CJA
Chess Journalists of America

The following article was published in The Chess Journalist, Vol. XXXI, No. 4, Consecutive No. 106, December 2002 (Editor: John Hillery). One-time only publication rights have been obtained from the contributor. All other rights are hereby assigned to the author. Articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of the CJA, its offices or members. Copyright 2002 by the Chess Journalists of America.

Eduard Gufeld
1936 - 2002

by Jack Peters


The chess world suffered a great loss on September 22 when Eduard Gufeld died at Cedars Sinai Hospital. He was 66 years old.

From his earliest days as a master in his native Kiev in the 1950s, Gufeld stood out from other Soviet masters. Emotional, exuberant and impetuous, he seemed the opposite of the popular image of a professional player. However, his personality made him the ideal choice to spread the gospel of chess.

As a player, Gufeld was an artist plagued by inconsistency. He earned the grandmaster title in 1967 and remained a formidable opponent for the rest of his life, but he never seemed satisfied merely to win a game or a tournament. He strove to win beautifully. His best achievements rank among the most brilliant games every played.

Next to his brilliancies, Gufeld was most proud of his status as "trainer emeritus" in the Soviet Union. He worked with Ukraine grandmaster Yefim Geller, one of the world's top stars, for more than a decade, then moved to Tblisi in the Georgian Republic and led Maya Chiburdanidze to the women's world championship.

Gufeld touched most chess fans as an entertaining lecturer and a best-selling author. He traveled to more than 100 countries, swapped stories with masters, patzers and dignitaries, and wrote more than 80 books that sold 3 million copies in a variety of languages.

In poor health but still bursting with energy, Gufeld settled in Hollywood in 1995. He opened a club ("Chess Academy") in his apartment building and began teaching Americans how to play chess. He found time to compete in nearly all the major U.S. tournaments, notably winning the 1999 American Open. What a shame that his stay here was so short!

Baglrov - Gufeld
Klrovobad 1973
E84 KING'S INDIAN DEFENSE

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 Nf6 5. f3 0-0 6. Be3 Nc6
The Samisch Panno, a combative variation of the King's Indian Defense.
7. Nge2 Rb8
The Rook may work after ... b7-b5xc4 or after 8. Nc1 e5 9. d5 Nd4 10. Nb3 c5! 11. dxc6 bxc6.
8. Qd2 a6 9. Bh6
A critical idea, partly discredited by this game. Modern theory centers on 9. h4 h5.
9. ... b5 10. h4 e5 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. h5
White foresees 12. Nxh5? 13. g4 Nf6 14. Qh6+ Kh8 15. Nd5, mating at h7.
12. ... Kh8
An astonishing defensive idea.
13. Nd5 bxc4 14. hxg6 fxg6 15. Qh6
White banks on an attack that, with best play, suffices to draw. Instead, he could proceed quietly with 15. Nxf6 Qxf6 16 d5.
15. ... Nh5! 16. g4
Accepting the challenge. With 16. 0-0-0 Rf7 17. g4 Nf6 18. Qxg6 Qg8, chances remain about even.

16. ... Rxb2 17. gxh5 g5
Black has ceded a Knight to close the h-file and strand White's King in the center.
18. Rgl g4!
And now he offers a pawn to close the g-file.
19. 0-0-0 Rxa2 20. Nef4!? Gufeld claims that 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Nef4 Kg8 22. Ng6 hxg6 23. hxg6 Qd7 24. Rhl Ra1+ 25. Kb2 Qb5+ and 20. Bh3 Rxe2 21. Bxg4 Rf7 22. Bxc8 Qxc8 23. Nf6 Qb8 24. Rg8+ Qxg8 25. Nxg8 Nb4 26. Rd2 Re1+ 27. Rd1 Re2 draw.
20. ... exf4 21. Nxf4?
Falling victim to a superb counterattack. After 21. Bxc4, White has enough activity to draw.
21. ... Rxf4 22. Qxf4 c3
Intending 23. ... Nb4 and 24. ... Ra1 mate.
23. Bc4
Not 23. Qf7 Nb4 24. Bd3 because 24. ... Ra1+ 25. Bb1 Be6! 26. Qxe6 Qg5+ wins.
23. ... Ra3 24. fxg4 Nb4 25. Kb1
Expecting 25. ... c2+ 26. Kb2 cxd1Q 27. RxdI Rh3 28. h6, when White's threat of 29. Rf1 is deadly.
25. ... Be6! 26. Bxe6 Nd3!
Two sacrifices clear the Queen's path to b8.
27. Qf7 Qb8+ 28. Bb3
Black refutes 28. Kc2 by 28. ... Nb4+ 29. Kb1 Ra1+! 30. Kxa1 Nc2+ 31. Ka2 Qb2 mate.
28. ... Rxb3+ 29. Kc2 Nb4+! 30. Kxb3
Similar is 30. Kc1 Rb1+ 31. Kxb1 Nd5+.
30. ... Nd5+!
Freeing one Queen and blocking the other.
31. Kc2 Qb2+ 32. Kd3 Qb5+, White resigns
The finish would be 33. Kc2 Qe2+ 34. Kb3 Qb2+ 35. Kc4 Qb5 mate. Gufeld called this victory "my Mona Lisa."

