Petr Izmailov

At the time of Petr's arrest, his son Nikolai was under two years old. Once the Soviet-era archives were opened, Nikolai set out to reconstruct the life and chess career of the father he never knew. This book is the result of his many years of research. It contains Izmailov's tournament record as complete as could be found, as well as the 25 matches and fragments that were reported in the contemporary press, commented by GM Mihail Marin

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Petr Izmailov was considered one of the four best players in the Soviet Union in 1929 according to Yuri Averbakh, and was ranked around number 50 in the world at the time according to the Chessmetrics methodology. Izmailov won the 1928 Soviet Russia Championship, reached the quarter-finals of the 1929 Soviet Championship and had a lifetime score of 2/2 against Botvinnik. He was a regular winner of the Siberian regional and city championships, as well as a pioneer in some openings, playing a line similar to Makogonov's Attack against King's India more than ten years before Makogonov himself.

Izmailov, like many players of his generation, was a victim of Stalin's purges. He was arrested on trumped-up charges in 1936 and executed in 1937. His name was mostly erased from the Soviet chess press for over 50 years.

At the time of this publication, Nikolai is a lively 86-year-old great-grandfather.

All games and fragments have been thoroughly analysed in this book move by move by the Romanian Grandmaster and main chess author Mihail Marin. While his analysis is in itself highly instructive, Marin has provided a comprehensive historical background of the chess openings deployed in these games, often showing their origin, contemporary treatment of masters such as Alexander Alekhine and José Capablanca, and how they have evolved into the modern interpretation of today's grandmasters, such as Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri. Therefore, this book will be of interest both to practical players who wish to improve their game and to fans of chess history.

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Petr Izmailov
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