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Rashid Nezhmetdinov
R Nezhmetdinov 
Nezhmetdinov (left) congratulates Tal for winning the 24th USSR Championship in Moscow, 1957.  

Number of games in database: 505
Years covered: 1929 to 1973
Overall record: +240 -139 =125 (60.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (91) 
    B43 B30 B31 B94 B83
 Ruy Lopez (81) 
    C75 C85 C77 C64 C90
 French Defense (32) 
    C16 C18 C12 C10 C00
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (32) 
    C85 C90 C84 C97 C92
 Caro-Kann (23) 
    B11 B10 B13 B17
 French Winawer (17) 
    C16 C18 C17 C19
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (70) 
    C76 C99 C78 C73 C77
 King's Indian (55) 
    E67 E69 E60 E94 E93
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (26) 
    C99 C96 C84 C86 C90
 Old Indian (21) 
    A54 A53 A55
 Queen's Pawn Game (9) 
    A41 A46 D04 A40 D01
 Modern Benoni (9) 
    A77 A57 A62 A61 A65
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Polugaevsky vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1958 0-1
   R Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962 1-0
   R Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   N Kosolapov vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1936 0-1
   R Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin, 1946 1-0
   Lilienthal vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1951 0-1
   Samsonov vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1929 0-1
   R Nezhmetdinov vs Y Kotkov, 1957 1-0
   R Nezhmetdinov vs E Paoli, 1954 1-0
   R Nezhmetdinov vs V Sergievsky, 1966 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   RSFSR Championship (1947)
   RSFSR Championship (1958)
   URS-ch sf Baku (1951)
   Bucharest (1954)
   RSFSR Championship (1954)
   2nd Soviet Team Cup (1954)
   URS-ch sf Kharkiv (1956)
   URS-ch sf Rostov-on-Don (1958)
   USSR Championship (1954)
   Chigorin Memorial (1964)
   Chigorin Memorial (1965)
   URS-ch sf Kiev (1957)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   USSR Championship (1959)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess by igiene
   Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess by Dijon15
   Nezhmetdinov's best games of chess by Bidibulle
   Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess by webbing1947
   Super Nezh: Chess Assassin by docjan
   Super Nezh: Chess Assassin by amadeus
   Super Nezh: Chess Assassin by webbing1947
   Super Nezh by chocobonbon
   Best Games of Chess (Nezhmetdinov) by Qindarka
   Secret Hero Nezh by Gottschalk
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov's Best Games by KingG
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov's Best Games by Okavango
   Nez check by takchess
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov - (1940-1950) by lesshc

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(born Dec-15-1912, died Jun-03-1974, 61 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov was born in Aktubinsk, then part of the Russian Empire and now known as Aqtöbe, in Kazakhstan, into a poor peasant family of Tatar ethnicity. Orphaned when very young, he moved to Kazan in the Republic of Tatarstan at a young age under the care of his brother, and it was there that he learned chess by watching local games despite living for some time in great hardship.

He also became a renowned checkers (draughts) player, but it was chess that he turned to after leaving military service after the end of World War II. Notwithstanding this, when the 1949 Russian Checkers Semifinals were held in Kazan, Nezhmetdinov agreed to substitute for a player who didn't show up even though he hadn't played checkers for 15 years. He finished 12/16 without losing a game, earning the title of Soviet Master of Checkers. This also qualified him for the finals, where he finished 2nd.

Nezhmetdinov's participation in chess tournaments before World War II was intermittent. In 1927 at the age of 15, he played in Kazan's Tournament of Pioneers (an 18 and under event), winning all 15 games. In 1929 he won the junior section of the Kazan city championship, and the next year he finished first in the overall Kazan championship and earned a Category I rating. Nezhmetdinov earned the Candidate Master title by winning the All-Union Tournament at Rostov-on-Don in 1939, finishing undefeated with a 9/10 score. In 1941, Rashid was called to military service and stationed in Baikal, where he won the district chess tournament over some strong opposition, including Victor Davidovich Baturinsky and Konstantin Klaman.

