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WCC: FIDE WCC Tournament 1948
Compiled by WCC Editing Project
--*--

ORIGINAL: FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

Edward Winter, "Interregnum" (2003-2004) http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

World Championship Disorder Edward Winter (2002) http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

The World Chess Championship by Paul Keres Edward Winter http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1946

##########################################

2 March - 17 May In The Hague and Moscow

DRAFT EDIT <JFQ>

World chess champion Alexander Alekhine died on 23 March 1946. At the July 1946 Winterthur congress, FIDE proposed a contest for the vacant title be scheduled for June 1947 in the Netherlands.<1> They planned a quadruple round robin tournament featuring the following candidates- Samuel Reshevsky, Reuben Fine, Mikhail Botvinnik, Paul Keres, Vasily Smyslov, and the winner of either the upcoming Groningen or Prague tournaments, decided by a match if necessary.<2> Max Euwe was also included because he had previously held the world title.<3> The tournament was delayed, partly because the USSR was not yet a FIDE member.<4> On 15 September 1946, the proposed contestants (except Fine) met in Moscow to iron out the details. This meeting occurred a day after the USSR-USA match ended, and did not involve FIDE.<5> Botvinnik reportedly announced that he would not play in the Netherlands. He was angry about a Dutch news report that suggested his fellow Russians might collude to help him win the title.<4> The five contestants then compromised with a plan to divide the event between the Netherlands and Moscow. The Soviet Sports Committee refused this idea outright because they wanted all the games to be played in Moscow.<6> Meanwhile, FIDE president Alexander Rueb withdrew FIDE's claim to organize the tournament.<4>

Nothing concrete was decided until the next FIDE congress in The Hague on 30 July-2 August 1947. The Soviets were now members of FIDE.<7> All parties agreed to most of the terms originally proposed at Winterthur 1946. The new conditions stated that the tournament would begin in spring 1948, be played partly in The Hague and partly in Moscow, and most notably, no extra player would be added.<8,9> Miguel Najdorf was excluded because of this change. He won Prague 1946 and would have qualified directly for the championship tournament, since Botvinnik won Groningen 1946 and was already seeded into the championship.<9> Shortly before the tournament, Fine dropped out due to academic commitments. FIDE therefore decided to stage a quintuple round robin, for a total of 25 rounds, with one player having a bye each round.<10,11>

The time control was 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours and 16 moves per hour after that.<12,13> Players were permitted two assistants to help analyze adjourned games.<14> First prize was $5,000; second $3,000; third $2,000; fourth $1,500; and fifth $1,000.<13> Milan Vidmar was arbiter, assisted by Alexander Kotov.<12,15> Decided by lot, the first 10 rounds were held in The Hague, followed by 15 rounds in Moscow.<16> During the first leg, all players except Botvinnik lodged at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen.<17> Botvinnik objected to the Kurhaus, explaining that he wanted to stay "in a hotel where I can get to... (the Dierentuin playing hall) on foot in twenty minutes."<18> At first, a few members of the Russian delegation insisted that Botvinnik stay with the other players at the Kurhaus. But Soviet consul Filipp Chikirisov offered to locate different lodgings, and Botvinnik was eventually able to secure rooms at the Hotel De Twee Steden for his family and his seconds, Viacheslav Ragozin and Salomon Flohr.<18>

Botvinnik led the field by a point when he faced Keres in the 10th round. Due to a scheduling vagary, Keres was playing after an unusually long layoff. Before the tournament, Botvinnik had noticed this odd scheduling possibility and warned his countrymen that "when we get to The Hague, one of you will get six days of rest, and lose like a child on the seventh day." "After six days' rest", Botvinnik later recalled, "Keres sat across from me, pale as death."<19> Keres proceeded to <lose in 23 moves> <insert game link>- Botvinnik vs Keres, 1948, enabling Botvinnik to carry a 1.5 point lead into the Moscow leg. In Moscow, the masters played in the magnificent Salle des Colonnes in front of 2,000 spectators. 3,000 more people were in the streets outside, following the action on a giant demonstration board.<20> Botvinnik clinched the title by round 22, finishing three points ahead of Smyslov.

Some charge that the Soviets pressured Keres to throw games to help Botvinnik win.<21> According to Kenneth Whyld, Keres told him that "he was not ordered to lose... games to Botvinnik, and was not playing to lose. But he had been given a broader instruction that if Botvinnik failed to become World Champion, it must not be the fault of Keres."<22> In 1991 Botvinnik claimed that "during the second half in Moscow... it was proposed that the other Soviet players... lose to me on purpose... it was Stalin... who proposed this. But of course I refused!"<23> In a 1994 conversation with Gennady Sosonko, Botvinnik said "...in 1948 I played well. I prepared with all my heart and showed what I was capable of."<24>

==================

NOTES

1 FIDE (Fédération internationale des échecs or World Chess Federation), founded in 1924, first administered a world chess championship in 1948. In Edward Winter, "Interregnum" (2003-2004) http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

http://www.fide.com/

2 Erwin Voellmy, "Schweizerische Schachzeitung" (Nov 1946), pp.169-171. In Winter, "Interregnum."

3 Minutes of the FIDE Secretariat of the congress in Winterthur in July 1946. In Winter, "Interregnum."

4 "CHESS" (Dec 1946), p.63. In Winter, "Interregnum."

