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Vitaly Tseshkovsky
From the Agzamov Memorial, 2008 (photo by Jamshid Begmatov)  
Number of games in database: 1,951
Years covered: 1963 to 2010
Last FIDE rating: 2460
Highest rating achieved in database: 2600

Overall record: +705 -378 =844 (58.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 24 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (448) 
    B92 B90 B30 B43 B93
 Ruy Lopez (193) 
    C92 C91 C67 C90 C78
 French Defense (132) 
    C18 C11 C07 C10 C16
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (106) 
    C92 C91 C90 C84 C93
 Sicilian Najdorf (102) 
    B92 B90 B93 B91
 Caro-Kann (61) 
    B18 B17 B15 B10 B12
With the Black pieces:
 Grunfeld (115) 
    D85 D91 D87 D82 D80
 Ruy Lopez (113) 
    C84 C78 C89 C92 C96
 Pirc (108) 
    B07 B08 B09
 Sicilian (104) 
    B52 B30 B62 B94 B33
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (62) 
    C84 C89 C92 C96 C91
 King's Indian (62) 
    E60 E63 E62 E64 E92
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tseshkovsky vs I Polgar, 1964 1-0
   Tseshkovsky vs Lutikov, 1969 1-0
   Dorfman vs Tseshkovsky, 1978 0-1
   Kouatly vs Tseshkovsky, 1988 0-1
   Tseshkovsky vs Savon, 1977 1-0
   Tseshkovsky vs Browne, 1976 1-0
   I Ivanov vs Tseshkovsky, 1977 0-1
   Tseshkovsky vs Alburt, 1976 1/2-1/2
   Tseshkovsky vs Lputian, 1977 1-0
   Tseshkovsky vs B Itkis, 1983 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   46th USSR Championship (1978)
   Yerevan (1980)
   Vilnius Zonal (1975)
   USSR Championship (1986)
   Hoogovens-B (1988)
   Minsk (1982)
   46th URS-ch selection (1978)
   URS-ch First League (1974)
   Riga (1981)
   Frunze (1983)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Bled / Portoroz (1979)
   USSR Championship 1968/69 (1968)
   48th USSR Championship (1980)
   Politiken Cup (1996)

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(born Sep-25-1944, died Dec-24-2011, 67 years old) Russia

[what is this?]
Vitaly Valerianovich Tseshkovsky was born in Omsk, USSR. Awarded the IM title in 1973 and the GM title in 1975, he was USSR Champion in 1978 [rusbase-1] (jointly with Mikhail Tal) and 1986 [rusbase-2].

Internationally he finished first at Bucharest 1974, Leipzig 1975, Dubna 1976, Banja Luka 1981, Sochi 1981 and Minsk 1982. Tseshkovsky was the European Senior champion in 2009 and 2010.

In December 2011, while playing in the first round of a rapid tournament in Krasnodar, Tseshkovsky became ill, dying on December 24 of that year.

In addition to his achievements as a player, Tseshkovsky was also a well-regarded chess coach. Several of his former students, including Vladimir Kramnik and Vugar Gashimov, wrote online tributes to him after his death.

