Yuri Sergeyevich Razuvaev, 1945–2012

by ChessBase
3/22/2012 – Born on October 10th 1945 Yuri Razuayev was one of the internationally renown players of the 1970s and 80s, a force to be reckoned with at any tournament – but also an enormously respected figure as a coach and an author. After a protracted illness Razuvaev died yesterday at 18:00h Moscow time. We bring you a short review of his career and a eulogy by Boris Gulko.

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Yuri Sergeyevich Razuvaev was a historian by profession, but also distinguished himself as a player, coach and a talented chess journalist. He played for the Soviet Union squads in the 1970s and 80s, becoming an IM in 1973 and a GM in 1976. His tournament wins included Dubna and Polanica-Zdrój in 1979, Zalaegerszeg 1981, London 1983, Dortmund 1985 and Jurmala 1987.

Our ChessBase Player's Dossier also lists first places in Moscow 1988, Smokovec 1990, Geneve 1993 and Reggio Emilia 1995. The Dossier function ("Find player" – "Razuvaev" – "Dossier") also produces the following Elo graph.

In the second USSR vs Rest of the World match in 1984 he kept full control of his much higher rated opponent Robert Hübner, and finished their encounter with four draws. The ChessBase Dossier on Razuvaev pulls out two spectacular games from his long career.

[Event "Capablanca Memorial-A 13th"] [Site "Cienfuegos"] [Date "1976.05.29"] [Round "13"] [White "Razuvaev, Yuri S"] [Black "Honfi, Karoly"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B38"] [WhiteElo "2495"] [BlackElo "2460"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "1976.05.17"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "15"] [EventCountry "CUB"] [EventCategory "9"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.11.16"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 d6 9. O-O Bd7 10. Rc1 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. f3 Nd7 13. b4 Bxd4+ 14. Qxd4 Qb6 $2 15. Qxb6 Nxb6 16. e5 $3 dxe5 17. b5 Be8 18. c5 Nd7 19. Nd5 e6 20. Ne7+ Kg7 21. c6 bxc6 22. bxc6 Nb6 23. c7 Bd7 24. Rfd1 Ba4 25. Rd6 Kf6 26. Rxb6 Kxe7 27. Rb7 Kf6 (27... Bd7 $2 28. c8=Q Raxc8 29. Rd1) (27... Kd6 $2 28. Ba6 Bd7 29. Rd1+ Kc6 30. Rxd7 Kxd7 31. c8=Q+) 28. Rcb1 $1 Bc6 29. Rb8 Rc8 30. Rc1 Raxb8 ( 30... Bd7 31. Rxa8 Rxa8 32. Ba6 Bc8 33. Rb1 $1) 31. cxb8=Q Rxb8 32. Rxc6 Rb2 33. Bc4 h5 34. h4 g5 35. hxg5+ Kxg5 36. Kh2 Rb4 37. Bb3 a5 38. Ra6 Rb5 39. Ra7 Kf6 40. Ba4 1-0

[Event "Rostov on Don"] [Site "Rostov on Don"] [Date "1993.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Dolmatov, Sergey"] [Black "Razuvaev, Yuri S"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B85"] [WhiteElo "2615"] [BlackElo "2525"] [Annotator "Boensch,U"] [PlyCount "156"] [EventDate "1993.05.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [EventCategory "14"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1993.10.01"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. f4 Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Nb3 a6 11. a4 Na5 12. e5 Ne8 13. Nxa5 Qxa5 14. Ne4 Qc7 15. a5 d5 16. Nd2 g6 17. Nb3 Ng7 18. Bb6 Qc8 19. Rf3 f6 $1 $132 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Nd4 Qe8 22. Qd2 e5 23. fxe5 Qxe5 24. Bd3 Bg4 25. Re3 Qd6 26. Ree1 Be5 27. g3 Bh3 28. Bf1 Bxf1 29. Rxf1 Nh5 30. Qd3 Nf6 31. Nb3 Ne4 32. c3 Qe6 33. Rfd1 $2 Ng5 $1 34. Qxd5 $2 (34. Rf1 $15) 34... Bd4+ $3 $17 35. Rxd4 $8 Nf3+ 36. Kg2 Nxd4 37. Qxe6+ (37. Qxd4 Qxb3 $19) 37... Nxe6 $17 38. Rd1 Rae8 39. h4 h5 40. Rd2 Rf7 41. Nd4 Rd7 42. Rf2 Rde7 43. Ne2 Rf7 44. Nf4 Nxf4+ 45. gxf4 Re4 46. Kg3 Rd7 47. Bd4 Rd5 48. b4 Kf7 49. Kf3 Re1 50. Rg2 Rf5 51. Rd2 Rd5 52. Rg2 Rh1 53. Kg3 Rd7 54. Re2 Re7 55. Rd2 Rd7 56. Re2 Rd1 57. f5 gxf5 58. Re5 Rf1 59. Kg2 Rf4 60. Kg3 Rg4+ 61. Kh3 Kg6 62. Re6+ Kh7 63. Rf6 f4 64. Rf5 Rg3+ 65. Kh2 Re7 66. Rxf4 Rd3 67. Rf2 Kg8 68. Kg2 Re4 69. Bf6 Ree3 70. c4 Rg3+ 71. Kh2 Rdf3 72. b5 Kf7 73. bxa6 bxa6 74. Bd4 Rxf2+ 75. Bxf2 Rc3 76. c5 Ke6 77. Kg2 Kd5 78. Be1 Ra3 (78... Ra3 79. Bb4 Rb3 80. Be1 Kxc5 $19 81. Kf2 Kb5 82. Ke2 Ra3 83. Bd2 Rxa5 $19) 0-1

Vladimir Tukmakov and Yury Razuvaev, spectators at Aeroflot Open 2007

"Gee, I sure hope Teimour doesn't play the McCutcheon against me, Yuri. But don't tell him I said that." That is how we captioned the above picture of Peter Leko with trainer and father-in-law GM Arshak Petrosian (center) and Ponomariov's trainer, GM Yuri Razuvaev, in our 2003 report on the XX International Chess Tournament Cuidad de Linares.

On the Russian Chess News site Boris Gulko remembers his friend and colleague:

It is hard to say something when a person with whom you have been friends for fifty years departs. We met in a class at the Central Chess Club. Yura came in one day before the USSR championship, and we chatted. Then we played a lot of games, all of which ended in his victories. It was a very heavy blow to my vanity, since I considered myself very strong at the time, and yet I had met someone who understood chess much more deeply than I did. So, our first contact was memorable.

After that we played together for the team of Moscow State University. All the young players at the time spoke of him with a gasp of awe. He was not just the strongest of all, he also had a unique style, won extraordinary games against opponents of all kinds. As a chess player he was very good, but he did not have the killer instinct – you will find a number of games in which Jura agreed to a draw in positions in which he had a large or even a decisive edge. So it was, for example, in games against Smyslov and Tal, whom he greatly respected. On the other hand he had a unique ability to save totally hopeless positions, an ability that helped him in his final three years of life when he knew about his terminal illness.

Yuri Razuvaev was a wonderful coach, and to a large extent my chess teacher. When I played in the PCA World Championship Candidated [against Nigel Short in New York in 1994] Yura came to train with me. Our work was very successful, even though I lost the match in the tiebreak. But the knowledge I acquired stood me in good stead for many years – for example I was able to convincingly win the US Championship with it.

One of his excellent qualities was exceptional kindness. When he was trainer of the USSR team, the young Volodya Kramnik came along. Yura fought for his inclusion in the team. Slightly earlier, Peter Svidler and Borya Gelfand appeared. For Yura, this was always like some kind of personal delight.

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