Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Sousse Interzonal Tournament

Bent Larsen15.5/21(+13 -3 =5)[view games]
Viktor Korchnoi14/21(+10 -3 =8)[view games]
Efim Geller14/21(+8 -1 =12)[view games]
Svetozar Gligoric14/21(+7 -0 =14)[view games]
Lajos Portisch13.5/21(+8 -2 =11)[view games]
Samuel Reshevsky13/21(+7 -2 =12)[view games]
Vlastimil Hort13/21(+7 -2 =12)[view games]
Leonid Stein13/21(+9 -4 =8)[view games]
Milan Matulovic12.5/21(+9 -5 =7)[view games]
Aleksandar Matanovic12/21(+4 -1 =16)[view games]
Borislav Ivkov11/21(+6 -5 =10)[view games]
Henrique Mecking11/21(+7 -6 =8)[view games]
Aivars Gipslis10/21(+4 -5 =12)[view games]
Lubomir Kavalek10/21(+5 -6 =10)[view games]
Duncan Suttles9.5/21(+6 -8 =7)[view games]
Istvan Bilek9/21(+3 -6 =12)[view games]
Laszlo Barczay8/21(+2 -7 =12)[view games]
Robert Eugene Byrne7.5/21(+3 -9 =9)[view games]
Miguel Cuellar Gacharna6.5/21(+5 -13 =3)[view games]
Lhamsuren Myagmarsuren6.5/21(+4 -12 =5)[view games]
Ortvin Sarapu4/21(+1 -14 =6)[view games]
Slim Bouaziz3.5/21(+1 -15 =5)[view games]
Robert James Fischer8.5/10(+7 -0 =3)[view games]
* Historical Chess Event
Sousse Interzonal (1967)
This introduction will be finished in 2014-2015?

From "Interzonal Sousse 1967", ed. by Walter Kühnle-Woods. Schweizer Schachdienst, Zürich 1967. 94 pp.:

"The 7th Interzonal took place in Sousse (Tunisia) from October 15 to November 16, 1967. Four of the six forerunners had been organized by Sweden. For the first time a FIDE-Tournament took place in Africa, a remarkable propagandistic success for the FIDE. Out of the 66 member nations only two are from Africa, Tunisia and South Africa. They are integrated into the West European Zone. It is not the fault of the organizers, who have really given their best, that Sousse received great publicity, not only because of the chess deeds, but above all because of the "Fischer case". Robert Fischer, US Champion and one of the best players of our times, but unfortunately bare of sporting spirit and diplomatic ability, opposed himself wholly unjustified to the tournament regulations, which had been bent especially for Fischer and Reshevsky to meet their religious feelings. It seems obvious that such far-reaching concessions - Friday no play, Saturday begin only after 7 p.m., no play on four special Jewish holidays - anticipates also adaptations by the players. Reshevsky honoured the concessions made, Fischer did not. Not even when the secretary of the US Embassy in Tunis reminded him to think himself a representative of the Unites States. He answered: I am here as a representative of Robert Fischer! After Fischer did not appear three times for play, he had to be eliminated. As sad and regrettable the elimination of Fischer is - maybe he would have become the first non-Russian World Champion since 1948 - it is obvious, that no player, not even the World Champion himself, can put himself above the regulations of the FIDE. Fischer barred himself from becoming World Champion for five years, the title fight after the present cycle will take place in 1972." (p. 5)

"Bent Larsen scored a decisive victory, underlining his class yet another time after his co-victory at the 6th Interzonal in Amsterdam 1964, his match wins against Ivkov and Geller, his winning series Havana - Winnipeg. Gligoric managed to leave his younger fellow-countrymen behind him, last time Ivkov squeezed him out. For the Russians, Sousse is not a memorable tournament. Only Geller and Kortschnoj qualified outright, but Soviet Champion Stein, whom many experts considered being the favourite, narrowly attained the tiebreak level. If Fischer had not dropped out, Stein would have been out. Portisch once more qualified, last time he had to beat Reshevsky in a tie-break. Also this time a tie-break is necessary, which Hort, Reshevsky and Stein will contest in the US in February. Narrowly out this time are Matulovic, Matanovic and Ivkov, and also the 15 year old Brasilian Mecking, who showed a remarkable performance in this monster tournament." (p. 6)

"The first five rounds. Panno (ARG) withdrew only a few days before the tournament started. As a replacement from South America was impossible to get, the FIDE gave Tunisia the right to nominate a player which gave Bouaziz this rare chance. Bolbochan (ARG) became ill on his journey, was drawn however, but after three rounds had to be struck off the list. The draw was made in such a manner that players of the same country would meet in the early rounds. The Russians divided the points evenly amongst themselves, only Stein snatched the full point from Gipslis. Did he know, how decisive that half point would become later on? After five rounds Fischer is clearly in the lead, however he scored against outsiders." (p. 15)

"The rounds 6 to 9. These four rounds produced three hattricks. The 15 year old Brazilian Mecking scores three times and seems to have recovered from his shaky start. Also Stein joins in with a hattrick, but his are three defeats, which are inflicted by Fischer, Hort and Larsen. Larsen scores 3,5 points out of four and is the new leader. Fischer with one game less lies half a point behind him. Hort and Portisch are the closest rivals. The Russians, not only because they had to play themselves, are all placed in the middle field." (p. 27)

"Round 10. A remarkable round, in many respects. After having had the tournament schedule (page 14) from the start, Fischer suddenly had the idea that "his" schedule is far too strenuous and should be altered. Naturally his argument found no support, which induced him to forfeit his game against Gipslis, which in turn resulted in a zero in his score card. The Russians - in view of their miserable placing - showed a special performance. Stein beat Mecking, Kortschnoj defeated Larsen, and Geller won against Hort. Ivkov met defeat unexpectedly by young Mjagmarsuren." (p. 38)

"Round 11. In the mean time Fischer had departed for Tunis, but could there be persuaded by the Tunisian officials to return to the tournament, his forfeiture against Gipslis to be reviewed by FIDE-President Folke Rogard. At the start to round 11 Fischer was not to be seen however, and Reshevsky sat alone at the table. Fischer's clock was started. Only minutes before the decisive hour was over, Fischer appeared in the tournament hall and started his game crushing Reshevsky in the remaining 1,5 hours. The game was adjourned in a hopeless position for Reshevsky, who avenged himself by not appearing the next morning for the resumption, which forced Fischer to sit alone for an hour, until he could claim the point. The Russians could not repeat their winning streak of the round before. Kortschnoj was even beaten by Mecking. However the Yugoslavs won all their four games and polished up their score." (p. 44)

"Round 12. Only 3 games out of 11 end drawn. An eventful round! Fischer beats Byrne, Larsen defeats Gipslis, Geller wins over Mecking. Also victorious are Stein, Kortschnoj, Gligoric, Ivkov. Matanovic loses against Cuallar, Reshevsky and Hort draw, Portisch-Bilek also half the point" (p. 47)

"Round 13. Although Fischer is free on the unlucky number 13, the tournament will bring him no luck. Larsen wins against Reshevsky and leads the field. Gligoric has now won five in a row and reinforces the spearhead. Geller, Kortschnoj, Hort and Portisch also score the full point, bringing them valuable improvement of their position. Stein loses for the fourth time in this tournament." (p. 49)

"Round 14. FIDE-President Folke Rogard refers back to the chief arbitre Sajtar (CS) (= Jaroslav Sajtar) the decision about Fischer's forfeiture against Gipslis, who confirms it. Fischer once again withdraws from the tournament and departs for Tunis. Accordingly his game against Hort is again noted as forfeiture. Larsen and Geller score their third consecutive win. Of the favourites Reshevsky and Matulovic better their chances, whilst Mecking loses ground." (p. 52)

"As to schedule the 15th round starts on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Fischer is still in Tunis and had received final conditions by the tournament responsibles under which he could re-enter the tournament, although his two forfeitures against Hort and Gipslis would have been ground enough for his expulsion. He must sign a declaration to accept the schedule as it stands and to accept the two forfeitures. At first Fischer refuses and so expresses himself in a phone conversation with a journalist at Sousse. At 7 p.m. the round begins, Fischer's clock is started. At half past seven Fischer is again on the phone talking to the journalist. He surprisingly declares that he would accept the conditions but his game against Larsen must be postponed some hours enabling him to come to Sousse. It does not seem imperative to Fischer to negotiate with the tournament responsibles, and Fischer's drama comes to an end. At 8 p.m. he receives his third forfeiture, he is at the same time expulsed finally from the tournament. His results are annulled because he has played less than half of the games. New placings are set up. Of the favourites Ivkov gains an important win against Kortschnoj. Matulovic obtains his third consecutive win. Gipslis loses for the fifth time and should be out of the race to become a Candidate." (p. 57)


Fischer had been granted a day off to observe the Sabbath, postponing his eighth round game with Victor Korchnoi. According to Brady, his ninth round game with Efim Geller unnecessarily also had been postponed, resulting in six consecutive days without a break. When Fischer sought to remedy this error, he was refused without being offered an explanation (Brady, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy),

Sousse, Tunisia, 15 October - 15 November 1967

Elo# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts Son-Be 1 GM Larsen 2620 * 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 15½ =2 GM Korchnoi 2620 1 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 14 136.00 =2 GM Geller 2630 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 14 135.75 =2 GM Gligoric 2570 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 14 135.00 5 GM Portisch 2620 1 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 13½ =6 GM Reshevsky 2580 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 ½ 13 129.75 =6 GM Hort 2580 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 13 120.25 =6 GM Stein 2640 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 13 117.00 9 GM Matulovic 2530 0 1 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ * 0 1 1 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 12½ 10 GM Matanovic 2530 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 12 =11 GM Ivkov 2570 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 11 103.50 =11 IM Mecking ---- 0 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 11 102.50 =13 GM Gipslis 2580 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 10 93.75 =13 GM Kavalek 2530 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 1 10 90.00 15 Suttles ---- 1 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ * ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 9½ 16 GM Bilek 2510 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 9 17 GM Barczay 2490 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8 18 GM Byrne 2540 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ 0 7½ =19 IM Cuellar ---- 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 0 * 0 1 1 6½ 61.00 =19 IM Myagmarsuren ---- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 * 0 1 6½ 54.50 21 IM Sarapu ---- 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * ½ 4 22 Bouaziz ---- 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ * 3½ GM Fischer* 2670 - ½ - - ½ 1 - 1 - - - - - ½ - - 1 1 1 1 1 - 8½

<Interzonal tie-breaker play-off>

Reshevsky, Hort and Stein (the former kept his better tie-breaker performance in this tournament, and therefore advanced) played their Los Angeles Interzonal Playoff (1968) in February and March to determine which seed would advance.

Candidates matches

"The draw for the matches that go to make up the Candidates was made at the final banquet after the end of the Interzonal Tournament at Sousse" (Golombek in The Times 30 December 1967 p. 16)

Boris Spassky beat Efim Geller 5½-2½ at the Sukhumi Candidates Quarterfinal (April, 1968 - see the Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for details).

Bent Larsen beat Lajos Portisch 5½-4½ at the Porec Candidates Quarterfinal (May, 1968 - see the Larsen - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for details).

Viktor Korchnoi beat Samuel Reshevsky 5½-2½ at the Amsterdam Candidates Quarterfinal (May, 1968 - see the Korchnoi - Reshevsky Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for details).

Mikhail Tal beat Svetozar Gligoric 5½-3½ at the Belgrade Candidates Quarterfinal (April - May, 1968 - see the Tal - Gligoric Candidates Quarterfinal (1968) for details).

In July, Spassky beat Larsen 5½-2½ at Malmö in the semifinals (see the Spassky - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1968) for details), Korchnoi beat Tal 5½-4½ at Moscow in June and July in another set of semifinals, and Spassky went on to beat Korchnoi 6½-3½ at Kiev (see the Spassky - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1968) for details) in September of 1968 to qualify for the Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969).

Interzonal cycles

The Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) was the previous Interzonal, and the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970) was the next Interzonal.

*Fischer withdrew while leading after a dispute with the organizers.

#Unofficial FIDE Rating List June 1967:

Original Collection : Game Collection: Sousse Interzonal, 1967, by User: Resignation Trap

