|USSR Championship (1973)|
In the aftermath of Robert James Fischer 's victory over Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Championship, the Soviet Union had been humiliated and humbled by an American, and the 35+ year rule of the Soviet chess machine over the international chess world had finally been put to an end. The consequences of this result were felt in Soviet chess for months after. Mark Taimanov, Tigran Petrosian, and Spassky were all reprimanded for their failure to stop Fischer. Consequences continued into the 41st USSR Championship, held in the Soviet capital of Moscow, from October 2-26, 1973. The tournament was organized to be the strongest in a decade. In addition to the four qualifying players who had each won a semi-final (Orest Averkin, Karen Grigorian, Nukhim Rashkovsky, and Evgeni Sveshnikov), the very strongest grandmasters of the Soviet Union received forced invitations to participate. The list was a collection of former world champions, multiple Soviet title winners, and the very strongest of the Soviet school, including: Spassky, Petrosian, Mikhail Tal, Vasily Smyslov, Anatoli Karpov, Viktor Korchnoi, Efim Geller, Paul Keres, Lev Polugaevsky, Taimanov, Leonid Stein, Vladimir Tukmakov, Vladimir Savon and Gennadi Kuzmin. Victor Davidovich Baturinsky, the vice-president of the USSR chess federation, and a Colonel of Justice, explained clearly to all the participants that their attendance was not only obligatory, but their very future as Soviet chess players (and the favors imparted therein) depended on their performance in the championship. Stein died before the championship took place and he was replaced by junior world champion Alexander Beliavsky. In addition to the composed line up, it was made known that draws of thirty moves or less were 'discouraged' by the organizers. Although short draws did occur, the schedule of play and the intense combat among the contestants was arduous. It was Spassky, after failing in Reykjavik, who emerged victorious by a full point. This edition did have the desired effect of revealing future world title candidates, as Karpov and Korchnoi tied for second and would face each other the following year for what ultimately was the de facto world championship.
The final standings and crosstable:
Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1973, by User: suenteus po 147.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts
1 Spassky * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 11½
=2 Karpov ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 10½
=2 Petrosian ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 10½
=2 Polugaevsky ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 10½
=2 Korchnoi ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 10½
=2 Kuzmin ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 10½
=7 Geller ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 8½
=7 Grigorian ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 8½
=9 Keres ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8
=9 Taimanov 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 8
=9 Savon 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8
=9 Tal ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8
=13 Tukmakov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7½
=13 Rashkovsky 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 7½
=15 Averkin 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 0 1 7
=15 Smyslov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 7
17 Sveshnikov 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * 0 6½
18 Beliavsky 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 4½
| page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153
|1. Keres vs Taimanov
||½-½||35||1973||USSR Championship||A48 King's Indian|
|2. N Rashkovsky vs Smyslov
||½-½||58||1973||USSR Championship||D85 Grunfeld|
|3. Polugaevsky vs Sveshnikov
||½-½||36||1973||USSR Championship||D47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav|
|4. Geller vs Tal
||½-½||42||1973||USSR Championship||B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation|
|5. G Kuzmin vs Spassky
||½-½||41||1973||USSR Championship||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|6. Averkin vs Korchnoi
|| ||½-½||30||1973||USSR Championship||A15 English|
|7. V Tukmakov vs Beliavsky
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||B83 Sicilian|
|8. Petrosian vs K Grigorian
|| ||½-½||49||1973||USSR Championship||A14 English|
|9. Karpov vs Savon
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||A15 English|
