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Post  WhiteKingCHESS on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:58 pm

Foreword by Kasparov-

Chess players as a people are both distinctive and diverse. The unique individuality of each of them is something that
we accept. However, this uniqueness does not always manifest itself.
Ask any player to name his best game, and you will almost certainly hear the standard phrase: ‘I haven’t played it
yet!’ This is how they all reply, with the exception of one player. On hearing such a question, Eduard Gufeld would
merely shake his head and look at the questioner with a certain regret. And moments later, animatedly gesticulating and
not sparing words, he would begin describing his ‘immortal’ game, which in his opinion eclipsed all other masterpieces
created throughout the history of chess.
Yes, this game, lovingly called the ‘Mona Lisa’ by its creator, has made the rounds of nearly all chess publications
in the world, without losing its genuine brilliance. Even now, after an analysis of the Bagirov-Gufeld game, the depth
and richness of modern chess becomes closer and more understandable. And since a chess player is characterised above
all by what he creates, this game says more about grandmaster Gufeld than any weighty tome.
But, of course, Gufeld’s contribution to chess is not restricted to one game. Not even to many other fine games, to
which any player would happily give his name. I have in mind the ideas which Eduard Efimovich put into effect
throughout his chess career. There were a great many of them, but it is sufficient to look through a few games played by
Gufeld with Black for one to be immediately struck by the grandmaster’s ‘idée fixe’ – a fanatical belief in the all-
powerful dark-square bishop, developed on the long diagonal. The notorious ‘Gufeld bishop’ has long been derided by
chess players, but tell me, please, who can boast such a constant love for the King’s Indian Defence? His faithfulness to
this sharp opening, the nuances of which, by his own expression, he sensed with his finger-tips, was something he
proclaimed all his life. Gufeld was rightly regarded as one of the best experts in the world on this dynamic opening.
However, a view expressed from this angle merely skates on the surface, without touching on the essence of one of
the few chess romantics. But after all, behind all the ‘eccentricities’, full of humour, commentaries and witty remarks
(often made even during a game!) was concealed a boundless devotion to chess, a sincere belief in the inexhaustible
nature of chess, and a constant striving for beauty and harmony in his games. And while Gufeld’s chess career was not
adorned by a continuous stream of victories, his play helps us to open more widely the door to the immense land named CHESS



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