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Hastings 1955/56 Tournament

Viktor Korchnoi7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Fridrik Olafsson7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Borislav Ivkov6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Mark Taimanov6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Klaus Darga4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
John A Fuller3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Raaphi Persitz3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Jesus Diez del Corral3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
Jonathan Penrose2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[games]
Harry Golombek1.5/9(+0 -6 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Hastings 1955/56

The 31st Hastings Christmas Chess Festival was held at the end of the year 1955. Ten players were invited to participate in the round robin format of the premier event, including grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Mark Taimanov from the Soviet Union, West German champion Klaus Darga, Spanish champion Jesus Diez del Corral, Yugoslavian grandmaster Borislav Ivkov, Icelandic master Fridrik Olafsson, Swiss master Raphael Persitz, British correspondence champion John Fuller, and previous Hastings winners Harry Golombek and Jonathan Penrose. Olafsson gained international recognition by tying Korchnoi for first place in the final. Both players finished undefeated with +5, while Ivkov trailed by half a point for clear third.

The final standings and crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 =1 Korchnoi * ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 7 =1 Olafsson ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 7 3 Ivkov 0 ½ * 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 6½ 4 Taimanov ½ 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 6 5 Darga 0 ½ 0 0 * ½ 1 ½ 1 1 4½ =6 Fuller ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 0 ½ 1 3½ =6 Persitz ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ * 1 1 ½ 3½ 8 Diez del Corral 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 * ½ 1 3 9 Penrose 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ * 1 2½ 10 Golombek 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 * 1½

This annual tournament fell between Hastings (1954/55) and Hastings (1956/57) and continued to succeed.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Golombek vs Ivkov  ½-½191955Hastings 1955/56E86 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6
2. F Olafsson vs Taimanov 1-0341955Hastings 1955/56A35 English, Symmetrical
3. J Penrose vs K Darga 0-1681955Hastings 1955/56B58 Sicilian
4. Diez del Corral vs Korchnoi  0-1511955Hastings 1955/56B64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
5. J Fuller vs R Persitz  ½-½191955Hastings 1955/56B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
6. Diez del Corral vs J Penrose  ½-½221955Hastings 1955/56D50 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Ivkov vs J Fuller  ½-½421955Hastings 1955/56B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. Korchnoi vs R Persitz  ½-½351955Hastings 1955/56E31 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line
9. K Darga vs F Olafsson  ½-½231955Hastings 1955/56E14 Queen's Indian
10. Taimanov vs Golombek  ½-½231955Hastings 1955/56A16 English
11. F Olafsson vs Diez del Corral  1-0391955Hastings 1955/56A07 King's Indian Attack
12. R Persitz vs Ivkov 0-1241955Hastings 1955/56B67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
13. J Penrose vs Korchnoi  0-1341955Hastings 1955/56B88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
14. Golombek vs K Darga  0-1581955Hastings 1955/56E86 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6
15. J Fuller vs Taimanov  0-1541955Hastings 1955/56B58 Sicilian
16. Diez del Corral vs Golombek  1-0521955Hastings 1955/56B18 Caro-Kann, Classical
17. K Darga vs J Fuller  ½-½671955Hastings 1955/56A61 Benoni
18. J Penrose vs F Olafsson ½-½461955Hastings 1955/56A73 Benoni, Classical, 9.O-O
19. Korchnoi vs Ivkov 1-0361955Hastings 1955/56E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
20. Taimanov vs R Persitz 1-0281955Hastings 1955/56D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. F Olafsson vs Korchnoi  ½-½321956Hastings 1955/56A97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
22. R Persitz vs K Darga  0-1511956Hastings 1955/56B88 Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack
23. Golombek vs J Penrose  0-1351956Hastings 1955/56A22 English
24. J Fuller vs Diez del Corral  0-1351956Hastings 1955/56B59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
25. Ivkov vs Taimanov 1-0331956Hastings 1955/56B56 Sicilian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-28-15  diagonal: It's now sixty years ago, since the <Hastings Christmas Chess Congress 1955/56> started - and six of ten participants are still alive:

Korchnoi, Olafsson (both on 7/2 undefeated as joint winners), Ivkov, Taimanov, Darga, and Penrose.

After that tournament win, IM Korchnoi was awarded the GM title, Olafsson got the IM title, and his GM title automatically after the Interzonal in Portorož 1958, being qualified as a Candidate. Ivkov and Taimanov have already been Grandmasters. Darga got the title later in 1964. Jonathan Penrose is Honorary Grandmaster, the only living today.

Viktor Korchnoi was the 50th player to be awarded as a Grandmaster by FIDE (at its inauguration in 1950, there were 27 Grandmasters installed, among them also some older inactive players based on previous successes). There were no ELO metrics / norms in the 1950s and 1960s, the title was primarily granted on winning an important international tournament or outstanding achievements such as an individual Gold medal at the Chess Olympiads or the qualification as a Candidate.

In the year <1956>, three players (all International Master, a requirement) got the FIDE GM title, in chronological order:

<Viktor Korchnoi> from the Soviet Union as 17th USSR player, for winning the traditional Hastings Winter Congress 1955/56, see above, or with crosstable,

<Albéric O'Kelly de Galway> from Belgium after winning the 6th Ostend 1956 maybe also in recognition of earlier international tournament results, and great

<Bent Larsen> from Denmark after the Chess Olympiad in Moscow 1956, - Larsen won the individual Gold medal on board one, ahead of then reigning World Champion Botvinnik; Denmark (10th) and USSR (1st) in the Final A.

May-03-16  diagonal: press release - winner's handshake :)

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