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Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev
Number of games in database: 330
Years covered: 1960 to 2011
Last FIDE rating: 2361 (2369 rapid, 2374 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2490
Overall record: +66 -112 =140 (42.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      12 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (56) 
    B31 B47 B40 B46 B52
 Ruy Lopez (29) 
    C92 C93 C91 C78 C67
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (20) 
    C92 C93 C91 C87 C98
 French Defense (19) 
    C02 C11 C15
 Sicilian Taimanov (12) 
    B47 B46 B45 B48
 Caro-Kann (9) 
    B10 B15 B14 B13
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (51) 
    C92 C84 C85 C88 C90
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (43) 
    C92 C84 C85 C88 C90
 King's Indian (37) 
    E62 E83 E97 E92 E98
 Ruy Lopez Exchange (11) 
    C85 C69 C68
 Caro-Kann (7) 
    B10 B17 B14 B15
 Two Knights (6) 
    C55 C57 C56
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   I Zaitsev vs Karpov, 1966 1/2-1/2
   Apartsev vs I Zaitsev, 1963 0-1
   Estrin vs I Zaitsev, 1969 0-1
   I Zaitsev vs O Dementiev, 1970 1-0
   I Zaitsev vs J Pokojowczyk, 1976 1-0
   Tal vs I Zaitsev, 1968 0-1
   I Zaitsev vs Gurgenidze, 1968 1/2-1/2
   I Zaitsev vs Y Sakharov, 1968 1-0
   G Titov vs I Zaitsev, 1991 0-1
   J Klovans vs I Zaitsev, 1968 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Botvinnik Memorial (Seniors) (2011)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   USSR Championship 1968/69 (1968)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   USSR Championship (1967)

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FIDE player card for Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev

(born May-27-1938, 78 years old) Russia

[what is this?]
Igor Arkadyevich Zaitsev was born in Ramenskoe, Russia (formerly USSR). He was Moscow Champion in 1969 and awarded the IM title in 1970 and the GM title in 1976.

Wikipedia article: Igor Zaitsev

 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 330  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. I Zaitsev vs Spassky 1-023 1960 28th USSR Ch Semi-finalD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
2. I Zaitsev vs Stein 0-135 1962 USSR ChampionshipB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
3. I Zaitsev vs V Shiyanovsky  ½-½17 1962 USSR ChampionshipC47 Four Knights
4. A Bannik vs I Zaitsev  1-041 1962 USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
5. V Mikenas vs I Zaitsev  ½-½54 1962 USSR ChampionshipA25 English
6. Suetin vs I Zaitsev ½-½69 1962 USSR ChampionshipB15 Caro-Kann
7. I Zaitsev vs Taimanov  0-137 1962 USSR ChampionshipB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
8. I Zaitsev vs Spassky 0-124 1962 USSR ChampionshipB23 Sicilian, Closed
9. Y Kots vs I Zaitsev  ½-½24 1962 USSR ChampionshipC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
10. Tal vs I Zaitsev  ½-½49 1962 USSR ChampionshipB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
11. I Zaitsev vs E Mnatsakanian  ½-½30 1962 USSR ChampionshipB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
12. I Zaitsev vs Krogius  ½-½28 1962 USSR ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
13. I Zaitsev vs Kholmov  0-129 1962 USSR ChampionshipB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
14. A Zaitsev vs I Zaitsev  1-041 1962 USSR ChampionshipD61 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack
15. I Zaitsev vs A Korelov 1-063 1962 USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
16. Korchnoi vs I Zaitsev  1-044 1962 USSR ChampionshipE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
17. I Zaitsev vs Savon 0-141 1962 USSR ChampionshipB07 Pirc
18. I Zaitsev vs Aronin  ½-½24 1962 USSR ChampionshipB32 Sicilian
19. Novopashin vs I Zaitsev  ½-½29 1962 USSR ChampionshipB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
20. Khodos vs I Zaitsev  ½-½42 1962 USSR ChampionshipE58 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...Bxc3
21. I Zaitsev vs Bagirov  0-140 1963 Alma AtaD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
22. Apartsev vs I Zaitsev 0-117 1963 Moscow (Russia)C57 Two Knights
23. L Shamkovich vs I Zaitsev  1-041 1964 Ch MoscowC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Simagin vs I Zaitsev  ½-½25 1964 Ch MoscowE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
25. I Zaitsev vs Vasiukov  ½-½59 1964 Moscow-chB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
 page 1 of 14; games 1-25 of 330  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Zaitsev wins | Zaitsev loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-19-04  WMD: <e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Bb7>

GM Andy Soltis: "The real point lies in Black's next move, 10...Re8. For decades it was thought that Black could not move his Rook from f8 until he had disposed of White's possible reply Ng5!. It was to stop the Knight move that Smyslov had championed 9...h6 (and also 9...Qd7 so that he could meet a later Re8/Ng5 with ...Nd8!?).

