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Eduard Gufeld

Eduard Yefimovich Gufeld (March 19, 1936, Kiev, Soviet Union September 23, 2002) was a Soviet International Grandmaster of chess, and a chess author.

By the late 1950s he established himself as one of the strongest players in the world. He defeated Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Viktor Korchnoi, David Bronstein, and just about every other strong Soviet player.

Gufeld played in his first chess tournament in 1953 at the age of 17. He became the junior champion of Ukraine at the age of 18.[1] He became an International Master in 1964, and became an International Grandmaster in 1967. In 1977 his Elo rating was 2570, and ranked 16th in the world.

He was also a trainer who moved to Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia, and lived there for more than a decade, and coached Maia Chiburdanidze, who became the youngest women's world chess champion in 1978.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, he emigrated to the USA.

He started the FIDE Committee on Chess Art and Exhibition.

He used to say to those who laughed at his English: "I think that my English is better than your Russian!"[2]

Gufeld was one of most prolific authors in all of chess, writing over 100 chess books, which sold 3.5 million copies worldwide.

His proudest achievements, however, were his win with the King's Indian Defence, S misch Variation against Vladimir Bagirov,[3] which he called his "Mona Lisa," and his 1967 win over Vasily Smyslov (see below). The first of these games made it into John Nunn's collection of the hundred greatest games of all time, Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games, and the 112-game collection that followed it. Gufeld beat Smyslov again in 1975.[4]

In September 2002, Gufeld suffered a stroke and heart attack virtually simultaneously. Following a period of unconsciousness, he regained consciousness but was unable to speak or walk. He died two weeks later at the age of 66 in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA.

Here is Gufeld's 1967 win over Smyslov:[5] Spartakiade, Moscow 1967 Smyslov-Gufeld: 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.b4 Bg7 4.Bb2 O-O 5.e3 b6 6.d4 c5 7.dxc5 bxc5 8.b5 a6 9.a4 Ne4 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.Qd5 Qa5+ 12.Ke2 Bb7 13.Qxb7 Nc6 14.Nfd2 Ra7 15.bxc6 Rxb7 16.cxb7 Qb4 17.Nxe4 Qb2+ 18.Nbd2 Qxa1 19.Nxc5 Rb8 20.g3 Qa3 21.Nxd7 Rxb7 22.Bh3 Qd6 23.c5 Qd5 24.f3 Rb2 25.Rd1 e6 26.c6 Qc4+ 27.Ke1 Qd3 28.Bf1 Qxe3+ 29.Be2 a5 30.f4 f6 31.c7 Rc2 32.Kf1 Rxc7 33.Nc4 Rxc4 34.Bxc4 Qf3+ 35.Ke1 Qc3+ 0-1.



  1. William Hartston: Eduard Gufeld - Soviet chess grandmaster widely reputed to be in the pay of the KGB (Obituary), The Independent, Saturday, 28 September 2002. Accessed 2009-08-20.
  2. Remembering Grandmaster Eduard Gufeld (19 March 1936 - 23 September 2002). Accessed 2009-08-20.
  3. Vladimir Bagirov vs Eduard Gufeld, Kirovabad sf ch-URS 1973: King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Yates Defense (E83): moves of the game, with Java applet. Accessed 2009-08-21.
  4. Eduard Gufeld vs Vasily Smyslov, Erevan 1975 : Caro-Kann Defense: Breyer Variation (B10): moves of the game, with Java applet. Accessed 2009-08-20.
  5. Vasily Smyslov vs Eduard Gufeld, Moscow Spartakiade 1967: English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15): moves of the game, with Java applet. Accessed 2009-08-21.

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