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Lev Psakhis

Number of games in database: 2,263
Years covered: 1977 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2450 (2517 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2625
Overall record: +771 -244 =1128 (62.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 120 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (193) 
    B30 B76 B42 B92 B84
 Ruy Lopez (88) 
    C92 C90 C96 C84 C93
 King's Indian (81) 
    E81 E80 E71 E97 E94
 French Defense (79) 
    C07 C05 C18 C11 C09
 English (74) 
    A13 A15 A10 A16 A17
 English, 1 c4 e5 (66) 
    A20 A22 A29 A21 A25
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (212) 
    C07 C18 C01 C02 C16
 Queen's Indian (141) 
    E15 E12 E17 E16 E18
 Sicilian (134) 
    B81 B42 B40 B93 B80
 Nimzo Indian (109) 
    E32 E42 E21 E20 E41
 Queen's Pawn Game (87) 
    A46 E00 A40 E10 A41
 Modern Benoni (79) 
    A70 A61 A64 A62 A75
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Psakhis vs E Martinovsky, 1989 1-0
   Psakhis vs A Kochyev, 1990 1-0
   Psakhis vs D Paunovic, 1986 1-0
   Psakhis vs Lputian, 1979 1-0
   Taimanov vs Psakhis, 1981 0-1
   Psakhis vs V Malaniuk, 1987 1-0
   Psakhis vs Smirin, 1995 1-0
   G Zaichik vs Psakhis, 1980 0-1
   Kholmov vs Psakhis, 1984 0-1
   Tiviakov vs Psakhis, 1993 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2000)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Sarajevo (1981)
   48th USSR Championship (1980)
   Szirak (1986)
   GMA World Cup Open (1988)
   Tel Aviv (1991)
   Lenk Open (1991)
   USSR Championship (1981)
   Yerevan Zonal (1982)
   Tigran Petrosian Memorial (1988)
   Moscow Championship (1981)
   Groningen Open (1993)
   Wydra Memorial (2000)
   USSR Young Masters Championship (1978)
   Leeuwarden Open (1993)
   USSR Championship First League (1979)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Tallinn 1987 by Chessdreamer
   Chigorin MT * Sochi 1988 (selected) by vonKrolock
   Szirak 1986 by Tabanus
   1983 Capablanca memorial (group A) by gauer

   🏆 TCh-ISR
   Smirin vs Psakhis (Jun-12-21) 1-0
   A Guz vs Psakhis (Apr-30-21) 1/2-1/2
   Psakhis vs Johnatan Bakalchuk (Apr-22-21) 1-0
   O Kobo vs Psakhis (Feb-14-20) 1/2-1/2
   D Zifroni vs Psakhis (Jan-18-20) 1-0

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

(born Nov-29-1958, 64 years old) Russia (federation/nationality Israel)

[what is this?]

Born in Kalinin, Siberia. Became a naturalized Israeli citizen. Two-time former champion of the Soviet Union in 1980, shared with Beliavsky, and 1981 shared with Kasparov, whom he beat in their individual game. He gained the International Master and International Grandmaster titles in 1980 and 1982 respectively, either side of two momentous Soviet Championship victories in 1980 (Vilnius—shared with Alexander Beliavsky) and 1981 (Frunze—shared with Garry Kasparov, whom he defeated in round 2).

In international tournaments, he has had many fine results, including outright or shared first place at Nałęczów 1980, Sarajevo 1981, Cienfuegos 1983, Troon 1984, Sverdlovsk 1984, Szirak 1986, Sarajevo 1986, Sevastopol 1986, Lugano Open 1988, Tel Aviv 1990 (and again in 1999), London MSO 1999 and Andorra 2002. There were creditable second-place finishes at Tallinn 1983, Sochi 1985, Trnava 1988, Calcutta 1988, Erevan 1988 and Herzliya 1998.

In the World Championship cycle, he was a runner-up at the Erevan Zonal of 1982 and qualified for the Interzonal at Las Palmas later the same year. Posting only a modest score however, he failed to progress to the Candidates stage of the competition.

