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Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov
Nezhmetdinov (left) congratulates Tal for winning the 24th USSR Championship in Moscow, 1957.  
Number of games in database: 319
Years covered: 1929 to 1973

Overall record: +161 -82 =75 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (61) 
    B43 B31 B94 B30 B60
 Ruy Lopez (49) 
    C75 C85 C77 C63 C64
 French Defense (21) 
    C16 C18 C12 C11 C10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (20) 
    C85 C90 C97 C84 C91
 Caro-Kann (16) 
    B11 B10 B13 B17
 Sicilian Najdorf (13) 
    B94 B96 B95 B93 B92
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (43) 
    C76 C78 C77 C99 C72
 King's Indian (36) 
    E67 E94 E69 E60 E93
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (11) 
    C99 C89 C84 C91
 Old Indian (11) 
    A54 A53 A55
 Modern Benoni (6) 
    A57 A77 A62 A65 A67
 Queen's Pawn Game (5) 
    A41 D04 A46 A40 E00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs Tal, 1961 1-0
   N Kosolapov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1936 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin, 1946 1-0
   Samsonov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1929 0-1
   Lilienthal vs Nezhmetdinov, 1951 0-1
   Nezhmetdinov vs Y Kotkov, 1957 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs V Sergievsky, 1966 1-0
   Nezhmetdinov vs E Paoli, 1954 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Bucharest (1954)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   USSR Championship (1967)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Nezhmetdinov's best games of chess by Bidibulle
   Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess by Dijon15
   Super Nezh by chocobonbon
   Best Games of Chess (Nezhmetdinov) by Qindarka
   Secret Hero Nezh by Gottschalk
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov's Best Games by KingG
   * Nez check by takchess
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov - (1940-1950) by lesshc
   Nezhmetdinov by c06bxx9
   Favorite Games from (1944-1959) by wanabe2000
   Rashid Nezhmetdinov - (1950-1960) by lesshc

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov
Search Google for Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

(born Dec-15-1912, died Jun-03-1974, 61 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov was born in Aktubinsk, then part of the Russian Empire and now known as Aqtöbe, in Kazakhstan, into a poor peasant family of Tatar ethnicity. Orphaned when very young, he moved to Kazan in the Republic of Tatarstan at a young age under the care of his brother, and it was there that he learned chess by watching local games despite living for some time in great hardship.

He also became a renowned checkers (draughts) player, but it was chess that he turned to after leaving military service after the end of World War II. Notwithstanding this, when the 1949 Russian Checkers Semifinals were held in Kazan, Nezhmetdinov agreed to substitute for a player who didn't show up even though he hadn't played checkers for 15 years. He finished 12/16 without losing a game, earning the title of Soviet Master of Checkers. This also qualified him for the finals, where he finished 2nd.

Nezhmetdinov's participation in chess tournaments before World War II was intermittent. In 1927 at the age of 15, he played in Kazan's Tournament of Pioneers (an 18 and under event), winning all 15 games. In 1929 he won the junior section of the Kazan city championship, and the next year he finished first in the overall Kazan championship and earned a Category I rating. Nezhmetdinov earned the Candidate Master title by winning the All-Union Tournament at Rostov-on-Don in 1939, finishing undefeated with a 9/10 score. In 1941, Rashid was called to military service and stationed in Baikal, where he won the district chess tournament over some strong opposition, including Victor Davidovich Baturinsky and Konstantin Klaman.

