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Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush
Number of games in database: 401
Years covered: 1931 to 1965
Overall record: +144 -143 =113 (50.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1 exhibition game, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (32) 
    B43 B32 B65 B80 B62
 Nimzo Indian (25) 
    E58 E30 E32 E48 E22
 King's Indian (14) 
    E80 E76 E90 E70 E71
 Ruy Lopez (14) 
    C86 C97 C91 C65 C90
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (10) 
    C86 C97 C91 C90 C98
 Queen's Pawn Game (9) 
    E00 A45 A40 D02 A46
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (32) 
    C64 C61 C99 C63 C90
 Nimzo Indian (26) 
    E53 E58 E42 E32 E41
 Sicilian (23) 
    B97 B60 B68 B84 B99
 King's Indian (20) 
    E80 E87 E85 E63 E62
 Queen's Pawn Game (11) 
    E10 D02 A46
 Grunfeld (11) 
    D74 D95 D90 D85 D87
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   V A Vasiliev vs Tolush, 1945 0-1
   Lilienthal vs Tolush, 1947 1/2-1/2
   Tolush vs Kotov, 1945 1-0
   P Dubinin vs Tolush, 1947 0-1
   Tolush vs Botvinnik, 1944 1-0
   Tolush vs Averbakh, 1948 1-0
   Tolush vs Alatortsev, 1948 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Tolush, 1958 0-1
   Smyslov vs Tolush, 1939 0-1
   Tolush vs V Mikenas, 1950 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1950)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   Hastings 1953/54 (1953)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1948)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   Leningrad/Moscow training (1939)
   USSR Championship (1939)
   USSR Championship (1958)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Forward, Kazimirich! Games by Alexander Tolush by Resignation Trap
   Hastings 1953/54 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush
Search Google for Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush

(born May-01-1910, died Mar-03-1969, 58 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush was born on the 1st of May 1910 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1953 and the IMC title in 1965 he was Leningrad Champion in 1937 (jointly), 1938, 1946 and 1947 (jointly). An outstanding master of attack and combinations, he paid less attention to positional play and defence and this affected his results. His best result in the USSR Championship was 2nd= in 1950, whilst his best result internationally was 1st place at Bucharest 1953 (1) ahead of Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Isaac Boleslavsky and Boris Spassky (who was his pupil at that time).

He passed away in Leningrad in 1969 and did not live to see Spassky become World Champion.


Wikipedia article: Alexander Tolush

 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 401  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Tolush vs Kubbel  0-140 1931 Ch URS (1/2 final)C28 Vienna Game
2. N Grigoriev vs Tolush  0-135 1931 Ch URS (1/2 final)B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Tolush vs Capablanca 1-035 1935 Leningrad simulC26 Vienna
4. Tolush vs Sokolsky 0-136 1936 USSRE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
5. Tolush vs E Zagorjansky  1-041 1936 Trade Unions ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
6. Konstantinopolsky vs Tolush 1-023 1936 MoscowA47 Queen's Indian
7. Tolush vs Chekhover  0-139 1936 Trade UnionsB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
8. Tolush vs Bondarevsky  ½-½22 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalD42 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 7.Bd3
9. Tolush vs Ilyin-Zhenevsky  1-029 1938 URS-ch sfA04 Reti Opening
10. Tolush vs Veresov  1-035 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
11. I Mazel vs Tolush  ½-½13 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC44 King's Pawn Game
12. Kotov vs Tolush 1-026 1938 Leningrad-chD74 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O
13. Sokolsky vs Tolush ½-½26 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
14. Ragozin vs Tolush ½-½33 1938 Leningrad (Russia)C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
15. Tolush vs Kasparian  ½-½63 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC49 Four Knights
16. Lisitsin vs Tolush  0-163 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalD02 Queen's Pawn Game
17. A Poliak vs Tolush  ½-½18 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC48 Four Knights
18. Tolush vs Chekhover  ½-½45 1938 URS-ch sfE00 Queen's Pawn Game
19. M David vs Tolush  0-164 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalA03 Bird's Opening
20. Tolush vs S Gotthilf  1-042 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC45 Scotch Game
21. V A Vasiliev vs Tolush  1-058 1938 Trade UnionsC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
22. Abramian vs Tolush  1-040 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC24 Bishop's Opening
23. Chekhover vs Tolush  1-091 1938 Trade UnionsC67 Ruy Lopez
24. P Romanovsky vs Tolush  ½-½33 1938 11th USSR Championship SemifinalC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. Tolush vs Botvinnik 0-135 1938 1/2 finalC02 French, Advance
 page 1 of 17; games 1-25 of 401  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tolush wins | Tolush loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <GrahamClayton: When Tolush competed in the 13th USSR championship (Moscow 1944), he played his games still wearing his military uniform.> ahehehe! that was nice!