5 Mikhail Botvinnik, "Achieving the Aim" Bernard Cafferty, transl. (Pergamon 1981), pp.105-106

6 Botvinnik, "Achieving the Aim" pp.107-108

7 The USSR joined FIDE at The Hague conference of 1947. They arrived late on 2 Aug, the last day of the congress. "El Ajedrez Argentino" (Nov-Dec 1947), pp. 298-300. In Winter, "Chess: The History of FIDE" "Section 5: Euwe world champion for one day" http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

8 Erwin Voellmy, "Schweizerische Schachzeitung" (Oct 1947), pp.154-155. In Winter, "Interregnum."

9 "Chess Review" (Aug 1947), p.2

10 "American Chess Bulletin" (Jan-Feb 1948), p.11. In Winter, "Interregnum."

11 "American Chess Bulletin" (Mar-Apr 1948), p.25. In Winter, "Interregnum."

12 Paul Keres, "Match Tournament for the World Chess Championship- The Hague and Moscow 1948" (Estonian State Publishing 1950), p.7

13 Harry Golombek, "The World Chess Championship 1948" (Hardinge Simpole 1949), p.3

14 Botvinnik, "Achieving the Aim" p.111

15 Golombek, p.4

16 G.W.J. Zittersteyn, "The Preparations for the Netherlands Leg" in Max Euwe, "The Hague-Moscow 1948 Match/Tournament for the World Chess Championship" (Russell Enterprises 2013), p.19

17 D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." In "Chess Life and Review" (Apr 1948), p.7

18 Botvinnik, "Achieving the Aim" pp.113-114. We have corrected the spelling of the hotel in the source text, which was "Twee Staden." According to a contemporary Dutch newspaper account, the correct spelling is "De Twee Steden." "De Tijd", 25 March 1948, p.2. http://kranten.delpher.nl/nl/view/i...

19 Mikhail Botvinnik, "15 Games and their Stories" Jim Marfia, transl. (Chess Enterprise Inc. 1982), pp.40-42

20 Golombek, p.126

21 Taylor Kingston, "The Keres-Botvinnik case revisited: A further survey of the evidence" ("Chess Cafe" 8 Oct 2001), p.2. http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skitt...

22 Tim Krabbé, "Open Chess Diary", Item #65 (11 June 2000) http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess2/....

23 Max Pam and Genna Sosonko, "Een interview met Michail Moiseevitch Botwinnik" (Vrij Nederland 20 Aug 1991) http://www.maxpam.nl/archief/IBOTWI.... In Tim Krabbé, "Open Chess Diary" Item #42 http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess2/.... In Kingston, pp.4-5

24 Genna Sosonko, "Russian Silhouttes 3d Edition" (New in Chess, 2009), p.42

########################################

EDIT Karpova

http://www.maxpam.nl/archief/IBOTWI...

Question: - Fischer heeft altijd beweerd dat de Sovjet-spelers in combine tegen hem speelden. Is er indertijd wel eens sprake geweest van zo'n combine?

Botvinnik: <"In het geval van Fischer kan ik daar geen oordeel over geven, maat ik heb zelf wel eens meegemaakt dat er opdrachten werden verstrekt. In 1948 speelde ik met Keres, Smislov, Reshevsky en Euwe om de wereldtitel. Na de eerste helft van het toernooi, dat in Nederland werd gespeeld, werd het duidelijk dat ik de nieuwe wereldkampioen zou worden. Ik stond op kop. Tijdens de tweede helft in Moskou gebeurde er iets onaangenaams. Op heel hoog niveau werd voorgesteld dat de andere Russische spelers expres tegen mij zouden verliezen, om er zeker van te zijn dat er een Sovjet-wereldkampioen zou komen.>

Question: - Hoe hoog?

Botvinnik: <"Stalin heeft dat persoonlijk voorgesteld. Maar ik heb dat natuurlijk geweigerd! Het was een intrige tegenover mij om mij te kleineren. Een belachelijk voorstel, slechts gedaan om mij als de toekomstige wereldkampioen nog even te kleineren. In sommige kringen wilde men liever dat Keres wereldkampioen zou worden. Het was oneerbaar, want ik had al lang bewezen dat ik op dat moment sterker was dan Keres en Smislov.>

===

Translation from Dutch to English by <dakgootje>:

Question: - Fischer has always asserted that the Sovjet players played together against him. Has such a team-play* taken place at the time?