|10. Spassky vs Averkin
||1-0||35||1973||USSR Championship||B44 Sicilian|
|11. Tal vs V Tukmakov
||½-½||38||1973||USSR Championship||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|12. K Grigorian vs Smyslov
||0-1||51||1973||USSR Championship||E38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5|
|13. Taimanov vs Karpov
||½-½||20||1973||USSR Championship||E54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System|
|14. Sveshnikov vs Keres
||½-½||75||1973||USSR Championship||C45 Scotch Game|
|15. Savon vs N Rashkovsky
||½-½||57||1973||USSR Championship||B96 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|16. Beliavsky vs Polugaevsky
||0-1||35||1973||USSR Championship||B90 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|17. Korchnoi vs Geller
||½-½||54||1973||USSR Championship||E97 King's Indian|
|18. Petrosian vs G Kuzmin
||½-½||33||1973||USSR Championship||E54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System|
|19. Smyslov vs Savon
|| ||½-½||40||1973||USSR Championship||B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation|
|20. Averkin vs Petrosian
|| ||½-½||25||1973||USSR Championship||A06 Reti Opening|
|21. Keres vs Beliavsky
||1-0||40||1973||USSR Championship||E14 Queen's Indian|
|22. Geller vs Spassky
||½-½||24||1973||USSR Championship||D30 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|23. N Rashkovsky vs Taimanov
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||D38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation|
|24. V Tukmakov vs Korchnoi
|| ||0-1||39||1973||USSR Championship||C81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack|
|25. G Kuzmin vs K Grigorian
|| ||½-½||41||1973||USSR Championship||D94 Grunfeld|
| page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: The seeding is obviously to avoid having the two strongest players meeting in the first round.|
All systems "beg the question as to what the result will be."
If match play is bad, then why do we use it for the "final" round of the WCC contest?
It's not used mainly for practical reasons.
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: And Fischer was right about match play eliminating (or reducing) collusion. It certainly has that advantage over other systems.|
|Mar-25-16|| ||ughaibu: 1. the point of playing is to decide who is stronger, if that is arbitrarily decided before play, in the seeding, then the playing is superfluous. You might as well arbitrarily award the title, "at the start".|
2. and accusations of collusion continued after the candidates tournaments were replaced by matches! In particular, accusations by Fischer.
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: I don't think I agree with 1.
Seeding does not a match win.
As for point 2, yes Fischer was tragically flawed off the board.
But on the board? Not so much.
|Mar-25-16|| ||ughaibu: Your responses to both points seem to be non sequitur.|
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: Well, let me end it but asking how seeding stops the best player from getting to the end, if such a best player exists?|
Your whole point seems to be that there isn't a best player, that's what I'm concluding.
|Mar-25-16|| ||ughaibu: As Alexmagnus pointed out earlier, strength is somewhat idiosyncratic. The best performance in a candidates tournament was Tal's, in 1959, but had this been knock-out matches, he might have been eliminated by Keres (according to their actual results). At the time, who was stronger, Tal or Keres? |
And more to the point, if the player who achieved the best result might have been eliminated under a less competitive format, what justification is there for advocating that format?
|Feb-07-17|| ||Straclonoor: <Victor Davidovich Baturinsky, the vice-president of the USSR chess federation, and a KGB Colonel>
Victor Davidovich Baturinsky never been KGB Colonel, he was Colonel of Justice. He served in Military Prosecution not in NKVD/MGB/KGB.|
|Feb-07-17|| ||Lt.Surena: <Straclonoor: > The resident CG.com 007 Secret Agent Man (aka. the author of above Intro. User: suenteus) likes to add a little drama to the mix by
dropping the KGB name above. Not to mention adding Bobby's name to the Soviet Championship tournament which he never attended or claimed ownership to. He believes Bobby was the cause and the effect for all humankind's successes and failures from 1940 to 1990s :-) AND the price of tea in China.|
Seriously, suenteus needs to get back to finishing his essay about Bobby's role in the Earth's Climate change and also Bobby's eventual abduction by the space aliens.
