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!

Yuri Averbakh
Averbakh, playing at Hoogovens, 1963.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Number of games in database: 986
Years covered: 1938 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2445

Overall record: +322 -163 =498 (58.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 3 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (63) 
    E75 E73 E60 E68 E67
 Sicilian (56) 
    B62 B92 B88 B32 B28
 Ruy Lopez (45) 
    C92 C97 C64 C75 C74
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E26 E59 E32 E50 E51
 Queen's Gambit Declined (27) 
    D35 D38 D37 D31 D30
 English, 1 c4 e5 (26) 
    A29 A25 A21 A22 A20
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (96) 
    B60 B56 B77 B76 B32
 Ruy Lopez (80) 
    C92 C98 C85 C95 C90
 Nimzo Indian (77) 
    E58 E46 E53 E34 E52
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (64) 
    C92 C98 C85 C95 C84
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (32) 
    B60 B61 B65 B67 B63
 Sicilian Dragon (28) 
    B77 B76 B73 B39 B74
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Geller vs Averbakh, 1954 0-1
   Najdorf vs Averbakh, 1953 0-1
   Averbakh vs Spassky, 1956 1/2-1/2
   Averbakh vs Taimanov, 1953 1-0
   Averbakh vs Lilienthal, 1949 1-0
   Averbakh vs Panno, 1954 1-0
   Euwe vs Averbakh, 1953 0-1
   Averbakh vs V Zak, 1947 1-0
   Averbakh vs Bondarevsky, 1948 1/2-1/2
   Averbakh vs Sarvarov, 1959 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Moscow Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship (1954)
   Schlechter Memorial (1961)
   Dresden (1956)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   URS-ch sf Yerevan (1959)
   Rubinstein Memorial (1975)
   Mar del Plata (1965)
   URS-ch sf Sverdlovsk (1957)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   URS-ch sf Moscow (1955)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   Przepiorka Memorial (1950)
   Portoroz Interzonal (1958)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Averbakh's Selected Games, 1943-1975 by Resignation Trap

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Yuri Averbakh
Search Google for Yuri Averbakh

(born Feb-08-1922, died May-07-2022, 100 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Yuri Lvovich Averbakh was born in Kaluga, Russia. He was awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1952 and played in the Zuerich Candidates (1953).

Notable tournament results: Averbakh won the USSR Championship in 1954 (1) ahead of Mark Taimanov, Viktor Korchnoi, Tigran V Petrosian, Efim Geller and Salomon Flohr he was also equal first in the Soviet Championship of 1956, but lost in the playoff for first place. He won the Championship of Moscow in 1949 (2), 1950 (3) (jointly), and 1962 (jointly). Averbakh also won international tournaments in Vienna in 1961, Moscow in 1962 and Rio de Janeiro in 1965 (4).

Theoretician, author and historian: Averbakh is renowned as an opening and endgame theorist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he co-edited a five-volume anthology on the endgame, Shakhmatnye okonchaniya, which was revised in 1980-84 and translated as Comprehensive Chess Endings. A list of Averbak's books can be found in the Wikipedia article about him (see footnotes below). He also edited the magazines Shakhmaty v SSSR and Shakhmatny Bulletin, and has published more than 100 endgame studies and written several books, mainly about endgame theory. Averbakh has a deep interest in chess history, shown in his most recent book about life in the chess world called Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes. He also gave an in depth interview about the history of chess and other board games on his 90th birthday. (5)

Eponymous opening variations: Opening variations named for Averbakh include:

King's Indian Defence, Averbakh Variation (E73): 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5:

click for larger view

Kings Indian Defence, Semi-Averbakh system (E73): 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3

click for larger view

Modern Defense: Averbakh variation (A42): 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4

click for larger view

Other: Averbakh became an International Judge of Chess Composition in 1956 and an International Arbiter in 1969. He was President of the Soviet Chess Federation from 1972 until 1977 and took an active role on a number of important FIDE committees.

Averbakh was the world's oldest grandmaster.

Sources and references: Wikipedia article: Yuri Averbakh; 1[rusbase-1]; (2) [rusbase-2]; (3) [rusbase-3]; (4) [brasilbase-1]; (5)

