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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
Hastings 1980/81 Tournament

Ulf Andersson10.5/15(+6 -0 =9)[games]
Eugenio Torre10/15(+6 -1 =8)[games]
Anatoly Lein9.5/15(+5 -1 =9)[games]
Lev Alburt8.5/15(+5 -3 =7)[games]
Jaime Sunye Neto8.5/15(+4 -2 =9)[games]
Lubomir Ftacnik8.5/15(+5 -3 =7)[games]
Vladimir Mikhailovich Liberzon8/15(+3 -2 =10)[games]
Petar Popovic7.5/15(+1 -1 =13)[games]
Jonathan Speelman7/15(+2 -3 =10)[games]
Murray Chandler7/15(+3 -4 =8)[games]
Paul E Littlewood7/15(+5 -6 =4)[games]
Andrew Jonathan Mestel6.5/15(+3 -5 =7)[games]
John A Peters6/15(+1 -4 =10)[games]
Jozsef Pinter6/15(+2 -5 =8)[games]
Robert Bellin5/15(+0 -5 =10)[games]
Luismar Jorge de Brito4.5/15(+3 -9 =3)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Hastings 1980/81

The 56th Hastings Premier Tournament was of 15 rounds/120 games duration and was held in the White Rock Pavilion (map: http://bit.ly/2bySxCJ) between Monday, December 29th, 1980 and Thursday, January 15th, 1981. The tournament was a fight between Andersson, Torre and Lein for the first prize of £1,000 (approximately £3,300/$5,600 in 2014 values). (1)

The participants

The premier event of sixteen players included seven grandmasters and eight international masters. The average ELO was 2476 which made this a Category 10 tournament, with a GM norm at 10 points and a master norm at 7. All the players were aged in their twenties apart from the trio of experienced ex-Soviet grandmasters: Lein (49), Alburt (35) and Liberzon (43).

The tournament organiser William Ritson-Morry had to work hard and to the last minute to maintain the category of the tournament.

The Yugoslav player Slavoljub Marjanovic (GM, 2515) could not attend due to military service and was replaced by Petar Popovic (IM, 2490).

Relations with the Soviet Chess Federation had deteriorated to a point where they would not provide the details of their nominated players until the very last minute, causing publicity and organizational problems for the Congress' management. There was also a perception that the Soviet authorities were no longer inclined to send their top players, and those they did send tended to do just enough to justify their invitation but without troubling themselves by playing particularly interesting chess.

The offered entries of Adrian Mikhalchishin (GM, 2535) and Evgeni Ellinovich Sveshnikov (GM, 2535) were late and were declined.

The rift was temporary, and Soviet players won the next three tournaments, including the spurned Sveshnikov in 1985. Perhaps both sides thought better of it. There was still prestige in winning Hastings, whilst without the Soviets there was a danger that the tournament would become stale. Speelman and Mestel were participating for a fourth successive time, whilst for Andersson it was the third and for Lein it was the second.

The prizewinners

Ulf Andersson made his third Hastings's victory in a row; albeit in the previous year he had shared first prize with John Nunn.

Eugenio Torre won his last game to gain undivided second place in great style with a Queen sacrifice, whilst Lein, although having the white pieces, chose to play for a quick and blood less draw in 13 moves against Andersson to be certain of the third prize. The early 1980s were a breakthrough period for Torre. At the 1980 Malta Chess Olympiad, he was bronze medalist on first board (+9 =4 -1). He went on to come second (due to a tie break) at the Toluca Interzonal (1982).

Anatoly Lein was late to arrive and his Round 1 and Round 2 games were both postponed and played on rest days. Torre-Lein (Round 1) was played on 1st January, and Peters-Lein (Round 2) was played on the 14th January (two weeks after the rest of the round). Lein won a special prize for the best played endgame of the tournament against Littlewood, and gained the third prize.

The other contestants

Lev Alburt who had defected from the Soviet Union in 1979, won his first four games but could only win one further game. His progress slowed after losing to tail-ender Brito in Round 8, when he paid the price for over-enthusiastic pawn grabbing. He finally fell out of contention in Round 12 by losing to Andersson, who had sacrificed the exchange for lasting positional pressure.

The tournament had an English contingent of four players. Jonathan Speelman and Andrew Jonathan Mestel were regular England team members. Paul Littlewood had gained the IM title in 1979 and he would win the British Championship in 1981. Robert Bellin was the 1979 British champion. Apart from Littlewood, they all underperformed their ratings.

Jozsef Pinter, the Hungarian champion in 1978 and 1979 disappointed. He could not recover from a slow start.

