The 38th Hastings Christmas Congress was held from December 27, 1962 to January 5, 1963. Chief among the competitors were grandmasters Alexander Kotov, Svetozar Gligoric, and former World Champion Vasily Smyslov, a last moment replacement for Boris Spassky. (1)
Other foreign competitors were two untitled but promising young players (Tan Hoan Liong from Indonesia and Drazen Marovic from Yugoslavia), and the veteran Dutch-Belgian player Frits van Seters. The British contingent consisted of former Hastings and British champion Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander, John Eric Littlewood, Peter Hugh Clarke, and Adrian Swayne Hollis.
The tournament began inauspiciously when icy roads prevented some players from arriving on time. As a result, the games P Clarke vs Kotov, 1962 and J Littlewood vs Tan Hoan Liong, 1962 had to be postponed until December 31, the rest day following round 4. (2) Once they were played, the early tournament situation became clearer.
After four rounds, Gligoric and Kotov led with 3 points, followed by Alexander, Marovic and Smyslov at 2½. Round five saw Gligoric dispose of Alexander, remaining tied with Kotov as the latter defeated Tan. Marovic kept up the pace with a win over Clarke, while Smyslov fell slightly behind with a draw against Littlewood. The former champion made up for that slip in round 6 by defeating Gligoric. Kotov's draw with Marovic kept the former a half-point ahead of Gligoric, Marovic, and Smyslov.
The tournament was setting up well for Marovic to pull a Hastings surprise. Kotov still had to play Gligoric and Smyslov, while Marovic finished with games against Tan, Hollis, and Van Seters, all in the bottom half of the field. Unfortunately, the young Yugoslavian drew all three games to drop out of contention for first place.
The three grandmasters all won in round 7, leaving the situation between them unchanged. Kotov then drew with Gligoric in round 8 and Smyslov in round 9. Smyslov was unable to catch him due to a draw with Clarke, but Gligoric tied for the lead by winning with Black against Hollis in the final round.
(1) The reason for Spassky's replacement is unclear. Henk J van Donk, in Schakend Nederland, February 1963, stated that he was ill. A report in Chess, February 1963, stated that Spassky was "... tired after the USSR Championship and wished to be fully fit for the forthcoming Mar del Plata tournament." This is plausible, since the USSR Championship Yerevan did not end until December 20, a week before Hastings. Other explanations, including disciplinary action, may be possible as well.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts
1 Kotov * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 6.5
2 Gligoric ½ * 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 6.5
3 Smyslov ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.0
4 Marovic ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5
5 Littlewood 0 0 ½ ½ * 1 0 1 1 1 5.0
6 Tan 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * 1 0 ½ 1 4.0
7 Alexander ½ 0 0 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 1 3.5
8 Seters 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ * ½ 0 3.0
9 Clarke ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 3.0
10 Hollis 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ * 2.0
(2) The Times, December 28, 1962, p. 8. Regular reports in his source provided round dates and other details.
Previous edition: Hastings (1961/62). Next: Hastings (1963/64).
Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1962/63, by User: suenteus po 147. Thanks to User: thomastonk for pulling reports from The Times. Thanks also to User: sneaky pete and User: Paint My Dragon.
