Toggle Nav
Call +49 2501 9288 320

We are pleased to assist you!

Free Shipping

From within Germany from 50 €

My Cart My Cart
Article Number

The Lubyanka Gambit (pb)

320 pages, paperback, Elk and Ruby, 1. edition 2022

Incl. Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

First published in Russian in 2004 and now available in English for the first time, The Lubyanka Gambit is a classic work investigating the darkest side of chess history in the Soviet Union. It is the culmination of nearly two decades of research by Correspondence Chess Grandmaster, historian and human rights campaigner Sergei Grodzensky, whose own father was sent to the Gulag in Stalin's times. It describes the careers and life stories, based on archival documents and witness testimony, of Soviet chess composers, players and famous amateurs who were repressed by the Soviet authorities, ending up either executed or sent to the Gulag. Featured names include Lazar Zalkind, Arvid Kubbel, Vladimirs Petrovs, Petr Izmailov, Georgy Schneideman, Nikolai Krylenko and Natan Sharansky, among many others. The theoretical contribution to the history of composition is one key theme in this work.

The Lubyanka Gambit also looks in detail at the historical context of the purges of chess players and describes how chess was played by prisoners in the Gulags and internal exile. Perhaps the icing on the cake is provided by Grodzensky's personal memories of the Soviet Union's foremost Gulag writers Alexander Solzhenitsyn (his schoolteacher) and Varlam Shalamov (his father's close friend). This book contains 72 full games and fragments analyzed by the participants, contemporaries, the author and other leading players, as weil as 145 computer-checked compositions.

Sergei Grodzensky, born in 1944 in the Gulag city of Vorkuta, gained the Soviet Master of Sport title for over-the-board chess in 1985, and the international grandmaster title for correspondence chess in 1999. He twice won the AII-Russian Problem and Studies Solving Olympiad (1963 and 1964) and has also won composition competitions. Grodzensky has represented Russia in world and European championships at correspondence chess. He is the author of over 600 articles covering the history and theory of chess, as weil as 17 books. Outside chess, he made a career as a professor of engineering, gaining a doctorate in 2002.

More Information
Weight 486 g
Manufacturer Elk and Ruby
Width 15.4 cm
Height 23.4 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2022
Author Sergei Grodzensky
Language English
Edition 1
ISBN-13 9785604177006
Pages 320
Binding paperback

006 Index of Games

008 Foreword by Alexander Yakovlev

009 Introduction by the Author

011 Chess and Soviet Totalitarianism

030Chess Composers

030 Lazar Zalkind - A Debt of Conscience

055 Arvid Kubbel - Kubbel's Brother

089 Mikhail Platov - Co- Author of ''A Beautiful Thing"

100 Sergei Kaminer - The Interrupted Song

111 Pavel Neunyvako - "To the Madness of the Brave..."

123 Mikhail Barulin - He didn't Sign Anything

137Over the Board Chess Players

137 Vladimirs Petrovs - ''A Star Prematurely Extinguished"

164 Petr Izmailov - The First Champion of Soviet Russia

199 Georgy Schneideman - The Surname That Cost His Life

218 Mikhail Shebarshin - From Trade Union Champion to BelBalt Gulag Champion

233 Nikolai Salmin - A Life Cut Short at Thirty

236Hoisted by their Own Petard

236 Nikolai Krylenko - The Rise and Fall of the Supreme Commander

252 Vladimir Fridberg - The Fate of the Prosecutor

257 Rodion Shukevich-Tretyakov - Devoted to the Revolution

261Chess in the "Destructive-Labor Camps"

261 Introduction

264 The Gulag Prisoners - "Vorkuta, Vorkuta, a Wonderful Planet..."

271 Varlam Shalamov - Chess in the Life and Work of the Author of Kolyma Tales

284 Alexander Solzhenitsyn - As I Remember Hirn

295 Vladimir Levitsky - Champion of the Step Gulag

301 Solovki Special Purpose Camp - The Original Gulag

303 Georgy Brenev - A Career Split in Two

310 Natan Sharansky - The French Defense, Lefortovo Variation

318 Afterword

320 Epilogue - Bullet Chess

More from Elk and Ruby
  1. More from Elk and Ruby