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Learn from Stein (May 2020)
GM Valeriy Aveskulov Not purchased

  • 1.  Introduction and Free Preview Free
  • 2.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Overview Closed
  • 3.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Game 1 Closed
  • 4.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Game 2 Closed
  • 5.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Game 3 Closed
  • 6.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Game 4 Closed
  • 7.  Master of Ruy Lopez for White - Test Positions Closed
  • 8.  Test Position 1 - Solution Closed
  • 9.  Test Position 2 - Solution Closed
  • 10.  Test Position 3 - Solution Closed
  • 11.  Test Position 4 - Solution Closed
  • 12.  Bishop Pair - Overview Closed
  • 13.  Bishop Pair - Game 1 Closed
  • 14.  Bishop Pair - Game 2 Closed
  • 15.  Bishop Pair - Game 3 Closed
  • 16.  Bishop Pair - Game 4 Closed
  • 17.  Bishop Pair - Game 5 Closed
  • 18.  Bishop Pair - Test Positions Closed
  • 19.  Test Position 1 - Solution Closed
  • 20.  Test Position 2 - Solution Closed
  • 21.  Test Position 3 - Solution Closed
  • 22.  Test Position 4 - Solution Closed
  • 23.  Test Position 5 - Solution Closed
  • 24.  Test Position 6 - Solution Closed
  • 25.  Positional Sacrifices - Overview Closed
  • 26.  Positional Sacrifices - Game 1 Closed
  • 27.  Positional Sacrifices - Game 2 Closed
  • 28.  Positional Sacrifices - Game 3 Closed
  • 29.  Positional Sacrifices - Game 4 Closed
  • 30.  Positional Sacrifices - Game 5 Closed
  • 31.  Positional Sacrifices - Test Positions Closed
  • 32.  Test Position 1 - Solution Closed
  • 33.  Test Position 2 - Solution Closed
  • 34.  Test Position 3 - Solution Closed
  • 35.  Attack - Overview Closed
  • 36.  Attack - Game 1 Closed
  • 37.  Attack - Game 2 Closed
  • 38.  Attack - Game 3 Closed
  • 39.  Attack - Game 4 Closed
  • 40.  Attack - Game 5 Closed
  • 41.  Attack - Test Positions Closed
  • 42.  Test Position 1 - Solution Closed
  • 43.  Test Position 2 - Solution Closed
  • 44.  Test Position 3 - Solution Closed
  • 45.  Test Position 4 - Solution Closed
  • 46.  Test Position 5 - Solution Closed
  • 47.  Test Position 6 - Solution Closed
  • 14.90 EUR

    Learn from Leonid Stein - Ruy Lopez Structures, Bishop Pair, Positional Sacrifices


    Preview by the Author

    As of 2020, Lviv, which is the largest city in western Ukraine, has around 20 GM's and WGM's. In this respect, it is clearly one of the leading cities in the world. So how did that come to be? In the beginning, there was only Leonid Stein. Unfortunately, nowadays my foreign chess students rarely know his name.

    So when I was asked to choose a chess legend from the past to write a database about, I was happy about the opportunity to tell you, dear readers, more about him. Leonid Stein won many international tournaments. Just to name a few: He was USSR champion three times (1963, 1965, 1966), the sole winner of the Moscow international tournament dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution (ahead of the current and three former world champions - two points ahead of second Vassily Smyslov, who came second), and two years later he tied for first place with Karpov - again ahead of the same four world champions.

    For a more in-depth biography on this exceptional player, who died far too young, I recommend Kasparov's Great Predecessors (volume 3), Gufeld's Master of Risk Strategy or even Stein's Wikipedia page. This database is about Stein's chess. It is a collection of games that he played - important ones, beautiful ones and instructive ones - and an attempt to understand what made him so dangerous for his contemporaries, including world champions.

    The current database is divided into the following sections: Master of Ruy Lopez for White, Bishop Pair, Positional Sacrifices, Attack.

    Master of Ruy Lopez for White

    If you play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, you simply have to study Stein's games. According to my database, Stein has played 86 games with this opening and lost only two (!) (to Geller in 1966 and to Tukmakov in 1970). Truly amazing statistics!

    If you have read any books with Karpov's selected games (who belongs to the next generation), you can recall how many Ruy Lopez wins are included there. The way these two great masters played Ruy Lopez was similar – closing the centre with d4-d5 and playing on both wings. I suppose it would be a correct guess to say that Karpov has learnt something from the games of his older colleague.

    This section includes 4 model games and 4 exercises. Below, you can take a look at one of the model games.

    Bishop Pair

    Most of the players can be divided into two groups – first who prefer bishops and second who prefer knights. Leonid Stein was a big lover of the bishops. Of course, it does not mean that he was less dangerous with knights in his hands, but I can't go around his examples on how he turned his bishops into a powerful weapon.

    In 1961, Stein played his first USSR championship. Nobody seriously expected a high result from a newcomer. But the reality went far beyond the most optimistic expectations. Stein finished third and scored +3 against first 5 players (Tigran Petrosian, Efim Geller and Boris Spassky were among his victims). The main achievement undoubtfully was the tournament winner's scalp. Two years later, the Iron Tigran will become World Champion. His loses in those years were something extraordinary. There were legends about his feeling of danger. All this makes even more valuable the way Stein managed to crush such a strong opponent in just 26 moves.

     This section includes 5 model games and 6 exercises.

     Positional Sacrifices

    As a creative active player, Leonid Stein could not stop himself from using positional sacrifices in his games. Having a good intuition Stein, was not afraid of going for sacrifices with unclear consequences.

    This section includes 5 model games and 3 exercises.

    I invite you to think over one of the exercises.


    White to move. He could play slowly, but Stein found an interesting forcing line that leads to a nice position with a long-term advantage. Can you find it?


    Leonid Stein belonged to the generation of '60-'70s. The level of defence in that period of chess history was far from optimal. That's why there were many players with aggressive style who preferred to push forward in almost any situation. Stein was definitely one of them. At the end of his career, he became more quiet and positional but even then he still could end the game with an instant assault.

    This section includes 5 model games and 6 exercises.