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Lev Aronin
Number of games in database: 240
Years covered: 1945 to 1969
Overall record: +63 -74 =103 (47.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (36) 
    B32 B40 B51 B28 B47
 Ruy Lopez (34) 
    C92 C97 C83 C96 C99
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (19) 
    C92 C97 C96 C99 C90
 French Defense (12) 
    C03 C05 C07 C04 C09
 French Tarrasch (11) 
    C03 C05 C07 C04 C09
 Caro-Kann (8) 
    B10 B11 B12 B18 B16
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (42) 
    B62 B90 B99 B32 B93
 King's Indian (20) 
    E61 E90 E60 E94 E92
 Sicilian Najdorf (15) 
    B90 B99 B93 B94 B92
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (7) 
    B62 B66
 Tarrasch Defense (7) 
    D32 D34
 Grunfeld (6) 
    D76 D70 D78 D80 D93
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tal vs Aronin, 1957 1/2-1/2
   Aronin vs Kantarovich, 1960 1-0
   V Mikenas vs Aronin, 1957 0-1
   Tal vs Aronin, 1962 0-1
   Aronin vs Smyslov, 1951 1/2-1/2
   Tal vs Aronin, 1954 0-1
   Aronin vs Flohr, 1950 1-0
   Petrosian vs Aronin, 1950 0-1
   Aronin vs Bronstein, 1951 1-0
   Aronin vs Ragozin, 1949 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1948)

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(born Jul-20-1920, died Oct-03-1983, 63 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Lev Solomonovich Aronin was born on the 20th of July 1920 in Kuibyshev, USSR. In a Candidate Masters' tournament at Kaunas, 1946, Aronin won clear first place with 11/14, losing only one game. This earned him the Soviet Master title, and marked a big improvement in his play in just two years.

Aronin was awarded the International Master title in 1950 by FIDE, although his performances would indicate that he was on equal footing with his grandmaster colleagues.

In Leningrad 1956, he tied for 1st place with 11.5/19, along with Boris Spassky, Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush, Konstantin Klaman, and Abram Khasin. Aronin was selected for the Soviet team for the first European Team Championship, Vienna 1957, and scored 1.5/3 on the second reserve board. The Soviets won team gold, and in an utterly dominant performance, captured individual gold medals on each of the top nine boards. Aronin won the prestigious Moscow Championship in 1965.

Aronin's style tended to be positional in nature, with the tactics arising naturally out of the position rather than being forced, and he was one of the world's foremost authorities on the King's Indian Defence during the 1940s.

Wikipedia article: Lev Aronin

 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 240  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Aronin vs Ufimtsev  ½-½61 1945 Ch URS (1/2 final)B72 Sicilian, Dragon
2. Verlinsky vs Aronin  0-146 1945 URS-sfA06 Reti Opening
3. Aronin vs Bronstein ½-½46 1945 Ch URS (1/2 final)A16 English
4. M Yudovich Sr. vs Aronin  0-142 1947 USSR ChampionshipD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
5. Aronin vs Ufimtsev  ½-½72 1947 USSR ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
6. Aronin vs K Klaman  1-031 1947 URS-ch sfC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
7. B Goldenov vs Aronin  ½-½47 1947 USSR ChampionshipB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
8. Aronin vs Smyslov 0-158 1947 USSR ChampionshipC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
9. Aronin vs E Zagorjansky  ½-½41 1947 Ch MoscowC27 Vienna Game
10. Kan vs Aronin  1-058 1947 USSR ChampionshipD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
11. Aronin vs Bronstein  1-051 1947 Ch MoscowB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
12. K Klaman vs Aronin  0-148 1947 USSR ChampionshipB20 Sicilian
13. Aronin vs Nezhmetdinov 0-125 1947 7th RSFSR ChA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
14. V G Kirillov vs Aronin  ½-½19 1947 URS-ch sfB02 Alekhine's Defense
15. Aronin vs Boleslavsky  ½-½30 1947 USSR ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
16. Aronin vs Keres  ½-½19 1947 USSR ChampionshipE17 Queen's Indian
17. Bronstein vs Aronin 1-043 1947 Ch URS (1/2 final)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
18. Simagin vs Aronin ½-½24 1947 Ch MoscowC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
19. Aronin vs Levenfish 0-145 1947 USSR ChampionshipE20 Nimzo-Indian
20. P Dubinin vs Aronin 1-050 1947 USSR ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
21. V Makogonov vs Aronin  ½-½63 1947 USSR ChampionshipE15 Queen's Indian
22. Ragozin vs Aronin ½-½123 1947 Ch MoscowB72 Sicilian, Dragon
23. A Vasiljev vs Aronin  ½-½32 1947 URS-ch sfD76 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O Nb6
24. Aronin vs Tolush ½-½68 1947 USSR ChampionshipC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
25. Bronstein vs Aronin  1-063 1947 USSR ChampionshipB24 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 240  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Aronin wins | Aronin loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  ahmadov: <whiteshark: ... and now he is playing in Mexico. Incredible!! :D> Very nice similarity... I heard there is also one more chess player called Kasparov, who was born in Baku... Unlike the senior Kasparov, he is currently living in Belarus...
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Away from the chess board Aronin's job was as a meteorologist.
Aug-31-08  Red October: so he knew which way the wind blew ? :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Source: Andy Soltis "Chess Lists", 2nd edition, McFarland Publishing, 2002
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Lev Aronin may have been one of the strongest IMs ever! He won the Moscow championship in '65. There's a list on and I see many famous GMs.
How many other "only IM"s on the list?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Player of the Day

