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Hastings 1962/63 Tournament

Alexander Kotov6.5/9(+4 -0 =5)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Vasily Smyslov6/9(+3 -0 =6)[games]
Drazen Marovic5.5/9(+2 -0 =7)[games]
John Eric Littlewood5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Tan Hoan Liong4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Frits van Seters3/9(+1 -4 =4)[games]
Peter Hugh Clarke3/9(+0 -3 =6)[games]
Adrian Swayne Hollis2/9(+1 -6 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Hastings 1962/63

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 2. 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 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts 1 Kotov * 1 1 1 1 6.5 2 Gligoric * 0 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 3 Smyslov 1 * 1 1 6.0 4 Marovic * 1 1 5.5 5 Littlewood 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 5.0 6 Tan 0 0 * 1 0 1 4.0 7 Alexander 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 3.5 8 Seters 0 0 0 1 * 0 3.0 9 Clarke 0 0 0 * 3.0 10 Hollis 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 2.0

(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.
(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 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. F van Seters vs Smyslov  ½-½621962Hastings 1962/63D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
2. D Marovic vs J Littlewood  ½-½411962Hastings 1962/63A62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
3. C H Alexander vs Kotov  ½-½451962Hastings 1962/63B06 Robatsch
4. A Hollis vs P Clarke  ½-½281962Hastings 1962/63E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
5. Tan Hoan Liong vs Gligoric  ½-½491962Hastings 1962/63A10 English
6. P Clarke vs F van Seters  ½-½311962Hastings 1962/63A37 English, Symmetrical
7. Gligoric vs D Marovic  ½-½401962Hastings 1962/63C11 French
8. Smyslov vs Tan Hoan Liong  ½-½621962Hastings 1962/63B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
9. Tan Hoan Liong vs P Clarke  ½-½301962Hastings 1962/63E66 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav Panno
10. D Marovic vs Smyslov  ½-½301962Hastings 1962/63E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
11. P Clarke vs Kotov ½-½611962Hastings 1962/63A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
12. Smyslov vs J Littlewood  ½-½361963Hastings 1962/63A05 Reti Opening
13. C H Alexander vs F van Seters  ½-½241963Hastings 1962/63B16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
14. D Marovic vs Kotov  ½-½171963Hastings 1962/63D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
15. A Hollis vs D Marovic  ½-½301963Hastings 1962/63A07 King's Indian Attack
16. Smyslov vs P Clarke  ½-½411963Hastings 1962/63A07 King's Indian Attack
17. Gligoric vs Kotov  ½-½261963Hastings 1962/63B08 Pirc, Classical
18. D Marovic vs F van Seters  ½-½471963Hastings 1962/63E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
19. P Clarke vs C H Alexander  ½-½211963Hastings 1962/63D23 Queen's Gambit Accepted
20. Kotov vs Smyslov  ½-½211963Hastings 1962/63E92 King's Indian
21. Tan Hoan Liong vs D Marovic  ½-½301963Hastings 1962/63E79 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, Main line
 page 1 of 1; 21 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  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 nave 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?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Just after this tournament started Britain was hit by a famous cold spell. 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.

Premium Chessgames Member
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!
Premium Chessgames Member
  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)


Hi Offramp,

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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