The KGB Plays Chess: The Soviet Secret Police and the Fight for the World Chess Crown

SCB Distributors, 15.09.2010 - 200 Seiten
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The KGB Plays Chess is a unique book. For the first time it opens to us some of the most secret pages of the history of chess. The battles about which you will read in this book are not between chess masters sitting at the chess board, but between the powerful Soviet secret police, known as the KGB, on the one hand, and several brave individuals, on the other. Their names are famous in the chess world: Viktor Kortschnoi, Boris Spasski, Boris Gulko and Garry Kasparov became subjects of constant pressure, blackmail and persecution in the USSR. Their victories at the chess board were achieved despite this victimization.

Unlike in other books, this story has two perspectives. The victim and the persecutor, the hunted and the hunter, all describe in their own words the very same events. One side is represented by the famous Russian chess players Viktor Kortschnoi and Boris Gulko. For many years they fought against a powerful system, and at the end they were triumphant. The Soviet Union collapsed and they got what they were fighting for: their freedom.

Former KGB Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Popov, who left Russia in 1996 and now lives in Canada, was one of those who had worked all his life for the KGB and was responsible for the sport sector of the USSR. It is only now for the first time that he has decided to tell the reader his story of the KGB s involvement in Soviet Sports. This is his first book, and it is not only full of sensations, but it also dares to name names of secret KGB agents previously known only as famous chess masters, sportsmen or sport officials. Just a few short years ago a book like this would have been unimaginable.

Read this book. It is not only about chess. It is about glorious victory of the great chess masters over the forces of darkness.

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About the Authors
The KGB Plays Chess
The Letter Lahmed Problem
Letter from Vladimir Popov

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Über den Autor (2010)

Yuri Felshtinsky was born in Moscow in 1956. In 1974, he began studying history at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. In 1978, he immigrated to the United States and continued studying history, first at Brandeis University, then at Rutgers, where he received a Ph.D. in history in 1988. In 1993, he defended a doctoral dissertation at the History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, becoming the first foreign citizen to receive a doctoral degree in Russia. Felshtinsky has compiled, edited, and annotated several dozen volumes of archival documents in Russian history. His own books include

Boris Gulko, born in Germany in 1947, grew up in Moscow. Gulko graduated from Moscow State University with a major in psychology and worked as a research associate for four years. In 1975, Gulko became an international master and a professional chess player, and in 1976, a grandmaster. Gulko was USSR chess champion in 1977 and twice champion of Moscow. For seven years, from 1979 to 1986, Gulko was a refusenik.” After a difficult struggle, which included three hunger strikes and a month of daily demonstrations and arrests, Gulko and his family emigrated to the United States. Gulko won the

From 1972 to 1974, Popov worked in the Tenth Department of the KGB, as a clerk in the Secretariat and junior operative in the Second Division (background checks on individuals traveling abroad). In 1974, he graduated from the All-Union Correspondence Law Institute (now the Law Academy of Russia). From 1974 to 1977, he served as junior operative and then operative in the Second Division of the First Department of the Fifth Directorate of the KGB (this division oversaw all associations of creative professionals). Popov remained in the KGB until 1991 when, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, h

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