In Memoriam Mark Izrailovich Dvoretsky
On the morning of September 26th I awoke to the terrible and heartbreaking news that legendary chess trainer IM Mark Dvoretsky had passed away.
When any world-renowned person dies there is a void that will be felt in many ways. Take for instance the news from June 6th of this year that Viktor Lvovich Kortchnoi had lost his final battle. Of course there was a sadness that sank over the chess world, but in many ways it is one that is fleeting. Yes, we have lost Viktor the Terrible, but his deeds live on in his thousands of games which still give us pleasure.
With Mark Izrailovich the loss is so much deeper since it’s not just the loss of the man, but of the works he still had left burning within him.
Many of his former students, including Artur Yusupov, Sergei Dolmatov, Viktor Bologan, and so many more have said repeatedly in interviews that Dvoretsky deserves a lot of credit for helping them learn how to reach their fullest potential.
Of course the list of strong players that he worked with goes on practically endlessly and includes a number of elite players over the past couple of decades.
I asked some people who were friends, colleagues, and admirers of Mark Izrailovich to say a few words.
GM Susan Polgar: “Mark was a renowned chess coach. Many players, including grandmasters, benefited from his knowledge. I still vividly remember his visit to my home in Budapest years ago to train with me. Thank you Mark and RIP!”
GM Boris Avrukh: “We received truly devastating news this morning: One of the most influential chess authors and teachers the world has ever known, Mark Dvoretsky, passed away at the age of 68 in Moscow. It’s definitely a great loss to the Chess World, and I offer my sincere condolences to his family.
Despite never having being his student his influence on my game was huge. His books have been among the most influential to my chess, and even now as I write this post I have one of his books on my table. Between 1990-1992 I was a student at the Petrosian School in the former Soviet Union.
Quite often we had one-day sessions with Mark Dvoretsky. I can say that none of the other coaches were even close to his level. I always greatly enjoyed his lectures and learnt a lot.
My most memorable Dvoretsky story happened in 1990, when I was representing the Soviet Union at the World Youth Championship in the under-12 section.
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– GM Susan Polgar