The 12th Soviet Chess Championship was played in the capital city of Moscow from September 5 to October 3, 1940. Twenty of the Soviet Union's strongest masters competed in the round robin event, six of whom qualified from the semi-final tournament in Kiev earlier in the year: Eduard Gerstenfeld, Mark Stolberg, Igor Bondarevsky, Iosif Rudakovsky, Alexander Konstantinopolsky and Peter Dubinin. The remaining invitations went to the elite of Soviet chess (new and old), including Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslo ... [more]
Player: Paul Keres
| page 1 of 1; 19 games
|1. M Stolberg vs Keres
||0-1||31||1940||USSR Championship||A28 English|
|2. Keres vs Ragozin
|| ||1-0||47||1940||USSR Championship||C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred|
|3. Panov vs Keres
|| ||½-½||25||1940||USSR Championship||C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense|
|4. Keres vs Veresov
||0-1||60||1940||USSR Championship||E20 Nimzo-Indian|
|5. V Makogonov vs Keres
||1-0||34||1940||USSR Championship||E87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox|
|6. Lisitsin vs Keres
|| ||0-1||32||1940||USSR Championship||A09 Reti Opening|
|7. Keres vs Kotov
|| ||1-0||55||1940||USSR Championship||E33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical|
|8. Konstantinopolsky vs Keres
||0-1||42||1940||USSR Championship||C29 Vienna Gambit|
|9. Keres vs V Mikenas
||½-½||58||1940||USSR Championship||C15 French, Winawer|
|10. E Gerstenfeld vs Keres
||0-1||40||1940||USSR Championship||C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred|
|11. Keres vs Lilienthal
|| ||½-½||41||1940||USSR Championship||C19 French, Winawer, Advance|
|12. Botvinnik vs Keres
|| ||½-½||29||1940||USSR Championship||E21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights|
|13. Keres vs I Rudakovsky
|| ||0-1||48||1940||USSR Championship||D50 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|14. Bondarevsky vs Keres
||1-0||56||1940||USSR Championship||E33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical|
|15. Keres vs Boleslavsky
|| ||½-½||41||1940||USSR Championship||C15 French, Winawer|
|16. Smyslov vs Keres
|| ||½-½||40||1940||USSR Championship||C68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange|
|17. Keres vs Levenfish
||1-0||80||1940||USSR Championship||D50 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|18. P Dubinin vs Keres
|| ||0-1||41||1940||USSR Championship||C90 Ruy Lopez, Closed|
|19. Keres vs Vladimir Petrov
||1-0||24||1940||USSR Championship||C32 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit|
| page 1 of 1; 19 games
|Dec-28-12|| ||Blunderdome: Only three draws in nineteen games for Kotov.|
|Dec-29-12|| ||GrahamClayton: Due to the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states, as well as the partitioning of Poland with Germany, Keres, Petrov, Mikenas and Gerstenfeld were now considered Soviet "citizens", and thus were eligible to compete.|
|Jan-02-13|| ||Nosnibor: There appears to be something wrong with the table at the top.Bondarevsky is credited with 1/2 point more than Lilienthal although it is well known that they both tied for first place on 13.5 points each.This appears to be due by showing a win over Konstantinopolsky by Bondarevsky when the historical record clearly indicates that this game was drawn.Methinks that the game shown in the database was from another event.It does of course also miscalculates Konstantinopolsk`s final score.|
|Jan-02-13|| ||Kangaroo: Here is the game that should have been included!
<Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940>
<Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940> which might have been played in the semi-final or other tournament!
|Jan-02-13|| ||Phony Benoni: <Nosnibor>: I think I see what happened. The database has two Bondarevsky - Konstatninopolsky games in the database which claim to be from the 1940 Championship.|
Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940 (1-0), which was added to the original collection, was actually from the Semi-Final in Kiev. Bondarevsky vs Konstantinopolsky, 1940 (1/2-1/2) is the correct game.
