Vladimirs Petrovs: A Chessplayer's Story from Greatness to the Gulags

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Author: Fride, Andres

Year: 2004

Publisher: Caissa Editions

Place: Yorklyn, DE


iv+190 pages with drawings, diagrams, photographs, tables and appendix. Octavo (9" x 6") bound in original publisher's pictorial wrappers. Translated from Latvian by Kon Grivainis. Edited by Dale Brandreth. First edition.

This book is about Vladimirs Petrovs, his exceptional chess talents and his early tragic fate. We know how the world class grandmaster Korchnoi and Gulko were mistreated by the Soviet Union, Petrovs was an upcoming world-class grandmaster whom the Soviets sent to the Gulags...and a year later he was dead. This is also a story about the Baltic States, their independence between the two World Wars and players that came from those small countries: Aaron Nimzovich, Palu Keres, Vladas Mikenas and Vladimirs Petrovs, Mikhail Tal came later. Petrovs' main chess successes where his tieing for first place in the first Kemeri tournament in 1937 with Reshevsky and Flohr ahead of Alekhine, Fine, Keres and Bogolubov; and his scoring +8=11-0 on the top board at the Buenos Aires 1939 Olympiad, among Capablanca, Alekhine, Keres, Stahlberg, Tartakower, Eliskases and others. In the chess world few have heard so little, if anything, of Petrovs. The Soviet system tried to conceal its misdeeds by hiding the names of those it killed; they made them "non-persons" and eliminated them from their public records. He was not mentioned in their writings and it was unhealthy for the Soviet people ever to mention him. His name is properly "Vladmirs Petrovs", even though it is often written "Petrov" in many English-language sources. The name "Petrov" is common in Russia and, therefore, to use that only made it easier to hide his disappearance and non-person status. The material in this book is mostly from the files of the author's father. Quotations from other publications are identified where known.


A fine copy.