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Sergei Prokofiev
S Prokofiev 
Photograph courtesy of the Serge Prokofiev Foundation.  
Number of games in database: 9
Years covered: 1914 to 1937
Overall record: +4 -3 =2 (55.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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(born Apr-27-1891, died Mar-05-1953, 61 years old) Russia

[what is this?]

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. (1)

By seven, he had also learned to play chess. Chess would remain a passion of his, and he became acquainted with world chess champions Jose Raul Capablanca, whom he beat in a simultaneous exhibition match in 1914,(2) and Mikhail Botvinnik, with whom he played several matches in the 1930s. (1)

Botvinnik wrote of him: "I played chess with Prokofiev several times. He played a very vigorous, forthright game. His usual method was to launch an attack which he conducted cleverly and ingeniously. He obviously did not care for defence tactics." (3)

(1) Wikipedia article: Sergei Prokofiev
(2) Capablanca vs S Prokofiev, 1914
(3) Edward Winter, "Sergei Prokofiev and Chess"

Note: there is some uncertainty about the exact date of birth.

Last updated: 2017-03-15 01:52:03

 page 1 of 1; 9 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Capablanca vs S Prokofiev  1-0581914Simul, 30bC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
2. Capablanca vs S Prokofiev 0-1431914Simul, 24bD02 Queen's Pawn Game
3. S Prokofiev vs Ed. Lasker  ½-½291922Offhand gameC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
4. S Prokofiev vs M Ravel 1-0251924Mont La JoliE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
5. F Delius vs S Prokofiev 0-1211932FRAD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. Lasker vs S Prokofiev 1-0511933Simul, 30bC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
7. Tartakower vs S Prokofiev 1-0291934ParisC51 Evans Gambit
8. S Prokofiev vs D Oistrakh ½-½721937MoscowB72 Sicilian, Dragon
9. M Delage vs S Prokofiev 0-1251937?C18 French, Winawer
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Prokofiev wins | Prokofiev loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-02-07  aragorn69: More on Prokofiev, Capablanca and Botvinnik in recent Chess Notes :
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <aragorn69> Thanks for posting that. This is his description of Rubinstein: <our own Rubinstein – a coarse, unintelligent-looking face, a touch of the shopkeeper about him, but modest and talented compared to Tarrasch, erratic but dangerous to any opponent>

Curious that he describes Rubinstein as erratic before the tournament began.

Apr-02-07  paladin at large: <aragorn69> Marvelous link and rich lore. Prokofiev is a fine chronicler, too. I had read somewhere that Humphrey Bogart was regarded as the best chess playing celebrity ever, but I wonder if Profkofiev was not better, considering he beat Tartakower straight up and gave Capablanca difficulty in simuls.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <paladin at large> Prokofiev is too good a chessplayer to count as a celebrity. :-)

As is this guy: Marcel Duchamp

Oct-12-07  Whack8888: After getting the tip from adair10, I looked up Prokofiev on youtube. This is one of my favorite pieces of all time.

It is the second movement of his 7th Piano Sonata.

Jun-28-08  apple pi: Favorite Prokofiev piece: Violin Concerto No. 1, especially the third movement - "The one with the wierd chromatics"
Sep-02-08  ravel5184: My favorite Prokofiev piece: Toccata in D minor
Sep-02-08  ravel5184: My favorite part - @ 1:28
May-17-10  BobCrisp: Some of my earliest chess memories are watching the BBC's coverage of the 1984-85 world chess championship match, presented by Jeremy James and Bill Hartston and with this memorable theme tune:

Sep-14-11  Antiochus: [Event "Moscow blind"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alexander Alekhine"]
[Black "Sergey Prokofiev"]
[Result "0-1"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view

"] [PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "1914.??.??"]
[Source "Franco Pezzi"]
[SourceDate "2005.11.02"]

1. f4 d5 2. e3 c5 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. Be2 e6 5. b3 Be7 6. O-O Nc6 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Bxf3 Bf6 9. Rb1 Nge7 10. Ba3 Qa5 11. Qc1 Nb4 12. Bxb4 cxb4 13. a4 Rc8 14. g4 g6 15. d4 Qc7 16. Qd2 Qc3 17. Qe2 O-O 18. Rbc1 Bg7 19. Rfd1 Rc7 20. h4 f6 21. h5 gxh5 22. gxh5 Kh8 23. Kf2 e5 24. e4 f5 25. exd5 e4 26. d6 Bxd4+ 27. Kf1 Nd5 28. dxc7 Ne3+ 29. Kg1 Nxd1+ 30. Kh2 Ne3 31. Bh1 Qxc7 0-1

Feb-13-13  norami: As far as I can tell, Prokofiev wrote the last piece of music to make it into the standard repertoire of symphony orchestras - his 5th symphony, written in 1945. Since then - nothing, nothing by anybody. It's a dead art.
Apr-16-13  Xenon Oxide: Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten? They both wrote some good stuff after 1945.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Piano Concerto #3

Apr-27-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Sergei Prokofiev.
Aug-30-16  posoo: NORAMI wat on ERTH are u tokking about?

in ADITION to da ovius exumples above, u also have SOMUEL BORBOR (chek out da prayers of KORKGARD)

and da best living composer, ARVO PORT

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <The process of denuding for the sake of simplicity is highly disagreeable.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Battle on the Ice

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I listened to this last night:

7th Symphony in C Sharp Minor

Apr-29-17  morfishine: Surely, there are more games around for master/composer <Prokofiev>?

What a wonderful player!


Mar-09-21  AlicesKnight: The list of his opponents here is stunning - some great creative minds in chess and music.
Mar-09-21  gary11201: There were also some great chessplayers who were also quite good musicians. Mark Taimanov was a good enough pianist to give concerts, and Smyslov supposedly had a terrific singing voice.
Aug-25-21  Bartleby: "In 1909 when Emanuel Lasker arrived by train for the international tournament to be held in St. Petersburg, the greeting party at the Moscow station included an 18-year-old music student. "Lasker! What an honor!" the youth later wrote in his memoirs. Five years later the young man, then winner of the Anton Rubinstein prize of the St. Petersburg conservatory, played piano at the final banquet of the 1914 grandmaster tournament in the northern capital. The honored guests included Czar Nicholas and Lasker. In his memoirs the pianist referred to the latter as "His Majesty."

That young man was Sergei Prokofiev, of course.

Continues: "Shortly after the 1909 event, punctuated by Lasker's dramatic race that enabled him to tie with Akiba Rubinstein, the world champion gave a 25-board exhibition. Prokofiev, with cautious and knowing regard that this was the world champion giving a simul after all, politely requested to play white . "Ach, bitte," Lasker casually agreed, and there followed a complex game, with both sides slugging it out. While Prokofiev's fellow players were dropping like flies left and right, the young Russian hung on, won an exchange for a passed pawn and drew."

--From "Music, Fantasy, and War" chapter of "Chess to Enjoy," Andrew Soltis 1978

There is the famous Capablanca vs S Prokofiev, 1914 simul game, but apparently he also beat Botvinnik twice in simuls, and Alekhine at knight's odds (the score is given in the book). Soltis opines that out of all the chess-playing musicians: Strauss, Shostakovich, Ravel, and of course Philidor, Prokofiev may have had the most dogged "intent."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gottschalk: Chessbase report:
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Heard it this week:

Symphony 1

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: On the radio today:

Lieutenant Kije Suite

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