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

Alexander Tolush

Number of games in database: 638
Years covered: 1931 to 1965
Overall record: +261 -207 =168 (54.2%)*
   * 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 (46) 
    B43 B32 B94 B40 B70
 Nimzo Indian (46) 
    E30 E59 E58 E53 E41
 King's Indian (30) 
    E80 E81 E93 E90 E70
 Ruy Lopez (27) 
    C91 C86 C65 C97 C90
 Orthodox Defense (21) 
    D50 D51 D63 D58 D64
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (18) 
    C91 C86 C92 C90 C97
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (48) 
    B97 B90 B84 B76 B68
 Ruy Lopez (46) 
    C61 C64 C68 C63 C99
 Nimzo Indian (42) 
    E53 E59 E32 E42 E26
 King's Indian (27) 
    E94 E80 E67 E87 E60
 Sicilian Najdorf (21) 
    B97 B90 B98 B99 B95
 Queen's Pawn Game (16) 
    A50 E10 A46 D02 A40
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tolush vs Kotov, 1945 1-0
   V A Vasiliev vs Tolush, 1945 0-1
   Tolush vs Alatortsev, 1948 1-0
   Smyslov vs Tolush, 1939 0-1
   Lilienthal vs Tolush, 1947 1/2-1/2
   P Dubinin vs Tolush, 1947 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Tolush, 1958 0-1
   Tolush vs Botvinnik, 1944 1-0
   Tolush vs L Aronson, 1957 1-0
   Tolush vs V Mikenas, 1950 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1950)
   Bucharest (1953)
   Leningrad Championship (1954)
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1956)
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1957)
   Asztalos Memorial (1958)
   USSR Championship (1950)
   URS-ch sf Leningrad (1955)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   USSR Championship (1948)
   USSR Championship (1947)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Trade Unions Championship (1938)
   USSR Championship (1945)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Forward, Kazimirich! Games by Alexander Tolush by Resignation Trap
   Hastings 1953/54 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Tolush
Search Google for Alexander Tolush

(born May-01-1910, died Mar-03-1969, 58 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush was born on the 1st of May 1910 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Awarded the IM title at its inception in 1950, the GM title in 1953 and the IMC title in 1965, he was Leningrad Champion in 1937 (jointly), 1938, 1946 and 1947 (jointly). An outstanding master of attack and combinations, he paid less attention to positional play and defence and this affected his results. His best result in the USSR Championship was 2nd= in 1950, whilst his best result internationally was 1st place at Bucharest 1953 (1) ahead of Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Isaac Boleslavsky and Boris Spassky (who was his pupil at that time).

He passed away in Leningrad in 1969 and did not live to see Spassky become World Champion.


Wikipedia article: Alexander Tolush

Last updated: 2016-08-27 03:32:01

 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 638  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Tolush vs L Kubbel  0-1401931URS-ch sfC28 Vienna Game
2. N Grigoriev vs Tolush 0-1351931URS-ch sfB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. P Romanovsky vs Tolush  0-1381934Ch Finacial-Bank workersC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
4. Tolush vs E Kuzminykh  0-1511934Trade Unions championshipE41 Nimzo-Indian
5. Tolush vs G Goldberg  1-03119341st CategoryE60 King's Indian Defense
6. Tolush vs Kuryshkin  1-03219355th Ch RSFSR (sf-B)D64 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack
7. Tolush vs Yakhontov  1-0261935Trade Unions Championship sfC00 French Defense
8. Tolush vs Sokolsky 0-13619355th Ch RSFSRE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
9. Tolush vs V Rauzer  1-04119355th Ch RSFSRD63 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
10. Tolush vs P Izmailov 1-0391935RSFSR Ch sf-BD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Tolush vs Capablanca 1-0351935Clock simul, 10bC26 Vienna
12. V Makogonov vs Tolush  1-0291936Trade Unions ChampionshipA50 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Lisitsin vs Tolush  ½-½411936Trade Unions ChampionshipA25 English
14. Tolush vs S Pimenov  1-0371936Trade Unions ChampionshipA40 Queen's Pawn Game
15. Panov vs Tolush  1-0491936Trade Unions ChampionshipC00 French Defense
16. Tolush vs V Chekhover  0-1391936Trade Unions ChampionshipB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
17. Tolush vs I Rudakovsky  1-0501936Trade Unions ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
18. V Silich vs Tolush  1-0391936Trade Unions ChampionshipA50 Queen's Pawn Game
19. A Konstantinopolsky vs Tolush 1-0231936Trade Unions ChampionshipA47 Queen's Indian
20. Tolush vs E Zagoryansky  1-0411936Trade Unions ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
21. Tolush vs I Mazel  0-1511936Trade Unions ChampionshipE23 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann
22. Tolush vs N Pavlov-Pianov  1-0201937Ch Trade Unions (1/2 Final)D00 Queen's Pawn Game
23. G Shchipunov vs Tolush  0-13319371st Category group 3D02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Tolush  0-145193712th Ch LeningradC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
25. Tolush vs Sokolsky  0-134193712th Ch LeningradB10 Caro-Kann
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 638  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tolush wins | Tolush loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-25-10  thegoodanarchist: <Breunor: But the T-34 was THE weapon of Soviet victory>

