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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Mikhail Tal15/21(+9 -0 =12)[games]
Vladimir Tukmakov13/21(+8 -3 =10)[games]
Gennadi P Kuzmin12.5/21(+6 -2 =13)[games]
Vladimir Savon12.5/21(+6 -2 =13)[games]
Mikhail A Mukhin12.5/21(+6 -2 =13)[games]
Evgeni Vasiukov11.5/21(+8 -6 =7)[games]
Yuri S Balashov11.5/21(+6 -4 =11)[games]
Vladimir Bagirov11/21(+4 -3 =14)[games]
Semyon Furman11/21(+6 -5 =10)[games]
Ratmir Kholmov10.5/21(+5 -5 =11)[games]
Anatoly Lein10.5/21(+5 -5 =11)[games]
Yuri S Razuvaev10/21(+3 -4 =14)[games]
Albert Kapengut9.5/21(+2 -4 =15)[games]
Roman Dzindzichashvili9.5/21(+4 -6 =11)[games]
Leonid Shamkovich9.5/21(+4 -6 =11)[games]
David Bronstein9.5/21(+5 -7 =9)[games]
Eduard Gufeld9/21(+2 -5 =14)[games]
Karen Grigorian9/21(+4 -7 =10)[games]
Valery I Zilberstein9/21(+3 -6 =12)[games]
Nukhim N Rashkovsky9/21(+3 -6 =12)[games]
Valery Zhidkov8.5/21(+2 -6 =13)[games]
Lev Alburt7/21(+3 -10 =8)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1972)

The 40th Soviet Chess Championship was a category XI event played in the city of Baku from November 16th to December 19th, 1972. Nineteen of the USSR's best masters and grandmasters qualified for the round robin tournament, which also counted as a zonal event for the world championship cycle, from the four Soviet semi-finals held earlier in the year. The qualifiers were (with ELO at time of championship): Semyon Furman (2520), Evgeni Vasiukov (2575), Mikhail Mukhin (2420), and Ratmir Kholmov (2550) qualified from Uzhgorod; Nukhim Rashkovsky (2430), Eduard Gufeld (2525), Anatoly Lein (2530), Yuri Razuvaev (2490), and Karen Grigorian (2470) qualified from Cheliabinsk; Valery Zhidkov (2490), Roman Dzindzichashvili (2500), Leonid Shamkovich (2535), Yuri Balashov (2560), and Vitaly Tseshkovsky qualified from Kaliningrad; and Lev Alburt (2450), Gennadi Kuzmin (2520), Valery Zilberstein (2445), Albert Kapengut (2485), and Vladimir Tukmakov (2560) qualified from Odessa. Tseshkovsky was unable to attend so he was replaced with Vladimir Bagirov (2515). The field was completed by the attendance of David Bronstein (2585) and Mikhail Tal (2625), both previous Soviet champions, and by the attendance of last year's Soviet champion Vladimir Savon (2595). Although not as strong as some of the top championships in the past, Tal dominated with his usual flair, finishing undefeated and clear first with 15/21, two points ahead of sole second place, Tukmakov. This Soviet crown was Tal's fourth of an eventual six he would win in his longer career as one of the world's very best chess players.

Baku, Soviet Union (Azerbaijan), 16 November - 19 December 1972 (1)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts 1 Tal * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 15 2 Tukmakov * 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 13 =3 Kuzmin * 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 12 =3 Savon 0 1 * 1 1 1 0 1 1 12 =3 Mukhin 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 12 =6 Vasiukov 1 0 * 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 11 =6 Balashov 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 11 =8 Bagirov 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 0 11 =8 Furman 0 0 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 11 =10 Kholmov 1 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 0 1 1 10 =10 Lein 0 0 1 0 1 0 * 1 1 0 1 10 12 Razuvaev 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 1 10 =13 Kapengut 0 0 1 * 1 0 0 9 =13 Dzindzichashvili 0 0 0 0 * 1 0 0 1 1 1 9 =13 Shamkovich 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 * 1 1 9 =13 Bronstein 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 * 1 1 9 =17 Gufeld 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 0 9 =17 Grigorian 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 * 0 1 9 =17 Zilberstein 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 0 0 9 =17 Rashkovsky 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 * 1 1 9 21 Zhidkov 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 8 22 Alburt 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 * 7

Third and fourth place playoff (in 1973, Interzonal qualification):

=1 Kuzmin ** 2 =1 Savon ** 01 2 =1 Mukhin 10 ** 2

(1) Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov, The Soviet Championships (Cadogan 1998), pp. 157-159.

