|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||E57 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...dc and 9...cd|
|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
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< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
|Mar-24-16|| ||suenteus po 147: <ughaibu> I grant that you are more well read on the subject than I am regarding Fischer and the '72 world championship. But a lot of what I have read points to FIDE's involvement ranging from indifference to capitulating to Fischer's demands (some reasonable, some most decidedly unreasonable), which I don't equate with "unequaled support." Fischer was the one who pushed for the changes that would either give him an advantage or take an advantage away from Spassky and the Soviets. The fact that FIDE gave in doesn't mean they were in collusion with Fischer the whole time, or even part of the time.|
|Mar-24-16|| ||HeMateMe: <The "Soviet Chess machine" at that time was a bunch of old men>|
Well, Tal beat an over the hill Botvinnik in 1960. Karpov beat a much older Korchnoi twice. Capablanca beat up a much older Lasker--chess history is full of the younger man beating the older guy in the world championship--what's your point?
And of course, a twenty two year old Carlsen defeated a middle aged Anand twice.
|Mar-24-16|| ||perfidious: <HMM: <The "Soviet Chess machine" at that time was a bunch of old men>|
Well, Tal beat an over the hill Botvinnik in 1960....>
It should be mentioned that Botvinnik exacted retribution the following year by an even greater margin than which he lost his crown.
Big bully--beating up on a kid that way!
|Mar-24-16|| ||HeMateMe: well, it was a kid with kidney disease.|
|Mar-24-16|| ||ughaibu: Suenteus po 147:
The most radical change to the rules of the world championship was from an all-play-all candidates tournament to a set of knock-out matches. This was done in response to Fischer's sour grapes over losing at Curacao.
Of course FIDE's decision is understandable, given the great PR potential that Fischer offered for chess, but as a knock-out format is less competitive and increases the luck factor, their decision is difficult to justify other than by mooting a mollycoddling of Fischer.
There's also all the support that Fischer had from his compatriots, the US chess machine so to speak. The most conspicuous example being all those who gave way so that he could play in the 1971 Interzonal. But on top of that there's the fact that he had seconds, and as he, at least once, got into a physical fight over which player it was time for the second to work with, he clearly availed himself of their services.
Let's consider another case, when Botvinnik suspected that his preparation was being leaked and as a precaution deceived his own second. In this case Botvinnik wasn't only working alone, he needed to spend time pretending not to be. In effect, we could say that Botvinnik took on the Soviet chess machine on less than his own.
Would anyone really take seriously the contention that Botvinnik took on the Soviet chess machine on his own? It's difficult to imagine, which makes it particularly puzzling that so many people make the claim about Fischer.
|Mar-24-16|| ||zanzibar: <Of course FIDE's decision is understandable, given the great PR potential that Fischer offered for chess, but as a knock-out format is less competitive and increases the luck factor, their decision is difficult to justify other than by mooting a mollycoddling of Fischer.>|
For determining the placement of players according to relative strength I would agree.
But not for determining the single best player. No, I think a KO format, properly done, is competitive. And maybe even the best method, if time allowed.
You really think the current Candidates Match gives sufficient separation?
Maybe a RR4, but certainly not a RR2. Not with the Candidates at this level of parity.
|Mar-25-16|| ||alexmagnus: <zanzibar> The KO format would be fair in determining the best player if the playing strength were strictly ordered. It is not - there are many examples of A doing well against B, V doing even better against C - and, contrary to order logic - C simply crushing A.|
|Mar-25-16|| ||alexmagnus: Not V but B :)|
|Mar-25-16|| ||Howard: HeHateMe-----Karpov beat Korchnoi three times, not twice.|
You're forgetting about their 1974 "world championship" match.
|Mar-25-16|| ||zanzibar: <alexmagnus> for one or two game encounters, yes.|
For for a sustained, and robust, head-to-head match?
Let's ask it this way... if A always beats B in a head-to-head match, does B deserve a shot at the WCC?
The idea of WCC is that nobody can beat such a player. So, B should never get the opportunity to claim to be the World's best, since A can prove otherwise, anytime.
The trick with KO formats is to properly seed the tournament at the start.
|Mar-25-16|| ||ughaibu: But "to properly seed the tournament at the start" is to beg the question as to what the result will be.|
|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.|
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·
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