Botvinnik: <"I can't judge regarding the case of Fischer, but I've personally experienced that orders were handed out. In 1948 I played with Keres, Smyslov, Reshevsky and Euwe for the World Title. After the first half of the tournament, which was played in the Netherlands, it became clear that I would become the new World Champion. I had the lead. During the second half in Moscow something unpleasant happened. From very high up it was proposed that the other Russian competitors would lose to me on purpose, so as it be sure that there'd be a Sovjet-World Champion.>

Question: - How high up?

Botvinnik: <"Stalin has proposed it personally. But of course I've refused! It was an intrigue against me to belittle me. A preposterous proposal, merely done to diminish me as future World Champion. In some circles it was preferred that Keres would become World Champion. I was dishonorable, because I'd long proven to be stronger at the time than Keres and Smyslov.>

--

############################################

http://www.365chess.com/tournaments...

Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1946

CONDITIONS

<10 rounds in The Hague, followed by 15 rounds in Moscow. The order of the venues (Moscow 2d) was decided by lot (drawing of a pawn).40 moves in 2 1/2 hours, 16 moves per hour after that, time of play 5:30pm - 10:30pm. Players may agree on a draw at any time. Each player permitted to analyze adjourned games with 2 assistants. <<<Prizes:>>> 1st $5,000; 2d $3,000; 3d $2000; 4th $1,500; 5th $1,000.

Arbiter: Milan Vidmar

Assistant to Vidmar: Alexander Kotov

The Hague venue: The "Kierentuin," which before the war was headquarters of the local zoo.

Residence for players and officials (and some adjourned games finished here): The "Kurhaus" in Scheveningen>

Botvinnik refused to stay in the "Kurhaus" and was given rooms in the "Hotel Twee Staden." He was joined at the Hotel by his wife, daughter, and his 2d Ragozin.

Official Opening: <Held <<<in>>> "The Town Hall.">

Moscow venue: <"Salle des Collones" (Hall <<<of>>> Columns)>

###########################

NEGOTIATIONS for Alekhine-Botvinnik title match:

===

Nov 1938

Botvinnik's recollection:

<"At the end of the tournament <<<AVRO 1938>>> I approached Alekhine and asked him to grant me an audience. He caught on quickly, a look of joy flashed over his face. He realised that playing a match for the world championship with a Soviet player was the simplest, and possibly the only, way to reconcile himself with his native land...

I invited Flohr to come with me (I needed an authoritative witness-- wasn't Alekhine connected with White Russian emigres? Care was essential.) But Alekhine had been well disposed towards me since the Nottingham tournament. The chess player in him felt my admiration for him, and this disarmed him....

Over a cup of tea... the conditions were quickly agreed... Alekhine was ready to play in any country (except Holland!) and the question of venue was up to me. The prize fund was to be 10,000 dollars...

We agreed that I should send a formal challenge to an address he gave in South America... If there was a positive decision and that if everything was agreed the announcement of the match would be made in Moscow. Before then everything was to be strictly secret.

We had a firm handshake and then parted, never to see each other again.">

-Mikhail Botvinnik "Achieving the Aim"
Bernard Cafferty, transl.
(Pergamon 1981), pp. 70-71

===

Jan-Feb 1946

Botvinnik on title match negotiations with Alekhine:

<"The situation was a delicate one. First of all it was out of the question to invite Alekhine to Moscow, as this was linked with the preliminary investigation of <<<the accusations,>>> and secondly it was undesirable to enter into direct negotiations with him. I suggested that the whole match be played in England and at first the negotiations went through an intermediary, Mr Du Mont, editor of the "British Chess Magazine" (from material published in the magazine one could take it that du Mont and Alekhine were corresponding with each other)... the suggestion was accepted and negotiations began.">

<First of all it was out of the question to invite Alekhine to Moscow, as <<<this>>> was linked with the preliminary investigation of the accusations, and secondly it was undesirable to enter into direct negotiations with him.>

The word "this" refers to the plan to play Alekhine for the title match. Botvinnik means the match would be too directly linked to the accusations (of Alekhine's collaboration) if the match were to take place in Moscow.

In the sentence

<the suggestion was <<<accepted>>> and negotiations began>,

Botvinnik means it was <accepted> by the Soviet government. Despite this, a faction in the Soviet government still tried to prevent the match, and Botvinnik had to spend most of his time arranging political allies to help convince his government to allow the match. Some in the Soviet government feared that they would be accused of dealing with a Nazi collaborator. In particular, they were worried about losing credibility with the French communists, who were among the most vocal detractors of Alekhine.

