Soviet Outcast (hardcover) by Grigory Levenfish
Grigory Levenfish was twice Soviet Champion and drew a match with the great Botvinnik, yet despite his skills, he was never a favoured son of the Soviet Union. Rejected for selection to key events and the only Soviet grandmaster to be denied a stipend in later life, Levenfish was a Soviet Outcast. Levenfish describes in vivid detail the atmosphere of pre- and post-revolutionary Russia, giving first-hand impressions of some of the most famous names in early-twentieth-century chess, such as Lasker, Rubinstein, Alekhine and Capablanca – all of whom were personally known to him. Some of the stories stay long in the memory: descriptions of the hardships endured by players in the first USSR Championship that took place in the difficult years of the Civil War; of idyllic trips to the Caucasus and Crimea; of grim struggles for survival in the winter of 1941. Soviet Outcast comprises Levenfish’s annotations to 79 of his finest games, translated from his Russian autobiography, plus extensive bonus material including several games compiled from other sources, mostly with annotations by Levenfish himself, as well as a 30-page Afterword by GM Jacob Aagaard. This is the first time Levenfish’s memoir has been published in English.