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Alvis Vitolinsh
A Vitolinsh 

Number of games in database: 491
Years covered: 1961 to 1993
Highest rating achieved in database: 2430
Overall record: +211 -131 =144 (58.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 5 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (100) 
    B80 B33 B44 B32 B96
 Ruy Lopez (55) 
    C92 C69 C80 C84 C78
 French Defense (34) 
    C18 C11 C02 C12 C10
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (25) 
    C92 C84 C96 C87 C97
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (20) 
    B62 B63 B60 B67 B65
 French Winawer (17) 
    C18 C19 C16 C15
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (67) 
    B90 B92 B99 B96 B53
 Sicilian Najdorf (45) 
    B90 B92 B99 B96 B93
 Nimzo Indian (24) 
    E46 E32 E48 E20 E49
 English (24) 
    A13 A15 A16 A19 A17
 Bogo Indian (22) 
 King's Indian (15) 
    E75 E97 E60 E91 E76
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   L Gutman vs A Vitolinsh, 1979 0-1
   A Vitolinsh vs T Viksna, 1985 1-0
   Shirov vs A Vitolinsh, 1985 0-1
   Gavrikov vs A Vitolinsh, 1982 0-1
   A Vitolinsh vs V Meijers, 1989 1-0
   V Zhuravliov vs A Vitolinsh, 1967 1/2-1/2
   Shabalov vs A Vitolinsh, 1986 0-1
   A Vitolinsh vs Gavrikov, 1977 1/2-1/2
   A Vitolinsh vs Kholmov, 1980 1-0
   A Vitolinsh vs L Gutman, 1973 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Riga USSR Championship semifinal (1962)
   Latvian Championship (1985)
   URS-ch48 sf Dnepropetrovsk (1980)
   Latvian Championship (1989)
   Rostock (1989)
   YUG-URS (1963)
   Yerevan (1980)
   Riga (1981)
   Sokolsky Memorial 1988/89 (1988)
   Jurmala (1985)
   Jurmala (1978)
   URS-ch sf Severodonetsk (1982)
   USSR Team Championship (1988)
   URS-ch otbor Uzhhorod (1988)
   46th URS-ch selection (1978)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Vitolinsh by mneuwirth
   98_C42 Cochrane Gambit (4.Nxf7!? ) by whiteshark

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alvis Vitolinsh
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(born Jun-15-1946, died Feb-16-1997, 50 years old) Latvia

[what is this?]

Alvis Vitolinsh was born in Sigulda, Latvia (formerly USSR). Awarded the IM title in 1980, he was Latvian Champion in 1973 (jointly), 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983 and 1985 (jointly). Sadly he committed suicide by jumping onto the frozen surface of the Gauja river from a railway bridge in 1997.

Wikipedia article: Alvis Vītoliņš

Last updated: 2018-05-11 04:49:52

 page 1 of 20; games 1-25 of 491  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Vitolinsh vs K Fritsche  1-0411961Baltic Match TournamentC74 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. A Vitolinsh vs V Faibisovich  0-1451962URS-chTC77 Ruy Lopez
3. A Vitolinsh vs Tukmakov 1-0341962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
4. A Dubinsky vs A Vitolinsh  ½-½451962URS-chTB06 Robatsch
5. A Vitolinsh vs Stein  0-1521962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
6. A Hermlin vs A Vitolinsh  0-1271962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB06 Robatsch
7. A I Zakharov vs A Vitolinsh  1-0301962URS-chTC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
8. A Chistiakov vs A Vitolinsh  1-0371962URSB53 Sicilian
9. A Vitolinsh vs A Vooremaa  1-0261962URS-chTA07 King's Indian Attack
10. V Bobkov vs A Vitolinsh  0-1351962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. A Vitolinsh vs Gipslis  1-0261962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
12. A Vitolinsh vs Kerimov  1-0211962Riga USSR Championship semifinalB65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
13. A Vitolinsh vs A Butnorius  ½-½371962URS-chTC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
14. V Mikenas vs A Vitolinsh  ½-½371962Riga USSR Championship semifinalA00 Uncommon Opening
15. A Goikhman vs A Vitolinsh  ½-½621962URS-chTB06 Robatsch
16. A Kapengut vs A Vitolinsh  ½-½191962URS-chTB07 Pirc
17. A Vitolinsh vs Tukmakov  ½-½381962URS-chTC77 Ruy Lopez
18. A Vitolinsh vs A I Zakharov  1-0401963URSC50 Giuoco Piano
19. S Bojkovic vs A Vitolinsh  0-1611963YUG-URSB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. I Nemet vs A Vitolinsh  0-1391963YUG-URSB06 Robatsch
21. A Vitolinsh vs B Kurajica  1-0951963YUG-URSB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. A Vitolinsh vs S Bojkovic  0-1281963YUG-URSC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
23. A Vitolinsh vs S Bojkovic  ½-½261963YUG-URSA07 King's Indian Attack
24. A Vitolinsh vs I Zdanovs  0-1511964LATC16 French, Winawer
25. L Borodiansky vs A Vitolinsh  1-0411964URS SpartakiadB32 Sicilian
 page 1 of 20; games 1-25 of 491  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Vitolinsh wins | Vitolinsh loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-03-05  Eatman: As a kid in a summer chess camp in 1980s I had the (mis)fortune of playing Petroff against visiting Vitolinsh in a simul. At the time I did not know, he was famous using Nxf7 sac even against IMs and GMs. Needless to say I was crushed in about 25 moves. There is a blitz tournament honoring his name which takes place every year in Carnikava (Latvia), his last place of residence.
May-03-05  azaris: That's certainly a good way of teaching youngsters to play actively and not try to grind a draw with the Petrov.
Jun-15-05  Knight13: Happy birthday, Alvis Vitolinsh! Have a nice afterlife!
Oct-11-07  whiteshark: A rare picture
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <whiteshark> Thanks for the picture. You sure it's him and not some Country and Western singer?
Oct-11-07  whiteshark: <technical draw>

