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Lev Alburt
Number of games in database: 886
Years covered: 1965 to 2012
Last FIDE rating: 2539 (2526 rapid, 2521 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2550

Overall record: +326 -231 =318 (55.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 11 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (104) 
    A45 E00 A46 A40 A41
 King's Indian (52) 
    E73 E75 E91 E92 E74
 Catalan (42) 
    E04 E06 E02 E09 E01
 Modern Benoni (30) 
    A62 A70 A63 A57 A56
 English (23) 
    A15 A10 A16 A13 A18
 Slav (21) 
    D11 D15
With the Black pieces:
 Alekhine's Defense (161) 
    B04 B05 B02 B03
 Modern Benoni (67) 
    A57 A58 A59 A56 A67
 Benko Gambit (62) 
    A57 A58 A59
 Queen's Pawn Game (49) 
    A46 E10 A45 D02 A41
 English, 1 c4 c5 (43) 
    A34 A35 A30 A32 A31
 English (34) 
    A15 A14 A16 A13
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Hort vs Alburt, 1977 0-1
   Alburt vs N Weinstein, 1984 1-0
   Kupreichik vs Alburt, 1974 0-1
   Dlugy vs Alburt, 1990 0-1
   Alburt vs K Lerner, 1978 1-0
   A Kuindzhy vs Alburt, 1974 0-1
   Gufeld vs Alburt, 1972 0-1
   Tseshkovsky vs Alburt, 1976 1/2-1/2
   Alburt vs T Georgadze, 1971 1/2-1/2
   M Shereshevsky vs Alburt, 1974 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1980/81 (1980)
   Lone Pine (1980)
   USSR Championship (1974)
   Lone Pine (1981)
   Taxco Interzonal (1985)
   US Championship (1991)
   USSR Championship (1967)
   USSR Championship (1972)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   FAVORITE PLAYERS by gambitfan
   USSR Championship 1974 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings (1980/81) by Chessical
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1980 by suenteus po 147
   benko gambit by jrofrano

   🏆 Platonov Memorial
   Kaidanov vs Alburt (Aug-01-12) 1-0
   Alburt vs M Gurevich (Jul-31-12) 1/2-1/2
   Alburt vs Gulko (Jul-29-12) 0-1
   Alburt vs Palatnik (Jul-28-12) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Lev Alburt
Search Google for Lev Alburt
FIDE player card for Lev Alburt

(born Aug-21-1945, 72 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]
Lev Osipovich Alburt was born in Orenburg, Russia (formerly USSR). Awarded the IM title in 1976 and the GM title in 1977, he won the Ukrainian Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He played in five USSR Championships. with 3rd place as his best showing.

In 1979 he defected to the USA and led the US Olympiad team in 1980 at Malta. He also won the US Championship in 1984, 1985, and 1990 He also drew an eight game match against then British Champion Jonathan Speelman in 1986. He won the US Open in 1987 and 1989.

Wikipedia article: Lev Alburt

 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 886  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alburt vs Byvshev 1-0361965Moscow URSC45 Scotch Game
2. Volovich vs Alburt 1-0431966URS-chTD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
3. Taimanov vs Alburt 1-0271966URS-chTD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. A A Bykhovsky vs Alburt  1-0471966URS-chTB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
5. Alburt vs Polugaevsky 1-0401966URS-chTA45 Queen's Pawn Game
6. I Platonov vs Alburt  1-0411967USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
7. R Barstatis vs Alburt 1-0251967USSR ChampionshipB75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
8. Y Sakharov vs Alburt  0-1221967USSR ChampionshipB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
9. Alburt vs Vasiukov 0-1311967USSR ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
10. Alburt vs V Osnos  1-0401967USSR ChampionshipA21 English
11. Alburt vs Sosonko  ½-½451967USSR ChampionshipB30 Sicilian
12. A Z Kapengut vs Alburt  1-0291967Ch URS (students)C70 Ruy Lopez
13. Y Shilov vs Alburt  ½-½601967USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
14. A Shamis-Pavlov vs Alburt  0-1631967USSR ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Sveshnikov vs Alburt  ½-½611968Ch URS (students)B22 Sicilian, Alapin
16. Dzindzichashvili vs Alburt  1-0251968URS-ch U26B40 Sicilian
17. Alburt vs E Ubilava  1-0461969URS-ch Young MastersB06 Robatsch
18. Alburt vs Viktor Gurevich  ½-½401969URS-ch sfD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Schulz vs Alburt 1-0181969Ch URSC41 Philidor Defense
20. Kupreichik vs Alburt  0-1801969URS-ch Young MastersC02 French, Advance
21. Alburt vs I Radashkovich  1-0281969URS-ch Young MastersC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
22. Razuvaev vs Alburt  0-1421970URS-ch U18E13 Queen's Indian, 4.Nc3, Main line
23. Alburt vs I Radashkovich 1-0291970URS-ch U18C45 Scotch Game
24. Alburt vs Lutikov  1-0391970URS Cup qfD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
25. Alburt vs M Ruderfer 0-1181970URS CupB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 36; games 1-25 of 886  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Alburt wins | Alburt loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-28-09  jackpawn: Of course Alburt comment about a possible Fischer-Karpov match was silly, but there is an element of truth in it. I have no doubt the Soviets intended to do everything possible to disrupt Fischer, trying to push him over the edge. There would be no repeat of Spassky's actions, where Boris was willing to meet Fischer's demands more than halfway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Karpov knew he could hardly draw a game with Fischer...> (<Alburt's assessment>)

This statement seems to have been inspired by Alburt's anti-Soviet ideology rather than by reality. Karpov was a clearly stronger player in 1975 than Spassky was in 1972, and Spassky did draw several games with Fischer, and won a couple too. Besides, Karpov had nerves of steel (Spassky didn't and Fischer's behavior in Reykjavik did eventually bother him). Take his Baguio match with Korchnoi as proof. In his 1984 match with Kasparov he faltered, but it wasn't his nervous system but his stamina what faltered.

All that said, Karpov's play at the time, and for the next ten years, was nearly superb, and his positional and strategic style was ideal to fight Fischer. But to me, it is clear that if someone was afraid of losing it was Fischer, not Karpov.

I am not saying Karpov would have won a match with Fischer, but I am saying it is anyone's guess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "Among grandmasters, two extra pawns usually spell victory while an extra pawn means about a 50% winning chance." GM Lev Alburt
Aug-21-10  miguelito: karpov was clearly stronger player in 1975 than spassky was in 1972 ? . ja , karpov beat korchnoi 47 years old in 1978 6-5 and 21 draws and the "weak" spassky beat korchnoi 6.5 - 3.5 in 1968 . Spassky was defeated in 1974 by a GM Brezhnev .
Aug-21-10  talisman: Happy birthday Lev. Thanks for making 1979 a great year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: When GM Lev Alburt was asked for his three greatest chessplayers of all time, his answer:

#1 = Capablanca

tie for 2nd-5th = Botvinnik, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Alburt's comments about Karpov having no chance v. Fischer must be taken with a grain of salt. He grew up in the Ukraine when it was still a part of the USSR. People of his era have no love for the government of Russia and the people who benefitted from that system. He had to defect, to realize his potential as a player, both over the board and financially.

His books are extremely readable. One of the finest chess authors.

Feb-10-11  poorpatzer: Anybody read Chess Openings for White, Explained, by Alburt, Dzindzi, and Eugene Perelshteyn? It looks good, but it's quite a pretty penny ($30) so it'd be nice to get some user feedback before purchasing. Thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <HeMateMe> I tend to take Albert's view as his opinion. You disagree, so what. Just don't try to mock his opinion. I've always held the belief that Korchnoi gave Karpov everything he could and almost prevailed and Korchnoi was 20 years his senior, Bobby would have won convincingly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Joshing> I'm not sure if Alburt can be 100% objective about a Russian, when you are a Ukrainian who had defected, to get more personal freedoms.

