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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
55th USSR Championship Tournament

Garry Kasparov11.5/17(+6 -0 =11)[games]
Anatoly Karpov11.5/17(+6 -0 =11)[games]
Artur Yusupov10/17(+5 -2 =10)[games]
Valery Salov10/17(+6 -3 =8)[games]
Vereslav Eingorn9.5/17(+3 -1 =13)[games]
Vassily Ivanchuk9.5/17(+5 -3 =9)[games]
Leonid Yudasin9/17(+2 -1 =14)[games]
Alexander Beliavsky8.5/17(+4 -4 =9)[games]
Jaan Yukhanovich Ehlvest8/17(+2 -3 =12)[games]
Vasily Smyslov8/17(+3 -4 =10)[games]
Viktor Gavrikov8/17(+1 -2 =14)[games]
Andrei Sokolov8/17(+1 -2 =14)[games]
Rafael Vaganian8/17(+2 -3 =12)[games]
Alexander Khalifman7.5/17(+1 -3 =13)[games]
Ilya Yulyevich Smirin7/17(+2 -5 =10)[games]
Mikhail Gurevich7/17(+2 -5 =10)[games]
Vladimir P Malaniuk6/17(+1 -6 =10)[games]
Andrei V Kharitonov6/17(+0 -5 =12)[games]
Mikhail Tal0.5/1(+0 -0 =1)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
55th USSR Championship (1988)

The 55th Soviet Chess Championship held in the capital city of Moscow from July 25th to August 18th, 1988 was a category XIV event. The Soviet Union's top eighteen players participated in the event, making it the strongest USSR championship since 1973. Eight grandmasters qualified for the championship from two First League swiss-style tournaments played the year before. Vassily Ivanchuk (2625), Leonid Yudasin (2505), Mikhail Gurevich (2630), and Viktor Gavrikov (2545) qualified from Lvov, with Alexander Chernin and Vereslav Eingorn (2560) qualifying as reserve players. Ilya Smirin (2500), Alexander Khalifman (2530), Andrei Kharitonov (2550), and Vladimir Malaniuk (2520) qualified from Sverdlovsk, with Vitaly Tseshkovsky and Boris Gelfand qualifying as reserve players. Alexander Beliavsky (2665), Valery Salov (2625), and Jaan Ehlvest (2580) qualified as the top three finishers of the 54th USSR Final. The remaining seats went out as invitations to the world champion, Garry Kasparov (2760), former world champions Anatoli Karpov (2725), Mikhail Tal, and Vasily Smyslov (2550), and world championship candidates Andrei Sokolov (2600), Rafael Vaganian (2595), and Artur Yusupov (2620). Games were conducted in Moscow's new International Hotel, where one thousand seats were set up for spectators, with Mikhail Botvinnik serving as the head arbiter. Tal was only able to play his first game of the tournament against Vaganian, where he was forced to draw quickly due to illness. When Yusupov was asked to play his round two game at Tal's sick bed in his hotel room, he refused and so it was determined that Tal should be replaced. Verelav Eingorn was pulled from the reserve list and played in Tal's place, forcing Vaganian to replay his first round draw. Tal's lone game is included in this collection for completeness and historical accuracy. The tournament itself was both a showcase of established Soviet chess brilliance, but also a debut for new talents and the next generation of players. Nevertheless, Kasparov and Karpov both emerged triumphant, tied for first having gone undefeated with 11˝/17. While a play-off match was the normal course to determine a sole winner (see Beliavsky's triumphant play-off against Salov from '87), both Karpov and Kasparov refused to play an extraneous match against one another. Although everyone was disappointed and Botvinnik pleaded with both players to comply, it was understandable why both would be reluctant considering they had just played four world championship matches against each other in as many years. Since no resolution could be reached, both players were declared champion, and both received identical trophies to mark their achievement. It was Karpov's third and final Soviet crown, as well as his first shared, and it was Kasparov's second shared and final Soviet crown (though he would be sole first in the Russian Super-Final in 2004, after the fall of Soviet Russia). In the strongest championship in 15 years, the two strongest players in the world showed that once again they were without peer even among the very best of their own countrymen. The final standings and crosstable are as follows:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pts 1 Kasparov * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 11˝ 2 Karpov ˝ * 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 1 11˝ 3 Yusupov ˝ 0 * 1 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 10 4 Salov 0 ˝ 0 * ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ 10 5 Eingorn ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 9˝ 6 Ivanchuk 0 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ 1 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 9˝ 7 Yudasin 0 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 9 8 Beliavsky ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1 1 ˝ ˝ 1 8˝ 9 Ehlvest ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * 0 ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 8 10 Smyslov ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 1 0 ˝ 1 * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 8 11 Gavrikov ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 8 12 Sokolov ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ 8 13 Vaganian ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 8 14 Khalifman ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 0 ˝ 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 7˝ 15 Smirin 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * 0 1 ˝ 7 16 Gurevich 0 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ 1 * ˝ ˝ 7 17 Malaniuk ˝ 0 ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ * ˝ 6 18 Kharitonov 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * 6 Tal - - - - - - - - - - - - - ˝ - - - -

