In memoriam

Adriana Palao

the oldest chess grandmaster ever

As we recently saw, the chess world has thousand of prodigies that, since an early age, have competed at the sport's elite level.

There are also, however, some chess legends that have made history over and above the board.

Today we remember Yuri Averbakh, who died on May 7th 2022 at the age of 100.

Averbakh, born on February 8th 1922, was a chess grandmaster and a contender for the World Championship.

When he was 27, he won the Moscow Championship, a feat that he repeated the next year, in 1950.

Two years later, Averbakh took 5th place in a big local tournament, qualifying for the Candidates Tournament in Zürich.

This 1953 competition would determine the challenger of the world champion, who was Mikhail Botvinnik.

Out of the 15 participants in the competition, Averbakh finished joint 10th.

But his career didn’t stop there, as he won the USSR Championship the next year, beating elite players including Petrossian, Taimanov and Korchnoi.

In 1956, he returned to the USSR Championship, but tied with the then world champion, Boris Spassky.

...Yuri Averbakh finished in 2nd place of the tournament following the playoff.

Averbakh never stopped playing, introducing several opening moves and was a major endgame study theorist. His ELO rating in 2021 was still 2445.


Abhimanyu Mishra

The youngest chess grandmaster ever