The Livonian Knight: Selected Games of Alvis Vitolins
by Zigurds Lanka, Edvins Kengis, Janis Klovans and Janis Vitomskis
Alvis Vitolins (1946-1997) was a seven-time chess champion of Latvia, a player with a ferocious attacking style, and one of the game’s last true openings innovators in the pre-computer age. He was a world-class blitz player and was a regular blitz sparring-partner of his friend, world champion Mikhail Tal. Vitolins often deployed gambits, and his attack-minded novelties in the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian, Nimzo-Indian and Bogo-Indian set trends that were copied at top-level chess, including in world championship and candidates matches. He gained the International Master title in 1980.
Through an analysis of 25 of his most exciting games, this book, first published in Latvia in 2008, tells the reader of Alvis’s chess legacy, which includes many breathtaking Talesque sacrifices. Additional full games and fragments from Vitolins’s career are incorporated in the annotations. Opponents include the authors of this book as well as grandmasters Alexei Shirov, Vladimir Bagirov, Vladimir Tukmakov and other stars of Soviet and post-Soviet chess. The book contains a new foreword specially written for the English edition by Genna Sosonko, who met Vitolins on several occasions.
About the Authors
Zigurds Lanka (born 1960) and Edvins Kengis (born 1959) are Latvian Grandmasters, coaches and multiple chess champions of Latvia (two and eight times, respectively). Janis Klovans (1935-2010) was a Latvian Grandmaster and correspondence chess Grandmaster, nine-time champion of Latvia and three-time world senior champion. Janis Vitomskis (1936-2009) was a Latvian correspondence chess Grandmaster and European correspondence chess champion.
Paperback, 129 pages, Elk and Ruby