USA-USSR RADIO MATCH of
1945 - The Soviet Union Team
representatives in the USA_USSR Radio Match are pictured on these pages. The
biographical details will introduce these players to American readers.
-----Chess Review Aug.-Sept. 1945
Born in St. Petersburg April 11, 1911.
Electrical engineer by profession. He won the USSR Championship in 1931,
1933, 1939, 1941, 1944 and 1945. Shared 1st prize with Flohr in the great
tournament at Moscow, 1935; divided first prize with Capablanca at
Nottingham, 1936; third, after Fine and Keres, in the famous AVRO
Tournament, 1938; drew matches with Flohr, 1933 and Levenfish, 1937.
One of the world's greatest living masters, Botvinnik
is highly resourceful, is a fine "psychologist" who specializes in a
profound study of his opponent's style and opening references; he has
enormous theoretical knowledge, is capable of inspired flights of
brilliancy, has phenomenal staying powers, is subtle in his opening play
and methodical in the ending.
Born 1921 in Moscow. He began playing chess at
the age of 6½. Has won the Moscow Championship several times; was third,
only half a point behind Bondarevsky and Lilienthal, in the "Absolute
Championship" Tournament of 1941; Second to Botvinnik in the 1944 USSR
Smyslov established himself as one of the greatest
Soviet masters at a phenomenally early age. He is inventive, resourceful,
fearless and . . . very impulsive. His failure in the most recent
Soviet Championship suggests that he has become over-confident, and that a
period of maturity and consolidation is on the way.
Born 1919 in Zolotonosha, a small Russian
town. Won the strong Ukrainian Championships of 1938, 1940, 1941.
Distinguished himself by tying Botvinnik for fifth and sixth prize in his
first try at the USSR Championship in 1940, and took fourth place in the
"Absolute Championship" Tournament of 1941/ Won the Kuibyshev Tournaments
in 1942 and 1943. Third prize in the 1944 USSR Championship and second
prize after Botvinnik in the 1945 Championship.
Boleslavsky is a sharp attacking player, a keen student
of the game who has a great future ahead of him. Botvinnik rates his play
Born November 21, 1908 in Horodenka, Poland
and brought to Czechoslovakia as a child. He became a Soviet citizen in
1942. Chief successes: Tied for first prize with Botvinnik at Moscow,
1935; first prize at Podebrad, 1936 ahead of Alekhine; tied for first
prize at Kemeri, 1937 with Reshevsky and Petrov, first prize in the
Leningrad-Moscow Training Tournament, 1939; drew matches with Sultan Kahn
and Euwe, 1932, ad Botvinnik, 1933. Flohr started out as a very
enterprising player, but he has steadily become more and more
conservative. This has told against him seriously in the last ten years,
especially against the aggressive Soviet masters.
Born 1913 in Tulia. A mechanical engineer and
inventor who has made valuable contributions to the Soviet war effort. In
1944 he received the Order of Lenin for his inventions. Due to his
professional work, he sometimes fails to do himself justice because of
lack of practice. Chief successes: second to Botvinnik in the 1939 USSR
Championship; first prize in the 1941 Moscow Championship; figured in a
tie for fourth in the 1945 USSR Championship with Bondarevsky and
Kotov is a brilliant player, rich in ideas and
thoroughly versed in modern opening theory.
Now in his middle twenties, is one
of the best players in Russia. His greatest success to date was charing
first place with Lilienthal in the 1940 USSR Championship, far
ahead of Botvinnik. In the 1945 USSR Championship, Bondarevsky tied for
fourth with Kotov and Konstantinopolsky.
Born 1911 in Moscow. In early childhood he was
brought to Budapest, but made Moscow his permanent residence in 1935 and
has since become a Soviet citizen. His outstanding
success: tie for first and second with Bondarevsky in the 1940 USSR
Championship n a very strong field. Other firsts: Budepest, 1933; Ujpest,
1934; tie for first with Lisitsyn in the Trades Union Championship, 1938;
Moscow Championship, 1939.
Lilienthal is a highly gifted player, but very erratic.
When in his best form, he produces genuine masterpieces, unfortunately, he
often falls short of playing as well as he should.
Born 1908 in St. Petersburg, has won the
Leningrad Championship several times. In 1936 he tied with Chekhover for
first place in the Trades Union Championship. His best showing in the USSR
Championship was n 1937 when he tied for second, half a point behind
Ragozin's style of play always delights the spectators:
aggressive, angling for sacrificial combinations. Unfortunately, he
resembles Lilienthal in the unpredictability of his play. He is very
popular among Soviet enthusiasts for his numerous victories against
foreign masters. To date, such meetings have occurred so rarely that the
Russians attach great sporting interest to them.
Born 1904 in the Caucasus, and for many yearts
the outstanding player of that region. He has never won a big tournament,
but he consistently wins a very high prize whenever he participates. He
has a carefully, steady style, has a flair for the finest kind of
positional chess. His games are very enjoyable to play over and have great
Born in 1924 at Belaya Trerkov near Kiev. When
only 16, he placed second in the Ukrainian Championship. In 1944 he
qualified for the USSR Championship Finals, and while he finished near the
cellar, he won a fine game from Botvinnik and Lilienthal. In the recently
concluded 1945 Championship, he scored a sensation by finishing third,
ahead of many famous masters.
THE RUSSIAN RESERVES
The Russian reserves are:
1. Alexander Konstantinopolsky, of the Ukraine, one of the leading
younger masters. In the most recent Championship Konstantinopolsky
tied for fourth place with Kotov and Bondarevsky, both of whom were
selected for the official team.
2. Victor Chekhover, one of the USSR's best players for a number of
years. Chief success: tying for first place with Lisitsyn in the great
Trades Union Championship of 1936 (700,000 entries!).
3. Joseph Rudakovsky, one of the up and coming younger Russian
4. Peter Romanovsky, Grand Old Man of Soviet Chess.
(standing) Lilienthal, Boleslavsky, Makogonov,
(sitting) Kotov, Smyslov, Botvinnik, Ragosin,