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🏆 USSR Championship (1951)

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
The 19th Soviet Chess Championship took place in the capital city of Moscow from November 11 to December 14, 1951. Eighteen of the Soviet Union's strongest players, including the reigning world champion, participated in the round robin event. Fourteen of the players qualified from the semi-final tournaments played earlier in the year. Nikolai Novotelnov, Isaac Lipnitsky, and Mark Taimanov qualified from Baku; Vasily Smyslov, Evgeny Terpugov, Oleg Moiseev, and Nikolai Kopilov qualified from Leningrad; Lev Ar ... [more]

Player: Salomon Flohr

 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Flohr vs Taimanov  ½-½281951USSR ChampionshipA15 English
2. Flohr vs Botvinnik ½-½811951USSR ChampionshipD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
3. Lipnitsky vs Flohr  ½-½341951USSR ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
4. Flohr vs Bronstein  ½-½301951USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
5. Novotelnov vs Flohr 1-0401951USSR ChampionshipD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
6. Flohr vs Smyslov 0-1381951USSR ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
7. Simagin vs Flohr  ½-½311951USSR ChampionshipC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
8. Flohr vs Petrosian  ½-½511951USSR ChampionshipE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
9. Keres vs Flohr  ½-½291951USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
10. Flohr vs E Terpugov  1-0371951USSR ChampionshipD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. N Kopilov vs Flohr  ½-½421951USSR ChampionshipD29 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
12. Flohr vs Aronin 0-1391951USSR ChampionshipE60 King's Indian Defense
13. Geller vs Flohr  0-1341951USSR ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Flohr vs Bondarevsky  ½-½411951USSR ChampionshipA84 Dutch
15. Kotov vs Flohr 0-11141951USSR ChampionshipD23 Queen's Gambit Accepted
16. Flohr vs Averbakh  ½-½291951USSR ChampionshipE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
17. O Moiseev vs Flohr 0-1321951USSR ChampionshipD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Flohr wins | Flohr loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-18-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: This was Kopylov's only participation in a USSR Championship final tournament. Although he finished 11th, he did have the satisfaction of defeating tournament winner Keres, =2nd place finisher Geller and the current World Champion Botvinnik.
Jul-01-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Funny to see Keres, Petrosian, and Geller bunched together at the top of the cross-table. Eleven years later at Curacao they were bunched together almost exactly the same way - except there it was Petrosian who finished half a point above the other two.
Dec-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: A magnificent victory by Keres, who didn't have sunny days under the Soviet regime. I think this was his renaissance after having been in a deep cellar of depression in the second half of the 1940s. We shall never learn what Paul Keres could have achieved if he was not forced to live in the Soviet. Well, the same could be said for many others. Only a few, primarily Botvinnik, Petrosian and Karpov were favoured by the regime.
Jun-26-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: The tournament was also a zonal for the 1951-54 Candidates cycle. Botvinnik, Bronstein, Keres, and Smyslov were already seeded into the Candidates tournament. Geller, Petrosian, Taimanov, and Averbakh qualified for the Interzonal. The Soviet Union had a fifth spot - which would have gone to Lev Aronin if he had won his last-round game (Aronin vs Smyslov, 1951) - but instead of organizing a tiebreak between Flohr and Aronin, they 'socially promoted' Kotov, who wasn't even close to qualifying but was a member of the Sports Committee -- and justified his rather corrupt qualification by making a record score at the Interzonal. It's a really sad story for Aronin -- who apparently never got over the setback.

This tournament is right up there as one of Keres' greatest achievements. He played smooth, attractive chess, overcame a couple of early defeats, went 4.5/5 down the stretch, and cold-bloodedly won a tough last-round game against Taimanov. He was pretty clearly the best player in the world in 1951 -- and made such an impression that the Soviet grandmasters orchestrated a remarkable coup: they dumped Botvinnik, the reigning world champion, from board one on the 1952 Olympiad team, with the rationale that his recent results hadn't been anywhere close to Keres'.

It's interesting to think about Geller and Petrosian playing as a pair. They don't seem to have much in common stylistically or temperamentally -- but rose up through the ranks at exactly the same time.

Kopilov was definitely the tournament wild card.

Good games from this tournament:

Bronstein vs Kotov, 1951
Smyslov vs Bronstein, 1951
Botvinnik vs Geller, 1951
Smyslov vs Keres, 1951
Geller vs Keres, 1951
Keres vs Taimanov, 1951
Kotov vs Geller, 1951
Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1951
E Terpugov vs Petrosian, 1951
N Kopilov vs Bondarevsky, 1951

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