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More from behind the Iron Curtain
June 12, 2004

More Iron Curtain tragedies

In an earlier posting  I listed problemists who reached  bad endgames under Stalin.

This is a continuation


The previously mentioned problemists were:

Mikhail Platov
Vasily Nikolayevich Platov
Alexei Alexeyevich Troizky
Avrid Kubbel
Karl Artur Leonid Kubbel
Yevgeny Kubbel
Petr Moussoury
Mikhail Barulin

some additions and corrections:

Mikhail Barulin 1897-1943
became "Master of Sport in Chess Composition" in 1934.
editor of problem section in "64" magazine
He was arrested on 11-13-1941

Avrid Kubbel actually died of nephritis (as revealed to his heirs in 1957), date unknown. The report of his death during the attack on Lenningrad was fiction.



Nikolai Krylenko's motto
"It is not enough to execute the guilty. Shooting some of the innocent will impress the masses more."


Another problemist, Lazar Borisovich Zalkind (1886-1945) was an economist.
In 1927, he became chairman of the All-Union Association of Chess Problem and Study Lovers.
He was arrested 1930 for his part in a supposed plot to infiltrate the Bolshevik government positions with pro-Mensheviks. Krylemko personally prosecuted him. His sentence was 8 years in prison.
Afterwards, Krylenko replaced the All-Union Association with a government controlled Composition Committe headed by a none-chess playing beauracrat.
Zalkind was released in 1938 but new accusations were added to the original ones to increase his term an additional 5 years at an even more severe labor camp. When he was fianlly released in 1943, he learned that his son, Boris had just died on the Byelorussian front.
He himself died of heart failure 6-25-1945.


Konstantin Shukevich-Tretyakov was an important chess organizer and an ardent Bolshevik.
He arrested 8-18-1938 for unspecified counterrevolutionary activities. His sentence was 5 years in a labor camp. He died four years into his sentence in Sevastopol on 1-10-1942.
His had named his daughter "Revolution."

Mikhail Shebarshin was one of the few accomplished Russian blindfold player playeds. He played against 10 boards in 1926. His opponents consisted of  consulting teams made up of club members. He won 8 and drew 2 games.  In the 1926 Lennigrad Championship semi-finals he scored 12-1,  1/2 pt. behind Botvinnik.
He was arrested in 1930 for unspecified counterrevolutionary activities,  went to prison where it's known he was the prison chess champion but beyond that, his fate remains unknowm.

Pyotr Izmailov (1907-1937), winner of the 1st Russian Federation championship in 1928 at age 21, was an engineer-geophysicist.
He was convicted in 1936, after a 20 min. trial, of plotting to kill Stalin and was exected in April, 1937.
His wife was also sentenced to 8 years at the labor camp in Kolyma because she was "a mamber of the family of a traitor."

Vladimir Petrov (1907-1945) from Riga, Latvia was one of the strongest players of his day. He tied for first with Solo Flohr and Sammy Reshevsky at Kemeri 1937 ahead of both Keres and Alekhine.
Arrested 8-31-1942 for violating article 58 (a vague anti-counterrevolutionary article in the criminal code under which many people were unjustly convicted), he was sentenced to 10 years in the labor camp at Kotlas. He died there the following year, 8-26-1943, of inflammation of the lungs.

The great Russian player, Ilya Rabinovich (1891-1942)  died of starvation when choosing to remain in Lenningrad during it's evacuation saying "I was champion of Lenningrad 11 times and can't leave my city at this difficut time." He remained instead to give propaganda speeches over the radio. He died on 4-23-1942.

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