Yuri Sakharov

Yuri Nikolaevich Sakharov (Ukrainian: Ю́рій Микола́йович Са́харов; 18 September 1922 – 26 September 1981) was a Ukrainian Chess Master(1958), International Correspondence Chess Master (1971), Merited Coach of the Ukrainian SSR(1963). [1][2]

Yuri Nikolaevich Sakharov (Russian: Юрий Николаевич Сахаров)

. . . Yuri Sakharov . . .

Yuri Sakharov was born on September 18, 1922 in Yuzovka (now Donetsk). His father was an official in the Donbass mining industry.[3] In 1937 during the Great Purge he was arrested and executed. Yuri Sakharov became a “son of an enemy of the people.” During the Great Patriotic War the Nazis sent him to work in a Belgian coal mine. When Allied Forces entered Belgium, Yuri Sakharov joined the US Army and fought against the Nazis. He earned a Purple Heart Medal. When his unit reached the Elbe in 1945, he was repatriated.

Back home in Ukraine, he got a job as an Inspector in Kiev.

In 1951 he brilliantly won the Semi Final USSR Chess Championship in Lvov[4] and was qualified together with Lev Aronin and Vladimir Simagin who tied up the second and third places to participate in the XIX USSR Chess Championship in Moscow. Also, he fulfilled the norm requirement of Chess Master. But very soon he was arrested by denunciation and his Chess Master Title was revoked. Lev Aronin, Vladimir Simagin, and Salomon Flohr were qualified from Lvov and went to Moscow.

Sakharov faced a closed-door trial, and he was given 25 years of jail in Vladimir Central Prison.

After Stalin’s death in 1953, mass amnesty of the victims of Stalin’s repressions started. In 1955 Yuri Sakharov was offered amnesty too, but he refused insisting on full rehabilitation. In 1956 he eventually was freed on full rehabilitation. His father was rehabilitated, too (posthumously).

Sakharov rebuilt his chess career. When he was 46, he became the 17th highest rated player in the world.

He tragically died in 1981 in Kiev. The circumstances of his death remains unknown.

Sakharov was the champion of Kiev in 1948 and in 1949, and shared 1-2 place with A. Kofman in 1947 (8.5/13) and with V.Shianovsky in 1961 (8/12).[5]

Sakharov was twice the Ukrainian Champion in 1966 and 1968.[6] He participated in 19 Ukrainian Championships, tying for 4-6th in 1946 (Anatoly Bannik won), tying for 3rd-4th in 1947 (Alexey Sokolsky won), tying for 6-9th in 1949 (Isaac Lipnitsky won),[7] taking 5th in 1951 (Bannik won), taking 2nd, behind Efim Geller, in 1958, tying for 4-5th in 1959 (Geller won),[8] sharing 1st with Leonid Stein but lost to him a match for the title (+1 −3 =2) in 1960, tying for 3rd-4th in 1961 (Yuri Kots won), taking 3rd in 1962 (Stein won), and tying for 2nd-3rd in 1964 (Bannik won).[9]

Year City Name Points Place Featured Game
1940 Kiev 12 Championship of Ukraine 6.5/17 13-15 vs I. Boleslavsky (W)
1946 Kiev 15 Championship of Ukraine 11.5/17 4-6
1947 Kiev 16 Championship of Ukraine 10.5/16 3-4
1948 Kiev 17 Championship of Ukraine 7.5/18 13-15 vs E. Geller(W)
1949 Odessa 18 Championship of Ukraine 11.5/19 6-9 vs E. Geller(W)
1950 Kiev 19 Championship of Ukraine 8.5/17 9-11 vs I. Lipnitsky(D)
1951 Kiev 20 Championship of Ukraine 10.5/17 5
1957 Kiev 26 Championship of Ukraine 11/17 3 vs Flohr (D)
1958 Kiev 27 Championship of Ukraine 10.5/16 2-4 vs GM E. Geller(D)
1959 Kiev 28 Championship of Ukraine 13/21 4-5
1960 Kiev 29 Championship of Ukraine 12/17 1-2 vs L. Stein(W)
1961 Kiev 30 Championship of Ukraine 9/15 3-4
1962 Kiev 31 Championship of Ukraine 11.5/17 3
1963 Kiev 32 Championship of Ukraine 10/17 4-5
1964 Kiev 33 Championship of Ukraine 13/19 2-3
1966 Kiev 35 Championship of Ukraine 13/17 1
1967 Kiev 36 Championship of Ukraine 8/13 6-16
1968 Kiev 37 Championship of Ukraine 12.5/17 1
1970 Kiev 39 Championship of Ukraine 4.5/17 18

Yuri Sakharov played in the Ukrainian team during Soviet Team Chess Championships.

Year City Name Board Result Featured Game
1948 Leningrad 1st Soviet Team Chess Championship 9 3.5/6
1958 Vilnius 5th Soviet Team Chess Championship 3 4.5/8 vs GM Averbakh (D)
1959 Moscow 6th Soviet Team Chess Championship 4 6/9 vs GM Tolush (W)
1960 Moscow 7th Soviet Team Chess Championship 3 4.5/8 vs IM Makogonov(W)
1967 Moscow 10th Soviet Team Chess Championship 4 4/8 vs GM Antoshin (D)
1968 Grozny 11th Soviet Team Chess Championship Reserve 2.5/6 vs GM Furman (D)

Twice Sakharov became the Champion of the Ukrainian Voluntary Sports Society “Avangard” (Russian: ДСО “Авангард”) in 1962 (11.5/15) and 1964 (8.5/13).

He played for the “Avangard” Team during Soviet Team Chess Cup Tournaments.

Year City Name Board Result Featured Game
1961 Moscow 3rd Soviet Team Chess Cup 4 2.5/5 vs GM Boleslavsky (D)
1964 Moscow 4th Soviet Team Chess Cup 2 2/6 vs GM Averbakh (D)
1966 Moscow 5th Soviet Team Chess Cup 2 4/8 vs GM Korchnoi (D)
1968 Riga 6th Soviet Team Chess Cup 2 3.5/9 vs IM Osnos (D)
1971 Rostov-on-Don 7th Soviet Team Chess Cup Reserve .5/2 vs GM Krogius (D)

He participated in the USSR Chess Championships 5 times.

Year City Championship Points Place Featured Game
1960 Leningrad XXVII 6/19 18-20 vs Bronstein (D)
1964/65 Kiev XXXII 7.5/19 17 vs Bannik (W)
1965 Tallinn XXXIII 10.5/19 7 vs Stein (W)
1967 Kharkov XXXV 9/13 6 vs Polugaevsky (D)
1968/69 Alma-Ata XXXVI 9/19 14 vs Tal (D)

He was a winner of International Chess Tournament in Varna in 1968 and made the first norm for a title of International Master.

Yuri Sakharov successfully played in friendly international matches both for the USSR and Ukraine.

Match Year Location Score Games
10 Match USSR-Yugoslavia 1966 Sukhumi 3 out 5
USSR-Yugoslavia 1968 Sochi 3.5 out 4
Ukraine-West Berlin 1970 Kiev 2 out 4

Yuri Sakharov was part of the Soviet Team that won gold in Chess Correspondence Olympiad VI of 1968-72 and VII of 1972-76.

Year Name Board Points Team Place Featured Game
1968-1972 6th Correspondence Chess Olympiad 4 7/8 (the best board) 1
1972-1977 7th Correspondence Chess Olympiad 4 5/9 1

He earned the title of International Correspondence Chess Master (IMC) in 1971.

Year Name Points Place Featured Game
1973-1977 1st CC World Cup Final 7/14 7
1977-1983 9th Correspondence World Championship Final 7.5/16 10 vs Tonu Oim (L)

. . . Yuri Sakharov . . .

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. . . Yuri Sakharov . . .