He was champion of Israel in 1997 and shared the title in 1999. He has also represented his adopted country at the Chess Olympiad seven times between 1990 and 2002. At the European Team Chess Championship, he was first a member of the Soviet team at Plovdiv in 1983, when he won individual and team gold medals. Representing Israel thereafter, he took the board 4 individual gold medal at Batumi in 1999.

In terms of chess style, he was in his youth a player of sharp, complex positions, but nowadays prefers to play in a positional sense. Consequently, he has developed an affinity with the French Defence and is a noted expert on it, beginning with writing The Complete French (and The Complete Benoni) for B.T. Batsford in the early nineties. His latest Batsford effort is a four-volume treatise on the French in 2003/4, titled Vol.1 French Defence: 3. Nd2 (Tarrasch), Vol.2 French Defence: Advance and Anti-French Variations, Vol.3 French Defence: 3. Nc3 Bb4 (Winawer) and Vol.4 French Defence: Steinitz, Classical and Other Variations.

Wikipedia article: Lev Psakhis

Last updated: 2021-11-29 17:15:38

 page 1 of 91; games 1-25 of 2,263  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Portnyagin vs Psakhis  ½-½351977KrasnoyarskA64 Benoni, Fianchetto, 11...Re8
2. E Ryabchenok vs Psakhis 1-0251977VolgogradB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
3. E Piankov vs Psakhis 0-1351977IrkutskA64 Benoni, Fianchetto, 11...Re8
4. A I Zakharov vs Psakhis 0-1411977VolgogradA65 Benoni, 6.e4
5. V N Kozlov vs Psakhis  ½-½231977VolgogradA04 Reti Opening
6. G Botterill vs Psakhis 1-0231977RussiaE10 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Romanov vs Psakhis 0-1371977IrkutskA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
8. S Namgilov vs Psakhis  1-0391977RostovA75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
9. N Rashkovsky vs Psakhis  0-1381977VolgogradE00 Queen's Pawn Game
10. O Vasilchenko vs Psakhis ½-½421978TashkentA30 English, Symmetrical
11. Psakhis vs Yurtaev  1-0421978Sochi YMA04 Reti Opening
12. Azmaiparashvili vs Psakhis  0-1411978Sochi YMA34 English, Symmetrical
13. I Ivanov vs Psakhis  1-0601978Zaitsev MemorialE44 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 5.Ne2
14. Psakhis vs D Kayumov  ½-½191978Alma AtaA15 English
15. Psakhis vs Dolmatov  0-1371978Sochi YMB40 Sicilian
16. Psakhis vs Azmaiparashvili  0-1411978Sochi YMB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
17. Psakhis vs E Magerramov 0-1401978Burevestnik ChampionshipA15 English
18. Chekhov vs Psakhis  1-0371978Zaitsev MemorialB22 Sicilian, Alapin
19. A Nikitin vs Psakhis  ½-½281978Alma AtaA04 Reti Opening
20. Vladimirov vs Psakhis  ½-½461978TashkentA64 Benoni, Fianchetto, 11...Re8
21. M Gurevich vs Psakhis  0-1501978BakuA34 English, Symmetrical
22. V Seredenko vs Psakhis  1-0411978Alma-AtaB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
23. Psakhis vs E Stoliar  1-0271978Alma-AtaC05 French, Tarrasch
24. Psakhis vs A Noskov  1-0491978Alma AtaA92 Dutch
25. Psakhis vs V Doroshkievich  1-0271978Zaitsev MemorialC05 French, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 91; games 1-25 of 2,263  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Psakhis wins | Psakhis loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-29-12  SimonWebbsTiger: Lev is, touch wood, in far better health and on the mend now, the last I heard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Lev - my contemporary - was close to death a year ago, after picking up lethal diseases in a Russian blood transfusion. Now, after a liver transplant in Israel - he's reportedly much better.