After the War, when he dedicated himself to chess, he came 1st in a tournament organised within the Soviet Military Administration in Berlin, 1946, triumphing over future Master and Ukrainian champion Isaac Lipnitsky. After he demobilised in 1947, he began a long and distinguished career, starting with 2nd place in the final of the Russian Federation (RSFSR) Championship behind Nikolay Novotelnov. Later that year Nezhmetdinov finished =2nd in an All-Union Candidate Master tournament, earning him the right to play a classification match in 1948 against Vladas Mikenas for the title of Soviet Master. He drew the match 7-7 (+4-4=6), but did not gain the coveted Master title, because the examiner got draw odds. Two years later, in 1950, he won the Russian Federation Chess Championship against a very strong field and finally earned the Master title. He won the Russian Championship four more times: in 1951 ahead of Nikolai Krogius, in 1953 ahead of Lev Polugaevsky, in 1957 ahead of Boris T Vladimirov, and in 1958 in Sochi ahead of Viktor Korchnoi. In Sochi Nezhmetdinov played his immortal game against Lev Polugaevsky Other excellent results in the RSFSR Championships included 2nd in 1954 behind Leonid Alexandrovich Shamkovich, =2nd in 1956 behind Shamkovich and alongside Krogius and Polugaevsky, and clear 2nd in 1961 behind Polugaevsky after a playoff mini-match against Vladimir Antoshin, Anatoly Lein, and Lev A Belov to earn a spot in the finals of the 1961 USSR Championship. He also finished =3rd in 1963 behind Lein and Georgy Ilivitsky.

Nezhmetdinov was also a regular participant in the USSR Championship cycles in their various incarnations, consistently participating in the quarter and semi finals eliminations for the USSR Championship between 1947 and 1969. His best results were =1st with Isaac Boleslavsky and Vitaly Georgievich Tarasov at the 1956 semi-final, and =1st with Boris Spassky at the 1958 semi-final. He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th with victories over Efim Geller, Salomon Flohr, and Andre Lilienthal. He also did well against Grandmaster competition in the Moscow 1957 edition, scoring 2.5/3 against three future world champions, drawing with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and beating Spassky and Mikhail Tal.

In 1954, accompanying Soviet Masters Korchnoi, Semyon Abramovich Furman and Ratmir Kholmov, Nezhmetdinov participated in the Bucharest International tournament, one of only three times he played outside the USSR. He rose to the occasion, defeating International Masters Miroslav Filip, Robert Wade, Bogdan Sliwa, and Grandmaster Gideon Stahlberg. He won the tournament brilliancy prize against Enrico Paoli, and finished clear second behind Korchnoi. In recognition of this performance, later that year FIDE awarded him the International Master title. Results in other tournaments include =2nd behind Mark Taimanov at the 1961 Chigorin Memorial and 3rd at the Baku International in 1964 behind Antoshin and Vladimir Bagirov. He participated in the Soviet Club Championships in 1952, 1954 and 1964, winning individual and team silver for his team DSO Spartak in 1952 on board 6, individual and team gold for Spartak in 1954 on board 5, and individual gold on board 6 for Spartak in 1964. He was also a member of the RSFSR Team that played matches with other Soviet Republics, with his best result coming at Vilnius 1958 where he played board 1 for the RSFSR and led them to a 3rd place finish, and also took the individual bronze medal ahead of Paul Keres, David Bronstein, Efim Geller, and Boleslavsky. In 1973 Nezhmetdinov played his last tournament, placing only 3rd behind a weak field in the Latvian Open. He fell ill and did not finish all of his games. However, he did win his last brilliancy prize in his game against Vladimir I Karasev.

Nezhmetdinov was renowned for his imaginative attacking style. His famous and widely published game at Sochi 1958 against Polugaevsky is considered to be one of the best attacking games of the 20th century. He assisted Tal in preparation for the latter's 1960 World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik. While he beat many of the world's top players, he was never awarded the GM title even though he won 5 Russian Championships. Nezhmetdinov published an autobiography including his 100 best games entitled Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess (republished by Caissa Editions in 2000). Alex Pishkin published a similar tome entitled Super Nezh, Chess Assassin in 2000.

Nezhmetdinov passed away in Kazan in 1974.


