Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Yuri L Averbakh
Averbakh, playing at Hoogovens, 1963.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Number of games in database: 811
Years covered: 1938 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2445

Overall record: +240 -132 =436 (56.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (55) 
    E75 E73 E60 E67 E68
 Sicilian (49) 
    B92 B62 B88 B90 B28
 Ruy Lopez (31) 
    C92 C97 C83 C64 C98
 Nimzo Indian (27) 
    E26 E59 E50 E32 E54
 Queen's Gambit Declined (22) 
    D35 D38 D37 D30 D31
 English, 1 c4 e5 (22) 
    A29 A25 A22 A21 A20
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (78) 
    B60 B56 B77 B88 B39
 Nimzo Indian (66) 
    E58 E46 E53 E34 E59
 Ruy Lopez (65) 
    C92 C98 C90 C95 C87
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (53) 
    C92 C98 C95 C90 C85
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (27) 
    B60 B65 B61 B63 B67
 Sicilian Dragon (22) 
    B77 B73 B39 B76 B70
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Geller vs Averbakh, 1954 0-1
   Najdorf vs Averbakh, 1953 0-1
   Averbakh vs Spassky, 1956 1/2-1/2
   Averbakh vs Taimanov, 1953 1-0
   Averbakh vs Bondarevsky, 1948 1/2-1/2
   Averbakh vs V Zak, 1947 1-0
   Averbakh vs Lilienthal, 1949 1-0
   Averbakh vs Panno, 1954 1-0
   Euwe vs Averbakh, 1953 0-1
   Averbakh vs Sarvarov, 1959 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Dresden (1956)
   USSR Championship (1954)
   Moscow (1962)
   Schlechter Memorial (1961)
   Rubinstein Memorial 13th (1975)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   Hoogovens (1963)
   Przepiorka Memorial (1950)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Averbakh's Selected Games, 1943-1975 by Resignation Trap

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yuri L Averbakh
Search Google for Yuri L Averbakh
FIDE player card for Yuri L Averbakh

(born Feb-08-1922, 99 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Yuri Lvovich Averbakh was born in Kaluga, Russia. He was awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1952 and played in the Zurich Candidates (1953).

Notable tournament results: Averbakh won the USSR Championship in 1954 (1) ahead of Mark Taimanov, Viktor Korchnoi, Tigran V Petrosian, Efim Geller and Salomon Flohr he was also equal first in the Soviet Championship of 1956, but lost in the playoff for first place. He won the Championship of Moscow in 1949 (2), 1950 (3) (jointly), and 1962 (jointly). Averbakh also won international tournaments in Vienna in 1961, Moscow in 1962 and Rio de Janeiro in 1965 (4).

Theoretician, author and historian: Averbakh is renowned as an opening and endgame theorist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he co-edited a five-volume anthology on the endgame, Shakhmatnye okonchaniya, which was revised in 1980-84 and translated as Comprehensive Chess Endings. A list of Averbak's books can be found in the Wikipedia article about him (see footnotes below). He also edited the magazines Shakhmaty v SSSR and Shakhmatny Bulletin, and has published more than 100 endgame studies and written several books, mainly about endgame theory. Averbakh has a deep interest in chess history, shown in his most recent book about life in the chess world called Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes. He also gave an in depth interview about the history of chess and other board games on his 90th birthday. (5)

Eponymous opening variations: Opening variations named for Averbakh include:

King's Indian Defence, Averbakh Variation (E73): 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5:

click for larger view

Kings Indian Defence, Semi-Averbakh system (E73): 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3

click for larger view

Modern Defense: Averbakh variation (A42): 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4

click for larger view

Other: Averbakh became an International Judge of Chess Composition in 1956 and an International Arbiter in 1969. He was President of the Soviet Chess Federation from 1972 until 1977 and took an active role on a number of important FIDE committees.

Aged 99, Averbakh is currently the world's oldest living grandmaster.

