For young and old – chess celebrations in Odessa

by ChessBase
9/8/2009 – On 2 September 2009, for the fourth straight year, chess events were in the programme of the birthday celebrations in Odessa, once the fourth largest city of Imperial Russia, nowadays the fourth largest city in Ukraine – and always the best. Which is logical: none other than Efim Geller was officially recognised as the best sportsman of Odessa of the 20th century. GM Mikhail Golubev reports.

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Chess celebrations in Odessa

Report by GM Mikhail Golubev, with photos by Lena Ivanova.

At 10 a.m. the simuls began in the Passage Trading Center. There were about 235 boards this time, even more than organisers have expected. We had rather a thin team of the simul performers: GMs Tukmakov, Sumets, Eryomenko, WGM Klinova, IM Bogdanov and myself.

Interviewed by TV reporters: the event director GM Vladimir Tukmakov and ...

... organiser Mikhail Freidlin of the Odessa Development Programs Agency

There was no living chess game this time, but there were living pieces

Everyone comes with their own board to play in the simul, just like in US chess opens

It was only with the help of these photos by Lena Ivanova that I could count how many
games I played in my part of the simul – 38 boards

This photo helped me to reconstruct the only game I lost

Mikhail Golubev - Vsevolod Sokalyuk: 1. e4 e5 2. f4 d6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. fxe5 dxe5 5. Bc4 Bc5 6. b4 Bxb4 7. c3 Bc5 8. d4 exd4 9. Qb3 Qe7 10. O-O Nf6 11. e5 d3+ 12. Kh1 Ne4 13. Bxd3 Nf2+ 14. Rxf2 Bxf2 15. Bg5 Qe6 16. Bc4 Qg6 17. Nbd2 O-O 18. Rf1 Na5 19. Qb4 Nxc4 20. Nxc4 Bb6 21. e6 Bxe6 22. Nce5 Qf5 23. g4 Qc2 0-1. It seems that I oversacrificed a bit this time.

In another game I made a good move, at that moment

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. O-O e5 10. Nf5 Bxf5 11. exf5 Nc6 12. g4 Qb6+ 13. Kh1 Nd4 14. g5 Qc6+ 15.Kg1 Ne4 16. Nd5 Nxf5 17. Qf3 Nc5 18. fxe5 Nxb3 and now 19. Qxb3!

Players who won or made a draw against an GM/IM were awarded
a brand-new book 'Professiya – Shahmatist' by GM Tukmakov

First Vladimir Tukmakov had to complete his own part of the main job...

... then he can sign the books

After simuls, the 4th Soborka Cup started – a kind of peoples Odessa blitz championship

Five players qualified into the KO final, and were joined by Sumets, Eryomenko and
myself. This was maybe fair, as we deserved some rest after the simul.

In the final Sumets, currently rated 2604, beat me 1.5-0.5

But I was not disappointed, the games were not too bad at least

Andrey Sumets became the Soborka champion for the second time

Sumets also won the regular Odessa championship seven times – possibly more than anyone else, though Yakov Vilner in the beginning of the 20th century won also a a number. One of winners of the 1901 Odessa championship, Louis Eisenberg, defeated Pillsbury in Monte Carlo 1902, even if he did not performed well in the tournament otherwise. It was more or less the beginning of the internationally significant Odessa chess traditions.

There was also the Odessa 215 chess cake...

... tasted by everyone who was lucky enough to get a piece

A surprise quest: Mark Rudinstein, the organiser of the Russian film festival Kinotavr, was born in 1946 in Odessa and is one month younger than Tukmakov.

Over the last couple of months, Odessa lost many chess personalities. International Master and coach Mikhail Podgaets; Anatoliy Boiko, a trainer of the chess school, who was my coach in 1977-1985; Ivan Postol, tireless director of the the chess school; Mikhail Gerbakher, a veteran master candidate, who died when playing a game at the Sobornaya Square. Chess life will continue, and those who spent their lives in chess will be remembered.

Here are some more photographic impressions by Lena Ivanova: people, children and chess pieces from Odessa. We present them without words.

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