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Estonia vs. Finland 1989
Compiled by SwitchingQuylthulg
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Background:

Finland and the Estonian SSR had played matches annually between 1959 and 1969, with Estonia winning every time.1 The tradition was revived after a nineteen-year break in December 1988, with the Estonians winning 11.5-8.5 in a two-round, ten-board match in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.1 The same format was used for the 1989 match, played on September 10 and 11 at the Tallinn Chess House (Tallinna malemaja) in the Estonian capital.2

Estonia's strongest player, Jaan Yukhanovich Ehlvest, missed both the 1988 and 1989 matches, and Lembit Antsovich Oll, who had played first board in 1988, was also absent.2 By contrast, Finland managed to field most of its top players and came within one game of avoiding defeat for the first time.2

Results:

Estonia took a two-game lead on the first day, scoring four wins and two losses. Finland fought back on day two with three wins and two losses, closing the gap to only one game; in the longest game of the round (A Nokso-Koivisto vs J Narva, 1989), Antti Nokso-Koivisto developed a strong attack but missed the win (which would have tied the match) and eventually had to accept a draw in a worse position, conceding the match to Estonia.2

Veingold == / == Yrjölä Nei == / == Westerinen Rõtšagov 00 / 11 Pyhälä Kärner 11 / 00 Välkesalmi Kiik == / == Rantanen Narva 0= / 1= Nokso-Koivisto Raud 11 / 00 Norri Lokotar =0 / =1 Raaste Remmel 1= / 0= Kekki Hermlin 10 / 01 Sorri Estonia 10.5 / 9.5 Finland

Finland's first tie against Estonia had to wait until 1991, when a slightly different format (with eight men's boards, a women's board and a junior board) was used.3

Sources:

(1) Eero Raaste: Viro voitti Suomen maaottelussa (Suomen Shakki 4/1989, p. 163) - http://www.suomenshakki.fi/arkisto/... (2) Eero Raaste: Syksyn maaotteluissa niukat tappiot (Suomen Shakki 11/1989, p. 495) - http://www.suomenshakki.fi/arkisto/... (3) Tasapeli Viroa vastaan (Suomen Shakki 6/1991, p. 269) - http://www.suomenshakki.fi/arkisto/...

Day 1 Board 1
J Yrjola vs A Veingold, 1989
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 1 Board 2
I Nei vs H Westerinen, 1989
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 1 Board 3
A Pyhala vs M Rytshagov, 1989
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 1-0

Day 1 Board 4
H Karner vs K Valkesalmi, 1989
(D14) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation, 36 moves, 1-0

Day 1 Board 5
Y Rantanen vs K Kiik, 1989
(B83) Sicilian, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 1 Board 6
J Narva vs A Nokso-Koivisto, 1989
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 0-1

Day 1 Board 7
J Norri vs R Raud, 1989
(A44) Old Benoni Defense, 21 moves, 0-1

Day 1 Board 8
E Lokotar vs E Raaste, 1989
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 1 Board 9
P Kekki vs A Remmel, 1989
(E48) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5, 28 moves, 0-1

Day 1 Board 10
A Hermlin vs K Sorri, 1989
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 55 moves, 1-0

Day 2 Board 1
A Veingold vs J Yrjola, 1989
(A41) Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6), 11 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 2 Board 2
H Westerinen vs I Nei, 1989
(C15) French, Winawer, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 2 Board 3
M Rytshagov vs A Pyhala, 1989
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 36 moves, 0-1

Day 2 Board 4
K Valkesalmi vs H Karner, 1989
(A06) Reti Opening, 32 moves, 0-1

Day 2 Board 5
K Kiik vs Y Rantanen, 1989
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 8 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 2 Board 6
A Nokso-Koivisto vs J Narva, 1989
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 2 Board 7
R Raud vs J Norri, 1989
(C18) French, Winawer, 35 moves, 1-0

Day 2 Board 8
E Raaste vs E Lokotar, 1989
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 38 moves, 1-0

Day 2 Board 9
A Remmel vs P Kekki, 1989
(C01) French, Exchange, 10 moves, 1/2-1/2

Day 2 Board 10
K Sorri vs A Hermlin, 1989
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 1-0

20 games

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