 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 241  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Fischer vs Myagmarsuren 1-031 1967 Sousse InterzonalA07 King's Indian Attack
2. Reshevsky vs O Sarapu  1-035 1967 Sousse InterzonalD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
3. Robert E Byrne vs Portisch  ½-½30 1967 Sousse InterzonalB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
4. Larsen vs Matulovic 1-076 1967 Sousse InterzonalA04 Reti Opening
5. S Bouaziz vs Ivkov 0-122 1967 Sousse InterzonalB06 Robatsch
6. Fischer vs L Barczay 1-024 1967 Sousse InterzonalC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
7. Hort vs I Bilek  ½-½17 1967 Sousse InterzonalD97 Grunfeld, Russian
8. Suttles vs Gligoric 0-134 1967 Sousse InterzonalC49 Four Knights
9. Gipslis vs M Cuellar Gacharna 1-037 1967 Sousse InterzonalC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. Reshevsky vs Myagmarsuren 1-033 1967 Sousse InterzonalD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Mecking vs A Matanovic  0-170 1967 Sousse InterzonalA56 Benoni Defense
12. Korchnoi vs Kavalek 1-035 1967 Sousse InterzonalE61 King's Indian
13. Geller vs O Sarapu 1-056 1967 Sousse InterzonalA09 Reti Opening
14. L Barczay vs Hort  ½-½42 1967 Sousse InterzonalC07 French, Tarrasch
15. Portisch vs Fischer ½-½46 1967 Sousse InterzonalE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
16. Ivkov vs Suttles  1-052 1967 Sousse InterzonalA42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
17. M Cuellar Gacharna vs Reshevsky 1-042 1967 Sousse InterzonalA56 Benoni Defense
18. A Matanovic vs S Bouaziz  ½-½48 1967 Sousse InterzonalB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
19. Matulovic vs Mecking 1-041 1967 Sousse InterzonalC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
20. Kavalek vs Geller  ½-½18 1967 Sousse InterzonalB64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
21. O Sarapu vs Gipslis 0-143 1967 Sousse InterzonalB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
22. Stein vs Korchnoi ½-½23 1967 Sousse InterzonalB19 Caro-Kann, Classical
23. I Bilek vs Larsen 0-137 1967 Sousse InterzonalB02 Alekhine's Defense
24. Myagmarsuren vs Robert E Byrne  ½-½40 1967 Sousse InterzonalB08 Pirc, Classical
25. S Bouaziz vs Matulovic  0-141 1967 Sousse InterzonalB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 241  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: For Fischer fans this tournament was tragic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: It was tragic for Fischer also. He was obviously in fine form and had already accomplished one of the usual requirements for winning a top-level tournament, beating 5 of the 6 eventual tail enders. He had also beaten both Reshevsky and Stein. If he had only drawn his remaining 12 games he would have scored 14.5 and come in second to Larsen.

But, given his fine form, it would not have been unreasonable to expect him to win several more games, particularly against some of the lower-performing players, and finish the tournament undefeated, in clear first place ahead of Larsen. It is not inconceivable that he could have beaten both Spassky and Korchnoi, Larsen's opponents, in the candidates' matches although he had never beaten Spassky in their previous games and had "only" an even record against Korchnoi, and played Petrosian for the World Championship in 1969.

Of course, with Fischer, no one could predict whether he would have shown up for any of the matches if his "requests" (the most polite term I can think of) had not been met.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I think his real tradegy was that he didn't play for twenty years after he won the world title.
Nov-08-12  Shams: So what was Fischer's beef with the tournament organizers?
Nov-09-12  HeMateMe: I think he forfeited a game due to either scheduling problems (his Church of God Sabbath) or refusal to play early in the morning (before 2:00Pm, for him), just more Fischerisms. Fill in the blanks, another tournament or match walked out on.

Maybe Korchoi is the strongest player to never win the WC, but Fischer is the strongest plyaer to never DEFEND the WC!!

Nov-09-12  Olavi: <Bobby Fischer withdrew while leading after a dispute with the organizers.> Technically Fischer had been overtaken by Larsen at the precise time of withdrawal, with the two forfeits against Gipslis and Hort.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Shams> Apparently the tournament could have better organized than it was. The lighting was generally poor and when Fischer played Sarapu the game was actually played on three tables. See the game for more details on that. In the sixth round Fischer was playing Kavalek when a photographer was roaming the playing area and Fischer was upset by his presence. Fischer demanded he be expelled but the tournament director explained to Fischer that the man was an official photographer of the Soviet Embassy in Tunisia and nothing could be done to make him leave. Also because of his religious observances his playing schedule resulted in him having to play six games in a row without any rest days. Fischer asked for his schedule to be changed again but the tournament committee wouldn't grant his request. Fischer had finally had enough and gave notice that he was withdrawing from the tournament. He then left Sousse and made his way to Tunis. Next day even though he was officially withdrawn from the tournament the directors set up a board, clock and scoresheets for him and his opponent Aivar Gipslis. After an hour Gipslis was awarded the win. One of the directors R. Belkadi convinced Fischer to return to the tournament and promised that Fischer could have one or two of the rest days he had requested. Fischer also wanted the Gipslis forfeit removed but Belkadi told him FIDE would have to rule on that. Fischer thought that FIDE would see it his way and he returned to Sousse just in time to play his eleventh round game against Reshevsky. In regard to the Gipslis forfeiture FIDE referred the problem back to the organizing committee and their ruling was that Fischer had forfeited the game. Fischer, in my opinion correctly pointed out that "At the moment when I was supposed to have lost a game by default I had already withdrawn from the tournament. How can a player lose a game when he is not even in a tournament?" On the day before his scheduled game against Hort, Fischer again asked the question about the forfeiture of the committee. By this time the Soviet contingent let it be known that if the committee ruled in Fischer's favour they would withdraw en masse. The forfeiture stood and Fischer left the tournament for the second time. Not appearing for his game with Hort he was forfeited again. It became an impossible situation. When Fischer failed to appear for the next game against Larsen he was scratched from the tournament permanently.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Shams> Here are two articles with additional information but I can't comment on their accuracy. Matanovic's article in particular seems overly dramatic, but this may just be a matter of his writing style.

