Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Ilia Kan
I Kan 
Number of games in database: 490
Years covered: 1926 to 1974

Overall record: +160 -161 =169 (49.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (21) 
    B52 B83 B29 B58 B84
 Queen's Gambit Declined (21) 
    D37 D31 D30 D38 D35
 French Defense (17) 
    C07 C12 C17 C18 C14
 Semi-Slav (15) 
    D45 D47 D49 D46 D48
 King's Indian (15) 
    E60 E80 E61 E67 E70
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    A46 D00 D02 A40 A41
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (60) 
    B84 B83 B28 B80 B45
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E38 E32 E43 E44 E37
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D63 D50 D60 D51 D69
 Sicilian Scheveningen (19) 
    B84 B83 B80
 Queen's Gambit Declined (11) 
    D37 D35 D30 D31 D38
 Sicilian Dragon (10) 
    B70 B76 B72 B73 B74
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   I Kan vs Botvinnik, 1929 1-0
   Botvinnik vs I Kan, 1934 1/2-1/2
   I Kan vs Botvinnik, 1935 1-0
   F Duz-Khotimirsky vs I Kan, 1933 0-1
   I Kan vs Botvinnik, 1930 1-0
   I Kan vs A Bannik, 1952 1-0
   I Kan vs A Konstantinopolsky, 1943 1/2-1/2
   I Kan vs Bondarevsky, 1937 1-0
   S von Freymann vs I Kan, 1934 0-1
   I Kan vs V Makogonov, 1934 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   URS-ch sf Riga (1952)
   URS-sf Moscow (1945)
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1951)
   All-Union Young Masters (1936)
   USSR Championship (1929)
   Sverdlovsk (1943)
   USSR Championship (1933)
   Moscow (1935)
   Moscow Championship (1942)
   USSR Championship (1931)
   Leningrad / Moscow training (1939)
   USSR Championship 1934/35 (1934)
   URS-ch10 (1937)
   USSR Championship (1939)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Sverdlovsk 1943 by protean
   Leningrad 1934 by Phony Benoni
   USSR Championship 1933 by Phony Benoni

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Ilia Kan
Search Google for Ilia Kan

(born May-04-1909, died Dec-12-1978, 69 years old) Russia

[what is this?]

Ilia Abramovich Kan was born in Samara, Russia.1 He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and became an IA in 1956. He was also joint Moscow Champion in 1936 and was a lawyer by profession. He reached the finals of the USSR Championship on 10 occasions. He took 3d place in the USSR Championship in 1929.

1 Wikipedia article: Кан, Илья Абрамович Wikipedia article: Ilya Kan


Last updated: 2020-12-31 09:01:25

 page 1 of 20; games 1-25 of 490  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. S Tanin vs I Kan  0-1351926Central Co-op ClubB10 Caro-Kann
2. Levenfish vs I Kan  ½-½621927Ch Trade Unions (team)A14 English
3. Teslenko vs I Kan  0-1521927Ch Trade Unions (team)E38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
4. V Nenarokov vs I Kan  1-0741928Moscow-chD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
5. G Geiler vs I Kan  0-1411928Moscow-chB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
6. I Kan vs N Grigoriev ½-½681928Moscow-chB10 Caro-Kann
7. N Zubarev vs I Kan 0-1441928Moscow-chB83 Sicilian
8. A Iglitsky vs I Kan  0-1301928Ch Moscow-minorA46 Queen's Pawn Game
9. I Kan vs Panov  0-1371928Moscow-chE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
10. I Kan vs Bernstein  1-0541928Moscow-chA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
11. I Kan vs B Verlinsky  0-1271928Moscow-chD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. I Kan vs P Rybakov  1-0251928Ch Ivanovo-VoznesenskA82 Dutch, Staunton Gambit
13. P Izmailov vs I Kan 0-12519283rd Ch RSFSRE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
14. I Kan vs M Popov  1-03019283rd Ch RSFSRC12 French, McCutcheon
15. I Kan vs Krasilnikov  1-0391929Ivanovo-VoznesenskB83 Sicilian
16. I Kan vs Kostrov  ½-½321929Ivanovo-VoznesenskC17 French, Winawer, Advance
17. I Kan vs Belov  ½-½181929Ivanovo-VoznesenskC58 Two Knights
18. I Kan vs V Iljinskij  1-0351929Ivanovo-VoznesenskB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
19. Tiulin vs I Kan  0-1301929Ivanovo-VoznesenskA52 Budapest Gambit
20. S von Freymann vs I Kan  1-0341929USSR ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
21. I Kan vs B Verlinsky 0-1531929USSR ChampionshipC12 French, McCutcheon
22. I Kan vs K Vygodchikov ½-½411929USSR ChampionshipA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
23. V Silich vs I Kan  0-1431929USSR ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
24. I Kan vs G Ravinsky  1-0341929USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
25. B Verlinsky vs I Kan  0-1361929USSR ChampionshipE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
 page 1 of 20; games 1-25 of 490  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kan wins | Kan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: This game M Fuller vs Kan, 1973 was played by Wai Shui Kan not Ilia Kan. It actually says so in the gamescore but somehow it ended up in Ilia's file.
Apr-08-06  Zebra: So at last I have discovered who one of my favourite variations of the Sicilian was named after. Or at least I assume I have got the right guy?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Zebra> Yes, you've got the right guy.
Jun-11-06  gilbertblondy: Bonjour à tous
Please, what is IA?
About Kan : He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and became an IA in 1956. Merci
Jun-11-06  BIDMONFA: Ilia Abramovich Kan