This is a bit too hagiographic. Red Army infantry mobility was limited to how fast they could walk (when not entrained) until the allied Lend Lease program really got going.

The US put them on wheels for the first time in history with the White half track and other trucks supplied in great quantities.

This had a huge positive impact on Soviet offensive capability in 1944/45, allowing greater penetrations into "enemy" territory, longer duration to offensives, and even operations during the Rasputista.

Apr-25-10  thegoodanarchist: <HeMateMe>

I am not sure if you are trying to dispute my original post, wax on about weapons of WWII, or what.

But I see nothing in the posts of you or <Breunor> that refutes my original contention, that being a Soviet tanker was like being a fish in a barrel.

The key to surviving was, there were many many fish in a vast barrel.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I do agree that being ANYWHERE on the Eastern front in WWII was very dangerous, and I don't doubt it affected Tolush. I'm not sure I'm willing to say it was 'worse' than being in the infantry, but both required tremendous courage.

But I'm not saying 50,000 T-34's are better than 7,000 Panthers. I'm saying 7,000 T-34 are better than 7,000 Panthers.

We can look tank vs. tank or on a cost equivalent basis.

Tank for tank, for the Panthers actually produced (especially early ones) 7,000 produced tanks, ignoring combat damage, probably had about 3,500 operational at a time; while 7,000 T-34's probably would have about 5,000 operational. So that is the T-34's advantage. I do agree 'tank for tank' is a legitimate way to compare them, but so is dollar for dollar. On that basis, the T-34 has a greater superiority.

A good example of cost issues is the B-2 Spirit bomber - it is the technically most advanced bomber in the world, but it is so ridiculously expensive it is hard to say it is a 'great' plane and indeed is usually considered a horrible failure since they ended up costing $750 MM/operational bomber.

Here is a list of 'greatest' tanks from the History channel:

For the Germans, the PV IV and the Tiger made the list, the Panther didn't, and the T-34 was first. Of course,t hese lsits are subjective, as I said, I think the Panther may have been better than the Tiger.

I do agree, however, in my opinion, if I have a working, operational machine, I thought the Panther was the best tank of the war. (They are great in the old Avalon Hill game, PanzerBlitz!)

All the best.

May-01-10  wordfunph: Mikhail Botvinnik was mated by Alexander Tolush in the 1944 Soviet Championship in Moscow, "You're mated, Mikhail Moiseyevich!" the winner proclaimed.
May-01-10  Shams: <Breunor> The dove of peace, yet you are pretty booked up on your war machines. :)
May-01-11  talisman: happy birthday!
May-01-11  Pyke: <wordfunph: Mikhail Botvinnik was mated by Alexander Tolush in the 1944 Soviet Championship in Moscow, "You're mated, Mikhail Moiseyevich!" the winner proclaimed.>

Needless to say that the patriarch had not been happy about that "incident".

May-01-11  Pyke: To add a little bit more to my previous statement:

<<"Forward, Kazimirych!">

When talking about the sources of Spassky's brilliant style of play, one immediately recalls his previous trainer of many years (1952-1960), the Leningrad frandmaster Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush, who was a famous master of attack and an uncommonly cheerful, witty man. After a win he would inform his friends: <'Dracula has been caught.'> When his opponent dragged out a hopeless resistance, he would complain: <'The cannon-fodder is resisting.'> When the latter resigned, Tolush would proclaim: <'Amen to the pies'.> And during a blitz game and when analysing he would encourage himself with the war-cry: <'Forward, Kazimirych!'>

This became the motto of more than one generation of players; it was also liked by Paul Keres, with whom Tolush worked in the late 40s and 50s. With Spassky himself, a liking for dashing attacks, for an unfettered, lively and liberal 'Tolush-like' style of play was retained practically to the end of his chess career. <...>

However, Tolush's manners did not provoke a positice reaction from everyone. For example, Botvinnik did not like him. And this was why: in the 13th USSR Championship (1944) Tolush mated Botvinnik on f7 with the disrespectful words: 'It's ma-ate, Mikhal Moiseich'. From that time 'Tolush' sounded almost like a swear word to the ears of #Mikhal Mouseich'>

