Person of day - 16 NOVEMBER 2023
In 1949, the 23-year-old Alexey Suetin won the competition of the Voluntary Sport Society “Labour”, in which multiple celebrated chess players participated. In the 1950s, Suetin became the three-time champion of another sporting society - Spartakm whom he represented along with the leader of the Spartakites, Tigran Petrosian.
Suetin was the repeated champion of Belarus and a ten-time participant of the USSR champion. His most memorable one was probably the Soviet Championship of 1963. This is not only because he played very well, splitting 4-6 places and winning the right to participate in FIDE’s zonal tournament, where he fulfilled the requirements of a “grandmaster”. In the 1963 Championship Suetin shone with a most effective sacrifice of his queen in a match against Vladimir Bagirov - a sacrifice that flew around the entire chess press, which received a special prize and earned exalted praise from Mikhail Tal himself.
Suetin also performed well in the USSR Championship of 1965, splitting 4-5 places. He was a constant member of the Soviet team and took part in team matches against Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland. On Suetin’s list of achievements are victories and prizes in more than 20 international tournaments. He played especially well in the second half of the 1960s, winning tournaments in Sarajevo, Copenhagen, Titovo Uzice, Hastings, Albena and Havana. In the 1970s, he also took first prizes in Kecskemet, Brno, Lublin and Dubna.
The training and organisational endeavours of Alexey Suetin must be recognised. He is a recognised trainer of Russia and was the national trainer of sport committees of RSFSR and Moscow for many years. He helped to popularise chess as a columnist for the “Pravda” and a commentator of the Central Television. For many years, Suetin cooperated closely with Tigran Petrosian; Alexey was his trainer for the world championships of 1963, 1970 and 1979-1980 and made a noticeable contribution to the remarkable successes of his mentee.
Suetin proved himself as a chess theorist and writer. He is the author of the system with move 9.a3 in the closed variant of the Spanish Opening and of multiple books concerning the opening and middlegame. Vyacheslav Ragozin wrote: “Suetin is not conventional, looks for the new and doubts the old, even if it has been tested a thousand times.” This search for the new often led Suetin to important discoveries. In 1996, at the age of 70, he became the world champion among seniors.
Alexey Stepanovich Suetin passed away in Moscow in September 2001.