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Genrikh Kasparyan

Genrikh Kasparyan on a 2010 Armenian stamp
Full name Genrikh Moiseyevich Kasparyan
Country Armenia
Soviet Union
Russian Empire
Born 27 February 1910
Tbilisi, Georgia, Russian Empire
Title International Master, Grandmaster of Chess Composition

Genrikh Kasparyan (Armenian: Հենրիկ Գասպարյան; 27 February 1910 in Tbilisi - 27 December 1995 in Yerevan) is considered to have been one of the greatest composers of chess endgame studies. Outside Armenia, he is better known by the Russian version of his name Genrikh Moiseyevich Kasparyan or Kasparian (Russian: Генрих Моисеевич Каспарян).

Kasparyan became a national master in 1936 and an international master in 1950. He was awarded the titles of International Judge of Chess Compositions in 1956 and International Grandmaster of Chess Composition in 1972, the first composer to receive this title from FIDE (Harkola 2007).

Kasparyan was also an active chess player, winning the Armenian championship ten times (from 1934 to 1956, including two ties with future World Champion Tigran Petrosian) and the Tiflis championship three times (1931, 1937, 1945). He reached the USSR Championship finals four times (1931, 1937, 1947, 1952), but never finished higher than tenth place.

Kasparyan is best known for his compositions. He started with chess problems, mainly three-movers, but soon discovered that his best field was in endgame studies. He wrote several books and collections and composed about 600 studies, many on the theme of domination, winning 57 first prizes. He won the USSR Composing Championship several times (Sunnucks 1970).

Sample study

Irving Chernev included five of Kasparyan's compositions in his book 200 Brilliant Endgames. This study uses a "model mate" in the middle of the board. (Chernev 1989:103)

Kasparyan, 1955
a b c d e f g h
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White to move and win 
Solution: 1. Bf5 Kd4 2. Ne6+ Ke5 3. Bh3 Bc2 4. d4+ Kd5 5. Kb5 Bh7 6. Kb4 Bg8 7. Kc3 Bxe6 8. Bg2#

Notable games