If you knew Sochi like chess players knew Sochi
By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sochi was on the chess players’ map long before the lugers, ice dancers and speedskaters showed up.

The Russian resort city on the coast of the Black Sea is getting a lot of exposure as it hosts the Winter Olympics. No doubt many viewers are learning about the city for the very first time.

But Sochi has a rich chess history, having hosted numerous Russian and Soviet national championship tournaments, as well as a string of strong Russian team events. Soviet attacking genius Rashid Nezhmetdinov played one of the most anthologized games of the 20th century in the city, sacrificing a queen (and most of the rest of his army) to defeat GM Lev Polugaevsky in the 1958 Russian State Championship.

Victor Korchnoi, who would go on to play two unsuccessful matches for the world championship, had one of his greatest results at the international Sochi Chigorin Memorial Tournament in 1966, topping a field that included Polugaevsky, GM Anatoly Lein and Boris Spassky, who three years later would be world champion.

Korchnoi did not lose a game in the 1966 event, but the brilliancy prize for the tournament went to Russian IMBoris Vladimirov for his fine win over Milko Bobotsov, the first Bulgarian ever to win the grandmaster title. Playing one of the most aggressive lines of the King’s Indian Defense, Vladimirov attacks from the outset and is rewarded with a nice sacrificial mating combination at the end.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com

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