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10 May 2018

Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) Passed Away

Our deepest condolences to his relatives and friends!

Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) Passed Away
Evgeni Vasiukov (1933-2018) Passed Away

A well-known grandmaster, coach, head of the Veterans' Commission of the Russian Chess Federation Evgeni Vasiukov died on May 10. 

The Russian Chess Federation expresses its deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of Evgeny Vasiukov. 


Evgeni Vasiukov was born in Moscow. He learned to play chess only at the age of 15. During the War, the eight-year-old child was evacuated to Tula. In 1943, his father died in battle at Kursk.

After starting late, he progressed rapidly and became a Soviet master of sport in 1954 and in 1961, an international grandmaster. Vasiukov recorded his first major victory in 1955 when he became the champion of Moscow after showing himself to be a fantastic tactician. He would go on to win five more of the capital’s championship and he represented Moscow in several domestic competitions.

Vasiukov was always noted for quick thought and a reputation of a specialist in speed chess has remained with him since the 1950s. He won the Moscow blitz championship six times for “Vecherka” prizes and split first place twice. In 1958, when 15-year-old Robert Fischer came to Moscow for a short time, only Vasiukov and Tigran Petrosian- who was invited to the Central Chess Club at short notice- managed to defend the honour of the capital.

Four years later, Vasiukov once again tripped Fischer up. This happened at the candidates’ tournament on Curacao. An original analyst and theoretician, Vasiukov conceived of a new idea in the Ufimtsev Defence and he introduced it to Korchnoi. He implemented it while playing black against Fischer and won an important, decisive victory.

Vasiukov shared his ideas freely while he was trainer of the Soviet students’ team, the Hungarian Olympic team and a trainer-consultant for Karpov, Korchnoi, Tal, Geller and other exceptional chess players.

Vasiukov won over 50 competitions and played in 11 Soviet championships. His greatest result was victory in Manila in 1974- he finished ahead of Petrosian, Larsen, Portisch and Gligoric… On his count are gold medals at tournaments in Reykjavik, Athens, Varna, Berlin and other cities.

After reaching 60, his calendar became no less intense. In 1955, he won the World senior championship and multiple team veterans’ competitions, including world and European championships with the Russian team. A man of exceptional energy and love for chess, Evgeni Andreyevich headed RCF Veterans’ Commission in 2003. Thanks to his efforts, the commission held tens of competitions annually, in which hundreds of chess players participated. In addition, Evgeni Vasiukov developed a system of handicap-tournaments, which were very popular with amateurs and professionals. 

Vasiukov was not only a grandmaster and administrator, but a talented promoter of chess: he wrote several books, multiple articles, and chess columns in major newspapers as well as commentated on the competitions of the very highest level, including the world championship matches.

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