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Chernev: The Russians Play Chess
Compiled by backrank
--*--

Wonderful collection of 50 Soviet attacking games from the years 1925-45 (in the 2nd edition, Chernev added 6 games from 1951-60). Most of the games are spectacular (with many sacrifices), many of them are short. Lots of them are won by lesser-known masters or even 1st category players, a fact that proves the high standard of Soviet chess from those years. The book itself has a remarkable property: it features a diagram each 2 to 4 moves!! This makes it possible to read it without a board. You can take it anywhere: to the beach, on a train ... etc. ... and enjoy the games. Get this book! Unfortunately, it's out of print and available only used, but not difficult to find at all.

Funnily, the copy I've got shows clearly that it has been read exactly until Game 6 - and no further! The rest of the book has obviously remained completely unread by the previous owner. But now it's my turn to do what he has missed - and to draw full enjoyment from doing so.

In a similar manner as Chernev's 'Most instructive games of chess ever played' is as well a textbook on strategy as it is a great game collection, you can use his 'Russians play chess' as an (unsystematic) instructional book on tactics! In my opinion, it's much more fun to learn strategy and tactics from entertaining games than from dry lessons.

The level of 'The Russians play chess' is a bit more advanced than that of 'The most instructive ... '. While I would recommend 'The most instructive ... ' from about 1200 onwards, 'The Russians ... ' is great from 1400-1500 onwards, perhaps.

At the moment (April 8, 2012), 2 games from Chernev's book are missing in the database:

Game 12. Kan - Yudovich (Match 1934)

Event "Match"
Site "match"
White "Kan, Ilya"
Black "Yudovich, Mikhail M"
Date "1934.?.?"
Result "0-1"
ECO "E34"

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 c5 7.dxc5 Qxc5 8.Be3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.g3 Nc6 11.Bg2 O-O 12.O-O e5 13.Rab1 Rd8 14.h3 Be6 15. Bg5 b6 16.Nd2 Rac8 17.Ne4 h6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g4 f5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.e3 Rd6 22.Kh2 Rg6 23.f4 Kh8 24.Qf2 exf4 25.Qxf4 Rxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Qxe4+ 0-1

Game 18. Zhukhovitsky - Poliak (Kiev 1936)

Event "Kiev UKR"
Site "Kiev UKR"
White "Zhukhovitsky, Samuel"
Black "Poliak, Abram"
Date "1936.?.?"
Result "1-0"
ECO "D18"

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.O-O c5 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bg4 11.f3 Bh5 12.Rd1 Bc5 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nxe6 Qc8 15. Nxg7+ Kf8 16.Nxh5 Nxh5 17.b4 Bxb4 18.Qb5 Qxc3 19.Bd2 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Bxd2 21. Qxd7 Bxe3+ 22.Kf1 Ng7 23.Rb1 b6 24.Qd6+ Kf7 25.Qd5+ Kf6 26.Re1 Rae8 27. Rxe3 Rxe3 28.Qd4+ Re5 29.f4 Re8 30.g4 h5 31.h3 hxg4 32.hxg4 Re7 33.Kf2 Ne8 34.Kf3 Nc7 35.g5+ Kg6 36.fxe5 1-0

They have been submitted to chessgames.com, however (March 12, 2012), and with some luck, they will appear some fine day in the database, and I will be able to add them to my collection then.

Game 1. Leningrad 1925
P Romanovsky vs I Rabinovich, 1925 
(C16) French, Winawer, 26 moves, 1-0

Game 2. Leningrad 1927
Ragozin vs P Romanovsky, 1927 
(A04) Reti Opening, 24 moves, 0-1

Game 3. Leningrad 1929
Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs P Romanovsky, 1929 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 26 moves, 1-0

Game 4. Moscow 1931
S Slonim vs Riumin, 1932 
(C45) Scotch Game, 20 moves, 0-1

Game 5. Moscow 1931
V Sozin vs Nekrasov, 1931 
(B29) Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein, 20 moves, 1-0

Game 6. Leningrad 1932
Ragozin vs P Romanovsky, 1932 
(D96) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 35 moves, 1-0

Game 7. Leningrad 1933
Chekhover vs Kan, 1933 
(E16) Queen's Indian, 45 moves, 1-0

Game 8. Leningrad 1934
S Belavenets vs Ragozin, 1934 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 39 moves, 1-0

Game 9. Leningrad 1934
F Bohatirchuk vs L Savitsky, 1934 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 28 moves, 0-1

Game 10. Leningrad 1934
Chekhover vs Alatortsev, 1934 
(D80) Grunfeld, 34 moves, 1-0

Game 11. Leningrad 1934
Chekhover vs I Mazel, 1934 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 26 moves, 1-0

Game 13. Moscow 1934
Panov vs A Poliak, 1934 
(C13) French, 31 moves, 1-0

Game 14. Tiflis 1934
V Sereda vs Gambarashvilli, 1934 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 18 moves, 0-1

