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Hastings 1966/67 Tournament

Mikhail Botvinnik6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Wolfgang Uhlmann5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Michael Basman5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Bojan Kurajica5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Yuri S Balashov5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Jonathan Penrose4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Henrique Mecking4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Raymond Keene3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
William Hartston3/9(+0 -3 =6)[games]
Moshe Czerniak3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Hastings 1966/67

The 42nd Hastings Christmas Congress was held December 28, 1966 - January 6, 1967 in Hastings, England.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts 1 Botvinnik * = = 1 1 1 1 0 = 1 6.5 2 Uhlmann = * 1 0 1 = = = = 1 5.5 3 Basman = 0 * 1 0 = 1 = 1 = 5.0 4 Kurajica 0 1 0 * = = 1 = = 1 5.0 5 Balashov 0 0 1 = * 1 0 1 1 = 5.0 6 Penrose 0 = = = 0 * 1 = = 1 4.5 7 Mecking 0 = 0 0 1 0 * 1 = 1 4.0 8 Keene 1 = = = 0 = 0 * = 0 3.5 9 Hartston = = 0 = 0 = = = * 0 3.0 10 Czerniak 0 0 = 0 = 0 0 1 1 * 3.0

<The Gods Smiled on Botvinnik>

by William Ritson-Morry

The Forty-second Hastings Christmas Congress disproved the old adage "Those whom the Gods love die young!" ex-World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, now fifty-five and looking very fit indeed, won what he himself described as his luckiest tournament after some escapes which would have astounded even Houdini.

History does not always repeat itself. In 1934-35 Sir George Thomas defied the tradition that British Champions always do badly at Hastings by beating Botvinnik, Capablanca, and Lilienthal to tie for first with Euwe and Flohr and put the young Russian among the "also-ran." This time both the present British Champion and the rapidly improving Michael Basman could have won or shared first prize had they taken their respective chances to beat Botvinnik. A great British triumph was averted by a hairs-breadth solely because of the Maestro's remarkable recuperative powers. The cold figures of the score table tell little of the excitement of the final rounds.

History was made in other directions. There was the new venue at the Falaise Hall in the White Rock Gardens just behind the White Rock Pavilion, where I attended the first of my twenty-nine Christmas Congresses in 1931. That was the first of seventeen at the Pavilion to be followed by twelve at the Sun Lounge, but I think it is fair to say that, on the whole, the accommodation this time was the best we have ever had. Certainly the floor was a trifle noisy and sound tended to be magnified owing to the structure of he hall, but there was not the lack of ventilation of the windowless room at the Pavilion nor inadequacy of the heating in the Sun Lounge in cold weather. There was, moreover, room enough to cater for the largest entry ever received (231).

At 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28th, the Mayor extended his customary welcome to the competitors and called on the Brazilian Ambasador, Señor Jayme Sloan Chermont, formally to open the congress. The Mayor then made the draw for the first round of the Challengers' Tournament and the Ambassador made Botvinnik's first move. Play began just after 4 o'clock.

This year an impressive contingent of young players had been assembled. No less than six of the ten competitors in the Premier Section were twenty years old or less. H. Mecking, the Brazilian Champion, who created a sensation by his tie with Panno and J. Bolbochan in the South American Zonal Tourney, is only fourteen and the youngest player ever to participate in that section. Kurajica, the World Junior Champion, and Balashov, winner of last year's Challengers' Tourney, are but eighteen. Penrose seems almost a veteran with his thirty-two years by the side of Hartston and Keene (nineteen) and Basman (twenty)! The balance of experience and age was adjusted by the presence of grandmasters Botvinnik and Uhlmann and the Israeli master M. Czerniak. (1)

Two games in the 8th Round were played on Monday, January 2 instead of the original January 5 to enable Hartston and Keene to attend a reception at the Cuban Embassy on the Thursday. (2)

Prize money was as follows: 1st - £150; 2nd - £60; and 3rd-5th, £21 13s. 4d. (3)


(1) British Chess Magazine, February 1967, pp. 33-34.
(2) British Chess Magazine, February 1967, p. 39.
(3) British Chess Magazine, February 1967, p. 41.