Bio, it's worth reading.:

Jul-20-09  Ragh: When I saw this CG player of the day, for a moment, I thought it was Lev Aronian. Incidentally, Aronian was born in the same month (October) in which Aronin died (but with a year gap).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: <Lev Aronin may have been one of the strongest IMs ever> Tell a GM-strengh player to keep away from getting enough GM norms and reach 2700, and he'll become the "strongest IM ever."

No, I don't recognize this "strongest IM ever" title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Question for the historians on this site, Lev was awarded the Soviet Master, was this an equivalent of GM? Or IM? FM? And was (back then) each country awarded their own chess title?
Jul-20-09  dx9293: <WannaBe> Soviet Master would probably be between today's FM and IM.

About "each country," I would think so, but I don't know for sure. Here in the USA, for instance, the master title ("National Master") is about 100 points weaker than FM.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <dx9293> Thanks!! That does bring to mind the title of Life Master for US, which I believe, have gone by the way of the do-do birds.
Jun-01-10  Ychromosome: His games are a great find.
Aug-04-10  BISHOP TAL: His pic page sure has a dark likeness.Why have a pic at all if u cant see um.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Was this brilliant attacking game played in the 1965 Moscow City Championship?

[Event "?"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1965.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Aronin, Lev"]
[Black "Jurkov"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 Bd7 5. Nc3 exd4 6. Nxd4 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. f4 Ne7 10. f5 Bf6 11. Kh1 gxf5 12. exf5 c5 13. Ne6 Qc8 14. Ne4 Be5 15. Bf4 fxe6 16. Bxe5 dxe5 17. Qh5+ Kd8 18. fxe6 Bxe6 19. Rad1+ Bd5 20. Qxe5 1-0

Source: Bill Wall, “500 Ruy Lopez Miniatures”, Chess Enterprises Inc, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 1986

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Lev Aronin> Here is a brief biography and photograph of the great Russian Master:

Soviet chess player, International Master (1950). An engineer-meteorologist. In the mid-60's got the right to play the match for the title of Grandmaster of the USSR. His competitor was Tigran Petrosyan, who won and went on to become a world champion. He played in eight USSR championships and was champion of Moscow in 1965. He was a member of USSR team that won the European Championship in European championship in 1957. He contributed to chess theory in the Ruy Lopez and the Sicilian. He died in Moscow on October 4, 1982. (translated from Russian text on the website)

Here is his photograph taken in 1920:

Here is the internet source (in Russian):

May-06-11  kevins55555: I think that <Lev Aronin> is actually a DUPLICATION of <Levon Aronian>, a top chess player in the 2800s.
May-06-11  kevins55555: What do you think <pavel.aronian> and <jessicafischerqueen> about my last post? =D
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Aronin was a truly strong player who had participated in the Soviet championship several times, and even finished equal second on one occasion. His main regret was never to have achieved the grandmaster title. This fact he supported badly, sometimes saying "Lev, if I don't merit the title, who else does, then?"

- GM Lev Polugaevsky (from the book Sicilian Love by Polugaevsky)

Mar-06-12  ughaibu: Jessicafischerqueen: you reckon that's a photo taken in 1920? The year of his birth!
Jul-20-12  HeMateMe: Thanks, <Jessica>. How can a player possibly be strong enough to compete eight times in the old USSR championship, and not be a GM? My guess is he was GM strength, but didn't play in enough events in the West to get the international GM title.
Jul-20-12  LoveThatJoker: It seems to me that Lev Aronin did deserve the title of GM!

GM Aronin, today you are remembered!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: The competition at the top of Soviet chess in the fifties was mind boggling, it's not really surprising that Aronin never got many chances to play abroad. His performances in Soviet championship were good but not dominating, with the exception of 1950, when he tied for second. One of the players who tied with him was Isaac Lipnitsky, who never even got the IM title, much less GM.
Jul-11-14  jerseybob: HeMateMe: And why didn't he compete in enough events? Maybe he offended one of the powers-that-be by say, smiling -or maybe NOT smiling - at the wrong time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Commissar: You <must> lose to David Ionovich again today.

Aronin: I already lose twenty times to that scum Bronstein--why don't you make his pal Boleslavsky do it?

C: One more, throw this game or you go to GULAG.

A: Bronstein is nichevo. I play real, solid chess. But I don't like Siberia.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. IM and Olympiad gold medal winner Lev Aronin.
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