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Vitaly Chekhover
Number of games in database: 312
Years covered: 1931 to 1962

Overall record: +84 -96 =132 (48.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Orthodox Defense (15) 
    D63 D60 D55 D53 D57
 King's Indian (15) 
    E87 E67 E80 E81 E90
 Ruy Lopez (12) 
    C77 C72 C67 C90 C84
 Sicilian (12) 
    B63 B70 B84 B80 B83
 English (10) 
    A16 A17 A15 A18 A10
 English, 1 c4 e5 (9) 
    A20 A24 A27 A22 A28
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (22) 
    B58 B70 B75 B76 B72
 Nimzo Indian (18) 
    E32 E38 E47 E33 E21
 Queen's Indian (17) 
    E16 E17 E12 E19 E14
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    E00 A46 A50 D02
 Sicilian Dragon (11) 
    B70 B72 B75 B76 B74
 King's Indian (11) 
    E60 E67 E81 E61 E64
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Chekhover vs I Rudakovsky, 1945 1-0
   V Makogonov vs Chekhover, 1937 0-1
   Chekhover vs Dus Chotimirsky, 1949 1-0
   Chekhover vs Alatortsev, 1934 1-0
   Chekhover vs Bondarevsky, 1938 1-0
   Chekhover vs Kan, 1933 1-0
   Chekhover vs Suetin, 1951 1/2-1/2
   Chekhover vs I Mazel, 1934 1-0
   Chekhover vs Lisitsin, 1938 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1933)
   Leningrad Championship (1932)
   USSR Championship 1934/35 (1934)
   USSR Championship (1939)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   Leningrad (1934)
   Moscow (1935)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Leningrad Championship 1932 by Phony Benoni
   USSR Championship 1933 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vitaly Chekhover
Search Google for Vitaly Chekhover

(born Dec-22-1908, died Feb-11-1965, 56 years old) Russia

[what is this?]
Vitaly Alexandrovich Chekhover was born in St. Petersburg. Awarded the IM title in 1950 and the IMComp title in 1961, he was Leningrad champion in 1937 (jointly) and 1949. Uzbekistani champion in 1944. He also did some important theoretical work on endings and has the opening variation 1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. ♕xd4 named after him. He passed away in Leningrad in 1965.

Wikipedia article: Vitaly Chekhover

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 312  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Chekhover vs Travin  1-032 1931 Ch LeningradA46 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Y Vilner vs Chekhover 1-028 1931 Ch LeningradB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Chekhover vs Botvinnik 0-149 1931 RussiaA47 Queen's Indian
4. Chekhover vs L Savitsky  ½-½31 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
5. Lisitsin vs Chekhover  0-167 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE91 King's Indian
6. Chekhover vs G Miasoedov  1-024 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
7. I Rabinovich vs Chekhover  ½-½42 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
8. Chekhover vs Botvinnik 0-134 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
9. Alatortsev vs Chekhover  ½-½32 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
10. Chekhover vs Ragozin 0-134 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipA84 Dutch
11. Chekhover vs A Budo  1-051 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
12. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Chekhover  ½-½54 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipC41 Philidor Defense
13. Chekhover vs A Y Model 1-023 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipA95 Dutch, Stonewall
14. G Goldberg vs Chekhover  1-050 1932 Leningrad ChampionshipE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
15. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Chekhover  1-045 1933 LeningradA36 English
16. P Romanovsky vs Chekhover  0-143 1933 USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
17. Chekhover vs B Verlinsky  0-132 1933 USSR ChampionshipD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
18. Chekhover vs Kan 1-045 1933 USSR ChampionshipE16 Queen's Indian
19. Levenfish vs Chekhover  1-033 1933 USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
20. N Zubarev vs Chekhover  0-141 1933 USSR ChampionshipB20 Sicilian
21. Chekhover vs I Rabinovich  ½-½38 1933 USSR ChampionshipD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
22. Chekhover vs F Bohatirchuk  1-044 1933 USSR ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
23. Riumin vs Chekhover  0-131 1933 USSR ChampionshipB58 Sicilian
24. Rauzer vs Chekhover  ½-½45 1933 USSR ChampionshipB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
25. Chekhover vs Lisitsin 0-129 1933 USSR ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 312  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Chekhover wins | Chekhover loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Vitaly Alexandrovich Chekhover
Born 22nd December 1908 in St Petersburg
Died 11th February 1965 in Leningrad.
He became an IM in 1950 and an IM for Chess Composition in 1961. He was Leningrad champion in 1937 (joint) and 1949.
Feb-01-05  rochade18: I think it is the 4.Qxd4 line in the Sicilian which is named after him. Seems like he didn't play it a lot.
Feb-01-05  MoonlitKnight: I only remember this guy for his loss to Botvinnik, and of course the hilarious game of the day pun attached to it. Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1935
Apr-15-05  Shokwave: Huh. Yup, this is the fellow that the B53 "Chekhover variation" of the Sicilian is named for. I love the opening, play it all the time. Seems odd that there is only one game in the DB where he played it. The Polgar sisters sometimes use it, with good results. Takes black out of their normal lines, and it can be great for white if black chases the queen too hard.
Jun-13-05  Kwariani: I'm compelled to leave a link for a rather interesting Chekhover ending. It is under "Position 44," White to play and draw.
Nov-03-05  capanegra: Here is Chekhover's composition (1947) cited by <Kwariani> (White to play and draw):

