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🏆 USSR Championship (1957)

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
The 24th Soviet Chess Championship took place in Moscow from January 20th to February 22nd, 1957. ... [more]

Player: Vladas Mikenas

 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Keres vs V Mikenas  ½-½381957USSR ChampionshipD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. V Mikenas vs Aronin 0-1331957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
3. Gurgenidze vs V Mikenas  0-1401957USSR ChampionshipA34 English, Symmetrical
4. V Mikenas vs V Tarasov  0-1341957USSR ChampionshipB07 Pirc
5. Kholmov vs V Mikenas  ½-½191957USSR ChampionshipD54 Queen's Gambit Declined, Anti-Neo-Orthodox Variation
6. V Mikenas vs Tolush 0-1711957USSR ChampionshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
7. L Aronson vs V Mikenas  1-0411957USSR ChampionshipB37 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto
8. V Mikenas vs Tal  ½-½411957USSR ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
9. Bronstein vs V Mikenas 1-0311957USSR ChampionshipD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. V Mikenas vs A Bannik  1-0311957USSR ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
11. Korchnoi vs V Mikenas  0-1341957USSR ChampionshipD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
12. V Mikenas vs Nezhmetdinov  1-0411957USSR ChampionshipC78 Ruy Lopez
13. Antoshin vs V Mikenas  1-0451957USSR ChampionshipD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
14. Taimanov vs V Mikenas  ½-½551957USSR ChampionshipA23 English, Bremen System, Keres Variation
15. V Mikenas vs Spassky 0-1431957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
16. A Khasin vs V Mikenas  1-0471957USSR ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
17. V Mikenas vs Furman  1-0351957USSR ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
18. Boleslavsky vs V Mikenas  1-0411957USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
19. V Mikenas vs Petrosian  ½-½331957USSR ChampionshipB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
20. E S Stoliar vs V Mikenas  ½-½721957USSR ChampionshipA11 English, Caro-Kann Defensive System
21. V Mikenas vs K Klaman  0-1311957USSR ChampionshipC64 Ruy Lopez, Classical
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mikenas wins | Mikenas loses  

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-11-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: USSR Championship (1957)

Tal's last round (21) win that secured the championship for him:

Tal vs Tolush, 1957

May-11-14  waustad: Can you really picture getting this many players this good to play a 21 round tournament? Not this century.
May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <waustad: Can you really picture getting this many players this good to play a 21 round tournament? Not this century.>

Yeah, that's a *lot* of games. ;-)

May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: What a lineup! Maybe not so voluntary, as certain obligations must be met to keep one's stipend from the state. Break the rules, and you could lose your apartment too, back in the day.
May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Actually, there was no requirement to compete in the national championship until after Fischer became world champion. That's when they decided that maybe top players skipping the championship was making them too soft.
May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ok, nothing "official", but a nudge from a local party apparatchik meant you play, or you might have stuff taken away from you.
May-12-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: But no evidence that it happened. Pre-Fischer, a lot of top players did skip out on the big one. In all the years the Soviets held the title, a reigning world champion only won three times. But if you look at the early 70's tournaments, you'll start to see names that hadn't been around in a while, because they were starting to crack down.

Actually, a lot of top players have this disease. Anand hasn't won the Indian Championship since the 1980's. Larsen went years without playing in a Danish Championship. I'm not sure if Kramnik has ever been Russian Champion, or when Topalov last played in the Bulgarian Championship.

Apr-05-15  A.T PhoneHome: Yes, many times Soviet Union's best skipped USSR Championships in order to rest and prepare for international tournaments, but not until mid 60's. I think that up to mid 60's the very best Soviet players competed regularly in their national championships. Notable is Botvinnik's absence starting from 1952 USSR Championship victory after which he participated in 1955 USSR Championship, but his next (and last) participation would be 12 years later in 1967. As it is, he had to play World Championship matches in 1954, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and finally in 1963 which obviously lowered his participation rate.

The introduction of Candidates Matches in 1965 is when top-flight Soviets started to skip USSR Championships for obvious reasons as many of them reached those said matches. Considering how strong field Soviets had always had, it would've been absurd for Soviet government to decline their entries in favour of USSR Championships.

- Amsterdam Interzonal (1964) produced five(!) Soviet entries to Candidates Matches and this cycle lasted from 1964 to 1966

- Sousse Interzonal (1967) produced four(!) Soviet entries to Candidates Matches, including last cycle's finalists Boris Spassky and Mikhail Tal and this cycle lasted from 1967 to 1969

- Palma Interzonal (1970) produced four(!) Soviet entries to Candidates Matches, including last cycle's final runner-up Viktor Korchnoi and dethroned World Champion Tigran Petrosian

Next was 1973 USSR Championship; the first to mandate participation. However, even when it was "strongly advised" to participate, I think that it didn't differ much from previous USSR Championships mainly because the field was pretty much the same, with the young blood of course so the effect of forced participation may be a bit exaggerated.