In any case, if one looks at Karpov's superb efforts in Kasparov in five matches, -2 after 180 games, you can see that he would have given Fischer all he can handle.

Korchnoi says a lot of silly, irresponsible things. Just look at the record. You need not take a grandmaster's public comments so seriously.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day:
< "Karpov knew he could hardly draw a game with Fischer, never mind winning one or two games. His only chance was to disrupt the match. So a whole arsenal of tricks was worked out, designed to upset the sensitive American, unaccustomed to such methods." >

I knew Fischer should've just agreed to the conditions and played the match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think the razor sharp of Fischer would have won the match. But--"hardly draw a game or two....."?

If Kasparov just barely got past Karpov, why would it be easy for Fischer? People need to let go of the hero worship and get real.

Mar-18-11  fab4: Anatoly was and is a great player. Deservedly ranking amongst the all time chess greats.

But lets get this straight.. he had an entire monolithic system behind him. A system possessing mega influence in the world of chess.. both for summoning up the best seconds, trainers and preparation, and for smoothing the way re tournaments and access ect...

This is Alburt's page. He could tell you a thing or two regarding the flipside of that Soviet coin..

And yes,ofcourse, RJF was the very antithesis of all that.And he had no state help..The generation of chess posters on sites like this born after 1990 cannot comprehend what the cold war was like.. or indeed how much Fischer was up against..

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That was my point. Anyone with real chess talent growing up in the Ukraine would be quite angry with the USSR. Actually, ANYONE growing up under their system, the Baltic nations, the central asian peoples, etc., would want their individual freedoms.

In Alburt's case, he probably had to do well in the closed USSR championship to get those coveted opportunities to play in the West, make some foreign currency, get GM norms, etc.. I would guess he would be less than a big fan of Karpov, and, like Korchnoi, would think that Fischer was a huge breath of fresh air, terrific for the game.

But this "....Karpov would hardly draw a game or two [against Fischer]" is the sort of off hand remark that you hear in a bar; I wouldn't even take it seriously. A chess professional like Alburt would know how difficult a match with Karpov would be.

If such words were serious, then it comes from blind hatred of Russia, not from an objective viewpoint. Karpov, barely losing to Kasparov in matches at -2, with roughly 180 draws, would be a horrific opponent for Fischer or anyone else.

Mar-18-11  fab4: Yes ofcourse. The quote is a loaded quote. Not to be taken literally I would hope.

Alburt was playing chess in the 60's.. he's only a few years younger than RJF.. and what RJF represented to him, and that whole generation of chess players and public alike, behind the iron curtain, is something which transcends tourney stats and such like.. transcends chess.

Posters on this site born after that era don't understand this. But yes, Alburt would be considered a 'tainted source' by any respectable chess historian lol

Mar-18-11  rapidcitychess: <
Karpov knew he could hardly draw a game with Fischer, never mind winning one or two games. His only chance was to disrupt the match. So a whole arsenal of tricks was worked out, designed to upset the sensitive American, unaccustomed to such methods. >

--- Lev Alburt

<I knew Fischer should of played the match> The whole quote is ridiculous. I don't know why likes it. Fischer was great, but it would not be a shut-out.

<unaccustomed to such methods> It has been said Fischer used such methods against Spassky. And besides, the infinite match system was dangerous to sponsors, potentially draining millions of dollars. And Fischer didn't like the idea of being able to coast to victory after getting a one point lead. A conflict occurred, and that was it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < rapidcitychess : <I knew Fischer should of played the match> The whole quote is ridiculous. I don't know why likes it. Fischer was great, but it would not be a shut-out. >

Well I like it.Fischer is obviously not alive anymore,but I wonder if he ever thought about maintaining his championship title instead of just forfeiting.

