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USSR Championship 1973
Compiled by suenteus po 147
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In the aftermath of Bobby Fischer's victory over Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Championship, the Soviet Union had been humiliated and humbled by an American, and the 35+ year rule of the Soviet chess machine over the international chess world had finally been put to an end. The consequences of this result was felt in Soviet chess for months after. Mark Taimanov, Tigran Petrosian, and Boris Spassky were all reprimanded for their failure to stop Fischer. Consequences continued into the 41st USSR Championship, held in the Soviet capital of Moscow, from October 2nd to the 26th in 1973. The tournament was organized to be the strongest in a decade. In addition to the four qualifying players who had each won a semi-final (Orest Averkin, Karen Grigorian, Nukhim Rashkovsky, and Evgeni Sveshnikov), the very strongest grandmasters of the Soviet Union received forced invitations to participate. The list was a collection of former world champions, multiple Soviet crown winners, and the very highest rated and deeply experienced of the Soviet school, including: Boris Spassky, Tigran Petrosian, Mikhail Tal, Vasily Smyslov, Anatoli Karpov, Viktor Korchnoi, Efim Geller, Paul Keres, Lev Polugaevsky, Mark Taimanov, Leonid Stein, Vladimir Tukmakov, Vladimir Savon, and Gennadi Kuzmin. Victor Baturinsky, the vice-president of the USSR chess federation, and a KGB Colonel, explained clearly to all the participants that their attendance was not only obligatory, but their very future as Soviet chess players (and the favors imparted therein) depended on their performance in the championship. Stein died before the championship took place and he was replaced by junior world champion Alexander Beliavsky. In addition to the composed line up, it was made known that draws of thirty moves or less were 'discouraged' by the organizers. Although short draws did occur, the schedule of play and the intense combat among the chess masters was arduous. Ironically, it was Spassky, after failing in Reykjavik, who emerged victorious as the clear and sole winner. Although his wins were often quick and decisive, the effort they required put a great strain on Spassky, and he would never successfully challenge for the world championship or win a Soviet championship again. This edition did have the desired effect of revealing future world crown candidates, as both Karpov and Korchnoi tied for second and would face each other the following year for what would end up being the world championship.

The final standings and crosstable:

1st Spassky 11/17 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1

=2nd Karpov 10/17 * 0 1 1 1 1 1

=2nd Petrosian 10/17 1 * 1 1 1

=2nd Polugaevsky 10/17 * 1 1 1 1

=2nd Korchnoi 10/17 0 * 1 1 1 1 1

=2nd Kuzmin 10/17 0 * 1 1 1 1 1

=7th Geller 8/17 * 1 0 0 1 1 0

=7th Grigorian 8/17 0 * 1 1 1 0 0

=9th Keres 8/17 0 * 0 1

=9th Taimanov 8/17 0 0 1 * 1 0

=9th Savon 8/17 1 0 0 0 * 1

=9th Tal 8/17 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 1

=13th Tukmakov 7/17 0 0 0 1 0 * 1

=13th Rashkovsky 7/17 0 0 0 0 1 * 1

=15th Averkin 7/17 0 0 0 * 0 1

=15th Smyslov 7/17 0 0 0 0 1 *

17th Sveshnikov 6/17 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 * 0

18th Beliavsky 4/17 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 *

Round One
Petrosian vs K Grigorian, 1973
(A14) English, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs Spassky, 1973 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs Korchnoi, 1973
(A15) English, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs Tal, 1973 
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs Beliavsky, 1973 
(B83) Sicilian, 41 moves, 1-0

Polugaevsky vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs Taimanov, 1973 
(A48) King's Indian, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs Savon, 1973 
(A15) English, 41 moves, 1-0

N Rashkovsky vs Smyslov, 1973 
(D85) Grunfeld, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Two
Petrosian vs G Kuzmin, 1973 
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spassky vs Averkin, 1973 
(B44) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1-0

