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Hastings 1969/70 Tournament

Lajos Portisch7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Wolfgang Unzicker6.5/9(+4 -0 =5)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Vasily Smyslov5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Jan Timman5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Dolfi Drimer4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Martyn J Corden3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
Antonio Angel Medina Garcia3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
David Neil Lawrence Levy2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[games]
John Littlewood2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Hastings 1969/70

The 45th Hastings Christmas Chess Festival was held between Monday December 29th 1969 and Wednesday January 7th 1970. The premier event of ten players included: Svetozar Gligoric, Lajos Portisch, former world champion Vasily Smyslov, and the promising 17 year old Dutch player Jan Timman. It was a tournament with a large number of past winners:

Unzicker, champion in 1950/51
Gligorić, five times champion - 1951/52, 1956/57, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1962/63 (jointly)
Medina Garcia, champion in 1952/53 (jointly)
Smyslov, twice champion - 1954/55 (jointly), 1968/69

The British representatives included the promising 1969 British U18 champion Martyn Corden, who had also come equal second in the 1969 British Championship. John Littlewood had played three times before in the Hastings Premier tournament and had represented England at the Varna Olympiad (1962). He had also come second equal in the 1969 British Championship. David Levy had represented Scotland at the Lugano Olympiad (1968) and had come 5th at the Praia da Rocha Zonal Tournament (1969) with 11.5/17.

The chess editor of The Times, Harry Golombek, had the task of judging the Premier games. He gave Medina Garcia the brilliancy prize for D Levy vs A Medina Garcia, 1969, and Gligoric the prize for the best-played ending (double bishops) (A Medina Garcia vs Gligoric, 1970). Portisch and Gligoric won a prize for playing the best draw (Portisch vs Gligoric, 1970). Other notable games were Littlewood's win over Corden, M Corden vs J Littlewood, 1970 (which was in contention for the brilliancy prize), and Drimer's demolitions of Littlewood (D Drimer vs J Littlewood, 1970) and Levy (D Drimer vs D Levy, 1970). The chief-organizer L. A. J. Gluyde would have been pleased with the "fighting spirit which pervaded and inspired the players from the top to the bottom of the list" (Golombek). Of the 45 games, 17 were drawn.

Smyslov failed to repeat his previous tournament victory at Hastings; this would have given him the golden knight trophy. He appeared to be nervous and his surprise loss to the young British player Corden (M Corden vs Smyslov, 1970) was put down to trying to win too hard. "Having watched both players from a ringside seat, I am sure that Smyslov lost this game because he had the fixed idea that he had to win at all costs to keep in the running for the first prize" (Bernard Cafferty in Birmingham Mail).

Portisch was the undefeated winner on 7 points/+5, with Unzicker a fraction behind on 6.5/+4.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 GM Portisch * 1 1 1 1 1 7 2 GM Unzicker * 1 1 1 1 6 3 GM Gligoric 0 * 1 1 1 1 6 4 GM Smyslov * 0 1 1 1 5 5 IM Timman 0 * 0 1 1 1 5 6 IM Drimer 0 0 0 1 * 0 1 1 4 7 Corden 0 0 0 1 0 * 1 0 3 8 IM Medina 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 3 9 IM Levy 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 2 10 Littlewood 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 2

British Pathe news filmed the opening speech by Lieutenant-General Sir John Bagot Glubb and the players in round one:

Previous edition: Hastings (1968/69). Next: Hastings (1970/71).

Original collection: Game Collection: Hastings 1969/70 (1970) by User: Chessical. Introductory material and round details taken from Chess Magazine, Vol. 35, nos. 597-8, February 1970.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Levy vs A Medina Garcia  0-1211969Hastings 1969/70C44 King's Pawn Game
2. Unzicker vs J Littlewood  ½-½411969Hastings 1969/70B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
3. M Corden vs Timman  0-1261969Hastings 1969/70B05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
4. Smyslov vs Gligoric  ½-½411969Hastings 1969/70A36 English
5. D Drimer vs Portisch  0-1311969Hastings 1969/70C47 Four Knights
6. J Littlewood vs Portisch  0-1531969Hastings 1969/70C91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. A Medina Garcia vs M Corden  ½-½311969Hastings 1969/70C82 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. Unzicker vs Smyslov  ½-½161969Hastings 1969/70B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
9. Timman vs D Drimer  0-1371969Hastings 1969/70A25 English
10. Gligoric vs D Levy  ½-½741969Hastings 1969/70A75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
11. D Drimer vs A Medina Garcia  0-1471969Hastings 1969/70A07 King's Indian Attack
12. D Levy vs Unzicker ½-½411969Hastings 1969/70C44 King's Pawn Game
13. M Corden vs Gligoric  0-1451969Hastings 1969/70B50 Sicilian
14. Smyslov vs J Littlewood  1-0241969Hastings 1969/70E45 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation
15. Portisch vs Timman ½-½211969Hastings 1969/70A75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
16. A Medina Garcia vs Portisch  0-1311970Hastings 1969/70C71 Ruy Lopez
17. Unzicker vs M Corden  1-0591970Hastings 1969/70C82 Ruy Lopez, Open
18. Gligoric vs D Drimer  1-0601970Hastings 1969/70D68 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical
19. Smyslov vs D Levy 1-0311970Hastings 1969/70A25 English
20. J Littlewood vs Timman  0-1521970Hastings 1969/70B04 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
21. M Corden vs Smyslov 1-0551970Hastings 1969/70C55 Two Knights Defense
22. D Drimer vs Unzicker 0-1251970Hastings 1969/70C33 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Portisch vs Gligoric  ½-½411970Hastings 1969/70E97 King's Indian
24. Timman vs A Medina Garcia  1-0311970Hastings 1969/70D50 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. J Littlewood vs A Medina Garcia  ½-½161970Hastings 1969/70C56 Two Knights
 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
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Brilliant work, men, brilliant.

I can't thank you enough for this priceless historical document.

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