Russian tournament and match archive:; Photo of bust of Nezhmetdinov in Kazan:; Bust and plaque on a building:; <jessicafischerqueen>'s three-part YouTube documentary: with addendum at Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

*Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Wikipedia article: Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Last updated: 2018-08-11 20:26:42

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 319  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Samsonov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1151929Kazan-chC29 Vienna Gambit
2. E Korchmar vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1221931Categories 1 & 2 TtD03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
3. Nezhmetdinov vs A Konstantinov 1-0141936Rostov-on-Don 1st categoryC02 French, Advance
4. Nezhmetdinov vs S Pimenov 1-0311936Rostov-on-DonC13 French
5. N Kosolapov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1241936Kazan opC46 Three Knights
6. Nezhmetdinov vs P Ermolin 1-0151946Kazan chB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
7. M V Shishov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1341947Match : Georgia, RSFSR & AzerbaijanC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
8. Kholmov vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1611947All-Union Candidate Master TtA46 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Nezhmetdinov vs Sedov 1-0311947RSFSR-chC10 French
10. Aronin vs Nezhmetdinov 0-1251947RSFSR-chA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
11. Nezhmetdinov vs A Ivashin 1-0461947All Union Candidate Master TtC71 Ruy Lopez
12. Nezhmetdinov vs Suetin 1-0291947RSFSR-chB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
13. Nezhmetdinov vs V Baskin 1-0271948Moldavian SSR ChC55 Two Knights Defense
14. Nezhmetdinov vs D Grechkin 1-04119488th RSFSR ChB32 Sicilian
15. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-0591948Match for the Title of MasterC16 French, Winawer
16. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas  ½-½391948Match for the Title of MasterB10 Caro-Kann
17. V Mikenas vs Nezhmetdinov ½-½411948Match for the Title of MasterE91 King's Indian
18. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-0171948Match for the Title of MasterB02 Alekhine's Defense
19. Nezhmetdinov vs V Mikenas 1-0221948Match for the Title of MasterB02 Alekhine's Defense
20. L Shamaev vs Nezhmetdinov  0-13719481st Soviet Team-ch finalA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
21. Nezhmetdinov vs A Buslaev  0-13319481st Soviet Team-ch finalC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
22. Nezhmetdinov vs K Klaman  ½-½541949URS-ch sfC77 Ruy Lopez
23. Nezhmetdinov vs V A Vasiliev 1-0401949URS-ch sfC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
24. G Ilivitsky vs Nezhmetdinov  ½-½461949URS-ch sfD95 Grunfeld
25. Nezhmetdinov vs Chistiakov 0-1421949URS-ch sfC11 French
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 319  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nezhmetdinov wins | Nezhmetdinov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-15 One of my favorite players from days gone by. His games are fun to play through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Wow! I didn't know that Nezh had a record that good in classical chess vs Tal! That's impressive!
Dec-16-15  Dr. J: <hegoodanarchist: RGN probably should have gotten the GM title, given his 5 (FIVE!!!) Russian Championships.>

Please note those are <Russian>, not <Soviet> championships - a much weaker field.

Feb-05-16  Smyslov57: This man was a giant among chessplayers. I wish I knew more about his later years: was he married? Any children? How did he die? I have learned to play 1...e5 in response to e4 in part due to his (and Smyslov's and Kere's and Spassky's influence).
Feb-05-16  waustad: If you haven't done so, look at <jessicafischerqueen>'s videos about him on youtube. I suspect some of her excellent work has sadly been axed due to copright issues, probably due to the music. In any case she has put together some good stuff about many players, with some of the Soviet players included.
Feb-24-16  morfishine: Who knows why Super Nez was never titled GM. Perhaps he was denied due to the "hotel incident" when he caused a drunken scene embarrassing his country. Seems petty if true. But Taimanov had his stipend removed after losing 6-0 vs Fischer...go figure


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There are numerous examples of strong Soviet masters who never became GMs; it should be mentioned that, first of all, Nezhmetdinov was nearly forty the year FIDE officially introduced the GM title (1950) and that a mere 27 players received it: the world champion at the time (Botvinnik), all those who had qualified or were seeded into the inaugural Candidates tournament (14 players) and a further twelve who were thus recognised for past achievements.

