Ivan Bukavshin dies at the age of 20

by Sagar Shah
1/13/2016 – He was one of the brightest talents in the world of chess, with an impressive rating of 2658. On 12th of January 2016, at the age of just twenty years and eight months, Ivan Bukavshin died from a stroke, leaving the entire chess world in a state of shock. The 2015 Russian Cup winner is no longer with us. What a player he was, what a beautiful chess career it would have been. A heartfelt eulogy.

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Ivan Bukavshin, 3rd May 1995 – 12th January 2016

One of the brightest talents not only in Russia but in the entire world of chess, Ivan Bukavshin, passed away tragically on 12th of January 2016. Preliminary reports say that he died of a stroke. Born on 3rd May 1995, Bukavshin, was 20 years, eight months and nine days old on the day he died. He had a FIDE rating of 2658 and was dubbed as one of the best upcoming talents from Russia. The way he played in 2015, we could have been sure that he would have developed into a world class player in a few years. His death is a huge loss to Russia and the chess world.

Bukavshin at the Aeroflot Open 2015 [picture by Boris Dolmatovski]

Some of Ivan’s best career achievements were:

  • U12 European champion in 2006
  • U14 European champion in 2008
  • U16 European champion in 2010
  • Tied for first place at the Chigorin Memorial in 2013 with ten other players
  • Joint first place at the Chigorin Memorial 2014 along with Ivan Ivanisevic
  • Winner of the Russian Junior (Under-21) Championship in 2014 and 2015
  • In April 2015, third place at Aeroflot Open behind Nepomniachtchi and Dubov
  • Tied for first in the Russian Championship Higher League with Motylev and Artemiev in July 2015 and qualified for the Russian Superfinal.
  • Won the 11th Ugra Governor’s Cup in December 2015 edging out Rakhmanov and Eliseev on tiebreaks
  • Winning the Russian Cup knockout tournament at the year-end defeating players like Eliseev, Khairullin, Khismatullin and Kokarev

Ivan Bukavshin had a special feel for the game of chess by which he made things look simple and easy. He was an excellent technical player. His games show high class handling of the bishop pair as well as perfect use of the king as a piece in the endgame, sometimes even the early middlegame. In one of his annotations for ChessBase Magazine Evgeny Tomashevsky gives us a good idea of Ivan’s style of play:

I went into the round nine game [Russian Superfinal 2015] against Ivan Bukavshin as the sole leader. But my narrow lead in the table and also my awareness of my young opponent's good technique in simple positions gave me the idea of not aiming to be too safe, but rather of defending my lead in a complicated struggle. That is the reason for the choice of the Anti-Moscow Gambit, because this is one of the critical variations for Ivan's repertoire. This meant that I could assume that he would not deviate from it.

In the only Russian Superfinal of his career Ivan did quite well, scoring 5.0/11 [picture by Eteri Kublashvili]

Tomashevsky’s words reveal two important things to us: one, Ivan’s technique was feared even by the best in the world and two, – Bukavshin was a fighter who did not shy away from critical lines and complicated positions. In fact going over some of his games reveals that more often than not he felt quite at home in complex positions and calculated quite accurately. Just to give you an example, here is a position from his game against Khairullin from the Russian Superfinal:

Bukavshin-Khairullin, Russian Superfinal 2015

It seems as if White is lost here. But Ivan found a beautiful resource. Can you do the same?

