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Hastings 1954/55 Tournament

Vasily Smyslov7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Paul Keres7/9(+6 -1 =2)[games]
Andrija Fuderer5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Ludek Pachman5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Laszlo Szabo5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Wolfgang Unzicker5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Jan Hein Donner2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[games]
William Albert Fairhurst1.5/9(+1 -7 =1)[games]
Alan Phillips1/9(+0 -7 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Hastings 1954/55

Ten grandmasters and masters were invited to the 30th Hastings Christmas Chess Festival premier tournament, led by Vasily Smyslov and Paul Keres from the Soviet Union. The field also featured Luděk Pachman, two-time Hastings winner and returning co-champion Conel Hugh Alexander, three-time Hastings winner László Szabó, previous Hastings winner Wolfgang Unzicker, Dutch champion Jan Hein Donner, British co-champion Alan Phillips, and international masters William Fairhurst and Andrija Fuderer. 1 Robert Wade served as tournament director, F. A. Rhoden was tournament organizer, and Hastings mayor F. T. Hussey presided over the opening and closing ceremonies. 2 Funding for the event was provided primarily by private donations and a grant from the Hastings Corporation. 3

St Leonards-on-Sea 29 Dec 1954 - 7 Jan 1955 4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 =1 Smyslov * ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 7 =1 Keres ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 =3 Fuderer 0 1 * 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5½ =3 Pachman ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 5½ =3 Szabo 0 0 1 ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 1 5½ 6 Unzicker 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 1 1 5 7 Alexander ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 1 4½ 8 Donner ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ * 1 ½ 2½ 9 Fairhurst 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 1½ 10 Phillips 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 * 1

The contestants lodged at the stately Royal Victoria Hotel, and played in the nearby Sun Lounge in St Leonards-on-Sea. 5 The tournament kicked off with victories by Unzicker, Pachman and Szabó, but the surprising absence of Paul Keres in the first and second rounds became the main news story. He was sick with influenza, and was forced to play two games on the first off-day, Sunday 2 January. His illness and heavy day's workload didn't seem to bother him, however, as he posted a draw against Smyslov and a win over Unzicker. 2 Bizarrely, this incident was soon blown up into a scandal by the London Daily Express, which published an article accusing Keres and Smyslov of being "unfriendly" to the other people at Hastings, especially towards some of the Americans participating in the minor events. Keres' absence at the start of the tournament was cited as the prime evidence. The Soviet delegation in Hastings dashed off an angry letter of protest to the offending newspaper, but it soon became apparent that some of the players in the premier event did not endorse or support this letter. 2

Undaunted by this suddenly frosty atmosphere, the Soviets forged ahead, seemingly in lockstep. By round five they shared the lead with four points each. Smyslov was in stirling form, and had been for some time. He had lost the Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954) in May, but since that date he had played four major events, including the Amsterdam Olympiad, without losing a single game. 6 In round six Keres suffered a disaster against the unheralded Andrija Fuderer, who sacced his Queen en route to a sparkling victory over the three-time USSR champion. Keres fought back to share the lead again after round eight, with one game to go. Both Soviet champions triumphed in the final round, sharing the tournament first prize. The giant killer Fuderer shared 3d with Pachman and Szabó. Incumbent co-champion C. H. Alexander proved something of a disappointment, managing only 7th place. More had been expected of him by the home crowd, given that a year earlier at Hastings he had shared first with David Bronstein, finishing ahead of Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush, Aleksandar Matanovic, and Fridrik Olafsson.

Photos of St Leonards-on-Sea:

Photo of the Sun Lounge:

Photo of the Royal Victoria Hotel:

Hastings (1953/54)) and Hastings (1955/56) were the previous and next annual Christmas tournaments.


1 Britbase, Hastings,
2 Chess Life, 1955, Jan 20th, pp. 3, 8.
3 Harry Golombek, Golombek's Encyclopedia of Chess (Crown Publishers Inc. 1977), p. 138.
4 British Chess Magazine, 1955, pp. 61-68.
5 Jan van Reek at
6 Gino Di Felice, Chess Results 1951-1955, pp. 420-23; Edward Winter, ed., World Chess Champions (Pergamon Press 1981), p. 152.

Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1954/55, by User: suenteus po 147; Introduction written by User: WCC Editing Project and User: suenteus po 147, and sourced by User: WCC Editing Project.

 page 1 of 1; 14 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J H Donner vs Szabo  0-1561954Hastings 1954/55E00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. A Phillips vs Unzicker  0-1381954Hastings 1954/55A05 Reti Opening
3. W Fairhurst vs J H Donner  0-1671954Hastings 1954/55A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
4. A Phillips vs Keres 0-1301955Hastings 1954/55D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
5. W Fairhurst vs Pachman 0-1351955Hastings 1954/55D82 Grunfeld, 4.Bf4
6. Unzicker vs Keres 0-1441955Hastings 1954/55C71 Ruy Lopez
7. W Fairhurst vs Smyslov 0-1391955Hastings 1954/55E46 Nimzo-Indian
8. Keres vs A Fuderer 0-1491955Hastings 1954/55E76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
9. J H Donner vs Keres 0-1341955Hastings 1954/55A63 Benoni, Fianchetto, 9...Nbd7
10. Pachman vs A Fuderer  0-1611955Hastings 1954/55A35 English, Symmetrical
11. W Fairhurst vs C H Alexander  0-1611955Hastings 1954/55A81 Dutch
12. A Phillips vs W Fairhurst  0-1481955Hastings 1954/55A07 King's Indian Attack
13. W Fairhurst vs Keres 0-1511955Hastings 1954/55E45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
14. J H Donner vs Pachman  0-1361955Hastings 1954/55A63 Benoni, Fianchetto, 9...Nbd7
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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