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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
First Piatigorsky Cup Tournament

Paul Keres8.5/14(+6 -3 =5)[games]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian8.5/14(+4 -1 =9)[games]
Miguel Najdorf7.5/14(+3 -2 =9)[games]
Fridrik Olafsson7.5/14(+4 -3 =7)[games]
Samuel Reshevsky7/14(+3 -3 =8)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric6/14(+2 -4 =8)[games]
Pal Benko5.5/14(+4 -7 =3)[games]
Oscar Panno5.5/14(+2 -5 =7)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
First Piatigorsky Cup (1963)

In 1963 famous cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and his wife Jaqueline gave a cup through the Piatigorsky Foundation for a chess tournament (1) that would include two grandmasters from the USSR and two grandmasters from the USA. Four grandmasters from other countries filled out the playing list. The final player line-up consisted of Tigran Petrosian, Paul Keres, Samuel Reshevsky, Pal Benko, Fridrik Olafsson, Svetozar Gligoric, Oscar Panno and Miguel Najdorf. The tournament ran from the 2nd of July to the 30th of July 1963 in Los Angeles, USA. The players met in a double round all-play-all and the joint winners Petrosian and Keres returned to the Soviet Union with more than half of the $10,000 prize fund offered by the Piatigorsky Foundation. After the New York (1927) event, this tournament was the strongest until such time to be held in the USA.

1 Keres ** 0 11 00 1 11 1 8 2 Petrosian ** 01 11 1 8 3 Najdorf 1 ** 0 1 0 1 7 4 Olafsson 00 1 ** 1 1 10 7 5 Reshevsky 11 0 0 ** 1 0 7 6 Gligoric 0 10 0 ** 0 1 6 7 Benko 00 00 1 01 0 1 ** 10 5 8 Panno 0 0 0 1 0 01 ** 5

The main source for this collection was the First Piatigorsky Cup tournament book edited by Isaac Kashdan. ISBN 0-486-24066-5.

The Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966) was the next tournament that contested this trophy.

[1) Wikipedia article: Piatigorsky Cup.

Original collection: Game Collection: First Piatigorsky Cup 1963, by User: Benzol.

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. F Olafsson vs Gligoric ½-½321963First Piatigorsky CupB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
2. Keres vs Petrosian  ½-½301963First Piatigorsky CupB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
3. Najdorf vs Panno 1-0371963First Piatigorsky CupA56 Benoni Defense
4. Reshevsky vs Benko 1-0411963First Piatigorsky CupE60 King's Indian Defense
5. Gligoric vs Petrosian 1-0431963First Piatigorsky CupC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
6. F Olafsson vs Najdorf  ½-½161963First Piatigorsky CupE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
7. Panno vs Reshevsky 1-0631963First Piatigorsky CupE88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
8. Benko vs Keres 0-1421963First Piatigorsky CupE15 Queen's Indian
9. Keres vs Panno  ½-½411963First Piatigorsky CupE76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
10. Reshevsky vs F Olafsson ½-½411963First Piatigorsky CupE41 Nimzo-Indian
11. Najdorf vs Gligoric  ½-½321963First Piatigorsky CupE88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
12. Petrosian vs Benko 1-0431963First Piatigorsky CupD81 Grunfeld, Russian Variation
13. Panno vs Petrosian ½-½1111963First Piatigorsky CupE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
14. F Olafsson vs Keres 0-1861963First Piatigorsky CupA07 King's Indian Attack
15. Gligoric vs Benko  ½-½281963First Piatigorsky CupD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
16. Najdorf vs Reshevsky  1-0411963First Piatigorsky CupE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
17. Reshevsky vs Gligoric  ½-½241963First Piatigorsky CupE92 King's Indian
18. Petrosian vs F Olafsson  ½-½391963First Piatigorsky CupD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. Benko vs Panno  1-0581963First Piatigorsky CupE77 King's Indian
20. Keres vs Najdorf  ½-½451963First Piatigorsky CupB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
21. Najdorf vs Petrosian ½-½251963First Piatigorsky CupD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
22. Gligoric vs Panno 1-0311963First Piatigorsky CupD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
23. F Olafsson vs Benko  1-0571963First Piatigorsky CupB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. Reshevsky vs Keres 1-0421963First Piatigorsky CupA23 English, Bremen System, Keres Variation
25. Petrosian vs Reshevsky ½-½381963First Piatigorsky CupE81 King's Indian, Samisch
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-14-12  wordfunph: tournament toppings :)

<At the opening ceremony of the Piatigorsky Cup in 1963 in Los Angeles, it was announced that the winner would receive a car in addition to the prize money. Keres shared victory in the tournament with Petrosian, and they both got a car. A few months later Petrosian came to Tallinn and Keres met him at the train station. "We really got great cars from America, Paul Petrovich," Petrosian remarked, sitting next to Keres in the front seat. "They're fantastic," the Estonian grandmaster agreed, "although if I hadn't rushed with the move h5 in our game, the car would only have gone to me.">

Sep-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: The tournament was held at the Ambassador Hotel, which was a major LA landmark until it was demolished in 2005:

http://www.theambassadorhotel.com/

Oct-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The Piatigorskys must've been saddened that Fischer didn't take part.
Apr-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Some background information about the tournament can be found here:

http://www.chessdryad.com/articles/...

Apr-30-14  Brown: <offramp: The Piatigorskys must've been saddened that Fischer didn't take part.>

Maybe not.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: There was some friction between Fischer and the Piatagorskys as a result of the aborted 1961Fischer - Reshevsky match, happily seemingly resolved in time for the 2nd Piatagorsky Cup in 1966.
May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I have the impression that Bobby would have liked to have played in this tournament since he would only be facing two Soviet players and ganging up as a group wouldn't have happened. But he was probably still smarting over the aborted Reshevsky match and felt he had to decline.
May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Considering that he sat out almost all of 1963 and 1964, I don't know why you think he wanted to play in this tournament particularly. Especially since, as you pointed out, he still hadn't buried the hatchet with the Piatigorsky's yet over the Reshevsky-Fischer match.

Of course in a double round robin, one player could throw two games to the other, which might be more than enough to prevent Fischer from winning the tournament. Or they might draw both games (which did happen), and again keep Fischer from winning, according to the official excuse.

What you've got to understand is WHY he sat out '63 and '64. Sure, he had his excuses. "Korchnoi threw games. My opponents drew too much. The sun was in my eyes." But the excuses were for the masses. Fischer the chessplayer was too good a player not to recognize the serious deficiencies in his play that had turned up at Curacao. They had to be corrected before he was ready to make another serious try. They weren't yet corrected in 1963, so he likely wouldn't have played at Piatigorsky I even if he had been on good terms with them.

May-01-14  Howard: Personally, I suspect that his bitterness over the aborted Reshevsky match was the main reason he sat out the tournament---rather than any concerns about honing his chess skills.

Keep in mind that Fischer did play at the Western Open in 1963, and that event was held around the same time as the Piatagorsky event. Not only that, he wrote an "over the top article" (as Soltis stated in his book of 100 of Fischer's best games) afterward claiming that his games in the Western Open were of a higher quality than most of the games from the Piatagorsky cup (!).

Sounds, therefore, that Fischer didn't have too many qualms about his quality of play in 1963. Rather, he was still bitter towards the Piatigorskys, and he played in the much, much weaker Western Open just to spite them.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Fischer's possible concern that one player (presumably Keres) would throw two games to another player (presumably Petrosian) clearly was not enough to dissuade him from playing in the Second Piatagorsky Cup in 1966. Or perhaps his concerns were less since he was a better player in 1966 than he was in 1963.

And, if nothing else, the prize fund for the First Piatagorsky Cup was $ 10,000, with $ 3,000 going to the winner. This was a large amount of money for a chess event in 1963 so Fischer probably would have at least considered it, assuming that he was invited to play. However, I don't know if he was, for all the reasons already mentioned.

Unfortunately Mrs. Piatagorsky passed away almost 2 years ago (age 100) and cannot comment on the subject.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Fischer's possible concern that one player (presumably Keres) would throw two games to another player (presumably Petrosian) clearly was not enough to dissuade him from playing in the Second Piatagorsky Cup in 1966. Or perhaps his concerns were less since he was a better player in 1966 than he was in 1963.>

The second is more likely. Bad sportsmanship aside, I question whether Fischer ever believed what he was saying at all. Tim Crabbe asked Korchnoi about it when he defected, and Korchnoi said the subject had never come up when they met a few years later. It was his opinion that Fischer had realized how ridiculous it was, and just quietly changed his mind.

And of course, Fischer sent him the congratulatory telegram when he defected. That was before Korchnoi once again became "one of the lowest dogs around" for daring to play for the world title.

<assuming that he was invited to play. However, I don't know if he was, for all the reasons already mentioned.

