Monokroussos Playchess Show: Sigurjonsson-Stein, Reykjavik 1972

5/20/2009 – Leonid Stein (1934-1973) was one of the great players of his day. He won three Soviet championships, two super-tournaments, twice earned entry into the Candidates cycle, and had an overall plus score against world champions.Our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos shows us an exceptional and exciting game by this great and not forgotten master. Be there to watch at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Leonid Stein (1934-1973) was one of the great players of his day. He won three Soviet championships, two super-tournaments (at a time when they came once every several years rather than several times for every one year), twice earned (but failed to receive) entry into the Candidates cycle and had an overall plus score in his 56 battles with world champions.

Good enough? If not, there's more.

He was a great attacking player, and he not only defeated his fellow greats on a regular basis, he defeated them with speed and in style. Here's a partial list of very strong players he defeated in 26 moves or fewer: Petrosian, Portisch, Ljubojevic, Gheorghiu, Uhlmann, Dzindzichashvili, Bagirov, Bilek and Robert Byrne.

The game we'll look at for today's show went a bit longer – but not really. Icelandic IM (GM in 1975) Gudmundur Sigurjonsson made it to move 41 – through the time control – before resigning, but the heavy lifting was long over by then. As often happened against Stein, Sigurjonsson made what looked like nothing more than a minor inaccuracy here or there. Sigurjonsson was White in a 6.f4 Najdorf, and one would have thought that Black would have achieved equality or a slight edge at best. Instead, Stein's position came alive to both its strategic and tactical capabilities, and his opponent's seemingly solid position blew apart.

Stein was a great master at combining strategic pluses with tactical shots, and that makes his games both instructive and exceptionally exciting; this game is a case in point. So join us as we have a look tonight. The show is free to watch on ChessBase's Playchess.com server. Log on at 9 p.m. ET (3 a.m. CET), go to the Broadcast room, and either click on my nickname ("Initiative") or on Sigurjonsson-Stein under the Games tab. Turn your engines off, your minds on, and sit back and enjoy a fine historical game.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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