|Feb-08-17|| ||offramp: There is quite a big gap between the first 6 finishers, who scored +6. +5 or +4, and everyone else, who scored 50% or less. Of those top 6, Kuzmin's future was the least successful. I hope he is not reading this.|
|Feb-08-17|| ||perfidious: Conversely, the youngster who was bottom marker here went on to have a better career than a number of those who finished ahead of him, despite the world champions and title candidates, past and future, who took part in this--such was his improvement even early on that he came joint first in the next year's edition.|
|Feb-09-17|| ||Howard: Yes, I remember that! In fact, he and Tal got their pictures on the cover of the April, 1974 issue of CL&R when they co-won that championship.|
|Feb-10-17|| ||Troller: <the youngster who was bottom marker here> has always been a little erratic in his performances though. He could score the legendary 100% (Alicante) or crash completely (e.g. Linares 1994). At this stage of course he was only 20 years old.|
This event mainly gets me to think "Spassky's come-back", but indeed it is fascinating to look through the chart.
E.g. Smyslov finished third from last here and was regarded "over the hill", but 10 years later he would contest the Candidates Final.
|Feb-23-17|| ||RookFile: Just reading over the names, this looks like a ridiculously strong event.|
|Mar-10-18|| ||Retireborn: This must surely be the only tournament to comprise nearly all (11 by my count) the Soviet GMs who competed at Candidates level from 1959-1982.|
I say nearly all, because 10 year old Garry Kasparov didn't quite make the cut.
|Mar-10-18|| ||perfidious: Tal narrowly avoided relegation, but went on to share first the following year, if in a clearly weaker version than this, with the aforementioned Belyavsky.|
|Mar-10-18|| ||Retireborn: <perfidious> Tal had a rather strange year in 1973. First places at Wijk, Tallinn, Sochi, Dubna, and Hastings, but sad disappointments at the Leningrad izt and this Soviet ch.|
As you say, he did have a couple of further successes in both arenas ahead of him though.
|Mar-11-18|| ||perfidious: <Retireborn>, 1973 saw the end of one long undefeated string at Leningrad and the birth of another during this event, which would run until Tal vs N Kirov, 1974, played the following October.|
|Mar-11-18|| ||Retireborn: <perfidious> It's very impressive, isn't it? But the mature Tal was always difficult to beat, even in his declining years.|
Ulf Andersson vs Tal, 1989
|Mar-13-18|| ||Retireborn: In his file van Reek thinks it was Levon Grigorian, not Karen, who played in this tournament.|
Every source I have, including Russbase, contradicts him, and certainly the openings played seem Karenish to me.
Still can't help worrying that Spassky may have told him something the rest of the world doesn't know!
|Mar-16-19|| ||Helios727: Was this the tournament that qualified Karpov for the 1973 Interzonal? As for Fischer, he could not have won this tournament ever, because the Soviet players would have been ordered to throw games to the favorite pick of the Soviet authorities.|
|Mar-16-19|| ||Retireborn: <Helios> This tournament, not a zonal, was played *after* the 1973 interzonals!|
I can't recall Karpov ever having played in a zonal tournament. I believe he qualified for the interzonal by virtue of winning the 1969 World junior championship; the 1971 winner Hug played in the Petropolis interzonal.
|Mar-16-19|| ||Sally Simpson: ***
That is correct, Karpov qualified because he won the 1969 Junior and played in the Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
The Russian zonal qualifier for this event was USSR Championship (1972) which was also the qualifier for the other interzonal Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
Korchnoi, Geller and Taimanov got into the Interzonals because they were in the previous candidates, A commission of Botvinnik, Najdorf, Kashdan and Trufuncvic also selected Polugaevsky, Smyslov, Keres and Stein to play in the Interzonals. Stein passed away and was replaced by Bronstein.
|Mar-17-19|| ||Helios727: So why did not the 1969 World Junior Championship place Karpov in the 1970 interzonal? Was there a rule that there had to be at least a two year wait?|
|Mar-17-19|| ||Retireborn: <Helios> World junior champions didn't get interzonal places in 1970; it was one of the changes made for 1973.|
It didn't last though. Certainly the next set of World junior winners (Beliavsky, Miles, and Chekhov) did not get to play in the 1976 interzonals.
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
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