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Sergei Prokofiev
S Prokofiev 
Photograph courtesy of the Serge Prokofiev Foundation.  
Number of games in database: 7
Years covered: 1914 to 1937
Overall record: +3 -2 =2 (57.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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(born Apr-27-1891, died Mar-05-1953, 61 years old) Russia

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Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. (1)

By seven, he had also learned to play chess. Chess would remain a passion of his, and he became acquainted with world chess champions Jose Raul Capablanca, whom he beat in a simultaneous exhibition match in 1914,(2) and Mikhail Botvinnik, with whom he played several matches in the 1930s. (1)

Botvinnik wrote of him: "I played chess with Prokofiev several times. He played a very vigorous, forthright game. His usual method was to launch an attack which he conducted cleverly and ingeniously. He obviously did not care for defence tactics." (3)

(1) Wikipedia article: Sergei Prokofiev
(2) Capablanca vs S Prokofiev, 1914
(3) Edward Winter, "Sergei Prokofiev and Chess"

Note: there is some uncertainty about the exact date of birth.

Last updated: 2017-03-15 01:52:03

 page 1 of 1; 7 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Capablanca vs S Prokofiev 0-143 1914 TournamentD02 Queen's Pawn Game
2. S Prokofiev vs Ed. Lasker  ½-½29 1922 Offhand gameC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
3. S Prokofiev vs M Ravel 1-025 1924 Mont La JoliE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
4. Lasker vs S Prokofiev 1-051 1933 Simul, 30bC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
5. Tartakower vs S Prokofiev 1-029 1934 Paris (France)C51 Evans Gambit
6. M Delage vs S Prokofiev 0-125 1937 ?C18 French, Winawer
7. S Prokofiev vs D Oistrakh ½-½72 1937 MoscowB72 Sicilian, Dragon
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Prokofiev wins | Prokofiev loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-11-05  WMD: From an article by Edward Winter, The Genius and the Princess, Olga Capablanca reminisces:

"Another well-known musician often came to join us at dinner. I well remember the bell boy paging us nearly every evening: 'Mr. Prokofiev is waiting...'.

"Luckily we were all soon to depart to other destinations. I had not enjoyed Mr. Profokiev's company. He was rather what in those days was called a 'sourpuss'. I don't think he liked me either, for I represented a bit of old Russia, which he officially hated. A couple of times we had arguments. If I were to compare him to someone I would think of Alekhine. The same tinge of nastiness in a rather colorless face.

"Capa's taste in music was much stricter than mine. Bach was his favorite, then came Mozart and Beethoven, while I preferred more modern composers. Chopin, Rachmaninov, Grieg, Debussey, etc. We both adored symphonic orchestras, but while I was indifferent to chamber music, in Capa's opinion the string quartet was music's highest expression. Neither of us cared for jazz."

Jun-11-05  ughaibu: I wonder which chess players were fans of Stravinsky or Lutoslawsky?
Jun-11-05  WMD: Fischer's favourite muscial artist seems to be Jackie Wilson.
Jun-11-05  ughaibu: What was Chernev's comment about Nelson Eddie and Short'nin' Bread?
Jun-11-05  paladin at large: <WMD><From an article by Edward Winter> Very interesting - thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Hanzo Steel: <Supersymmetry: Since language represents the mind conforming to reality, I don't believe one can regard someone who is, say, speaking 5 languages by the age of 10 a prodigy in that respect.>

I think this reflects a blank slate, empirical perspective on language. Many studies, however, indicate that the human brain is specially equipped to learn languages. For example, when chimps and babies are raised together, the chimps never develop language skills. Another way that Noam Chomsky puts it is that we "grow" language rather than learn it. Since humans are able to develop this kind of language hardware that animals can't seem to develop, it seems to me plausible that some people could develop better hardware than others as "language prodigies."

Aug-03-05  Runemaster: <ughaibu: I wonder which chess players were fans of Stravinsky or Lutoslawsky?>

A good question. Hubner? I'm guessing.

