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Leonid Stein
Number of games in database: 843
Years covered: 1948 to 1973
Highest rating achieved in database: 2620

Overall record: +357 -91 =390 (65.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 5 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (87) 
    B32 B92 B43 B44 B47
 Ruy Lopez (77) 
    C91 C92 C93 C96 C67
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (50) 
    C91 C92 C96 C93 C95
 English (29) 
    A15 A17 A10 A13 A16
 King's Indian Attack (28) 
    A07 A08
 French Defense (27) 
    C19 C11 C07 C05 C18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (130) 
    B27 B56 B61 B60 B57
 King's Indian (103) 
    E82 E92 E62 E80 E69
 Grunfeld (35) 
    D90 D92 D79 D94 D93
 Ruy Lopez (25) 
    C92 C95 C89 C63 C96
 Modern Benoni (22) 
    A57 A56 A75 A79 A64
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (17) 
    B61 B60
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Krogius vs Stein, 1960 0-1
   Stein vs Portisch, 1962 1-0
   Gligoric vs Stein, 1962 0-1
   Stein vs Smyslov, 1972 1-0
   Stein vs Petrosian, 1961 1-0
   Stein vs R Hartoch, 1969 1-0
   Stein vs Tal, 1971 1-0
   E Poltoranov vs Stein, 1955 0-1
   Stein vs V Lepeshkin, 1965 1-0
   Stein vs Golombek, 1968 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1965)
   Tallinn (1969)
   USSR Championship 1966/67 (1966)
   Laszlo Toth Memorial (1968)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   Caracas (1970)
   Capablanca Memorial (1968)
   Ukrainian Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   USSR Championship (1971)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Leonid Stein - Master of Risk Strategy by jakaiden
   book: Leonid Stein - Master of Risk Strategy by Baby Hawk
   Leonid Stein - Master of Attack by Kasekrainer
   Some S-upermen Post WWII by fredthebear
   Move by Move - Stein (Engqvist) by Qindarka
   Leonid Stein's Best Games by KingG
   Leonid Stein's Best Games by Okavango
   Power Chess - Stein by Anatoly21

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Leonid Stein
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(born Nov-12-1934, died Jul-04-1973, 38 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality Russia)
[what is this?]

Leonid Zakharovich Stein was born in (the) Ukraine. He became a master at the age of twenty-four--unusually late for one who goes on to become a player of his caliber. Three years later, Stein qualified for the Soviet Championship for the first time, placing third and gaining the International Grandmaster title (1962).He played board one for the Soviet team at the Helsinki 1961 Student Olympiad, scoring a strong +8, =3, -1, and helping his team to the overall gold medals.He also represented the USSR at the Tel Aviv Olympiad (1964) scoring a fine 10/13, and winning an individual gold medal on the first reserve board. Again, he was in the Soviet side at the Havana Olympiad 1966, scoring 9/12, winning an individual silver medal on board four. Both times, the Soviet Union won the team gold medals. In the 1960s, he accumulated a string of strong tournament victories, including three U.S.S.R. Championships 1963 [rusbase-1], 1965 [rusbase-2] and 1966/7 [rusbase-3]. Although Stein never qualified for the Candidates, he came extremely close in 1962 and 1964 (when he would have qualified if not for a rule restricting the number of candidates from one country) and again in 1967 (where he was eliminated after drawing a tie-break playoff with Vlastimil Hort and Samuel Reshevsky due to the latter's better tiebreaks). Two outstanding international tournament victories were attained at Moscow 1967 (commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution), and Moscow 1971 (Alekhine Memorial, equal with Anatoly Karpov). Both of the Moscow tournaments were considered to be among the strongest tournaments in chess history up to that time. Further international tournament victories were scored at Sarajevo (Bosna) 1967, equal with Borislav Ivkov, Hastings 1967/68 shared, Kecskemet 1968, Tallinn 1969, Parnu 1971, and Las Palmas 1973, equal with Tigran Petrosian.

As Stein was preparing to leave for Bath, England (1973) for the European Team Championship, he collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack in the Rossiya Hotel in Moscow, aged 38.

He was one of few players who had an even score against Vasily Smyslov, Tigran Petrosian, and Mikhail Botvinnik. He had plus records against Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, and Paul Keres. Stein defeated many of the top players of his era.

Garry Kasparov wrote that Stein "went beyond the bounds of Botvinnik-Smyslov harmony, expanding the limits of our understanding of the game, changing our impressions of the correlation of material and quality of position, of situations with disrupted material and strategic balance, and created the grounds for the emergence of modern, ultra-dynamic chess". (My Great Predecessors Vol. 3, p. 231)

Wikipedia article: Leonid Stein

Last updated: 2021-11-11 19:30:19

 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 901  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Golembo vs Stein 1-0211948Category IV TtC34 King's Gambit Accepted
2. V Shiyanovsky vs Stein  1-0271950Ukraine Team ChB03 Alekhine's Defense
3. E Lazarev vs Stein 0-1341951Ukrainian Junior ChC05 French, Tarrasch
4. V Lyublinsky vs Stein 0-1341955Soviet Army ChampionshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
5. E Poltoranov vs Stein 0-1251955Soviet Army ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
6. G Kanayan vs Stein  0-135195515th Ch RSFSR (sf)E62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
7. L Goltsov vs Stein 0-1331955KalugaE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
8. Stein vs V Soloviev  1-0361956Soviet Army ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
9. Stein vs J Yuchtman  1-0401956MoscowB06 Robatsch
10. E Zagoryansky vs Stein 0-1501956Ch Moscow (1/2 final)E70 King's Indian
11. Stein vs B Vladimirov  ½-½291957RUS-UKRB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
12. B Vladimirov vs Stein  0-1571957RUS-UKRA56 Benoni Defense
13. Lilienthal vs Stein 1-0281957Ukrainian ChampionshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
14. Stein vs Y Sakharov  1-0361957Ukrainian ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
15. I Pogrebissky vs Stein  ½-½321957Ukrainian ChampionshipB32 Sicilian
16. Y Kots vs Stein  ½-½201957Ukrainian ChampionshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
17. Stein vs E Kogan  ½-½521957Ukrainian ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
18. A Kostiuchenko vs Stein  0-1491957Ukrainian ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
19. Stein vs B Korsakov  ½-½491957Ukrainian ChampionshipC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
20. Y Nikolaevsky vs Stein  1-0411957Ukrainian ChampionshipA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
21. Stein vs V Shiyanovsky  1-0361957Ukrainian ChampionshipB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
22. M Usachy vs Stein 0-1341957Ukrainian ChampionshipA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
23. Stein vs A Zamikhovsky  ½-½251957Ukrainian ChampionshipD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
24. A Makarov vs Stein  1-0501957Ukrainian ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
25. Stein vs Flohr 0-1341957Ukrainian ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 901  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Stein wins | Stein loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: In the photo he looks to be mid-40s, yet he died before his 39th birthday. Just goes to show the ravages of smoking and drinking.

Which is why I never smoke when I drink nowadays :)

Aug-24-15  NeverAgain: It's interesting how in some of his pictures he looks quite a bit like Petrosian:


even though he was Jewish, not Armenian.
He was also the only Soviet player besides Tal and Bronstein who could boast being on friendly terms with Fischer.

Aug-24-15  zanzibar: <NA> I guess you're considering Spassky French then?
Aug-24-15  NeverAgain: Absolutely. And you must be Arab, going by your nym. ;)
Aug-24-15  zanzibar: <NA> The most you can safely assume from my name is that I'm a rather spicy character...

Aug-26-15  NeverAgain: <zanzibar>: that's a given.
Feb-21-16  WorstPlayerEver: @FSR

Uhm.. Mark Taimanov is 90 years old.
According to my data Nadya is 35 years younger than Mark. So she cannot have been older than 13 when Leonid Stein died, but okay.. people like to hear nonsense, apparently it makes them feel 'good'...

Nov-12-16  parisattack: Stein has long been one of my favorite players. Aggressive with a somewhat hypermodern repertoire. His English is excellent!

Four tomes of games:

Leonid Stein: Master of Attack - Keene

Leonid Stein: Master of Risk Strategy - Gufeld

Chess Secrets: Great Attackers - Crouch has a full section on Stein, though I see him more as a power player.

Stein: Move-by-Move - Engquist

The Engquist volume has a excellent biography with (perhaps) the true story of his untimely demise. It is my favorite book of the group.

Jan-02-17  parisattack: Tom Unger's very excellent book, Strategical Themes (Thinker's Press 1989), has a number of Stein's games with the double-fianchetto both as white and black.
Jul-29-18  ZonszeinP: This great player should have been in the 1965 candidates. Probably the only one who could have beaten Spassky..

But then

There's no justice in this world

Jul-29-18  ewan14: Spassky did manage two draws in the 1964 2nd zonal tournament. He might have been playing not to lose
Jul-29-18  ZonszeinP: Fighting games.
One of them was a famous Marshall game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I don't think I smoke after intercourse, but I've never looked to see.
Jan-21-19  Gallicrow: "I know how he died. Stein was preparing for the inter-zonal tournament in Brazil. And, as they did with everyone travelling to exotic countries, the doctors have him strong injections against a variety of illnesses…his organism could not cope with this. In hotel “Russia” at the dead of the night, someone called me on the phone and did not say anything. Later I understood that it was Leonid calling, but he no longer had the strength to say anything. In this way, having bade a silent farewell, a most talented chess player departed at the bloom of his age and strength". (V. Korchnoi)


Sep-25-20  ARubinstein: Leonid Stein was an incredibly strong Grandmaster. In the West, he never got the attention and respect he deserved.

I did an analysis of lifetime head to head scores of the top 50 players from 1945 to 1980, and Stein came in fourth place behind Fischer, Karpov and Botvinnik and ahead of such legends as Korchnoi, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Keres, Smyslov, Geller and many others.

This is absolutely remarkable for a player who only became a chess master at 24 due to the unfortunate circumstances of his youth.

He had an equal or plus score against: Botvinnik, Bronstein, Keres, Kholmov, Polugaevsky, Reshevsky, Smyslov, Spassky, Tal, and many other great players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Dying early (Stein), retiring early (Fischer), being close to one's peak in 1980 (Karpov), and playing very selectively (Botvinnik), are all winning strategies in that regard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Dying early is not a strategy and not sure what you are saying about Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: All these strategies serve to <hide the decline>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Stein was a good commie

Bobby had his number tho

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: stein was a good commie

fischer had his number tho ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Sometimes


Nick Parker and Friends

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <ARubinstein>

Thanks for your analysis.
And Stein was indeed something special.
One of the best ever.

Sep-25-20  ARubinstein: <harrylime: Stein was a good commie Bobby had his number tho>

Yes, Fischer won a grand total of ONE game against Stein... They only played twice, with one draw and one win for Fischer.

The only player who really had Stein's number was Efim Geller. Geller won 7, drew 8, and lost only one game against Stein. Geller's score was by far the most lopsided result against Stein on my list -- nobody else came close.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Albertan: Can someone please add this game to the Stein database as my iPad won’t download the pgn. file properly.Thanks:

Are you the mysterious database crap uploader? The game is already in the DB: Korchnoi vs Stein, 1965

Jan-06-22  pazzed paun: I was in a big chain bookstore
I ran into a 2300 rated player who’s father had been a chess master He saw a copy of stein move by move
And said why are they writing books about nobodies? He really had no idea who stein was !
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