Now, March 1946

Botvinnik: <"A letter arrived from England, from Derbyshire (the organiser of the Nottingham tournament). Now he was president of the <<<British Chess Federation.>>> He told us that in principle the English were prepared to run the match (which was quite understandable as the prize fund was guaranteed by the Soviet Union)...">

It was a telegram from the same Derbyshire that (according to Francisco Lupi) Alekhine received a short time before he died. The dating is actually ambiguous in Lupi's account. It's Botvinnik who claims Alekhine received the telegram a day before he died, but I can find no corroboration for this at present.

Botvinnik: <"The day before (Alekhine's death)... there was a meeting of the executive committee of the British Chess Federation where the question of the match was resolved favourably. Immediately after the meeting Alekhine was sent a telegram with an official <<<proposal>>> to play a world title match with the USSR champion (meaning Botvinnik)." >

-Mikhail Botvinnik
"Achieving the Aim."
Bernard Cafferty, transl.
(Pergamon 1981), pp.95-98

===

Yuri Shaburov on Botvinnik-Alekhine match negotiations:

<"...suddenly, on March 8, news came that changed the situation. Alekhine was handed a telegram from British chess official Derbyshire, notifying him of messages from Botvinnik wishing to play him for the world championship... Alekhine responded by sending a telegram the same day, with his consent to the conditions proposed for the match. Soon after, Alekhine was invited to the British Embassy in Lisbon, ​​where he was handed a <<<letter from Botvinnik.>>> It said: 'I regret that the war prevented our match in 1939. I again challenge you to a match for the world championship. If you agree, I await your answer, with your preferences for the time and venue for the match.'

February 4, 1946. Mikhail Botvinnik. ">

<Negotiations on the match were now concrete. Alekhine chose Du Mont, editor of the British Chess Magazine, as his representative to finalize the conditions of time and place of the match. Already, it was agreed that the <<<match will be held in London,>>> waiting for the decision of the Executive Committee of FIDE.>

Yuri Shaburov, "Alexander Alekhine- The Undefeated Champion" (The Voice 1992), pp. 230-231.

http://lib.rus.ec/b/377831/read

===

Skinner and Verhoeven on Botvinnik-Alekhine match negotiations:

<"Just fifteen days before his death, Alekhine, by now financially destitute, was working with Lupi on a book of the Hastings tournament to try to obtain some income when... a telegram arrived from the President of the British Chess Federation Derbyshire saying that Botvinnik had financial backing to issue a challenge for the world championship and had proposed the match be played in England. <<<Alekhine answered straight-away and accepted the challenge...>>> Some days later Botvinnik's intentions were confirmed in a personal letter which was delivered through the British Embassy. Alekhine then asked his old friend, Julius du Mont, the editor of the British Chess Magazine, to act as his representative in England... On the night of the 23 March he suffered a fatal heart attack...">

--Skinner and Verhoeven
"Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games 1902-1946"
McFarland, 1998
p. 733

===

Pablo Moran on Botvinnik-Alekhine match negotiations:

<"...telegram from Mr. Derbyshire in Nottingham:

'Moscow offer substantial sum for chess championship of world to be played in England between you and Botvinnik suggest you appoint someone in England represent you and arrange all details wire reply.'

"This was the cause of Alekhine's second cardiac stroke... He answered Mr. Derbyshire immediately, accepting the match provided Botvinnik wold agree to the conditions of 1939... Some days later... Botvinnik himself sent a letter through the British Emabassy in Lisbon.

The text was in Russian, with an English version attached:

'World's Championship. Mr. A. Alekhine!

I regret that the war prevented the organisation of our match in 1939. But I herewith again challenge you to a match for the world's chess championship. If you agree, a person authorized by myself and the Moscow Chess Club will conduct negotiations with you or your representative on the question of conditions, date and the place where the match should be held, <<<preferably through the British Chess Federation.>>> I await your answer, in which I also ask you to state your ideas about the date and the place of the match. I beg you to send a telegraphic reply, with subsequent postal confirmation, to the Moscow Chess Club.'

February 4th, 1946.
'(Sgd.)Michael Botvinnik'">

-Pablo Moran
"A. Alekhine- Agony of a Chess Genius"
Edited and translated by Frank X. Mur
McFarland, 1989
p. 276

#####################################################

25-27 July 1946

FIDE Congress in Winterthur

<As regards the world championship, it was decided in Winterthur <<<25-27 July 1946>>> to fill the vacancy by organizing, exceptionally, a tournament among the top candidates, i.e. Euwe, Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov, Fine, Reshevsky and one of the winners of the upcoming Groningen and Prague tournaments. To settle the qualification issue regarding the future candidates a commission was appointed, comprising Rueb (Chairman), Louma (Vice-Chairman), Sir George Thomas, O. Bernstein and E. Voellmy.

