GM Viktor Gavrikov died in Burgas

by André Schulz
5/4/2016 – GM Viktor Gavrikov, who was born on 29th July 1957 in Criuleni, Moldova, was a strong grandmaster. In 1985 he won the Soviet Championship, arguably his biggest triumph. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Gavrikov moved to Switzerland and later relocated to Bulgaria. He worked as a trainer and author. On 27th April Gavrikov died in a hospital in Burgas. Obituary...

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Viktor Gavrikov was born on 29th July 1957 in Criuleni, Moldova, back then part of the Soviet Union. He learned to play chess when he was ten years old and quickly made progress. In 1983 he won the U26-USSR Championship and one year later, in 1984, he became an International Grandmaster. In the Soviet Championship 1985 he shared first place with Alexander Chernin and Mikhail Gurevich, arguably Gavrikov's biggest success.

(From left to right:) A. Chernin, V. Gavrikov, M. Gurevich

With this success he qualified for the Interzonal Tournament in Tunis 1985 where he shared fourth and fifth place.

Other notable successes by Gavrikov include a second place at the B-Tournament in Reggio Emilia 1991/92 a victory in Biel 1994. He also played regularly in the Keres Memorial and won this tournament a couple of times.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union Viktor Gavrikov moved to Switzerland and from 1993 to 1997 he played for the Swiss Federation. In the Swiss League he first played for Sorab Basel, later for Lugano CS and the SC Bodan.

He also played in the German Bundesliga: From 1993 to 1996 for SK Zähringen, 1997/98 for Passau and from 2004 to 2010 for König Plauen. In the 2004/2005 season he played for the SK Hohenems in Austria.

Gavrikov later moved from Switzerland to Bulgaria where he spent the last years of his life. Apart from being an active player Gavrikov also worked as coach and author. Among other things he annotated games and wrote opening surveys for the ChessBase Magazine.

Viktor Gavrikov died on 27th April 2016 at the age of 59 in a hospital in his hometown Burgas in Bulgaria.

The following game illustrates his good opening knowledge, his sound positional play and his eye for tactics:



Obituary at Chessdom...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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lifemasteraj lifemasteraj 5/6/2016 03:42
I met Gavrikov at a tournament in Europe a number of years ago ... what a tremendous loss for chess.
slika slika 5/5/2016 09:41
A good conoisseur of Gruenfeld Defence... very self-confident.

I remember how he twice crushed A. Beliavsky at USSR Senior Championships in 1987 and 1989, both times playing against 5. Qb3 and opting for 7. ...Na6. It's interesting that he won with black against Beliavsky and V. Salov, who shared the first place at the Championship in 1987 (he won vs Salov playing Nimzoindian, when Salov blundered a knight in time scramble, in awkward position). Unfortunately, these were the only two victories for Gavrikov in that tournament, when he won the 13th place (M. Gurevich and V. Tzeshkovsky were the last).

R.I.P, Viktor Gavrikov. We shall not forget you.
Heavygeardiver Heavygeardiver 5/5/2016 08:16
Great talent taken to soon.
sachinsabnis sachinsabnis 5/4/2016 08:18
RIP. Respectful obituary.
mikieoko mikieoko 5/4/2016 07:40
Good man gone. Rest in peace.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 5/4/2016 07:38
gavrikov tied for first with Karpov in the very first World active chess championship at Mazatlan, mexico
(he actually tied his score with karpov-- the latter won with a superior tie break ; gavrikov beat karpov playing benoni!