10.d4 Re8

"Now on 11.Ng5 Black will simply retreat his Rook to f8. Efforts have been made to find something useful for White to do after 11.Ng5 Rf8 but 12.f4 exf4 13.Bxf4 appears too risky because of 13...Na5 14.Bc2 Nd5! attacking the f4-Bishop and g5-Knight.

"Before Igor Zaitsev introduced this wrinkle, 11...Rf8, in the mid-1970s it was believed that Black had to play something like 10...exd4 11.cxd4 Na5 12.Bc2 d5 with complications after the gambit continuation 13.e5 Ne4."

One drawback of the Zaitsev is that it practically allows White a draw by repetition if so desired: Ng5-Rf8-Nf3-Re8-Ng5 etc.

The 1990 WC match between Kasparov and Karpov saw the discussion of the Zaitsev taken to its zenith. Karpov employed it in games 2, 4, 20 and 22, scoring =2 -2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Catfriend: There is a splendid queen-sac by I.Zaitsev absent in the db. I'm trying to locate and submit it. I mean the one where black's king gets killed on b6, with his pawns behind him, two black knights on a5,b5, and the white knights on a4, b4 do the mate.
May-26-06  BIDMONFA: Igor A Zaitsev


May-27-08  brankat: Igor A.Zaitsev has been better known as an analyst/second than as a practical player. Worked as one of A.Karpov's seconds.
May-27-08  brankat: Happy Birthday GM Zaitsev!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

< Modern day technique is nothing other than the games of the past, old discoveries, that have been classified and become customary. >

-- Igor Zaitsev

May-27-09  WhiteRook48: invented the Zaitsev variation?
May-27-09  fref: Yep, for sure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Modern day technique is nothing other than the games of the past, old discoveries, that have been classified and become customary."

GM Igor Zaitsev

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Are Igor and Alexander Zaitsev unrelated? They were born three years apart, but in different cities.
Aug-23-11  Dionysius1: <Wordfunph>. There's a man who doesn't do much computer based preparation perhaps? Top GMs say computer analysis teaches them new things about technique. Wish Zaitsev were right though.
Mar-23-12  stanleys: Very strong analyst,creative player with lot of interesting ideas in the openings (Karpov used many of them!)One of the most famous could be seen here

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978

Zaitsev worked with Petrossian as well in 1970-71

May-27-12  LoveThatJoker: Happy Birthday, GM Zaitsev!


May-27-12  talisman: happy birthday...korchnoi called your knight suggestion(game 10 or 11) vs karpov a "move you see once in a 100 years."
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Catfriend>,
There is a splendid queen-sac by I.Zaitsev absent in the db. I'm trying to locate and submit it. I mean the one where black's king gets killed on b6, with his pawns behind him, two black knights on a5,b5, and the white knights on a4, b4 do the mate.

Here is the game in question:
[Event "Moscow"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Round "1"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[White "Zaitsev, Igor A"]
[Black "Storozhenko, Viktor"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.♗c4 cxb2 6.♗xb2 ♗b4+ 7.♘c3 ♘ge7 8.♘g5 ♘e5 9.♕h5 g6 10.♕h6 ♘xc4 11.♕g7 ♖f8 12.♘xh7 ♘c6 13.♘f6+ ♔e7 14.O-O-O ♗a3 15.♘cd5+ ♔e6 16.♘f4+ ♔e7 17.♘xg6+ ♔e6 18.♘f4+ ♔e7 19.♘4d5+ ♔e6

click for larger view

20. ♕g4+ ♔d6 21. e5+ ♔c5 22. ♗xa3+ ♘xa3 23. ♘e4+ ♔b5 24. ♘ec3+ ♔a6 25. ♕a4+ ♘a5 26. ♕b5+ ♘xb5 27. ♘b4+ ♔b6 28. ♘a4#

click for larger view

I have uploaded the game to the database.

Jun-20-13  jerseybob: There was a Zaitsev - forget his first name - attached to the Soviet embassy in D.C. back in the 60's, not in the league of Igor and Alex, but a strong master who played in several local tourneys.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <jerseybob> USCF rating lists beginning in 1965 have <Lev Zaitsev>, first from DC, then from Virginia, rated in the 2150-2250 range.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Here is another diplomat who was a strong player (over 2300 back in the 1970s): Valentin Prahov.
Jun-24-13  jerseybob: Yes, Lev Zaitsev. That's the name I was looking for. I tried cross-referencing him in this database against various D.C.-area players of that era but found not a single sample of his play, even though many lesser players are represented numerous times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I'll always be grateful to Igot Zaitsev for bringing some life to the Closed Spanish. Young players may have no idea how dull the Spanish Inquisition was. It became calcinated to an alarming degree; 20 opening moves were rattled out in minutes.
Sep-09-14  ketchuplover: Spend your $5000 wisely
Oct-10-14  Everett: Something in his bio on his work with Karpov and opening contributions would be most welcome.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Many years experience in analysis have convinced me that in balanced, tense positions there cannot be more than one path to victory> - Igor Zaitsev.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Modern day technique is nothing other than the games of the past, old discoveries, that have been classified and become customary> - Igor Zaitsev.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Igor Zaitsev.
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