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Iivo Nei
Number of games in database: 626
Years covered: 1946 to 2001
Last FIDE rating: 2369
Highest rating achieved in database: 2500

Overall record: +187 -149 =290 (53.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (43) 
    B20 B52 B81 B80 B43
 Queen's Pawn Game (32) 
    A45 A41 A46 D01 A40
 English (28) 
    A10 A16 A19 A17 A18
 English, 1 c4 e5 (24) 
    A28 A22 A25 A21 A27
 King's Indian (23) 
    E92 E61 E70 E81 E77
 English, 1 c4 c5 (17) 
    A34 A30 A35 A31 A33
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (53) 
    C92 C91 C88 C70 C77
 Sicilian (33) 
    B22 B23 B94 B40 B90
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (30) 
    C92 C91 C88 C98 C90
 Semi-Slav (27) 
    D45 D47 D43 D48 D49
 Queen's Gambit Declined (24) 
    D31 D30 D06 D37 D35
 French Defense (22) 
    C16 C02 C11 C17 C05
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   I Nei vs Petrosian, 1960 1-0
   I Nei vs Doda, 1960 1-0
   Bagirov vs I Nei, 1963 0-1
   I Nei vs Larsen, 1964 1-0
   I Nei vs Geller, 1963 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Yerevan (1965)
   Tallinn (1973)
   USSR Championship (1963)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   USSR Championship 1966/67 (1966)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1966 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   Tallinn 1973 by sneaky pete
   1964 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   Yerevan 1965 by suenteus po 147

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FIDE player card for Iivo Nei

(born Oct-31-1931, 85 years old) Estonia

[what is this?]

An IM (1964), he has been Estonian champion on eight occasions - 1951, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1971 and 1974. He was a second for Boris Spassky during his World Championship Match against Robert James Fischer in 1972.

Wikipedia article: Iivo Nei

 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 626  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. I Nei vs Petrosian 0-128 1946 URS-ch U18E95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
2. Koblents vs I Nei  1-041 1952 URS ch sfD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. G Fridstein vs I Nei 1-029 1952 URS ch sfE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
4. I Nei vs Ragozin  1-048 1952 Riga (Latvia)B72 Sicilian, Dragon
5. I Nei vs E Terpugov  0-179 1952 URS ch sfD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. I Nei vs G Ilivitsky  0-140 1952 URS ch sfB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
7. Tolush vs I Nei  ½-½41 1952 URS ch sfD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Cherepkov vs I Nei  1-053 1952 URS ch sfE41 Nimzo-Indian
9. M Pasman vs I Nei  0-139 1952 URS ch sfE70 King's Indian
10. I Nei vs J Klavins  1-044 1952 URS ch sfC44 King's Pawn Game
11. E Chaplinsky vs I Nei ½-½42 1952 URS ch sfA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
12. I Nei vs I Veltmander  0-148 1952 URS ch sfA04 Reti Opening
13. I Nei vs A Bannik  1-063 1952 URS ch sfC34 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Nikitin vs I Nei  1-030 1952 URS ch sfB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
15. I Nei vs V Mikenas  ½-½32 1952 URS ch sfA28 English
16. Chekhover vs I Nei  1-050 1952 URS ch sfD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. I Nei vs Kan  0-137 1952 URS ch sfB72 Sicilian, Dragon
18. I Nei vs Ravinsky  ½-½25 1952 URS ch sfA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
19. I Nei vs Keres  ½-½40 1953 Tartu, Est op chD80 Grunfeld
20. Korchnoi vs I Nei 1-039 1955 RigaD53 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. I Nei vs V Saigin  1-043 1955 URS-chT finE12 Queen's Indian
22. I Nei vs Boleslavsky 0-125 1955 23rd USSR Ch semi-finalE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
23. Tal vs I Nei  ½-½32 1955 VilniusC16 French, Winawer
24. I Nei vs Chukaev 1-040 1955 URS-chT finB86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
25. I Nei vs Simagin  ½-½41 1955 URS-chT sfB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 626  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nei wins | Nei loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: We are the Iivo who says Nei!
Oct-31-06  BIDMONFA: Iivo Nei

NEI, Livo

Oct-31-06  Legend: <BIDMONFA> His name is Iivo, not Livo.
Oct-27-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: well if 2500's a patzer,i guess i'm only half a patzer then
Aug-18-08  myschkin: . . .


Aug-18-08  Jason Frost: The best coach/second isn't always the best player, e.g. Dvoretsky was an IM.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <Jason Frost The best coach/second isn't always the best player, e.g. Dvoretsky was an IM.> That's definitely true. Except that Dvoretsky still IS an IM. Dvoretsky probably could have become a GM eventually, but he wanted to concentrate on being a trainer. I don't know what the case w/ IM Nei never becoming a GM is. Maybe he wasn't good enough tactically or didn't have quite enough drive. These are probably the 2 most common reasons for an IM never becoming a GM. There must have been some good reasons for Spassky choosing Nei as a second...perhaps for his knowledge of the openings, strategy? I'm not sure. Also, <myschkin> that's a cool picture of Nei & Karpov by a bust of Keres in Estonia. Thanks for the link!
Apr-20-09  Raisin Death Ray: I come from Alabama with a banjo on my Nei!
Apr-20-09  blacksburg: this guy has more than twice as many vowels than consonants in his name. that's gotta be some kind of record.

almost as many vowels as Max Euoeuoeoeuowe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I met his sisters Sequoia and Eunoia. :->
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Then maybe they should meet Lilit Mkrtchian
Apr-15-10  BIDMONFA: Iivo Nei

Legend, thank you.

Sep-20-11  Granny O Doul: This guy was once a clue/answer in the NY Times crossword (something like "Chessmaster Ivo" or "Chessmaster Nei"). Tal (especially) and Keres are fairly common crossword answers, but I can't think of many others.
Apr-12-12  Llawdogg: This guy beat Petrosian with a beautiful queen sacrifice in 1960 that Tigran never saw coming. So, he had better tactical vision than a world champion on at least one occasion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: In M60MG, Fischer credits Nei with an opening improvement in the Sicilian Dragon that helped him beat Reshevsky (Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1961).
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Biography:
(in Estonian)

As titleless player, Nei won at his first participation the prestigious Beverwijk Hoogovens 1964, joint with Keres, ahead of many elite top players, Portisch was third, Ivkov fourth, Larsen joint fiftht, Donner joint tenth (since 1968 this tournament is held at Wijk aan Zee, today billed as Tata Steel).

Nei got the IM for this really big tournament triumph at Beverwijk, but never was awarded the Grandmaster title nor the GM honorary title, in retrospective being a top-100 player according to chessmetrics rating (historical ELO by SONAS) from 1960 to 1978. Nei was best-ranked on position 21.

USSR Junior Champion in 1948 (joint with Viktor Korchnoi who won already in 1947, both born in 1931).

Iivo Nei will celebrate his 85th anniversary in coming October, high time for a picture of him, dear chessgames, and many thanks,

rather recent picture:

picture from 1966 (at his second and last invitation / nomination for Beverwijk, finishing as sole 5th out of 16 players, Polugaevsky won):

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: There's a new interview out with Boris Spassky where he accuses Nei of spying for the Americans while part of Spassky's camp in the Fischer match. Does anybody know if there's any truth to this? The accusation is that Nei was secretly working on a book with Robert Byrne - Spassky doesn't directly say, or even really imply, that Byrne then passed on info to Fischer. Still, Spassky was clearly very pissed off about it - and is fully convinced of Nei's perfidy many years later. If it's true, it's a startling thing - a big risk for Nei to take (passing secret Soviet material to Americans); and it implies that Fischer may have had some inside information on Spassky's preparation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Didn't Byrne and Nei do a book about the match?

I doubt that this is true. Bobby wouldn't have trusted the Soviets anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <There's a new interview out with Boris Spassky where he accuses Nei of spying for the Americans while part of Spassky's camp in the Fischer match.>

I read that interview, too. In recent years, Boris Spassky tends to tell some stories (eg. why he had to flee France), which are rather bizarre.

<I doubt that this (accusation) is true. Bobby wouldn't have trusted the Soviets anyway.>

Indeed, and why did Boris Vasilievich, living and enjoying life in France since the late 1970s and changing to the French Federation in the 1980s (at least since Linares 1983: Game Collection: Linares 1983, the relationship between Spassky and Karpov and the official USSR were rather cold), did wait more than forty years until revealing his suspicion, breaking abruptly with France and after suffering several serious health issues?

Boris Spassky will celebrate his 80th birthday next January.

Iivo Nei is 85 years today - happy birthday!

They are part of chess history, of course, Spassky as one of a few all-time-greats more than Nei: health and happiness to both players!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <TheFocus> <Didn't Byrne and Nei do a book about the match?

I doubt that this is true. Bobby wouldn't have trusted the Soviets anyway.>

There is a book by Byrne and Nei called Both sides of the chessboard

See for more information.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Iivo Nei.
Nov-01-16  WorstPlayerEver: Spasski's getting old. All the time he didn't object to the story of Nei as his "physical trainer" and suddenly it's about chess.... it's a bit sad that Boris legacy has turned to: "I could have stopped the match... as the champ."
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It's a shame Spassky never wrote an opinionated auto bio. After Korchnoi, I can't think of a player who'd I rather see an autobiography from. Boris saw and lived it all, he must have some great stories, happy and sad. Why not tell the tale now?
Nov-01-16  WorstPlayerEver: Yeah, I'd like to know what Spasski's statement is concerned to the world chess championship '92.

A joke but okaaay

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I have a hunch that Spassky might have liked the mini match tournaments.

Why? There is less pressure on a world champion, as the title hands off to different top players from year to year. He didn't like being world champion. That might have had something to do with the added pressure that comes from being a USSR player expected to defeat all of the best westerners, or he may have just disliked the heightened pressure, in general.

In the mini matches, you are just first among equals, and there are probably 20 different people who can win it, from year to year. It is no shame to lose the 'title' in such a tournament because there is to much randomness built into such an event.

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