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🏆 USSR Championship (1963) Chess Event Description
The 31st Soviet Chess Championship was held in the city of Leningrad from November 23 to December 27, 1963. Twenty of the Soviet Union's strongest masters and grandmasters competed in the round robin event, with only two notable absences: the newly crowned world champion ... [more]

Player: Boris Spassky

 page 1 of 1; 23 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Geller vs Spassky ½-½271963USSR ChampionshipC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. Bondarevsky vs Spassky ½-½211963USSR ChampionshipD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
3. Spassky vs Taimanov ½-½191963USSR ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
4. A Zakharov vs Spassky ½-½231963USSR ChampionshipB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
5. Spassky vs Stein ½-½331963USSR ChampionshipD91 Grunfeld, 5.Bg5
6. A Novopashin vs Spassky 0-1221963USSR ChampionshipC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
7. Spassky vs Bronstein ½-½191963USSR ChampionshipD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
8. Klovans vs Spassky 0-1541963USSR ChampionshipC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. Spassky vs V Osnos 1-0261963USSR ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Averbakh vs Spassky ½-½721963USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
11. Spassky vs Furman ½-½171963USSR ChampionshipE19 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3
12. Gipslis vs Spassky  ½-½211963USSR ChampionshipC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. Spassky vs Gufeld 1-0321963USSR ChampionshipE82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
14. Kholmov vs Spassky ½-½251963USSR ChampionshipD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
15. Spassky vs Suetin ½-½891963USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
16. Bagirov vs Spassky 0-1501963USSR ChampionshipB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. Spassky vs Korchnoi ½-½221963USSR ChampionshipA15 English
18. Polugaevsky vs Spassky ½-½291963USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Spassky vs I Nei ½-½421963USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
20. Spassky vs Stein 0-1331964USSR ChampionshipD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
21. Kholmov vs Spassky  ½-½411964USSR ChampionshipB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
22. Stein vs Spassky ½-½651964USSR ChampionshipB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
23. Spassky vs Kholmov 1-0251964USSR ChampionshipC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
 page 1 of 1; 23 games  PGN Download 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-10-16  Howard: What are you studying in school, ATPhoneHome ? Still going over Spassky's games ?
Apr-10-16  Howard: There are at least a few notable exceptions to the notions of the Soviets' "drawing each other at international events"----here are two I still recall from 1979.

At Montreal 1979 Spassky was completely shut out by the other two Soviets (Karpov and Tal) by a 0-4 score !

Then, later that year, Tal beat all four of his Soviet colleagues at the Riga interzonal, 4-0. In fact, he played them all in the first four rounds---due to a rule back then that players from the same country in an interzonal, needed to play each other in the early rounds.

Apr-10-16  Everett: <At Montreal 1979 Spassky was completely shut out by the other two Soviets (Karpov and Tal) by a 0-4 score !>

Spassky became a French citizen in '78

Apr-10-16  Sally Simpson: Interesting Stat No.139.

Players who have played in the Most USSR Championships up to 2012.

Geller & Taimanov - 23 times.

Bronstein, Polugaevsky, Tal - 20 times.

Smyslov - 19 times.

Balashov, Kholmov, Korchnoi and Petrosian - 16 times.

Plenty more Russian Championship stats here:

(this lad needs a job, a girlfriend, a hobby and a lot more fresh air.)

Apr-10-16  Mr. V: <most USSR Championship up to 2012> Umm... ok then
Apr-11-16  Howard: Regarding Everett's recent comment, Spassky still played under the Soviet flag until 1984. In fact, Bugojno (sp?) 1984 was his last event while representing the Soviet Union.

From a personal standpoint, I still remember playing at a tournament near Milwaukee over the 4th of July weekend that year, and I overheard a couple players mention that Spassky had just played his last event while representing the Soviet Union.

Chess Life also briefly mentioned that, as I recall.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <A.T PhoneHome> People always talk how Soviets draw against each other at international events>

This is the most comprehensive study I have found that analyzes whether the Soviets colluded in tournaments: It is an update of the authors' 2007 paper on the same subject. It compares Soviet player performance in both Interzonal Tournaments and USSR Championships for the period 1940 – 1978.

I have my opinion but draw your own conclusions.

Apr-11-16  Everett: <Howard: Regarding Everett's recent comment, Spassky still played under the Soviet flag until 1984. In fact, Bugojno (sp?) 1984 was his last event while representing the Soviet Union.>

Doesn't matter. He clearly wasn't in the fold by Montreal '79. Becoming a citizen of a different country the year before would not be lost on the authorities of the motherland.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile: Shows you how ridiculously strong these events were. Korchnoi was just in the middle of the pack.>

With that coming the year after he won with ease, despite the final margin of merely one-half point; he scored -1 =4 at the finish in '62.