After the War, when he dedicated himself to chess, he came 1st in a tournament organised within the Soviet Military Administration in Berlin, 1946, triumphing over future Master and Ukrainian champion Isaac Lipnitsky. After he demobilised in 1947, he began a long and distinguished career, starting with 2nd place in the final of the Russian Federation (RSFSR) Championship behind Nikolay Novotelnov. Later that year Nezhmetdinov finished =2nd in an All-Union Candidate Master tournament, earning him the right to play a classification match in 1948 against Vladas Mikenas for the title of Soviet Master. He drew the match 7-7 (+4-4=6), but did not gain the coveted Master title, because the examiner got draw odds. Two years later, in 1950, he won the Russian Federation Chess Championship against a very strong field and finally earned the Master title. He won the Russian Championship four more times: in 1951 ahead of Nikolai Krogius, in 1953 ahead of Lev Polugaevsky, in 1957 ahead of Boris T Vladimirov, and in 1958 in Sochi ahead of Viktor Korchnoi. In Sochi Nezhmetdinov played his immortal game against Lev Polugaevsky Other excellent results in the RSFSR Championships included 2nd in 1954 behind Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich, =2nd in 1956 behind Shamkovich and alongside Krogius and Polugaevsky, and clear 2nd in 1961 behind Polugaevsky after a playoff mini-match against Vladimir Antoshin, Anatoly Lein, and Lev A Belov to earn a spot in the finals of the 1961 USSR Championship. He also finished =3rd in 1963 behind Lein and Georgy Ilivitsky.

Nezhmetdinov was also a regular participant in the USSR Championship cycles in their various incarnations, consistently participating in the quarter and semi finals eliminations for the USSR Championship between 1947 and 1969. His best results were =1st with Isaac Boleslavsky and Vitaly Georgievich Tarasov at the 1956 semi-final, and =1st with Boris Spassky at the 1958 semi-final. He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th with victories over Efim Geller, Salomon Flohr, and Andre Lilienthal. He also did well against Grandmaster competition in the Moscow 1957 edition, scoring 2.5/3 against three future world champions, drawing with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and beating Spassky and Mikhail Tal.

In 1954, accompanying Soviet Masters Korchnoi, Semyon Abramovich Furman and Ratmir Kholmov, Nezhmetdinov participated in the Bucharest International tournament, one of only three times he played outside the USSR. He rose to the occasion, defeating International Masters Miroslav Filip, Robert Wade, Bogdan Sliwa, and Grandmaster Gideon Stahlberg. He won the tournament brilliancy prize against Enrico Paoli, and finished clear second behind Korchnoi. In recognition of this performance, later that year FIDE awarded him the International Master title. Results in other tournaments include =2nd behind Mark Taimanov at the 1961 Chigorin Memorial and 3rd at the Baku International in 1964 behind Antoshin and Vladimir Bagirov. He participated in the Soviet Club Championships in 1952, 1954 and 1964, winning individual and team silver for his team DSO Spartak in 1952 on board 6, individual and team gold for Spartak in 1954 on board 5, and individual gold on board 6 for Spartak in 1964. He was also a member of the RSFSR Team that played matches with other Soviet Republics, with his best result coming at Vilnius 1958 where he played board 1 for the RSFSR and led them to a 3rd place finish, and also took the individual bronze medal ahead of Paul Keres, David Bronstein, Efim Geller, and Boleslavsky. In 1973 Nezhmetdinov played his last tournament, placing only 3rd behind a weak field in the Latvian Open. He fell ill and did not finish all of his games. However, he did win his last brilliancy prize in his game against Vladimir I Karasev.

Nezhmetdinov was renowned for his imaginative attacking style. His famous and widely published game at Sochi 1958 against Polugaevsky is considered to be one of the best attacking games of the 20th century. He assisted Tal in preparation for the latter's 1960 World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik. While he beat many of the world's top players, he was never awarded the GM title even though he won 5 Russian Championships. Nezhmetdinov published an autobiography including his 100 best games entitled Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess (republished by Caissa Editions in 2000). Alex Pishkin published a similar tome entitled Super Nezh, Chess Assassin in 2000.

Nezhmetdinov passed away in Kazan in 1974.