Oct-31-13  RedShield: After 46 years, Sousse is back in the headlines:

<Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up on Empty Mediterranean Beach>

I heard a newsreader pronounce Sousse as Soo-say. Is this correct?

Oct-31-13  TheFocus: He did it on an empty beach because he was practicing for the real thing. I don't think he really thought it all the way through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I would pronounce Sousse to rhyme with obtuse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's a great shame for the players who actually bothered to stay and play chess under these apparently mephistophelian conditions that the tournament is remembered solely for one person quitting. This was a great result for Larsen - 13 wins!
Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: <This was a great result for Larsen - 13 wins!>

It was a great tournament. Maybe greater than you think. According to the myth, Fischer withrew while leading, but Larsen was actually 2 points ahead of Fischer when he sat down to play their Round 15 game (3 points after the forfeit). The last time that Fischer was in clear first place was at the end of Round 8.

Of course, it's not Larsen's only interzonal win. He also won in 1976, and in 1964 (four-way tie for first). Incidentally, Larsen also won 13 games in the 1964 Interzonal (Spassky did too).

Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: Percentagewise, I believe the best Interzonal result ever is still Kotov in 1952: (+13-0=7). Fischer also scored slightly over 80% in an interzonal once (1970, but not 1962). And Timman scored exactly 80% in one interzonal in the 1980's (but I'm forgetting which one). I think those are the only three 80% results. No, wait. Tal was +11-0=6 in 1979, which beat Fischer's 1970 score, but didn't quite match Kotov's.
Mar-26-14  Petrosianic: Fischer's 80% result gets an asterisk though, because it depends on counting that forfeit against Panno. If we count only games actually played, Fischer scored exactly the same at Palma as he did at Stockholm (slightly under 80%).

I just looked it up. It was at the 1985 Mendetaxco Interzonal that Timman scored 80% (+9-0=6). HOWEVER, that score also includes a forfeit win (against Balashov). So really, Kotov and Tal are the only ones to cleanly score 80% in an interzonal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic: So really, Kotov and Tal are the only ones to cleanly score 80% in an interzonal.>

Fat lot of good it did them--Kotov finished in the middle of the field in 1953, while Tal got hosed by bête noire Polugaevsky in the first round of the 1980 matches.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The Kühnle-Woods book has only 10 games in round 9. Apparently neither Fischer, Reshevsky nor Geller played that round. Would there be a Fischer-Geller game in rd. 9, as Fischer withdrew in rd. 10 vs Gipslis?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Ok.. Fischer had been granted a day off to observe the Sabbath, postponing his eighth round game with Victor Korchnoi. According to Brady, his ninth round game with Efim Geller unnecessarily also had been postponed, resulting in six consecutive days without a break. When Fischer sought to remedy this error, he was refused without being offered an explanation (Brady, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy),
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "The prize-giving ceremony remains clearly in my memory. The representatives of western countries received their prizes in Swiss francs, whereas the Eastern Bloc players received theirs in Tunisian dinars, a currency which can be exchanged in practically no other country. Great was our disappointment, but the tournament organizers were implacable. It must be said that in the Soviet Union they met us half way and made an exception, exchanging our dinars for certificates - valuable pieces of paper, which inside the Soviet Union are valued no less than convertible currency."

From Korchnoi's book <Chess is my life>, Arco Publishing Company, 1978, p 58

Dec-11-14  Petrosianic: <he was refused without being offered an explanation>

The explanation is that it was a poorly run tournament in a 3rd world country, and his scheduling demands had overtaxed their abilities. He took his eye off the ball. The minor inconvenience of this mess was trivial compared to qualifying for the Candidates. Had he simply completed the tournament, he could hardly have failed to qualify.

But the REALLY spooky thing about all this is that back in 1962, Eliot Hearst had run a thing called the Absurd Headlines Contest in his column in Chess Life. Readers submitted funny chess headlines, for publication. There were some dopey ones, like "Free World Alarmed By Bisguier's Loss of Berlin Defense", but also some funny ones.

ANYHOO, one of the entries they published was "Fischer Withdraws From Interzonal To Permit Reshevsky to Qualify". And that's almost exactly what happened here. Fischer dropped out, and Reshevsky got the final spot. Weird, huh? Just like that Kennedy/Lincoln thing.

Dec-23-14  Everett: What seems to be lost a bit is the advantage of days off when your competition doesnt have them. Might even affect the results.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. Don't post personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies