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. Smejkal vs Larsen
||1-0||52||1975||Milan||E17 Queen's Indian|
|2. Petrosian vs Karpov
||½-½||29||1975||Milan||E53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3|
|3. S Mariotti vs Portisch
|| ||0-1||41||1975||Milan||C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense|
|4. Unzicker vs Tal
||1-0||32||1975||Milan||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|5. Ljubojevic vs Andersson
|6. Browne vs Gligoric
|| ||½-½||57||1975||Milan||C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer|
|7. S Mariotti vs Petrosian
|| ||½-½||28||1975||Milan||C03 French, Tarrasch|
|8. Karpov vs Smejkal
||½-½||55||1975||Milan||A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto|
|9. Tal vs Browne
||0-1||44||1975||Milan||B90 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|10. Portisch vs Gligoric
||1-0||34||1975||Milan||E88 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6|
|11. Andersson vs Unzicker
|| ||½-½||78||1975||Milan||A05 Reti Opening|
|12. Larsen vs Ljubojevic
||0-1||27||1975||Milan||A77 Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2|
|13. Browne vs Andersson
||½-½||41||1975||Milan||B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack|
|14. Petrosian vs Portisch
|| ||½-½||27||1975||Milan||A07 King's Indian Attack|
|15. Ljubojevic vs Karpov
||0-1||57||1975||Milan||C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed|
|16. Smejkal vs S Mariotti
|| ||½-½||34||1975||Milan||D79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line|
|17. Unzicker vs Larsen
|18. Gligoric vs Tal
|| ||½-½||35||1975||Milan||A56 Benoni Defense|
|19. Karpov vs Unzicker
||1-0||22||1975||Milan||C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin|
|20. Portisch vs Tal
|| ||½-½||43||1975||Milan||A34 English, Symmetrical|
|21. Andersson vs Gligoric
|22. S Mariotti vs Ljubojevic
|| ||0-1||41||1975||Milan||A05 Reti Opening|
|23. Larsen vs Browne
||½-½||23||1975||Milan||A34 English, Symmetrical|
|24. Petrosian vs Smejkal
|| ||½-½||29||1975||Milan||A15 English|
|25. Ljubojevic vs Petrosian
|| ||½-½||28||1975||Milan||C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin|
| 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?
|Mar-06-21|| ||Z legend 000000001: Browne gives a brief intro to the tournament in <CL&R Jan 1975 p12>.|
He mentions S-B being used to determine his winnings depending on placement at the end. (Even 12th place getting $1000).
The prize pot was generous for the time, $32,000 with the 1st place winner getting $12,000.
I guess Mr. Paladino ran the tournament, and some 400-600 people attended daily.
<Everyone would have preferred a double round robin since an 11-round event is too short. After Portisch had qualified in the round robin event, he said he would still rather play a double round robin than compete in the matches!
In the matches Karpov had four listless draws with Petrosian and qualified for the final match since he had better Sonneborn-Berger points. Portisch drew in a lost position against Ljubojevic and came back to draw the second and win the third game. He was thus assured of second place even if he lost the last game. Karpov won one and drew five against Portisch to become the
|Mar-06-21|| ||Z legend 000000001: I believe there was a later tournament book published in English - but the original was (I think) this one:|
<Il torneo internazionale di Milano 1975
|Mar-06-21|| ||areknames: <but the original was (I think) this one:>|
<Il torneo internazionale di Milano 1975
Correct, it was published shortly after the end of the tournament. I acquired my copy a few years later and it's still in my possession.
|Mar-06-21|| ||Z legend 000000001: Hi <areknames>, thanks for the confirmation.|
Any chance you could give us the time controls and arbiters, for completeness?
|Mar-06-21|| ||areknames: Hi <legend>, it's an excellent book with a long introduction and plenty of annotated games but there's no direct reference to either time controls or arbiters. As it was a major event I can only assume the time controls and adjournment rules would have reflected the standards of the time. Furthermore, the tourney was organized by the then vice president of the Italian Chess Federation (FSI), the indefatigable Nicola Palladino, who would most certainly have been the Chief Arbiter. I remember him with fondness.|
|Mar-07-21|| ||plang: It was definitely a classical tournament if that is the question.|
The standard at the time was 2 and a half hours for 40 moves - of course there was no time delay at that time and there were still adjournments.
The above is just a guess but at that time there was not the variety of formats used now and not the pressure for quicker play.
|Mar-07-21|| ||Z legend 000000001: Thanks <areknames> and <plang>.|
Yes on the classical, and I do agree with the older 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours as being the standard at the time.
But I'm now a little curious, about when did the 40 move limit transition to 2 hours vs. 2 1/2 hours?
I guess I'll start by investigating the WCC's...
PS- The <legend> part is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I mostly just go by <Z>.
|Mar-07-21|| ||perfidious: <zed>, believe the genesis of 40/2.5 was in the 1920s, but only really took hold after WWII; for example, Nottingham 1936 was played at the rate of 36/2 and 18 moves per hour thereafter. The notorious game Flohr-Capablanca at Nottingham was decided by Capa's blunder at move 37, as was the Cuban's victory vs Winter towards the finish.|
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