KAN, Ilia A.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <gilbertblondy> IA stands for International Arbiter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here's a little collection of critical positions from Ilia's games:
Jul-22-06  Akiba: Not to take anything away from Kan, who was certainly a strong player in his day, but the issue of naming variations never ceases to amaze me. Why are B41-B44, the Paulsen Variation as it is called in Germany (and probably with more historical justification), named after Kan, who has 5 games with it in this database, the earliest of them from 1952, and who had scored 0-4 and 1 draw with it (in this database, there are probably a couple of games missing)? And it's not even as if he was the first to play this line after Paulsen; Tartakower regularly employed it in the 1920s, and with decent success (among them a draw against Em. Lasker in NY 1924).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<he was easily GM strength by today's standards, as well as giving his name to a variation of the Sicilian Defence.>>

And the Caro-Kan!!

Sep-30-06  nescio: <Eggman: And the Caro-Kan!!>

Horatio Caro
Marcus Kann

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: So I was wrong! UnKanny!
May-04-08  DarthStapler: kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul-13-08  rjfsworstnightmare: So this makes chess a Kan game...
Jul-13-08  rjfsworstnightmare: A Russian database cites 390 games, 118W 147D 124L, for a 49.2%. He is ranked 248 lifetime; Sonas, who knows, go figure...
Feb-23-09  Pyrrhus: Akiba, the Kan Sicilian is not the same as the Paulsen variation. In the Paulsen variation a6 or Qc7 is played after Nc6, in the Kan a6 is played prior to Nc6. Though transpositions are not infrequent it is also not uncommon for the Kan player not to play Nc6 at all. Often the Kan leads to hedgehog type set ups. It should also be noted that those who contribute to opening theory do not necessarily play the openings they analyze, but introduce them to the rest of us.
Apr-05-09  Dredge Rivers: Yes, he Kan! :)
Feb-04-11  Knight13: Remember that he was also a lawyer. And not everyone can pull off a time-consuming full-time job and chess at the same time and still reach the top. Not everybody is Botvinnik.
May-04-11  Marmot PFL: What did a lawyer in the Soviet Union have to do, besides remembering his lines?
Jul-25-13  TheFocus: This man's nickname is Ash.
Jan-11-14  chesssalamander: We should mention the Kan Variation of the Sicilian in his bio!
Jan-11-14  parisattack: <chesssalamander: We should mention the Kan Variation of the Sicilian in his bio!>

That would certainly make more than a little sense!

As to the name-game. Many still call it the Paulsen - as early as MCO 3 and as late as -

Then there are the lines (mostly off the Scheveningen tho) where Black plays ...Nbd7. I see some old books referring to that as the Paulsen (MCO 8) and the same source calls the Taimanov the Neo-Paulsen!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Here are some fun facts about <Ilya Kan>:


<I.A. Kan> was <Botvinnik's> second in his first championship match against <Smyslov>.

--"Botvinnik's Complete Games (1942-1956) and Selected Writings (Part 2)" Ken Neat, transl., ed., (Olomouc 2012), p.27,31


At his dacha in <Nikolina gora> from 17 Oct. 1952 up until 13 Feb. 1954, on the eve of the first championship match against <Smyslov>, <Botvinnik> played no fewer than 27 training games with <Kan>.

-Jan Timman, "Secret Matches: The Unknown Training Games of Mikhail Botvinnik" (Russell Enterprises Inc. 2000), pp.59-78


<The Wrath of Kan>

Yuri Averbakh:

<"Before me, apart from Ragozin, it was I.A. Kan who had played training games with Botvinnik. And also at the dacha. He too, had to listen to the world champion's monologues, in the intervals of play.

<<<'You cannot imagine what a strange chap he is,'>>> Kan once told me, regarding Botvinnik. <<<'Once, we were discussing something quite peacefully, when suddenly, for no reason, he went into a sulk, stalked off into the woods, and very demonstratively refused to come to lunch!'>>>

Later, I risked asking Ilya Abramovich about this incident. He remarked sarcastically: <<<'Botvinnik thinks that he is world champion not only at chess, but in everything else. He- a totally ordinary person!'>>>>

-Yuri Averbakh "Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes" Steve Giddins transl. (New in Chess 2011), p.102

May-04-14  chesssalamander: I take the Kan Variation of the Sicilian Defense specifically to be: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6.
Aug-27-15  epistle: I wonder what would have happened had < I.A. Kan> (1909 -1978) played white against <Bora Tot> (1907 - 1987)?

Or instead of Caro, Kan had instead collaborated with Tot to create an opening, like <Kan - Tot Defense>?

These are just some of the most mystifying WHAT IFs of the game.

Aug-27-15  NeverAgain: <WCC Editing Project:<<<'You cannot imagine what a strange chap he is,'>>> Kan once told me, regarding Botvinnik.> I think you got it the wrong way around.
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC