Playing and Beating GMs

Playing against the World Elite GMs is always exciting. Beating them is a thrill of a Life time.  Overall, I have over 20 victories against Top Level GMs. 


Here, I have selected my 6 Favorite Games from the Regular time control events. Recently the true meaning of "GM" lost a some of its appeal since becoming one is far less challenging than even 5 years ago. This is primarily due to "inflation" of chess Titles and Ratings. Thus in my selection you will only find the names of Established World known players whom I beat at the top of their game. 


Games can be viewed here. If you Java is restricted and you can view the games, download PGN file (the link is at the bottom left of that page).

GM Alex Yermolinsky - US Amateur Team East New Jersey, 1996
Due to the event rules the 4 member team must have average US rating <2200. When my team (me, SM Robin Cunningham, NM Zachar Faivinov, and Joe Casey) was playing Yermo's team who had GM Anatoly Lein on the Board 2, our game plan was to get between 1/2 and 1 points on boards 1 and 2 and 1.5 - 2 points on boards 3 and 4. We did win the match. However, we went 2-0 on top two boards with Robin (whom I helped to get from 2250 to 2450) beating GM Lein. Our last boards only brought us 1/2 point. After the win our team went 5.5 out of 6 and tied for 1st place overall getting 2d on tiebreakers. I was 6-0 with the best score on Board 1. The game against Yermo was a turning point of the event for me and my team!
GM Aseev - Sibenik-Open (Jug) 1989/1990
I was a member of Russian group that consisted of 25 or so players. Some GMs, several "GMs to be". I was the least known member of the group. With no official Fide rating, I was the last minute substitute thanks to the head of Ukrainian Chess Committee L.. Timoshenko, good friend of my father. Well, fairy tale played out nearly perfectly - I won my first 3, lost next 2, won 3 more for 6 out of 8 to set up final showdown with GM Aseev one of the top members of our group. As you may guess, I did win that game, scoring 7/9 tying for 1st place in the event were more than 25 GMs were playing. In addition, I scored my first IM norm.
GM Sam Palatnik - Ukraine Championship Kherson 1990
Having played in 2 US invitational championships I must admit that they are by far less competitive than the Ukrainian National Championship I participated in. For starters, it was not enough to have just high rating to qualify to Ukraine's Championships. Only Top GMs were seeded. Others, including myself had to go through 3-4 tournaments to qualify. I was among the winners in 3 events - Kiev's finals, 1/4 Ukraine Quarterfinals, 1/2 Ukraine Semifinals. My first exposure to GM chess wasn't very pleasant. I went +3-8=2. However, looking back at the participants of that event, I have nothing to be ashamed of. All, except 2 others including myself, unfortunately, are now GMs and well above your average level. Finally, I scored my first victories over GMs by beating Palatnik and Romanishin who was a tournament leader and a favorite to win. However, victory against GM Palatnik in Alekhine defense were we are both specialists was the first ever over GM and so sweet. 
GM Alex Shabalov - 1996 US Closed Championship New Jersey 1996
Shaba is a one of the most exciting chess players I have ever played. His unorthodox style puzzles many opponents. He is a former US Champion and a winner of tons of international event! Beating him was another highlight of my participation in US Championship. 
GM Eugene Svechnikov - Sibenik-Open (Jug) 1990/1991
This was one of my best attempts at GM norm. In 9 rounds Swiss I beat GMs Ruban, Mikhalchisihn, Svechnikov, Sakhatova, Unfortunately, I didn't have enough foreigners to qualify. In this game "Theoretical amateur" crushed "Theoretical Guru" in his favorite line. As usually, I had to figure out my opening lines over the board. However, this time around it proved to be successful. General knowledge and concrete calculations are "my best friends"!
GM Lev Alburt - 1996 US Closed Championship New Jersey 1996
Lev was always my chess favorite. As much as I excel in the Middlegame and Endgame areas, I needed to boost my opening preparation. Using my personally developed approach I turned to Lev's games for ideas. That was some 15 years ago. Today Alekhine and Benko are still my favorite openings. Finally, I got chance to play my chess hero and what a chance! I beat him in his favorite Alekhine defense finishing with Queen sacrifice that led to Checkmate. The amazing finale of this story - few months later while looking at the Chess Calendar I saw that publishers list famous players birthdays and a short bio. So, I went to my birthday and, guess what! No, my name wasn't published, but Lev's was! Amazing, but fact, we were born on the same day!