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Alexey Suetin

Full name Alexey Stepanovich Suetin
Country Soviet Union
Born November 16, 1926
Kirovohrad, USSR
World Champion World Senior Ch. 1996
Peak rating 2560 (January 1971)

Alexey (Aleksei) Stepanovich Suetin (Russian: Алексе́й Степа́нович Суэ́тин; November 16, 1926 in Kirovohrad - September 10, 2001 in Moscow) was a Russian International Grandmaster of chess and author.


A resident of Moscow and a mechanical engineer by profession, he became an International Master in 1961 and a Grandmaster in 1965. His philosophy was always that "mastery is not enough; you must dare, take risks". It was an axiom that fashioned him into a tough and fiercely competitive player and appeared to bring him his fair share of success.

His first major success came in 1955, when as a member of the Soviet team at the World Student Team Championships, he scored 80% and took individual and team gold medals.

As an active tournament player in the 1960s and 1970s, he achieved many fine results, including sharing or winning outright first place at Sarajevo 1965, Copenhagen 1965, Titovo Uzice 1966, Hastings 1967/68, Havana 1969, Albena 1970, Kecskemét 1972, Brno 1975 (the inaugural Czech Open Championship - the title of Champion going to Vlastimil Hort on tie-break), Lublin 1976, and Dubna 1979. Third place finishes at Debrecen 1961 and Berlin (Lasker Memorial) 1968 were also noteworthy.

Suetin participated in seven USSR Championships from 1958 to 1966, his best finishes being 4th-6th in 1963 (behind Stein, Spassky and Kholmov) and 4th-6th in 1965 (behind Stein, Polugaevsky and Taimanov).

Until 1971, he served as a second and trainer to Tigran Petrosian for many of his most important matches, including his world championship victory in 1963. He was for many years Moscow's senior coach, overseeing the development of promising new talents, including Vassily Ivanchuk and Andrei Sokolov. Though less distinguished than before, his playing career stretched into the 1990s and beyond. He won the Hastings Challengers event of 1990/91, but was like Efim Geller, a chain-smoker, and found it difficult to adjust to the 1990 FIDE directive that banned smoking in tournament halls.

A renowned commentator on the game, he was from 1965 the correspondent for Pravda and his voice was often heard on Moscow radio and TV during the 1970s and 1980s.

As a veteran player, he won the World Senior Championship in 1996.

He authored many chess books; principally those concerned with the middlegame or opening. These include: Modern Chess Opening Theory, Three Steps To Chess Mastery (a treatise which combines his earlier works, The Chess Player's Laboratory and The Path To Mastery), Plan Like A Grandmaster, A Contemporary Approach To The Middle-game, French Defence, The Complete Grunfeld and The Complete Spanish. His last book, Chess through the prism of time, was published in Moscow in 1998.

Alexey Suetin was married to Woman Grandmaster Kira Zvorykina and together they had a son Aleksandr, born 1951. They lived in Belarus for some years and frequently competed in the national championship. Suetin was a six-time winner of the event and he and Zvorykina held the Men's and Women's titles concurrently in 1960.

He died aged 74 of a heart attack shortly after returning home from the Russian Senior Championship.

Notable game

Suetin vs Tseshkovsky, English Opening A27, Kislovodsk 1972, 1-0

White builds pressure on Black's over-extended kingside, culminating in a deadly attack (33...Rxg7 34.Nf8+ and 35.Rxh6+).