Viacheslav Ragozin, born October 8 1908 in St Petersburg, Russia, was a respectable Soviet chess Grandmaster and the second World Correspondence Chess Champion in the period 1956-1959; additionally, he was an International Arbiter of chess, chess writer, and editor. However what made him famous were his secret training matches with the former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik! Ragozin was an excellent sparring partner and contributed significantly to the successes of the World Champion. They played many games, especially famous are those played under conditions such as: smoking and simulating the noise that would be present in the tournament hall!
Another source of his fame was his game against Andor Lilienthal (white) Moscow 1935, consider by many one of the greatest games ever, certainly among the top ten. There Ragozin played two positional exchange sacrifices that created a sensation for the epoch: the new Soviet School of Chess was emerging!
What a game! There will be more examples of his play at the end of this article. Ragozin was Leningrad Champion in 1936 and 1945 and the second world champion of the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF), becoming a CGM.
Ragozin's style had always been experimental and risky and the QGD Ragozin Defence 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 which bears his name offers black active play from the start. It is currently very popular with top players:
Ragozin worked actively for FIDE (World Chess Federation) being Vice-President from 1950 through 1961. He also edited the "Shakhmaty v SSSR" magazine from 1946 to 1955.
Ragozin became a GM in 1950 and died on March 11th 1962 in Moscow while compiling a collection of his own games. The book was finished by his friends and finally published in 1964.
Now, test yourself against these brilliant combinations of Ragozin's... or if you're tired, just click on solution and enjoy!