Chess - The Scotsman 05/06/2012

Tuesday’s puzzle...

How does White win?

VLADIMIR Tukmakov is not a household name among today’s chess fans, but 30 years ago he was one of the strongest players of the late Soviet era. However, he often wonders these days if he would have played chess at all if he hadn’t been born there.

Back in the USSR, life was fairly good for talented players, he relates in his very entertaining autobiography Profession: Chessplayer (Grandmaster at Work) published by Russell Enterprises. And, besides, the real goal of any Soviet master then was to get invited to play in foreign tournaments. Then you could buy goods that were in short supply at home, “which, back in those glorious days meant pretty much everything”. The shopping skills of some GMs, like Eduard Gufeld, far exceeded their chess ability, he says.

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Tukmakov, 66, has an impressive résumé and was a very strong player. His career includes 14 appearances in the Soviet Championships, nearly qualifying from the 1982 Interzonal in Las Palmas for the Candidates’ matches, and participating in the 1984 USSR vs the Rest of the World match.

Few knew that Tukmakov had two careers. He was an officer in the Soviet army until resigning at the height of perestroika in 1989 and turning to chess full time. Latterly though, we only get to hear about him through his coaching activities; his most notable stint serving in that capacity for the Ukraine national team since 2004.

His book is a joy to read, and certainly a worthy addition to anyone’s bookshelf. And I leave you today with a fine combinative win from one of the 41 games he includes in it.

V Tukmakov - Y Razuvaev

USSR Ch., 1983

Queen’s Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Nbd2 Bb7 6 Bg2 Be7 7 e4 Nxe4 8 Ne5 Bb4 9 Qg4 0–0 10 Bxe4 f5 11 Bxb7 fxg4 12 Bxa8 c6 13 0–0 Qc7 14 Ne4 Be7 15 Bf4 d6 16 Nxg4 Nd7 17 c5! bxc5 18 dxc5 e5 19 cxd6 Bxd6 20 Rad1 Be7 21 Rxd7 Qxd7 22 Nxe5 Qe6 23 Bxc6 g5 24 Bd7 Qd5 25 Nc3 Qc5 26 Be6+ Kg7 27 Nd7 1–0

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