Last updated: 2022-08-09 19:02:12

 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,006  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Averbakh vs Y Neishtadt 1-0331938MoscowC70 Ruy Lopez
2. Smyslov vs Averbakh 1-0241938junior ttE17 Queen's Indian
3. Averbakh vs Smyslov 0-124193919th Ch MoscowA06 Reti Opening
4. Averbakh vs A Ebralidze  0-1361940Candidate to MasterB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
5. Averbakh vs P Morton  1-033194020th Ch Moscow (sf-1)B84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
6. Averbakh vs A Kuznetsov 1-028194020th Ch Moscow (qf-9)C02 French, Advance
7. V Lyublinsky vs Averbakh  0-1481940Candidate to MasterC28 Vienna Game
8. Sakin vs Averbakh  0-140194020th Ch Moscow (qf-9)E19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
9. Yaroshevsky vs Averbakh  0-161194323rd Ch Moscow (sf-3)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
10. V Mikenas vs Averbakh  0-131194323rd Ch MoscowE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
11. P Dubinin vs Averbakh  1-0441944URS-ch sf MoscowD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
12. Y Rokhlin vs Averbakh  ½-½551944URS-ch sf MoscowA13 English
13. Averbakh vs Ragozin  ½-½431944URS-ch sf MoscowA10 English
14. Averbakh vs F Duz-Khotimirsky  1-0371944IvanovoC78 Ruy Lopez
15. Averbakh vs N Ovechkin  0-1341944IvanovoC03 French, Tarrasch
16. P Romanovsky vs Averbakh  1-0421944training tournamentB15 Caro-Kann
17. Averbakh vs Kotov  0-1391944IvanovoB40 Sicilian
18. Averbakh vs Botvinnik ½-½40194423rd Ch MoscowC07 French, Tarrasch
19. Alatortsev vs Averbakh  0-1661944URS-ch sf MoscowE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
20. Averbakh vs Flohr  ½-½181944URS-ch sf MoscowC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
21. Averbakh vs Kotov 0-1301944URS-ch sf MoscowB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
22. Averbakh vs Lilienthal 1-0631944IvanovoC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Veresov vs Averbakh  ½-½241944URS-ch sf MoscowE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
24. Averbakh vs M Yudovich Sr.  ½-½301944URS-ch sf MoscowC67 Ruy Lopez
25. Ragozin vs Averbakh  1-0361944IvanovoB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
 page 1 of 41; games 1-25 of 1,006  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Averbakh wins | Averbakh loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-07-22  Albertan: Yuri Averbakh (1922-2022):


Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: At death he was the oldest living grandmaster and the oldest living world championship candidate.

The new top-3 of oldest living grandmasters are Matanovic, Krogius, Nikolac

The new top-3 of oldest living Candidates:

Olafsson, Panno, Spassky.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <At death he was the oldest living grandmaster and the oldest living world championship candidate.>

And after death, he is the longest-lived grandmaster (right?) and oldest-lived world championship candidate.

RIP to a great player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Rest in peace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Tip o' the cap to a player and theoretician who left his mark, long before his time on earth came to its end.

As the line over the gates to a Sicilian cemetery went, from a Puzo novel:

<We have been like you--and you shall be like us>

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Chapeau maitre.

Et bonne voyage.


Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Rest in peace to one of the giants of chess, GM Yuri Averbakh. Though you are now gone, your legacy will live on forever over chessboards all over the world.
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: May he rest in peace.
I had the honor of meeting GM Averbakh at the Watson ,Farley, Williams Tournament in NY in 1990. Since it was played privately in the law firm offices there were only invited guest spectators. Fortunately as a Trustee of the American Chess Foundation and investment banker at Morgan Stanley i was deemed worthy of an invitation. With so few spectators we were able to personally interact with all the players before and after the games. Yuri was already well along in age at that time, but still managed a couple nice wins over much younger GMs. Much later I learned from a chess playing neighbor ( deceased many years ago) Billy Levine, a dentist, but strong chess player that he knew Yuri well from the International Chess Set Collectors Association in which Yuri was also very involved. Billy's house was filled with an incredible collection of unique and valuable sets from all over the world. Billy actually had a win in a simul over Yuri at one of the Chess Set Collectors Conventions in Europe. Now that Yuri Averbakh is gone I believe that few, if any, of the really elite players from the peak era of Soviet chess remain, other than Boris Spassky whom I also had the pleasure of meeting a few times in NY.
May-08-22  nok: I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold.

Oh wait...

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Vale, you legend. Always an inspiration to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold. Oh wait...>

Consider me the chess version of the Gerontology Research Group, who also update their lists of oldest people very quickly and publicly :D

May-08-22  whiteshark: <I bet <alexmagnus> will come like a vulture to post his updated lists before Yuri's body is cold. Oh wait...> :D

It could also be seen as a <to do> list, for whomever....

May-09-22  wordfunph: rest in peace, legend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: A wildly entertaining and very long interview from around 2014.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: a russian man living to age 100? That's a rarity.

a tip of the hat to the author of many great games. I think I owned one of his books, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: His works on the endgame helped me become a Master. Yuri Averbakh, RIP, and thank you for existing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Did he died?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <offramp: Did he died?>

Yes, he is supposed to be very dead by now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <HeMateMe: a russian man living to age 100? That's a rarity.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Pickling a liver in vinegar is better than vodka.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Rest in peace, Yuri Lvovich.
May-15-22  Albertan: Averbakh on Averbakh:Grandmaster and World Championship Candidate:

May-17-22  Albertan: How Yuri Averbakh fell in love with Chess-Grigoriev’s best pawn studies:

Premium Chessgames Member
  hastae47: Belatedly, and sadly, I see this news. He visited Australia in 1967. For me, significantly. he gave a simul in Sydney where over 40 of us took part. So many that he had to run around the tables at the start, and it still took him about 4.5 hours of work. He conceded only a few draws. Our southernmost state, Tasmania, was suffering severe bushfires at the time and at the end of his day Yuri gave all his collected simul fees to the fire-fighting fund ! RIP Yuri... gr8 player, gr8 man !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Any photos of his chess set collection around?
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 11)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  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