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Leonid Shamkovich

Number of games in database: 1,221
Years covered: 1949 to 1998
Highest rating achieved in database: 2540
Overall record: +434 -339 =446 (53.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (140) 
    B33 B20 B32 B46 B45
 Ruy Lopez (78) 
    C78 C95 C67 C87 C97
 King's Indian (59) 
    E61 E81 E80 E92 E60
 French Defense (49) 
    C05 C07 C04 C09 C18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (38) 
    C95 C87 C97 C99 C93
 French Tarrasch (34) 
    C05 C07 C04 C09 C03
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (180) 
    B42 B89 B40 B43 B81
 English (37) 
    A16 A15 A14 A10 A11
 English, 1 c4 c5 (32) 
    A30 A34 A36 A37 A39
 Sicilian Kan (31) 
    B42 B43 B41
 Grunfeld (31) 
    D85 D91 D94 D80 D97
 Nimzo Indian (31) 
    E41 E46 E21 E52 E39
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Shamkovich vs A Anguiano, 1978 1-0
   Shamkovich vs V Zheliandinov, 1959 1-0
   Shamkovich vs Kholmov, 1961 1-0
   Evans vs Shamkovich, 1980 0-1
   I Platonov vs Shamkovich, 1971 0-1
   Shamkovich vs M Damjanovic, 1967 1-0
   Shamkovich vs G Lebredo Zaragoitia, 1978 1-0
   Shamkovich vs Tukmakov, 1970 1-0
   Taimanov vs Shamkovich, 1954 1/2-1/2
   Shamkovich vs Benjamin, 1976 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   URS-ch sf Ivano-Frankivsk (1971)
   Mexico City (1978)
   Moscow Championship (1961)
   Marshall Open (1979)
   Marianske Lazne (1965)
   Asztalos Memorial (1967)
   URS-ch sf Baku (1951)
   4th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1980)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   Amsterdam IBM-B (1979)
   Moscow (1962)
   October Revolution 50 (1967)
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1957)
   Kislovodsk (1968)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Palma de Mallorca 1966 by Tabanus

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(born Jun-01-1923, died Apr-22-2005, 81 years old) Russia (federation/nationality United States of America)
[what is this?]
Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich was born in Rostov-on-Don in the Soviet Union. Awarded the GM title in 1965 he emigrated to the USA via Israel and Canada. He was 5th= in the 32nd USSR Championship 1964-65 and in other tournaments he finished 1st= at Sochi 1967, 1st= at Timisoara 1972, 1st at Calgary 1975 (Canadian open), 1st= at New York 1976, 1st= in the 1976 US Open and 1st= at New York 1977. He was also a well known chess author. He passed away in his home in Brooklyn, New York in 2005.

source: "Leonid Shamkovich, 81, Ex-Soviet Chess Grandmaster, Is Dead" by Dylan Loeb McClain -

Wikipedia article: Leonid Shamkovich

 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,221  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Shamkovich vs D Rovner 1-0351949Leningrad ChampionshipA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
2. N Novotelnov vs Shamkovich 1-0531950URS-ch sf TartuD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
3. L Sherbakov vs Shamkovich  1-0411950URS-ch sf TartuB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
4. A Bannik vs Shamkovich 1-0461950URS-ch sf TartuA07 King's Indian Attack
5. Shamkovich vs D Rovner  ½-½531950URS-ch sf TartuA25 English
6. Krogius vs Shamkovich 1-030195111th Ch RSFSR A70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
7. Shamkovich vs Simagin 0-1271951Chigorin MemorialD99 Grunfeld Defense, Smyslov
8. Taimanov vs Shamkovich 1-0281951Chigorin MemorialC18 French, Winawer
9. N Aratovsky vs Shamkovich 0-132195111th Ch RSFSR D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. S Kotlerman vs Shamkovich  0-1541951URS-ch sf BakuA45 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Lilienthal vs Shamkovich 1-0191951URS-ch sf BakuD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Estrin vs Shamkovich  1-0361951URS-ch sf BakuB50 Sicilian
13. Shamkovich vs Taimanov  1-0501951URS-ch sf BakuD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
14. Shamkovich vs S Zhukhovitsky  1-0371951URS-ch sf BakuE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
15. Shamkovich vs G Goldberg  1-0681951URS-ch sf BakuB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
16. Shamkovich vs V Tarasov  1-0361951URS-ch sf BakuB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
17. A Konstantinopolsky vs Shamkovich  0-1371952URS-ch02 corr5255D85 Grunfeld
18. Shamkovich vs I Veltmander  0-1231952RSFSR ChampionshipD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Aronin vs Shamkovich  1-0311952RSFSR ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
20. Y Shaposhnikov vs Shamkovich  1-0231953Correspondence GameA16 English
21. Shamkovich vs Kholmov  0-1511953URS-ch sf VilniusE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
22. Shamkovich vs Aronin  0-155195313th Ch RSFSRB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
23. Shamkovich vs V Skotorenko  1-033195313th Ch RSFSRE60 King's Indian Defense
24. Shamkovich vs I Zilber 1-0291953RigaD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
25. Krogius vs Shamkovich  0-141195313th Ch RSFSRE95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,221  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Shamkovich wins | Shamkovich loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-10-10  whiteshark: Leonid Shamkovich was born on June1,1923 in Rostov-on-Don, USSR, and began playing chess at the age of nine. In 1941, at the beginning of World War II, his family was evacuated to Tbilisi in Soviet Georgia, where young Leonid became a Candidate Master.

After the war, Shamkovich moved to Leningrad, where he graduated from the university with a degree in physics and earned his Master's title in three years. Soon he abandoned all pursuit of a ''mainstream'' career to become a chess professional, combining tremendous activity as a player with internationally recognized work as a theoretician.

