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Lev Alburt
Number of games in database: 886
Years covered: 1965 to 2012
Last FIDE rating: 2539 (2526 rapid, 2521 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2550
Overall record: +330 -235 =321 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
B04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern (65 games)
A57 Benko Gambit (45 games)
B05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern (44 games)
A45 Queen's Pawn Game (37 games)
B02 Alekhine's Defense (33 games)
A46 Queen's Pawn Game (33 games)
E73 King's Indian (30 games)
E00 Queen's Pawn Game (26 games)
A04 Reti Opening (26 games)
A15 English (23 games)

   🏆 Platonov Memorial
   Kaidanov vs Alburt (Aug-01-12) 1-0
   Alburt vs M Gurevich (Jul-31-12) 1/2-1/2
   Alburt vs Gulko (Jul-29-12) 0-1
   Alburt vs Palatnik (Jul-28-12) 1/2-1/2

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FIDE player card for Lev Alburt

(born Aug-21-1945, 73 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Lev Osipovich Alburt was born in Orenburg, Russia (formerly USSR). Awarded the IM title in 1976 and the GM title in 1977, he won the Ukrainian Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He played in five USSR Championships. with 3rd place as his best showing.

In 1979 he defected to the USA and led the US Olympiad team in 1980 at Malta. He also won the US Championship in 1984, 1985, and 1990 He also drew an eight game match against then British Champion Jonathan Speelman in 1986. He won the US Open in 1987 and 1989.

Wikipedia article: Lev Alburt

 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 886  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alburt vs Byvshev 1-0361965Moscow URSC45 Scotch Game
2. Alburt vs Polugaevsky 1-0401966MoscowA45 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Volovich vs Alburt 1-0431966MoscowD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
4. Taimanov vs Alburt 1-0271966MoscowD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. A A Bykhovsky vs Alburt  1-0471966MoscowB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
6. A Z Kapengut vs Alburt  1-0291967Ch URS (students)C70 Ruy Lopez
7. Y Shilov vs Alburt  ½-½601967USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
8. A Shamis-Pavlov vs Alburt  0-1631967USSR ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
9. I Platonov vs Alburt  1-0411967USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
10. Alburt vs V Osnos  1-0401967USSR ChampionshipA21 English
11. R Barstatis vs Alburt 1-0251967USSR ChampionshipB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
12. Y Sakharov vs Alburt  0-1221967USSR ChampionshipB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
13. Alburt vs Vasiukov 0-1311967USSR ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
14. Alburt vs Sosonko  ½-½451967USSR ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
15. Dzindzichashvili vs Alburt  1-0251968URS-ch U26B40 Sicilian
16. Sveshnikov vs Alburt  ½-½611968Ch URS (students)B22 Sicilian, Alapin
17. Kupreichik vs Alburt  0-1801969URS-ch Young MastersC02 French, Advance
18. Schulz vs Alburt 1-0181969Ch URSC41 Philidor Defense
19. Alburt vs E Ubilava  1-0461969URS-ch Young MastersB06 Robatsch
20. Alburt vs I Radashkovich  1-0281969URS-ch Young MastersC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
21. Alburt vs Viktor Gurevich  ½-½401969URS-ch sfD02 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Alburt vs I Radashkovich 1-0291970URS-ch U18C45 Scotch Game
23. Razuvaev vs Alburt  0-1421970URS-ch U18E13 Queen's Indian, 4.Nc3, Main line
24. Alburt vs Lutikov  1-0391970URS Cup qfD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
25. Alburt vs M Ruderfer 0-1181970URS CupB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 886  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alburt wins | Alburt loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Caissanist: <hedgeh0g: Fischer lost any remaining motivation to play after winning the WC - this much is clear.> I don't think it's clear at all. Fischer did in 1975 what he had done constantly since at least 1961--demand exact conditions for playing, and then refusing if his conditions were not met. It was a miracle, or actually several miracles, that he played for the championship in 1972. The Soviets apparently realized they could get the title back by taking advantage of Fischer's stubbornness and irrationality, and they did so.>

If Fischer insisted on his <exact conditions> every time there would have been no matches, period. In particular, there would have been no title match in Reykjavik, since Iceland was Spassky's first choice and Fischer didn't want to play there at all. So Fischer was willing to compromise sometimes. He made lots of demands before and during all his matches. Typically some demands were met and some were not (see Brady for details). Nevertheless, he played his matches with Taimanov, Larsen, Petrosian, and Spassky to a conclusion.

Fischer could have played any number of matches getting his <exact conditions> at any time after winning the title, and after forfeiting it also. He chose not to. I conclude that <Fischer lost any remaining motivation to play after winning the WC>. It's as clear as anything can be where Fischer is concerned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "The older the player, the greater the odds his idol is <Lasker>!"

~ Lev Alburt

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

"Nothing is dearer to a chess player's heart than his rating. Well, of course everyone knows he's under-rated, but his rating, its ups and downs, however miniscule, are his ego's stock-market report."

