Legends of chess

Dedicated to outstanding chess players and trainers


Mark Dvoretsky: create strong players and honest humans.
(by Karel van Delft)

During trainings Dvoretsky often talked about life and philosophy, which he connected with chess insights. This was very inspiring and stimulated development as a human being and chess player at the same time, GM Artur Jussupow says.
IM Mark Izrailevich Dvoretsky was a Russian chess trainer, author and international master.
He was born in Moscow December 9, 1947. September 26, 2016 he passed away.
Although he learned the game when he was six years old he started playing and studying chess seriously when he was about eleven and became a member of a chess club.
After Dvoretsky in 1972 finished his studies of Mathematics and Economics he became a chess trainer. In 1975 he was awarded the IM title. He reached the 35th place on the FIDE Elo list and was for some time the strongest IM in the world.
Although he was of grandmaster level he preferred to be a chess trainer in which he was very successful. This had to do with his personal approach and self-developed training methods. Important aspects are decision making and pattern recognition. Dvoretsky had a famous collection of about 3.000 thematic training positions. He advised chess players to create such a collection themselves.
On an interview question of IM Yochanan Afek about what makes a good trainer Dvoretsky answered: First he should clarify to himself that he enjoys helping others to improve and not just to regard his job as a source of income. A good trainer has a wide general chess culture, excellent human relationships and a sharp distinguishing sense. He should also create personal training concepts rather than just provide his pupils with knowledge. It is really essential not just to create a strong player, but also an honest person with values and character who will develop his qualities to their best.
Trained by Dvoretsky GM’s Valery Chekhov, Artur Jussupow and Sergei Dolmatov became world junior champion. Later world champions GM Viswanathan Anand, GM Veselin Topalov and GM Garry Kasparov trained with him.

Mark Dvoretsky became lifelong friends with his student GM Artur Jussupow, with whom he wrote a series of well received chess training books. Their five-part cycle ‘Training for the tournament player’, ‘Opening preparation’, ‘Technique for the tournament player’, ‘Positional play’ and ‘Attack and defence’ is well-known. Also from 1990-1992 they run a successful chess school in Moscow. A classic became Dvoretsky’s Endgame manual (2003).
Mark Dvoretsky liked travelling and training all over the world. For example, in Armenia and Georgia, the Baltic States, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands.

About five times he visited the Dutch city Apeldoorn, where he played for the local team. It was here he played in 199 for the first time GM Viktor Korchnoi. In Apeldoorn he also played the last game of his life, which was also the first time he played together with GM Artur Jussupow in the same team. The game he analysed in his biography “For friends and colleagues”.

In 1999 IM Mark Dvoretsky, GM Artur Jussupow, GM Uwe Bönsch, GM Loek van Wely and IM Yochanan Afek were trainers in the Apeldoorn ‘Chess Experience’ in which youth teams of Israel, Germany and The Netherlands trained together and played for a week. There were players like GM Boris Avrukh, GM Alik Gershon, GM Jan Gustafsson and GM Erik van den Doel among them.
Some of his best games include victories over Smyslov and Polugaevsky , see on chessgames.com  here.