click for larger view

The solution is indeed very original, but the precursor of this kind was not Chekhover. In 1924, Simkowitsch composed the following problem (White to play and draw):

click for larger view

The main theme is the same in both problems, but in my opinion Simkowitsch's is superior.

Nov-30-05  capanegra: Solution of Chekhover's problem: 1.♔d1! ♖h2 2.♔e1! ♖xg2 3.♔f1 ♖h2 4.♔g1 ♖h3 5.♔g2 ♖h5 6.f3! ♔f6 7.♔g1 ♖h8 8.♔g2 ♖e8 9.♔f2 ♔f5 10.♔f1 =

Solution of Simkowitsch's problem: 1.♘f7 ♖e8 2.♘d6+ exd6 3.♖f3+ ♔g6 4.♖g3+ ♔f7 5.♖f3+ ♔e7 6.♖e3+ ♔d8 7.♖xe8+ ♔xe8 8.a3!! ♗b7 9.♔d1 ♔f7 10.♔e1 ♖a8 11.♔f1 ♖h8 12.♔g1! ♖e8 13.♔f1 ♔f6 14.g3 ♔f5 15.f3 ♖e3 16.♔f2 ♖d3 17.♔e2 ♖xf3 18.♔xf3 =

Dec-21-05  capanegra: Here is my favorite Chekhover (1952):
White to play and draw

click for larger view

In the site it is said that this problem was tested with different programs, and after hours of study not even one of them could find the answer, in spite of the fact that the solution involves only two moves!!

…proof that human imagination is still beyond the machine?

Sep-02-06  stanleys: The last composition is so nice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  syracrophy: <capanegra> Nice puzzle! I got the answer (I didn't find it, I visited the link that you posted) 1.Bg4!! <Brilliant!> 1...e1=Q <1...Kxg4 2.f3+! and 3.Kf2 stops the pawn> 2.h3! jailing the king in a prison, and drawing, because the queen can't mate without the help of the king.


Sep-04-06  capanegra: Yes, it is really an awesome study. Indeed, Chekhover was a magnificent composer.

Here's another (1956) a bit more difficult, but with a lovely theme: the white Knight alone blockades the Pawn and imprisons Black's minor pieces. With this clue and the concept of distant opposition, it could be resolved.

White to play and draw:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  syracrophy: <capanegra> I suggest 1.e4! Bxe4 <1...c2 2.Ne2 controls the pawn> 2.Ne2! Bf3 <trying to take away the knight> 3.Nc1! and the knight controls the pawn and the threat is 4.Bd5 and 5.Be4 attacking the pawn and drawing

It's just a cheap try. Don't shame on me :-P

Sep-08-06  capanegra: <syracrophy> 1.e4! is ok (not 2.e3? Bd3 2.Bb1 Bxb1 3.Ne2 Be4+ 4.Ka7 c2 5.Nc1 Bd5 6.Kb6 Nb3 and Black wins). Now, 1…Bxe4+ is check, so you can't reply with 2.Ne2. However, I admit the solution is a bit too difficult.