(Garry Kasparov, OMGP, Vol. III, p.299ff)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "Forward, Kazimirych!"
Quite sad. I imagine he was repeating the last words of some bloody comrade dying in some hell-hole in the forests of Ruthenia.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush>

Correct pronunciation of his name-

Audio/visual file:

Aug-30-11  Everett: <However, Tolush's manners did not provoke a positice reaction from everyone. For example, Botvinnik did not like him. And this was why: in the 13th USSR Championship (1944) Tolush mated Botvinnik on f7 with the disrespectful words: 'It's ma-ate, Mikhal Moiseich'. From that time 'Tolush' sounded almost like a swear word to the ears of #Mikhal Mouseich'>

Why do you think Tolush said it? My guess is because everyone knew Botvinnik was a pompous, preening, political jackass.

May-01-12  talisman: happy birthday!
May-01-13  brankat: R.I.P. GM Tolush.
May-02-13  Petrosianic: Are there any dead players in the database that you haven't ripped yet?
May-11-14  Rookiepawn: Given the fact that we can talk about tanks here, I will say that what made the Red Army beat the nazis was the action of a small bunch of men, whose leader was Mr. Leopold Trepper (hats off to this guy: sharp brain + iron balls, rarely seen).

Thanks to Stalin's murders, the Red Army was decimated. It was kept alive thanks to the only thing in which, admitted by Hitler, the Soviets were better at: intelligence.

Jul-02-15  zydeco: Tolush was an absolutely world-class player who seems to have been underestimated both by his contemporaries and by his chess history.

I get the strong impression that he was a real trash-talker (which is what he was doing when he announced mate to Botvinnik) -- he could be like the Washington Square Park hustlers who talk and smoke through games and play with constant aggression: you're sure that their play is faulty but it's very hard to refute them over-the-board.

In retrospect, Tolush seems like the standard-bearer for the Soviet 'wild man' school of chess -- along with Bronstein, Nezhmetdinov, Byvshev, Lutikov, and, to some extent, Geller, Boleslavsky, and Bondarevsky. In his heyday in the 1940s (when Botvinnikesque principles were dominant), Tolush could be dismissed as either a street player or an anachronism like Rudolph Spielmann.

The rise of Tal, and subsequent developments in chess, show that Tolush was absolutely correct: there is a way to play chess that's razor-sharp, hyper-aggressive, and fundamentally sound. Tal is usually considered to be a bolt from the blue -- but it's easy to surmise that, to a great extent, his play would have been influenced by the style of Tolush and the other wild men.

I always feel a kind of sympathy for young Spassky when I read about the period in which he was trained by Tolush. I picture Tolush as egotistical, sarcastic, and casually brutal. By contrast, Tal's teacher, Koblents, seems like a benevolent father-figure; Spassky's teachers, Tolush and Bondarevsky, were both hard-living, ill-tempered alcoholics. It would be interesting to know what kind of imprint they had on Spassky's psychology.

Nov-22-15  zydeco: "In order to play good chess, you should be poor, hungry, and angry" - Alexander Tolush
Dec-05-15  ljfyffe: <In the World Correspondence Chess Championship IV Final (1962-1965), Tolush scored 5.5 points of a possible 12 to finish 7th
with 3 wins and 5 draws>
Mar-03-16  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Alexander Tolush.
May-01-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Alexander Tolush.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Petro: Are there any dead players in the database that you haven't ripped yet?>

I was reading the kibitzing start to finish, read this comment and was scrolling down to kibitz "Don't worry, if he missed any, <Focus> will get them anyway." and when I got to the bottom of the page, speak of the devil. I'm sure all the dead people enjoy being ripped.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Lord take me downtown/

I'm just looking for Tolush/

Premium Chessgames Member

"On, Kazimirovich!!"

May-01-20  Caissanist: The site with the picture of Tolush and other Soviet GMs from Bucharest 1953 is defunct, however the picture is also here: .
Sep-24-20  login:

Canada's best 'Kinky' Kev Spagget (still) has it with a tiny bit higher res over at his slippery den (SFW version)

'Attacking player and successful coach'
from journalist Dagobert Kohlmeyer, Jan 2020 on Chessbase includes some more photographs of Tolush around 1953 for reference.

On Twitter (let's see how long this will stay up) is a random 1955 match photograph

The later player's years are covered right on top of an 'old' threat titled 'ФОТО НА ПАМЯТЬ №13' (~ Memorial Images) on the everlasting 'e3 e5' website.

(having no clue of the subject matter, feel free to disagree)

The German Panther vs. the Soviet T-34-85

Was the Russian T-34 Really the Best Tank of WW2?

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  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