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USSR Championship 1944
Compiled by suenteus po 147
--*--

The 13th Soviet Chess Championship was held in the capital of Moscow from May 21st to June 17th, 1944. Twelve of the Soviet Union's best chess masters qualified for the round robin event from three semi-final tournaments played earlier in the year. Andre Lilienthal, Vladimir Makogonov, Vladas Mikenas, and David Bronstein qualified from Baku. Alexander Kotov, Salomon Flohr, Gavriil Veresov, and Vladimir Alatortsev qualified from Moscow. And Alexey Sokolsky, Abram Khavin, Isaac Boleslavsky, and Alexander Tolush qualified from Omsk. The five remaining seats went as invitations to Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Viacheslav Ragozin, Georgy Lisitsin, and Grigory Ravinsky. It was the first USSR championship since the absolute championship in 1941. The second world war had effectively shut down professional chess competition, but with the end of the war looming on the horizon and Soviet belief in the triumph against the Axis betrayers, the return of professional chess in the Soviet Union was a move to rebuild the school and the mastery to a dominance greater than before the war. The interrim during the war had done nothing to dull the skills of Botvinnik who finished the event with eleven wins and twelve and a half points out of sixteen at the final. It was his second consecutive win, counting the absolute championship, and his fourth Soviet crown (out of a later six total). The war had interrupted Botvinnik's right to a world championship with Alekhine, so he was competing to regain his chance, and his performance in this and the following Soviet championship were attempts to prove himself the rightful challenger.

The final standings and crosstable:

1st Botvinnik 12/16 * 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1

2nd Smyslov 10/16 0 * 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1

3rd Boleslavsky 10/16 0 1 * 1 1 0 1 1 1

4th Flohr 9/16 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1

=5th Mikenas 9/16 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1

=5th Makogonov 9/16 0 * 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1

7th Tolush 8/16 1 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1

=8th Lilienthal 7/16 0 1 0 1 1 * 0 0 1 0

=8th Sokolsky 7/16 1 0 0 0 * 0 0 1 1 1 1 0

=8th Veresov 7/16 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 0 0 0 1 1

=11th Ragozin 7/16 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 0 1 0 1

=11th Kotov 7/16 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 0 1 1 0

=11th Khavin 7/16 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 1 1

=11th Lisitsin 7/16 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 * 1 1

15th Bronstein 6/16 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 * 0

16th Alatortsev 5/16 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1

17th Ravinsky 4/16 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 *

*This collection would not have been possible without the efforts of <Phony Benoni>.

Round One
V Mikenas vs Smyslov, 1944 
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 54 moves, 0-1

V Makogonov vs Flohr, 1944
(D22) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Kotov vs Veresov, 1944
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 28 moves, 1-0

Ragozin vs A Khavin, 1944
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 37 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Bronstein, 1944 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 40 moves, 0-1

Alatortsev vs Ravinsky, 1944
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 62 moves, 1-0

Lisitsin vs Lilienthal, 1944
(A13) English, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Botvinnik vs Sokolsky, 1944
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Two
Lilienthal vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 57 moves, 0-1

Ravinsky vs Lisitsin, 1944
(B73) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 35 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Alatortsev, 1944 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 39 moves, 0-1

A Khavin vs Tolush, 1944 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

Veresov vs Ragozin, 1944
(D94) Grunfeld, 57 moves, 1-0

Flohr vs Kotov, 1944
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs V Makogonov, 1944 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 60 moves, 1-0

Boleslavsky vs V Mikenas, 1944
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Three
V Makogonov vs Boleslavsky, 1944
(D81) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Kotov vs Smyslov, 1944 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 41 moves, 0-1

Ragozin vs Flohr, 1944
(D28) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 49 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Veresov, 1944
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 34 moves, 1-0

Alatortsev vs A Khavin, 1944
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 43 moves, 0-1

Lisitsin vs Bronstein, 1944
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Botvinnik vs Ravinsky, 1944 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 126 moves, 1-0

