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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Efim Geller16/26(+11 -5 =10)[games]
Vasily Smyslov15/26(+7 -3 =16)[games]
Georgy Ilivitsky11.5/19(+5 -1 =13)[games]
Boris Spassky11.5/19(+7 -3 =9)[games]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian11.5/19(+4 -0 =15)[games]
Mikhail Botvinnik11.5/19(+7 -3 =9)[games]
Mark Taimanov11/19(+7 -4 =8)[games]
Paul Keres11/19(+7 -4 =8)[games]
Vladas Mikenas10.5/19(+6 -4 =9)[games]
Semyon Abramovich Furman10/19(+6 -5 =8)[games]
Vladimir Antoshin10/19(+6 -5 =8)[games]
Alexander Kotov9.5/19(+6 -6 =7)[games]
Georgy Konstantinovich Borisenko9/19(+4 -5 =10)[games]
Salomon Flohr9/19(+2 -3 =14)[games]
Yuri Averbakh8.5/19(+1 -3 =15)[games]
Georgy Lisitsin8.5/19(+4 -6 =9)[games]
Ilia Abramovich Kan7/19(+4 -9 =6)[games]
Vladimir Simagin6.5/19(+4 -10 =5)[games]
Viktor Korchnoi6/19(+1 -8 =10)[games]
Vitaly Sergeevich Sherbakov3.5/19(+1 -13 =5)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1955)

The 22nd USSR Championship was held in Moscow from February 11 through March 15, 1955. It was certainly one of the strongest of the series, featuring four world champions and nine Soviet champions among its 20 players, and marked the final appearance of Mikhail Botvinnik in a Soviet championship. This tournament was also one of the Zonal events to select players eligible to play in the upcoming Gothenburg Interzonal (1955). 1 The illustrious cast of characters included:

Vladimir Antoshin, Yuri Averbakh, Georgy Konstantinovich Borisenko, Mikhail Botvinnik, Salomon Flohr, Semyon Abramovich Furman, Efim Geller, Georgy Ilivitsky, Ilia Abramovich Kan, Paul Keres, Viktor Korchnoi, Alexander Kotov, Georgy Lisitsin, Vladas Mikenas, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Vitaly Sergeevich Sherbakov, Vladimir Simagin, Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Mark Taimanov.

Geller started quickly and stayed near the top all the way, but every time he got a bit of a lead he would lose, often through over-optimism. Botvinnik, Smyslov, and Spassky all took their turns, with Petrosian never far behind. Coming into the last round Geller had a half-point lead, but proceeded to lose yet one more time and produce the following crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Smyslov * 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 12.0 2 Geller 0 * 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 3 Ilivitsky 1 * 0 1 1 1 1 11.5 4 Spassky 1 * 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 11.5 5 Petrosian * 1 1 1 1 11.5 6 Botvinnik 0 0 * 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11.5 7 Taimanov 1 1 0 0 * 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 11.0 8 Keres 0 0 1 1 * 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 11.0 9 Mikenas 0 0 0 1 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 10.5 10 Furman 0 0 1 0 1 * 0 1 1 0 1 1 10.0 11 Antoshin 1 0 0 0 1 * 0 1 0 1 1 1 10.0 12 Kotov 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 0 1 1 1 9.5 13 Borisenko 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 * 0 1 9.0 14 Flohr 0 0 * 1 0 1 9.0 15 Averbakh 0 0 1 0 * 8.5 16 Lisitsin 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 0 1 1 8.5 17 Kan 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 * 0 1 7.0 18 Simagin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 1 0 6.5 19 Korchnoi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 6.0 20 Sherbakov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 3.5

A play-off between Smyslov and Geller started with six straight draws before the latter prevailed in game seven, thus earning the gold medal. Those games have now been added.

1 Gino Di Felice, Chess Results 1951-1955, McFarland 2010, p. 480; Mark Weeks Zonal List at http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/zon...

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1955, by User: Phony Benoni.

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 197  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Botvinnik vs V Mikenas ½-½291955USSR ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Spassky vs Keres ½-½281955USSR ChampionshipD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
3. Geller vs V Sherbakov 1-0531955USSR ChampionshipE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
4. Flohr vs G Ilivitsky  ½-½421955USSR ChampionshipD59 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower
5. Simagin vs Korchnoi 1-0611955USSR ChampionshipD77 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O
6. Averbakh vs Lisitsin  ½-½571955USSR ChampionshipA22 English
7. Furman vs Taimanov  ½-½201955USSR ChampionshipA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
8. Smyslov vs G Borisenko 1-0411955USSR ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
9. Kotov vs Antoshin  1-0371955USSR ChampionshipD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Petrosian vs Kan 1-0321955USSR ChampionshipA08 King's Indian Attack
11. V Sherbakov vs Kotov  ½-½991955USSR ChampionshipB85 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical
12. Keres vs Averbakh  ½-½261955USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
13. V Mikenas vs Spassky  ½-½671955USSR ChampionshipE16 Queen's Indian
14. G Borisenko vs Furman  ½-½481955USSR ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
15. Kan vs G Ilivitsky  ½-½301955USSR ChampionshipB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
16. Lisitsin vs Simagin 0-1361955USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
17. Antoshin vs Botvinnik 0-1491955USSR ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
18. Korchnoi vs Smyslov ½-½171955USSR ChampionshipE17 Queen's Indian
19. Petrosian vs Geller  ½-½261955USSR ChampionshipA38 English, Symmetrical
20. Taimanov vs Flohr  ½-½281955USSR ChampionshipE56 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6
21. Smyslov vs Lisitsin 0-1671955USSR ChampionshipA13 English
22. Averbakh vs V Mikenas  ½-½241955USSR ChampionshipA33 English, Symmetrical
23. Flohr vs G Borisenko  ½-½241955USSR ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
24. G Ilivitsky vs Taimanov 0-1451955USSR ChampionshipE65 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav, 7.O-O
25. Geller vs Kan 1-0441955USSR ChampionshipB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 197  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Baby Korchnoi (24 at the time) got spanked in this one.
Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>: A result due in no small part to this fiasco from the fourth round: Korchnoi vs Flohr, 1955.
Jan-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious> Oh, yeah, I just looked at it. A blunder, but a pretty one. That would erode anybody's confidence.
Nov-22-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Amazing feat by Geller, winning the USSR championship even though he lost five games.
Nov-22-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Good result for 18 year old Spassky.
Nov-26-17  rgr459: I wonder if smoking was allowed in the tournament hall.
Nov-26-17  ughaibu: rgr459: <I wonder if smoking was allowed in the tournament hall.>

Are you serious?

Mar-04-18  Retireborn: This was to be Botvinnik's last Soviet championship. Perhaps there's a story as to how he came to be in it. Surely a unique occurence, for the reigning World Champion to play in a zonal tournament!
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