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Vladimir Zak
Number of games in database: 19
Years covered: 1930 to 1983
Overall record: +4 -13 =2 (26.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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E30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad (3 games)

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(born Feb-11-1913, died Nov-25-1994, 81 years old) Ukraine

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Vladimir Grigorievich Zak was the main trainer at the Leningrad Palace of Pioneers during the 1940's and 1950's. His most famous pupils were Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi.

 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Model vs V Zak 1-0331930Leningrad sim (tel)E11 Bogo-Indian Defense
2. P Noskov vs V Zak 0-130193712th Ch LeningradE77 King's Indian
3. V Zak vs V Baturinsky  1-0301937Ch Trade Unions (1/2 Final)B55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
4. Smyslov vs V Zak 1-0361938All Union First CategoryA43 Old Benoni
5. P N Troitsky vs V Zak  0-1351938Ch Trade Unions (team sf)D85 Grunfeld
6. V Zak vs Skibnevsky  0-122194015th Ch Leningrad (sf-3)C02 French, Advance
7. Averbakh vs V Zak 1-0261947Match for Masters TitleC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. Korchnoi vs V Zak 1-0161951Chigorin MemorialD00 Queen's Pawn Game
9. S Kotlerman vs V Zak  1-0401951URS-ch sfD02 Queen's Pawn Game
10. V Zak vs G Goldberg  ½-½311951URS-ch sfE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
11. V Tarasov vs V Zak  ½-½321951URS-ch sfD74 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O
12. V Zak vs Lilienthal 1-0321951URS-ch sfE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
13. V Zak vs R Nezhmetdinov 0-1281951URS-ch sfA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
14. V Zak vs Y Shaposhnikov  0-1531952URS-ch sfE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
15. V Zak vs Aronin  0-1411952URS-ch sfD80 Grunfeld
16. V Zak vs Korchnoi  0-1291956PoltavaE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
17. V Zak vs K Muchnik  0-1351958Moscow-Leningrad MatchA53 Old Indian
18. K Muchnik vs V Zak  1-0231958Moscow-Leningrad MatchB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
19. Arkell vs V Zak 1-0701983Lewisham InternationalD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Zak wins | Zak loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-29-04  Taidanii: Awww. :(
Aug-13-04  WMD: From Soltis's book Soviet Chess 1917-1991:

For serious chess students, the training was intense. Vladimir Zak, who headed the chess section at the Leningrad Palace for more than a quarter century, told his youngsters to spend 12 to 16 hours analyzing each of their games. In Roads to Perfection he urged five steps:

1) Play over the game quickly, in 15 or 20 minutes, "to awaken your thoughts."

2) Play it over in the course of an hour to "synopsize the key moments."

3) Analyze the key moments in detail over three to four hours.

4) Analyze the opening for three or four hours.

5) Play the game over once more and write annotations, taking four to five hours.

Mar-01-07  Plato: Vladimir Zak was a super-trainer. Very few trainers in chess history can boast such success... Zak coached the likes of Korchnoi, Spassky, Kamsky, and many other future Grandmasters.
Feb-11-08  brankat: A brilliant Chess teacher, no doubt.

Thank You for Your work, and Happy Birthday Mr.Zak!

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Zak and his Leningrad boys: (German)

Feb-11-08  brankat: <whiteshark> A great find! Thanks.
Feb-11-08  Resignation Trap: Here is a photo of Zak with Spassky: .

Zak is seated directly in front of a teenage Korchnoi here: .

And Kamsky is on the front left, Zak on the rear left in this photo: .

Feb-12-08  Tomlinsky: Some great old photographs there <RT> & <whiteshark>. Many thanks.
Feb-12-08  Open Defence: seems Korchnoi and Spassky go back a long way.. how come they had a falling out ?
Feb-12-08  Tomlinsky: <OD> Great pic that. I wasn't aware that they had fallen out and thought they were still good friends? He speaks kindly of him on his CB DVD's from a few years back.
Feb-12-08  Open Defence: Ok maybe they patched up there was something I read about them kicking each other under the table during a game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Korchnoi and Spassky had a bit of a falling out during their 1977 Candidates Match when Spassky absented himself from the actual board and was using the demonstration boards to analyse. This upset Korchnoi and he lost three or four games in a row having previously been a number of points up. IIRC they eventually got over it. The kicking under the table incident happened between Korchnoi and Petrosian and it was a fight neither party was willing to get over. They really liked detesting each other. Strange really.
Jun-25-08  Karpova: He ist not to be confused with Georgy Vladimirovich Zak who was born in 1940.
Feb-11-09  brankat: R.I.P. master Zak.
Feb-11-09  zev22407: He tought Spassky the opening of the day -"The Leningrad Variation"
Feb-11-09  Torpedyne: Yermolinsky wrote: "..who survives these training methods is guaranteed a bright future! The important thing was to leave Zak before frustation sets in and you decide to quit chess. Salov and Kamsky left early, and became stars in their teens. I stuck around and blew a chance to achieve success in junior chess." Not an easy man, definetely!!
Feb-11-09  WhiteRook48: hey Zack, where are you?
May-27-09  Jim Bartle: Korchnoi in a 1977 article in Sports Illustrated:

"Zak is still alive, old now and lonely, but he taught us so much more than chess—literature, music, a love-of physical sports. Most important, he taught us to be fearless about the truth. He was a good man and gave us a sense of justice that has stuck with both of us, I think. That's why I have defected, and why Boris is having his own troubles with the regime. Justice.""

Feb-08-11  wordfunph: GM Genna Sosonko's Russian Silhouettes:

In a winning position, Suetin then a young candidate master, blundered away the exchange and immediately noticed it. Tears welled up in his eyes and Zak allowed him to take the move back. Some ten moves later, Suetin won the game by direct attack.

Feb-11-12  LoveThatJoker: On this day you are remembered, Vladimir Zak!


Feb-11-12  BIDMONFA: Vladimir Zak

ZAK, Vladimir

Feb-11-12  brankat: Chess players do remember You Vladimir Zak.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Zak.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Zak's list of typical mistakes by young players:

1. Hasty moves

2. Learning openings without understanding the underlying ideas behind the moves

3. Relying on general principles instead of a concrete plan

4. Underestimating the opponent's combinative chances

5. Disparity between aggressive and defensive ability

6. Miscalculating variations and combinations

7. Inadequate knowledge of basic endgames

8. Implementing the wrong strategic plan

9. How to manage time in practical play.

Aug-20-19  Chesgambit: Chess teacher

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