Brazil was represented by its new star and champion Jaime Sunye Neto (IM, 2415) who had come to the chess world's attention with his surprise fifth equal placing at the Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979). His compatriot, Luismar Jorge de Brito (2255) was the unknown player of the tournament. He had shared second and third prize in Brazilian championship in 1979, and secured his place at Hastings by going on to win the Challenger's Tournament, but he was handicapped by a relatively weak opening repertoire. If he could surmount this, he showed he was capable of energetic and imaginative chess as against Bellin in Round 2. Although he came last, Brito still improved his rating by 89 points.

Notable games

1. Torre won the brilliancy prize in the last round with a Queen sacrifice - E Torre vs J Peters, 1981
2. The prize winner for the best played ending - A Lein vs P Littlewood, 1981
3. An enterprising exchange sacrifice - Alburt vs Ulf Andersson, 1981
4. Attacking play against the Grunfeld - P Littlewood vs Ftacnik, 1980
5. The Marshall Attack breaks through! - L Brito vs P Littlewood, 1980
6. An unusual piece sacrifice - R Bellin vs L Brito, 1980

The final standings and crosstable

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Andersson 2590 * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 10.5 2 Torre 2520 ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 10.0 3 Lein 2520 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 9.5 4 Alburt 2515 0 ½ ½ * 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 8.5 5 Sunye 2415 ½ 0 ½ 0 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 8.5 6 Ftacnik 2470 0 0 ½ 1 ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 8.5 7 Liberzon 2545 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 * ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 8.0 8 Popovic 2490 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.5 9 Speelman 2490 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 7.0 10 Chandler 2450 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7.0 11 Littewood 2440 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 * ½ 1 1 ½ 1 7.0 12 Mestel 2485 0 1 1 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 6.5 13 Peters 2465 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 1 ½ 6.0 14 Pinter 2535 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 * ½ 1 6.0 15 Bellin 2440 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 5.0 16 Brito 2255 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 * 4.5

The pace of the tournament slackened towards the end, and the number of short draws increased markedly. "Leonard William Barden suggested that players were conserving their energies for the Hoogoven Tournament ... which started immediately after", (2) even though Andersson and Torre were the only Premier players participating in both tournaments.

Notes

1) Golombek in The Times, January 16, 1981, page 14.

2) Introductory material and round details based on information from: Chess Magazine, vol. 45, nos 849-50, January 1981.

Thanks

To User: Tabanus for the rescheduled dates for Lein's games and the prize money details from Golombek's reports in The Times.

To User: OhioChessFan for suggestions used to improve the text.

Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings (1980/81) by User: Chessical.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 120  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Speelman vs R Bellin  1-0321980Hastings 1980/81A81 Dutch
2. Alburt vs Pinter  1-0411980Hastings 1980/81D02 Queen's Pawn Game
3. Ftacnik vs A J Mestel  1-0441980Hastings 1980/81A47 Queen's Indian
4. V Liberzon vs Chandler 1-0361980Hastings 1980/81B08 Pirc, Classical
5. Ulf Andersson vs P Popovic  ½-½421980Hastings 1980/81A15 English
6. J Sunye Neto vs J Peters  ½-½241980Hastings 1980/81A34 English, Symmetrical
7. L Brito vs P Littlewood  0-1371980Hastings 1980/81C89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
8. R Bellin vs L Brito  0-1541980Hastings 1980/81D03 Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation)
9. Chandler vs Alburt 0-1401980Hastings 1980/81A57 Benko Gambit
10. A J Mestel vs V Liberzon  ½-½191980Hastings 1980/81B41 Sicilian, Kan
11. P Popovic vs E Torre  0-1811980Hastings 1980/81C99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd
12. P Littlewood vs Ftacnik  1-0351980Hastings 1980/81D94 Grunfeld
13. Pinter vs Ulf Andersson  ½-½581980Hastings 1980/81E21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
14. J Sunye Neto vs Speelman  ½-½261980Hastings 1980/81A25 English
15. L Brito vs J Sunye Neto  0-1291980Hastings 1980/81B95 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6
16. Ulf Andersson vs Chandler 1-0601980Hastings 1980/81A15 English
17. Speelman vs J Peters  ½-½241980Hastings 1980/81A04 Reti Opening
18. Alburt vs A J Mestel  1-0311980Hastings 1980/81A47 Queen's Indian
19. A Lein vs P Popovic  ½-½341980Hastings 1980/81D91 Grunfeld, 5.Bg5
20. V Liberzon vs P Littlewood  1-0451980Hastings 1980/81C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. E Torre vs Pinter  1-0411980Hastings 1980/81E42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
22. Ftacnik vs R Bellin  ½-½591980Hastings 1980/81A40 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Speelman vs A J Mestel  ½-½181981Hastings 1980/81D11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. E Torre vs A Lein  ½-½281981Hastings 1980/81D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. Chandler vs E Torre ½-½591981Hastings 1980/81D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 120  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-08-15  allan.dinglasan: What a tournament for GM Torre
Jun-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Well done to User: Chessical for a vivid and well-written intro.
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