Play chess, no fees, all ages welcome, first Sunday of the month 10am Central Library. Bring a set if you can. Negotiate time limits or social games to suit yourself. Planning a weekend tournament in winter.
There’s a 250 minimum word count here so here's the story of a favourite player:
Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov (December 15, 1912 – June 3, 1974) was an eminent Soviet chess player, chess writer, and checkers player. He is part of an elite group of players who never became World Champion, yet created chess masterpieces of enduring brilliance. According to Pishkin, the list includes Chigorin, Reti, Spielmann and especially Nezhmetdinov.
Nezhmetdinov was born in Aktubinsk, Russian Empire, in what is now Aktobe, Kazakhstan, in a Tatar family. His parents died when he was very young, leaving him and two other siblings to be raised by their brother Kavi Nadzhmi. The orphaned, impoverished family moved to Kazan, Tatar ASSR.
Nezhmetdinov had a natural talent for both chess and checkers. He learned chess by watching others play at a chess club, whereupon he challenged one of the players, won, and then challenged another player, winning that game as well. At 15, he played in Kazan's Tournament of Pioneers, winning all 15 games.
Chess playing style
Nezhmetdinov was a fierce, imaginative, attacking player who beat many of the best players in the world. Known for his committal, aggressive, forward-moving playstyle, he is occasionally referred to by the nickname, "No Reverse Gear" Rashid.
Nezhmetdinov got the historical record of five wins of the Russian Chess Championship, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1958.
International Master title
FIDE awarded him the International Master title for his second-place finish behind Viktor Korchnoi at Bucharest 1954, the only time he was able to compete outside of the Soviet Union. Despite his extraordinary talent, he never was able to obtain the grandmaster title. Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh, a strong positional and endgame player, suggested a possible reason for this in his interview by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam in The Day Kasparov Quit:
Nezhmetdinov, if he had the attack, could kill anybody, including Tal. But my score against him was something like 8½–½ because I did not give him any possibility for an active game. In such cases he would immediately start to spoil his position because he was looking for complications.
Results against world champions
Nezhmetdinov won a number of games against world champions such as Mikhail Tal, against whom he had a lifetime plus score, and Boris Spassky. He also had success against other world-class grandmasters such as David Bronstein, Lev Polugaevsky, and Efim Geller. He achieved a plus score in the 20 games he contested against World Champions. But in addition to his aforementioned dismal score against Averbakh, he could only score +0−3=2 against excellent defenders like Tigran Petrosian (4) and Korchnoi.