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 154  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Yusupov vs Vaganian  ½-½26198855th USSR ChampionshipE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
2. Khalifman vs M Gurevich  ½-½16198855th USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
3. V Malaniuk vs Ehlvest  ½-½27198855th USSR ChampionshipD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. A Sokolov vs Yudasin  ½-½27198855th USSR ChampionshipC75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
5. Khalifman vs Gavrikov ½-½28198855th USSR ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
6. A V Kharitonov vs V Malaniuk  ½-½20198855th USSR ChampionshipA81 Dutch
7. Yudasin vs Gavrikov  ½-½25198855th USSR ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Ehlvest vs A V Kharitonov  ½-½43198855th USSR ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
9. V Malaniuk vs Beliavsky  ½-½25198855th USSR ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Beliavsky vs Ehlvest  ½-½41198855th USSR ChampionshipD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. Eingorn vs M Gurevich ½-½26198855th USSR ChampionshipE16 Queen's Indian
12. A V Kharitonov vs Beliavsky 0-139198855th USSR ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. V Malaniuk vs Yudasin  ½-½23198855th USSR ChampionshipA67 Benoni, Taimanov Variation
14. A Sokolov vs Eingorn  ½-½19198855th USSR ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
15. Gavrikov vs Kasparov  ½-½40198855th USSR ChampionshipE97 King's Indian
16. Smyslov vs Khalifman  ½-½20198855th USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
17. A Sokolov vs Khalifman  ½-½74198855th USSR ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
18. M Gurevich vs Yusupov  0-144198855th USSR ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Vaganian vs Ehlvest 1-062198855th USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
20. Eingorn vs Vaganian  1-025198855th USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Smyslov vs Beliavsky ½-½42198855th USSR ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. Smirin vs Smyslov 1-028198855th USSR ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
23. Gavrikov vs Smirin  ½-½30198855th USSR ChampionshipE15 Queen's Indian
24. Smirin vs V Malaniuk  1-070198855th USSR ChampionshipC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. Ehlvest vs Smirin 1-030198855th USSR ChampionshipB89 Sicilian
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 154  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Karpov and Kasparov were probably sick of playing against one another unless they really had to so there was no play-off match for this USSR Championship.
Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Remarkable, Smyslov garnered 8 pts at age 67

*****

Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Nice result for Eingorn, making +2 after coming in as a reserve. Dang, those Soviet title events were brutal, and this was one of the toughest.
Sep-07-17  Joseph Blackcape: <Benzol: Karpov and Kasparov were probably sick of playing against one another unless they really had to so there was no play-off match for this USSR Championship.>

If I remember correctly, in "My Great Predecessors" Kasparov tells a completely different story. According to him while indeed neither him nor Karpov were too keen on playing yet another (4 games and then in case of a 2-2 tie, a potentially unlimited number of sudden death games) match against each other (Karpov specially citing that he didn't like the idea of playing a tough match right after such a long and strenuous tournament), they both agreed to it. Everything was set, lots were drawn (Karpov got white for the first game) and then Botvinnik (who according to him was feeling very important again, being elected the head arbiter at the age of 77), who was at that time holding a grudge against Kasparov for his anti-Communist attitude (Botvinnik being a staunch Communist and according to Kasparov convinced that the only flaw in the system was human, but "with the help of computers" it would be made perfect) decided to flex his muscles and call the match off and to spite Kasparov only inform Karpov, so Kasparov arrived on the day of the first game only to find out that the match was cancelled and a press conference was already taking place. I think he also mentioned that declaring them "co-champions" was another of Botvinnik's anti-Garry ideas, since they could still use the Sonneborn–Berger to decide the champion - and of course Kasparov's was superior to Karpov.

How much of this is true, I have no idea, but it's an interesting story none the less.

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