[Event "68th Superfinal RUS-ch Men"] [Site "Chita"] [Date "2015.08.13"] [Round "5"] [White "Bukavshin, Ivan"] [Black "Khairullin, Ildar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E18"] [WhiteElo "2655"] [BlackElo "2662"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/pR3p1k/5npp/P2p4/6P1/1Q2PN1P/r3qPK1/8 w - - 0 56"] [PlyCount "7"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 56. Nd2 $3 {A brilliant move which interferes the action of the queen and the rook on the seventh rank.} Kg8 (56... Qxd2 57. Rxf7+ Kg8 58. Rxf6 $18) (56... Kg7 57. Qxa2 $18) 57. Qxa2 $6 {Bukavshin must have thought that the game is over but here Black still had chances to resist.} (57. Rb8+ {was the computer way to win, quite difficult for humans to see when a rook is hanging on a2.} Kg7 (57... Kh7 58. Qb7 $1 Kg7 59. Qb4 $1 {transposes.}) 58. Qb4 {and there is simply no way to prevent the mate on f8.} Nd7 59. Qc3+ f6 (59... Nf6 60. Qc8 $18) 60. Qc7 $18) 57... Ne4 $2 (57... Nxg4 $3 {would have made White's task extremely difficult to convert the position.} 58. Rxf7 $1 {The only way to play for a win.} (58. hxg4 Qxg4+ 59. Kf1 Qd1+ 60. Kg2 Qg4+ 61. Kh1 Qh3+ 62. Kg1 Qg4+ $11 {White cannot escape the perpetual checks!}) 58... Nxe3+ $1 (58... Kxf7 59. Qxd5+ Ke7 60. hxg4 Qxg4+ 61. Kh2 Qh4+ 62. Kg1 Qg4+ 63. Qg2 Qd1+ 64. Nf1 $18 {and White is a piece up.}) 59. Kh1 $1 (59. Kg1 Kxf7 60. fxe3 Qxe3+ 61. Kg2 Qe2+ $11) (59. Kg3 Nf1+ 60. Kg2 Ne3+ {White has to find another way to win. }) (59. Kh2 Kxf7 $19) 59... Kxf7 60. fxe3 Ke6 61. e4 $16 {White has excellent chances to win this position.}) 58. Rxf7 $1 Nxd2 (58... Kxf7 59. Qxd5+ $18) 59. Qxd5 1-0

We contacted Vishy Anand, the five-time World Champion, who said that although he had never met Ivan, this was extremely sad news. India number two and World number 14 Pentala Harikrishna wrote to us, “Even though I did not have personal interaction with Bukavshin, I had heard a lot about him over the years as he grew into strong grandmaster. I was shocked to read the news about his sudden demise. Russia has lost a great talent who would have reached the world top. My deepest condolences to his family and closed ones. May his soul rest in peace.”

GM Vidit Gujrathi, who is almost as old as Ivan was and has the same rating as him, said, “I never met or played with Ivan, but I saw that he was improving at a very quick pace. It’s a highly unfortunate blow to the chess world. He was a great talent. I always kept a tab on his games and a recent idea that he played was really very interesting.

In this very famous position of the Catalan, which has been reached nearly 7,000 times, the most popular move is 7…a6, although some players have experimented with 7…b5!? But it was Bukavshin who came up with this bold concept of 7…b6, against Artemiev at the Russian Superfinal in August 2015. Artemiev did not want to take any risks and captured the pawn with 8.Qxc4. Bukavshin developed 8…Bb7 and had absolutely no problems. In December 2015 Aleksey Goganov decided to play the most critical line against 7…b6 and went 8.Ne5!? Bukavshin boldly sacrificed his rook with 8…Qxd4 and after 9.Bxa8 Qxe5, the game became complicated and Ivan managed to win! Goganov was so impressed with this novelty that after just four days he tried it himself, against Pavel Maletin with the black pieces, and made a draw. Ivan had complete faith in this system and played it against Peter Leko at the Nutcracker tournament, where he was able to hold the Hungarian to a draw. Chess literature and experts all over the world should seriously consider naming the variation starting with 7…b6 the Bukavshin Variation in the Catalan.

Princes at the Nutcracker event: Mikhail Antipov, Gregory Oparin, Vladislav Artemiev and Ivan Bukavshin

Here's a game of the founder in the Bukavshin variation of the Catalan:

[Event "Khanty-Mansiysk Governor Cup 11th"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2015.12.01"] [Round "9"] [White "Goganov, Aleksey"] [Black "Bukavshin, Ivan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2597"] [BlackElo "2657"] [PlyCount "122"] [EventDate "2015.11.23"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2015.12.04"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. d4 dxc4 7. Qc2 b6 $5 { The Bukavshin Variation.} 8. Ne5 (8. Qxc4 Bb7 9. Nc3 (9. Bf4 c5 10. dxc5 Qc8 ( 10... Bxc5 $11) 11. Nbd2 Qxc5 12. Ne5 Nd5 13. Qxc5 Bxc5 14. Rac1 g5 15. Be3 Be7 16. Ne4 f6 17. Nc4 Rd8 18. Nc3 Nxc3 19. Rxc3 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Na6 21. a3 Rac8 22. Rfc1 Rc7 23. Nd2 Rdc8 24. Ne4 Kf7 25. f4 gxf4 26. gxf4 h6 27. Bd4 f5 28. Nf2 Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3 30. Bxc3 Nc5 31. Bd4 Nd7 32. Nd3 Bf6 33. Bxf6 Kxf6 34. Kf3 e5 35. e4 Ke6 36. exf5+ Kxf5 37. Nxe5 Nxe5+ 38. fxe5 Kxe5 39. Kg4 Kf6 40. Kf4 Kg6 41. Kg4 Kf6 42. Kh5 Kg7 43. a4 Kh7 44. b4 a6 45. b5 axb5 46. axb5 Kg7 47. Kg4 Kg6 48. Kf4 Kf6 49. Ke4 Ke6 50. h3 {1/2-1/2 (54) Leko,P (2705)-Bukavshin,I (2657) Moscow 2015} Kd6 51. Kd4 Ke6 52. Ke4 Kd6 53. Kd4 Ke6 54. Ke4 {1/2-1/2 (54) Leko,P (2705)-Bukavshin,I (2657) Moscow 2015}) 9... Nbd7 10. Bg5 Rc8 11. Nb5 Bd5 12. Qc2 Be4 13. Qc1 c6 14. Nc3 Bg6 15. Rd1 Nd5 16. Bf4 Nxc3 17. Qxc3 Be4 18. Rac1 b5 19. Qe3 Bd5 20. Qd3 f5 21. Ne5 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Qd5+ 24. f3 a6 25. Qb3 Rfd8 26. Qxd5 Rxd5 27. Rd3 c5 28. Ra3 Rc6 29. e4 Rd8 30. dxc5 Rd2+ 31. Kh1 fxe4 32. fxe4 Re2 33. b4 Rxe4 34. Bc3 Bxc5 35. bxc5 b4 36. Bxb4 Rxb4 37. Rb3 Rd4 38. Rb6 Rxb6 39. cxb6 Rb4 40. Rc8+ Kf7 41. Rc7+ Kf6 42. b7 Rb2 43. a4 h5 44. Kg1 g5 45. Kf1 e5 46. Ke1 Ke6 47. Kd1 Kd6 48. Rh7 h4 49. Kc1 Rb4 50. gxh4 gxh4 51. a5 Kc6 52. Rxh4 Rxb7 53. Rh6+ Kc5 54. Rxa6 Rh7 55. Ra8 { 1/2-1/2 (55) Artemiev,V (2671)-Bukavshin,I (2655) Chita 2015}) 8... Qxd4 9. Bxa8 Qxe5 10. Nd2 $6 (10. Bf3 $5) 10... Qxe2 $1 11. Bf3 Qd3 $17 12. Qxc4 Ba6 13. Qxd3 Bxd3 14. Re1 Na6 15. a3 Rd8 16. Nf1 Nc5 17. Bf4 Nb3 18. Rad1 c5 19. Bc7 Rd7 20. Be5 Bb5 21. Rxd7 Nxd7 22. Bc3 Nd4 23. Bxd4 cxd4 24. Rc1 Nc5 25. b4 Bg5 26. Rd1 Nb3 27. h4 Bh6 28. Be4 Be2 29. Rb1 Nc1 30. f4 Na2 31. Kf2 Nc3 32. Rc1 Bb5 33. Nd2 e5 34. Bf3 exf4 35. g4 g6 36. Ne4 Bg7 37. Nd6 Bd7 38. Ke1 Kf8 39. Kd2 Ke7 40. Nc4 Be6 41. Re1 h6 42. Kd3 Bf6 43. h5 gxh5 44. gxh5 b5 45. Na5 Kd7 46. Nc6 Bf5+ 47. Kd2 Nb1+ 48. Rxb1 Bxb1 49. Nxa7 Be5 50. Nxb5 f5 51. a4 Be4 52. Be2 f3 53. Bf1 Kc6 54. a5 d3 55. Nc3 Bf4+ 56. Ke1 Be3 57. Bh3 d2+ 58. Kd1 Bd3 59. a6 f2 60. b5+ Kd6 61. b6 Bxb6 0-1

Boris Gelfand analyzes with Ivan Bukavshin as Mark Dvoretsky (right) looks on

When Boris Gelfand was asked what he thought about the openings of the “Princes” at the Nutcracker tournament, the Israeli grandmaster replied: “Bukavshin’s opening preparation is at a good level, and it is clear that in the opening he is clearly superior to others.”

In the Aeroflot Open 2015, which is considered to be one of the strongest tournaments in the world, Ivan played in super solid style, finishing third behind Nepomniachtchi and Dubov. He remained unbeaten, scorings wins over strong grandmasters like Mohammed Al Sayed, Ernesto Inarkiev, Richard Rapport and B. Adhiban. Especially beautiful was his victory over Inarkiev.

