Heed Rashid

Despite playing and studying chess intermittently for 40 years, I only recently learned of the dashing, brilliant play of Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov. Say that a few times quickly! So I just call him ‘Nez’. He was born into a muslim Tatar family in what is now Kazakhstan. Despite being  orphaned as a youngster, he went on to win the Russian Chess Championship 5 times in the 1950s. He never earned the title of Grandmaster, but nearly always won the prize for the ‘most brilliant game’ in tournaments.

In this game Nez, (with the black pieces) forgoes grabbing the Rook at move 13, for the infinitely more beautiful ‘smothered’ checkmate which followed.

In this next game Nez (again with black), ‘sacrifices’ his Queen on move 24 to continue his attack.

In regard to this game Nez’s opponent, Polugaevsky is quoted as saying:

I must have beaten Rashid a dozen times. But that one loss was so good I would have traded them all to be on the other side of the board.

One last brilliant Nez game – with the White pieces this time:

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