The correct continuation is 2.Ka7! (if 2.Kb8? Bd3! 3.Bb1 Bxb1 4.Ne2 c2 5.Nc1 Kd8! 6.Kb7 Kd7 7.Kb6 Kd6 8.Kb5 Kd5 9.Kb4 Kd4 10.Ka3 Kc3 11.Ne2+ Kd2 and wins) Bd3 (not 2…Bf3 3.Bb1 Bg4 4.Kb6 Kd7 5.Kc5 Ke6 6.Kd4 c2 7.Bxc2 Nxc2+ 8.Kd3 and draws) 3.Bb1!! Bxb1 4.Ne2 c2 5.Nc1! and the Knight blockades the pawn and imprisons the black minor pieces. 5…Ke7 (not 5…Kd7 6.Kb7! Kd6 7.Kb6 Kd5 8.Kb5 Kd4 9.Kb4 Ke4 10.Kc3 Ke3 11.Kb2 Kd2 12.Kxa1 Kxc1 stalemate) 6.Ka6! Ke6 7.Ka5! Ke5 8.Ka4! Ke4 9.Ka3! Ke3 10.Kb2 Kd2 11.Kxa1 Kxc1 stalemate.

Oct-24-06  WarmasterKron: My personal favourite is this little gem.

White to play and draw:

click for larger view

Feb-10-07  BIDMONFA: Vitaly Chekhover


Premium Chessgames Member
  syracrophy: <WarmasterKron> Better post the answer to your puzzle before I start saying stupid and ilogical variations :-P
Feb-19-07  WarmasterKron: <syracrophy> White draws by creating a fortress:

1.♗d4 f3! 2.g3!! h3! 3.♔b4!! h2 4.♔a3 h1♕ 5.♔b2

click for larger view

Despite the queen, Black cannot make progress. The Black king cannot reach the third rank and the queen can neither break through nor challenge the bishop's control of the a7-g1 diagonal.

May-27-08  hamham: I think it's only fair if we would mention the chekhover variation of the sicilian in his biography (1.e4 c5 2.pf3 d6 3.d4 xd4 4.Dxd4 Pc6 5.Lb5 Ld2 6.Lxc6 Lxc6). It's very playable actually and puts your opponent out of book immediately.
Jul-08-08  hamham: I'm sorry. It's actually:

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd4

The most common continuation is:

4. Nc6
5.Bb5 Bd7
6.Bxc6 Bxc6

Sep-12-08  myschkin: . . .

Soviet chess player and chess composer, furthermore also a pianist.

Bio (in English):

Bio (in German):

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Part One

Sicilian Chekhover by Bobby Ang..

Sicilian Chekhover
64th Russian Championship Higher League
June 15-26, 2011
Taganrog, Russia

Final Standings

1. GM Alexander Morozevich 2694, 8.0/11

2-3. GM Artyom Timofeev 2665, GM Alexander Galkin 2598, 7.5/11

4-12. GM Evgeny Tomashevsky 2707, GM Sanan Sjugirov 2629, GM Maxim Matlakov 2632, GM Ernesto Inarkiev 2679, GM Sergey Volkov 2615, GM Vadim Zvjaginsev 2659, GM Boris Grachev 2669, GM Sergei Rublevsky 2682, GM Vladimir Fedoseev 2506, 7.0/11

Total of 62 participants

The Sicilian Chekhover (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4) is considered an Anti-Sicilian weapon, and it is quite an annoying weapon to face, as it is not without its dangers for Black. The main point is that if the queen is attacked by ...Nc6 then it can be pinned with Bb5.

After 4...Nc6 5 Bb5 Bd7 6 Bxc6 Bxc6 7 Nc3 Nf6 8 Bg5 a sharp, opposite-side castling situation usually arises in which Black really must know what he’s doing. Some players have tried to avoid such a scenario with 4...a6 or 4...Bd7, but that entails allowing a Maróczy Bind with 5 c4.

