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Chess Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh Turns 100!

Out of the nearly 8 billion people in the world, there are only about 300,000 who are living centenarians (someone who has lived for at least 100 years.) Since 1950, FIDE (the world chess organization) has awarded less than 2000 Grandmaster titles in total. So, its not surprising that centenarian chess grandmasters are rare. In fact, as of February 8, 2022 there is only one. GM Yuri Averbakh who was born on February 8, 1922 is today, celebrating his 100th birthday, an accomplishment that is a true 8 billion to 1.

In celebration of GM Yuri Averbakh’s 100th birthday, I am sharing one of Averbakh’s most famous game winning moves from his illustrious career. The position below is from the game Efim Geller vs. Yuri Averbakh played in the 1954 USSR Championship in Kiev. Geller (white) has just played move 45. Rb5. What astonishing move did Yuri Averbakh (black) play here?

Black to move and win (Geller – Averbakh, 1/17/1954 USSR Championship, Kiev.)

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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