~ Lev Alburt

and FIDE's rating lists are like the quarterly financial presentations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: "In the Soviet Union, chess is supported by the government, and since Stalin's time they have used victories in international chess tournaments to propagandize the notion that the very best minds flourish under the Communist system. They will go to great lengths to get the most from their players. For example, sometimes during my matches I was wired and tested for blood pressure, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and other things. I was given amphetamines and tranquilizers on the day of important tournaments."

Lev Alburt, quoted in Fred Waitzkin's article "Waiting for Bobby", New York Magazine, 11 June 1984, p. 33.

Aug-21-12  LoveThatJoker: Happy 67th Birthday, GM Alburt!


Aug-10-13  another user: Alburt has just defeated Kosteniuk in the third round of the Razuvaev Memorial.

Aug-21-13  talisman: happy birthday champ!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

" Karpov knew he could hardly draw a game with Fischer, never mind winning one or two games. His only chance was to disrupt the match. So a whole arsenal of tricks was worked out, designed to upset the sensitive American, unaccustomed to such methods."

-- Lev Alburt


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: He's half right. There was no way the Soviet contingent was going to allow Karpov to be pushed around the way Spassky had been handled. I'm assuming "dirty tricks" meant blocking irritating things that Fischer would do, like asking for the entire audience to check their wristwatches at the front door, because "I can hear them ticking".

A match with Bob and Tolya would have been a close affair. Lev Alburt isn't as strong as either of them, so his word must be taken with a grain of salt. being a defector, he may have disliked communist party member Karpov, and all of the advantages the soviet hierarchy gave the young champion.

Alburt is a Ukrainian and that is one more reason for his not liking an ethnic Russian too much. Ukraine was subjugated into the USSR against their wishes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < whiteshark: Quote of the Day " Karpov knew he could hardly draw a game with Fischer, ... >

So Fischer probably should've played anyway, since he would've won.

Oct-10-13  Monoceros: Whenever I see crap excuses like this for Fischer's churling behavior I have to think, it's not just that Fischer was dodging Karpov, it's that he was dodging playing <anyone at all.>

I don't think it was fear, though. I think it was that Fischer, having won the highest honor in chess, immediately stopped giving a curse. What more, in his narrow mind, was there to prove?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Hey kids!! Why don't we put on a Fischer-Karpov argument right here!!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I think Jessica Biel is the greatest. Period.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Check out this cheesy book cover with a blonde babe, Lev Alburt's 300 Positions (He's talking about chess positions, not something else.) I have this book, pretty good.


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Nothing is dearer to a chess player’s heart than his rating. Well, of course everyone knows he’s under-rated, but his rating, its ups and downs, however miniscule, are his ego’s stock-market report> - Lev Alburt.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Happy birthday to the 3-time US Chess Championship champ GM Lev Alburt! I called him today to wish him a happy birthday & apparently he was busy b/c I only talked w/ him for a few minutes. He thanked me, said a little more & that was about it. I talked w/ him a pretty good while about a month & a half ago or so about his books, Browne passing away & chess in general. He's a nice guy & I plan to buy the comprehensive chess course from him soon for a discounted rate. I'm also going to get him to autograph some of those books! 😎 He's a true chess legend here in the US!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I bought his 6 book course about 20 years ago. I thought it was pretty good as a starter set.

What is he doing these days? nine to five job, or just living off book royalties, maybe teaching?

Aug-21-17  Ironmanth: Happy birthday, Grandmaster. Many more to you, sir. Thanks for all you have done for all chessplayers.
Sep-24-17  Bruce Graham: Lev is a "Wall Street secret":
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <whiteshark: "The older the player, the greater the odds his idol is <Lasker>!" ~ Lev Alburt>

"The shorter the odds..." is what I think he meant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <<offramp> "The shorter the odds..." is what I think he meant.>

Is this another British/American dichotomy?

Sep-25-17  Retireborn: <z> In UK, short odds = betting on the favourite, long odds = betting on an outsider. No idea if Americans (or Russians!) use phrases like that. Alburt's use of "greater the odds" to mean "more likely" is perfectly comprehensible to Brits though, or at least to me. It's one of those odd things, I suppose :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <RB> we use the same betting terminology at the track (or elsewhere), although we might tend to say "long shot" instead of "long odds".

But the idiomatic "greater the odds" usage you point out is rather common over here, and so I was wondering about the usage in Britain.

I think, in general, the "odds" refers to the probability the supposition in the statement is true, and so we'd tend to say "the greater the odds against" for the negative.

Sep-25-17  Granny O Doul: A more serious problem is his misspelling of "minuscule". Also, "near to his heart", regarding one's rating, is a better choice than "dear to", because the former implies simply that it matters a lot, while the latter suggests that one actually loves it, which to most players is the case only while it is high.
Sep-25-17  Retireborn: <z> Yes, I think that is pretty much the case here too, when talking about probabilities.

My favourite use of the word is in brave Horatius facing fearful odds, though.

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