Bukavshin-Inarkiev, Aeroflot 2015

Inarkiev, who just played Qd8-d5, thought that he was forcing White to play f3
or go back with his knight to f3, but Bukavshin had prepared a major surprise!

[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2015"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2015.03.30"] [Round "4.7"] [White "Bukavshin, Ivan"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2618"] [BlackElo "2706"] [Annotator "Alejandro Ramirez"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Be3 Nc6 9. Rc1 cxd4 10. cxd4 e6 {This move looks a little strange: it doesn't really hinder d5, and it costs Black an important tempo.} 11. Bc4 O-O 12. O-O Na5 13. Bd3 b6 14. h4 {Even though the rook is no longer on the h-file, it is natural to weaken the black king position.} Bb7 15. h5 f5 {This move is as ugly as it gets – definitely very weakening. Black wants his light squares, but life is not so easy.} 16. e5 gxh5 17. Ng5 Qd5 $2 {Missing White's brilliant reply.} (17... Qe8 18. Rc7 {with initiative.}) 18. Be4 $3 Qd7 (18... fxe4 19. Qxh5 h6 (19... Rfc8 20. Qxh7+ Kf8 21. Qg6 Kg8 {and White has a choice of brilliant wins to choose from.} 22. Qf7+ Kh8 23. Rxc8+ Rxc8 24. Kh2 { with Rh1 and Kg3 to follow, just to name one.}) 20. Rc7 {with the unstoppable idea of Qg6 and forced mate.}) 19. Bxb7 Nxb7 20. Qxh5 Bh8 21. f4 Rae8 22. Rf3 Re7 {Positionally Black is simply busted.} 23. Rg3 Rg7 24. Bf2 Qe8 25. Qh3 Nd8 26. Nxh7 Rxg3 27. Bxg3 Rf7 28. Ng5 Rd7 29. Rc8 $18 Bg7 30. Bf2 Qg6 31. Qb3 Bf8 32. Qa4 Qg7 33. Rc3 Rc7 34. Rg3 Rc1+ 35. Kh2 Qh6+ 36. Rh3 Qg7 37. Qe8 Qe7 38. Qh5 Bg7 39. Qg6 Kf8 40. Nh7+ Kg8 41. Nf6+ Kf8 42. Rh8+ 1-0

That moment when Inarkiev had had enough! (picture by Boris Dolmatovski)

B. Adhiban, rated 2646, faced Bukavshin in the seventh round of the Aeroflot Open 2015. Adhiban was trailing the leaders by half point and, having the white pieces, desperately wanted to win the game. Ivan essayed the Noteboom Variation as black and soon uncorked a completely new idea with 8…a5!? He played a nearly flawless game of chess to overwhelm his Indian opponent. As Adhiban said to us, “He played just so confidently. I was wondering if it was all his opening preparation. He beat me convincingly. I thought to myself after the game that his rating of 2618 was definitely lower than the level at which he played.” In spite of losing it, Adhiban annotated this game for CBM 166 which we now reproduce here:

[Event "Moscow Aeroflot op-A 14th"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2015.04.02"] [Round "7"] [White "Adhiban, Baskaran"] [Black "Bukavshin, Ivan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2646"] [BlackElo "2618"] [Annotator "Adhiban,B"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2015.05.11"] {This game was quite important, since I was sharing the second spot and was very optimistic of fighting for the first place. Little did I know that this game could also turn out to the opposite of my hopes!} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 {I really don't know what this variation is called! The Marshall's Slav Triangle Gambit System? :)} dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 a5 $5 {A new idea! Na6,Nd7 and c5 are the normal moves for Black.} 9. Bc3 ( 9. Bf8 {doesn't work here.} Qxg2 10. Bf3 Qg5) (9. Bd6 $5 {was the other interesting try.}) 9... Ne7 10. Nf3 O-O 11. O-O f6 12. Re1 (12. Qd2 e5 13. Rfe1 Ng6 14. Bxa5 Nf4 15. Bf1 Qg6 16. Bb4 Re8 17. Qe3 Be6 18. Bc3 Nd7 19. Nd2 Bf5 20. Qg3 Nc5 21. Qxg6 Bxg6 22. b3 Red8 23. Re3 Bc2 24. Nf3 Rd1 25. Rxd1 Bxd1 26. g3 Nfe6 27. Be2 Bc2 28. b4 Ne4 29. c5 Nxc3 30. Rxc3 Rxa2 31. Bc4 Ra1+ 32. Kg2 Bf5 33. Re3 Kf8 34. Nh4 Nd4 35. Nxf5 Nxf5 36. Rb3 Nd4 37. Rb2 Rc1 38. Bd3 f5 39. Ra2 e4 40. Bf1 Rc2 41. Rxc2 Nxc2 42. b5 Ne1+ 43. Kg1 Nd3 44. bxc6 bxc6 45. f3 Nxc5 46. Kf2 Ke7 47. fxe4 Nxe4+ 48. Ke3 h5 49. Ba6 c5 50. Kf3 Kf6 51. Bb5 c4 52. Ke3 c3 53. Kd3 g5 54. Bc6 Ke5 55. h4 g4 56. Be8 Nxg3 57. Kxc3 f4 58. Kd3 f3 59. Ke3 Nf5+ {0-1 (59) Rahman,Z (2509)-Sethuraman,S (2635) Al Ain 2015}) 12... Qf4 {Taking her majesty out of the trouble and the nasty threats.} (12... e5 { I was mainly expecting this.} 13. Bd3 Qg4 14. Re4 Qd7 (14... Qe6 {allows} 15. Nxe5 fxe5 16. Rxe5 Qf7 17. Rxe7 $3 Qxe7 18. Qh5 {A clear domination by the two bishops!} g6 19. Bxg6 {[%cal Ga1e1] with an unstoppable attack!}) 15. Nxe5 $1 fxe5 16. Rxe5 Rf7 17. Qe2 c5 18. Rd1 $1 Qc7 19. Rxe7 Qxe7 (19... Rxe7 20. Qh5 $18) 20. Qh5 g6 21. Bxg6 Nc6 22. Re1 Qxe1+ 23. Bxe1 hxg6 24. Qxg6+ Kf8 25. f3 $16 {with an interesting imbalance, but the open position of the king and the possibility of combining an attack on the dark squares and advancing the pawns give White a considerable advantage.}) 13. Bd3 c5 $1 {Taking control of several important squares and preparing ...Nc6, my opponent was still playing fast! Maybe he was still in his prep?} 14. Qc2 h6 15. Re3 $5 Nf5 (15... Nbc6 { Here I had an interesting idea} 16. Ne5 $1 {The black queen is in trouble.} Nd4 (16... Nxe5 17. Bxe5 fxe5 18. Rf3 $16) 17. Bxd4 cxd4 18. Rd1 $1 $44 {looks spectacular with a huge mess.} (18. Re4 Qg5 19. Nf3 Qc5 $11)) 16. Bxf5 Qxf5 17. Qd1 $6 {Too ambitious.} ({It was high time to go into defensive mode.} 17. Qxf5 exf5 18. Rd1 {and White had decent chances of survival.}) (17. Qe2 Qh5 $1 { I wasn't sure how to continue here while Black's plan is quite clear (e5-Nc6).} (17... e5 18. Nxe5 fxe5 19. Rxe5 Qg4 20. f3 Qg6 21. Re7 Rf7 22. Re8+ Rf8 23. Re7 $11)) 17... e5 $1 {Preventing all sorts of tricks!} (17... Nc6 18. Nh4 $1 Qg5 19. Rg3 $1 {was my idea.} Qxh4 20. Rg4 {[%csl Rh4] winning the queen.}) 18. Qd5+ Qe6 19. Qxc5 b6 20. Qd5 Qxd5 21. cxd5 {I thought this must be easy to defend, but his f6-e5 pawns really restrict my pieces.} Rd8 {[%csl Rd5]} 22. Rd1 Ra7 $5 23. Nxe5 (23. d6 Nc6 $17) 23... fxe5 24. Bxe5 Nc6 $1 {I had understimated this resource - now I don't get the compensation I was hoping for. One of my friends even texted me: why on earth 23.Ne5? For which I had no answer.} 25. f4 Nxe5 26. fxe5 Be6 27. d6 Rc8 28. h4 {Preparing Rg3-g6, which seemed like the only way to dislodge the bishop.} Rf7 ({Also sufficient is} 28... Rc4) 29. Rd2 Rf4 30. Rc3 Rxc3 31. bxc3 Rf8 {The rest is easy, I am not able to create any fortress.} 32. a4 $6 {Only adds to the trouble.} (32. Rb2 Rb8 33. Kf2 {was more tenacious.}) 32... Rb8 33. Kf2 Kf7 34. Ke3 Ke8 35. Kd4 Rc8 36. Rb2 Rc4+ 37. Kd3 Rc6 38. g4 Bxg4 39. Rg2 h5 40. Kd4 Kd7 41. Rg1 (41. Rf2 Be6) 41... g6 42. Rg2 Bf5 43. Rg1 Rc5 44. Rg2 Ke6 45. Re2 Rd5+ 0-1