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1972, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 237  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alburt vs A Kapengut  ½-½511972USSR ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Bagirov vs N Rashkovsky  1-0741972USSR ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
3. Balashov vs Furman  ½-½211972USSR ChampionshipE17 Queen's Indian
4. Savon vs Bronstein  ½-½141972USSR ChampionshipC71 Ruy Lopez
5. Dzindzichashvili vs Zhidkov  1-0481972USSR ChampionshipA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
6. Razuvaev vs Shamkovich  ½-½291972USSR ChampionshipB89 Sicilian
7. Tal vs G Kuzmin  ½-½361972USSR ChampionshipC78 Ruy Lopez
8. K Grigorian vs A Lein  ½-½421972USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
9. V Zilberstein vs Vasiukov  ½-½231972USSR ChampionshipA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
10. Gufeld vs Kholmov  ½-½461972USSR ChampionshipC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
11. M Mukhin vs Tukmakov  ½-½331972USSR ChampionshipE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
12. Kholmov vs Alburt ½-½421972USSR ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
13. Bagirov vs K Grigorian  ½-½411972USSR ChampionshipD91 Grunfeld, 5.Bg5
14. Tukmakov vs Balashov ½-½801972USSR ChampionshipD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
15. Bronstein vs Razuvaev  ½-½241972USSR ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
16. Vasiukov vs Dzindzichashvili 1-0621972USSR ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
17. Shamkovich vs M Mukhin  0-1341972USSR ChampionshipD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
18. A Lein vs Tal  ½-½211972USSR ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
19. N Rashkovsky vs Furman  ½-½181972USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
20. Zhidkov vs Savon  ½-½131972USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
21. A Kapengut vs V Zilberstein 0-1401972USSR ChampionshipB97 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. G Kuzmin vs Gufeld  ½-½601972USSR ChampionshipE90 King's Indian
23. Alburt vs G Kuzmin  ½-½891972USSR ChampionshipA28 English
24. Tal vs Bagirov  ½-½431972USSR ChampionshipA16 English
25. Balashov vs Shamkovich  ½-½151972USSR ChampionshipE41 Nimzo-Indian
 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 237  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Even after the playoff, none of the participants could catch Tal!
Apr-21-13  dx9293: <GrahamClayton> This is not correct. The USSR Championships long had arduous qualifications.

Besides, Fischer became Champion on September 1st. As it says here, the tournament began November 16, not long enough in advance to change the qualification process.

In the strongest USSR Championship, the 41st in 1973, all the top players were presumably asked to play (nicely, of course...). Spassky won. I can only imagine what pressure he was under after the Reykjavik match.

Apr-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dx9293....In the strongest USSR Championship, the 41st in 1973, all the top players were presumably asked to play....>

If you want to call it that:

USSR Championship (1973)

Apr-21-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Looking at Game Collection: USSR Championship Tournament Index deciding which was the strongest one is like trying to fight your corner for the best player of all time. Some were stronger than others but the best of the best, well ...
Apr-21-13  dx9293: <perfidious> I'm not surprised. That's why I said "(nicely, of course...)."
Apr-22-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dx9293>: At the time, a Soviet magazine (forget which) published a piece which was, to put it mildly, critical of the state of top-level chess in the country.

Some of <suenteus>' information on the '73 page was new to me, though not at all surprising, really.

May-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I wonder which two players (Kuzmin, Savon or Mukhin) qualified for the Interzonal (which one?)?

TIA

May-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I am not familiar with Mukhin but if he had played in an Interzonal I would recognized the name.
May-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks <plang>. You are right. Savon played Petropolis Interzonal (1973) and Kuzmin played Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
May-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: ... although I still wonder about the <eligibility/selection criteria>.
Aug-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dx9293: <GrahamClayton> This is not correct. The USSR Championships long had arduous qualifications....>

That they did.

With all the world title contenders who often took part in Soviet finals, it should be noted that it was no mean feat for players such as Shamkovich and Lein to repeatedly qualify.

Feb-13-16  morfishine: Thanks for the explanation on 21 vs 25 games. Even "just" 21 games seems like an awfully long ordeal
Feb-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The good old days when 8 player single round robins were considered unmanly
Apr-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <plang> Not to mention your six-player DRRs which also keep down the need to dish out as many appearance fees.
Apr-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Lev Alburt finished at the bottem of this event, with 3 wins and 10 losses. But, he recovered enough to win or tie the USA championship 3 times. I guess our depth wasn't the same as in the old USSR.
Apr-24-16  Howard: But bear in mind that Alburt's first US championship title wasn't until 12 years later, in 1984. He was only 27 in 1972---thus, his play certainly would have been better 12 years later.

Not only that, his 1990 title was somewhat of a fluke---that was the first time the tournament was held in a lottery-style elimination format.

In fact...the following year, in 1991, Alburt was knocked out in the very first round--by Dlugy.

Apr-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: do you really think that 39 year old chess players are better than 27 year olds?
Dec-26-18  Open Defence: Does anyone know why Petrosian and Taimanov were not in this tournament?
Dec-26-18  TheFocus: I don't know about Taimanov, but Petrosian and Karpov were taking part, and tying for first in the San Antonio tournament (November 19-December 5). Keres also took part.
Dec-26-18  Howard: Keep in mind that many of the Soviet Union's leading players regularly passed up the annual Soviet championship, with the rather well-known exception of the 1973 edition.

Polugavesky and Korchnoi were two other notable absences from this event.

Dec-26-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This event was a world title qualifier; Petrosian and Taimanov were seeded into the 1973 Interzonals by virtue of being candidates in the previous cycle and would therefore have been playing hors concours.

Not sure why Polugaevsky was absent, but Korchnoi was also seeded in as an Interzonal participant (lost the semifinal to Petrosian in '71). Polugaevsky, of course, became a candidate at Petropolis 1973, for the first time. Perhaps it was some internal manoeuvring by the Soviet chess bureaucracy.

Dec-26-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nice to see Tal playing so well a decade after losing the title, with 9 wins and 0 losses. A 21 round event and Tal with zero losses! Hard to fathom.
Dec-29-18  Open Defence: Thanks all
Oct-28-20  login:

Some were 'busy' reshooting 'Гроссмейстер'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1P...

The film stars 'grand master' cameo appearances of Mikhail Tal, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, Yuri Averbakh, Mark Taimanov and Viktor Korchnoi.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand...

Oct-28-20  beenthere240: Fascinating -- who will win the 2020 US Championship? CG doesn't care.
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