Game 15. Correspondence 1935
C Baranov vs Rokhlin, 1935 
(C10) French, 40 moves, 1-0

Game 16. Moscow 1935
Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1935 
(A13) English, 43 moves, 1-0

Game 17. Erewan 1936
Chekhover vs Kasparian, 1936 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 33 moves, 0-1

Game 19. Leningrad 1936
Kan vs Rauzer, 1936 
(D21) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 36 moves, 0-1

Game 20. Leningrad 1936
Konstantinopolsky vs Panov, 1936
(A53) Old Indian, 35 moves, 1-0

Game 21. Leningrad 1936
Kotov vs Bondarevsky, 1936 
(A90) Dutch, 27 moves, 0-1

Game 22. Moscow 1936
Konstantinopolsky vs Tolush, 1936 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 23 moves, 1-0

Game 23. Moscow 1936
Kotov vs Kalmanok, 1936 
(C11) French, 22 moves, 1-0

Game 24: Moscow 1936
Panov vs M Yudovich Sr., 1936 
(C48) Four Knights, 40 moves, 0-1

Game 25. Moscow 1936
E Zagorjansky vs S Belavenets, 1936 
(D81) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 23 moves, 0-1

Game 26. U.S.S.R. 1936
Tolush vs Sokolsky, 1936 
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 36 moves, 0-1

Game 27. Correspondence 1937
V Gergenreder vs Moskaliev, 1937 
(B63) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 28 moves, 0-1

Game 28. Leningrad 1937
Sokor vs Volck, 1937 
(D81) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 16 moves, 0-1

Game 29. Moscow 1937
A Kotz vs P Lebedev, 1937 
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 34 moves, 1-0

Game 30. Tiflis 1937
Rauzer vs Ilyin-Zhenevsky, 1937 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 18 moves, 0-1

Game 31. Kiev 1938
Dus Chotimirsky vs Kotov, 1938 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

Game 32. Kiev 1938
Panov vs V Makogonov, 1938 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1-0

Game 33. Moscow 1938
Riumin vs Alatortsev, 1938 
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 27 moves, 1-0

Game 34. Tulsk 1938
P Lebedev vs Gonak, 1938 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 22 moves, 1-0

Game 35. U.S.S.R. 1938
N Kopaev vs Alatortsev, 1938 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 1-0

Game 36. Leningrad 1939
Kan vs V Makogonov, 1939 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 32 moves, 0-1

Game 37. Leningrad-Moscow 1939
Keres vs Smyslov, 1939 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 33 moves, 1-0

Game 38. U.S.S.R. 1939
F Bohatirchuk vs G Dzagurov, 1939 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 19 moves, 0-1

Game 39. Moscow 1940
G Safonov vs F Bohatirchuk, 1940 
(D84) Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit Accepted, 26 moves, 0-1

Game 40. Moscow 1940
Bondarevsky vs Lisitsin, 1940 
(E09) Catalan, Closed, 33 moves, 1-0

Game 41. Sverdlovsk 1942
Sokolsky vs Bastrikov, 1942 
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 28 moves, 1-0

Game 42. Moscow 1944
Flohr vs Ravinsky, 1944 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 34 moves, 1-0

Game 43. Moscow 1944
Ragozin vs Kotov, 1945 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Game 44. Omsk 1944
Boleslavsky vs Ufimtsev, 1944 
(C10) French, 26 moves, 0-1

Game 45. Omsk 1944
Sokolsky vs Tolush, 1944
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 24 moves, 1-0

Game 46. U.S.S.R. Championship 1944
Tolush vs Smyslov, 1944 
(A06) Reti Opening, 33 moves, 0-1

Game 47. Match 1945
Kamyshov vs Panov, 1945 
(C28) Vienna Game, 36 moves, 1-0

Game 48. Moscow 1945
Koblents vs Lilienthal, 1945 
(C45) Scotch Game, 27 moves, 0-1

Game 49. Moscow 1945
Kotov vs Boleslavsky, 1945 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 29 moves, 0-1

Game 50. Moscow 1945
Ragozin vs Veresov, 1945 
(B74) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 35 moves, 1-0

Game 51. Moscow 1951
Lipnitsky vs Smyslov, 1951 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 23 moves, 0-1

Game 52. Stockholm 1952
Petrosian vs P Vaitonis, 1952 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 1-0

Game 53. Moscow 1956
Bronstein vs E Rojahn, 1956 
(C58) Two Knights, 38 moves, 1-0

Game 54. Moscow 1957
Tal vs K Klaman, 1957 
(B61) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2, 34 moves, 1-0

Game 55. Portoroz 1958
Tal vs G Fuster, 1958 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 27 moves, 1-0

Game 56. Copenhagen 1960
Petrosian vs P M Nielsen, 1960  
(A80) Dutch, 25 moves, 1-0

54 games

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