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Second Piatigorsky Cup Tournament

Boris Spassky11.5/18(+5 -0 =13)[games]
Robert James Fischer11/18(+7 -3 =8)[games]
Bent Larsen10/18(+7 -5 =6)[games]
Wolfgang Unzicker9.5/18(+2 -1 =15)[games]
Lajos Portisch9.5/18(+3 -2 =13)[games]
Samuel Reshevsky9/18(+2 -2 =14)[games]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian9/18(+3 -3 =12)[games]
Miguel Najdorf8/18(+3 -5 =10)[games]
Borislav Ivkov6.5/18(+2 -7 =9)[games]
Jan Hein Donner6/18(+1 -7 =10)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966)
After the success of the First Piatigorsky Cup (1963), the second was organized by Gregor and Jacqueline Piatigorsky in Santa Monica, California from July 17-August 15, 1966, with Isaac Kashdan directing. The stellar field included the current and next two World Champions plus a slew of Candidates-level grandmasters in a double-round robin event:

Jan Hein Donner, Robert James Fischer, Borislav Ivkov, Bent Larsen, Miguel Najdorf, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Lajos Portisch, Samuel Reshevsky, Boris Spassky, Wolfgang Unzicker.

The Piatigorskys invited both Reshevsky and Fischer in spite of the Fischer - Reshevsky (1961) match fiasco.

Spassky played steadily and was at or near the lead most of the way, unsheathing his claws when the time was right. Larsen gave him some competition for a while, even taking the lead in Round 10, but three losses in a row (the last being to Spassky) put an end to his challenge.

But it was Fischer who captured everybody's attention and made this into a "Tale of Two Tournaments". In the first half, a three-game losing streak (the last being to Spassky) left him in ninth place at the halfway mark, 2.5 points behind Spassky. Nothing daunted, he won his first four games in the second go-around and caught Spassky by round 16. Their draw in round 17 didn't change anything, but the last round saw Fischer with Black against Petrosian while Spassky had White against tail-ender Donner.

Petrosian had been having a lousy tournament, his two losses to Larsen both being of the immortal variety. In final round he hunkered down and secured a draw with Fischer, while Spassky demolished Donner to take first place.

In fact, Petrosian's even score made him the first world champion since Alekhine to achieve "only" an even score in a tournament.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Spassky ** 1˝ ˝1 1˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 1˝ ˝1 11.5 2 Fischer 0˝ ** 01 ˝˝ ˝1 ˝1 ˝˝ 01 11 ˝1 11.0 3 Larsen ˝0 10 ** ˝0 1˝ ˝1 11 1˝ 01 ˝0 10.0 4 Unzicker 0˝ ˝˝ ˝1 ** ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 1˝ ˝˝ 9.5 5 Portisch ˝˝ ˝0 0˝ ˝˝ ** ˝˝ 1˝ ˝˝ ˝1 ˝1 9.5 6 Reshevsky ˝˝ ˝0 ˝0 ˝˝ ˝˝ ** ˝˝ ˝1 ˝˝ 1˝ 9.0 7 Petrosian ˝˝ ˝˝ 00 ˝˝ 0˝ ˝˝ ** 11 ˝˝ ˝1 9.0 8 Najdorf ˝˝ 10 0˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝0 00 ** 1˝ ˝1 8.0 9 Ivkov 0˝ 00 10 0˝ ˝0 ˝˝ ˝˝ 0˝ ** ˝1 6.5 10 Donner ˝0 ˝0 ˝1 ˝˝ ˝0 0˝ ˝0 ˝0 ˝0 ** 6.0

Original collection: Game Collection: Second Piatigorsky Cup 1966, by User: Benzol, based on Game Collection: Second Piatigorsky Cup 1966 by User: matey.