Sokolsky vs Lilienthal, 1944
(C51) Evans Gambit, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Four
Ravinsky vs Sokolsky, 1944 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 44 moves, 1-0

Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 64 moves, 1-0

A Khavin vs Lisitsin, 1944
(C02) French, Advance, 42 moves, 1-0

Veresov vs Alatortsev, 1944
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

Flohr vs Tolush, 1944
(D90) Grunfeld, 51 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Ragozin, 1944 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 50 moves, 1-0

Boleslavsky vs Kotov, 1944 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 60 moves, 1-0

V Mikenas vs V Makogonov, 1944
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Five
Kotov vs V Mikenas, 1944 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 86 moves, 0-1

Ragozin vs Boleslavsky, 1944
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tolush vs Smyslov, 1944 
(A06) Reti Opening, 33 moves, 0-1

Alatortsev vs Flohr, 1944
(D22) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lisitsin vs Veresov, 1944
(A06) Reti Opening, 44 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs A Khavin, 1944 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

Sokolsky vs Bronstein, 1944 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 29 moves, 1-0

Lilienthal vs Ravinsky, 1944
(D16) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Six
Bronstein vs Lilienthal, 1944 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 37 moves, 1-0

A Khavin vs Sokolsky, 1944
(C25) Vienna, 41 moves, 0-1

Veresov vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 45 moves, 0-1

Flohr vs Lisitsin, 1944
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 43 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Alatortsev, 1944
(C11) French, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Boleslavsky vs Tolush, 1944 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 69 moves, 1-0

V Mikenas vs Ragozin, 1944 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 52 moves, 1-0

V Makogonov vs Kotov, 1944
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 64 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Seven
Ragozin vs V Makogonov, 1944
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

Tolush vs V Mikenas, 1944
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 43 moves, 0-1

Alatortsev vs Boleslavsky, 1944
(A53) Old Indian, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lisitsin vs Smyslov, 1944 
(A06) Reti Opening, 40 moves, 0-1

Botvinnik vs Flohr, 1944 
(A09) Reti Opening, 68 moves, 1-0

Sokolsky vs Veresov, 1944
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 26 moves, 0-1

Lilienthal vs A Khavin, 1944 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 30 moves, 1-0

Ravinsky vs Bronstein, 1944 
(C76) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Eight
A Khavin vs Ravinsky, 1944
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Veresov vs Lilienthal, 1944
(E69) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Flohr vs Sokolsky, 1944
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(C19) French, Winawer, Advance, 40 moves, 0-1

Boleslavsky vs Lisitsin, 1944 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 33 moves, 1-0

V Mikenas vs Alatortsev, 1944 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 68 moves, 0-1

V Makogonov vs Tolush, 1944 
(D85) Grunfeld, 60 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Ragozin, 1944
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 50 moves, 1-0

Round Nine
Tolush vs Kotov, 1944
(B24) Sicilian, Closed, 40 moves, 1-0

Alatortsev vs V Makogonov, 1944
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 32 moves, 0-1

Lisitsin vs V Mikenas, 1944
(A09) Reti Opening, 42 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs Boleslavsky, 1944 
(C04) French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line, 46 moves, 1-0

Sokolsky vs Smyslov, 1944 
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lilienthal vs Flohr, 1944
(A09) Reti Opening, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Ravinsky vs Veresov, 1944
(E07) Catalan, Closed, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Bronstein vs A Khavin, 1944 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 0-1

Round Ten
Veresov vs Bronstein, 1944 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 105 moves, 1-0

Flohr vs Ravinsky, 1944 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 34 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Lilienthal, 1944 
(E30) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, 42 moves, 0-1

Boleslavsky vs Sokolsky, 1944
(B10) Caro-Kann, 54 moves, 0-1

V Mikenas vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 0-1

V Makogonov vs Lisitsin, 1944
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Alatortsev, 1944
(E43) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 40 moves, 1-0

Ragozin vs Tolush, 1944
(D74) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O, 41 moves, 0-1

