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Mark Taimanov (1926-2016)

Mark Taimanov 1926-2016

Mark Taimanov has died at the age of 90. Taimanov was both a leading Soviet Grandmaster and a concert pianist.

Taimanov was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine 7 February 1926 but moved to St Petersburg aged 6 months. He died 28th November 2016 in St Petersburg.

Taimanov became a Grandmaster in 1952 and played in the Candidates tournament of 1953 finishing tied for 8th. He tied twice for the Soviet title losing a playoff to Botvinnik in 1952 and winning the title in 1956 ahead of Averbakh and Spassky. In total he played 23 Soviet Championships tied with Efim Geller.

Taimanov qualified for the Candidates again in 1971 where he famously faced Bobby Fischer and lost 6-0. For a time he was punished by the Soviet authorities but Fischer's 6-0 vs Bent Larsen meant this didn't last.

Taimanov had important variations of the Sicilian and Nimzo-Indian named after him and his games are well worth investigating.

Late in life Taimanov remarried and was the father of twins at the age of 78.

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