Gufeld - lvanovlch
Sochl 1979
B33 SICILIAN DEFENSE

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6
Sveshnikov's wild variation of the Sicilian Defense.
7. Nd5
Instead of the usual 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5.
7. ... Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8
Or 8. ... Ne7 9. Be2 Ng6.
9. c4 a6 10. Nc3 Nd7 11. Be2 g6?!
Probably an error, although Gufeld must play brilliantly to capitalize on it. The solid 11. ... Be7 is acceptable.
12. 0-0 Bg7 13. Ne4 Qe7
In two moves (14. ... 0-0 and 15. ... f5), Black will take charge of the position. White must cause trouble at once.
14. Qa4!
To meet 14. ... 0-0 by 15. Qb4 Nc5 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Qb6.
14. ... f5 15. Bg5 Qf8 16. f4!
No retreat! White invites 16. ... fxe4? 17. fxe5 Qg8 18. e6.
16. ... h6 17. Bh4 exf4 18. Rxf4 Be5
Not 18. ... g5? 19. Rxf5 Qxf5 20. Nxd6+.
19. Rafl!
Gufeld wrote, "I calculated the variations up to this move and the following events were rather vague in my mind." On 19. ... Bxf4, he intended 20. Rxf4 Kf7 21. Qb4, with considerable compensation.
19. ... Qg7

20. Rxf5! gxf5 21. Rxf5
Confining the King in the center. Black would welcome 21. Bh5+? Kf8 22. Rxf5+ Kg8.
21. ... h5
Tempting White with 22. Bxhh+? Rxh5 23. Rxh5, when 23. ... Qg6 turns the tables.
22. c5!
Extending the Queen's range. For example, 22. ... dxc5 loses to 23. Nf6+ Bxf6 24. Bxf6 Qh7 25. Qe4+.
22. ... Qh6 23. Bg5 Qg6 24. Nxd6+ Bxd6 25. Qe4+ Be5 26. Bd3!
Every piece participates. Gufeld rejected the unconvincing lines 26. Rxe5+ Nxe5 27. Qxe5+ Kf7 28. Qxh8 Qxg5 and 26. c6 bxc6 27. dxc6 Qxf5! 28. Qxf5 Bd4+ 29. Kh1 Nf8 30. Qe4+ Ne6.
26. ... Qg7
Now 26. ... Qxf5 27. Qxf5 Bd4+ 28. Kh1 Nxc5 loses quickly to 29. Qg6+ Kf8 30. d6 or 29. Qg6+ Kd7 30. Qf7+ Kd6 31. Bf4+ Be5 32. Qf6.
27. c6 bxc6 28. dxc6 Nc5 29. Rxe5+ Ne6
Black hopes for 30. c7? 0-0.
30. Bc4 Qa7+
After 30. ... 0-0 31. Bxe6+ Bxe6 32. Rxe6, the threat of 33. Rg6 is decisive.
31. Be3 Qh7 32. Rxe6+ Bxe6 33. Qxe6+ Qe7
Or 33. ... Kf8 34. Bh6+ Qxh6 35. Qf7 mate.
34. Qg6+, Black Resigns.

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