GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

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Tim Harding
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GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Tim Harding » Thu May 10, 2018 8:11 pm

Vasiukov died today, aged 85. He will be missed at all the senior events he has been playing in recent years.
(He had in fact just been announced as Russia's board 3 in the World Senior Team Championships.)

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/evgeni ... dies-at-85
Tim Harding
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu May 10, 2018 9:07 pm

Pretty sure he was the oldest GM still playing actively.

Another link to the great days of Soviet chess leaves us, a sad loss.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Craig Pritchett
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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Craig Pritchett » Thu May 10, 2018 11:08 pm

For me, too, a very sad loss. I first played against Vasiukov in a simul he gave in Glasgow in the mid-1960s. Since then I've played against him and analysed with him many times in international senior events. He was not just a dangerous and enterprising opponent who retained considerable strength in his very latest years, but also an exceptionally friendly and thoroughly sporting player who had a great respect for each and every one of his opponents, no matter the result.

Vasiukov was absolutely passionate about chess and he remained full of ideas for expanding the game for seniors, including inter-generational events, throughout his many years as head of the Soviet Veterans' Association. A true artist of the chess board, he loved the attack, sparkling tactics and developing great combinations perhaps most but he was also a truly well-rounded, strategically gifted and essentially sound player, a genuinely classy grandmaster, who could beat anyone at his very best.

At last year's world seniors championship, Vasiukov was prominent in support of a (widespread and popular) move to establish a Seniors Chess Commission at FIDE, typically waxing quite lyrically and in a deeply heart-felt way about the value of chess for seniors and inter-generationally at an open meeting on the subject. Whether this idea will eventually be realised remains unclear but if it does it will be in no small measure due to his efforts and he'd be pleased to see it.

Fond memories!

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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Craig Pritchett » Fri May 11, 2018 7:46 am

In above, it should, of course, read 'Russian' not as inadvertently written late at night 'Soviet' veterans association. If editor can change this and delete this post, as I'm now too late to do this, I'd be grateful!

Paul Cooksey
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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Paul Cooksey » Fri May 11, 2018 12:33 pm

Strangely, he is one of the people I have played most games of chess against. He was a regular in the ICC 5-minute pool and used to send me challenges when we were online at the same time. I do not think he cared very much about the results of online bitz. He liked to try very, very speculative sacrificial attacks and I was happy to provoke him :-)

While his passing sad in itself I often thought often how nice if must be to have a passion for chess to such an age when we were playing. I am glad it seems to have endured his whole life.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri May 11, 2018 2:05 pm

Craig Pritchett wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 7:46 am
In above, it should, of course, read 'Russian' not as inadvertently written late at night 'Soviet' veterans association. If editor can change this and delete this post, as I'm now too late to do this, I'd be grateful!
No worries, we all know what you meant :wink:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by AustinElliott » Fri May 11, 2018 9:13 pm

Sad news.. Though, as per Paul Cooksey's post, and as with others of the postwar greats who played on into their 80s like Smyslov & Korchnoi, there's some comfort in the thought that their enduring passion for the game kept them engaged til the very end.

Interesting also to read Paul and Craig Pritchett's memories of Vasiukov. Perhaps the establishment of a Seniors Chess Commission could be part of someone's platform for running FIDE?

I remember Vasiukov as one of the three Soviet (as then was) GMs in the well known Jan 1979 Spassky et al. vs UK junior players London simul, discussed a couple of times previously on the forum. The third Russian was Alexander Kochiev, famously beaten by Tony Miles in the 1974 World Junior Championship.

Tim Harding
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Re: GM Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) RIP

Post by Tim Harding » Sun May 27, 2018 11:33 am

ChessBase now has an obituary of Vasiukov:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/in-memori ... -1933-2018
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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