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Milan Tournament

Anatoly Karpov12/21(+4 -1 =16)[view games]
Lajos Portisch12/21(+5 -2 =14)[view games]
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian11.5/21(+3 -1 =17)[view games]
Ljubomir Ljubojevic11/21(+5 -4 =12)[view games]
Jan Smejkal6/11(+2 -1 =8)[view games]
Mikhail Tal5.5/11(+3 -3 =5)[view games]
Walter Shawn Browne5.5/11(+2 -2 =7)[view games]
Ulf Andersson5/11(+3 -4 =4)[view games]
Wolfgang Unzicker5/11(+2 -3 =6)[view games]
Svetozar Gligoric5/11(+3 -4 =4)[view games]
Bent Larsen5/11(+4 -5 =2)[view games]
Sergio Mariotti2.5/11(+0 -6 =5)[view games]
* Chess Event Description
Milan (1975)

Since the introduction of the ELO rating system earlier in the decade, the 1970s saw a resurgence of the so-called "super" chess tournament where the very best in the world gathered to compete at international events. 1975 was one of the biggest years of the decade in that regard as a number of international "super tournaments" were held in which top rated masters participated. Milan, Italy in late summer saw the attendance of twelve such top rated world grandmasters, including the newly designated world champion Anatoly Karpov (2705). He was joined by Tigran Petrosian (2645) from the Soviet Union; Mikhail Tal (2645) from the Soviet Union; Lajos Portisch (2635) from Hungary; Bent Larsen (2625) from Denmark; Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2615) from Yugoslavia; Jan Smejkal (2600) from Czechoslovakia; Svetozar Gligoric (2575) from Yugoslavia; Ulf Andersson (2565) from Sweden; Walter Browne (2550) from the United States; Wolfgang Unzicker (2535) from West Germany; and Sergio Mariotti (2495) playing for his home country of Italy. The combined ratings of all the grandmasters qualified the tournament as a Category XV event, making it stronger than most other international tournaments seen up to that point. Games were played from August 20th to September 14th. In addition to a round robin all-play-all format, a series of semifinal and final matches among the top four finishers were devised to follow the tournament. This would turn out to be a blessing for the Soviet grandmasters as the final of the tournament proper saw Portisch finish clear first, a half point ahead of shared seconds Petrosian, Karpov, and Ljubojevic. While Portisch dispatched Ljubojevic in their semifinal match, Petrosian and Karpov drew their match, allowing the higher rated world champion a shot at the tournament leader in the finals match for first place. Karpov only managed to win one game, but it was enough to put him over the edge and finish the entire event as clear first ahead of Portisch. It was to be one of the earliest of what would be copious numbers of super tournament victories for the new world champion.

Milan, Italy, 20 August - 14 September 1975

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 1 Portisch * 1 0 1 1 1 7 =2 Karpov * 1 0 1 1 6 =2 Petrosian * 1 1 6 =2 Ljubojevic 0 * 1 1 0 1 1 6 5 Smejkal * 1 0 1 6 =6 Tal 0 * 0 1 0 1 1 5 =6 Browne 0 0 1 * 1 5 =8 Andersson 1 1 0 0 * 0 0 1 5 =8 Unzicker 0 1 1 * 0 0 5 =8 Gligoric 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 0 5 =8 Larsen 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 1 5 12 Mariotti 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 2

The final standings and crosstable of the semifinal matches:

1 Portisch 1 2 2 Ljubojevic 0 1 =1 Petrosian 2 =1 Karpov 2

The final standings and crosstable of the final matches:

Third/fourth place match

=1 Ljubojevic 0 1 3 =1 Petrosian 1 0 3

First/second place match

1 Karpov 1 3 2 Portisch 0 2

Original collection: Game Collection: Milan 1975, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 86  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. S Mariotti vs Portisch  0-141 1975 MilanC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. Petrosian vs Karpov ½-½29 1975 MilanE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
3. Browne vs Gligoric  ½-½57 1975 MilanC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
4. Unzicker vs Tal 1-032 1975 MilanB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
5. Ljubojevic vs Ulf Andersson 1-040 1975 MilanB44 Sicilian
6. Smejkal vs Larsen 1-052 1975 MilanE17 Queen's Indian
7. Tal vs Browne 0-144 1975 MilanB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Ulf Andersson vs Unzicker  ½-½78 1975 MilanA05 Reti Opening
9. S Mariotti vs Petrosian  ½-½28 1975 MilanC03 French, Tarrasch
10. Larsen vs Ljubojevic 0-127 1975 MilanA77 Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2
11. Portisch vs Gligoric 1-034 1975 MilanE88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
12. Karpov vs Smejkal ½-½55 1975 MilanA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
13. Smejkal vs S Mariotti  ½-½34 1975 MilanD79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
14. Unzicker vs Larsen 0-146 1975 MilanB50 Sicilian
15. Gligoric vs Tal  ½-½35 1975 MilanA56 Benoni Defense
16. Ljubojevic vs Karpov 0-157 1975 MilanC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. Petrosian vs Portisch  ½-½27 1975 MilanA07 King's Indian Attack
18. Browne vs Ulf Andersson ½-½41 1975 MilanB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
19. S Mariotti vs Ljubojevic  0-141 1975 MilanA05 Reti Opening
20. Portisch vs Tal  ½-½43 1975 MilanA34 English, Symmetrical
21. Karpov vs Unzicker 1-022 1975 MilanC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
22. Petrosian vs Smejkal  ½-½29 1975 MilanA15 English
23. Ulf Andersson vs Gligoric 0-138 1975 MilanA13 English
24. Larsen vs Browne ½-½23 1975 MilanA34 English, Symmetrical
25. Smejkal vs Portisch  ½-½62 1975 MilanA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 86  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-03-13  suenteus po 147: Okay, so this is something I've been meaning to ask for a while: Were the semi-final and final matches an original part of this event, or were the Soviet grandmasters so irked by Portisch's win that they lobbied for more games? I'm guessing it was part of the program from the beginning (but then, hey, it was the seventies, they might have decided to rob a bank and pay them to play more games! ciao!), but then how much must it have irked Portisch that he fought so hard only to succumb to one crummy loss to Karpov in the final match and be dispatched in the ultimate standings?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: No proof at hand, but I'm pretty sure that was the original program. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the Soviet players coasted in the preliminaries, looking merely to qualify.
Apr-04-13  suenteus po 147: <Phony Benoni> Coasting, sure: Karpov only has three wins. But how to tell if Petrosian was or not? He always had few wins and no losses :)
Sep-07-13  Everett: Isnt this format one of the ideas for deciding the world championship, or at least the candidates? Candidate tournament, then a series of matches until one is left standing. This person would either be the new WC, or be the challenger to the incumbent. Not so bad, in my eyes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Have any other international tournaments used this format of a round-robin followed by knock-out matches?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This tournament, as the intro says, began on August 20th 1975, exactly 75 years ago in a fortnight's time.

As a celebration of that anniversary, <and> as a memorial to the late and great master of chess Walter Shawn Browne, Europe Echecs has published a quite SOO-PERB article on this tournament.

It can be seen at

Some wonderful photos and reminiscences.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Seventy-five years? Seems more like forty to me.
Aug-03-16  Mr. V: I like Mariotti's strategy, draw with black, lose with white. It reminds me of my own play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <perfidious: Seventy-five years? Seems more like forty to me.>

Time flies, doesn't it?

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