...it was decided that the world championship tournament (four rounds) would take place in the Netherlands in June 1947, offers having also been received from the United States and Argentina. As previously noted, Euwe was chosen as a participant (by dint of having held the world title), and the federations of the United States and the USSR were given until 1 September 1946 to nominate other masters from their respective countries if they were not satisfied with FIDE’s selection of Reshevsky, Fine, Botvinnik, Keres and Smyslov. The minutes also stated:

‘If the winners of the tournaments in Groningen and Prague are not among the six above-mentioned masters, they shall play a match in Prague organized by the Czechoslovak Federation under the auspices of <<<FIDE.>>> The winner of that match shall be added to the list of participants. If one of the winners of those two tournaments is already on the list of participants, the other shall automatically qualify. Should the envisaged match end in a draw, the Qualification Committee shall decide upon the procedure.’>

-Edward Winter, "Interregnum" (2003-2004) http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

===

19 Sept 1946

Botvinnik:

<"In September of last year, when the strongest chessplayers of the world were gathered here in Moscow <<<(Keres, Reshevsky, Smyslov, Euwe, Fine and the author of this article)>>> they held a conference (19 September) on the subject of the coming contest for the world championship. After the inevitable arguments, it seemed that a means of agreement was indicated.">

-"CHESS" March 1947, pp. 168-169. In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

Dec 1946

"Chess" magazine:

<‘Holland having got together £4,000 for the world championship tournament planned by the FIDE next June, Euwe arranged a meeting of the six prospective participants (himself, Fine and Reshevsky of the USA and Botvinnik, Keres and Smyslov of the USSR) at Moscow. At this, Botvinnik in anger stated that one Dutch paper during the Groningen tournament won by Botvinnik, ahead of Euwe and Smyslov had said that the Russian participants might work together to put him into first place. He therefore refused to play for the championship in Holland. Russians know no ‘freedom of the press’. It was finally agreed to stage the event half in Holland, half in Russia, but there was further argument over the question of where the first half should be held.

The USSR has not joined the International Chess Federation (FIDE). At the last FIDE Assembly Spain, who had been a founder-member and had paid its dues throughout, was ejected in the hope that the Soviets would join; the sacrifice has deeply wounded Spanish sentiment.

The Russians want the tournament in April, Fine not before August. Estimates of the cost of Holland’s half of the tournament are now rising to £6,000 and £7,000.

Dr Rueb, President of the FIDE, has <<<withdrawn FIDE’s claim>>> to organize the tournament, which work lies mainly between Euwe (for the Dutch Federation) and the Russian Chess Federation at the moment.’>

-"CHESS" December 1946, p.63. In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

Jan 1947

Najdorf:

<CHESS printed a report on an interview in the January 1947 issue of El Ajedrez Español in which Najdorf had declared:

<<<I believe that I am inferior to none of the players who are to participate in the next world championship, Botvinnik, Fine, Reshevsky, Keres, Euwe. …None of these have a better record than I. I have played much less than they have, admittedly, but I am satisfied with my results>>>.’>

-In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

Before Aug 1947

<As the players and national federations continued to jockey for position, <<<FIDE>>> prepared for what was expected to be its decisive congress, in The Netherlands in the summer of 1947>

-Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

30 July - 2 August 1947

FIDE Congress in The Hague

<...the Swiss delegate, E. Voellmy, gave an account in the October 1947 Schweizerische Schachzeitung (pages 154-155). He reported that the idea of an Euwe-Reshevsky match had been evoked and that a widespread wish existed in Eastern Europe for a Botvinnik-Keres match. Nonetheless, Voellmy recorded, <<<the Russians had reverted to the Winterthur plan,>>> and the agreement meant that March 1948 would see the start of a six-man tournament (Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov, Euwe, Reshevsky and Fine), firstly in the Netherlands and then, following a two-week break, in Moscow.">

-Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

1-2 Aug 1947

Euwe champion for one day

According to Oxford Companion:
<"Thus he (Euwe) would say wryly that he had been world champion for one day in 1947.”

However, according to the minutes of the FIDE Congress, that decision was never taken.

1 and 2 August 1947 respectively, as published in El Ajedrez Argentino, November-December, 1947, pages 298-300):

after Euwe left the room the delegates decided to proclaim him world champion, but with an obligation upon him to play a match against Reshevsky and with the winner of that match then having to play Botvinnik. However, Messrs Louma and Rogard regarded this proposal as dangerous in view of the absence of the members of the Soviet delegation, and <<<it was decided to postpone the resolution,>>> pending their arrival. The second text above states that after they had come the following day the six-man match-tournament was agreed upon.>

-Edward Winter, Chessnote 3816

===

"American Chess Bulletin" Report on

FIDE Congress in The Hague

<It was noted that <<<the Dutch and Soviet Federations had agreed jointly to assume all the expenses, including travel and living costs, of the six masters,>>> and the Bulletin added:

‘There were other propositions submitted to the meeting. One suggested a match between Dr Euwe, champion in 1935, and Reshevsky; the other, an enlargement of the plan and the admission of three or four additional masters regarded as eligible to compete for the honor. Both were voted down.