Russian tournament and match archive:; Photo of bust of Nezhmetdinov in Kazan:; Bust and plaque on a building:; <jessicafischerqueen>'s three-part YouTube documentary: with addendum at Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

*Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Wikipedia article: Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Last updated: 2018-08-11 20:26:42

 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 505  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Samsonov vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1151929Kazan-chC29 Vienna Gambit
2. E Korchmar vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1221931Categories 1 & 2 TtD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
3. N Kosolapov vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1241936Spartak Club championshipC46 Three Knights
4. R Nezhmetdinov vs A I Konstantinov 1-0141936RSFSR 1st CategoryC02 French, Advance
5. R Nezhmetdinov vs S Pimenov 1-0311936RSFSR 1st CategoryC13 French
6. R Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin 1-0151946Kazan ChampionshipB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
7. R Nezhmetdinov vs Furman  0-1231947Spartak Club chC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. R Nezhmetdinov vs Suetin 1-0291947RSFSR ChampionshipB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
9. Aronin vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1251947RSFSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
10. R Nezhmetdinov vs A Nogovitsyn  1-0561947RSFSR ChampionshipC48 Four Knights
11. N Novotelnov vs R Nezhmetdinov  1-0411947RSFSR ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
12. R Nezhmetdinov vs G Ilivitsky ½-½111947RSFSR ChampionshipB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
13. N Petrov vs R Nezhmetdinov  0-1371947RSFSR ChampionshipE90 King's Indian
14. A Ivashin vs R Nezhmetdinov 1-0411947RSFSR ChampionshipA55 Old Indian, Main line
15. R Nezhmetdinov vs G Sedov 1-0311947RSFSR ChampionshipC10 French
16. I Lyskov vs R Nezhmetdinov  0-1381947RSFSR ChampionshipC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
17. K T Isakov vs R Nezhmetdinov  0-1451947RSFSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
18. Kholmov vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1611947All-Union Candidate Master TtA46 Queen's Pawn Game
19. R Nezhmetdinov vs A Ivashin 1-0461947All Union Candidate Master TtC71 Ruy Lopez
20. M Shishov vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1341947Match - Georgia, RSFSR and AzerbaijanC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
21. I Veltmander vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-11219488th Ch RSFSRA46 Queen's Pawn Game
22. R Nezhmetdinov vs D Grechkin 1-04119488th Ch RSFSRB32 Sicilian
23. R Nezhmetdinov vs V Baskin 1-02719485th Ch Moldavian (open) C55 Two Knights Defense
24. R Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-0591948Match for the Title of MasterC16 French, Winawer
25. R Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-0171948Match for the Title of MasterB02 Alekhine's Defense
 page 1 of 21; games 1-25 of 505  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nezhmetdinov wins | Nezhmetdinov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-16  Petrosianic: And many more!
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Belated, HBD RGNez
Aug-11-17  Boomie: <morfishine: Who knows why Super Nez was never titled GM.>

Super Nezh won the Russian Federation Chess Championship 5 times. However note that this is not the USSR Chess Championship. As stated in the bio "He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th". He didn't make GM because he didn't perform consistently enough at that level. But when he was on his game, he could beat anyone in the world.

Aug-11-17  Boomie: For example, his extraordinary win over Polugaevsky is one of the best immortals of all time.

Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Polugaevsky said "I must have beaten Super Nezh a dozen times but I would trade them all for this one game."

Aug-11-17  ughaibu: <one of the best immortals of all time>

Are there any immortals that are not of all time?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here are two good comments in response to people who feel the need to attach the word <Immortal> to any half-way decent game.

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 (kibitz #332)

<offramp [That's me!]: I don't understand the constant need to attach the word "Immortal" to a good chess game. What does it signify? A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could just as easily be called "Immortal". It is still with us and is one year <older> than Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907.

So A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could be called <The Immortaller Game">.>


<morfishine: ...I don't either and I find it irritating and pointless. It all started with "The Immortal Game" Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 which pretty much monopolized "immortal" chess games by attaching the narrowing word "The" to the front. This left all others the only option being to attach their own name: Kasparov's immortal, Topalov's immortal, Karpov's immortal, etc. But all this defies logic since all games since the mid 1850's have been carefully preserved, and digitally archived, so all games are "immortal" in a sense. But really, the word "immortal" doesn't even connote quality, but merely longevity to the point of never going away. There has to be a better adjective.>

Wonderful, evergreen humour!

