Vladimir Tukmakov turns sixty

3/5/2006 – Today Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Tukmakov celebrates his 60th birthday. He was three times second in the USSR Championship and in recent years became the trainer of the Ukrainian national team. In 2004 he led this team to a Gold medal at the Olympiad in Calvià. Together with our colleagues at Chess Today we wish Vladimir a happy anniversary!

On this Day...

by GM Mikhail Golubev

Ukrainian Grandmaster Vladimir Tukmakov is celebrating his 60th birthday today. He was born in Odessa on 5th March 1946.

Tukmakov's best result in the USSR Championships was 2nd place, which he occupied in 1970, 1972 and 1983. In 1984 he played on the Soviet team which won the Olympiad and also the match versus the World team. In 1973 and 1983, playing on the Soviet team, he won the European team championships.

Tukmakov (right) captaining the Gold medal team of Ukrain at the Olympiad

Currently, Tukmakov is the main coach of the Ukrainian national team. In 2004, the Ukrainian team, headed by him, won the Chess Olympiad in Calvia.

Some sources provide 15th March as Tukmakov's birthday date. This date is wrong, as confirmed by Tukmakov himself. Speaking with him by phone yesterday, I asked Tukmakov also about his most memorable game. He said that it could be the win against Korchnoi from the 1970 USSR Championship, which is given below.

Today, a blitz tournament in honour of Tukmakov will take place in Odessa. Players of the Ukrainian national team, who have a training session in Odessa now, will be among the participants.

P.S. The Right Move!

One message, related to Vladimir Tukmakov, arrived in my mailbox late yesterday evening. Tukmakov has joined supporters of Bessel Kok and wrote a supporting letter, which can be found at the rightmove06.org website.

Here's a famous game played by Vladimir Tukmakov 35 years ago:

Tukmakov,Vladimir - Korchnoi,Viktor [E55]
URS-ch38 Riga URS (4), 1970 [Mikhail Golubev (www.chesstoday.net)]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0–0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 d5 7.0–0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7

A fairly normal position of the Nimzo-Indian Defence. 9.Qb3!? The most popular continuations were and are 9.a3 (not long ago we saw 9...cxd4 10.axb4 dxc3 11.bxc3 Qc7 12.Be2 Nd5 13.Bd3 Qxc3 14.Ra3 in the Morelia game Aronian-Topalov); and 9.Qe2. 9...a6 10.a4 Qe7 11.Rd1 Ba5. Later Black usually played 11...Rd8 . Possibly, Korchnoi was not sure about 12.a5 (what is still untried). But this line is double edged: Balck can consider 12...b5!? 13.axb6 Bb7.12.Qc2.

12...cxd4?! This exchange seems to be a serious inaccuracy: it allows White to obtain a standard position with an isolani pawn but which is to his advantage. [12...Nb6! and if 13.Ba2 , then 13...Bd7] 13.exd4! Nb6 14.Ba2! Black, who anyway has some problems with development, faces now a strategic threat of 15.Bg5!. 14...h6 [Or 14...Nfd5 15.Ng5!?] 15.Ne5! Bd7 16.Bb1! Rfd8. After 16...Rac8?! 17.Ng4!± White is clearly better. With his last move, Black prepares to parry the 17. Ng4 threat. 17.Rd3!

Here 17.Ng4 Bc6! 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qh7+ Kf8÷ seems to be unclear. 17...Rac8. 17...Bc6!? was recommended as an improvement here. Still, after 18.Rg3 Kf8 19.Qd2‚ Black has similar problems with his kingside. An important line is 19...Qd6 20.Rxg7! Qxe5 21.dxe5 (21.Qxh6?? Qe1#) 21...Rxd2 22.exf6! Bxc3 23.Bxd2 Bxf6 (23...Bxd2 24.Bh7!+-) 24.Rg4 and Black does not have sufficient compensation for the exchange.

