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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Paul Keres12/17(+9 -2 =6)[games]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian11.5/17(+8 -2 =7)[games]
Efim Geller11.5/17(+10 -4 =3)[games]
Vasily Smyslov11/17(+9 -4 =4)[games]
Mikhail Botvinnik10/17(+6 -3 =8)[games]
Yuri Averbakh9.5/17(+5 -3 =9)[games]
David Bronstein9.5/17(+6 -4 =7)[games]
Mark Taimanov9.5/17(+7 -5 =5)[games]
Salomon Flohr9/17(+4 -3 =10)[games]
Lev Aronin9/17(+6 -5 =6)[games]
Nikolai Georgiyevich Kopilov8.5/17(+7 -7 =3)[games]
Alexander Kotov8/17(+4 -5 =8)[games]
Igor Bondarevsky8/17(+4 -5 =8)[games]
Vladimir Simagin7.5/17(+3 -5 =9)[games]
Oleg Leonidovich Moiseev6.5/17(+3 -7 =7)[games]
Isaac Lipnitsky6.5/17(+4 -8 =5)[games]
Nikolay Novotelnov3/17(+2 -13 =2)[games]
Evgeny Terpugov2.5/17(+1 -13 =3)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1951)

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 Aronin, Vladimir Simagin, and Salomon Flohr qualified from Lvov; and Tigran Petrosian, Efim Geller, Yuri Averbakh, and Isaac Boleslavsky qualified from Sverdlovsk. Boleslavsky fell ill before the final and was therefore replaced by Igor Bondarevsky, who had placed fifth in the Leningrad semi-final. Four invitations were also sent to Paul Keres as returning Soviet Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik as world champion, David Bronstein as world vice-champion, and Alexander Kotov. The assembled field was the strongest in the history of the USSR championship at that time, which makes it an especially impressive victory for Keres. It was his second consecutive Soviet crown and his third overall. He edged out runners-up Petrosian and Geller by half a point, and finished two full points ahead of world champion Botvinnik, who only managed to finish in fifth place.

The final standings and crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts 1 Keres * 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 12 =2 Petrosian * 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 =2 Geller 0 * 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 4 Smyslov 0 0 1 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 11 5 Botvinnik 0 0 * 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 10 =6 Averbakh 1 * 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 9 =6 Bronstein 1 0 0 1 * 1 0 1 0 1 1 9 =6 Taimanov 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 =9 Flohr 1 0 * 0 1 1 0 1 9 =9 Aronin 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 * 1 0 1 1 9 11 Kopilov 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 * 0 1 1 0 1 1 8 =12 Kotov 1 0 0 1 0 1 * 0 1 0 8 =12 Bondarevsky 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 0 1 1 8 14 Simagin 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 7 =15 Moisieev 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 1 6 =15 Lipnitsky 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 * 1 6 17 Novotelnov 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 3 18 Terpugov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 * 2

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1951, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Bronstein vs Kotov 0-1661951USSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
2. Petrosian vs N Kopilov 0-1341951USSR ChampionshipE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
3. Novotelnov vs Bondarevsky 0-1391951USSR ChampionshipD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
4. Averbakh vs Bronstein 0-1421951USSR ChampionshipB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
5. Novotelnov vs Averbakh 0-1311951USSR ChampionshipE08 Catalan, Closed
6. Bondarevsky vs Petrosian 0-1821951USSR ChampionshipE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
7. Geller vs Keres 0-1311951USSR ChampionshipC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd
8. E Terpugov vs Geller  0-1331951USSR ChampionshipA43 Old Benoni
9. N Kopilov vs Aronin  0-1781951USSR ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. Bronstein vs Botvinnik 0-1501951USSR ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
11. Lipnitsky vs Taimanov  0-1291951USSR ChampionshipB88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
12. O Moiseev vs Simagin 0-1301951USSR ChampionshipE70 King's Indian
13. Flohr vs Smyslov 0-1381951USSR ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
14. Aronin vs Geller 0-1551951USSR ChampionshipC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. Taimanov vs Geller 0-1431951USSR ChampionshipA48 King's Indian
16. Lipnitsky vs Smyslov 0-1231951USSR ChampionshipE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
17. O Moiseev vs Keres  0-1331951USSR ChampionshipE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
18. Novotelnov vs Taimanov 0-1381951USSR ChampionshipC50 Giuoco Piano
19. E Terpugov vs O Moiseev  0-1591951USSR ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Kotov vs Geller 0-1391951USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
21. Lipnitsky vs Petrosian 0-1401951USSR ChampionshipC50 Giuoco Piano
22. E Terpugov vs Botvinnik 0-1191951USSR ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Botvinnik vs N Kopilov 0-1371951USSR ChampionshipA81 Dutch
24. Flohr vs Aronin 0-1391951USSR ChampionshipE60 King's Indian Defense
25. Novotelnov vs Petrosian 0-1261951USSR ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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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  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

Nov-04-17  ughaibu: GrahamClayton: Kopilov also played, at least, in the USSR Championship (1949).
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