Jean Defuse: ...
Alexey Zakharov (Spektrowski) tell a remarkable anecdote about Nikolaevsky:
"In Summer 1965, Nikolaevsky qualified for the Soviet championship. He led the semi-final for the whole distance, but in the penultimate round, he lost to grandmaster Evgeny Vasiukov. So, Nikolaevsky, young master Gennady Kuzmin from Lugansk and Vasiukov all scored 10/14. Nikolaevsky and Kuzmin had better tie-breaks, but an unfortunate accident barred him from playing in the final.
The accident was quite extraordinary, to say the least. It involved a fistfight between five local sailors and two chess players. The sailors, as they say, were drunk. I think that the chess players were drunk too - Yuri Vasilyevich most probably celebrated his success. Another chess player involved was Ustinov, candidate master from Kyrgyz SSR, Nikolaevsky's friend. The sailors who assaulted the chess players, of course, didn't know that they both were boxers as well: Ustinov was a featherweight (and Master of Sports), and Nikolaevsky was a light heavyweight (and had a category).
And so, the chess players beat up the sailors so hard that one of them was hospitalized. And our heroes were taken to jail. The late Efim Lazarev, another participant of that tournament, said that Viktor Zhelyandinov helped the chess players - he was friends with the police higher-ups. He managed to break them free.
But still, Nikolaevsky didn't get away with that. Vasiukov immediately publicized the story, it was even covered in Sovetsky Sport. The Sports Committee decided to punish Nikolaevsky for "systematic violations of sporting regime", excluded him from the USSR championship final (replacing him, of course, with Vasiukov) and recommended to strip the master's title from him.
Efim Lazarev tells the rest of the story: "After the sailor who was knocked out came to in the hospital, he said that he had no grievances against those who beat him up. So, Yuri got back home without any problem. And concerning his master's title... I went to Moscow on a trip, and Mikhail Beilin, the Soviet Chess Federation vice-president, told me: "Do not worry and pass our sincere congratulations to Yurochka in Kiev. He and Ustinov are our heroes! The entire Sports Committee went nuts: two chess players beat up five sailors! We did all we could to save Yura's place in the final, but... Vasiukov is from Moscow, you see. But they'll never take away Yura's master title!"
Nikolaevsky's death was quite sad. He was very happy with his second wife, but she was hit by a trolley-bus and died. After that, he was deeply depressed, rarely left his home and died there. His body wasn't found immediately, so nobody even knows exactly when he died.
Source: https://www.chess.com/blog/kamalaka... (see comments) / Spektrowski's Blog: https://www.chess.com/blog/Spektrow...