It would be really nice to pin medals on Fischer's chest but this one he won't receive. Mind you, he might be relieved due to excessive breathing difficulty stemming from carrying lots of medals on his chest!

Apr-06-15  Howard: The 1964 interzonal actually could have resulted in seven Soviets (and Larsen) making the Candidates, except for a rule back then limiting the number of players from one country (i.e., the Soviet Union !) to five.

That rule also came into play in the 1962 interzonal, in Stockholm. In that event, six Soviets normally would have made the Candidates...but there was only room for five.

Apr-06-15  A.T PhoneHome: For some reason I don't think that having five out of eight Candidates as Soviets in place of seven out of eight was much of a comfort for Western chess nations. :P But I didn't consider those facts, thank you for sharing <Howard>!

The introduction of those matches is the main reason for top-level absentees which just meant that there were more debutants and it presented a great opportunity to bring in more young and new Soviet stars. I don't think this new situation was perceived in negative light in Soviet Union and "being forced to play" only applied for 1973 and maybe 1991 USSR Championship.

Apr-06-15  Howard: Back in the day when the Soviet Union ruled over chess, the quip was sometimes made that for any Soviet grandmaster who wanted to become world champion, the "hardest" part was qualifying from the Soviet zonal tournament, every three years. After that, it'd be a "downhill" road from there as far as becoming world champion.

Translated, that means....the Soviet zonal every three years was such a super-strong tournament that even some of the very top Soviet players simply couldn't advance to the interzonal from that point---there was only room for a limited number of Soviet qualfiers. Thus, many exceptionally strong Soviet players had to watch the interzonal and Candidates competition from the sidelines.

Spassky, for example, made it to the 1956 Candidates tournament, at the age of only 19....but then the next two cycles after that, he slipped at crucial moments in the Soviet zonal, and didn't make the interzonal again until 1964.

Apr-06-15  A.T PhoneHome: Leonid Stein is someone I would've loved to see playing for the title. His USSR Championship debut was remarkable! He certainly took no favours from others, playing with confidence and strong will.

As for Spassky I think it's good he had those slips just so he would listen to someone and do some studying. Obviously it worked for him even though it never meant he was going to eat books for breakfast. :P but he worked a bit for his mid-60's successes and I don't think he regrets that decision today.

Of course it was hard; if you failed, another three years. And there was no way there wouldn't be a new bunch of Soviet youngsters pressing you 100%. And, three years waiting may put one in doubt which I think happened more than once because it's natural.

Oct-14-15  Howard: Tal's victory in this event was one of the reasons why FIDE awarded him the grandmaster title even though Tal had technically not made any grandmaster norms in international tournaments yet. In other words, FIDE made an exception in his case.

If anyone thought that that exception was not warranted, they probably would have reconsidered when Tal won the 1958 Soviet championship the following year--and that tournament was tougher than the 1958 edition !

Apr-05-16  Howard: Oops---slight typo on my part. I meant that the 1958 edition was tougher than the 1957 one, not the "1958".

Little wonder--1958 was a zonal year.

Apr-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Is the book that Peter Clarke wrote on this Championship available somewhere?
Apr-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Benzol> UC-Los Angeles Library has a copy:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/24th-...

Not even Amazon has a copy:

https://www.amazon.com/U-S-S-R-Ches...

Not looking good otherwise:

https://www.kuenzigbooks.com/pages/...

Maybe time to brush up on your Russian in order to read the original?

(I'm assuming such an original exists)

.

Apr-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Maybe here (for $36):

http://www.chessbookstore.com/home/...

.

Apr-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: https://picclick.de/PH-Clarke-24th-...

(White to move after 30...Kh8-h7)


click for larger view

1q4r1 /3Q1Npk/p6p/1p5N/8/7P/Pn3PP1/6K1 w - - 0 1

<Tal, Mikhail -- Antoshin, Vladimir S
Moskou ch-URS (1) Moskou ch-URS
1957.01 1/2-1/2 C92e>

Apr-14-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Benzol> aren't you in Australia?

http://www.metrochessclub.org.au/In...

.

Apr-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <zanzibar> I'm across "The Ditch" in New Zealand.
Apr-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <zanzibar> Thanks for your efforts in trying to find it. Maybe Ray Keene will do a reissue sometime in the future.

:)

Apr-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Benzol> I wonder if we can find the Russian version of the tb somewhere online. Hmmm.
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