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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
55th USSR Championship Tournament

Garry Kasparov11.5/17(+6 -0 =11)[games]
Anatoly Karpov11.5/17(+6 -0 =11)[games]
Artur Yusupov10/17(+5 -2 =10)[games]
Valery Salov10/17(+6 -3 =8)[games]
Vereslav S Eingorn9.5/17(+3 -1 =13)[games]
Vassily Ivanchuk9.5/17(+5 -3 =9)[games]
Leonid Yudasin9/17(+2 -1 =14)[games]
Alexander Beliavsky8.5/17(+4 -4 =9)[games]
Jaan Yukhanovich Ehlvest8/17(+2 -3 =12)[games]
Vasily Smyslov8/17(+3 -4 =10)[games]
Viktor Gavrikov8/17(+1 -2 =14)[games]
Andrei Sokolov8/17(+1 -2 =14)[games]
Rafael Vaganian8/17(+2 -3 =12)[games]
Alexander Khalifman7.5/17(+1 -3 =13)[games]
Ilya Yulyevich Smirin7/17(+2 -5 =10)[games]
Mikhail Gurevich7/17(+2 -5 =10)[games]
Vladimir P Malaniuk6/17(+1 -6 =10)[games]
Andrei V Kharitonov6/17(+0 -5 =12)[games]
Mikhail Tal0.5/1(+0 -0 =1)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
55th USSR Championship (1988)

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 Chernin and Vereslav Eingorn (2560) qualifying as reserve players. Ilya Smirin (2500), Alexander Khalifman (2530), Andrei Kharitonov (2550), and Vladimir Malaniuk (2520) qualified from Sverdlovsk, with Vitaly Tseshkovsky and Boris Gelfand qualifying as reserve players. Alexander Beliavsky (2665), Valery Salov (2625), and Jaan Ehlvest (2580) qualified as the top three finishers of the 54th USSR Final. The remaining seats went out as invitations to the world champion, Garry Kasparov (2760), former world champions Anatoli Karpov (2725), Mikhail Tal, and Vasily Smyslov (2550), and world championship candidates Andrei Sokolov (2600), Rafael Vaganian (2595), and Artur Yusupov (2620). Games were conducted in Moscow's new International Hotel, where one thousand seats were set up for spectators, with Mikhail Botvinnik serving as the head arbiter. Tal was only able to play his first game of the tournament against Vaganian, where he was forced to draw quickly due to illness. When Yusupov was asked to play his round two game at Tal's sick bed in his hotel room, he refused and so it was determined that Tal should be replaced. Verelav Eingorn was pulled from the reserve list and played in Tal's place, forcing Vaganian to replay his first round draw. Tal's lone game is included in this collection for completeness and historical accuracy. The tournament itself was both a showcase of established Soviet chess brilliance, but also a debut for new talents and the next generation of players. Nevertheless, Kasparov and Karpov both emerged triumphant, tied for first having gone undefeated with 11˝/17. While a play-off match was the normal course to determine a sole winner (see Beliavsky's triumphant play-off against Salov from '87), both Karpov and Kasparov refused to play an extraneous match against one another. Although everyone was disappointed and Botvinnik pleaded with both players to comply, it was understandable why both would be reluctant considering they had just played four world championship matches against each other in as many years. Since no resolution could be reached, both players were declared champion, and both received identical trophies to mark their achievement. It was Karpov's third and final Soviet crown, as well as his first shared, and it was Kasparov's second shared and final Soviet crown (though he would be sole first in the Russian Super-Final in 2004, after the fall of Soviet Russia). In the strongest championship in 15 years, the two strongest players in the world showed that once again they were without peer even among the very best of their own countrymen. The final standings and crosstable are as follows:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Kasparov * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 11˝ 2 Karpov ˝ * 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 1 1 1 11˝ 3 Yusupov ˝ 0 * 1 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 1 10 4 Salov 0 ˝ 0 * ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 1 1 ˝ 10 5 Eingorn ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 9˝ 6 Ivanchuk 0 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ 1 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 1 9˝ 7 Yudasin 0 ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 9 8 Beliavsky ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1 1 ˝ ˝ 1 8˝ 9 Ehlvest ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * 0 ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 8 10 Smyslov ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 1 0 ˝ 1 * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 8 11 Gavrikov ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 8 12 Sokolov ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ 8 13 Vaganian ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 8 14 Khalifman ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 0 ˝ 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 7˝ 15 Smirin 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * 0 1 ˝ 7 16 Gurevich 0 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ 1 * ˝ ˝ 7 17 Malaniuk ˝ 0 ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ * ˝ 6 18 Kharitonov 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * 6 Tal - - - - - - - - - - - - ˝ - - - - -

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1988 by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 33  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ivanchuk vs Khalifman 1-066198855th USSR ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
2. Smirin vs Smyslov 1-028198855th USSR ChampionshipB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
3. Vaganian vs Ehlvest 1-062198855th USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
4. V Eingorn vs Vaganian 1-025198855th USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Smirin vs V Malaniuk  1-070198855th USSR ChampionshipC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. Kasparov vs Ivanchuk 1-024198855th USSR ChampionshipA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
7. Ehlvest vs Smirin 1-030198855th USSR ChampionshipB89 Sicilian
8. Karpov vs A V Kharitonov 1-042198855th USSR ChampionshipD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Salov vs Smyslov 1-057198855th USSR ChampionshipD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. Karpov vs Smirin 1-046198855th USSR ChampionshipE15 Queen's Indian
11. Smyslov vs Ehlvest 1-041198855th USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
12. M Gurevich vs A Sokolov  1-019198855th USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Smyslov vs V Eingorn 1-046198855th USSR ChampionshipB42 Sicilian, Kan
14. Yusupov vs Smyslov 1-037198855th USSR ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
15. Yusupov vs A V Kharitonov 1-059198855th USSR ChampionshipA13 English
16. Yusupov vs A Sokolov 1-041198855th USSR ChampionshipE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
17. M Gurevich vs Smirin 1-029198855th USSR ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
18. Beliavsky vs Smirin  1-042198855th USSR ChampionshipA56 Benoni Defense
19. Yusupov vs Salov 1-042198855th USSR ChampionshipA13 English
20. Salov vs V Malaniuk 1-073198855th USSR ChampionshipA80 Dutch
21. Ivanchuk vs Beliavsky 1-052198855th USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Smyslov vs Ivanchuk 1-052198855th USSR ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
23. Karpov vs M Gurevich 1-060198855th USSR ChampionshipE15 Queen's Indian
24. Karpov vs Yusupov 1-043198855th USSR ChampionshipD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Karpov vs V Malaniuk 1-035198855th USSR ChampionshipA87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 33  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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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