Aug-11-17  Howard: The more often people use the word "immortal" in reference to a game, the less meaningful it becomes in the long run.

Sounds logical to me!

In other news, JC Penney stock is currently trading today at over a 40-year low! Couldn't resist but mention it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Same as mainstream media works such adjectives as iconic and amazing to death.
Aug-21-17  KnightVBishop: What was this guy's main weakness that prevented him from being top tier?
Aug-21-17  john barleycorn: <KnightVBishop: What was this guy's main weakness that prevented him from being top tier?>

He could not handle the vodka as well as Tal.

Dec-15-17  gars: His games (mortal or immortal) will be fondly remembered forever. Happy Birthday, Rashid Gibiatovich!
Dec-15-17  WorstPlayerEver: Happy birthday, Super Nezh! :)
Dec-15-17  WorstPlayerEver:
Dec-02-18  The Rocket: Bronstein reportedly said that Nez was "a fantastic mathematican". What did he base this on? Math at the higher levels have very little to do with brute force calculations, and is more about deeper understanding.
Feb-24-19  Jean Defuse: ...

Spektrowski - <Why Rashid Nezhmetdinov Never Became a Grandmaster?>


Mar-17-20  asiduodiego: Find a person who looks at you as Tal looks at Rashid.
Jun-07-20  Monocle: <KnightVBishop: What was this guy's main weakness that prevented him from being top tier?>

Apparently he didn't have the temperament for quiet positional play when it was called for. A quote from Yuri Averbakh:

"Nezhmetdinov, ... if he had the attack, could kill anybody, including Tal. But my score against him was something like 8½–½ because I did not give him any possibility for an active game. In such cases he would immediately start to spoil his position because he was looking for complications."

Jan-05-21  posoo: ok but WHO is dat CRAZEY fellow in da middle? he looks like he is happy, but heaven knows that it is more complacated than that!!!
Jan-06-21  Jean Defuse: ...

<Averbakh: ... my score against him was something like 8½–½ ...>


[Event "URS Republics Team-ch 2nd"]
[Site "Tbilisi"]
[Date "1951.09.??"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Averbakh, Yuri Lvovich"]
[Black "Nezhmetdinov, Rashid Gibiatovich"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


40... d3 41. Qd7 d2 42. Rxg7+ Bxg7 43. Qxf5 d1=Q+ 44. Kg2 1/2-1/2


<What was the real score between Nezhmetdinov & Averbakh?> And how many games were handed down??



Feb-17-21  Ned Merrill: Please check Agadmator's excellent YouTube post covering Nez's only chance at the GM title and how he lost it in the 1964 in a game against Vladimir Antoshin. The mistaken move (31. Bb7 instead of 31.Ba8) haunted Nez for some time after. I learned something about Soviet chess during the Stalin era.

Jun-29-21  Arturo2nd: I forget where I read that Nezhmetdinov was a math teacher.

It has not been mentioned that ethnic Tatars were under a cloud after Stalin removed the Tatar population from Crimea during World War Two. Nezhmetdinov was a loyal Communist, but the party may have feared him being a target of Western spy services if he was allowed out of the USSR during the 1950s. Several strong players from Dnipropetrovsk, Cheliabinsk and other restricted cities doing vital defense work were restricted from travel.

Are we better off having so many grandmasters nowadays? While hundreds of these guys can kick our butts, only 20 or so really matter at the top.

Premium Chessgames Member


His son, <Iskander Nezhmetdinov>, is also a math teacher who currently resides in the United States.

Jul-08-21  TheBish: Why no Notable Games list on this page? "Super Nezh" definitely has more than 10 that qualify!
Premium Chessgames Member


All of the Notable Games and Notable Tournaments have been erased from this page. I just posted this message for one of our tech workers:



All of the "notable games" and "notable tournaments" have been erased from the Rashid Nezhmetdinov page since the site update.

I am wondering how many other player pages have had the notable games and tournaments erased?

"notable games and tournaments" have always been calibrated based on how often they appear in member chess game collections.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Jessica, are you still active on this site?

I love your video documentary on Nezhmetdinov. He is one of my top three favorite players, along with Tal and Bronstein.

Would you consider doing a video documentary on Bronstein?

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