Round Eleven
Alatortsev vs Ragozin, 1944
(A90) Dutch, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lisitsin vs Kotov, 1944
(A08) King's Indian Attack, 69 moves, 1/2-1/2

Botvinnik vs V Makogonov, 1944
(C48) Four Knights, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Sokolsky vs V Mikenas, 1944
(B02) Alekhine's Defense, 57 moves, 0-1

Lilienthal vs Boleslavsky, 1944 
(D93) Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3, 43 moves, 0-1

Ravinsky vs Smyslov, 1944 
(E02) Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4, 40 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Flohr, 1944 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 35 moves, 0-1

A Khavin vs Veresov, 1944
(B54) Sicilian, 55 moves, 1-0

Round Twelve
Flohr vs A Khavin, 1944 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 57 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Bronstein, 1944 
(C61) Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Boleslavsky vs Ravinsky, 1944
(C61) Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense, 70 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Mikenas vs Lilienthal, 1944
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 42 moves, 0-1

V Makogonov vs Sokolsky, 1944
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 54 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 37 moves, 0-1

Ragozin vs Lisitsin, 1944
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tolush vs Alatortsev, 1944
(D16) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 44 moves, 1-0

Round Thirteen
Lisitsin vs Tolush, 1944
(D74) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O, 24 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs Ragozin, 1944
(C48) Four Knights, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Sokolsky vs Kotov, 1944
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Lilienthal vs V Makogonov, 1944 
(B19) Caro-Kann, Classical, 48 moves, 1-0

Ravinsky vs V Mikenas, 1944 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Boleslavsky, 1944
(B56) Sicilian, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Khavin vs Smyslov, 1944
(C28) Vienna Game, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Veresov vs Flohr, 1944
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Fourteen
Smyslov vs Veresov, 1944 
(B74) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 35 moves, 1-0

Boleslavsky vs A Khavin, 1944
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 26 moves, 1-0

V Mikenas vs Bronstein, 1944 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 64 moves, 1-0

V Makogonov vs Ravinsky, 1944
(D14) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Lilienthal, 1944 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 33 moves, 1-0

Ragozin vs Sokolsky, 1944
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 58 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(C22) Center Game, 56 moves, 1-0

Alatortsev vs Lisitsin, 1944 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 76 moves, 0-1

Round Fifteen
Botvinnik vs Alatortsev, 1944 
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 72 moves, 1-0

Sokolsky vs Tolush, 1944
(A15) English, 64 moves, 0-1

Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1944 
(C19) French, Winawer, Advance, 30 moves, 0-1

Ravinsky vs Kotov, 1944
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 28 moves, 1-0

Bronstein vs V Makogonov, 1944 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Khavin vs V Mikenas, 1944 
(B02) Alekhine's Defense, 32 moves, 0-1

Veresov vs Boleslavsky, 1944
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Flohr vs Smyslov, 1944
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round Sixteen
Boleslavsky vs Flohr, 1944 
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Mikenas vs Veresov, 1944
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

V Makogonov vs A Khavin, 1944 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Bronstein, 1944 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 31 moves, 1-0

Ragozin vs Ravinsky, 1944
(D16) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 44 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Lilienthal, 1944 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Alatortsev vs Sokolsky, 1944
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 56 moves, 0-1

Lisitsin vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(A06) Reti Opening, 41 moves, 0-1

Round Seventeen
Sokolsky vs Lisitsin, 1944 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 36 moves, 1-0

Lilienthal vs Alatortsev, 1944
(C42) Petrov Defense, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Ravinsky vs Tolush, 1944
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 37 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Ragozin, 1944
(B72) Sicilian, Dragon, 41 moves, 1-0

A Khavin vs Kotov, 1944 
(A08) King's Indian Attack, 40 moves, 1-0

Veresov vs V Makogonov, 1944 
(C59) Two Knights, 37 moves, 1-0

Flohr vs V Mikenas, 1944
(D90) Grunfeld, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Smyslov vs Boleslavsky, 1944 
(B74) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 59 moves, 0-1

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