|USSR Championship (1944)|
The 13th Soviet Chess Championship was held in the capital of Moscow from May 21st to June 17th. Twelve of the Soviet Union's best chess masters qualified from three semifinal tournaments played earlier in the year. Andor Lilienthal, Vladimir Makogonov, Vladas Mikenas, and David Bronstein qualified from Baku. Alexander Kotov, Salomon Flohr, Gavriil Veresov, and Vladimir Alatortsev qualified from Moscow. Alexey Sokolsky, Abram Khavin, Isaac Boleslavsky, and Alexander Tolush qualified from Omsk, and Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Viacheslav Ragozin, Georgy Lisitsin and Grigory Ravinsky were invited to fill the remaining five seats. It was the first USSR championship since the USSR Absolute Championship (1941). Botvinnik finished with eleven wins and twelve and a half points out of sixteen. It was his third consecutive title (counting the absolute championship) and his fourth Soviet crown, out of an eventual total of six. The war had interrupted Botvinnik's chances for a world championship with Alexander Alekhine, and his performance in this and the USSR Championship (1945) were attempts to prove that he remained the rightful challenger.
The final standings and crosstable:
This collection would not have been possible without the efforts of <Phony Benoni>.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 Botvinnik * 1 1 1 1 Ѕ 0 1 Ѕ 1 Ѕ 1 1 1 0 1 1 12.5
2 Smyslov 0 * 0 Ѕ 1 1 1 0 Ѕ 1 1 1 Ѕ 1 Ѕ Ѕ 1 10.5
3 Boleslavsky 0 1 * Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ 1 1 0 Ѕ Ѕ 1 1 1 Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ 10.0
4 Flohr 0 Ѕ Ѕ * Ѕ Ѕ 1 Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ 0 Ѕ 1 1 1 Ѕ 1 9.5
5 Mikenas 0 0 Ѕ Ѕ * Ѕ 1 0 1 Ѕ 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 9.0
6 Makogonov Ѕ 0 Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ * 0 0 1 0 1 Ѕ 1 1 Ѕ 1 1 9.0
7 Tolush 1 0 0 0 0 1 * Ѕ 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 8.5
8 Lilienthal 0 1 0 Ѕ 1 1 Ѕ * Ѕ Ѕ 0 0 1 Ѕ 0 Ѕ Ѕ 7.5
9 Sokolsky Ѕ Ѕ 1 Ѕ 0 0 0 Ѕ * 0 0 Ѕ 1 1 1 1 0 7.5
10 Veresov 0 0 Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ 1 0 Ѕ 1 * 1 0 0 0 1 1 Ѕ 7.5
11 Ragozin Ѕ 0 Ѕ 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 0 1 Ѕ 0 Ѕ 1 7.0
12 Kotov 0 0 0 Ѕ 0 Ѕ 0 1 Ѕ 1 1 * 0 Ѕ 1 1 0 7.0
13 Khavin 0 Ѕ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 1 1 Ѕ 7.0
14 Lisitsin 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 Ѕ 0 1 Ѕ Ѕ 0 * Ѕ 1 1 7.0
15 Bronstein 1 Ѕ Ѕ 0 0 Ѕ 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 Ѕ * 0 Ѕ 6.5
16 Alatortsev 0 Ѕ Ѕ Ѕ 1 0 0 Ѕ 0 0 Ѕ 0 0 0 1 * 1 5.5
17 Ravinsky 0 0 Ѕ 0 0 0 0 Ѕ 1 Ѕ 0 1 Ѕ 0 Ѕ 0 * 4.5
Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1944, by User: suenteus po 147. SOURCE: Die XIII. Schachmeisterschaft der UdSSR 1944: 136 partien / herausgegeben von L. Toth. Kecskemet, Ungarn: Magyar Sakkvilag, 1949.
| page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136
|1. Tolush vs Bronstein
||0-1||40||1944||USSR Championship||A54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3|
|2. V Makogonov vs Flohr
|| ||½-½||26||1944||USSR Championship||D22 Queen's Gambit Accepted|
|3. Ragozin vs A Khavin
|| ||1-0||37||1944||USSR Championship||A49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4|
|4. Alatortsev vs Ravinsky
|| ||1-0||62||1944||USSR Championship||D31 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|5. V Mikenas vs Smyslov
||0-1||54||1944||USSR Championship||D18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch|
|6. Kotov vs Veresov
||1-0||28||1944||USSR Championship||D41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch|
|7. Lisitsin vs Lilienthal
|| ||½-½||21||1944||USSR Championship||A13 English|
|8. Botvinnik vs Sokolsky
|| ||½-½||33||1944||USSR Championship||E40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3|
|9. A Khavin vs Tolush
||1-0||42||1944||USSR Championship||B03 Alekhine's Defense|
|10. Lilienthal vs Botvinnik
||0-1||57||1944||USSR Championship||D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav|
|11. Flohr vs Kotov
|| ||½-½||40||1944||USSR Championship||E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical|
|12. Bronstein vs Alatortsev
||0-1||39||1944||USSR Championship||C92 Ruy Lopez, Closed|
|13. Boleslavsky vs V Mikenas
|| ||½-½||41||1944||USSR Championship||B05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern|
|14. Ravinsky vs Lisitsin
|| ||0-1||35||1944||USSR Championship||B73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical|
|15. Veresov vs Ragozin
|| ||1-0||57||1944||USSR Championship||D94 Grunfeld|
|16. Smyslov vs V Makogonov
||1-0||60||1944||USSR Championship||B12 Caro-Kann Defense|
|17. Sokolsky vs Lilienthal
|| ||½-½||22||1944||USSR Championship||C51 Evans Gambit|
|18. V Makogonov vs Boleslavsky
|| ||½-½||40||1944||USSR Championship||D81 Grunfeld, Russian Variation|
|19. Tolush vs Veresov
|| ||1-0||34||1944||USSR Championship||D48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran|
|20. Lisitsin vs Bronstein
|| ||½-½||46||1944||USSR Championship||E94 King's Indian, Orthodox|
|21. Ragozin vs Flohr
||1-0||49||1944||USSR Championship||D28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical|
|22. Kotov vs Smyslov