Korchnoi vs Geller, 1973 
(E97) King's Indian, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tal vs V Tukmakov, 1973 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Beliavsky vs Polugaevsky, 1973 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 35 moves, 0-1

Sveshnikov vs Keres, 1973 
(C45) Scotch Game, 75 moves, 1/2-1/2

Taimanov vs Karpov, 1973 
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Savon vs N Rashkovsky, 1973 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Smyslov, 1973 
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 51 moves, 0-1

Round Three
Averkin vs Petrosian, 1973
(A06) Reti Opening, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs K Grigorian, 1973
(D94) Grunfeld, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs Spassky, 1973 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs Korchnoi, 1973
(C81) Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack, 39 moves, 0-1

Keres vs Beliavsky, 1973 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 40 moves, 1-0

Polugaevsky vs Tal, 1973 
(A10) English, 35 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(B33) Sicilian, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Rashkovsky vs Taimanov, 1973 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Savon, 1973
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Four
Petrosian vs Geller, 1973 
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs Averkin, 1973
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 44 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs V Tukmakov, 1973 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 35 moves, 1-0

Korchnoi vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tal vs Keres, 1973 
(C75) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

Beliavsky vs Karpov, 1973 
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 72 moves, 0-1

Sveshnikov vs N Rashkovsky, 1973
(B50) Sicilian, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Taimanov vs Smyslov, 1973 
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Savon, 1973 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 1 moves, 1-0

Round Five
V Tukmakov vs Petrosian, 1973
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs K Grigorian, 1973 
(A04) Reti Opening, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs Spassky, 1973 
(A13) English, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs Korchnoi, 1973
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs Tal, 1973 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Rashkovsky vs Beliavsky, 1973
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Sveshnikov, 1973
(A12) English with b3, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Savon vs Taimanov, 1973
(B44) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Six
Petrosian vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs V Tukmakov, 1973 
(C95) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, 45 moves, 1-0

Averkin vs Geller, 1973
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spassky vs Keres, 1973 
(C73) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1973 
(A05) Reti Opening, 41 moves, 0-1

Tal vs N Rashkovsky, 1973
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Beliavsky vs Smyslov, 1973
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Sveshnikov vs Savon, 1973
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Taimanov, 1973
(A15) English, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Seven
Keres vs Petrosian, 1973
(D59) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs Averkin, 1973
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs K Grigorian, 1973
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Rashkovsky vs Korchnoi, 1973 
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 64 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Spassky, 1973 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Tal, 1973
(A10) English, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Savon vs Beliavsky, 1973
(A04) Reti Opening, 43 moves, 1-0

Taimanov vs Sveshnikov, 1973
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Eight
Petrosian vs Karpov, 1973 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 65 moves, 1-0

G Kuzmin vs Keres, 1973
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(A15) English, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs V Tukmakov, 1973 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 45 moves, 0-1

Korchnoi vs Smyslov, 1973 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 51 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs N Rashkovsky, 1973 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 21 moves, 1-0

Tal vs Savon, 1973
(A15) English, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Beliavsky vs Taimanov, 1973
(B44) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(D78) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6, 27 moves, 0-1

Round Nine
N Rashkovsky vs Petrosian, 1973
(E91) King's Indian, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs G Kuzmin, 1973 
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 38 moves, 1-0

Keres vs Averkin, 1973
(E07) Catalan, Closed, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs Geller, 1973
(E88) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs K Grigorian, 1973
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 0-1

Smyslov vs Spassky, 1973 
(B40) Sicilian, 33 moves, 0-1

Savon vs Korchnoi, 1973 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 43 moves, 0-1

Taimanov vs Tal, 1973 
(A31) English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation, 41 moves, 1-0

Sveshnikov vs Beliavsky, 1973
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 35 moves, 0-1

Round Ten
Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1973
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs N Rashkovsky, 1973 
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs Karpov, 1973
(A15) English, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs Keres, 1973 
(C87) Ruy Lopez, 29 moves, 1-0