Sources and references: Wikipedia article: Yuri Averbakh; 1[rusbase-1]; (2) [rusbase-2]; (3) [rusbase-3]; (4) [brasilbase-1]; (5)

Last updated: 2021-07-18 10:26:22

 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 811  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Averbakh vs Y Neishtadt 1-0331938MoscowC70 Ruy Lopez
2. Smyslov vs Averbakh  1-0241938junior ttE17 Queen's Indian
3. Averbakh vs Smyslov 0-1241939Moscow-chA06 Reti Opening
4. Averbakh vs A Ebralidze  0-1361940Candidate to MasterB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
5. V Liublinsky vs Averbakh  0-1481940Candidate to MasterC28 Vienna Game
6. Averbakh vs Ragozin  ½-½431944URS-ch sfA10 English
7. Averbakh vs Kotov 0-13019441/2 finalB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
8. Averbakh vs Botvinnik ½-½401944RussiaC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Averbakh vs Lilienthal 1-0631944RUSC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. P Romanovsky vs Averbakh  1-0421944training tournamentB15 Caro-Kann
11. Averbakh vs Flohr  ½-½181944URS-ch sfC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
12. Panov vs Averbakh  ½-½181946Moscow-chB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
13. Averbakh vs Bondarevsky 1-0581946Moscow-chA34 English, Symmetrical
14. Smyslov vs Averbakh 1-0681946Moscow ChampionshipE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
15. Lilienthal vs Averbakh ½-½281946RUSE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
16. Bronstein vs Averbakh 1-0411946Moscow ChampionshipB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
17. Averbakh vs Kotov ½-½691946Moscow ChampionshipB63 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
18. Averbakh vs Simagin  ½-½291946Moscow ChampionshipB16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
19. Averbakh vs V Zak 1-0261947Match for Masters TitleC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
20. Averbakh vs Kholmov 1-0261947URS-ch sfA15 English
21. Petrosian vs Averbakh 0-1401947URS-ch sfC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
22. Simagin vs Averbakh 1-0371948Moscow Team ChC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
23. Averbakh vs V A Vasiliev  1-06019481st Soviet Team-ch finalC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
24. Averbakh vs Flohr  ½-½421948USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
25. Keres vs Averbakh  ½-½421948USSR ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 33; games 1-25 of 811  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Averbakh wins | Averbakh loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: Averbakh is quoted as saying he’s seen two geniuses - Tal and Fischer. I wonder when he said that. Would he include Kasparov, or for that matter Karpov and Carlsen, if he said it now?
Premium Chessgames Member
  rgr459: He must not have been much of a smoker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: Also interesting that he did not include Botvinnik, the most successful player of his generation.
Apr-28-19  ewan14: or Spassky ! Perhaps he has still not forgiven him for that .... Nc6 move
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: The "genius" quote is from an interview Averbakh gave to Larry Evans for <Chess Life> in 1990, later reprinted in Evans' anthology <This Crazy World of Chess>. The entire interview can be found here: Here is the complete quote:

<I have seen two geniuses in my time. One was Tal. The other was Fischer. Maybe Kasparov also. In chess you cannot be a genius forever, only for a short burst. Fischer’s highest level was after the Candidates matches in 1970 where he beat Larsen and Taimanov 6-0 and then crushed Petrosian and Spassky. Fischer was very strong with Black. With White everybody can win, but the main problem is how to win with Black.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Outstanding photo!

He looks a bit like Spassky, wouldn't you agree?

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Having lived to the ripe old age of 97, GM Averbakh should write a book on his dietary preferences.

What does he eat? Does he smoke or drink alcohol? Has he ever smoked tobacco or consumed alcohol?

Most Russians love their vodka - is a shot or two a day his secret? Or maybe he eats raw eggs & calf liver?

Could it be fresh Cloudberries every summer that is the key to health?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <ewan14: or Spassky ! Perhaps he has still not forgiven him for that .... Nc6 move>

Which game is this referring to?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: Averbakh vs Spassky, 1956
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Retireborn> OMG. That is the craziest move I've ever seen. I mean it.
Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: Opening master
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: In his book "Damenendspiele" (Queen endings) Averbakh begins the chapter about queen+rook pawn vs queen with two positions having two queens vs one.

This is the first one.

click for larger view

Averbakh states that Black can draw, if and only if the Black king stands on d3, e4, b5, b4 or c5. It seems to me that he missed three more squares: c2, d2 and e3 (checked with Nalimov tablebases).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: This is the second position. Black to move.

click for larger view

Here Avebakh's draw condition is as follows: Black can achieve a draw, if his king is on b5 or c5 (or symmetrically g5 or f5) and if he is able to keep White's king enclosed in the rectangle a1-c1-c3-a3.