Mar-18-11  unsound: Penguincw actually wrote <<should've>...played the match>, not the nonsensical "should of." Which normally I would let slide, but come on, he showed how it was done right there. On the other hand, I completely agree with rapidcitychess that Alburt's statement is preposterous.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: No way Bobby was afraid of <Karpov>.

I quote a friend and colleague of Bobby's, <GM Roman Dzhindzhivilli>, from <Roman's> personal reminiscence/documentary about Bobby:

<Bobby Fischer Documentary>

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

From the documentary-

Roman Dzhindzshivilli:

"We all know that Bobby Fischer was absolute genius, that's not secret I don't even have to mention it."

"We should all know what it mean in Soviet Union not to obey order."

"Bobby refused to defend his title in '75 against Anatoli Karpov. Of course that would be silly to think Bobby was afraid. Because Bobby was not afraid of Anatoli Karpov, I know that for sure. Also I'm good friend of Anatoli Karpov and I can tell you I believe Bobby Fischer would have won match."

Mar-19-11  fab4: Absolutely. It's absurd to say Fischer was 'afraid' of Karpov in a sporting sense. Absurd and very simplistic. Fischer was locked in a battle with FIDE and the control of the future direction of chess. Karpov at that time was just a side product of all this..

it's important to realsie Fischer thought he could beat anyone over the board. He feared nobody.

Alburt's quote is equally absurd though.If the match would've taken place, it would've been closer than that.

Mar-19-11  unsound: For those who haven't read it already, Kasparov is actually interesting on this topic (agreeing that Bobby was afraid of nobody at the board, but also suggesting that he didn't like putting perfection in jeopardy):
Mar-19-11  Lennonfan: <fabster>Go check out the game between carlsen and(harestead i think?)i recently commented on)played back in 03 and tell me that aint genius for some 12 yr old kid.seriously he plays that well,and you know im no seem ok fabster but PLEASE stop with this fischer worshiping? Yes..he was a fantastic player,but i dont think his strange behaviour(i dont personally see the allure that makes him the greatest chess player thats ever lived..seriously kidda,leave the groupie hero worship to <jessicaqueen> can tell by her name she's a fanchick,yeh?) And regarding some above posts..lets forget where you grow up,what schools you went to,who your teachers were etc..facts and achievements spk for themselves...fischer was not the greatest chess player..Kasparov was because of his achievements over a long period..And i went to a crappy school,yet still beat the best in my age group and above from the best private schools around,won every tourney dont make me fischer!!He was good..but he weren't GK
Mar-19-11  fab4: @ <lenna>

chap. we'll always disagree. You think Kaspy is a god. I think you've no appreciation of time, and history..

Mar-19-11  Lennonfan: <fabster>...we dont always have to disagree....chap! Lets just agree on something worship fischer,and i "appreciate" Kasparov... Big difference kidda..
I think fischer was a great player,i just think Kasparov was better.....i dont wish to get into no argument like you <focus> and <scach> are currently in,but please dont say who,or what,i do or dont appreciate....i have my fav you have just so happens that my fav player is a greater player than your fav player!!! This is what makes me think your just a teenager with a man crush sometimes because of the superlatives you use to describe fischer and your love for him...if thats how your feeling,just think no less of you,but at least i know why you adore him so much....come on fabster,do you like men?? Iv nothing against you guys it just explains a lot... And iv no argument with you kid,ur a decent lad,just misguided....but i appreciate your opinions all the same.. "bobby and the fabster sitting in a tree" lol just messing
Mar-20-11  Caissanist: Alburt was of course best known as a chess master, but his passion was Soviet politics--he once wrote in <Chess Life> that he didn't even like chess, and would rather make his living at some kind of institute that studied that subject. He could be insightful--he basically predicted the course of the first Kasparov-Karpov match. However, in my opinion his cold war dogmatism biased his evaluation of chess matters, and the Karpov-Fischer quote is a good example.
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