Aug-03-05  rexeterna: <Larsker:He never wrote a good opera - even if he tried 10 times - in my opinion because he couldn't take the melodrama seriously but had to ironize all the time.>

I have to disagree with you on that one. Opera isn't all about melodrama, and it's not as if a good opera has to have some sort of melodrama. You could take any of Mozart's comedic operas (that some people consider the greatest ever) that have little to no melodramatic aspects whatsoever. Same with some Rossini, Donizetti, even Wagner. And yes, Prokofiev. The clear contradiction to that would be his "War and Peace," which is <quite> melodramatic and is quickly becoming a classic in the repertoire. But even some of his other comedies, particularly, "Love for Three Oranges," "Betrothal in a Monastery," and even "The Gambler" (which is really more comedy-drama) are all works of genius and quality.

Apr-02-07  aragorn69: More on Prokofiev, Capablanca and Botvinnik in recent Chess Notes :
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <aragorn69> Thanks for posting that. This is his description of Rubinstein: <our own Rubinstein a coarse, unintelligent-looking face, a touch of the shopkeeper about him, but modest and talented compared to Tarrasch, erratic but dangerous to any opponent>

Curious that he describes Rubinstein as erratic before the tournament began.

Apr-02-07  paladin at large: <aragorn69> Marvelous link and rich lore. Prokofiev is a fine chronicler, too. I had read somewhere that Humphrey Bogart was regarded as the best chess playing celebrity ever, but I wonder if Profkofiev was not better, considering he beat Tartakower straight up and gave Capablanca difficulty in simuls.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <paladin at large> Prokofiev is too good a chessplayer to count as a celebrity. :-)

As is this guy: Marcel Duchamp

Oct-12-07  Whack8888: After getting the tip from adair10, I looked up Prokofiev on youtube. This is one of my favorite pieces of all time.

It is the second movement of his 7th Piano Sonata.

Jun-28-08  apple pi: Favorite Prokofiev piece: Violin Concerto No. 1, especially the third movement - "The one with the wierd chromatics"
Sep-02-08  ravel5184: My favorite Prokofiev piece: Toccata in D minor
Sep-02-08  ravel5184: My favorite part - @ 1:28
May-17-10  BobCrisp: Some of my earliest chess memories are watching the BBC's coverage of the 1984-85 world chess championship match, presented by Jeremy James and Bill Hartston and with this memorable theme tune:

Sep-14-11  Antiochus: [Event "Moscow blind"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "Sergey Prokofiev"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view

"] [PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "1914.??.??"]
[Source "Franco Pezzi"]
[SourceDate "2005.11.02"]

1. f4 d5 2. e3 c5 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. Be2 e6 5. b3 Be7 6. O-O Nc6 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Bxf3 Bf6 9. Rb1 Nge7 10. Ba3 Qa5 11. Qc1 Nb4 12. Bxb4 cxb4 13. a4 Rc8 14. g4 g6 15. d4 Qc7 16. Qd2 Qc3 17. Qe2 O-O 18. Rbc1 Bg7 19. Rfd1 Rc7 20. h4 f6 21. h5 gxh5 22. gxh5 Kh8 23. Kf2 e5 24. e4 f5 25. exd5 e4 26. d6 Bxd4+ 27. Kf1 Nd5 28. dxc7 Ne3+ 29. Kg1 Nxd1+ 30. Kh2 Ne3 31. Bh1 Qxc7 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: As far as I can tell, Prokofiev wrote the last piece of music to make it into the standard repertoire of symphony orchestras - his 5th symphony, written in 1945. Since then - nothing, nothing by anybody. It's a dead art.
Apr-16-13  Xenon Oxide: Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten? They both wrote some good stuff after 1945.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Piano Concerto #3

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Sergei Prokofiev.
Premium Chessgames Member
  posoo: NORAMI wat on ERTH are u tokking about?

in ADITION to da ovius exumples above, u also have SOMUEL BORBOR (chek out da prayers of KORKGARD)

and da best living composer, ARVO PORT

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <The process of denuding for the sake of simplicity is highly disagreeable.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Battle on the Ice

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