||0-1||41||1944||USSR Championship||D15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav|
|23. Botvinnik vs Ravinsky
||1-0||126||1944||USSR Championship||D41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch|
|24. Alatortsev vs A Khavin
|| ||0-1||43||1944||USSR Championship||A54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3|
|25. Boleslavsky vs Kotov
||1-0||60||1944||USSR Championship||C98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin|
| page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136
|Jun-12-14|| ||ughaibu: Anyone know why Ravinsky was invited?|
|Jul-01-14|| ||zydeco: <ughaibu> Ravinsky was apparently well-respected as a trainer and theorist. No idea why he was invited specifically......but somebody obviously felt he deserved a spot as a wild card.|
|Jul-01-14|| ||ughaibu: Okay, thanks. I don't remember another occasion when an invitee didn't seem clearly indicated, though I guess in this tournament, Lisitsin too might raise some eyebrows.|
|Jul-01-14|| ||zydeco: Looking at the crosstables of a couple of the other USSR championships, Boris Ratner is another inexplicable invitee (for the 1945 championship). I can't figure out who the hell Ratner is.....although he did marginally better than Ravinsky.|
|Jul-02-14|| ||ughaibu: I've looked through a few more, starting from this championship, and the only oddities I've noticed are Ravinsky, in 1944, and in 1945, Ratner pointed out by you and also Koblents. |
I think Koblents can be explained, as he was Latvian champion that year and Latvia would have just become part of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately Ratner's page isn't wildly informative, but it does state that he was Ukrainian. However, the Ukranian championship of 1945 was won by Bannik, so that doesn't seem to help. And in any case, Ravinsky was Russian, so no further light there either.
|Jul-02-14|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
Part of the mystery might be related to an over-representation from the <Moscow Semifinal 1944>: http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...
You'll note that 7 of the 8 top finishers made it in to the championship, including <Lisitsin> in 7th and <Ravinsky> in 8th.
Compare this representation to that from the other two semifinals.
<Baku 1944> http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...
<Omsk 1944> http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...
|Jul-02-14|| ||ughaibu: That looks reasonable. I guess there were transport and accommodation difficulties around that time.|
|Jul-02-14|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<ughaibu> Yes, good point. The <Baku 1944> semifinal, for example, was played literally in the footsteps of the retreating Germans.
<David Bronstein's> route from <Baku> to the USSR Championship (1944) was somewhat adventurous in terms of "travel and accomodation":
<"By February 1944 the Germans had been driven back to the Dneiper River, and <<<Bronstein>>> joined the USSR Championship Semifinal in Baku. His 4th place finish qualified him for the final and drew the interest of Boris Vainstein, who quickly became an avid promoter of Bronstein's chess career. Vainstein was an influential member of the Communist Party, and he managed to have Bronstein relocated to Moscow from his job rebuilding a steel factory in the ruins of Stalingrad. Bronstein managed only 15th place at the USSR Championship (1944), but he was hardly disgraced, since he won his game against the incumbent "Absolute Soviet champion": Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1944.">
|Jul-02-14|| ||perfidious: <One> draw for Tolush in sixteen games, and one big win, against no less than Botvinnik, Tolush's only career victory against the future world champion.|
|Aug-27-16|| ||ughaibu: 13th: "his second consecutive win (counting the absolute championship)"|
14th: "his second consecutive title"
Either the 14th was his third consecutive title or the 13th was not his second consecutive title.
|Sep-05-19|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<<One> draw for Tolush in sixteen games, and one big win, against no less than Botvinnik, Tolush's only career victory against the future world champion.>
Tolush vs Botvinnik, 1944
According to <Tal>, <Tolush> was a fearsome blitz player, in no small part due to his habit of shouting "ON, KAZIMIROVICH!" after each move.
|Jan-16-20|| ||AlexPomor: <jessicafischerqueen>|
<According to <Tal>, <Tolush> was a fearsome blitz player, in no small part due to his habit of shouting "ON, KAZIMIROVICH!" after each move.>
According to <Botvinnik>:
"Go ahead, Kazimiryich!" (not "Kazimirovich" - in russian it sounds too official) - when he pushed his passed pawn. In russian: "Вперед, Казимирыч!"
"Cannon fodder resists!" - when the Tolush's position was winning, but his rival didn't resign. In russian: "Пушечное мясо сопротивляется!"
"Last Amen to pies" - when his rival resigned. In russian: "Аминь пирожкам".
"Zing-Zilyevich is catched up!" - when he resigned. In russian: "Дзынь-Дзилевич схвачен!"
"The infantry is divided from the tanks!" - when he forced rival's Queen was passive in a game. In russian: "Пехота отрезается от танков".
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