Hastings 1954/55 Tournament

Vasily Smyslov7/9(+5 -0 =4)[view games]
Paul Keres7/9(+6 -1 =2)[view games]
Laszlo Szabo5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[view games]
Andrija Fuderer5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[view games]
Ludek Pachman5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[view games]
Wolfgang Unzicker5/9(+3 -2 =4)[view games]
Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[view games]
Jan Hein Donner2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[view games]
William Albert Fairhurst1.5/9(+1 -7 =1)[view games]
Alan Phillips1/9(+0 -7 =2)[view games] Historical Chess Event
Hastings 1954/55
Ten grandmasters and masters were invited to the 30th Hastings Christmas Chess Festival premier tournament, led by Vasily Smyslov and Paul Keres from the Soviet Union. The field also featured Luděk Pachman, two-time Hastings winner and returning co-champion Conel Hugh Alexander, three-time Hastings winner László Szabó, previous Hastings winner Wolfgang Unzicker, Dutch champion Jan Hein Donner, British co-champion Alan Phillips, and international masters William Fairhurst and Andrija Fuderer.1 Robert Wade served as tournament director, F. A. Rhoden was tournament organizer, and Hastings mayor F. T. Hussey presided over the opening and closing ceremonies.2 Funding for the event was provided primarily by private donations and a grant from the Hastings Corporation.3

St Leonards-on-Sea 29 Dec 1954 - 7 Jan 19554

=1st Smyslov 7 /9 * ˝ 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 =1st Keres 7 /9 ˝ * 0 ˝ 1 1 1 1 1 1 =3rd Fuderer 5˝/9 0 1 * 1 0 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 =3rd Pachman 5˝/9 ˝ ˝ 0 * ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 ˝ =3rd Szabo 5˝/9 0 0 1 ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 6th Unzicker 5 /9 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ 1 1 1 7th Alexander 4˝/9 ˝ 0 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ * ˝ 1 1 8th Donner 2˝/9 ˝ 0 0 0 0 0 ˝ * 1 ˝ 9th Fairhurst 1˝/9 0 0 ˝ 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 10th Phillips 1 /9 0 0 0 ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ 0 *

The contestants lodged at the stately Royal Victoria Hotel, and played in the nearby Sun Lounge in St Leonards-on-Sea.5 The tournament kicked off with victories by Unzicker, Pachman and Szabó, but the surprising absence of Paul Keres in the first and second rounds became the main news story. He was sick with influenza, and was forced to play two games on the first off-day, Sunday 2 January. His illness and heavy day's workload didn't seem to bother him, however, as he posted a draw against Smyslov and a win over Unzicker.2 Bizarrely, this incident was soon blown up into a scandal by the London Daily Express, which published an article accusing Keres and Smyslov of being "unfriendly" to the other people at Hastings, especially towards some of the Americans participating in the minor events. Keres' absence at the start of the tournament was cited as the prime evidence. The Soviet delegation in Hastings dashed off an angry letter of protest to the offending newspaper, but it soon became apparent that some of the players in the premier event did not endorse or support this letter.2

Undaunted by this suddenly frosty atmosphere, the Soviets forged ahead, seemingly in lockstep. By round five they shared the lead with four points each. Smyslov was in stirling form, and had been for some time. He had lost the Botvinnik-Smyslov World Championship Match (1954) in May, but since that date he had played four major events, including the Amsterdam Olympiad, without losing a single game.6 In round six Keres suffered a disaster against the unheralded Andrija Fuderer, who sacced his Queen en route to a sparkling victory over the three-time USSR champion. Keres fought back to share the lead again after round eight, with one game to go. Both Soviet champions triumphed in the final round, sharing the tournament first prize. The giant killer Fuderer shared 3d with Pachman and Szabó. Incumbent co-champion C. H. Alexander proved something of a disappointment, managing only 7th place. More had been expected of him by the home crowd, given that a year earlier at Hastings he had shared first with David Bronstein, finishing ahead of Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush, Aleksandar Matanovic, and Fridrik Olafsson.

Photo of St Leonards-on-Sea:

Photo of the Sun Lounge:

Photo of the Royal Victoria Hotel:


1 Britbase-Hastings

2 "Chess Life" 1955, Jan 20th, p. 3, 8

3 Harry Golombek, "Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess" (Crown Publishers Inc. 1977), p. 138

4 British Chess Magazine 1955, pp. 61-68

5 Jan van Reek

6 Gino Di Felice "Chess Results 1951-1955," pp. 420-23; Edward Winter, ed. "World Chess Champions" (Pergamon Press 1981), p. 152

7 Hastings 1953/54 (1953) and Hastings 1955/56 (1955) were their previous and next annual Christmas tournaments.

Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1954/55, by User: suenteus po 147

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J H Donner vs Szabo  0-156 1954 Hastings 1954/55E00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. W Fairhurst vs A Fuderer  ½-½22 1954 Hastings 1954/55C66 Ruy Lopez
3. Pachman vs C H Alexander 1-036 1954 Hastings 1954/55A81 Dutch
4. A Phillips vs Unzicker  0-138 1954 Hastings 1954/55A05 Reti Opening
5. W Fairhurst vs J H Donner  0-167 1954 Hastings 1954/55A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
6. Smyslov vs A Fuderer 1-037 1954 Hastings 1954/55A21 English
7. C H Alexander vs A Phillips  1-049 1954 Hastings 1954/55C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
8. Szabo vs Pachman  ½-½17 1954 Hastings 1954/55E62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
9. J H Donner vs Smyslov  ½-½35 1954 Hastings 1954/55E19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
10. A Fuderer vs Unzicker  ½-½19 1954 Hastings 1954/55A04 Reti Opening
11. Pachman vs A Phillips  ½-½47 1954 Hastings 1954/55E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
12. Szabo vs W Fairhurst  1-046 1954 Hastings 1954/55B10 Caro-Kann
13. Keres vs C H Alexander 1-022 1954 Hastings 1954/55C42 Petrov Defense
14. W Fairhurst vs Pachman 0-135 1955 Hastings 1954/55D82 Grunfeld, 4.Bf4
15. Unzicker vs J H Donner  1-030 1955 Hastings 1954/55C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
16. C H Alexander vs A Fuderer  ½-½26 1955 Hastings 1954/55B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. Smyslov vs Szabo 1-043 1955 Hastings 1954/55D74 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O
18. A Phillips vs Keres 0-130 1955 Hastings 1954/55D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. Unzicker vs Keres 0-144 1955 Hastings 1954/55C71 Ruy Lopez
20. Keres vs Smyslov ½-½25 1955 Hastings 1954/55D14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
21. A Fuderer vs A Phillips 1-034 1955 Hastings 1954/55A54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
22. W Fairhurst vs Smyslov 0-139 1955 Hastings 1954/55E46 Nimzo-Indian
23. J H Donner vs C H Alexander  ½-½39 1955 Hastings 1954/55A81 Dutch
24. Pachman vs Keres  ½-½28 1955 Hastings 1954/55E14 Queen's Indian
25. Szabo vs Unzicker  ½-½35 1955 Hastings 1954/55E53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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