Hort stories: Impressions of a new senior (II)

by Vlastimil Hort
8/21/2018 – In the second part of his comments on the Senior World Team Championships, New-Senior Vlastimil Hort deals with some incidents on the chess board and has picked out and commented on some critical games and positions.

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Hort stories: Impressions of a new senior (II)

I leave the younger colleagues (50+) to their fate. They are still young and strong. USA, England and Germany I were particularly efficient. Back to the 65+. Jefim Rotstein surprised me very pleasantly. We played our first game and my position got worse with every move. Yes, he could have won clearly against me several times and his b-pawn will still haunt me in my dreams. However, by giving up you cannot save your game, this is a well-known chess rule.


Look at what happened: 39.Ra7+ Kf6 40.b7?? Luck! 40. ... Rxc5! and Black not only escapes with a draw, but has already a decisive advantage.

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Why does he "only" have the title of a FIDE Master? A mystery. He had been able to annoy the reigning Senior World Champion Evgeny Sveshnikov in Dresden and might have even won the game, which was only a small consolation for me.


I was quite curious and discovered the following information in Wikipedia:

Jefim Rotstein (born May 16, 1933): Rotstein was taught chess by Alexei Sokolski in the Pioneer Palace of Lviv. Among his friends were Leonid Stein und Boris Katalymov. After graduating from school, Rotstein completed his studies at the Polytechnic Institute and worked as a mechanical engineer in Stanislaw. His best historical Elo rating was 2534 in November 1959. In 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2017 he won the German Senior Chess Championships.

In my opinion, Jefim Rotstein provides clear proof that even at the age of 85, you can do more than just being there ...

Germany I versus Germany II.

What a dramatic match! Especially the game between Schmidt and Boidman had it all:

White had a very good position for a long time, then only a better one and in the endgame Black could finally relax after precise play.


In the subsequent stormy analysis, we believed that 42.Nf5  instead of 42.Rd7 would win. It turned out, however, that after 42 ... Rxg6 43.Rxa7 Bf8! 44.Kf3 Rb6 45.a5 b3! the Black Pawn can become very dangerous.

Germany I had to look at how Bodo blundered and after 54 ... Rc4 his ears got a purple color.

The real match winner was Boris Khanukov, who successfully increased his advantage in a rook ending against Buchal.

Stumbling favourites

The retirees and chess amateurs had an excellent theoretical knowledge and were well prepared for each opponent. Here and there, the favourites were countered out and led into trouble on a regular basis.


FM Peter Rahls from Berlin first sacrificed a Pawn in the game Rahls - Hort. 




Black should definitely play 23 ... Qe7 instead of 23 ... Na5. The breakthrough f4-f5 isn't yet possible on account of 24 ... gxf5 25.Qg7 Df8!.

Everything happened very fast. My opponent played a tempo and I felt like sitting opposite Mikhail Tal. The only attempt to slow down White's initiative was the blocking move 28 ... Re6 instead of 28 ... g5?. After 29.hxg6 fxg6 30.Nf4 the main threat is not winning the exchange, but 31.Qf3 and Black has no efficient defense for his pawn on d5. The favorite was able to learn something from the whole course of the game. A thank you to Berlin!




The two super strong amateurs showed a lot of dynamism and understanding of the game. Actually a draw would have been a fair result. 27 ... Bg7 instead of 27 ... Qg4 + 28.Kd3 Bc1? would have won on the spot. If 28.Qc7 then 28 ... Re8 and the White King will be mated. The Black Bishop, whom GM Klaus Bischoff calls "Mr caretaker", showed what he can do.

Conclusion: It was nice in Radebeul! When will we meet again? Dr. Dirk Jordan and his team were perfect again.

Finally I'll show you my game against Sveshnikov. 


Almost 25 years before:


Translation from German: Stephan Oliver Platz





Vlastimil Hort was born January 12, 1944, in Kladno, Czechoslovakia. In the 1970s he was one of the world's best players and a World Championship candidate. In 1979 he moved to West Germany where he still lives. Hort is an excellent blindfold player, a prolific author and a popular chess commentator.


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