Happy Birthday GM Alexander Tolush!

Apr-24-10  HeMateMe: When Tolush visited the USA for a tournament in the early 50s, 'Texas Swing' was just starting. While playing in west Texas he patterned his own dance during a free day.

People called it the "Tight Tolush Two Step". Still quite popular.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Who can blame Tolush for his brutal manner? Being a Soviet Tanker in WWII was akin to being a fish in a barrel, especially after the Nazis introduced the Panther and Tiger tanks in 1943.

These higher quality tanks decimated the Soviet armored brigades in battle. The Soviets' only advantage was their vast numbers (in 1944 they made over 2000 new tanks every month!).

The key to surviving battle was to close rapidly with the Nazi armor to neutralize their advantage in gun size and accuracy.

Any man who survived the Eastern Front in WWII can be excused for excessive drinking and brutal manners, IMO. He was lucky to stay sane!

Apr-24-10  HeMateMe: Most military historians think the Russian T-34 was the best tank of world war tour. True, they couldn't win a long range duel with the German tanks. But, they didn't break down as much, were easier to repair. Also, they were faster, had greater maneuverability and could be produced in larger numbers. After the huge tank battle in Kursk, the Russians were able to recover their own tanks for repair, all damaged German tanks were lost.

One of the little known stories of WWII is the african american tankers in George Patton's Third Army, the amazing tank army that sometimes ran 100 miles ahead of its troops, to get into the enemies rear positions. The black tankers had their own formation in Patton's army, which has never been seen in any war movies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I have read many historians who disagree - quite a few give the Panther as the all-around best.

And the T-34 model which receives so many votes is the T-34/85, which was not produced until after Kursk.

But do you really care about ease of repair and manufacturing volume when you have a Tiger tank shooting at you???

Apr-24-10  HeMateMe: Well, it was no fun being in a brew up tank, I'm sure. I mean, in terms of utility, the T-34 was most useful for an army. Its speed and mobility were superior to the american Sherman, the German tanks, and whatever the British and French could dredge up. Could The Germany Marks and Panthers kill more T-34s in the open field? yes. yBut not all battles are fought on a nice tidy field. Many are fought in half destroyed cities and villages, where a huge tank has less value. Also, can a war economy produce more T-34s or more German style tanks? The durable T-34 was best choice.

I think historians like the T-34 because a country like Russia, under such difficult conditions, could produce enough of these, in quantity, to defeat Germany. As you mention above, these russian tanks had to use their speed to get closer to the German tanks, often going for the broad side angle, for safety, and just try and blow off a tread. If you factor in the most important factor, 'can a country produce enough of a weapon to supply its army' the T-34 was the best tank of that war.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I have read many historians who disagree - quite a few give the Panther as the all-around best. And the T-34 model which receives so many votes is the T-34/85, which was not produced until after Kursk.

But do you really care about ease of repair and manufacturing volume when you have a Tiger tank shooting at you???

The Panther was SUPPOSED to be the best tank, having taken a lot of design feature from the T-34; it was indeed a tribute to the T-34. Unfortunately for the Germans, they had problems with their treads - they were supposed to be replaced but with war shortages, they never got the parts of the original design. The treads they used were for a lighter tank, a bad combination, forced by shortages. They also had very bad problems with their transmission - again, not the fault of the disigners, the fault of war shortages that kept them from being 'made to spec'.

