|USSR Championship (1973)|
In the aftermath of Robert James Fischer 's victory over Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Championship, the Soviet Union had been humiliated and humbled by an American, and the 35+ year rule of the Soviet chess machine over the international chess world had finally been put to an end. The consequences of this result were felt in Soviet chess for months after. Mark Taimanov, Tigran Petrosian, and Spassky were all reprimanded for their failure to stop Fischer. Consequences continued into the 41st USSR Championship, held in the Soviet capital of Moscow, from October 2-26, 1973. The tournament was organized to be the strongest in a decade. In addition to the four qualifying players who had each won a semi-final (Orest Averkin, Karen Grigorian, Nukhim Rashkovsky, and Evgeni Sveshnikov), the very strongest grandmasters of the Soviet Union received forced invitations to participate. The list was a collection of former world champions, multiple Soviet title winners, and the very strongest of the Soviet school, including: Spassky, Petrosian, Mikhail Tal, Vasily Smyslov, Anatoli Karpov, Viktor Korchnoi, Efim Geller, Paul Keres, Lev Polugaevsky, Taimanov, Leonid Stein, Vladimir Tukmakov, Vladimir Savon and Gennadi Kuzmin. Victor Davidovich Baturinsky, the vice-president of the USSR chess federation, and a Colonel of Justice, explained clearly to all the participants that their attendance was not only obligatory, but their very future as Soviet chess players (and the favors imparted therein) depended on their performance in the championship. Stein died before the championship took place and he was replaced by junior world champion Alexander Beliavsky. In addition to the composed line up, it was made known that draws of thirty moves or less were 'discouraged' by the organizers. Although short draws did occur, the schedule of play and the intense combat among the contestants was arduous. It was Spassky, after failing in Reykjavik, who emerged victorious by a full point. This edition did have the desired effect of revealing future world title candidates, as Karpov and Korchnoi tied for second and would face each other the following year for what ultimately was the de facto world championship.
The final standings and crosstable:
Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1973, by User: suenteus po 147.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts
1 Spassky * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 11½
=2 Karpov ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 10½
=2 Petrosian ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 10½
=2 Polugaevsky ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 10½
=2 Korchnoi ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 10½
=2 Kuzmin ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 10½
=7 Geller ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 8½
=7 Grigorian ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 8½
=9 Keres ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8
=9 Taimanov 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 8
=9 Savon 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8
=9 Tal ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8
=13 Tukmakov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7½
=13 Rashkovsky 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 7½
=15 Averkin 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 0 1 7
=15 Smyslov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 7
17 Sveshnikov 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * 0 6½
18 Beliavsky 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 4½
| page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153
|1. Keres vs Taimanov
||½-½||35||1973||USSR Championship||A48 King's Indian|
|2. N Rashkovsky vs Smyslov
||½-½||58||1973||USSR Championship||D85 Grunfeld|
|3. Polugaevsky vs Sveshnikov
||½-½||36||1973||USSR Championship||D47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav|
|4. Geller vs Tal
||½-½||42||1973||USSR Championship||B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation|
|5. G Kuzmin vs Spassky
||½-½||41||1973||USSR Championship||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|6. Averkin vs Korchnoi
|| ||½-½||30||1973||USSR Championship||A15 English|
|7. V Tukmakov vs Beliavsky
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||B83 Sicilian|
|8. Petrosian vs K Grigorian
|| ||½-½||49||1973||USSR Championship||A14 English|
|9. Karpov vs Savon
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||A15 English|
|10. Spassky vs Averkin
||1-0||35||1973||USSR Championship||B44 Sicilian|
|11. Tal vs V Tukmakov
||½-½||38||1973||USSR Championship||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|12. K Grigorian vs Smyslov
||0-1||51||1973||USSR Championship||E38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5|
|13. Taimanov vs Karpov
||½-½||20||1973||USSR Championship||E54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System|
|14. Sveshnikov vs Keres
||½-½||75||1973||USSR Championship||C45 Scotch Game|
|15. Savon vs N Rashkovsky
||½-½||57||1973||USSR Championship||B96 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|16. Beliavsky vs Polugaevsky
||0-1||35||1973||USSR Championship||B90 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|17. Korchnoi vs Geller
||½-½||54||1973||USSR Championship||E97 King's Indian|
|18. Petrosian vs G Kuzmin
||½-½||33||1973||USSR Championship||E54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System|
|19. Smyslov vs Savon
|| ||½-½||40||1973||USSR Championship||B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation|
|20. Averkin vs Petrosian
|| ||½-½||25||1973||USSR Championship||A06 Reti Opening|
|21. Keres vs Beliavsky
||1-0||40||1973||USSR Championship||E14 Queen's Indian|
|22. Geller vs Spassky
||½-½||24||1973||USSR Championship||D30 Queen's Gambit Declined|
|23. N Rashkovsky vs Taimanov
||1-0||41||1973||USSR Championship||D38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation|
|24. V Tukmakov vs Korchnoi
||0-1||39||1973||USSR Championship||C81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack|
|25. G Kuzmin vs K Grigorian
|| ||½-½||41||1973||USSR Championship||D94 Grunfeld|
| page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 153
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·
|Feb-23-17|| ||RookFile: Just reading over the names, this looks like a ridiculously strong event.|
|Mar-10-18|| ||Retireborn: This must surely be the only tournament to comprise nearly all (11 by my count) the Soviet GMs who competed at Candidates level from 1959-1982.|
I say nearly all, because 10 year old Garry Kasparov didn't quite make the cut.