I'll institute repairs immediately. Thanks for spotting that.
|May-12-13|| ||wordfunph: "My favorite game was my win against Botvinnik in the Soviet Championship of 1940. It was stronger than any grandmaster tournament, the 20 strongest chess players were in it, including Botvinnik, Smyslov and Keres. I was undefeated in first place. I've won lots of tournaments, but this was the best."|
- Andre Lilienthal
Source: Curse of Kirsan by Sarah Hurst
|Jan-26-14|| ||WCC Editing Project: |
<Peter Romanovsky> tells the gripping story of Vasily Smyslov in this tournament:
<"Smyslov began the tournament brilliantly and after fourteen rounds, five rounds before the end, having won five games in succession, he headed the table with 10 1/2 points without the loss of a game. Bondarevsky, playing very well, had 10 points, while Lilienthal and Botvinnik had 9 1/2 each. It seemed that first place and <<<the title of grandmaster was almost assured>>> to Smyslov, however in the fifteenth round he suffered his one and only loss in the tournament at the hands of Makogonov. In the four remaining rounds he conceded three draws, and with 13 points finished behind Bondarevsky and Lilienthal, who each had 13 1/2. Keres, Botvinnik, and Boleslavsky were below Symslov. by this success Smyslov showed himself to be of grandmaster strength.">
-P.A. Romanovsky, "Vassily Vassilievitch Smyslov."
Vasily Smyslov, "My Best Games of Chess (1935-1957)" P.H. Clarke ed., transl. (Routledge and Kegan Paul 1958), pp. xi-xxvii (First published as "Izbrannie partii" in Russian in 1952)
When <Smyslov> again managed 3d place in the USSR Absolute Championship (1941), on the strength of both 3d place efforts he was indeed awarded the title of Soviet Grandmaster.
Of further interest, <Makogonov>, the only player to defeat <Smyslov> in this event, later went on to serve as his second in his World Chess championship matches against <Botvinnik> in 1954 and 1957.
<Smyslov> acknowledges the assistance of <Makogonov>:
<"During the match against Botvinnik, Makogonov was one of my coaches <<<And the fact that I became world champion is due in large part to his work.>>> He expounded his ideas clearly and persuasively. I remember his excellent analysis, which he summed up with the help of diagrams. This method is best to fix in memory the most important opening positions.">
(translation by Google. I adjusted some of the punctuation, diction and phrasing for clearer English idiom and sense)
|Jan-26-14|| ||AsosLight: Staggering roster.|
|Nov-30-14|| ||visayanbraindoctor: Yes the roster is mighty impressive. It probably was the strongest Soviet Championship held until at this point in time, with two future World Champions and an Almost World Champion, and a host of very strong veterans and rising stars. |
Take a look at the openings in this tournament. Sicilians (including the Scheveningen and the Dragon), KIDs, Grunfelds, QIDs, Catalans, Nimzo-Indians, English. This tournament's openings looks indistinguishable from one played yesterday.
I have found out that kibitzers usually associate the term 'modern' with these openings. In fact, these openings were already played by 1930s masters. Post WW2, it's their frequency and the attention given to them that has changed, increased. The only opening pawn structure I don't see pre WW2 is the Hedgehog.
At this point in time, Botvinnik was still not clearly superior to Keres. The younger Keres had placed ahead of him in AVRO 1938, and again placed ahead of him in this tournament. So did a rising youthful Smyslov. Lilienthal and Bondarevsky won. Botvinnik was the unofficial face of Soviet Chess. The authorities probably were not exactly ecstatic over the results. The 1941 Soviet tournament was most probably held in order to allow Botvinnik the chance to rectify the 'wrong' results in this one.
From these perspectives, this tournament is an important one in chess history.
|Feb-10-18|| ||ughaibu: I guess the best explanation is that Botvinnik was under orders to lose.|
|Dec-23-18|| ||perfidious: While I have often mooted the 1955 and 1973 Soviet title brawls as being, in all probability, the toughest fields in those most formidable events, and one can certainly make a case for '88, this event was indeed tremendously strong.|
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