While I know nothing of the incident <morf> refers to, that is the sort of thing which would damage even an elite player's chances of getting outside the Soviet Union. Kholmov had some trouble over such shenanigans and even Korchnoi was warned, when first a very top player, about the advisability of consorting with a foreign woman who was clearly not his wife and spending time in a casino when abroad. It will be remembered also that Spassky was chastised by the bureaucracy after his loss of a crucial game to Lombardy in the 1960 student team championship.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Boomie: Tal said when he lost to Super Nezh was the happiest day of his life. >

Nezh was Tal before Tal became Tal ! lol
fantastically creative player.

Sep-22-16  kamagong24: a little bit of documentary on Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov, a truly great player

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Nez!!
Dec-15-16  Petrosianic: And many more!
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Belated, HBD RGNez
Aug-11-17  Boomie: <morfishine: Who knows why Super Nez was never titled GM.>

Super Nezh won the Russian Federation Chess Championship 5 times. However note that this is not the USSR Chess Championship. As stated in the bio "He made it to the finals of five USSR Championships, with his best result coming in Kiev 1954 where he finished =7th". He didn't make GM because he didn't perform consistently enough at that level. But when he was on his game, he could beat anyone in the world.

Aug-11-17  Boomie: For example, his extraordinary win over Polugaevsky is one of the best immortals of all time.

Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Polugaevsky said "I must have beaten Super Nezh a dozen times but I would trade them all for this one game."

Aug-11-17  ughaibu: <one of the best immortals of all time>

Are there any immortals that are not of all time?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here are two good comments in response to people who feel the need to attach the word <Immortal> to any half-way decent game.

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907 (kibitz #332)

<offramp [That's me!]: I don't understand the constant need to attach the word "Immortal" to a good chess game. What does it signify? A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could just as easily be called "Immortal". It is still with us and is one year <older> than Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907.

So A W Fox vs C Curt, 1906 could be called <The Immortaller Game">.>


<morfishine: ...I don't either and I find it irritating and pointless. It all started with "The Immortal Game" Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 which pretty much monopolized "immortal" chess games by attaching the narrowing word "The" to the front. This left all others the only option being to attach their own name: Kasparov's immortal, Topalov's immortal, Karpov's immortal, etc. But all this defies logic since all games since the mid 1850's have been carefully preserved, and digitally archived, so all games are "immortal" in a sense. But really, the word "immortal" doesn't even connote quality, but merely longevity to the point of never going away. There has to be a better adjective.>

Wonderful, evergreen humour!

Aug-11-17  Howard: The more often people use the word "immortal" in reference to a game, the less meaningful it becomes in the long run.

Sounds logical to me!

In other news, JC Penney stock is currently trading today at over a 40-year low! Couldn't resist but mention it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Same as mainstream media works such adjectives as iconic and amazing to death.
Aug-21-17  KnightVBishop: What was this guy's main weakness that prevented him from being top tier?
Aug-21-17  john barleycorn: <KnightVBishop: What was this guy's main weakness that prevented him from being top tier?>

He could not handle the vodka as well as Tal.

Dec-15-17  gars: His games (mortal or immortal) will be fondly remembered forever. Happy Birthday, Rashid Gibiatovich!
Dec-15-17  WorstPlayerEver: Happy birthday, Super Nezh! :)
Dec-15-17  WorstPlayerEver:
Dec-02-18  The Rocket: Bronstein reportedly said that Nez was "a fantastic mathematican". What did he base this on? Math at the higher levels have very little to do with brute force calculations, and is more about deeper understanding.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

Spektrowski - <Why Rashid Nezhmetdinov Never Became a Grandmaster?>


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