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🏆 55th USSR Championship (1988)

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
The 55th Soviet Chess Championship held in the capital city of Moscow from July 25th to August 18th, 1988 was a category XIV event. The Soviet Union's top eighteen players participated in the event, making it the strongest USSR championship since 1973. Eight grandmasters qualified for the championship from two First League swiss-style tournaments played the year before. Vassily Ivanchuk (2625), Leonid Yudasin (2505), Mikhail Gurevich (2630), and Viktor Gavrikov (2545) qualified from Lvov, with Alexander Che ... [more]

Player: Alexander Khalifman

 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Khalifman vs M Gurevich  ½-½16198855th USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
2. Khalifman vs Gavrikov ½-½28198855th USSR ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
3. Smyslov vs Khalifman  ½-½20198855th USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
4. A Sokolov vs Khalifman  ½-½74198855th USSR ChampionshipB08 Pirc, Classical
5. Ivanchuk vs Khalifman 1-066198855th USSR ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
6. Khalifman vs Karpov  ½-½26198855th USSR ChampionshipE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
7. Khalifman vs Kasparov ½-½34198855th USSR ChampionshipB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
8. Khalifman vs Beliavsky  0-144198855th USSR ChampionshipC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. Khalifman vs Yusupov  ½-½21198855th USSR ChampionshipE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
10. Salov vs Khalifman  1-060198855th USSR ChampionshipE97 King's Indian
11. V Eingorn vs Khalifman  ½-½87198855th USSR ChampionshipE17 Queen's Indian
12. Khalifman vs Yudasin  ½-½17198855th USSR ChampionshipD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
13. A V Kharitonov vs Khalifman  ½-½14198855th USSR ChampionshipD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Smirin vs Khalifman  ½-½38198855th USSR ChampionshipB58 Sicilian
15. Vaganian vs Khalifman  ½-½42198855th USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
16. Khalifman vs Ehlvest  1-026198855th USSR ChampionshipD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
17. V Malaniuk vs Khalifman  ½-½31198855th USSR ChampionshipD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 1; 17 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Khalifman wins | Khalifman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Karpov and Kasparov were probably sick of playing against one another unless they really had to so there was no play-off match for this USSR Championship.
Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Remarkable, Smyslov garnered 8 pts at age 67

*****

Jun-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Nice result for Eingorn, making +2 after coming in as a reserve. Dang, those Soviet title events were brutal, and this was one of the toughest.
Sep-07-17  Joseph Blackcape: <Benzol: Karpov and Kasparov were probably sick of playing against one another unless they really had to so there was no play-off match for this USSR Championship.>

If I remember correctly, in "My Great Predecessors" Kasparov tells a completely different story. According to him while indeed neither him nor Karpov were too keen on playing yet another (4 games and then in case of a 2-2 tie, a potentially unlimited number of sudden death games) match against each other (Karpov specially citing that he didn't like the idea of playing a tough match right after such a long and strenuous tournament), they both agreed to it. Everything was set, lots were drawn (Karpov got white for the first game) and then Botvinnik (who according to him was feeling very important again, being elected the head arbiter at the age of 77), who was at that time holding a grudge against Kasparov for his anti-Communist attitude (Botvinnik being a staunch Communist and according to Kasparov convinced that the only flaw in the system was human, but "with the help of computers" it would be made perfect) decided to flex his muscles and call the match off and to spite Kasparov only inform Karpov, so Kasparov arrived on the day of the first game only to find out that the match was cancelled and a press conference was already taking place. I think he also mentioned that declaring them "co-champions" was another of Botvinnik's anti-Garry ideas, since they could still use the Sonneborn–Berger to decide the champion - and of course Kasparov's was superior to Karpov.

How much of this is true, I have no idea, but it's an interesting story none the less.

Feb-13-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: Making a research about the winners of Soviet Championship, I built the follow list from 1920 to 1991.

Botvinnik (6x) 31 33 39 44 45 52
Tal (6x) 57 58 67 (= Polugaevsky) 72 74 78
Korchnoi (4x) 60 62 64 70
Petrosian (4x) 59 61 69 75
Beliavky (4x) 74 81 87 90
Karpov (3x) 76 83 88
Stein (3x) 63 65 66
Bogoljubov (2x) 24 25
Bronstein (2x) 48 (= Kotov) 49 (= Smyslov)
Geller (2x) 55 79
Levenfish (2x) 35 (= Rabinovitch) 37
Kasparov (2x) 83 88 (= Psakhis)
Keres (2x) 47 50
Polugaevsky (2x) 67 (= Tal) 68 69 (-Petrosian)
Spassky (2x) 56 (-Taimanov) 61 63 (- Stein) 73
Romanovsky (2x) 23 27 (= Bogatyrchuk)
Tseshkovsky (2x) 78 86
Savon (1x) 71 86 (-Beliavky)
Smyslov (1x) 49 (= Bronstein) 55 (-Geller)
Taimanov (1x) 52 (-Botvinnik) 56
Averbakh (1x) 54 56 (-Taimanov)

All others have only one, sometimes were tied with other players, but not always had a match to define the virtual winner.

Alekhine 20, Bogatyrchuk 27=, Verlinsky 29, Rabinovitch 35=, Lilienthal and Bondarevsky 40=, Bronstein and Kotov 48=, Zatsev (- Polugaevsky) 68, Karpov (76), Dorfman and Gulko (77), Kholmov (-Stein) 63, Sokolov 84; Gravikov, Gurevich and Chemin 85; Kasparov and Psakhis 88, Vaganian 89; Yudasin, Bareev and Vyzmanavin 90, Minasian 91. I hope did not forget anyone.

Sign "-" minus mean that altough the player reach the same points of another one, he lost the corresponding match, when it happened. The winner name is placed beside.

Sign "=" mean that the title was shared without a final match between the two or more.

Again you can see that Keres has won two Soviets; however, Botvinnik, Tal, Korchnoi, Petrosian, Beliavsky, Karpov and Stein supered him too. On other words, Keres was not a big tournament winner, nor from matches against only one oponent. Maybe, the luck always failled to him in the crucial moments of decision, like in the Candidates tournament and others. Likewise, Smyslov Geller and Bronstein also stopped in about 2 wins. Must be said that on the past, the soviet was a very strong tournament, which was very hard to reach the top, even for these champions.

Feb-13-20  Straclonoor: <that Keres has won two Soviets> Keres was three times champion of USSR - 47, 50 and <51>
Feb-25-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: <Straclonoor> you are right. <KERES won the one of 51, reaching 3 wins>, therefore going to be side by side with KARPOV and STEIN, although the last one had not chance to fight to be WCC, because of deadly heart attach in 1973. KERES had best score than his contemporaries BRONSTEIN, GELLER and SMYSLOV; although the 2nd never disputed the crown (like KERES), the first had tied in 1951, and the last tied once (1954), won next (1957) and lost the rematch (1958). I must say that anyway, it never was easy to become WCC, many had tried, but only few earned. Thank you.

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