| page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45
|1. Smyslov vs A Hollis
||1-0||22||1962||Hastings 1962/63||C18 French, Winawer|
|2. Gligoric vs F van Seters
|| ||1-0||38||1962||Hastings 1962/63||A58 Benko Gambit|
|3. D Marovic vs C H Alexander
|| ||1-0||46||1962||Hastings 1962/63||D02 Queen's Pawn Game|
|4. Tan Hoan Liong vs Gligoric
|| ||½-½||49||1962||Hastings 1962/63||A10 English|
|5. C H Alexander vs Kotov
|| ||½-½||45||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B06 Robatsch|
|6. D Marovic vs J Littlewood
|| ||½-½||41||1962||Hastings 1962/63||A62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation|
|7. A Hollis vs P Clarke
|| ||½-½||28||1962||Hastings 1962/63||E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line|
|8. F van Seters vs Smyslov
|| ||½-½||62||1962||Hastings 1962/63||D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted|
|9. Kotov vs A Hollis
|| ||1-0||61||1962||Hastings 1962/63||D95 Grunfeld|
|10. Gligoric vs D Marovic
|| ||½-½||40||1962||Hastings 1962/63||C11 French|
|11. J Littlewood vs C H Alexander
||0-1||73||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B08 Pirc, Classical|
|12. P Clarke vs F van Seters
|| ||½-½||31||1962||Hastings 1962/63||A37 English, Symmetrical|
|13. Smyslov vs Tan Hoan Liong
|| ||½-½||62||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|14. C H Alexander vs A Hollis
|| ||1-0||41||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B89 Sicilian|
|15. Tan Hoan Liong vs P Clarke
|| ||½-½||30||1962||Hastings 1962/63||E66 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav Panno|
|16. D Marovic vs Smyslov
|| ||½-½||30||1962||Hastings 1962/63||E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation|
|17. F van Seters vs Kotov
||0-1||73||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B08 Pirc, Classical|
|18. J Littlewood vs Gligoric
|| ||0-1||29||1962||Hastings 1962/63||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|19. P Clarke vs Kotov
||½-½||61||1962||Hastings 1962/63||A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System|
|20. J Littlewood vs Tan Hoan Liong
||1-0||34||1962||Hastings 1962/63||C34 King's Gambit Accepted|
|21. Gligoric vs C H Alexander
|| ||1-0||42||1963||Hastings 1962/63||C64 Ruy Lopez, Classical|
|22. Smyslov vs J Littlewood
|| ||½-½||36||1963||Hastings 1962/63||A05 Reti Opening|
|23. P Clarke vs D Marovic
|| ||0-1||30||1963||Hastings 1962/63||E94 King's Indian, Orthodox|
|24. Kotov vs Tan Hoan Liong
||1-0||29||1963||Hastings 1962/63||E41 Nimzo-Indian|
|25. A Hollis vs F van Seters
|| ||1-0||34||1963||Hastings 1962/63||E33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical|
| page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45
|Feb-09-14|| ||Phony Benoni: As stated in the introduction, the reason Spassky as replaced by Smyslov is unclear. Illness or fatigue are perfectly plausible, but it would be naïve to dismiss the possibility of disciplinary action by Soviet authorities. The fact that Spassky did not play abroad again until the Amsterdam Interzonal in May, 1964, could be signficant.|
Can somebody shed more light on this situation?
|Jan-05-18|| ||offramp: Just after this tournament started Britain was hit by a famous cold spell.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winte.... It was the start of the coldest winter since 1814.|
n January 1963 the sea froze for a mile out from shore at Herne Bay, Kent, which is only 50 miles from Hastings.
It is no wonder that Tan Hoan Liong, staring out the window at the 20 feet deep snowdrifts, the sleet pouring down from low, angry clouds, his feet and hands like four blocks of ice, suffered a mental breakdown and never played chess again.
|Jan-05-18|| ||WorstPlayerEver: <offramp>
Never heard of this guy. I am Dutch and a quick read made clear he was probably one of the best talents the Dutch ever had.
But he was Indonesian, so they burnt his scoresheets of the Dutch Championship '61 and succeeded in breaking every nerve in his system. The traditional Dutch approach regarded to guys who are less average than them (which counts for most people on this planet btw).
Useless to say the Dutch were pretty irritated they just lost their colony Indonesia.
|Mar-08-19|| ||offramp: |
The snow is billowing down on Hastings beaches.
Tan Liong is cracking splinters of ice from his pieces,
The half-grown icicles looking down like accusers,
The players in thick coats, shivering at the table,
Salo Flohr freezing, shockeling in his echt sable,
A pair of knights stuck to their home squares like frozen horses,
And everyone, everyone coughing and sneezing!
|Mar-08-19|| ||Sally Simpson: Hi. Phony Benoni,
Your question about Smyslov replacing Spassky.
"Andrew Soltis also mentions this game in his book "Soviet Chess: 1917-1991" (p251 hbk):
"After Spassky lost a highly publicised game to the American William Lombardy on first board in the 1960 Student Olympiad he was left of the 1961 team and was eventually suspended from foreign travel three times.
He was replaced at the last minute as a Soviet invitee to Hastings 1962-1963 -- a typical Sports Committee humiliation."
Spassky vs Lombardy, 1960 (kibitz #12)
I remember that 1963 Winter. It produced a trivial pursuit football question about the most postponements. Airdrie v Stranraer was postponed 33 times.
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