Since the introduction of the Elo rating system earlier in the decade, the 1970s saw a resurgence of the so-called "super" tournament where the best in the world gathered to compete. 1975 was one of the biggest years of the decade in that regard as a number of international "super tournaments" were held in which top rated masters participated. Milan, Italy in late summer saw the attendance of twelve such top rated grandmasters, including the newly designated world champion Anatoly Karpov (2705). He was joined by Tigran Petrosian (2645) and Mikhail Tal (2645) from the Soviet Union; Lajos Portisch (2635) from Hungary; Bent Larsen (2625) from Denmark; Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2615) from Yugoslavia; Jan Smejkal (2600) from Czechoslovakia; Svetozar Gligoric (2575) from Yugoslavia; Ulf Andersson (2565) from Sweden; Walter Browne (2550) from the United States; Wolfgang Unzicker (2535) from West Germany; and Sergio Mariotti (2495) playing for his home country of Italy. The combined ratings of all the grandmasters qualified the tournament as a Category XV event, making it stronger than most other international tournaments seen up to that point. Games were played from August 20th to September 14th. In addition to a round robin all-play-all format, a series of semifinal and final matches among the top four finishers were devised to follow the tournament. This would turn out to be a blessing for the Soviet grandmasters as the final of the tournament proper saw Portisch finish clear first, a half point ahead of shared seconds Petrosian, Karpov, and Ljubojevic. While Portisch dispatched Ljubojevic in their semifinal match, Petrosian and Karpov drew their match, allowing the higher rated world champion a shot at the tournament leader in the finals match for first place. Karpov only managed to win one game, but it was enough to put him over the edge and finish the entire event as clear first ahead of Portisch. It was to be one of the earliest of what would be copious numbers of super tournament victories for the new world champion.
Milan, Italy, 20 August - 14 September 1975
The final standings and crosstable of the semifinal matches:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1 Portisch * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 7
=2 Karpov ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 6½
=2 Petrosian ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6½
=2 Ljubojevic ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 6½
5 Smejkal ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 6
=6 Tal ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 5½
=6 Browne 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5½
=8 Andersson 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 0 0 1 5
=8 Unzicker ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ * 0 0 ½ 5
=8 Gligoric 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 * 0 ½ 5
=8 Larsen 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 * 1 5
12 Mariotti 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 * 2½
The final standings and crosstable of the final matches:
1 Portisch ½ ½ 1 ½ 2½
2 Ljubojevic ½ ½ 0 ½ 1½
=1 Petrosian ½ ½ ½ ½ 2
=1 Karpov ½ ½ ½ ½ 2
Third/fourth place match
First/second place match
=1 Ljubojevic 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 3
=1 Petrosian 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 3
Original collection: Game Collection: Milan 1975, by User: suenteus po 147.
1 Karpov ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3½
2 Portisch ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2½
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 86
|1. S Mariotti vs Portisch
|| ||0-1||41||1975||Milan||C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense|
|2. Petrosian vs Karpov
||½-½||29||1975||Milan||E53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3|
|3. Browne vs Gligoric
|| ||½-½||57||1975||Milan||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|4. Unzicker vs Tal
||1-0||32||1975||Milan||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|5. Ljubojevic vs Ulf Andersson
|6. Smejkal vs Larsen
||1-0||52||1975||Milan||E17 Queen's Indian|
|7. Tal vs Browne
||0-1||44||1975||Milan||B90 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|8. Ulf Andersson vs Unzicker
|| ||½-½||78||1975||Milan||A05 Reti Opening|
|9. S Mariotti vs Petrosian
|| ||½-½||28||1975||Milan||C03 French, Tarrasch|
|10. Larsen vs Ljubojevic
||0-1||27||1975||Milan||A77 Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2|
|11. Portisch vs Gligoric
||1-0||34||1975||Milan||E88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6|
|12. Karpov vs Smejkal
||½-½||55||1975||Milan||A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto|
|13. Smejkal vs S Mariotti
|| ||½-½||34||1975||Milan||D79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line|
|14. Unzicker vs Larsen
|15. Gligoric vs Tal
|| ||½-½||35||1975||Milan||A56 Benoni Defense|
|16. Ljubojevic vs Karpov
||0-1||57||1975||Milan||C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed|
|17. Petrosian vs Portisch
|| ||½-½||27||1975||Milan||A07 King's Indian Attack|
|18. Browne vs Ulf Andersson
||½-½||41||1975||Milan||B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack|
|19. S Mariotti vs Ljubojevic
|| ||0-1||41||1975||Milan||A05 Reti Opening|
|20. Portisch vs Tal
|| ||½-½||43||1975||Milan||A34 English, Symmetrical|
|21. Karpov vs Unzicker
||1-0||22||1975||Milan||C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin|
|22. Petrosian vs Smejkal
|| ||½-½||29||1975||Milan||A15 English|
|23. Ulf Andersson vs Gligoric
|24. Larsen vs Browne
||½-½||23||1975||Milan||A34 English, Symmetrical|
|25. Smejkal vs Portisch
|| ||½-½||62||1975||Milan||A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto|
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 86
|Apr-03-13|| ||suenteus po 147: Okay, so this is something I've been meaning to ask for a while: Were the semi-final and final matches an original part of this event, or were the Soviet grandmasters so irked by Portisch's win that they lobbied for more games? I'm guessing it was part of the program from the beginning (but then, hey, it was the seventies, they might have decided to rob a bank and pay them to play more games! ciao!), but then how much must it have irked Portisch that he fought so hard only to succumb to one crummy loss to Karpov in the final match and be dispatched in the ultimate standings?|
|Apr-04-13|| ||Phony Benoni: No proof at hand, but I'm pretty sure that was the original program. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the Soviet players coasted in the preliminaries, looking merely to qualify.|
|Apr-04-13|| ||suenteus po 147: <Phony Benoni> Coasting, sure: Karpov only has three wins. But how to tell if Petrosian was or not? He always had few wins and no losses :)|
|Sep-07-13|| ||Everett: Isnt this format one of the ideas for deciding the world championship, or at least the candidates? Candidate tournament, then a series of matches until one is left standing. This person would either be the new WC, or be the challenger to the incumbent. Not so bad, in my eyes.|
|Sep-19-13|| ||GrahamClayton: Have any other international tournaments used this format of a round-robin followed by knock-out matches?|
|Aug-05-15|| ||offramp: This tournament, as the intro says, began on August 20th 1975, exactly 75 years ago in a fortnight's time.|
As a celebration of that anniversary, <and> as a memorial to the late and great master of chess Walter Shawn Browne, Europe Echecs has published a quite SOO-PERB article on this tournament.
It can be seen at http://www.europe-echecs.com/art/mi....
Some wonderful photos and reminiscences.
|Aug-05-15|| ||perfidious: Seventy-five years? Seems more like forty to me.|
|Aug-03-16|| ||Mr. V: I like Mariotti's strategy, draw with black, lose with white. It reminds me of my own play.|
|Aug-03-16|| ||Absentee: <perfidious: Seventy-five years? Seems more like forty to me.>|
Time flies, doesn't it?
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