Unfortunately Mrs. Piatagorsky passed away almost 2 years ago (age 100) and cannot comment on the subject.>

No need to ask her. I'm pretty sure that Chess Life reported that Fischer had been invited and turned it down. It would be pretty difficult to hold a major international tournament in the US, and not invite the US Champion.

May-01-14  Howard: There seems to be no doubt that Fischer WAS invited to the 1963 Cup. But he requested a $2,000 appearance and the Piatagorsky's ended up inviting Benko is his place.

How much of a factor that was, as opposed to bitterness over the Reshevsky match, is hard to say. Perhaps Fischer never really wanted to play in the 1963 Cup because of the latter factor, so he demanded the $2,000 fee figuring that it would probably be refused. Thus, the matter about the fee could have been used by him as a "smokescreen" for his reason for not playing.

And if the request for the $2,000 (over $12,000 in 2014 dollars !) fee HAD been agreed to, he still could have come up with a reason for not playing anyway.....or, on the other hand, he could have just headed off to Los Angeles to play. Never mind the Reshevsky match, in other words----money might have been more impt to Fischer.

But, to repeat, he WAS originally invited.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Petrosianic> <Considering that he sat out almost all of 1963 and 1964, I don't know why you think he wanted to play in this tournament particularly. Especially since, as you pointed out, he still hadn't buried the hatchet with the Piatigorsky's yet over the Reshevsky-Fischer match.>

<Of course in a double round robin, one player could throw two games to the other, which might be more than enough to prevent Fischer from winning the tournament. Or they might draw both games (which did happen), and again keep Fischer from winning, according to the official excuse.>

I believe Fischer wanted to play because it would have been a chance to play and defeat the World Champion ( in this case Petrosian ) and this tournament wasn't an FIDE event which Fischer was boycotting at this stage.

Regarding the second point as Keres pointed out in an article after the 1962 Candidates Tournament draws between the Soviet players would tend to favour the other competitors who were intent on winning.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <I believe Fischer wanted to play because it would have been a chance to play and defeat the World Champion>

According to Profile of a Prodigy, Fischer was at that time considering the possibility of getting backing and making a pre-WWII style challenge for the world title.

It's not clear that Fischer was ever boycotting FIDE before 1975. The only thing he explicitly refused to play in again was a Candidates Tournament. He played in the Varna Olympiad right after Curacao, and that was a FIDE event. He reasons for not playing in the 1964 Interzonal were varied and contradictory, but didn't involve a boycott of FIDE.

<Regarding the second point as Keres pointed out in an article after the 1962 Candidates Tournament draws between the Soviet players would tend to favour the other competitors who were intent on winning.>

Yes, for example, if Petrosian had won that 4th cycle game against Keres, then Fischer would have finished 4 points out of first, rather than 3.

When you're trailing one person, all you need is for that one person to lose points. When you're trailing 3 or 4, then you have to gain ground on all of them. I remember once when I was a kid, not grasping this, when we were talking about the last week of a pennant race. I was rooting for the 3rd place team, and thought they had a chance because they were only like 2 or 3 games back. The guy I was talking to was of the opinion that they would have a chance if they were in 2nd, but being in 3rd, it was almost impossible. And the teams in 1st and 2nd were playing each other that week, so they couldn't both lose on any of those days. It turned out the last week played out almost exactly the way the other guy predicted.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <According to Profile of a Prodigy, Fischer was at that time considering the possibility of getting backing and making a pre-WWII style challenge for the world title.>

Yes, that's why I think he wanted to play. Beating the World Champion would have strengthened his case and this tournament was an excellent chance to show it.

<It's not clear that Fischer was ever boycotting FIDE before 1975. The only thing he explicitly refused to play in again was a Candidates Tournament. He played in the Varna Olympiad right after Curacao, and that was a FIDE event. He reasons for not playing in the 1964 Interzonal were varied and contradictory, but didn't involve a boycott of FIDE.>

Very true. Perhaps I should have said FIDE World Championship Candidates Tournament. Fischer certainly wasn't happy about what happened at the 1962 Curacao event.

May-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Now the second Piatigorsky Cup (1966) was originally to be held in 1965, and Fischer was given a very early invitation to it (in 1964).

Here is Bobby's reply to Mrs. Piatigorsky:

http://www.chessdryad.com/articles/...

May-01-14  andrewjsacks: <Howard> is correct, and it is not really much of a secret that the Piatigorskys tried to get Fischer to play in the First Cup. Mrs. P. herself, about 8 years ago, told me they tried, but that they simply "couldn't come to terms." A ladylike comment, befitting her, as usual.
Sep-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Petrosian, Keres and Panno:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7HgfiE...

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