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Leonid Stein
Number of games in database: 770
Years covered: 1948 to 1973
Highest rating achieved in database: 2620

Overall record: +327 -84 =354 (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 (75) 
    B43 B32 B47 B92 B42
 Ruy Lopez (71) 
    C91 C93 C92 C96 C67
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (48) 
    C91 C96 C92 C93 C95
 English (28) 
    A15 A13 A17 A10 A12
 King's Indian Attack (26) 
    A07 A08
 French Defense (25) 
    C19 C07 C11 C05 C18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (117) 
    B27 B56 B61 B57 B60
 King's Indian (98) 
    E82 E92 E62 E80 E69
 Grunfeld (34) 
    D90 D79 D93 D87 D94
 Modern Benoni (22) 
    A57 A56 A64 A79 A75
 Ruy Lopez (22) 
    C92 C95 C96 C84 C89
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (17) 
    C92 C95 C89 C84 C96
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 R Hartoch, 1969 1-0
   Stein vs Petrosian, 1961 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)
   Mar del Plata (1966)
   Caracas (1970)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   Sarajevo (1984)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   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
   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). In the 1960s, he signaled his arrival among the world's elite with 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).

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

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

 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 771  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 Liublinsky vs Stein 0-1341955Ch Armed ForcesC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
5. L Goltsov vs Stein 0-1331955KalugaE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
6. E Poltoranov vs Stein 0-1251955Ch Armed ForcesA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
7. Stein vs J Yuchtman  1-0401956MoscowB06 Robatsch
8. Stein vs V Soloviev  1-0361956Ch Armed ForcesB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
9. E Zagorjansky vs Stein 0-1501956Ch Moscow (1/2 final)E70 King's Indian
10. B T Vladimirov vs Stein  0-1571957RUS-UKRA56 Benoni Defense
11. Lilienthal vs Stein 1-0281957Kiev, USSRE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
12. Stein vs B T Vladimirov  ½-½291957RUS-UKRB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
13. Stein vs Flohr 0-1341957UKR-chB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
14. M Usachy vs Stein 0-1341957UKR-chA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
15. Stein vs Zamikhovsky  1-0501959UKR-chD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Gufeld vs Stein  ½-½531959UKR-chC44 King's Pawn Game
17. Savon vs Stein  ½-½131959UKR-chE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
18. Stein vs S Kwiatkowski  1-0311959UKR-chD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
19. Stein vs Averbakh  ½-½481959Olympiad URSC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Kostiuchenko vs Stein  0-1411959Ukrainian ChampionshipB23 Sicilian, Closed
21. Remeniuk vs Stein 1-0191959Kharkov (Ukraine)B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
22. A Bannik vs Stein 0-1661959UKR-chE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. Stein vs Furman 1-04119592nd Soviet Spartakiad Final-AB44 Sicilian
24. Stein vs M Shishov  ½-½4819592nd Soviet Spartakiad Final-AC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Shamkovich vs Stein  ½-½7319592nd Soviet Spartakiad Final-AE70 King's Indian
 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 771  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
  parisattack: <capafischer1: The book leonid stein master of attack is a great read. I think you can purchase a copy through amazon.>

Beside's Keene's tome on Stein there is also Gufeld's Master of Risk Strategy and a section on Stein in Crouch's Chess Secrets: Masters of Attack.

I have a couple dozen of his games not on or in those books from 50s-60s Soviet periodicals. Been promising to send them in for years...perhaps its time. He's always been one of my favorite players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Offramp>: Leonid, you know smoking is very bad for your heart...?

<Leonid Stein>: I know. I now only smoke after sexual intercourse.

<Offramp>: That's pretty good!

<Leonid Stein>: Yeah. I'm down to 40 a day.

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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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'...

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

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