Every Russian Schoolboy Knows: Viktor Gavrikov (1957-2016)
Viktor Gavrikov (1957-2016) Unlike most of us, players of great generation of Jussupow, Dolmatov and Psakhis, Viktor didn't have the good fortune of being born and living in a big city. He came from a small place in Moldova on the river Dnestr. From his junior years Gavrikov established himself as a player of near encyclopedic knowledge of the opening theory, yet he was quite capable of handling sharp tactics. His best results came a bit later when in 1985 she shared first place in the USSR Championship and then nearly qualified for the Candidates form Tunis Interzonal. Gavrikov particularly excelled in rapid chess. In the late 1980's he could give a real battle to anybody, Karpov included. Gavrikov was his man in more ways than just chess. After moving to Lithuania (then part of the USSR) he made a splash in one tournament where he expressed his desire to play under the flag of Lithuanian Independence movement, Saudis. Gavrikov eventually settled in Switzerland, but he practically stopped tournament chess after 2004. Little is known about his personal life - Viktor has always been a very private person - but news about his death came a shock to worldwide chess community. He was only 58...