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Lev Alburt

Lev Alburt, Malta 1980
Full name Lev Osipovich Alburt
Лев Альбурт
Country United States
Born August 21, 1945
Orenburg, Russia
Title Grandmaster

Lev Osipovich Alburt (born August 21, 1945 in Orenburg, Russia) is a chess Grandmaster and chess writer. He was three-time Ukrainian Champion, and after defecting to the United States in 1979, became three-time U.S. Champion.


Lev Alburt won the Ukrainian Chess Championship three times, from 1972 to 1974. He earned the International Master title in 1976, and became a Grandmaster in 1977.

Alburt defected to the United States in 1979, staying for several months with his former coach and fellow Ukrainian chess player and chess journalist Michael Faynberg. In 1980, Alburt led the U.S. Chess Olympiad team at Malta.

Alburt won the U.S. Chess Championship in 1984, 1985, and 1990 and the U.S. Open Chess Championship in 1987 and 1989. In 1986 he drew an eight-game match with British Chess Champion Jonathan Speelman.

Other chess-related

Alburt is the author of a series of and best-selling chess books. In 2004, he was awarded the title of FIDE Senior Trainer.

A variation of Alekhine's Defence is named after him: the Alburt Variation (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6).

Alburt served three years, 1985-88, on the Board of Directors of the United States Chess Federation. At the conclusion of his term, he stated that not once did he ever hear any discussion by the board of how to promote chess or bring new players into the game.

Sample game

In the 1990 U.S. Championship, Alburt defeated four-time U.S. champion Yasser Seirawan with the black pieces en route to winning the championship a third time:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.c3 d5 4.Bf4 e6 5.e3 Bd6 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.Qa4 Bxf4 8.exf4 Qb6 9.Nbd2 0-0 10.dxc5 Qxc5 11.0-0 Bd7 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Qd4 Qe7 14.b4 c5 15.bxc5 Rfc8 16.Nb3 a5 17.Rfc1 a4 18.Nbd2 Qxc5 19.c4 Rab8 20.Qxc5 Rxc5 21.Ne5 Rcc8 22.Rab1 Kf8 23.a3 Ke7 24.g3 Rxb1 25.Rxb1 Rc7 26.Kf1 Be8 27.Ke1 h5 28.f3 Nd7 29.Nxd7 Bxd7 30.Rb4 Kd6 31.Kf2 Kc5 32.Ke3 Bc6 33.h4 Rd7 34.g4 Rd8 35.g5 Rd7 36.Ke2 Rb7 37.Rxb7 Bxb7 38.cxd5 exd5 39.Ke3 Bc8 40.Kd3 Bf5+ 41.Ke3 g6 42.Nf1 Kc4 43.Ng3 d4+ 44.Kd2 Kb3 45.Ne2 Kxa3 46.Nxd4 Kb2 47.Nb5 a3 48.Nxa3 Kxa3 49.Kc3 Ka2 0-1