The first reaction from a well-booked player is that 4.Qxd4 is bad on positional grounds, as it exposes the queen. Well, yes, maybe if you were a 2600+ GM, but for ordinary players like you and me my experience is that putting your queen in the center is a good idea -- from there it can switch action from queenside to kingside and vice versa and create threats all over the board. My advice is that whenever you can put your queen in the center without it being attacked right away, you should do it.

The English IM Chris Baker wrote a book for Cadogan in 1998 called A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire for the White player. You should be wary, of course, of extravagant claims in chess titles. For example the book on David Bronstein’s “Secret Notes” refer to his travel notes, stories during his trips abroad, which country he liked, etc etc, and had hardly anything to do with chess analysis. The choices prescribed by Chris Baker, though, was really quite interesting. For example against the Petroff 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 he recommends that we play the Cochrane Gambit with 4.Nxf7!? Against the Sicilian he suggests 4.Qxd4.

Surprisingly, GM Boris Alterman’s Gambit Guide published in March 2010 also advocates the use of the Cochrane Gambit. With the trend in recent times to speed up time controls, these Gambits and Anti-Sicilians will definitely be played more and more.

Here is the latest brilliancy in the Chekhover:

Kryakvin, Dmitry (2551) -- Khismatullin, Denis (2656) [B53]

64th ch-RUS HL Taganrog RUS (8), 23.06.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4

Many years ago the Garma brothers (Chito and Edgar) specialized in this move, I don’t know why they gave it up but it was not because of their results!


This is an opening subtlety. The usual continuation here is 4...Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Bg5 where we get the same position as in the game after White’s 8th move. Khismatullin’s point of playing 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 first is to avoid the possibility of White’s playing 7.c4 instead of 7.Nc3 in the main move order.

5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.Bg5 e6 9.0-0-0 Be7 10.Qd3

In the game we featured last Monday the continuation was 10.Rhe1 0-0 11.e5 dxe5 12.Qh4. Kryakvin tries another plan: Qd3, Nd4, f2-f4-f5 and Qh3. This was suggested by Alexei Shirov himself as a good way to continue White’s initiative.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Part Two

10...Qa5 11.Bd2 Qc7 12.Nd4 0-0 13.f4 Rfc8 14.g4 Nxg4?

Khismatullin is known as a fine defender, and basically waves a red flag in front of his opponent with this move. Safer would be to play 14...Be8 15.g5 Nd7 with chances for both sides.

15.Rhg1 Nf6

Of course not 15...Nf2? 16.Qg3!

16.f5! <D>

Position after 16.f5

16...e5 17.Bh6! Bf8

[17...exd4 is met by 18.Bxg7 dxc3 19.Bh6+ Kh8 20.Qg3 cxb2+ 21.Kb1 Nh5 22.Bg7+ Kg8 23.Qg4 Nf4 24.Bxb2+ (Please do not fall for 24.Qxf4? Ba4! when White must bail out to perpetual check) 24...Ng6 25.fxg6 fxg6 (25...hxg6 26.Qh5!) 26.Qe6+ Kf8 27.Rgf1+ Ke8 28.e5! The Black King is doomed.

18.Rxg7+! Bxg7

Quietly moving the king won’t work either: 18...Kh8 19.Rdg1 exd4 20.Qg3 mate coming up.


[19.Qg3? Nh5!]

19...Nh5 20.Bxg7 exd4

[20...Nxg7 21.f6 Qd8 22.Rxg7+ Kh8 (22...Kf8 23.Rg8+! Kxg8 24.Qg3+ Kf8 25.Qg7+ Ke8 26.Qg8+ Kd7 27.Qxf7+ Qe7 28.Qxe7#) 23.Qh3 the end]

21.Bxd4+ Kf8 22.Qh3 Ke7 23.Qxh5 Rf8 24.e5! Rad8

The reply to 24...dxe5 is 25.Bc5+ Ke8 (25...Kd7 26.Rd1+ Ke8 27.Qh6 Rg8 28.Qxh7 Rf8 29.Qg7) 26.Bxf8 Kxf8 27.Qxh7 the attack is winning.

