Person of day - 18 APRIL 2022
Towards the end of the 1960s and the start of the 1970s, the Soviet Union placed its hopes on a rising group of young masters: Gennady Kuzmin, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, Nukhim Rashkovsky, Karen Gregorian and several others. They had to fight a bitter contest with a generation of great Soviet champions- Nukhim, Vitaly and Gennady could not become candidates, but they defeated tens of other opponents.
Rashkovsky had a difficult childhood: he was targeted by the authorities and could not travel outside the USSR for several years. Once “Nyoma”- as he was called by his friends- was saved by Vera Tikhomirova, who took him from Sverdlovsk and hid him in Rostov-on-Don.
Nukhim Rashkovsky made his debut in the Soviet championship in 1972 in Baku, where he attracted the attention of observers with original, unconventional ideas that puzzled experienced opponents. He earned the praise of Mikhail Tal, who won that tournament. Rashkovsky would go on to play in several national championships; his best performance was in 1986, where he came eighth- a fairly high place for tournaments of the premier league. In that same year, he split 3rd-4thplaces in the tournament of the premier league.
Among Rashkovsky’s successes are two victories in championships of the RSFSR, in 1974 and 1976, and splitting of 1st-2ndplaces with David Bronstein at the Moscow championship in 1982. With regards to international tournaments, Rashkovsky’s greatest success came in 1979, when he won a large tournament in Sochi, which brought him the title of grandmaster. He was also successful in Lviv in 1981, the Hungarian open championship in 1987 and several other tournaments.
The player from Sverdlovsk married and settled in Sochi for several years before moving to Kazakhstan, where he was given generous living space. He played for the Kazakh SSR in individual and team tournaments for several years. After the collapse of the USSR, he returned to Yekaterinburg to lead the local chess movement.
A teacher by profession, Rashkovsky proved to be an experienced mentor and trainer as well as a good chess player. During many years, he worked as coach with Nona Gaprindashvili, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, the Kazakh team and the RSFSR’s women’s team. His contribution was particularly meaningful in preparing for games, choosing openings, and analysing difficult positions. After Tseshkovsky’s victory at the Soviet championship, he won a gold medal as coach - the only such instance in Soviet history.
In the 1990s, he headed the women’s Russian team, for which he was awarded the title of a recognised trainer of the Russian Federation. Between 2001 and 2003, he led the men’s team that won the Olympiad, the European championship and played a Match of the Century against Team World. Nukhim Rashkovsky was the last coach to win the Tournament of Nations with the Russian men’s team.
Rashkovsky resurrected club tournaments in Yekaterinburg. He was the creator and captain of teams such as Agat, MaxWain and Ural, which won the highest honours in club tournaments- they won Russian championships and the European Cup. In 2008, Nukhim Rashkovsky became the director of Ural’s chess academy. In 2013, Rashkovsky resurrected Sverdlovsk’s super-club Malachite, which won the 2014 Russian championship in Sochi.
On 14 March 2023, a two-time RSFSR champion, a merited coach of Russia, grandmaster Nukhim Rashkovsky died due to a protracted illness.