Between 1954 and 1974, Shamkovich was extremely active in the USSR. He was twice Russian Republic Champion (1954,1957) and Moscow Co-Champion with David Bronstein in 1963, narrowly losing a playoff 2.5-1-5. He participated in the famous Kiev USSR Championship with a stellar field of Soviet grandmasters, including Korchnoi, Stein, Bronstein, Tal, Geller, Kholmov, Suetin and Vasyukov. He went on compete a total of six times in the USSR Championship, sharing 5th place in 1964. In 1962, Shamkovich competed in his first international tournament, the Moscow International, finishing equal third behind Averback and Vasyukov and earning an International Master norm. In Marianske Lazen (1965) he finished third behind Hort and Keres, achieving his first grandmaster norm. At Sochi (1967) he tied for first with Krogius, Simagin, Spassky and Zaitsev. During this same period, Shamkovich was also second and trainer to Tal (1965) and Stein (1972), publishing a prodigious number of theoretical works, including the book ''Sacrifice in Chess''. During 1969-1972 he won three international tournaments in Romania and Hungary.

In 1975 he emigrated to Israel, winning their Open Championship. The following year he came to the US via Canada and established permanent residence. He has been a US citizen since 1983. Since arriving in the US he has won the US Open twice (1976,1977), qualified for the 1979 Interzonal in Rio, and competed in the 1980 Malta Olympiad. Shamkovich is still playing strong chess, writing internationally recognized books and articles, and serving as one of America's most qualified and experienced coaches.

Shamkovich is a popular author. His book ''Sacrifice in Chess'' was translated for publication in the US. He has authored or co-authored works such as ''The Tactical World of Chess'', ''Fischer vs Spassky, 1992'' and ''The Schliemann Defense'', among others.''

(From the introduction of ''The Chess Terrorist's Handbook'', 1995) found here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The first GM I ever faced in tournament play, in the third round of the New England Open in Merrimack, NH.

The night before, I'd had an 8.5 hour marathon with Danny Kopec; I went to the pairing sheet that Sunday morning of Labour Day weekend to find myself with an even tougher nut to crack this time round!

In the game itself, I played the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Ne2 Ba6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Nxc3 d5 8.b3; the 4....b6 line was one I would often play as Black through the 1990s.

While I don't remember any more specifics about this game, other than Shamkovich marching his king all the way into my position with heavy pieces still on the board, this is one of my games against GMs I shall not forget.

May-12-11  Marcelo Bruno: He and another writer did an excellent article about Jacob Yuchtman: they were awarded with the best prize for a chess biography.
May-12-11  I play the Fred: I read that article on Yuchtman. It was very interesting about a player I hadn't heard of before.
Jun-01-11  talisman: happy b'day leonid..RIP.
Nov-20-12  PhilFeeley: Another game for some reason <> does not have. Again, found on Kevin Spraggett's blog:

click for larger view

Shamkovitch - Kholmov, Baku, 1961.

White to play and win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phil Feeley> Come again?

L Shamkovich vs Kholmov, 1961 fills the bill.

Oct-26-13  hedgeh0g: Related to <Shams>?
Apr-28-14  whiteshark: Kevin did it again - extended biographical infos and memories + some nice tactical crumbs:


May-09-15  TheFocus: <The endgame is an arena in which miraculous escapes are not uncommon> - Leonid Shamkovich.
May-10-15  TheFocus: <In modern praxis lost positions are salvaged most often when the play is highly complicated with many sharp dynamic variations to be calculated> - Leonid Shamkovich.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <A real sacrifice involves a radical change in the character of a game which cannot be effected without foresight, fantasy, and the willingness to risk> - Leonid Shamkovich.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <Objectivity and presence of mind are essential in such positions where sacrificial temptations are not always resistible> - Leonid Shamkovich.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <The proper timing of an attacking plan is a difficult matter which places great strain on a player's nerves. Mastery of this art is required for success in the international arena, but perfect mastery eludes even the very best chessplayers!> - Leonid Shamkovich.
May-16-15  TheFocus: <A great chess player always has a good memory> - Leonid Shamkovich.
Apr-22-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Leonid Shamkovich.
May-09-16  Howard: Agreed! He wrote some good articles for "Chess Life"---no doubt about it.
Jun-01-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Leonid Shamkovich.
Jun-02-16  Boomie: I was walking down the sidewalk at Lone Pine and saw GM Shamkovich walking toward me. He may have had an adjourned game because he was absorbed in thought. He was so absorbed, in fact, that he walked into a lamp post. Almost without losing a step, he proceeded as before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I walked into a lamp post once. True story.
May-20-20  wordfunph: Russian chessplayers some time in the 50s called Leonid Shamkovich "The Prince" because of his aristocratic chess style.

- Michael Khodarkovsky

Jun-01-20  SirChrislov: Happy birthday Mr Shamkovich - I consider your book on the Tarrasch defense an old classic!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <wordfunph: Russian chessplayers some time in the 50s called Leonid Shamkovich "The Prince" because of his aristocratic chess style.>

... which prompts the question: what the heck is an aristocratic chess style??

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Curious; I had always thought Shamkovich earned that soubriquet due to his bearing.
Jun-08-20  SirChrislov: Fusilli: <wordfunph: Russian chessplayers some time in the 50s called Leonid Shamkovich "The Prince" because of his aristocratic chess style.

... which prompts the question: what the heck is an aristocratic chess style??>

good question. sounds fancy to me. like "distinguished."

- "hi honey, how did your game go?"

- not so well my dear. I was bested, though an enjoyable defeat. the gentleman beat me aristocratically.

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