Based on an original Collection by User: TheFocus.

Previous: Hastings (1965/66). Next: Hastings (1967/68)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Balashov vs Mecking 0-1561966Hastings 1966/67C98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
2. Uhlmann vs Kurajica 0-1401966Hastings 1966/67E17 Queen's Indian
3. Keene vs M Basman  ½-½501966Hastings 1966/67A04 Reti Opening
4. Botvinnik vs Hartston  ½-½461966Hastings 1966/67E82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
5. M Czerniak vs J Penrose  0-1411966Hastings 1966/67B45 Sicilian, Taimanov
6. Botvinnik vs M Czerniak 1-0311966Hastings 1966/67A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System
7. M Basman vs Balashov  0-1661966Hastings 1966/67B89 Sicilian
8. J Penrose vs Keene  ½-½171966Hastings 1966/67A36 English
9. Hartston vs Kurajica  ½-½111966Hastings 1966/67A07 King's Indian Attack
10. Mecking vs Uhlmann  ½-½261966Hastings 1966/67D78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
11. Balashov vs J Penrose 1-0261966Hastings 1966/67E93 King's Indian, Petrosian System
12. Kurajica vs Mecking  1-0441966Hastings 1966/67C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. Keene vs Botvinnik 1-0351966Hastings 1966/67A04 Reti Opening
14. M Czerniak vs Hartston 1-0241966Hastings 1966/67C01 French, Exchange
15. Uhlmann vs M Basman  1-0291966Hastings 1966/67D07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
16. M Czerniak vs Keene  1-0651966Hastings 1966/67B32 Sicilian
17. M Basman vs Kurajica  1-0661966Hastings 1966/67B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
18. J Penrose vs Uhlmann  ½-½401966Hastings 1966/67C05 French, Tarrasch
19. Botvinnik vs Balashov 1-0421966Hastings 1966/67E48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
20. Hartston vs Mecking ½-½241966Hastings 1966/67B97 Sicilian, Najdorf
21. Uhlmann vs Botvinnik  ½-½461967Hastings 1966/67D46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. Mecking vs M Basman 0-1311967Hastings 1966/67A43 Old Benoni
23. Kurajica vs J Penrose  ½-½201967Hastings 1966/67C41 Philidor Defense
24. Keene vs Hartston  ½-½111967Hastings 1966/67D27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
25. Balashov vs M Czerniak  ½-½131967Hastings 1966/67D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 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
Feb-08-17  Marmot PFL: Believe it or not Mikhail Botvinnik was not the oldest player at Hastings, Czerniak was one year older.

Botvinnik at fifty-five was giving twenty-some years to Uhlmann, over forty to Mecking, yet still wins more games than anyone else.

Apr-08-21  vonKrolock: Footage showing the participants during (allegedly) a 'warming-up' session; surely identified from 3:06 appears Botvinnik vs Balashov, Keene vs Basman, Uhlmann vs Kurajica, Czerniak vs Mecking. (Maybe Penrose and Hartston - the remaining duo - are shown from 2:50 in this newsreel's footage <"Boy Wonder" Challenges The Masters"> *this title may refers to Mecking who at fourteen was the youngest participant).

On the same almost five minutes video we see Flohr and Capablanca during a (four handed!?) simul in Czechoslovakia; then Elaine Saunders playing one game blindfolded; more on Hastings: Gaprindashvili, Littlewood etc


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I'm sure Paul Keres was gratified to be described as a "Russian sportswriter" accompanied by video of someone else (anyone know who?) (~2:20).
Apr-09-21  Retireborn: <keypusher> Looks like Gheorghiu to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Great tournament result for Basman :)

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