V Tukmakov vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spassky vs Savon, 1973 
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 62 moves, 0-1

Korchnoi vs Taimanov, 1973
(A16) English, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tal vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(B40) Sicilian, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Beliavsky, 1973
(E17) Queen's Indian, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Eleven
Savon vs Petrosian, 1973
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs Geller, 1973
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs V Tukmakov, 1973
(B40) Sicilian, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs K Grigorian, 1973
(A04) Reti Opening, 48 moves, 1-0

Taimanov vs Spassky, 1973 
(E97) King's Indian, 42 moves, 0-1

Sveshnikov vs Korchnoi, 1973 
(C45) Scotch Game, 55 moves, 0-1

Beliavsky vs Tal, 1973 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 43 moves, 0-1

Smyslov vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(A28) English, 76 moves, 0-1

N Rashkovsky vs Averkin, 1973
(E15) Queen's Indian, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Twelve
Petrosian vs Taimanov, 1973
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

G Kuzmin vs Savon, 1973
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs Smyslov, 1973
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs N Rashkovsky, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs Karpov, 1973 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs Keres, 1973
(A13) English, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spassky vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(B33) Sicilian, 23 moves, 1-0

Korchnoi vs Beliavsky, 1973
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Tal, 1973 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 68 moves, 1-0

Round Thirteen
Sveshnikov vs Petrosian, 1973 
(B40) Sicilian, 41 moves, 0-1

Taimanov vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 83 moves, 0-1

Savon vs Averkin, 1973
(B44) Sicilian, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Geller, 1973 
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 38 moves, 0-1

N Rashkovsky vs V Tukmakov, 1973
(E96) King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, Main line, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs K Grigorian, 1973
(B52) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Beliavsky vs Spassky, 1973 
(B68) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7, 46 moves, 0-1

Tal vs Korchnoi, 1973
(C09) French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line, 64 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Fourteen
Petrosian vs Beliavsky, 1973 
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 43 moves, 1-0

G Kuzmin vs Sveshnikov, 1973 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 21 moves, 1-0

Averkin vs Taimanov, 1973
(A09) Reti Opening, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs Savon, 1973
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Tukmakov vs Smyslov, 1973
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs N Rashkovsky, 1973
(D56) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

Keres vs Karpov, 1973 
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Spassky vs Tal, 1973 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

K Grigorian vs Korchnoi, 1973 
(E37) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Fifteen
Tal vs Petrosian, 1973 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 27 moves, 0-1

Beliavsky vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(E44) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 5.Ne2, 66 moves, 1/2-1/2

Sveshnikov vs Averkin, 1973
(B40) Sicilian, 61 moves, 1-0

Taimanov vs Geller, 1973 
(E97) King's Indian, 45 moves, 1-0

Savon vs V Tukmakov, 1973
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Rashkovsky vs Keres, 1973
(E04) Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs K Grigorian, 1973
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1973 
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Sixteen
Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1973
(D91) Grunfeld, 5.Bg5, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Averkin vs Beliavsky, 1973 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 1-0

G Kuzmin vs Tal, 1973
(B67) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Geller vs Sveshnikov, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 29 moves, 1-0

V Tukmakov vs Taimanov, 1973
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Polugaevsky vs Savon, 1973
(A15) English, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs Smyslov, 1973
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs N Rashkovsky, 1973 
(E61) King's Indian, 54 moves, 1-0

K Grigorian vs Spassky, 1973 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Seventeen
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1973 
(B83) Sicilian, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Korchnoi vs G Kuzmin, 1973
(A22) English, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tal vs Averkin, 1973 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 70 moves, 1-0

Beliavsky vs Geller, 1973 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 62 moves, 1-0

Sveshnikov vs V Tukmakov, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Taimanov vs Polugaevsky, 1973
(E17) Queen's Indian, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Savon vs Keres, 1973
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Karpov, 1973
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

N Rashkovsky vs K Grigorian, 1973
(D20) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

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