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 90  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J H Donner vs Unzicker ½-½431966Second Piatigorsky CupE55 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation
2. Ivkov vs Larsen 1-0461966Second Piatigorsky CupE16 Queen's Indian
3. Reshevsky vs Fischer ½-½421966Second Piatigorsky CupE92 King's Indian
4. Portisch vs Najdorf ½-½331966Second Piatigorsky CupE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
5. Petrosian vs Spassky ½-½291966Second Piatigorsky CupD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
6. Najdorf vs Ivkov 1-0261966Second Piatigorsky CupD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
7. Petrosian vs Reshevsky ½-½411966Second Piatigorsky CupE12 Queen's Indian
8. Fischer vs Portisch ½-½711966Second Piatigorsky CupC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
9. Larsen vs J H Donner ½-½581966Second Piatigorsky CupB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
10. Spassky vs Unzicker 1-0461966Second Piatigorsky CupC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
11. Ivkov vs Fischer 0-1421966Second Piatigorsky CupA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
12. Portisch vs Petrosian 1-0321966Second Piatigorsky CupE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
13. Unzicker vs Larsen ½-½381966Second Piatigorsky CupB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
14. Reshevsky vs Spassky ½-½201966Second Piatigorsky CupE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
15. J H Donner vs Najdorf ½-½411966Second Piatigorsky CupE60 King's Indian Defense
16. Spassky vs Larsen ½-½801966Second Piatigorsky CupB64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
17. Najdorf vs Unzicker ½-½261966Second Piatigorsky CupE59 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line
18. Fischer vs J H Donner ½-½341966Second Piatigorsky CupC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
19. Reshevsky vs Portisch ½-½161966Second Piatigorsky CupD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
20. Petrosian vs Ivkov ½-½251966Second Piatigorsky CupE75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
21. Larsen vs Najdorf 1-0691966Second Piatigorsky CupE98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 9.Ne1
22. Unzicker vs Fischer ½-½771966Second Piatigorsky CupB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. Ivkov vs Reshevsky ½-½931966Second Piatigorsky CupC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Portisch vs Spassky ½-½321966Second Piatigorsky CupE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
25. J H Donner vs Petrosian ½-½351966Second Piatigorsky CupA56 Benoni Defense
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 90  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The intro says, " he promptly won his first four games..." Does that mean he won them very quickly? Or that he won them exactly according to schedule?
Mar-11-15  Maynard5: This was an outstanding tournament, not only for the strength of the players, but also for the quality of the games. Standout games include Spassky’s wins over Unzicker and Fischer, Larsen’s two wins against Petrosian, and several of Fischer’s wins, against Portisch, Larsen, Donner and Ivkov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Nowadays tournaments are for nurseries. Look at those kiddies> - (pointing to Fischer, Spassky, and Larsen in 1966) - Miguel Najdorf.
Jul-17-15  fisayo123: This was the last time Fischer ever took less than 1st place in any tournament he participated in.
Aug-22-15  Everett: <Jul-17-15 fisayo123: This was the last time Fischer ever took less than 1st place in any tournament he participated in.>

He quit at Sousse 1967.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Larsen beat World Champion Petrosian twice here, and Korchnoi beat Petrosian twice in 1966 as well. So it was not a great year for Petrosian, but he did beat Spassky in the WC match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp: Larsen beat World Champion Petrosian twice here, and Korchnoi beat Petrosian twice in 1966 as well....>

Korchnoi scored two wins from the champion in 1965, but Petrosian supposedly won both encounters in '66, in a double-round training event for Petrosian's title defence which also featured Averbakh, Simagin, Boleslavsky and Shamkovich.

The 1978 collection of Korchnoi's games authored by himself, Bob Wade and Les Blackstock provides a crosstable which has Petrosian winning the training tourney with 8/10, with a loss to Boleslavsky and draws with Korchnoi and Averbakh in the second cycle after going 5-0 in the first.

While Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1966 is given as a White win here, another source lists the game as drawn.

Jan-27-17  EdZelli: <offramp>: Tigran got his revenge later in 1966 Havana Olympiad by winning the first place gold medal at table 1 with Larsen, Bobby, Portisch, etc present.

Tigran repeated his success again in 1968 Olympiad with same players (Larsen, Bobby, ..) present.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <offramp> You may have a different opinion but as far as I'm concerned any year that you win the world championship is a "good year", even if you lose all the other games that you play that year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <AylerKupp> I am a big fan of Petrosian, and I <DID> mean that it wasn't important how often he lost in 1965 or 1966 - he still remained World Champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Photo:

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