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Yusupov - Timman Candidates Semifinal Match

Artur Yusupov6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Jan Timman3/9(+1 -4 =4)[games] Chess Event Description
Yusupov - Timman Candidates Semifinal (1986)

The purpose of this match was to select a challenger for the winner of the Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1985) - or as it turned out, because of the rematch conditions announced in July 1985, the winner of the Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Rematch (1986). The two players had qualified from the Montpellier Candidates (1985) - Timman in addition from the Montpellier Candidates Playoff (1985). One more match was held, the Sokolov - Vaganian Candidates Semifinal (1986).

On 22 December, considering a sponsor offer from the Interpolis insurance company, FIDE decided that the match would take place in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The date was set to 5 (and 8) January, but because of the Kasparov - Timman (1985) match (Hilversum 15-22 December), Timman asked for a delay until 5 February. This was too late for Yusupov, and FIDE advanced the date to 22 January. But this was still too late for the Russians. FIDE president Florencio Campomanes decided on 16 January, and stuck to it despite massive protests. The players settled in the Bosrand Hotel in Oisterwijk (east of Tilburg), while the opening ceremony and draw for colors took place in the Tilburg City Hall on 15 January. Timman's seconds were Ulf Andersson (instead of Vlastimil Hort, who participated in Hoogovens (1986)) and Eric Lobron. Yusupov was assisted by Mark Izrailovich Dvoretsky and Sergey Dolmatov. The Soviet-Russian delegation was led by Mikhail Beilin.

Game 1 started in the Interpolis building in Tilburg at 2 pm, under the supervision of chief arbiter Milos Petronic and his deputy Geurt Gijssen. The "romantic" Timman played a risky Queen's Indian with 12...Na6 and 15...g5. "The Wall" Yusupov built up an advantage, but blundered in time pressure on his move 31, allowing Timman to sacrifice an exchange for two central pawns. The game was adjourned at about 7 pm. Yusupov sealed his move 41, but resigned the following morning. In Game 2, Timman won a pawn, but Yusupov got counterplay and managed to survive. After which the spectators stopped whispering. Normally, the tournaments in Tilburg were closed sessions with a demonstration room and a bar, but this time the games room had 130 seats. These were mostly filled with men. "The chess clubs are really unfriendly to women", Gijssen explained.

Photo after 9.cxd5 in Game 2:

Games 3 and 4 were also drawn. The misery began for Timman in Game 5 when he allowed a thematic e5 pawn sacrifice on move 18. He defended well until his move 31, when he gave back two pawns in order to play a rook endgame a pawn down. But the position was difficult and probably impossible to defend, and Timman resigned the next day (Saturday) on his move 58. On Sunday he lost again, and after this "disaster week-end" he also lost Game 7 on Tuesday. Timman now took a three days rest. Yusupov was a little better in Game 8, but offered a draw via Gijssen in the hotel. Which was accepted. And Timman then lost Game 9 as well - 24 moves. Why this calamity? NRC Handelsblad stated that fatigue and lack of preparation took their toll so that the match turned out to his disadvantage. It claimed that Yusupov agreed with this statement. Andersson said that he real Timman had not been seen in Tilburg.

Tilburg, 16 January - 3 February 1986

Elo* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 GM Yusupov 2645 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 6 GM Timman 2645 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 3 Yusupov had white in the odd-numbered games.

Yusupov advanced to the Sokolov - Yusupov Candidates Final (1986).


Mark Weeks:
Douglas Griffin 's blog at
Antonio Gude in Jaque 190, pp. 70-72 (
Tidskrift för Schack, 1986/2, pp. 71-72 (
Het Vrije Volk, 12 December 1985, p. 1 (
Leeuwarder courant, 23 December 1985 (
Gert Ligterink in De Volkskrant, 15 January 1986, p. 9 (
Hans Bohm in NRC Handelsblad, 17 January 1986, p. 9 (
Gert Ligterink in De Volkskrant, 17 January 1986, p. 11 (
Rob Velthuis in Trouw (Amsterdam), 20 January 1986, p. 12 (
Alexander Jongsma in De Telegraaf, 25 January 1986, p. T39 (
Amigoe, 3 February 1986, p. 9 (
NRC Handelsblad, 4 February 1986, p. 6 (

*FIDE Rating List January 1986:

Original collections: Game Collection: WCC Index (Yusupov-Timman 1986) by User: Hesam7 and Game Collection: 0 by User: Tabanus. Game dates (January 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, February 1, 3) are from the Dutch newspapers at Thanks to User: Paint My Dragon for helpful comments, and to User: OhioChessFan for improving the English.

 page 1 of 1; 9 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Yusupov vs Timman 0-1401986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalE12 Queen's Indian
2. Timman vs Yusupov  ½-½431986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalC42 Petrov Defense
3. Yusupov vs Timman  ½-½561986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalE12 Queen's Indian
4. Timman vs Yusupov ½-½441986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalC11 French
5. Yusupov vs Timman 1-0581986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalE12 Queen's Indian
6. Timman vs Yusupov 0-1381986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Yusupov vs Timman 1-0191986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
8. Timman vs Yusupov ½-½411986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Yusupov vs Timman 1-0241986Yusupov - Timman Candidates SemifinalD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-19-20  Olavi: In game five, 40...e3+ was thought to be a draw in 1986 - Dvoretzky in New in Chess 2/1986.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: On the January 1984 FIDÉ rating list, Timman had been a respectable 13th= (with Miles and Ribli).

However, in the next rating list, July 1984 (, he was in sole 3rd, behind the 2Ks.

Kasparov 2715, Karpov 2705, Timman 2650, 10 points ahead of ... can you guess? No, you are wrong, it was Portisch.

Timman continued to be #3 up until this match.

How was Prince Yusupov doing?

1984 Jan 22= 2570
1984 Jul 17= 2590
1985 Jan 14= 2590
1985 Jul 12 2600
1986 Jan 5= 2645\.

The match therefore began with both players rated 2645, but with Yusupov as the rising star

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Oops. Rating fixed (I hope), thanks.

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