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Sergey Bystrov, International Master

In Commemoration of Pavel Kondratiev

January 2004 is marked by the anniversary of the person who has left a deep trace in the memory of chessplayers of different countries and generations.
Pavel Evseevich Kondratiev  was 80 years of age. His life was suddenly broken 20 years ago. The memory of him lives in their hearts due to efforts of his relatives and close people who knew Pavel Evseevich. In our pragmatic age it is especially important to tell the youth about the person who gave out himself to the people, sacrificing in part his sports successes for the sake of his pupils.

Pavel Kondratiev was born on January 8, 1924 in Moscow, got acquainted with chess at school, finished mine classes before the war. He had the first category in chess entered into Moscow combined junior team. After the beginning of the war he submitted his application for sending to the front, however, he was enabled to finish school and called into the fleet in 1942. Here is what Pavel Evseevich said about himself: "Together with a big group of recruits I arrived at Leningrad in blocade. There we were distributed into units. My duty was to guard torpedoes and gradually they began to acquaint me with mining. So I became a miner. As well as a sapper the miner has no right to make a mistake...Chess helped me much in one thing...We, miners, were often transferred from place to place. A new unit, new people. Chess helped much faster to find common language, to come into friendly contacts. I even managed to play in two tournaments (Leningrad blocade championship of 1943 and Tallinn simultaneous game tournament, 1944)..." He was awarded medals "F.I.Ushakov", "For Defence of Leningrad" and "For Victory over Germany". P.Kondratiev got demobilized only in 1950, became a Master of sports the same year and moved with his family to Leningrad where he lived up to the end of his days. "His service record is short, only two notes: Head of chess circle in the House of pioneers, Lenin district of Leningrad and since 1981 the trainer of the Soviet combined chess team in Leningrad. He was reliable in friendship and extremely hardworking. During years of civil service P.Kondratiev graduated from the University faculty of law, mastered English and French published a number of works on the theory of chess..." Pavel Evseevich was a big theorist trainer of combined chess and checkers teams in Leningrad was known as a strong practical chessplayer. The champion of Leningrad, 1956, Pavel Evseevich had very many pupils. The most well-known of them are Irina Levitina and Valery Salov... One may write about P.Kondratiev still very much. Those who wish to get acquainted with his biography and achievements in various spheres of activities I offer a helpful book "Pavel Kondratiev" by E.M.Yurovsky. The second edition has been issued just on the day of his 80-th anniversary. Here the inquisitive Reader will find 100 memorable games of Pavel Evseevich, numerous memoirs of his relatives, friends, grateful pupils, and also people who by will of fate came in touch with this uncommon person. Here are those remarkable verses which were written by his daughter, Lyudmila Pavlovna:

"Pavel Kondratiev" by Eugeny Yurovsky.
         To the Memory of My Daddy

Autumn to someone is golden.
It sways its own order,
Covering the ground as usual
With the intricate foliage.

On the rubbed flagstones along the canal
The motley foliage skims.
I knew these slabs from childhood,
But I recognize them hardly again.

All is different through a prism of my grief
My eyes are dazzled with diversity of colours,
And the image of the city is lost,
It is broken like a mirror.

And in this broken mirror
I see: as a far star above
My daddy, slender and gray-haired,
Hastens again on the rubbed flagstones.


On the 8-th of January, 2004 a memorable evening party for a hero of the day was held in Anichkov Palace at the very centre of St. Petersburg. Everyone who came to the party found out for oneself something new about Pavel Evseevich, transforming usually oppressive atmosphere of such meetings into a holiday of the soul!
Translated by Sergeev V.V. February 9-12, 2004 town of Pushkin.

На верхupdate 06-03-2004 

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