18.Rg3!± Kf8. 18...Kh8? fails to 19.Qg6! fxg6 20.Nxg6+ Kg8 21.Nxe7+ and White wins. 19.Qd2. An interesting option 19.Bxh6!? gxh6 20.Ng6+!! fxg6 21.Qxg6 Qf7 22.Qxh6+ Ke7 23.Rg7 Rg8 24.Rxf7+ Kxf7 25.Ne4! with an advantage was later suggested by Tukmakov himself. But, perhaps, his move, which prepares Rxg7!, was not really weaker. 19...Nbd5.

Supporting the f6 knight. 19...Nc4? 20.Nxc4 Rxc4 loses to 21.Rxg7 Kxg7 22.Qxh6+ Kg8 23.Bg5 Qf8 24.Qh4!+–. 20.Bg6. A nice idea, but objectively stronger probably was 20.Rxg7! Kxg7 21.Qxh6+ Kg8 . Here White certainly has a draw, but he should fight for more: 22.Nxd5!? (after 22.Qg5+ Kf8 23.Qh6+ Black must repeat the position, because bad for him is 23...Ke8? 24.Ng6!+-) 22...Rxc1+ (or 22...exd5 23.Bg5!± with a possible continuation 23...Rc6 24.Bxf6! Qxf6 25.Bh7+ Kh8 26.Bg6+ Kg8 27.Nxc6!) 23.Qxc1 Nxd5 24.Qh6! f6 (or 24...f5?! 25.Ra3! f4 26.Rh3 Qg7 27.Qxg7+ Kxg7 28.Rh7+ , winning the d7 bishop) 25.Ra3!± and White seems to be clearly better in the ongoing complications: 25...Nc3 (or 25...Bc3 26.Nxd7 Rxd7 and now maybe 27.Rb3!?) 26.Ng4!? f5 27.Ne5 , etc.

20...Be8? Black misses his chance: 20...Bc7! and the situation is not so clear, because not good for White is 21.Nxf7?! (possibly, White has some advantage after 21.Bxf7!? Bxe5 22.dxe5 Kxf7 23.exf6 Nxf6 24.Qc2 but Black could try to deviate with 22...Bc6!?) 21...Bxg3 22.hxg3 (22.Nxd8? Bf4!–+) 22...Be8! with the idea 23.Nxd8? Bxg6 and White loses his knight. 21.Qxh6!

It must have been pleasant to delever such a blow, playing against the famous chess defender. 21...Qb4!± In the bad position, Korchnoi manages to create some problems for his opponent. After 21...gxh6 22.Bxh6+ Kg8 23.Be4+ Kh8 24.Bg7+ Kg8 25.Bxf6+; or 21...Ng8 22.Qh8! (less clear is 22.Qxg7+?! Kxg7 23.Bxf7+ Kh7!) 22...fxg6 23.Nxd5 Rxd5 24.Rf3+ the game would have finished quickly. 22.Qh8+ Ke7 23.Qxg7 Qxd4 24.Nd3!?

A good decision: White closes the d-file. 24...Bxc3. After 24...Nxc3 25.bxc3 Bxc3 White simply plays 26.Ba3+ Kd7 27.Bxf7! 25.bxc3 Nxc3 26.Ba3+ Kd7 27.Re1! Here 27.Bxf7?? loses to 27...Ne2+! 27...Kc7.

28.Be7! 28.Bc5?! may look very attractive, but Black has 28...Ne2+!! 29.Rxe2 Qxc5 with counterplay. 28...Ncd5. 28...Nfe4 29.Bxd8+ Rxd8 30.Bxf7 Nxg3 31.Qxg3+ is also technically winning for White. 29.Bxd8+ Kxd8 30.Be4! But not 30.Bxf7? Rc7! and White loses his bishop. 30...Qxa4 31.Bxd5 Nxd5 32.Qg5+ Kc7

33.h4!? So simple. The advnace of the h-pawn should gradually decide the game. 33...Bb5?! 33...f6!?± was, probably, more stubborn. 34.Rc1+ Bc6 35.h5. Also good was 35.Rf3!? 35...Qd4 36.Ne5 f6 37.Nxc6 bxc6 38.Qg7+ Kd6 39.h6 Nf4 40.Qg4+–

40...Qd2?! In an already hopeless position, Black blunders (or was it bluff?) 41.Rd1! 1–0 41...Ne2+ 42.Qxe2. [Click to replay]

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