Wikipedia article: Vitaly Tseshkovsky

 page 1 of 80; games 1-25 of 1,984  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. B A Zlotnik vs Tseshkovsky  0-1381963URS-ch U26C72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
2. Tseshkovsky vs A Bukhover  1-0481963URSB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
3. Tseshkovsky vs V Voskanian ½-½581963URSB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
4. Tseshkovsky vs M Szekely  1-0331963HUN-RSFSRC41 Philidor Defense
5. M Szekely vs Tseshkovsky  1-0421963HUN-RSFSRC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
6. Tseshkovsky vs M Szekely  0-1351963HUN-RSFSRC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
7. M Szekely vs Tseshkovsky  1-0561963HUN-RSFSRC50 Giuoco Piano
8. I Nemet vs Tseshkovsky  0-1861963YUG-URSC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
9. Tseshkovsky vs I Nemet  0-1351963YUG-URSB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
10. Tseshkovsky vs N Zilberman  0-1441964URSC05 French, Tarrasch
11. Tseshkovsky vs I Polgar 1-0301964RSFSR-HUNC00 French Defense
12. Tseshkovsky vs F Cheremisin  1-0361964Burevestnik CC-chB83 Sicilian
13. E Stoliar vs Tseshkovsky  1-0421964Burevestnik CC-chA25 English
14. I Polgar vs Tseshkovsky  1-0391964RSFSR-HUNE14 Queen's Indian
15. I Polgar vs Tseshkovsky  0-1571964RSFSR-HUNE14 Queen's Indian
16. A Roshal vs Tseshkovsky  ½-½431964Burevestnik CC-chA04 Reti Opening
17. Tseshkovsky vs I Polgar 1-0351964RSFSR-HUNB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
18. S Giterman vs Tseshkovsky 0-1391966URS-chTC29 Vienna Gambit
19. N Levin vs Tseshkovsky  ½-½361966URS-chTC28 Vienna Game
20. J Yuchtman vs Tseshkovsky  1-0411966URS-chTA45 Queen's Pawn Game
21. G Khodos vs Tseshkovsky  ½-½441967RUS SpartakiadE25 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
22. V Zilberstein vs Tseshkovsky  0-1341967RUS SpartakiadC46 Three Knights
23. Tseshkovsky vs A Cherepkov  1-0321967USSR ChampionshipB49 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. A Lukin vs Tseshkovsky  0-1351967USSR ChampionshipC72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O
25. Tseshkovsky vs Y Sakharov 0-1411967USSR ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 page 1 of 80; games 1-25 of 1,984  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tseshkovsky wins | Tseshkovsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Yesterday in Thessaloniki, Greece he was also European senior champion 2010:, congratulations!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Caissianist> Tseshkovsky was definitely a top player, as stated; his only crack at the WC series wasn't terribly successful, but that could be said of Walter Browne as well. We're talking about someone who was strong enough to get invited to some decent foreign events, which was no mean feat if you weren't one of the past or present World Champions. He was ~2550, maybe higher, in the late 1970s, on the lists published at the time. While not quite a contender for the title, Tseshkovsky was an interesting and strong player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One more note re Tseshkovsky: his rating on the official FIDE list published 1.1.77 was 2590, good for equal 18th with Geller and Timman.

He could play a little.

Sep-25-11  BIDMONFA: Vitaly Tseshkovsky


Dec-24-11  Eastfrisian: He died today, only 67 years old. R.I.P.
Dec-24-11  stanleys: Yes,it's true,what a sad news :( He died during a tournament

R.I.P GM Tseshkovsky

Dec-24-11  King Death: A very strong player who made a name for himself although he was never in the very first rank of Soviet GMs with all of that talent they had.


Dec-24-11  Petrosianic: He was a 2-time Soviet champion. Don't sell him short.
Dec-24-11  Prugno: Reading of his death at a relatively early age is not the happiest way to start Christmas Day :-(

I greatly admired both Tseshkovsky's strength (positional and tactical) and his style of play. It would be nice if this was the occasion to have another look at some of his best games.

"Sit terra tibi levis"

Dec-24-11  King Death: <Petrosianic: He was a 2-time Soviet champion. Don't sell him short.>

Did I?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: This final-round game boosted him to the first of those Soviet championships. I like the unusual finish, with the king delivering two consecutive discovered checks and the elegant mate.

Dorfman vs Tseshkovsky, 1978

Please ignore the incorrect result; it should be <0-1>.

Dec-28-11  bronkenstein: bronkenstein: Few excerpts from Kramnik`s tribute to his late coach ( , on Russian):

<The number of unconditionally devoted chessman , as Vitaly Valeryevich was , is small and getting smaller. He was also independent , proud , he didnt like any kind of pressure and behind-the-scenes stuff. Most likely for that reason he wasnt getting to play much international tournaments , because in those times you had to `oil the machine` here and there , a smile , a small present on the right place ... He really was above that , so he was not playing much abroad.

In that sense he belonged to `The Lost Generation`.I believe that , if he could go abroad as Korchnoi , he would become top player , the level of , Lessay, Timman , he would be constantly in top 10. Although its very hard to me to imagine Vitaly abroad , he was so much ours , so connected to the Russian culture and heritage.

Here , he rusted a bit : talent without tournaments. He was even telling me that at some point he lost the interest to building serious chess career. He understood that he is not big name as Karpov , who was `given` all the possible tournaments , and without serious play you cant really raise your level. He , in a way , capitulated and decided to simply play the game for his own pleasure.>

<In 1994. our cooperation ended , because at that point chess started changing drastically. The computers emerged , and Vitaly Valeryevich was working the way he used to for decades , falling behind the enormously growing amount of data.