Nobody has ever written with more insight on the French ... but hey, staying alive matters too.

Keep on going, Lev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Insight, leavened with a nice dash of humour.

Psakhis' books are worthwhile reading.

We played two events together in July 1992, but never met. That would have been enjoyable indeed.

Nov-29-12  parisattack: <Domdaniel...Nobody has ever written with more insight on the French ... but hey, staying alive matters too.>

Yes, awesome books on the French! Good to hear he is recovering.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Dvoretsky says that Psakhis was expelled by Botvinnik from his chess school because he played the Cochrane Gambit in a training game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> Lovely--never heard that one!!
Dec-30-14  john barleycorn: Psakhis should have attended the Tal chess school. Always wondered why he and Romanishin for example would not climb higher on the ladder. Bad luck being sandwiched between the established Karpov and the rising Kasparov, probably.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <john b> That bad luck thwarted the title aspirations of an entire generation. The two Ks were too dang good.
May-23-15  TheFocus: <The principle of my play at that time was analogous to the Brazilian approach to soccer: our opponents will score as much as they can, and we will score as much as we have to> - Lev Psakhis (discussing his play around the time he won consecutive Soviet Championships).
May-24-15  TheFocus: <In chess there are three results and two of them are good> - Lev Psakhis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Happy birthday to this former world number 7!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In the 40th year of Jaws ... Lev Psakhis!
Nov-29-16  Marmot PFL: <Dvoretsky says that Psakhis was expelled by Botvinnik from his chess school because he played the Cochrane Gambit in a training game.>

Gambits are very useful, for learning both attacking and defensive play and improving tactical ability. Even if you don't play these lines you still have to be able to meet them.

Nov-29-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Lev Phakhis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: The USSR took first place at the 1981 World Student Team Championship.

"After the tournament, Lev Psakhis and Juoian Hodgson got into a deep discussion. Fairly inebriated, Julian asked what would have happened if the Russians had not taken first place.

"'I would have gone to Siberia,' Lev replied. Julian expressed shock and dismay, but Lev let the hammer drop. "It's not so bad. I live in Siberia."

(Joel Benjamin)

May-24-17  Howard: Hard to believe that Psakhas was tied for 7th in the world on the July, 1982 rating list, but....he was ! His rating had shot up 70 points since the last list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: At least one humanoid claims Lev has a 120 game unbeaten streak. Anyone have specific dates for this? tyia
Oct-30-18  whiteshark: <ketchuplover>

"But I can add a further twist to the saga, as I am also aware of the fact that <GM Lev Psakhis>, formerly the world No.7 and a two-time USSR co-champion from the early 1980s, went on an unbeaten run streak of 120 games that <stretched through late 1996 to mid-1998.>"

-- one humanoid

Nov-29-18  SChesshevsky: Seems a shame he didn't seem to get out of the Soviet Union much in what was maybe his prime years.

But the guy sure could play chess:

Psakhis vs Seirawan, 1990

Korchnoi vs Psakhis, 1993

Psakhis vs Korchnoi, 2001

Oct-09-19  PJs Studio: In 64 games, Lev had 31 wins and only SIX loses (during his entire professional career(!)) with the Modern Benoni.

That is damn Inspirational

Oct-10-19  parisattack: He mentions in his book, The Complete Benoni (1995) he (now) only plays it against an early Nf3 for White to avoid the Taimanov.

If you decide to tread the Benoni waters - May the Force be with you.

Oct-31-19  PJs Studio: The Benoni was my first love. I totally don’t mind playing against the Taimanov. White usually over extends himself. (I understand it’s very good for white, but black has moves to counter.) Other white lines of the Benoni seem to cramp black even further.
Apr-15-20  wordfunph: gm lev psakhis in now my friend in facebok.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <wordfunph: gm lev psakhis in now my friend in facebok.>


Jul-20-20  PJs Studio: I’m friends with Shirov on Facebook. But it’s not like we chat frequently. Man what a super player he was!
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