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Happened Today in the Chess World - May 12, 2024


Igor' Zacharovič Bondarevskij (1913-1979)
Photo: Joop van Bilsen - Nationaal Archief NL - source:

Today, we remember Grandmaster Igor' Zacharovič Bondarevskij, born in Roston-on-Don, Russia, on May 12, 1913.
Bondarevskij was appointed Grandmaster in 1950 when the title was officially established by FIDE. 
In 1954, he earned the title of International Arbiter, and in 1961, he became a Grandmaster in correspondence chess. 
In 1960, Bondarevskij became Boris Spassky's coach, helping him rise to the world title, which he achieved in 1969 with the match against Tigran Petrosian.
Bondarevskij participated in numerous elite tournaments, reaching his peak when, in 1940,  he won - tied with Lilienthal - the 12th Soviet Championship, ahead of Paul Keres, Isaak Boleslavskij, and Botvinnik.
In 1963, Bondarevskij won the All-Union 1st Category Leningrad tournament, unbeaten, and from that event, we've chosen his brilliant finale against Alexander Kotov for today's puzzle.

Kotov-Bondarevskij (All-Union 1st Category, Leningrad 1936)
Black to move and checkmate in 5


23...f4+ 24.Nxf4 Qf2+ 25.Kd3 Qxd4+! 26.Kxd4 Bc5+ 27.Kd3 Nxe5# 0-1

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