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Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov
Nezhmetdinov (left) congratulates Tal for winning the 24th USSR Championship in Moscow, 1957.  
Number of games in database: 315
Years covered: 1929 to 1973

Overall record: +159 -79 =76 (62.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (67) 
    B43 B31 B94 B30 B50
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C85 C75 C77 C63 C64
 French Defense (21) 
    C16 C18 C12 C11 C10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (19) 
    C85 C90 C91 C93 C97
 Caro-Kann (16) 
    B11 B10 B13 B17 B14
 Sicilian Najdorf (13) 
    B94 B96 B93 B95 B92
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (43) 
    C76 C78 C99 C77 C72
 King's Indian (35) 
    E67 E94 E69 E83 E60
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (11) 
    C99 C91 C89 C84
 Old Indian (11) 
    A54 A53 A55
 Modern Benoni (6) 
    A65 A67 A57 A62 A56
 English (5) 
    A16 A10 A15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   N Kosolapov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1936 0-1
   Lilienthal vs Nezhmetdinov, 1951 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin, 1946 1-0
   Samsonov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1929 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs Y Kotkov, 1957 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs Lusikal, 1951 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs E Paoli, 1954 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Bucharest (1954)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship (1967)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Nezhmetdinov's best games of chess by Bidibulle
   Super Nezh by chocobonbon
   Secret Hero Nezh by Gottschalk
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov's Best Games by KingG
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov - (1940-1950) by lesshc
   Nezhmetdinov by c06bxx9
   Favorite Games from (1944-1959) by wanabe2000
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov - (1950-1960) by lesshc
   spikester2848's favorite games of Nezhmetidnov by spikester2848
   dathsa's favorite games by dathsa
   Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov by Creation Lightship

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov
Search Google for Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

(born Dec-15-1912, died Jun-03-1974, 61 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov was born in Aktubinsk, then part of the Russian Empire and now known as Aqtöbe, in Kazakhstan, into a poor peasant family of Tatar ethnicity. Orphaned when very young, he moved to Kazan in the Republic of Tatarstan at a young age under the care of his brother, and it was there that he learned chess by watching local games despite living for some time in great hardship.

He also became a renowned checkers (draughts) player, but it was chess that he turned to after leaving military service after the end of World War II. Notwithstanding this, when the 1949 Russian Checkers Semifinals were held in Kazan, Nezhmetdinov agreed to substitute for a player who didn't show up even though he hadn't played checkers for 15 years. He finished 12/16 without losing a game, earning the title of Soviet Master of Checkers. This also qualified him for the finals, where he finished 2nd.

Nezhmetdinov's participation in chess tournaments before World War II was intermittent. In 1927 at the age of 15, he played in Kazan's Tournament of Pioneers (an 18 and under event), winning all 15 games. In 1929 he won the junior section of the Kazan city championship, and the next year he finished first in the overall Kazan championship and earned a Category I rating. Nezhmetdinov earned the Candidate Master title by winning the All-Union Tournament at Rostov-on-Don in 1939, finishing undefeated with a 9/10 score. In 1941 Rashid was called to military service and stationed in Baikal, where he won the district chess tournament over some strong opposition, including Victor Davidovich Baturinsky and Konstantin Klaman.

After the War, when he dedicated himself to chess, he came 1st in a tournament organised within the Soviet Military Administration in Berlin, 1946, triumphing over future Master and Ukrainian champion Isaac Lipnitsky. After he demobilised in 1947, he began a long and distinguished career, starting with 2nd place in the final of the Russian Federation (RSFSR) Championship behind Nikolay Novotelnov. Later that year Nezhmetdinov finished =2nd in an All-Union Candidate Master tournament, earning him the right to play a classification match in 1948 against Vladas Ivanovich Mikenas for the title of Soviet Master. He drew the match 7-7 (+4-4=6), but did not gain the coveted Master title, because the examiner got draw odds. Two years later, in 1950, he won the Russian Federation Chess Championship against a very strong field and finally earned the Master title. He won the Russian Championship four more times: in 1951 ahead of Nikolai V Krogius, in 1953 ahead of Lev Polugaevsky, in 1957 ahead of Boris T Vladimirov, and in 1958 in Sochi ahead of Viktor Korchnoi. In Sochi Nezhmetdinov played his immortal game against Lev Polugaevsky Other excellent results in the RSFSR Championships included 2nd in 1954 behind Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich, =2nd in 1956 behind Shamkovich and alongside Krogius and Polugaevsky, and clear 2nd in 1961 behind Polugaevsky after a playoff mini-match against Vladimir Antoshin, Anatoly Lein, and Lev A Belov to earn a spot in the finals of the 1961 USSR Championship. He also finished =3rd in 1963 behind Lein and Georgy Ilivitsky.

Nezhmetdinov was also a regular participant in the USSR Championship cycles in their various incarnations, consistently participating in the quarter and semi finals eliminations for the USSR Championship between 1947 and 1969. His best results were =1st with Isaac Boleslavsky and Vitaly Georgievich Tarasov at the 1956 semi-final, and =1st with Boris Spassky at the 1958 semi-final. He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th with victories over Efim Geller, Salomon Flohr, and Andre Lilienthal. He also did well against Grandmaster competition in the Moscow 1957 edition, scoring 2.5/3 against three future world champions, drawing with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and beating Spassky and Mikhail Tal.

In 1954, accompanying Soviet Masters Korchnoi, Semyon Abramovich Furman and Ratmir Kholmov, Nezhmetdinov participated in the Bucharest International tournament, one of only three times he played outside the USSR. He rose to the occasion, defeating International Masters Miroslav Filip, Robert Wade, Bogdan Sliwa, and Grandmaster Gideon Stahlberg. He won the tournament brilliancy prize against Enrico Paoli, and finished clear second behind Korchnoi. In recognition of this performance, later that year FIDE awarded him the International Master title. Results in other tournaments include =2nd behind Mark Taimanov at the 1961 Chigorin Memorial and 3rd at the Baku International in 1964 behind Antoshin and Vladimir Bagirov. He participated in the Soviet Club Championships in 1952, 1954 and 1964, winning individual and team silver for his team DSO Spartak in 1952 on board 6, individual and team gold for Spartak in 1954 on board 5, and individual gold on board 6 for Spartak in 1964. He was also a member of the RSFSR Team that played matches with other Soviet Republics, with his best result coming at Vilnius 1958 where he played board 1 for the RSFSR and led them to a 3rd place finish, and also took the individual bronze medal ahead of Paul Keres, David Bronstein, Efim Geller, and Boleslavsky. In 1973 Nezhmetdinov played his last tournament, placing only 3rd behind a weak field in the Latvian Open. He fell ill and did not finish all of his games. However, he did win his last brilliancy prize in his game against Vladimir Karasev.

Nezhmetdinov was renowned for his imaginative attacking style. His famous and widely published game at Sochi 1958 against Polugaevsky is considered to be one of the best attacking games of the 20th century. He assisted Tal in preparation for the latter's 1960 World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik. While he beat many of the world's top players, he was never awarded the GM title even though he won 5 Russian Championships. Nezhmetdinov published an autobiography including his 100 best games entitled Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess (republished by Caissa Editions in 2000). Alex Pishkin published a similar tome entitled Super Nezh, Chess Assassin in 2000.

Nezhmetdinov passed away in Kazan in 1974.


Russian tournament and match archive:; Photo of bust of Nezhmetdinov in Kazan:; Bust and plaque on a building:; <jessicafischerqueen>'s three-part YouTube documentary: with addendum at Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

*Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Wikipedia article: Rashid Nezhmetdinov

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 315  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Samsonov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-115 1929 Kazan-chC29 Vienna Gambit
2. E Korchmar vs Nezhmetdinov 0-122 1931 Categories 1 & 2 TtD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
3. Nezhmetdinov vs S Pimenov 1-031 1936 Rostov UURSOC13 French
4. N Kosolapov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-124 1936 Kazan opC47 Four Knights
5. Nezhmetdinov vs A Konstantinov 1-014 1936 Rostov-on-Don 1st categoryC02 French, Advance
6. Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin 1-015 1946 Kazan chB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
7. M V Shishov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-134 1947 Match : Georgia, RSFSR & AzerbaijanC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
8. Kholmov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-161 1947 All-Union Candidate Master TtA46 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Nezhmetdinov vs Sedov 1-031 1947 7th RSFSR ChC10 French
10. Nezhmetdinov vs Suetin 1-029 1947 URSB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
11. Aronin vs Nezhmetdinov 0-125 1947 7th RSFSR ChA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
12. Nezhmetdinov vs A Ivashin 1-046 1947 All Union Candidate Master TtC71 Ruy Lopez
13. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-022 1948 Match for the Title of MasterB02 Alekhine's Defense
14. V Mikenas vs Nezhmetdinov  ½-½41 1948 KazanE91 King's Indian
15. Nezhmetdinov vs V Baskin 1-027 1948 Moldavian SSR ChC50 Giuoco Piano
16. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas  ½-½39 1948 Match for the Title of MasterB10 Caro-Kann
17. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-059 1948 Kazan RUSC16 French, Winawer
18. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-017 1948 Match for the Title of MasterB02 Alekhine's Defense
19. Nezhmetdinov vs D Grechkin 1-041 1948 8th RSFSR ChB32 Sicilian
20. Geller vs Nezhmetdinov 1-027 1949 Tbilisi URS sfC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Nezhmetdinov vs V A Vasiliev 1-040 1949 Ch-URS ,1 (03)C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
22. A Ebralidze vs Nezhmetdinov  ½-½41 1949 Ch-URS ,1 U17)C01 French, Exchange
23. Nezhmetdinov vs D Grechkin 0-140 1949 1/2 finalB10 Caro-Kann
24. G Ilivitsky vs Nezhmetdinov  ½-½46 1949 Ch-URS ,1 (02)D95 Grunfeld
25. Nezhmetdinov vs I Aramanovich 1-043 1949 Ch-URS ,1 U14)C18 French, Winawer
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 315  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nezhmetdinov wins | Nezhmetdinov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-13  sleepyirv: Happy Birthday, Super-Nez!
Feb-27-14  tranquilsimplicity: It is players like Nezhmetdinov amongst many others of the pre-FIDE era, that really leave questions unanswered as to what it is be given the GM title. It seems to me that the title is probably meaningless as far as measuring skill is concerned. The title's only use is to those on whom it is conferred upon.

From Rashid's record against GMs and ratings (both Elo and Chessmetrics), it is rather obvious that he was of GM calibre. Now why was the title not conferred upon him? And don't tell me it's because he was averse to defending and had a 0.5 - 8.5 record against Averbakh. Rashid had plus scores against many GMs including Bronstein, Tal, Anatoly Lein etc. My suspicion is that it is more sinister; a possible victim of discrimination. So much for titles!

Premium Chessgames Member
  hyperactivemodernist: When I play through Nezhmetdinov's best games, I feel the same joy as when I listen to one of Bach's fugues or one of Charlie Parker's solos. Such moments truly make life worth living.
Oct-05-14  newhampshireboy: I cannot say for sure but I know that he wasn't an ethnic Russian and that couldn't have helped him in those days despite the fact that Stalin was a Georgian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Boomie: <newhampshireboy: I cannot say for sure but I know that he wasn't an ethnic Russian...>

Read the first line of the bio above to answer your question.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Boomie: Tal said when he lost to Super Nezh was the happiest day of his life.

Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961

Nov-10-14  nikrj: Hi guys. I need your help. Do anyone knows the REAL Nezh's lifetime against the World Champions?

I suspect that the score of -6 =9 -5 provided by Dale Brandreth on " Nezhmetdinov 's Best Games of Chess " is incomplete .

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <He who analyses blitz is stupid> - Rashid Nezhmetdinov.
May-01-15  john barleycorn: <Stupid is as stupid does> - Forest Gump
Oct-19-15  Kekkei Genkai: What a player, What a man, What a giant, What a King, What a GRAND MASTER!

All respect to you Rashid Nezhmetdinov.

Dec-15-15  thegoodanarchist: RGN probably should have gotten the GM title, given his 5 (FIVE!!!) Russian Championships.

Oh well, different times back then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Nezh was 1 of the most interesting & creative chess players of all time. 1 CG kibitzer even mentioned that Nezh beat Tal like a drum in blitz. Although I haven't read an article that confirmed this. After skimming over his profile above, I just noticed that he was also an extremely strong checkers player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I don't know about their blitz encounters, but Nez has a +3=0-1 record against Tal in classical chess.
Premium Chessgames Member One of my favorite players from days gone by. His games are fun to play through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Wow! I didn't know that Nezh had a record that good in classical chess vs Tal! That's impressive!
Dec-16-15  Dr. J: <hegoodanarchist: RGN probably should have gotten the GM title, given his 5 (FIVE!!!) Russian Championships.>

Please note those are <Russian>, not <Soviet> championships - a much weaker field.

Feb-05-16  Smyslov57: This man was a giant among chessplayers. I wish I knew more about his later years: was he married? Any children? How did he die? I have learned to play 1...e5 in response to e4 in part due to his (and Smyslov's and Kere's and Spassky's influence).
Feb-05-16  waustad: If you haven't done so, look at <jessicafischerqueen>'s videos about him on youtube. I suspect some of her excellent work has sadly been axed due to copright issues, probably due to the music. In any case she has put together some good stuff about many players, with some of the Soviet players included.
Feb-24-16  morfishine: Who knows why Super Nez was never titled GM. Perhaps he was denied due to the "hotel incident" when he caused a drunken scene embarrassing his country. Seems petty if true. But Taimanov had his stipend removed after losing 6-0 vs Fischer...go figure


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There are numerous examples of strong Soviet masters who never became GMs; it should be mentioned that, first of all, Nezhmetdinov was nearly forty the year FIDE officially introduced the GM title (1950) and that a mere 27 players received it: the world champion at the time (Botvinnik), all those who had qualified or were seeded into the inaugural Candidates tournament (14 players) and a further twelve who were thus recognised for past achievements.

While I know nothing of the incident <morf> refers to, that is the sort of thing which would damage even an elite player's chances of getting outside the Soviet Union. Kholmov had some trouble over such shenanigans and even Korchnoi was warned, when first a very top player, about the advisability of consorting with a foreign woman who was clearly not his wife and spending time in a casino when abroad. It will be remembered also that Spassky was chastised by the bureaucracy after his loss of a crucial game to Lombardy in the 1960 student team championship.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Boomie: Tal said when he lost to Super Nezh was the happiest day of his life. >

Nezh was Tal before Tal became Tal ! lol
fantastically creative player.

Sep-22-16  kamagong24: a little bit of documentary on Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov, a truly great player

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Nez!!
Dec-15-16  Petrosianic: And many more!
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Belated, HBD RGNez
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