<Marmot: This does not look like one of the stronger fields for a USSR ch. Besides Botvinnik and Petrosian several other notable players were missing - Tal, Keres, Smyslov....>

Botvinnik never played in a Soviet championship after 1955 and by the sixties was generally rather more selective about appearances in the tournament arena.

<....Probably the prize fund was not too attractive compared to international events like the Piatigorsky.>

For the elite, such events were plums; Korchnoi (according to Wade in his work on Viktor the Terrible) was invited to play in the Cup but Keres was sent in his stead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Sally Simpson>: Just for the record, I've compiled five lists of players from the USSR Championships 1920-1991, starting here:

Game Collection: USSR Championship Player Index (A-E)

It's been some years since I looked at them, and links may need to be updated.

Apr-11-16  Sally Simpson: Hi P.B.

That lad at whose link I posted has really gone into great detail (I said up to 2012 because that was the date of his post.)

His work is truly a labour of love. (I still think he needs a girlfriend.)

Thought some here maybe interested in it. Shame to see all that effort just on one site. It should be shared.

Apr-12-16  Howard: As far as what country Spassky was "from" in 1979, one could always look at the Informants from back then---what country is given next to Spassky's name in the crosstables?

Hint: it wasn't France---not until the mid-80's, at least.

Apr-12-16  Howard: Also, try pulling up a few articles that that late Robert Byrne wrote on the 1982 interzonal in Mexico, in which Spassky took part.

See what country Byrne identifies him from....

Apr-12-16  Sally Simpson: this link from the 1982 N.Y. Times

Says Boris was of the Soviet Union.

Boris represented France at the 1984 Olympiad so between 1982 and 1984 he switched feds.

Apr-14-16  Howard: Spassky was still playing under the Soviet flag until 1984, so my point about Montreal 1979 still stands.

If you want some proof, kindly look at the Informants from, say, 1982. See which country Spassky is identified as from---hint: it ain't France.

Also, do a Google job and look up the late Robert Byrne's chess columns from the Mexico interzonal in 1982. See which country he identifies Spassky as being from.

Case closed---Spassky played for the Soviet Union for several years even after moving to France.

Apr-18-16  Everett: <Howard> case isn't closed. I hope you pretend to have no idea how humans work. Perhaps that's why you are always asking for help in various positions and no one responds to you for months.

The Soviets did not care about protecting Spassky at all in these tournaments, that's the point.

Spassky was on the outs since losing in 1972. Go ahead and google that.

Apr-30-16  Howard: All I know is that notwithstanding the fact that Spassky moved to France in 1977, he continued to represent the Soviet Union until 1984. How the Soviets felt about his leaving his homeland, is beside the point.
May-05-16  Everett: <Howard: All I know is that notwithstanding the fact that Spassky moved to France in 1977, he continued to represent the Soviet Union until 1984.< How the Soviets felt about his leaving his homeland, is beside the point.>>

No, how they felt is <exactly> the point, which is why his drubbing in 1979 by Karpov and Tal means nothing regarding their supposed history of collusion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett> In my opinion, Spassky was never really in so far as the chess bureaucracy went, but he constituted their best hope for succeeding Petrosian and maintaining Soviet hegemony.

The hammer came down hard after Spassky's loss to Lombardy in their critical game at Leningrad 1960, and who knows when he would ever have got out had he been amongst the elite?

As matters went, Korchnoi felt more than one taste of bureaucratic wrath, and Kholmov's troubles with the powers that be are well known.

May-05-16  Keyser Soze: <Spassky was on the outs since losing in 1972. Go ahead and google that.>

Agreed. Got even worse, after 74 when Karpov beat him. Karpov became their new favorite by all means.

Feb-28-18  ughaibu: <In Soviet compatriots' meetings at Hastings, pacific intentions were certainly evinced, with Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1972, being, I think, the first decisive result.>

In fact the first decisive game was Botvinnik vs Balashov, 1966

Mar-01-18  morfishine: Interesting, Suetin won more games than anyone else (8) but his 4 losses left him in a tie for 4 - 6 place


Mar-01-18  RookFile: Yep. In a tournament like this, draws count too. Spassky always understood this, for example.
Mar-01-18  morfishine: Thanks <Rookfile> and quite a few very interesting games played in this tournament, very lively indeed
May-13-20  ewan14: Spassky did not always understand about draws counting too. Only this zonal tournament where Bondarevsky , and he , decided the primary aim was not to lose games !
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