|Mar-10-18|| ||perfidious: Tal narrowly avoided relegation, but went on to share first the following year, if in a clearly weaker version than this, with the aforementioned Belyavsky.|
|Mar-10-18|| ||Retireborn: <perfidious> Tal had a rather strange year in 1973. First places at Wijk, Tallinn, Sochi, Dubna, and Hastings, but sad disappointments at the Leningrad izt and this Soviet ch.|
As you say, he did have a couple of further successes in both arenas ahead of him though.
|Mar-11-18|| ||perfidious: <Retireborn>, 1973 saw the end of one long undefeated string at Leningrad and the birth of another during this event, which would run until Tal vs N Kirov, 1974, played the following October.|
|Mar-11-18|| ||Retireborn: <perfidious> It's very impressive, isn't it? But the mature Tal was always difficult to beat, even in his declining years.|
Ulf Andersson vs Tal, 1989
|Mar-13-18|| ||Retireborn: In his file van Reek thinks it was Levon Grigorian, not Karen, who played in this tournament.|
Every source I have, including Russbase, contradicts him, and certainly the openings played seem Karenish to me.
Still can't help worrying that Spassky may have told him something the rest of the world doesn't know!
|Mar-16-19|| ||Helios727: Was this the tournament that qualified Karpov for the 1973 Interzonal? As for Fischer, he could not have won this tournament ever, because the Soviet players would have been ordered to throw games to the favorite pick of the Soviet authorities.|
|Mar-16-19|| ||Retireborn: <Helios> This tournament, not a zonal, was played *after* the 1973 interzonals!|
I can't recall Karpov ever having played in a zonal tournament. I believe he qualified for the interzonal by virtue of winning the 1969 World junior championship; the 1971 winner Hug played in the Petropolis interzonal.
|Mar-16-19|| ||Sally Simpson: ***
That is correct, Karpov qualified because he won the 1969 Junior and played in the Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
The Russian zonal qualifier for this event was USSR Championship (1972) which was also the qualifier for the other interzonal Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
Korchnoi, Geller and Taimanov got into the Interzonals because they were in the previous candidates, A commission of Botvinnik, Najdorf, Kashdan and Trufuncvic also selected Polugaevsky, Smyslov, Keres and Stein to play in the Interzonals. Stein passed away and was replaced by Bronstein.
|Mar-17-19|| ||Helios727: So why did not the 1969 World Junior Championship place Karpov in the 1970 interzonal? Was there a rule that there had to be at least a two year wait?|
|Mar-17-19|| ||Retireborn: <Helios> World junior champions didn't get interzonal places in 1970; it was one of the changes made for 1973.|
It didn't last though. Certainly the next set of World junior winners (Beliavsky, Miles, and Chekhov) did not get to play in the 1976 interzonals.
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: Is this the only tournament in history featuring five World Champions? Future, past and present.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||Retireborn: <Diademas> There is Linares 1994, if you're willing to count Topalov as a real World champ.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: <Retireborn: <Diademas> There is Linares 1994, if you're willing to count Topalov as a real World champ.>|
Not sure that I would :) But thanks anyway. I guess that could count.
|Dec-01-19|| ||MissScarlett: <Is this the only tournament in history featuring five World Champions? Future, past and present.>|
Hard to foretell.
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: <MissScarlett: <Is this the only tournament in history featuring five World Champions? Future, past and present.>
Hard to foretell.>
My poor English may have disguised my point. I'm sure a clever guy like yourself can figure it out anyway.
|Dec-01-19|| ||Olavi: <Diademas:> The well known ones are Nottingham 1936 and Moscow Alekhine memorial 1971. I'm sure that's it.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: Thank you <Olavi>.
I forgot about Nottingham (1936) .
Quite a field!|
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: Not a bad lineup in Moscow (1971) either.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||moronovich: Yes,an extremely impressive lineup.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||perfidious: <moronovich>, for which we can thank Fischer's decisive win of the world championship the year before: the Soviet chess bureaucracy were in a furore over losing the title.|
|Dec-01-19|| ||moronovich: That is right-good point <perfidious> !|
|Dec-01-19|| ||Diademas: <perfidious: <moronovich>, for which we can thank Fischer's decisive win of the world championship the year before: the Soviet chess bureaucracy were in a furore over losing the title.>|
If they only had forced Botvinnik out of retirement they could have made it six WCs.
I mean; what's the point of an oppressive dictatorship if you're not going to use it? ;)
|Dec-01-19|| ||moronovich: <I mean; what's the point of an oppressive dictatorship if you're not going to use it? ;)>|
Ha-ha,but oth:If the threat is bigger than its execution !?
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·
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