25.exd6+ Rxd6 26.Bc5 Qa5

[26...Rfd8 27.f6+! Kd7 (27...Kf8 28.Qg4 Ke8 29.Re1+ etc) 28.Bxd6 Kxd6 29.Rd1+ Ke6 30.Re1+ Kd6 31.Qe5+ Kd7 32.Qf5+ Kd6 33.Rd1+]

27.Bxd6+ Kxd6 28.Qh6+ 1-0

And Black resigned because he is losing the rook on f8.

One question that I frequently come across is why Black can’t immediately transpose to an ending with the two bishops with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Qa5+ 6.Nc3 Qxb5 7.Nxb5 Nxd4 8.Nfxd4.My experience with this, and I have played literally hundreds of games against this treatment, is that White’s better development and space advantage give him the edge. There has been a recent game which confirms this thesis.

Zhigalko, Sergei (2668) -- Tihonov, Jurij (2472) [B53]

76th ch-BLR Minsk BLR (6), 17.01.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Qa5+?!

Surprisingly, this maneuver comes up a lot. But that is ok, because I think white gets a superior ending which even I with my poor endgame skills wins a majority of the time.

6.Nc3 Qxb5 7.Nxb5 Nxd4 8.Nfxd4

Black has to move his king.


Zhigalko has made a good living from this line. Take a look: 8...Kd7 one example: 9.c4 g6 10.f3 a6 11.Nc3 e6 12.Be3 Kc7 13.a4 Bd7 14.a5 Rc8 15.Na4 Bxa4 16.Rxa4 Nf6 17.Ke2 Nd7 18.b4 Bg7 19.b5 Nc5 20.Rb4 Rhe8 21.Rd1 Be5 22.g3 h5 23.bxa6 bxa6 24.Nb3 Nxb3 25.Rxb3 Rb8 26.Bb6+ Kc6 27.Rbd3 g5 28.Ke3 White is already winning. Zhigalko, S (2562) -- Aulin Jansson, J (2279)/ Kemer 2007 1-0 (35).

9.c4 Nf6 10.f3 Bd7

Look it up in Megabase 2011: White has a 100% score in the line after 10...a6 -- it weakens the b6 square. Here is a sample: 11.Nc3 e6 12.a4 Bd7 13.b3 Rc8 14.Bb2 Be7 15.0-0-0!? Kc7 16.Ba3 Rhe8 17.Kb2 White will slowly build up the position. Degraeve, J. (2530) -- Vachier Lagrave, M. (2458)/ France (ch) 2004 1-0 (35).

11.Bd2 e5?!

Black tries to open up the position so that his two bishops will count.

12.Ne2 Bxb5 13.cxb5 h6

White was intending Bg5xf6 followed by Ne2-c3-d5, so Black prevents it right away.

14.0-0-0 Be7 15.Bc3!? Kc7 16.Rd3 Kb6 17.a4 a6?! 18.bxa6 bxa6 19.Bb4 Rhc8+ 20.Nc3 Rc6 21.Rhd1 Kc7 22.Kb1 Rb8 23.Ba3 Bf8 24.a5 Kd7 25.Na2!

A typical knight maneuver here -- the steed wants to go to b4 to attack the a6-pawn.

25...Ra8 26.Nb4 Rcc8 27.Nd5 Nxd5 28.Rxd5

Black loses a pawn.

28...Rc6 29.Rxe5 Rac8 30.Red5 Ke6 31.f4 g6 32.g4 Rc4 33.Bxd6 Rxe4 34.Bxf8 Rxf8 35.Rd6+ Ke7 36.f5 Rb8

[36...Rxg4?? 37.f6+ Ke8 38.Rd8#]

37.f6+ Ke8 38.Rxa6 Rxg4 39.Rb6 1-0

So what are you waiting for? Try the Sicilian Chekhover!

Reader comments/suggestions are solicited. E-mail address is

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Vitaly Chekhover.
Dec-22-16  thegoodanarchist: Has anyone vitally checked over this man's profile?
Dec-22-16  thegoodanarchist: All joking aside, when a player earns a title twice, with 10 or more years separating the victories, I find that impressive.

I was fortunate to win a couple of tournaments. To win those 10 years or more later? Wow, I don't think I could have done so.

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