Botyan vs. Averbakh: 102:97. Winners all around

On February 16, 2019, the Third Botyan Rapid Chess Cup took place at the Center for Chess Culture and Information of the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology.

For the third year in a row, the Russian Civic Organization of the Foreign Intelligence Veterans and the RNPLS&T’s Center for Chess Culture and Information hold the chess tournament dedicated to an iconic spy, “Major Whirl”, Aleksey Botyan (this year he has celebrated his 102-nd anniversary) and Yuri Averbakh, a chess legend, the oldest Grand Master (he has celebrated his 97-th birthday recently).

The competition started with the ceremonial session. Presidium members, guests and chest feast participants delivered their speeches. Vladimir S. Lekomtsev, RNPLS&T Deputy Director General, also welcomed the audience.

Alexander Fadeev, Organization’s Board Member, reminded how the idea of Botyan Chess Cup had been conceived. He also reported on the last-year visit of the Russian delegation to Belarus where KGB officers had the chess tournament dedicated to their famous compatriot.

Vladimir Surodin, Chairman of the Supervisory Council of the Foundation for State Security Special Forces Veterans, who is also known as Botyan’s chronicler, presented his book about the heroic spy “Not-a-common soldier of the country” [In Russian].

Alexander Mudragey, retired Lt. Colonel, member of the Board of the Russian Civic Organization of the Foreign Intelligence Veterans, Head of Pegasus Literary Club, read the welcome letter addressed to the tournament participants, on behalf of Nikoly Antoshkin, Chair of the Club of the Heroes of the USSR and the Russian Federation, and the Full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory of the City of Moscow and Moscow Region.

Ludvig Rettore, an activist of Italian and international chess movement, was the special quest of the Tournament. Signor Rettore organizes Anatoly Karpov’s master classes in Italy.

The sports program was opened with the brief though dramatic chess game between the two legends of the epoch. Winners were all around.

Over 30 chess players took part in the tournament, altogether. Lyudmila Belavenets, Grand Master, Center for Chess Culture and Information, chaired the judging panel.

Prof. Roman Liberzon, a mathematician, Candidate Master, became the winner. Evgeny Potemkin, a first-rank player, well-known chess journalist, was the second, and Efim Shifrin, Dr. Sc. In Mathematics, Candidate Master, was the third.

Many more prizes were awarded: to the oldest and youngest participants, the best team, to women and the juniors, to the organizers and judges. The group photo with the legend of the Intelligence — Aleksey Botyan, and the legend of chess — Yury Averbakh, was taken.The prizes were awarded by Yakov Shrayberg, RNPLS&T Director General, and representatives of the Foreign Intelligence Organization.

Botyan 2019