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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Andre Lilienthal13.5/19(+8 -0 =11)[games]
Igor Bondarevsky13.5/19(+10 -2 =7)[games]
Vasily Smyslov13/19(+8 -1 =10)[games]
Paul Keres12/19(+9 -4 =6)[games]
Isaac Boleslavsky11.5/19(+7 -3 =9)[games]
Mikhail Botvinnik11.5/19(+8 -4 =7)[games]
Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov10.5/19(+6 -4 =9)[games]
Peter Vasilievich Dubinin10.5/19(+7 -5 =7)[games]
Gavriil Veresov10.5/19(+8 -6 =5)[games]
Vladimir Petrov9/19(+6 -7 =6)[games]
Viacheslav Ragozin8.5/19(+5 -7 =7)[games]
Georgy Lisitsin8.5/19(+5 -7 =7)[games]
Vladas Mikenas8/19(+3 -6 =10)[games]
Alexander Konstantinopolsky8/19(+3 -6 =10)[games]
Vasily Panov8/19(+4 -7 =8)[games]
Mark Moiseevich Stolberg8/19(+5 -8 =6)[games]
Eduard Issakovich Gerstenfeld7/19(+4 -9 =6)[games]
Grigory Levenfish6.5/19(+1 -7 =11)[games]
Alexander Kotov6.5/19(+5 -11 =3)[games]
Iosif Rudakovsky5.5/19(+1 -9 =9)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1940)

The 12th Soviet Chess Championship was played in the capital city of Moscow from September 5 to October 3, 1940. Twenty of the Soviet Union's strongest masters competed in the round robin event, six of whom qualified from the semi-final tournament in Kiev earlier in the year: Eduard Gerstenfeld, Mark Stolberg, Igor Bondarevsky, Iosif Rudakovsky, Alexander Konstantinopolsky and Peter Dubinin. The remaining invitations went to the elite of Soviet chess (new and old), including Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Paul Keres, Isaac Boleslavsky, Alexander Kotov, Viacheslav Ragozin, and Andre Lilienthal. For a more complete story on the conditions and aftermath of this championship, see USSR Absolute Championship (1941).

Moscow, Soviet Union, 5 September - 3 October 1941

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts =1 Lilienthal * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 13 =1 Bondarevsky 0 * 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 13 3 Smyslov * 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 13 4 Keres 0 * 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 12 =5 Boleslavsky * 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 11 =5 Botvinnik 0 0 1 * 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 11 =7 Makogonov 0 1 1 0 1 * 0 1 0 1 1 10 =7 Dubinin 0 0 0 1 1 * 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 10 =7 Veresov 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 * 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 10 10 Petrov 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 9 =11 Ragozin 1 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 0 0 1 1 8 =11 Lisitsin 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 8 =13 Mikenas 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 0 1 0 8 =13 Konstantinopolsky 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 0 1 8 =13 Panov 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 * 0 1 8 =13 Stolberg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 * 1 1 8 17 Gerstenfeld 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 0 1 7 =18 Levenfish 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 * 0 6 =18 Kotov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 * 6 20 Rudakovsky 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 5

Lilienthal and Bondarevsky finished equal first with 13/19. For both victors, considering the strength of the assembled field, it was the greatest performance of their careers.

This collection would not have been possible without the efforts of <Phony Benoni>.

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1940, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 190  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Panov vs Veresov 1-0361940USSR ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
2. Levenfish vs V Mikenas  0-1341940USSR ChampionshipE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
3. M Stolberg vs Keres 0-1311940USSR ChampionshipA28 English
4. Smyslov vs E Gerstenfeld 1-0541940USSR ChampionshipC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
5. Bondarevsky vs Botvinnik 1-0381940USSR ChampionshipE29 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
6. Boleslavsky vs Lilienthal  ½-½421940USSR ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
7. P Dubinin vs Konstantinopolsky  ½-½401940USSR ChampionshipB56 Sicilian
8. Ragozin vs V Makogonov  0-1451940USSR ChampionshipA02 Bird's Opening
9. V Petrov vs Kotov 1-0421940USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
10. I Rudakovsky vs Lisitsin  0-1611940USSR ChampionshipE26 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
11. Kotov vs M Stolberg  0-1351940USSR ChampionshipD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. E Gerstenfeld vs Levenfish  ½-½631940USSR ChampionshipC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
13. V Mikenas vs P Dubinin  ½-½501940USSR ChampionshipD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Keres vs Ragozin  1-0471940USSR ChampionshipC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
15. V Makogonov vs Panov  ½-½471940USSR ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
16. Konstantinopolsky vs V Petrov  1-0321940USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
17. I Rudakovsky vs Bondarevsky  0-1441940USSR ChampionshipC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Lisitsin vs Veresov  ½-½321940USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
19. Lilienthal vs Smyslov  ½-½511940USSR ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
20. Botvinnik vs Boleslavsky 1-0491940USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
21. Boleslavsky vs I Rudakovsky  ½-½441940USSR ChampionshipB83 Sicilian
22. V Petrov vs V Mikenas  ½-½511940USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
23. Ragozin vs Kotov  1-0521940USSR ChampionshipE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
24. M Stolberg vs Konstantinopolsky  1-0591940USSR ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
25. Levenfish vs Lilienthal  ½-½421940USSR ChampionshipC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 190  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-28-12  Blunderdome: Only three draws in nineteen games for Kotov.
Dec-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Due to the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states, as well as the partitioning of Poland with Germany, Keres, Petrov, Mikenas and Gerstenfeld were now considered Soviet "citizens", and thus were eligible to compete.
Jan-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nosnibor: There appears to be something wrong with the table at the top.Bondarevsky is credited with 1/2 point more than Lilienthal although it is well known that they both tied for first place on 13.5 points each.This appears to be due by showing a win over Konstantinopolsky by Bondarevsky when the historical record clearly indicates that this game was drawn.Methinks that the game shown in the database was from another event.It does of course also miscalculates Konstantinopolsk`s final score.
Jan-02-13  Kangaroo: Here is the game that should have been included!

<Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940>

to replace

<Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940> which might have been played in the semi-final or other tournament!

Jan-02-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Nosnibor>: I think I see what happened. The database has two Bondarevsky - Konstatninopolsky games in the database which claim to be from the 1940 Championship.

Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940 (1-0), which was added to the original collection, was actually from the Semi-Final in Kiev. Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940 (1/2-1/2) is the correct game.

I'll institute repairs immediately. Thanks for spotting that.

May-12-13  wordfunph: "My favorite game was my win against Botvinnik in the Soviet Championship of 1940. It was stronger than any grandmaster tournament, the 20 strongest chess players were in it, including Botvinnik, Smyslov and Keres. I was undefeated in first place. I've won lots of tournaments, but this was the best."

- Andre Lilienthal

Source: Curse of Kirsan by Sarah Hurst

Jan-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

<Peter Romanovsky> tells the gripping story of Vasily Smyslov in this tournament:

<"Smyslov began the tournament brilliantly and after fourteen rounds, five rounds before the end, having won five games in succession, he headed the table with 10 1/2 points without the loss of a game. Bondarevsky, playing very well, had 10 points, while Lilienthal and Botvinnik had 9 1/2 each. It seemed that first place and <<<the title of grandmaster was almost assured>>> to Smyslov, however in the fifteenth round he suffered his one and only loss in the tournament at the hands of Makogonov. In the four remaining rounds he conceded three draws, and with 13 points finished behind Bondarevsky and Lilienthal, who each had 13 1/2. Keres, Botvinnik, and Boleslavsky were below Symslov. by this success Smyslov showed himself to be of grandmaster strength.">

-P.A. Romanovsky, "Vassily Vassilievitch Smyslov."

Published in
Vasily Smyslov, "My Best Games of Chess (1935-1957)" P.H. Clarke ed., transl. (Routledge and Kegan Paul 1958), pp. xi-xxvii (First published as "Izbrannie partii" in Russian in 1952)

#####################

When <Smyslov> again managed 3d place in the USSR Absolute Championship (1941), on the strength of both 3d place efforts he was indeed awarded the title of Soviet Grandmaster.

Of further interest, <Makogonov>, the only player to defeat <Smyslov> in this event, later went on to serve as his second in his World Chess championship matches against <Botvinnik> in 1954 and 1957.

<Smyslov> acknowledges the assistance of <Makogonov>:

<"During the match against Botvinnik, Makogonov was one of my coaches <<<And the fact that I became world champion is due in large part to his work.>>> He expounded his ideas clearly and persuasively. I remember his excellent analysis, which he summed up with the help of diagrams. This method is best to fix in memory the most important opening positions.">

(translation by Google. I adjusted some of the punctuation, diction and phrasing for clearer English idiom and sense)

-http://sultanov.azeriland.com/chess...

Jan-26-14  AsosLight: Staggering roster.
Nov-30-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Yes the roster is mighty impressive. It probably was the strongest Soviet Championship held until at this point in time, with two future World Champions and an Almost World Champion, and a host of very strong veterans and rising stars.

Take a look at the openings in this tournament. Sicilians (including the Scheveningen and the Dragon), KIDs, Grunfelds, QIDs, Catalans, Nimzo-Indians, English. This tournament's openings looks indistinguishable from one played yesterday.

I have found out that kibitzers usually associate the term 'modern' with these openings. In fact, these openings were already played by 1930s masters. Post WW2, it's their frequency and the attention given to them that has changed, increased. The only opening pawn structure I don't see pre WW2 is the Hedgehog.

At this point in time, Botvinnik was still not clearly superior to Keres. The younger Keres had placed ahead of him in AVRO 1938, and again placed ahead of him in this tournament. So did a rising youthful Smyslov. Lilienthal and Bondarevsky won. Botvinnik was the unofficial face of Soviet Chess. The authorities probably were not exactly ecstatic over the results. The 1941 Soviet tournament was most probably held in order to allow Botvinnik the chance to rectify the 'wrong' results in this one.

From these perspectives, this tournament is an important one in chess history.

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