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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
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (43) 
    B20 B52 B81 B80 B21
 Queen's Pawn Game (32) 
    A45 A41 A40 D01 A46
 English (28) 
    A10 A16 A17 A19 A18
 English, 1 c4 e5 (24) 
    A28 A22 A29 A27 A21
 King's Indian (23) 
    E92 E61 E70 E77 E81
 English, 1 c4 c5 (17) 
    A34 A35 A30 A31 A33
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (53) 
    C92 C91 C88 C68 C70
 Sicilian (33) 
    B22 B40 B94 B23 B90
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (30) 
    C92 C91 C88 C98 C86
 Semi-Slav (27) 
    D45 D48 D47 D43 D49
 Queen's Gambit Declined (24) 
    D31 D30 D06 D37 D35
 French Defense (22) 
    C16 C02 C11 C00 C17
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   I Nei vs Petrosian, 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?]
   Tallinn 1973 by sneaky pete
   1964 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   1966 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   Yerevan 1965 by suenteus po 147

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FIDE player card for Iivo Nei

(born Oct-31-1931, 84 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. G Fridstein vs I Nei 1-029 1952 URS ch sfE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
3. I Nei vs Ragozin  1-048 1952 Riga (Latvia)B72 Sicilian, Dragon
4. I Nei vs E Terpugov  0-179 1952 URS ch sfD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. I Nei vs G Ilivitsky  0-140 1952 URS ch sfB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
6. Tolush vs I Nei  ½-½41 1952 URS ch sfD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Cherepkov vs I Nei  1-053 1952 URS ch sfE41 Nimzo-Indian
8. M Pasman vs I Nei  0-139 1952 URS ch sfE70 King's Indian
9. I Nei vs J Klavins  1-044 1952 URS ch sfC44 King's Pawn Game
10. E Chaplinsky vs I Nei ½-½42 1952 URS ch sfA19 English, Mikenas-Carls, Sicilian Variation
11. I Nei vs I Veltmander  0-148 1952 URS ch sfA04 Reti Opening
12. I Nei vs A Bannik  1-063 1952 URS ch sfC34 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Nikitin vs I Nei  1-030 1952 URS ch sfB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
14. I Nei vs V Mikenas  ½-½32 1952 URS ch sfA28 English
15. Chekhover vs I Nei  1-050 1952 URS ch sfD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. I Nei vs Kan  0-137 1952 URS ch sfB72 Sicilian, Dragon
17. I Nei vs Ravinsky  ½-½25 1952 URS ch sfA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
18. Koblents vs I Nei  1-041 1952 URS ch sfD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
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. Tal vs I Nei  ½-½32 1955 VilniusC16 French, Winawer
23. I Nei vs Chukaev 1-040 1955 URS-chT finB86 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
24. I Nei vs Simagin  ½-½41 1955 URS-chT sfB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
25. I Nei vs Boleslavsky 0-125 1955 23rd USSR Ch semi-finalE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
 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
Jan-09-05  dac1990: This guy was on Spassky's 1972 team. He wasn't there for his chess talent --he was only an IM -- and instead was there for his talent with a tennis racket. He was Spassky's "physical trainer".
Jan-09-05  MoonlitKnight: I didn't know Spassky hung out with patzers.
Jul-02-05  aw1988: Nei! Nei! Nei! Nei!
Jul-02-05  farrooj: Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnni! I meant to say Nei but it came out wrong.

is 2500, really "patzer"? He might have some good psychological advice. You can always learn new things from just about anybody

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Spassky hung out with patzers> Nei tied for the first place with Keres at Beverwijk Hoogovens tournament in 1964 (11,5/15), ahead of crowd included Larsen, Ivkov, Portisch, Filip or Parma. In 1960s and early 1970s he was in 100 or even 50 best in the world. To call him "patzer" is a little bit inept.
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.

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