I've seen a better photo in a Latvian database lately, but couldn't find it anymore....

Therefore I took an old self portrait. (odd lie)

Oct-11-07  Resignation Trap: <whiteshark> Could this be the photo in question: ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <RT> Another great photo, but how come the pieces aren't rolling off the board?
Oct-11-07  whiteshark: <Resignation Trap> yep, thank you very much !!
Jun-17-08  Vitolinsh: !Hello! This is my first comment in this page.
I have done this account to honor the name of Alvis Vitolinsh, one of the most wonderful and amazing player in the whole history!! Thanks Alvis! :-)
Jun-17-08  firebyrd: No "Game of the day" for Alvis? With a name made for puns and the sideburns to go with it?
Jun-13-09  hedgeh0g: Apparently, Vitolinsh was a friend of the great Mikhail Tal.

His prowess with the Cochrane Gambit should be recognised with a GotD, in my opinion.

May-03-10  Caissanist: Vitolinsh is the subject of a poignant chapter in Genna Sosonko's <Russian Silhouettes>. He was one of many chess professionals in the former Soviet Union who were hit very hard by that country's disintegration, and he was left living in horrific poverty. This appears to have been the main reason for his suicide.
Jan-07-11  Wyatt Gwyon: Isn't most ice frozen?
Feb-11-11  wordfunph: "Truly chess has no limits!"

- IM Alvis Vitolins

Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Anatoli Shvedchikov - Alvis Vitolinsh

Latvia-Russia Match 1973 Riga Semi-Sav Defence
1c4 e6 2Nf3 Nf6 3Nc3 d5 4d4 c6 5e3 Bb4 6Bd3 0-0 70-0 Nbd7 8Qe2 b6 9Bd2 Bxc3 10Bxc3 Ba6 11b3 Qe7 12Bb2 c5 13a4 cxd4 14exd4 dxc4 15bxc4 Rfc8 16Rfd1 Qb4 17Ba3 Qc3 18Rdc1 Qa5 19Rcb1 Qh5 20Bd6 Bb7 21Rb5 Bxf3 22gxf3 Qh4 23Qe3 Ne8 24Bg3 Qd8 25Be4 Rxc4 26Bxh7+ Kf8 27Bd3 Rc3 28Rh5 Ndf6 29Rh8+ Ke7 30Be5 Rac8 31Qd2 Qd5 32Bb5 Rb3 33Rc1Rxc1+ 34Qxc1 Nd7 35Qc8 1-0.

Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Notes by B. Krapil: <5...Bb4>Dubious; better is 5Nbd7, leading to the Meran Variation. <9Bd2>Preparing 10Nxd5. <12...c5> Looking to hang White's central pawns. <13a4> Excellant move. <15...Rfc8>An acceptable move. <16...Qb4>Combinational pressure against White that fails. <23...Ne8>Black reacts lest 24 Rg5 or 24a5. <25Be4>A critical moment: an acceptable move, but White should instead strengthen the attack on the Black king. A better plan is 25Rg1-Rh5-Bh4. <26...Kf8>A good move. <31...Qd5> Time trouble interferes with the game.
Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Should say: A better plan is 25Kh1, followed by Rg1- Rh5 - Bh4.
Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Les commentaires sont de B. Krapil (en abrege).
Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: See his photo under Chess Arbitor Boris Krapil.
Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Ivkov-Kolarov, Wageningen, 1957. After 1d4 d5 2c4 c6 3Nf3 Nf6 4Nc3 e6 5e3 Nbd7 6Bd3 Bb4 (The Romih Variation) 70-0 0-0 8Bd2 Qe7 9Qe1 dxc4 10Bxc4 Bd6 11Bb3 e5 12Ng5 Bc7 13 Nce4 Nxe 14Nxe4 a5 15d5, White is fine, as well.
Sep-10-14  ljfyffe: Of course, 13 ... Nxe4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Alexi Shirov writes of Vitolinsh in Fire on the Board II:

"Now, when about seven years have passed since Alvis' death, I notice that some of his ideals have a strange destiny. Firstly, Alvis himself was not always able to make them work at their best because, as a true artist, he sometimes lacked certain practical skills. Then, picked up by stronger players (here I would only name Tal and myself, but there are many more of course), his ideas would shine, and then one day... they would be refuted by modern determination and technologies. But not all of them."

Sep-30-21  Bartleby: <Cassianist: Vitolinsh is the subject of a poignant chapter in Genna Sosonko's "Russian Silhouettes">

I own a copy and it is indeed, a poignant and moving chapter. The word "pathetic," in all its Webster definitions, would apply well to Vitolinsh, from his meteoric junior career that never quite matured to adult success to the wretched circumstances of his end, similar to Karen Grigorian and Lembit Oll

From Genna Gosonko's "Russian Silhouettes":

"Vladimir Tukmakov calls the chess potential that Vitolins had "fantastic": 'Because of his sharp, vivid, combinative style Vitolins was called the second Tal. For him chess was everything, which also made him similar to Tal. He was uncommunicative, as though all wrapped up in himself. Although I played him several times, I doubt whether we exchanged more than a sentence or two after a game. The great hopes expected of him were not realized. It became clear that he would not become a great player, and this happened before he was thirty--he quickly burned out. Of course, even after this everyone knew that Vitolins was very dangerous, and that you could not relax against him, but his time had already passed...'

"Indeed, Vitolins' entire biography can be summed up in a few lines. Initially, there were enormous hopes and successes in junior competitions. Successes, which somehow came to nothing. He did not even become a grandmaster, and the number of international tournaments that he played, all within the Soviet Union, could be counted on one hand. In Latvia, however, Alvis shone. Seven times he won the championship of the Republic and several times he won Baltic tournaments. And that, really, is all. In the late 80s and early 90s when it finally became possible to travel abroad he played in some opens in Germany. But he was already in his 40s and his best years were obviously behind him. He completed two courses at the German Department of the University Philological Faculty in Riga and he spoke German quite well. All his life Vitolins lived with his parents and he never married. These are the external contours of his biography. The fact is he had no other life apart from chess games, tournaments, and endlessly analyses."

Oct-01-21  Bartleby: Alvis Vitolins was called a "Second Tal" by his contemporaries, and it seems there were a number of players that could be called "Second Tals", I'm thinking among them Genrikh Chepukaitis who Genna Sosonko wrote about in a different collection "The Smart Chip from St. Petersburg," and Rashid Nezhmetdinov, though of course he was more of Botvinnik's and Keres' generation.

Sosonko's "Russian Silhouettes":

"How did he play? Vitolins' motto was the initiative. The initiative at any price. The creation of positions where two pawns, or even one pawn, for a piece are sufficient compensation, because the pieces remaining on the board develop a furious energy... A distinguishing feature of his style is the creation of positions where both kings are under threat, everything is hanging, and from one incorrect move the entire construction can collapse."

"The main testing ground of his earchings was the Sicilian Defence, where he was a veritable generator of ideas. The favorite squares for his bishops in this opening were b5 and g5. Very often he dropped the bishop on b5 even if this square was controlled by a pawn on a6."

A Vitolinsh vs L Gutman, 1973 is one great example of this bishop deployment.

And A Vitolinsh vs Harri Arrakas, 1978 for that sacrificial initiative.

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