Monday, April 1, 2013

Gennadi Kuzmin

This is a kind of "degrees of separation" type post. I was playing a game on and I looked at my opponent's profile. My opponent was an FM called Dirk Paulsen, so I thought I'd have a look at some of his games in my database. I found that among other tournaments he had played in an edition of the prestigious Dortmund event back in 1981. Wow, I have never played in anything so prestigious, and back in 1981 I was  probably about 140BCF strength. Unfortunately Mr Paulsen came in last, but he still scored 2 points against a field that was averagely 200 ratings point higher than him! The winner of the tournament was a Soviet GM called Gennadi Kuzmin, a player that I don't really know much about. So I had a look, and found out some about him.

He was certainly one of the strongest Soviet players for a short time in the 1970's. He was good enough to represent the USSR at an Olympiad in Nice 1974 (more connections as the book on Nice 1974 was my first ever book, won at a tournament) and played in 2 interzonals. He finished equal second in a pretty strong USSR champs in 1973 behind Spassky (who had a point to prove after losing the World title in 1972), and and alongside Karpov, Petrosian, Korchnoi and Polugaevsky. If that isn't good enough, Tal, Keres, Smyslov, Geller and Taimanov (among others) were behind him. In the Dortmund tournament that I was looking at, he showed that he was a strong combinational player in the following positions. See if you can guess white's winning moves

Kuzmin-Ftacnik Dortmund 1981
White played the fantastic distraction 20.Qc4!. There followed 20..Rd7 21.Qd4 Bd8.

White to play and win

But his most famous combination is probably this one:

Kuzmin-Sveshnikov USSR ch 1973
White to play and win

Answers tomorrow :)

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