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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    RIP Mark Taimanov

    Michael Baron broke the sad news in Urii's thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by MB
    And more sad news - legendary GM Mark Taimanov passed away last night
    News of Taimanov's death have not yet been reported in the chess media, however, I am sure
    Michael has his reliable sources when he reports such information!
    Last edited by ER; 28-11-2016 at 08:16 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott Renzies View Post
    Michael Baron broke the sad news in Urii's thread.



    News of Taimanov's death have not yet been reported in the chess media, however, I am sure
    Michael has his reliable sources when he reports such information!
    Unfortunately its reliable. It has been reported in Russian by chess-news.ru
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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    A great shame: a top GM in his day, and a top pianist as well, especially duets with his first wife. This now leaves his father-in-law Averbakh as the only survivor of the great Zürich Candidates tournament of 1953.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    A great shame: a top GM in his day, and a top pianist as well, especially duets with his first wife. This now leaves his father-in-law Averbakh as the only survivor of the great Zürich Candidates tournament of 1953.
    Ex father in law...he left his daughter for even younger lady . Taimanov's kids (twins) are 12 years old now.
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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    he left his daughter for even younger lady .
    A case where using antonyms pronouns (*) instead of names can cause some embarrassing misunderstandings!!!

    thanks for the correction Capablanca-Fan!

    it was one of those cases of ricocheting embarrassment!
    Last edited by ER; 30-11-2016 at 06:41 AM.
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  6. #6

  7. #7
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    According to my sources, Taimanov was in induced coma for a month following a massive heart attack.
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Very sad news. RIP GM Mark. A pity that in chess he will always be remembered for 0-6 against Fischer, but he has a high place in both chess and music. What other chess GM ever played the piano at a concert primarily for his fellow competitors?
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

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  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Taimanov was a top pianist of his day, and he and his first wife Lyubov Bruk (1926–1996) were probably the best piano duet team of the 20th century. Some of their recordings were Philips and Steinway series Great Pianists of the 20th Century. Below is a video of them playing Braziliera from Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud (1892–1974):

    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Taimanov's best games

    As a chess grandmaster, Taimanov is remembered for the 0–6 against Fischer, which was the first sign that Fischer had climbed to a whole new level. But the games were much more closely fought than the score reflects. Taimanov had Fischer in trouble when he had white in the King's Indian. Taimanov was very strong in this setup. Back in 1946, Bronstein revitalized the KID for black in stunning victories over Pachmann and Zita. A few years later, Bronstein was strong enough to draw a match for the world championship. But one year after that, Taimanov destroyed him by blocking the centre and going through the Q-side, including total control of an open file, a feature of some of his best games.

    [Event "USSR Championship"]
    [Site "Moscow URS"]
    [Date "1952.12.12"]
    [Round "10"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [White "Mark Taimanov"]
    [Black "David Bronstein"]
    [ECO "E99"]

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    Bronstein's R moves to f6 then h6 got nowhere. Aronin also went down when he tried a P-storm in the same line, but here Taimanov opened the centre with tactics, then into the K-side:

    [Event "USSR Championship"]
    [Site "Moscow URS"]
    [Date "1952.12.09"]
    [Round "8"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [White "Mark Taimanov"]
    [Black "Lev Aronin"]
    [ECO "E99"]

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    It took the then young Gligorić to demonstrate the correct plan of ...Rf7 and ...Bf8 to defend the c7 and d6 points, then launch a devastating K-side attack against the experienced veterans Eliskases and Najdorf in 1953. Later that year, Najdorf showed that he had learned from his defeat by using this same plan to win brilliantly against Taimanov himself at the grand Zurich Candidates Tournament (chess news evidently didn't travel fast enough back then).

    This tournament featured some great Taimanov games. Again as white in the KID, he beat KID afficionado Geller by blocking the centre, taking total control of an open file again (the b-file), and while Black is trying to prevent a R entry down there, White gets threats on the K-side, so that White penetrates to b7 anyway, and Black's game collapsed:

    [Event "Zurich Candidates"]
    [EventDate "1953.08.30"]
    [Round "12"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [White "Mark Taimanov"]
    [Black "Efim Geller"]
    [ECO "E95"]

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    From the same tournament, Taimanov won another game with file domination, as black against Ståhlberg. He even spurns the chance to go B+N vs R, preferring to keep the domination. This split White's forces, so he had no defence against a K-side attack except to go into a lost endgame (and he was fortunate to get into the endgame at all).

    [Event "Zurich Candidates"]
    [Site "Zurich SUI"]
    [EventDate "1953.08.30"]
    [Round "9"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [White "Gideon Stahlberg"]
    [Black "Mark Taimanov"]
    [ECO "E15"]

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    A still earlier game with c-file domination was won against a veteran Soviet master. This time the defender managed to get both his Rs to the c-file, but White had the crucial c-file outpost that led to a neat combination with a Q-sac that led to white's Rs rampaging on the 8th rank then finally cornering the K by doubling on the g-file.

    [Site "Leningrad"]
    [Date "1949.??.??"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [White "Mark Taimanov"]
    [Black "Georgy Lisitsin"]
    [ECO "D30"]

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    In the Zurich tourney, Taimanov also won a brilliancy prize for his game against Petrosian. The latter was the youngest player in the tournament, and showed his exceptional strength by finishing fifth behind only the "big four" of Smyslov, Bronstein, Keres, and Reshevsky. But in this game, he comes under relentless strategical and tactical pressure,.

    [Event "Zurich Candidates"]
    [Site "Zurich SUI"]
    [EventDate "1953.08.30"]
    [Round "20"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [White "Mark Taimanov"]
    [Black "Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian"]
    [ECO "E58"]

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    Taimanov also made important contributions to the Sicilian, including the eponymous variation. Previously he had given a good demonstration of the dynamism of the ...e5 move despite the backward Pd6. He again played his Rs to the c-file, kept an eye on the ‘weak’ d5 square, took control over all the other central squares then finally a decisive break with 24... d5. In the final position, White gave up although he had not lost any material as yet, but hardly had a move although most of his pieces were still on the board. Among other things, Black threatens ...Nd4-f5-e3 or g3.

    [Event "Stockholm Interzonal"]
    [Date "1952.09.26"]
    [Round "8"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [White "Wolfgang Unzicker"]
    [Black "Mark Taimanov"]
    [ECO "B58"]

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    A collection of Taimanov's best games would be incomplete without his famous victory as black against the reigning world champion at the time, Anatoly Karpov, on the black side of a Sicilian. Again it was an ...e5 version, and it seems as if Karpov was getting one of his usual grinding-down games against this system, with an extra passed b-pawn. But Taimanov uncorked an amusing geometric motif, with this R touching three of the corner squares mating White's K on the remaining corner.

    [Event "October Revolution 60th Anniversary"]
    [Site "Leningrad URS"]
    [Date "1977.06.25"]
    [Round "1"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [White "Anatoly Karpov"]
    [Black "Mark Taimanov"]
    [ECO "B32"]

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    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 04-12-2016 at 10:23 AM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Thanks for all those games, Jono!
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Thanks Jono. I tried to emulate some of his ideas in the KID, with limited success.
    meep meep

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