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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
Skopje Tournament

Robert James Fischer13.5/17(+12 -2 =3)[games]
Milan Matulovic13/17(+11 -2 =4)[games]
Efim Geller13/17(+9 -0 =8)[games]
Ratmir Kholmov11.5/17(+7 -1 =9)[games]
Enver Bukic9.5/17(+5 -3 =9)[games]
Rudolf Maric9/17(+4 -3 =10)[games]
Luben Popov8.5/17(+3 -3 =11)[games]
Milorad Knezevic8.5/17(+3 -3 =11)[games]
Mato Damjanovic8.5/17(+5 -5 =7)[games]
Dragoljub Minic8.5/17(+3 -3 =11)[games]
Jovan Sofrevski8/17(+2 -3 =12)[games]
Peter Dely8/17(+6 -7 =4)[games]
Dragoljub Janosevic7.5/17(+6 -8 =3)[games]
Bela Soos7.5/17(+4 -6 =7)[games]
Risto Nicevski6/17(+2 -7 =8)[games]
Borce Ilievski6/17(+2 -7 =8)[games]
Vasil Panov4/17(+2 -11 =4)[games]
Kiril Danov2.5/17(+2 -14 =1)[games]

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Skopje (1967)
Following the rebuilding of the Macedonian capital Skopje, Yugoslavia organized the first in a series of international chess tournaments to be held in Skopje, as well as the two nearby villages of Krusevo and Ochrid, in 1967. The first "Turnir solidarnosti" featured a field of twelve Yugoslavian chess masters headed by grandmaster Milan Matulovic. Visiting participants included Peter Dely from Hungary, Luben Popov from Bulgaria, and Bela Soos from Romania. As was expected, the Soviet Union sent emissaries to participate as well in the guise of two veteran grandmasters, Efim Geller and Ratmir Kholmov. This was perhaps calculated on the Soviet Chess School's part as the final participant was Bobby Fischer, who participated on behalf of the United States. Fischer had just recently returned to regular international competition and Skopje would be an important stop on his road to the Sousse Interzonal (1967), which he announced he would be participating in later in the year. Going into this event, not only did Matulovic have a plus score against Fischer, but Geller and Kholmov as well, making them excellent choices to potentially stifle the upstart American's chances. And stifle it almost did: Fischer lost his second round game to Geller, and after the ninth round, despite being tied for first with Kholmov ahead of Geller, Fischer announced he would withdraw from the tournament unless the chess sets were modified and the spectators removed from further rounds. The organizers were in a panic as they could not meet the second demand and Fischer forfeited his tenth round game. However, upon Fischer's arrival to complete an adjourned game, a compromise within the playing hall was reached and Fischer was allowed to replay his tenth round game. Despite the high drama that often came with Fischer's participation, he found his form and managed to defeat both Matulovic and Kholmov in their encounters in the latter half of the tournament and go on to secure clear first upon the event's completion.

The final standings and crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Fischer * 0 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 13.5 2 Geller 1 * 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 13.0 3 Matulovic 0 0 * ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 13.0 4 Kholmov 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 11.5 5 Bukic 0 0 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 9.5 6 Maric 0 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 9.0 7 Knezevic ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 8.5 8 Popov ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 8.5 9 Minic 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 8.5 10 Damjanovic 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 8.5 11 Sofrevski 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 8.0 12 Dely 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 * 0 1 1 1 0 1 8.0 13 Janosevic 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 1 * 0 1 1 0 1 7.5 14 Soos 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 * 0 0 1 1 7.5 15 Nicevski 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 * ½ ½ 1 6.0 16 Ilievski ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ * ½ 1 6.0 17 Panov 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 ½ ½ * 0 4.0 18 Danov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 2.5

Thanks go to <jessicafischerqueen> for providing the historical background for this tournament.

