ALL KUSHNIR - THE ROAD TO IMMORTALITY (11 August 1941 – 2 August 2013)

ALL SHULIMOVNA KUSHNIR (11 August 1941, Moscow - 2 August 2013, Tel Aviv)

On August 2, there passed away one of the legends of women's chess ALLA SHULIMOVNA KUSHNIR. Behind the dry statistics (Women's Champion of the USSR (1970). Three-time winner of the Chess Olympiads (in 1969 and 1972 in the USSR team, in 1976 as part of Israel's national team), and p Participant of three world championship matches) are long years of fighting for the title of the first chess player in the world. As one of the forum members at KasparovChess pointed out subtly,  Alla Shulimovna's role in world women's chess during the 1960-70s was akin to that of Victor Korchnoi. And this comparison is more than justified by Kushnir. Her struggle in tournaments and matches for the world championship, which began in the early 60's, was completed in 1978. The apotheosis was three matches with the great Nona Gaprindashvili. In the last of these (Riga, 1972), Kushnir was closer to the goal than in all the previous attempts and lost only by the minimum score (7,5:8,5), "Kushnir ... never let me be frivolous, she made me reconsider some aspects of my game, Specifically, a stricter attitude to seeking the spectacular and more rational decision-making "- wrote Nona Terentievna in her book," I prefer risk. "

In 1974, Kushnir left the USSR for Israel (Tel AvivТель-Авив). In the circumstances of a totalitarian system (not to mention the fact that in this period there were no diplomatic relations with Israel) the world champion was unable to fully pay tribute to her opponent, but even the little that slipped through the strictest Soviet censorship contains unmistakable notes of respect and recognition of an extraordinary chess talent. "... Kushnir was an even more difficult opponent than I had expected. Fighting her required a full-time commitment for all five hours. Kushnir was very tough, especially in defense, and she quickly taught me to believe that in a game, one cannot afford to relax even in a winning position." And these are the memories of the famous chess player Vera Sternina, who came to see Alla off when she left: "We were best friends, - said Vera. - I came to the station and was afraid. Alla and I looked at each other like Shtirlits with his wife. Suddenly, in that station full of "art in civilian clothes," there appeared Nona Gaprindashvili. In her hands she had a bag with gifts. She warmly said goodbye to Alla, kissed her and wished her happiness. " 

In 1978, Alla Shulimovna made ​​a last attempt to storm the Olympus and lost in a tense (6,5:7,5) match to future queen Maya Chiburdanidze. As Elena Fatalibekova told in the early 1980's, in one of her public speeches  even then, in private conversations, Kushnir complained about the increased level of competition from the growing Soviet (especially Georgia) young female players. After the defeat in the final match of the Candidates, the grandmaster took a courageous decision - to leave chess. From now on, her life was associated with archeology. "She was a professor at Tel Aviv University, Israel's scientific advisor to the Numismatic Society, and a member of the editorial board of the journal Israel Numismatic Research according to  Wikipedia.
Alla Shulimovna is no longer with us, her story became a small part of eternity. Rest in peace!


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