Ratmir Kholmov, the 'Central Defender'

5/29/2003 – Grandmaster Ratmir Kholmov has chalked up victories against such players as Keres, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky or even Fischer and Kasparov. For polictical reasons he could only participate in a few tournaments abroad, so he is practically unknown in the West. In this week's lecture (Thursday, 21:00h on the Playchess.com server) GM Dorian Rogozenko seeks to change that. More...

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May 13 was the birthday of Grandmaster Ratmir Kholmov, who turned 78. In his best years he was a very interesting player, nickname "central defender" by the Soviet chess players. The explanation is that he was an extremely tough opponent for any attacking player.

But was Kholmov in reality only a good defender? Not at all. In fact the originality of his unexpected ideas and combinations surprised many players.But in spite of victories against such players as Keres, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky or even Fischer and Kasparov, Kholmov is not really known to the western people. For polictical reasons, during Soviet times Kholmov was allowed to participate only in a few tournaments abroad, all of them in Socialist countries.

In his lecture Dorian Rogozenko will show some brilliant examples from Ratmir Kholmov's practice, illustrating how this defensive genius hat the unique ability of striking at the opponent's position at its apparently most protected point. Kholmov proved that even without any basis of a chess school and without ever having a coach it was possible to reach some very high results (as for instance sharing 1-3 places in the Soviet Championship, together with Spassky and Stein).

You can attend Dorian Rogozenko's lecture tonight (Thursday) at 21:00h MET = 20:00h London and 3 p.m. NY on our Playchess.com server.


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