Top three talents of Russia were the top three places at Aeroflot 2015:
Daniil Dubov, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ivan Bukavshin

Another young Indian talent, S.P. Sethuraman (Elo 2639), wrote to us, “I played with Ivan in the World Youth Stars in 2010 at Krishi, Russia. He was accompanied by his coach Jakov Geller. Ever since that time then I have had a good impression of him as a player as well as a person. He was a hard-working and dedicated and had a diverse playing style thanks to which he could handle different types of positions with ease. He was a very creative player and had his own ideas. I was really inspired by his idea a5 in the Marshall Gambit against Adhiban at the Aeroflot. Later I used it in one my own games and won with it. [We have added Sethuraman’s game against Ziaur Rahman in the game above.] He was calm and composed over the board, and this is one of the reasons why it came as a huge surprise that his death was by a stroke. A huge loss to the chess world.”

Ivan Bukavshin is no longer with us and there is nothing that we can do about it. But he leaves behind him a wealth of beautiful games, combinations and ideas which will be studied by chess players and chess lovers all over the world for years to come.

Ivan is gone but his moves will live on. We leave you with a video of Ivan Bukavshin in a blitz game where he tricks the strong Georgian player Baadur Jobava. Look at the ease with which the Russian makes his moves.

Baadur Jobava wrote to us saying, " I can't say that I have been friends with him, but for sure I know that he was a positive guy. It is very sad that he is gone so soon. What to say, this is life...

Bukavshin-Iskusnyh, 2013

In his game against Iskusnyh, Bukavshin played the move Bb5 to c6. His opponent was in a complete zugwang. No pawns can move without being lost, the black king is trapped, the rook on a7 is tied down to the knight and the knight cannot move because Re8 is a mate. Iskusnyh could find nothing better than to resign the game.

In life the most fatal form of Zugzwang is death. Ivan, we will always miss you.

Topics Eulogy

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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Senthil Senthil 1/17/2016 03:22
RIP Ivan Bukavshin.

@sivakumar R. I think the stroke at such a young age is due to chess. We can't avoid the fact that Ivan had a phenomenal rise in 2015. He might have practiced hard and become ill.

GM Vugar Gashimov also died of neurological disease at a young age of 27. Also, there were two deaths in the last chess olympiad.

digupagal digupagal 1/14/2016 08:04
In fact i would say, it is a great thing that the Indian GMs who even don't know him speak so highly about him and his chess, He would be happy to know that his chess and the variation that is named after him is being spoken off after he is gone!!!

KchessK KchessK 1/14/2016 03:09
RIP GM Ivan Bukavshin.
MJFitch MJFitch 1/14/2016 01:24
Ciassa has lost a rising talent. May he R.I.P.
FMMichaelBaron FMMichaelBaron 1/14/2016 12:59
Very sad loss. He was one of the strongest representatives of the new wave of Russian players. I am surprised though that Chessbase interviewed Indian grandmasters who ''do not know him well'' rather than spoke to those who were his close friends and chess associates such as GMs Fedoseev and Dubov who spoke about him on chess-news.ru
Leonilo Leonilo 1/13/2016 09:59
When playing black, I usually avoid the Catalan, but in the future I will consider trying the Bukavshin Variation, it seems very interesting at first sight.
himalayanbear himalayanbear 1/13/2016 09:18
heartbreaking... stroke at such young age... be born again. peace.
fightingchess fightingchess 1/13/2016 07:48
@hansj that is the only thing in this article you found important to make a comment about?
hansj hansj 1/13/2016 07:28
" leaving the entire chess world in a state of shock"

That would be slightly exaggerated, I guess.
Camembert Camembert 1/13/2016 06:29
A stroke so Young !
Very sad, very sad.
R.I.P. Ivan !
sivakumar R sivakumar R 1/13/2016 05:13
While our prayers and thoughts go to Ivan , the brutal question remains - can the stroke be due to chess?
fightingchess fightingchess 1/13/2016 04:55
always sad to see talented youngsters dying without fulfilling their potential. anyway he shared his beautiful play with us to enjoy. RIP.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 1/13/2016 04:52
feeling devastated!
Mackz Mackz 1/13/2016 04:15
Rest in peace...