He analysed unbelieveably deep , but in slow , classical manner. I had the feeling that i can`t accomplish enough in preparation , deciding that its better to sacrifice a bit of depth for the `width`. So I started working with younger folks that were better in computer work.With Vitaly Valeryevich I never had any personal problems , but our ways silently parted.

He was the man of different generation, it was very hard for him to re-orient on computer preparation. He loved chess as game much more than as profession. And in those times preparation became highly professional business. I was already in top 10 , I had to play various positions no matter if I liked them or not. For example , finding clear ways of drawing the weaker endgames that emerged by force in some opening lines ...Vitaly Valeryevich wasn`t mentally prepared for such ways of work , he loved chess creatively , artistically.

I perfectly understand and support such POW , but such approach was insufficient , impractical for reaching the top. We talked few more times since then , anyway our cooperation was very useful to me.>

<It is highy symbolical that he died at the board. He played till the very end , simply because he liked the game so much...

Farewell , Vitaly Valeryevich !>.

RIP Vitaly.

Dec-28-11  Paint My Dragon: <Bronkenstein> Thanks for posting.
Dec-28-11  bronkenstein: Eyewitnesses on Vitaly`s last minutes (and chessgame) - , tribute (whychess) , also is much better translation + of the whole Kramnik`s tribute ( which I was obviously unaware of ) and Spassky also stopped to say a word about his friend -
Jan-01-12  Albertan: <Bronkenstein> thanks for sharing the articles with us! Great Work. RIP GM Tseshkovsky!!
Jan-03-12  wordfunph: rest in peace GM Vitaly Tseshkovsky..

here's one from Bobby Ang..

Sep-25-12  LoveThatJoker: GM Tseshkovsky, today you are remembered!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Tseshkovshy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: "He died on December 24, without ever regaining consciousness."

There is something odd about this sentence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Fusilli> Yep.

Expecting him to regain consciousness the day before Christmas is too much to ask of old St Nick.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <chancho> lol.

How about "He never regained consciousness and died on December 24." Not ideal either, since it was not said he lost consciousness in the first place. I would prefer to say that he became ill and lost consciousness. Then that he died on December 24. Forget the regaining bit. It's implied.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. GM Vitaly Tseshkovsky.
May-22-15  TheFocus: <Tseshkovsky was a very interesting, original and unconventional chess player. Above all, he really loved chess. He was one of those rare people who could analyze any position. I remember his favorite pose: half-lying on the bed, supporting his head in his hands; in front of him—a magnetic chess set from Riga, which he always took with him.

At junior championships when I returned to the room I could find him, for example, analyzing some game from the “64” magazine; let’s say, Rodriguez–Gutierrez from the Colombian Championship. If a position caught his interest he could analyze it for three or four hours. He moved the pieces, had a think, moved the pieces, and again had a think... That seemed a little strange to me and I once said: if you like analyzing so much perhaps it would be better to take some position from your repertoire? But he was ready to study any idea that caught his interest. That, of course, is a rare quality, found only among people who genuinely love chess> - Vladimir Kramnik, remembering his old coach.

May-14-16  zydeco: Vladimir Tukmakov on Tseshkovsky, from Profession Chessplayer:

"Vitaly was a very interesting, deep chessplayer with a good sense of dynamic play, but his desire to calculate until the end often led to time pressure, sometimes really terrible. In addition, both in life and chess, he completely lacked pragmatism, and his game had too little stability despite his enormous talent. In my opinion, he also lacked self-confidence and ambition....Oddly enough, his victories and his losses had the same nature: the desire to follow the logic of a position, instead of the proverbial tournament strategy. When Vitaly is on top of his game, this maximalism gives his game a completeness close to perfection....But there were also bad times, when the pursuit of truth at the expense of tournament pragmatism led to hurtful failures. He never realized his enormous chess potential, but remained true to himself and his creative principles."

Tukmakov was Tseshkovsky's second at the 1976 Interzonal, when Tseshkovsky had a very good opportunity to qualify for the Candidates but failed to do so. Other grandmasters were in awe of Tseshkovsky (I know that Suba and Dvoretsky say some very complimentary things about him). There was a feeling that when he was on, he played as well as anybody in the world.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Tseshkovsky was a strong player I well remember reading of from my youth, and something of an anomaly at that; for it was not an everyday occurrence for strong Soviet GMs who were not perennial candidates to receive foreign invitations.

The reminiscences of Kramnik and Tukmakov explain a great deal; had Tseshkovsky been from anywhere else, he would likely have played top tournaments on a regular basis as a borderline top twenty player, at his peak in the seventies.

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