|Varese Interzonal Playoff (1976)|
Bent Larsen had won the Biel Interzonal (1976), with Petrosian, Portisch and Tal in shared second place. But only three players from Biel could advance to the 1977 Candidates matches, and a playoff was necessary. This was twice delayed because Petrosian and Portisch were ailing, and when finally taking place it was hoped that it would end before the FIDE Congress in Haifa (6-9 November 1976) and the draw for the Candidates. (1) The venue was Villa Mirabello (2) in Varese, (3) about 55 km north of Milan (Italy), near the Swiss border.
Varese, Italy, 9-24 October 1976
Tal was eliminated, and Petrosian, Portisch and Larsen joined Henrique Mecking, Lev Polugaevsky and Vlastimil Hort from the Manila Interzonal (1976) for play against Boris Spassky (who in the capacity of losing semifinalist in 1974 replaced ex-World Champion Robert James Fischer) and Viktor Korchnoi (the loser of the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974)) in the next year's Candidates matches:
Elo 1234 1234 1234
1 GM Petrosian 2635 **** 1˝˝˝ ˝˝˝˝ 4˝
2 GM Portisch 2625 0˝˝˝ **** ˝1˝˝ 4
3 GM Tal 2615 ˝˝˝˝ ˝0˝˝ **** 3˝
Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Quarterfinal (1977)
Portisch - Larsen Candidates Quarterfinal (1977)
Polugaevsky - Mecking Candidates Quarterfinal (1977)
Spassky - Hort Candidates Quarterfinal (1977)
Of the players from Biel, only Portisch reached the semifinal: Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1977).
Tournament book: Sakkvilágbajnokság 1976: Manila, Biel, Varese, by Janos Flesch. Sport, Budapest 1979. 391 pp.
(1) De Telegraaf, 5 October 1976, p. 19.
(2) Photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...
(3) Wikipedia article: Varese.
Original collections: Game Collection: Interzonals 1976: play-off by User: capybara and Game Collection: Varese Interzonal Playoff 1976 by User: Tabanus. Round dates and pairings are from El Mundo Deportivo and the newspapers at http://kranten.delpher.nl/.
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