Because of the grounding of their plane at Berlin en route to The Hague, the four Soviet delegates, Ragozin, Postnikov, Yudovich and Malshev, did not arrive until the last day of the meeting, but, according to Vice-President Giers, cooperated in every way to make possible a harmonious understanding.

Of far-reaching effect is the entry of the USSR, hitherto outside of the Federation, into closer and permanent relationship with the other leading chess-playing nations as an affiliated unit. It is understood that Russia has 600,000 registered players.

The world organization, of which Dr A. Rueb of The Hague is the head, is now practically complete and its rulings will carry full weight. All major decisions are left to the General Assembly, which convenes annually and is attended by one delegate from each unit.’>

-"American Chess Bulletin" September-October 1947, p.107. In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

August 1947

"Chess Review" commentary:

<‘The FIDE has virtually revived its program of a year ago ... The line-up is exactly that given then, except for the provision including winners of the 1946 Groningen and Prague tournaments if not those already named. Botvinnik, already named, won at the former; but Mendel <<<Najdorf won at Prague, would have qualified under the 1946 provisions.>>> The only other alterations in the 1946 plans are the added delay to 1948 and the arrangement for half the play to take place in Russia.’>

-"Chess Review" August 1947, p.2 In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

===

Jan-Feb 1948

American Chess Bulletin:

Rueben Fine

<‘Bad news comes from the West in the announcement that <<<Reuben Fine of Los Angeles has decided to withdraw from the tournament.>>> The reason advanced for this unexpected step on the part of one of the heroes of the AVRO tournament was the necessity for his continuing a post-graduate course at the University of Southern California to avoid the loss of an entire year in the pursuit of his studies.’>

"American Chess Bulletin" January-February 1948, p.11. In Edward Winter, "Interregnum."

#########################

CONDITIONS

<10 rounds in The Hague, followed by 15 rounds in Moscow. The order of the venues (Moscow 2d) was decided by lot (drawing of a pawn).40 moves in 2 1/2 hours, 16 moves per hour after that, time of play 5:30pm - 10:30pm. Players may agree on a draw at any time. Each player permitted to analyze adjourned games with 2 assistants. <<<Prizes:>>> 1st $5,000; 2d $3,000; 3d $2000; 4th $1,500; 5th $1,000.

Arbiter: Milan Vidmar

Assistant to Vidmar: Alexander Kotov

The Hague venue: The "Kierentuin," which before the war was headquarters of the local zoo.

Residence for players and officials (and some adjourned games finished here): The "Kurhaus" in Scheveningen>

Botvinnik refused to stay in the "Kurhaus" and was given rooms in the "Hotel Twee Staden." He was joined at the Hotel by his wife, daughter, and his 2d Ragozin.

Official Opening: <Held <<<in>>> "The Town Hall.">

Moscow venue: <"Salle des Collones" (Hall <<<of>>> Columns)>

-Harry Golombek, "The World Chess Championship 1948" (Harding Simpole 1949), p.3

===

Source for Milan Vidmar arbiter, The Hague venue, residence, official opening venue:

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." "Chess Life and Review" (April 1948), p.6

Source for Draw may be agreed at any time:

-"Chess Life and Review" "Battle Royal" May 1948, p.11

===

Source for Moscow venue:

Golombek, p.126

===

Source for Alexander Kotov assistant to Vidmar, 16 moves per hour after initial time control:

Paul Keres
"Match Tournament for the World Chess Championship-
The Hague and Moscow 1948"
(Estonian State Publishing 1950), p.7

-==============

Source for Moscow being the 2d venue by lot (drawing of pawn)

--Mikhail Botvinnik
"Achieving the Aim."
Bernard Cafferty, transl.
(Pergamon 1981), p.109

Source for Each player permitted to analyze adjourned games with 2 assistants.

-Botvinnik, p.111

Source for Botvinnik refused to stay in the "Kurhaus" and was given rooms in the "Hotel Twee Staden"

-Botvinnik, p.113-114

Source for Botvinnik's wife, daughter, and 2d Ragozin joining him at the Hotel.

-"Chess Life and Review" "Battle Royal" May 1948, p.8

#########################

Seconds (Since conditions allowed for <2> people to assist players in analyzing adjourned games, it's possible that some players had more than 1 <second>) See -Botvinnik, p.111

Keres - Bondarevsky (source - Botvinnik, p.118-119)

and/or Tolush (source- Israel Horowitz, "The World Chess Championship- a History" (MacMillan 1973), p.121)

==================

Euwe - Cortlever -(Needs source)

and/or Van Scheltinga (source- Horowitz, p.121)

==================

Smyslov - Alatortsev (source- Horowitz, p.121)

=================

Botvinnik - Ragozin and Flohr (source- Botvinnik, p.113-114)

=================

Reshevsky - Prins (source- Horowitz, p.121)

###########################

COURSE of the TOURNAMENT

Leg One: The Hague

#################################

Round 1

Euwe vs Keres, 1948 <0-1>

Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 2

Keres vs Smyslov, 1948 <1-0>

Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

Euwe's 1st career loss to Botvinnik.

<"Euwe remarked that in his opinion Botvinnik was <<<better than Alekhine>>> was in the 1937 world championship match.">

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." "Chess Life and Review" (April 1948), p.9

#################################

Round 3

Reshevsky vs Keres, 1948 <1-0>

<"The last seven moves were made with three minutes remaining on each of their clocks. Here <<<Sammy>>> showed that superiority in time trouble for which he is famous.">

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, p.11

==================

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1/2>

<"Among the <<<Russians>>> present at their own reserved table were Ragosin, Tolush, Bondarevsky, Flohr, Kotov, Alatortsev, Lilienthal...">

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde,p.11

#################################

Round 4

Euwe vs Smyslov, 1948 <0-1>

<"With his Queen en prise, Euwe sacrificed both Knights. The atmosphere was charged with excitement. One teller was so unnerved that he dropped some pieces off a wallboard. Everyone was keyed up as <<<the sacrifices looked so good>>> and yet so impenetrably vague. Then Euwe missed the correct line and Smyslov wriggled out of the mating net. Euwe adjourned in a lost position. The pathos exhibited by the faces of the audience was so visible that even Euwe's face turned red all over. But it was too late.>

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, p.14

"Euwe's description of his thoughts and oversights:"
http://kranten.kb.nl/view/article/i...

===

Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1-0>

<"As expected, both players ran short of time and after twenty-seven moves, their respective times were 2:17 Botvinnik and 2:26 Reshevsky. On this occasion <<<The U.S. speed whiz>>> faltered, blundered badly and then-- incredibly-- lost the game on time!">

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, pp.13-14

<"Botvinnik take some sort of <<<pills>>> during the game. Can they be vitamins?">

D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, p.16

#################################

Round 5

Keres vs Botvinnik, 1948 <0-1>

===

Reshevsky vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

<"...Reshevsky made a startling twelfth move <<<12.d5>>> which apparently wrecks Black's hopes in this variation... the complications were numerous and in them Euwe lost a pawn. Reshevsky's fortieth move, made with only seconds left on his clock, turned the adjourned ending into a win.">

-D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, p.15

#################################

Round 6

Keres vs Euwe, 1948 <1/2>

===

Reshevsky vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 7

Smyslov vs Keres, 1948 <0-1>

<"Against Smyslov, Keres adopted tactics similar to those in... K Junge vs Alekhine, 1942 at Munich 1942. The central battle was whether Smyslov could force P-K4. When Keres effectively prevented the thrust, his rival became desperate and <<<sacrificed>>> a pawn unsoundly.">

Smyslov to play:


click for larger view

27.b5?


click for larger view

D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." "Chess Life and Review" (May 1948), p.8

Harry Golombek on <27.b5?>:

<"In a quite even position, Smyslov suddenly procured for himself a chance of losing by a completely <<<unsound Pawn sacrifice,>>> the point of which seemed based on a hallucination.">

Harry Golombek, "The World Chess Championship 1948" (Harding Simpole 1949), p.91

===

Euwe vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 8

Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

===

Keres vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 9

Smyslov vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

===

Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 10

Euwe vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1/2>

===

Botvinnik vs Keres, 1948 <1-0>

Botvinnik:

<Before the departure of the Soviet players (Botvinnik, Keres and Smyslov) for the Netherlands, a conflict unfortunately arose, leading to heated arguments over the scheduling of the Dutch half of the Match-Tournament. The rounds had been scheduled without considering the elementary requirements of a sporting event. A tournament should be so paced as to allow its participants to accustom themselves to a definite rhythm of play. Then, and only then, can you expect to see superlative creative achievements.

The Dutch organizers felt this was of little consequence, failing to see that a string of free days (owing to holidays, and to the fact that we had an odd number of players) would upset this playing rhythm, and put a player off his stride.

When I discovered that one of the players would end up with <<<six straight "rest" days,>>> just before the final round of the second cycle, I suggested to my colleagues Keres and Smyslov that we register joint protest. Alas, they did not support me! And so I told them, most sincerely, "Just wait; when we get to the Hague, one of you will get six days of rest, and lose like a child on the seventh day." Now the first part of my prophecy had been fulfilled. After six days' rest, Keres sat across from me, pale as death, quite obviously afraid that the second part of my prophecy would also come to pass!>

Botvinnik's final move:

23.Qd4-e3


click for larger view

Botvinnik:

<This quiet move forces mate.

