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Hübner - Portisch Candidates Semifinal 1980
Compiled by Tabanus
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The purpose was to find a challenger to the World Champion Anatoly Karpov. For this match, Hübner had qualified from the Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979) and the Hübner - Adorjan Candidates Quarterfinal (1980). Portisch had qualified from the Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979) and the Portisch - Spassky Candidates Quarterfinal (1980). The other semifinal match was the Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1980). In both matches the winner was the first to get 6,5 points. If 6-6, then two more games, and if still equal then two more games. If equal after 16 games the winner would be the one with most black wins.1

The playing venue was the convention center of Hotel Alexander2 in Abano Terme3 near Padua, Italy. FIDE president Fridrik Olafsson had offered the match to be played in Iceland, but the players settled on Abano Terme who had offered 30000 Dutch guilders in prize money.4 In preparation for the match, Hübner had taken a leave from the Köln University, where he was a teacher in classical philology.5 His delegation consisted of the seconds Gudmundur Sigurjonsson and Vlastimil Hort, and the chess patron and millionaire Wilfried Hilgert6 as team leader.7 Portisch came with a larger delegation.7 Neither of the two had played in any major event since the candidate quarterfinals.

Gino Piccinin8 (an IA since 1964) was arbiter.9 Hübner asked for postponent before game 4.10 Portisch asked for postponent before games 9 and 10.11, 12 That did not help, because he lost both games, and after the draw in round 11, the match.

Hotel Alexander, Abano Terme, 2-24 August 1980

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Pts 1 GM Hübner 2600 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6½ 2 GM Portisch 2655 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 4½

Hübner advanced to the Korchnoi - Hübner Candidates Final (1980).

The book Campionato del mondo di scacchi: semifinale del torneo dei candidati Hübner-Portisch13 (48 p., 1980, match program?) has not been consulted. Dates are from El Mundo Deportivo and the Dutch newspapers at http://kranten.delpher.nl/.

1) Harry Golombek in The Times 18 August 1980 p. 14. 2) http://static.panoramio.com/photos/.... 3) Wikipedia article: Abano Terme. 4) Limburgsch Dagblad 9 July 1980 p. 19. 5) Tidskrift för Schack vol. 86 (1980) p. 210. 6) Wikipedia article: Wilfried Hilgert. 7) Der Spiegel 52/1980 p. 160. 8) Wikipedia article: Gino Piccinin. 9) Richmond Times Dispatch 22 August 1980 p. 28. 10) El Mundo Deportivo 7 August 1980 p. 28. 11) Leeuwarder courant 18 August 1980 p. 19. 12) Het Vrije Volk 21 August 1980 p. 15. 13) http://books.google.no/books/about/....

Original collections: Game Collection: 0 by User: TheFocus, Game Collection: WCC Index (Huebner-Portisch 1980) by User: nescio2, and Game Collection: Hübner - Portisch Candidates Semifinal 1980 by User: Tabanus.

Game 1 Aug 2
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 2 Aug 3
Portisch vs Huebner, 1980 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3 Aug 5
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4 Aug 9
Portisch vs Huebner, 1980
(A14) English, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5 Aug 10
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980 
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6 Aug 12
Portisch vs Huebner, 1980
(E12) Queen's Indian, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7 Aug 13
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980 
(A14) English, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 8 Aug 16
Portisch vs Huebner, 1980
(E52) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with ...b6, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 9 Aug 19
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 40 moves, 1-0

Game 10 Aug 21
Portisch vs Huebner, 1980 
(A14) English, 49 moves, 0-1

Game 11 Aug 24
Huebner vs Portisch, 1980 
(A33) English, Symmetrical, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

11 games

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