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Yuri Averbakh
Averbakh, playing at Hoogovens, 1963.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Number of games in database: 890
Years covered: 1938 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2445

Overall record: +282 -142 =463 (57.9%)*
   * 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 (60) 
    E75 E73 E68 E60 E67
 Sicilian (53) 
    B62 B92 B93 B28 B90
 Ruy Lopez (40) 
    C92 C97 C75 C64 C98
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E26 E59 E50 E32 E40
 Queen's Gambit Declined (24) 
    D35 D37 D38 D30 D31
 English (23) 
    A16 A15 A17 A10 A13
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (83) 
    B60 B56 B77 B32 B76
 Ruy Lopez (78) 
    C92 C98 C90 C85 C84
 Nimzo Indian (70) 
    E58 E46 E53 E34 E52
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (62) 
    C92 C98 C85 C90 C84
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (28) 
    B60 B67 B61 B63 B65
 Sicilian Dragon (23) 
    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 Lilienthal, 1949 1-0
   Averbakh vs Panno, 1954 1-0
   Averbakh vs V Zak, 1947 1-0
   Averbakh vs Bondarevsky, 1948 1/2-1/2
   Euwe vs Averbakh, 1953 0-1
   Averbakh vs Sarvarov, 1959 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1954)
   Dresden (1956)
   Schlechter Memorial (1961)
   Moscow (1962)
   Rubinstein Memorial (1975)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   Hoogovens (1963)
   Moscow Championship (1946)
   Przepiorka Memorial (1950)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)

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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yuri Averbakh
Search Google for Yuri Averbakh

(born Feb-08-1922, died May-07-2022, 100 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 Zuerich 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.

Averbakh was the world's oldest grandmaster.

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

Last updated: 2022-08-09 19:02:12

 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 909  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 0-124193919th Ch MoscowA06 Reti Opening
4. V Lyublinsky vs Averbakh  0-1481940Candidate to MasterC28 Vienna Game
5. Sakin vs Averbakh  0-140194020th Ch Moscow (qf-9)E19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
6. Averbakh vs A Kuznetsov  1-028194020th Ch Moscow (qf-9)C02 French, Advance
7. Averbakh vs P Morton  1-033194020th Ch Moscow (sf-1)B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
8. Averbakh vs A Ebralidze  0-1361940Candidate to MasterB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
9. V Mikenas vs Averbakh  0-131194323rd Ch MoscowE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
10. Yaroshevsky vs Averbakh  0-161194323rd Ch Moscow (sf-3)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Averbakh vs Kotov 0-13019441/2 finalB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
12. Averbakh vs Flohr  ½-½181944URS-ch sfC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
13. Averbakh vs Lilienthal 1-0631944RUSC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
14. Averbakh vs Botvinnik ½-½40194423rd Ch MoscowC07 French, Tarrasch
15. Averbakh vs Ragozin  ½-½431944URS-ch sfA10 English
16. P Romanovsky vs Averbakh  1-0421944training tournamentB15 Caro-Kann
17. Averbakh vs A Chistiakov  ½-½25194525th Ch Moscow (sf-group B)C12 French, McCutcheon
18. Averbakh vs Bondarevsky 1-0581946Moscow ChampionshipA34 English, Symmetrical
19. Averbakh vs V Baturinsky  1-0471946Moscow ChampionshipB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
20. Panov vs Averbakh  ½-½181946Moscow ChampionshipB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
21. Smyslov vs Averbakh 1-0681946Moscow ChampionshipE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
22. Averbakh vs Y Solntsev  1-0441946Moscow ChampionshipC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
23. Averbakh vs Alatortsev  1-0391946Moscow ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Averbakh vs Estrin  0-1711946Moscow ChampionshipC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
25. Lilienthal vs Averbakh ½-½281946Moscow ChampionshipE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
 page 1 of 37; games 1-25 of 909  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 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-07-22  ndg2: I still profit in each game from Yuri's endgame books. Farewell, old friend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: May he Rest in Peace:
May-07-22  Albertan: Yuri Averbakh (1922-2022):


Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: At death he was the oldest living grandmaster and the oldest living world championship candidate.

The new top-3 of oldest living grandmasters are Matanovic, Krogius, Nikolac

The new top-3 of oldest living Candidates:

Olafsson, Panno, Spassky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <At death he was the oldest living grandmaster and the oldest living world championship candidate.>

And after death, he is the longest-lived grandmaster (right?) and oldest-lived world championship candidate.

RIP to a great player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Rest in peace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Tip o' the cap to a player and theoretician who left his mark, long before his time on earth came to its end.

As the line over the gates to a Sicilian cemetery went, from a Puzo novel:

<We have been like you--and you shall be like us>

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Chapeau maitre.

Et bonne voyage.


Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Rest in peace to one of the giants of chess, GM Yuri Averbakh. Though you are now gone, your legacy will live on forever over chessboards all over the world.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: May he rest in peace.
I had the honor of meeting GM Averbakh at the Watson ,Farley, Williams Tournament in NY in 1990. Since it was played privately in the law firm offices there were only invited guest spectators. Fortunately as a Trustee of the American Chess Foundation and investment banker at Morgan Stanley i was deemed worthy of an invitation. With so few spectators we were able to personally interact with all the players before and after the games. Yuri was already well along in age at that time, but still managed a couple nice wins over much younger GMs. Much later I learned from a chess playing neighbor ( deceased many years ago) Billy Levine, a dentist, but strong chess player that he knew Yuri well from the International Chess Set Collectors Association in which Yuri was also very involved. Billy's house was filled with an incredible collection of unique and valuable sets from all over the world. Billy actually had a win in a simul over Yuri at one of the Chess Set Collectors Conventions in Europe. Now that Yuri Averbakh is gone I believe that few, if any, of the really elite players from the peak era of Soviet chess remain, other than Boris Spassky whom I also had the pleasure of meeting a few times in NY.
May-08-22  nok: I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold.

Oh wait...

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Vale, you legend. Always an inspiration to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold. Oh wait...>

Consider me the chess version of the Gerontology Research Group, who also update their lists of oldest people very quickly and publicly :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold. Oh wait...> :D

It could also be seen as a <to do> list, for whomever....

May-09-22  wordfunph: rest in peace, legend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: A wildly entertaining and very long interview from around 2014.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: a russian man living to age 100? That's a rarity.

a tip of the hat to the author of many great games. I think I owned one of his books, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: His works on the endgame helped me become a Master. Yuri Averbakh, RIP, and thank you for existing.
May-12-22  offramp: Did he died?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <offramp: Did he died?>

Yes, he is supposed to be very dead by now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <HeMateMe: a russian man living to age 100? That's a rarity.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Pickling a liver in vinegar is better than vodka.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Rest in peace, Yuri Lvovich.
May-15-22  Albertan: Averbakh on Averbakh:Grandmaster and World Championship Candidate:

May-17-22  Albertan: How Yuri Averbakh fell in love with Chess-Grigoriev’s best pawn studies:

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