First af all, this seems to be a sufficient condition only, which is less precise than that of the first position, because of its second part. I am not exactly sure what the symmetry statement means, because the position is not symmetrically with respect to Black's queen.

From the tablebases I got:

Black's king on b5 or c5: draw if and only if White's king is in the rectangle (legal squares only, of course).

Black's king on f5 or g5: draw if and only if White's king stands on g2 or h3. So, three legal squares in the rectangle f1-h1-h3-f3 favour White.

There are a lot of other squares for Black's king that give possible draws, most significantly c7 and f7.

Black's king on c7: White can win, if and only if his king is on c5, d5, f7 or h2. There is no win on the remaining 26 legal squares.

Black's king on f7: White can win, if and only if his king is on c5, d5 or h2. Here, no win for 29 legal squares.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is 98 today!

"Now, finally, I can try to overtake Kirk Douglas."

Feb-12-20  ndg2: Not sure whether he can catch Kirk but I want him to overtake Lilienthal. Happy birthday my endgame mentor!
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Andy Soltis' Chess Life 2020 April..

<In his book In Search of Truth, Yuri Averbakh, the great Soviet-era grand master, recalled how in the middle of the simultaneous exhibition with colleague Isaac Boleslavsky he arrived at a board and saw he was suddenly down a rook. “Where’s my rook?” he exclaimed. “Isaac blundered it,” his amateur opponent said. Later, Averbakh asked his teammate about it. “What blunder?” Boleslavsky replied. “You blundered, not me.” Then they both realized they had been conned by an amateur using his one swindling mind.>

Sep-30-20  login:

A darling of fate from a tragic generation

Q: What are your favorite places in Moscow?

Abramtsevo [ ] - I lived there for twenty years in a summer house. [Originally] I'm a guy from the Arbat district [in Moscow] and at the age of three under the monument of Nikolai Gogol [https://russianlandmarks.wordpress.... ] .. the real one, I made Easter cakes from sand. And my first friend from the age of three was Volodya Peterson, a very interesting person. His dad was a university professor, a specialist in the Russian language - his ancestors were Swedes, and his grandfather married a gypsy. As a result, Volodya was born a brunette with blue eyes and all the girls literally looked at him.

In 1929, around the time we were admitted to school when collectivization [ ] began, ration cards were introduced and living standards fell sharply. And my mother went to work as a typist - she graduated from the gymnasium in Kaluga [ ] and knew two languages. She had a good secondary education, which was typical for Russia.

I myself was a capable boy at the age of five I learned to read - now this is normal, but then it was considered an exceptional circumstance. I was sent to school at the age of seven and when I graduated from it there was the 'Voroshilov call' [ ]. And everyone over 18 years old had to go to the army. I was 17 years of age and managed to enter the Bauman Institute [ ]. And Volodya Peterson was drafted into the army in 1940, had no time in life and died in 1941. And there are a lot of such guys - this is why I da say that my generation is tragic.

And I was frankly lucky. Such a fate, I did nothing for - this is how life turned out. ..'

Excerpt (beginning) from a long interview (in Russian, loosely translated here) with R-Sport agency, 2017

A must read for fans.

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: Video published in 2016, from Maria Borisovna Manakova 's channel: Averbakh, ninety four years old, shows an Endgame Study on the wall board to the crowd (Russia, July 20th 2016)

V A Korolkov
"Lelo" 1951
1st Prize

click for larger view

White to Play and Win

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <04:35 Monday, February 8, 2021 (GMT+3) Time in Moscow, Russia> Happy birthday GM Yuri Lvovich!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nosnibor: Why is he not on the birthday list for today?
Feb-08-21  stanleys: Happy 99th birthday, GM Averbakh!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Nosnibor: Why is he not on the birthday list for today?> Some programming glitch, I suppose. Unfortunate, as his is by far the most important birthday of the day.

A living legend. Quite literally.

Mar-03-21  ndg2: Happy belated biethday, Yuri!
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: He is actually the oldest GM ever now (since February 12, when he surpassed Lilienthal's lifespan).
Jul-18-21  ndg2: Correct, <alexmagnus>. Lilienthal died three days after his 99th birthday. Averbakh so far is going strong.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 8)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC