <POTD>: GM Semyon Abramovich Furman.
Oct-21-14  Lemon69: GM Furman's short autobiography posted on this link seems better and more accurate than what was posted here:

Mar-16-16  Pulpofeira: RIP Syoma.
Mar-17-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Semyon Furman.

Karpov's trainer.

Dec-01-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Semyon Furman.
Dec-01-17  gars: In his book "Mikhail Tal's Life and Games" Tal calls him "the White pieces World Champion".
May-11-18  Senk:
Sep-22-19  siggemannen: The link from Lemon69 says that Furman died of stomach cancer, but the bio here says heart attack.
Dec-01-21  pazzed paun: Is there a book in English of his collected games?
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