Therefore, the Panther never became the tank in use that it could have - over long distance, it broke down. Canny German generals commanders would often use them more like quasi-mobile anti-tank guns. When they worked, they were real good. So, yes, ease of repair (or more importantly, tendency to break down) DID matter when your 'mobile' tank was stuck and you are a sitting duck for an anti-tank gun!

The T-34 is THE tank for military historians. We tend to look at issues other than direct battlefield capabilites, including cost to repair, maintenance, ease of production and use, how hard training is, etc. All around, speed, ease of use, power, etc., the T-34 is very hard to match. Also, please recognize that the T-34 came out earlier than the Panther; yes, the 85 model was later, but the earlier models were indeed the basis for the Panther, and captured T-34 were studied. The T-34 was involved in the battles up through Stalingrad. The Panther was rushed into service for Kursk, which is why it didn't get the full time to use its best design.

It is hard to compare a Tiger, a heavy tank, with a medium tank like the Panther or the T-34. I think the Panther was better. They had effectively the same engine, and the Panther had better and frontal armor and a similar turret weapon. It was a lot faster and had a better range. The Tiger had much stronger side and back armor (making it hard to kill) but operationally was a difficult tank, using ups globs of fuel.

So, how is the Panther viewed? I think the world views that the had the Panther design been made as it was supposed to, and not been forced into use too early with the appropriate parts, it may have been the best tank ever made. Thegoodanarchist, you may be referring to these analyses, as engineers marvel at the Panther's capabilities if it had come to full potential.

But the T-34 was THE weapon of Soviet victory, an amazing weapon - in my opinion, the single greatest weapon of the war.

Anyway, we should probably get back to Tolush :-)

Apr-24-10  HeMateMe: Americans say that two things won the war: Air power and radar. In Russia, it was probably the massive output of the T-34, and General Winter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Germany made only about 7,000 Panthers during WWII while the Soviet Union made about ten times that many tanks, mostly T-34s.

So your argument seems to be that over 50,000 T-34s are better than <7000 Panthers.

But my point was one-on-one, the Panther was better on the steppes of Russia than the T-34.

After all, the whole discussion was about why I give Tolush a pass for being a raging alcoholic with a brutal manner.

Apr-25-10  HeMateMe: the Panther was better under ideal conditions: 1) adequate fighting terrain, 2) ability to provide maintenance and resupply of parts, 3) ability to mass in numbers, and not be surrounded/outnumbered by the smaller T-34, 4) proper usage (Manstein) as a mobile weapon, and not used piecemeal, in defensive situations (Hitler).

Unfortunately, those ideal conditions didn't exist for the German army, except up till 1941. I guess the Panther was ideal for Germany, in what they expected, and the T-34 was ideal for Russia, in what they foresaw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Breunor: But the T-34 was THE weapon of Soviet victory>

This is a bit too hagiographic. Red Army infantry mobility was limited to how fast they could walk (when not entrained) until the allied Lend Lease program really got going.

The US put them on wheels for the first time in history with the White half track and other trucks supplied in great quantities.

This had a huge positive impact on Soviet offensive capability in 1944/45, allowing greater penetrations into "enemy" territory, longer duration to offensives, and even operations during the Rasputista.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <HeMateMe>

I am not sure if you are trying to dispute my original post, wax on about weapons of WWII, or what.

But I see nothing in the posts of you or <Breunor> that refutes my original contention, that being a Soviet tanker was like being a fish in a barrel.

The key to surviving was, there were many many fish in a vast barrel.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I do agree that being ANYWHERE on the Eastern front in WWII was very dangerous, and I don't doubt it affected Tolush. I'm not sure I'm willing to say it was 'worse' than being in the infantry, but both required tremendous courage.

But I'm not saying 50,000 T-34's are better than 7,000 Panthers. I'm saying 7,000 T-34 are better than 7,000 Panthers.

We can look tank vs. tank or on a cost equivalent basis.

