Abram Khasin (1923-2022) – The Chess Improver

Yuri Averbakh celebrated his 100th birthday the other day. Another Soviet player from the same vintage just missed celebrating his 99th birthday.

Abram Khasin had a long and remarkable life. He was born in Ukraine on 15 February 1923, and died in Essen, Germany, where he had spent the last 20 years of his life, on 6 February 2022.

Khasin served in the Red Army during the second World War, and had both legs amputated after being wounded at the Battle of Stalingrad. He then had a career as an English teacher and chess coach: his pupils included Gulko, Bareev and other strong players. His daughter also became a WIM. He was am International Master and Correspondence Grandmaster. The only time he competed in the West during the Soviet era was at Hastings 1963/64, where he shared a third place behind Tal and Gligoric. Perhaps his knowledge of the English language was one reason for his participation.

He played in the final of the Soviet Championship in 1956, 1957, 1961 and 1965, was 2nd or 3rd in the Moscow Championship on several occasions, finished 4th at Kislovodsk in 1964 and shared first place at Moscow 1967. He continued playing into old age and beyond: he was 4th in the 1995 World Senior Championship, and was playing competitively, with a rating still well above 2000, right into his mid 90s. He was active in his local club up until very shortly before his death. A very strong player by most people’s standards, then, and his successes both as a coach and a correspondence player, bear witness to someone with a great understanding of the game. His subsequent career demonstrates that he had a great passion as well as a talent for chess.

He played some attractive games, too. Here are a few for you to enjoy. There may be more in a future post.

Richard James

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Author: Richard James

Richard James is a professional chess teacher and writer living in Twickenham, and working mostly with younger children and beginners. He was the co-founder of Richmond Junior Chess Club in 1975 and its director until 2005. He is the webmaster of chessKIDS academy (www.chesskids.org.uk or www.chesskids.me.uk) and, most recently, the author of Chess for Kids and The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids, both published by Right Way Books. Richard has been a member of Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club since 1966. Richard is a published author and his books can be found at Amazon. Richard is currently promoting minichess (games and puzzles using subsets of chess) for younger children through his website www.minichess.uk, and writing coaching materials for children (and adults) who want to start playing serious competitive chess, through www.chessheroes. uk. View all posts by Richard James

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