Yakov Estrin

Yakov Borisovich Estrin (Russian: Я́ков Бори́сович Эстрин, April 21, 1923 – February 2, 1987) was a Russian chess International Master, International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster and world champion, chess theoretician, and writer.

Yakov Estrin
Yakov Estrin.jpg
Yakov Estrin
Full nameYakov Borisovich Estrin
Born(1923-04-21)April 21, 1923
Moscow, Russia
DiedFebruary 2, 1987(1987-02-02) (aged 63)
Moscow, Russia
TitleInternational Master (1975)
ICCF Grandmaster (1966)
ICCF World Champion1972–1976

Chess biographyEdit

After a brief foray into over-the-board play, he turned to correspondence chess in the early 1960s with immediate success (joint first place in the USSR Correspondence Championship in 1962). He became an International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster in 1966, and would go on to compete in the final of the World Correspondence Championship five times. He is best known for being the seventh ICCF World Champion, 1972–1976.

For over-the-board play, he was awarded the International Master title in 1975.[1][note 1]

Estrin wrote several chess books and was an authority on the Two Knights Defense. His game with Hans Berliner in which Berliner played the Two Knights Defense and defeated Estrin is one of the most famous and important games in correspondence chess.[2][3]


  • The Two Knights' Defence by Yakov Estrin, Chess Ltd.; English edition (1971). (no ISBN or LOC number)
  • The Two Knights' Defence by Yakov Estrin, B.T.Batsford Ltd. (1983). ISBN 0-7134-3991-2.
  • Three Double King Pawn Openings by Yakov Estrin, Chess Enterprises; first edition (June 1982). ISBN 0-931462-19-3
  • Gambits by Yakov B. Estrin, Chess Enterprises (June 1983). ISBN 0-931462-20-7
  • The United States Correspondence Chess Championship by Yakov Estrin, Correspondence Chess League of America (1978)
  • Wilkes-Barre Variation, Two Knights Defense by Yakov Estrin, Chess Enterprises (June 1978). ISBN 0-931462-00-2
  • Comprehensive Chess Openings, by Yakov Estrin and Vasily Panov, in three volumes, Pergamon, 1980. ISBN 0-08-024113-1 (for set of three volumes in flexicover)
  • малая дебютная знциклопедия (Translation = Concise Opening Encyclopedia), by Yakov Estrin, иэдательство физкультура и спорт (Translation = Physical Culture and Sports), 1985. (no ISBN or LOC number)


  1. ^ A few chess authors indicate the Estrin was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1984 (Gaige, Jeremy (1987), Chess Personalia, A Biobibliography, McFarland, p. 111, ISBN 978-0-7864-2353-8; Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992), The Oxford Companion to Chess (2 ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 126, ISBN 978-0-19-280049-7). However, the 1988 book co-authored by Estrin reports only that he was an IM and ICGM (The King's Gambit, Igor Glazkov and Jakov Ėstrin, Korolevskij gambit, Moskva, Fizkultura i Sport, 1988, p. 4). Other sources including Chess: an encyclopedic dictionary, Sovyetskaya encyclopediya, Anatoly Karpov, Moscow 1990, page 511, ISBN 978-5-85270-005-6 (in Russian) and FIDE Golden book 1924–2002, Willy Iclicki, Euroadria, Slovenia, 2002, S. 92, also say Estrin was an IM and ICGM. All GM title awards in 1984 took place at the 55th FIDE Congress in Thessaloniki. The 1985 article by Nikolai Krogius, "At the FIDE Congress", 64 – Chess Review, , 2/85, pp. 2–3, lists all Soviet players awarded titles at that event and Estrin is not mentioned. Another report of the Congress mentions honorary GM awards only for Stojan Puc and Eero Böök (BCM, April 1985, p. 159). Additionally, FIDE rating lists reproduced in Chess Informant during the 1984–1988 period all indicate that Estrin's title for over-the-board play was IM.


  1. ^ Brace, Edward (1977) An Illustrated Dictionary of Chess, Chartwell, ISBN 978-1-55521-394-7
  2. ^ Burgess, Graham; Nunn, John; Emms, John (2004), The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games, Carroll & Graf, pp. 309–15, ISBN 978-0-7867-1411-7
  3. ^ Evans, Larry (1970), Modern Chess Brilliancies, Fireside, pp. 217–21, ISBN 978-0-671-22420-2

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Horst Rittner
World Correspondence Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Jørn Sloth