Original Collection: Game Collection: Skopje 1967, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Damjanovic vs V Panov  1-0391967SkopjeB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
2. Fischer vs Bukic 1-0541967SkopjeB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
3. Fischer vs Matulovic 1-0411967SkopjeB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
4. K Danov vs Fischer 0-1371967SkopjeA04 Reti Opening
5. B Ilievski vs Fischer ½-½331967SkopjeD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
6. M Knezevic vs Fischer ½-½471967SkopjeB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
7. Minic vs Fischer 0-1551967SkopjeB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Geller vs Soos ½-½381967SkopjeD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
9. Geller vs Maric 1-0421967SkopjeC03 French, Tarrasch
10. Kholmov vs Geller  ½-½211967SkopjeC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
11. Geller vs L Popov  ½-½581967SkopjeB42 Sicilian, Kan
12. R Nicevski vs Geller  ½-½551967SkopjeC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
13. J Sofrevski vs Bukic  ½-½191967SkopjeA10 English
14. Matulovic vs K Danov 1-0201967SkopjeC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. R Nicevski vs Janosevic  0-1371967SkopjeA07 King's Indian Attack
16. P Dely vs Minic  ½-½211967SkopjeB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
17. Kholmov vs M Knezevic  1-0321967SkopjeD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
18. Damjanovic vs B Ilievski  1-0381967SkopjeC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
19. P Dely vs J Sofrevski  0-1211967SkopjeB65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
20. Geller vs K Danov 1-0411967SkopjeA35 English, Symmetrical
21. L Popov vs Maric  ½-½181967SkopjeA90 Dutch
22. J Sofrevski vs B Ilievski  ½-½251967SkopjeA27 English, Three Knights System
23. Soos vs Damjanovic  1-0391967SkopjeD85 Grunfeld
24. K Danov vs Bukic 0-1301967SkopjeA10 English
25. Janosevic vs V Panov  0-1431967SkopjeD94 Grunfeld
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-15  zydeco: The Yugoslav players actually put up a pretty good show against Fischer in this tournament -- they seemed to come up with all kinds of opening schemes to wrong-foot Fischer; and Fischer had to work hard for his points.

This tournament must have been a major disappointment for Kholmov. He was always a bit suspect with the Soviet chess bureaucrats for his heavy drinking. Then he beat Fischer at Havana 1965, and the aparatchiks seemed to come up with a role for Kholmov as a Fischer-killer -- sort of the way that, in baseball, a pitcher like Frank Lary could have a profitable sideline as a 'yankee-killer'. Unfortunately for Kholmov, chess doesn't really work that way, and, after this disaster, Kholmov vs Fischer, 1967, he probably lost much of his usefulness from the perspective of the Soviet sports federation. Not too many more international appearances for Kholmov after Skopje.

Jul-06-16  Resignation Trap: Interesting article about Fischer at Skopje: http://utrinski.mk/?ItemID=64D9D091...
Jul-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Resignation Trap>!!!!!

You are back! =))

Apr-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I had no idea particular players were being sent from the USSR because of their past track record vs Fischer - truly amazing and revealing! :)
Apr-20-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: " not only did Matulovic have a plus score against Fischer, but Geller and Kholmov as well, making them excellent choices to potentially stifle the upstart American's chances" - unbelievable - this stuff really happened :)
Apr-20-21  Muttley101: Matulovic's plus score against Fischer was based on a match he won 2-1 with one draw, played in 1958 when Fischer was a (strong) junior and travelling abroad. There's no basis for saying he would be any more problematic for Fischer than any other strong player at Skopje tournament, nearly a decade later.

For sure Geller could be a problem opponent for Fischer. It would have been a great match if they had played in the candidates matches up to 72. Kholmov's performance was decent, but losing like he did against Fischer would not play well at home, and having Fischer highlight the game in MSMG as his first win against Soviet players in a dozen tries wouldn't have done him any favours either.

Oct-27-21  jerseybob: <Muttley101: Matulovic's plus score against Fischer was based on a match he won 2-1 with one draw, played in 1958 when Fischer was a (strong) junior and travelling abroad.> Incorrect, you've got it exactly backwards. Fischer WON that match in '58 by a 2-1-1 score. Unfortunately, the only surviving game, the first, was a win by Matulovic, a King's Indian. Bobby came back in the last 3 games to score 2 1/2-1/2 but none of those scores survived, frustrating in this digital data age!

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