With only seconds remaining, Keres <<<stopped the clocks>>>. Then, without a word, he signed the scoresheets, rose and left. Poor Paul was probably thinking less of chess during this game than of the mistake he had made before he even left Moscow...>

Mikhail Botvinnik, "15 Games and their Stories" Jim Marfia, transl. (Chess Enterprise Inc. 1982), pp. 40-42

#################################

Leg Two: Moscow

Round 11

Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1-0>

===

Euwe vs Keres, 1948 <0-1>

#################################

Round 12

Keres vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

===

Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

#################################

Round 13

Reshevsky vs Keres, 1948 <0-1>

===

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1948 <0-1

#################################

Round 14

Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1948 <0-1>

Botvinnik's first loss in the tournament.

===

Euwe vs Smyslov, 1948 <1-0>

#################################

Round 15

Reshevsky vs Euwe, 1948 <1/2>

===

Keres vs Botvinnik, 1948 <0-1>

#################################

Round 16

Reshevsky vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

===

Keres vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

#################################

Round 17

Smyslov vs Keres, 1948 <1-0>

===

Euwe vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 18

Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

===

Keres vs Reshevsky, 1948 <0-1>

#################################

Round 19

Smyslov vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

===

Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1948 <0-1>

#################################

Round 20

Botvinnik vs Keres, 1948 <1-0>

===

Euwe vs Reshevsky, 1948 <0-1>

#################################

Round 21

Euwe vs Keres, 1948 <0-1>

===

Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 22

9 May

Botvinnik clinches 1st place

Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1948 <1/2>

Botvinnik:

<"Here I felt that I simply could not play any longer, and offered my opponent a draw. Since Euwe, the former World Champion, had a decidedly unhappy tourament score at this point, I had no doubt that he would accept the offer. But to my surprise, Euwe unexpectedly said that he would like to play a little longer. I was angered; my fighting spirit immediately returned.

<<<'Fine,' I said, 'let's play on, then.'>>>

Euwe felt the change in the atmosphere, and extended his hand to congratulate me on winning the tournament.">

Mikhail Botvinnik
"15 Games and Their Stories"
Jim Marfia, transl.
(Chess Enterprises Inc. 1982), p.49

===

EDIT <thomastonk>:

<<WCC Editing Project: I wonder if Euwe's side of the story exists ...> Yes, it does, of course. Euwe wrote in 1948 a book on the match tournament in Dutch (a German version has been printed as well, and the English translation was published quite recently). Euwe stated that he accepted the draw and showed two possible lines to support the drawish character of the position. He does not report on a first and a second offer. Nothing special, and why should he be surprised by the draw offer and "lost nerves" as the German edtion of Botvinnik's book claims. The only one who could have lost nerves - in a positive sense - was the new champion, I think.

thomastonk: Several Dutch newspapers reported that the game was drawn after 15 moves, and I've seen none that mentioned 14 moves. "The Times" based on Reuter reportet this, too. Euwe wrote that 11.0-0-0 was broadcasted from Moscow ...

There are many ways to *make* this an interesting game.>

===

Harry Golombek Eye witness account:

<"Botwinnik was taking no chances, and Dr. Euwe, last beyond a shadow of doubt, had little incentive to play for a win... Botwinnik exchanged off the gambit Pawn on the fourth move, made as if to embark on a minority attack on the Q side, and then proposed a draw, which Dr. Euwe <<<readily>>> accepted.">

Harry Golombek, "The World Chess Championship 1948" (Harding Simpole 1949), p.204

=======

Two more eye witness accounts:

D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde:

<"With a draw sufficient to win... Botvinnik went directly to his task in the twenty-second round... When <<<his offer of a draw was accepted,>>> the partisan audience burst into enthusiastic cheers at this triumph of Soviet chess.">

==========

Hans Kmoch:

<"14... KR-K1. At this point, <<<Botvinnik offered a draw>>> and Euwe accepted.">

Both of these accounts appear in

D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." "Chess Life and Review" (August 1948), p.11

===

Keres vs Smyslov, 1948 <1/2>

################################

Round 23

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1/2>

===

Reshevsky vs Keres, 1948 <1/2>

#################################

Round 24

Euwe vs Smyslov, 1948 <0-1>

===

Botvinnik vs Reshevsky, 1948 <1-0>

#################################

Round 25

Keres vs Botvinnik, 1948 <1-0>

===

Reshevsky vs Euwe, 1948 <1-0>

##############################

AFTERMATH

Keres allegedly "throwing games" to Botvinnik" controversy:

Taylor Kingston

###################################

Prague 1946 Crosstable:

http://www.thechesslibrary.com/file...

Dates: October 2 - 22
Note: Treybal Memorial
Source: Di Felice p.285,

Euwe vs Keres, 1948 
(C75) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 56 moves, 0-1

Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1948 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Keres vs Smyslov, 1948 
(A15) English, 27 moves, 1-0

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