Tank for tank, for the Panthers actually produced (especially early ones) 7,000 produced tanks, ignoring combat damage, probably had about 3,500 operational at a time; while 7,000 T-34's probably would have about 5,000 operational. So that is the T-34's advantage. I do agree 'tank for tank' is a legitimate way to compare them, but so is dollar for dollar. On that basis, the T-34 has a greater superiority.

A good example of cost issues is the B-2 Spirit bomber - it is the technically most advanced bomber in the world, but it is so ridiculously expensive it is hard to say it is a 'great' plane and indeed is usually considered a horrible failure since they ended up costing $750 MM/operational bomber.

Here is a list of 'greatest' tanks from the History channel:

For the Germans, the PV IV and the Tiger made the list, the Panther didn't, and the T-34 was first. Of course,t hese lsits are subjective, as I said, I think the Panther may have been better than the Tiger.

I do agree, however, in my opinion, if I have a working, operational machine, I thought the Panther was the best tank of the war. (They are great in the old Avalon Hill game, PanzerBlitz!)

All the best.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Mikhail Botvinnik was mated by Alexander Tolush in the 1944 Soviet Championship in Moscow, "You're mated, Mikhail Moiseyevich!" the winner proclaimed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Breunor> The dove of peace, yet you are pretty booked up on your war machines. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyke: <wordfunph: Mikhail Botvinnik was mated by Alexander Tolush in the 1944 Soviet Championship in Moscow, "You're mated, Mikhail Moiseyevich!" the winner proclaimed.>

Needless to say that the patriarch had not been happy about that "incident".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyke: To add a little bit more to my previous statement:

<<"Forward, Kazimirych!">

When talking about the sources of Spassky's brilliant style of play, one immediately recalls his previous trainer of many years (1952-1960), the Leningrad frandmaster Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush, who was a famous master of attack and an uncommonly cheerful, witty man. After a win he would inform his friends: <'Dracula has been caught.'> When his opponent dragged out a hopeless resistance, he would complain: <'The cannon-fodder is resisting.'> When the latter resigned, Tolush would proclaim: <'Amen to the pies'.> And during a blitz game and when analysing he would encourage himself with the war-cry: <'Forward, Kazimirych!'>

This became the motto of more than one generation of players; it was also liked by Paul Keres, with whom Tolush worked in the late 40s and 50s. With Spassky himself, a liking for dashing attacks, for an unfettered, lively and liberal 'Tolush-like' style of play was retained practically to the end of his chess career. <...>

However, Tolush's manners did not provoke a positice reaction from everyone. For example, Botvinnik did not like him. And this was why: in the 13th USSR Championship (1944) Tolush mated Botvinnik on f7 with the disrespectful words: 'It's ma-ate, Mikhal Moiseich'. From that time 'Tolush' sounded almost like a swear word to the ears of #Mikhal Mouseich'>

(Garry Kasparov, OMGP, Vol. III, p.299ff)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "Forward, Kazimirych!"
Quite sad. I imagine he was repeating the last words of some bloody comrade dying in some hell-hole in the forests of Ruthenia.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush>

Correct pronunciation of his name-

Audio/visual file:

Aug-30-11  Everett: <However, Tolush's manners did not provoke a positice reaction from everyone. For example, Botvinnik did not like him. And this was why: in the 13th USSR Championship (1944) Tolush mated Botvinnik on f7 with the disrespectful words: 'It's ma-ate, Mikhal Moiseich'. From that time 'Tolush' sounded almost like a swear word to the ears of #Mikhal Mouseich'>

Why do you think Tolush said it? My guess is because everyone knew Botvinnik was a pompous, preening, political jackass.

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday!
May-01-13  brankat: R.I.P. GM Tolush.
May-02-13  Petrosianic: Are there any dead players in the database that you haven't ripped yet?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Rookiepawn: Given the fact that we can talk about tanks here, I will say that what made the Red Army beat the nazis was the action of a small bunch of men, whose leader was Mr. Leopold Trepper (hats off to this guy: sharp brain + iron balls, rarely seen).

Thanks to Stalin's murders, the Red Army was decimated. It was kept alive thanks to the only thing in which, admitted by Hitler, the Soviets were better at: intelligence.

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