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Leningrad 1934
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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In 1934, the Soviet Union was still a largely unknown factor in world chess circles. Botvinnik was making some noise, particularly with his repeated wins in the USSR Championship and his drawn match against Flohr (Botvinnik - Flohr (1933)). But the strength and depth of the country remained a mystery, until an international tournament was arranged in Leningrad from August 17-September 1, 1934 with outsiders Max Euwe and Hans Kmoch brought in to give the local boys a few tips. The entire group:

Vladimir Alatortsev, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vitaly Chekhover, Max Euwe, Ilia Abramovich Kan, Hans Kmoch, Grigory Levenfish, Georgy Lisitsin, Ilya Leontievich Rabinovich, Nikolai Nikolaevich Riumin, Peter Arsenievich Romanovsky, Mikhail M Yudovich Sr.

As sometimes happens, the tippers became the tippees. Both Euwe and Kmoch started well, and were tied for first place with Botvinnik and Romanovsky after six rounds. That's when things started to happen. Euwe was unable to win another game for the rest of the tournament, while Kmoch, after one more win, lost his last four in a row.

By round nine, Riumin had joined Romanovsky and Botvinnik at the top. Botvinnik took the lead in round 10 with a victory as the two R's drew each other, then held onto it by drawing Riumin in the last round as Romanovsky was unable to win.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 1 Botvinnik * = = 1 = = 1 1 1 0 = 1 7.5 2 Riumin = * = 1 = 1 0 = = 1 = 1 7.0 3 Romanovsky = = * 0 = = 1 1 = 1 = 1 7.0 4 Rabinovich 0 0 1 * = 1 = = 1 = 1 = 6.5 5 Kan = = = = * 0 1 = = 1 = = 6.0 6 Euwe = 0 = 0 1 * = = = = = 1 5.5 7 Kmoch 0 1 0 = 0 = * 1 0 1 1 0 5.0 8 Yudovich 0 = 0 = = = 0 * 1 = = 1 5.0 9 Alatortsev 0 = = 0 = = 1 0 * = 1 0 4.5 10 Lisitsin 1 0 0 = 0 = 0 = = * = 1 4.5 11 Levenfish = = = 0 = = 0 = 0 = * = 4.0 12 Chekhover 0 0 0 = = 0 1 0 1 0 = * 3.5

Botvinnik's win should not have been a big surprise; he had shown his capabilities already. But having Euwe, fresh from an excellent showing at Zurich (1934), relegated to sixth place with an even score was an eye-opener. These guys would bear watching in the future.

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
Euwe vs Kan, 1934 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Levenfish, 1934
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
Chekhover vs I Rabinovich, 1934
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 69 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
P Romanovsky vs Lisitsin, 1934
(A06) Reti Opening, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
Botvinnik vs Alatortsev, 1934 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 20 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Friday, August 17)
Kmoch vs Riumin, 1934
(A90) Dutch, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
Kan vs Riumin, 1934
(A53) Old Indian, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
Alatortsev vs Kmoch, 1934
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
Lisitsin vs Botvinnik, 1934 
(A09) Reti Opening, 61 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
I Rabinovich vs P Romanovsky, 1934
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 54 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
Levenfish vs Chekhover, 1934 
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Saturday, August 18)
Euwe vs M Yudovich Sr., 1934
(A90) Dutch, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Monday, August 20)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Kan, 1934
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Monday, August 20)
Chekhover vs Euwe, 1934
(D14) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Monday, August 20)
P Romanovsky vs Levenfish, 1934
(A14) English, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Monday, August 20; actually played August 31)
Botvinnik vs I Rabinovich, 1934 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 77 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Monday, August 20)
Kmoch vs Lisitsin, 1934 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 54 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Monday, August 20)
Riumin vs Alatortsev, 1934
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21)
Kan vs Alatortsev, 1934
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21)
Lisitsin vs Riumin, 1934
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 71 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21)
I Rabinovich vs Kmoch, 1934
(D19) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21); actually played Sept. 2
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1934
(A28) English, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21)
Euwe vs P Romanovsky, 1934 
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Tuesday, August 21)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Chekhover, 1934
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 49 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
Chekhover vs Kan, 1934
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
P Romanovsky vs M Yudovich Sr., 1934 
(C15) French, Winawer, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1934 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
Kmoch vs Levenfish, 1934
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
Riumin vs I Rabinovich, 1934 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 22)
Alatortsev vs Lisitsin, 1934
(E37) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
Kan vs Lisitsin, 1934
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 89 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
I Rabinovich vs Alatortsev, 1934
(C01) French, Exchange, 61 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
Levenfish vs Riumin, 1934
(A91) Dutch Defense, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
Euwe vs Kmoch, 1934
(A12) English with b3, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Botvinnik, 1934 
(A95) Dutch, Stonewall, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Friday, August 24)
Chekhover vs P Romanovsky, 1934
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
P Romanovsky vs Kan, 1934
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1934 
(A16) English, 88 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
Kmoch vs M Yudovich Sr., 1934
(A90) Dutch, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
Riumin vs Euwe, 1934 
(A28) English, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
Alatortsev vs Levenfish, 1934 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 51 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Saturday, August 25)
Lisitsin vs I Rabinovich, 1934
(A15) English, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
Kan vs I Rabinovich, 1934
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
Levenfish vs Lisitsin, 1934
(A15) English, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
Euwe vs Alatortsev, 1934 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Riumin, 1934
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
Chekhover vs Kmoch, 1934
(D28) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 47 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Monday, August 27)
P Romanovsky vs Botvinnik, 1934
(B30) Sicilian, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Tuesday, August 28)
Botvinnik vs Kan, 1934 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Tuesday, August 28)
Kmoch vs P Romanovsky, 1934
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Thursday, August 28)
Riumin vs Chekhover, 1934
(A16) English, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Tuesday, August 28)
Alatortsev vs M Yudovich Sr., 1934
(E36) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Tuesday, August 28)
Lisitsin vs Euwe, 1934
(A06) Reti Opening, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Tuesday, August 28)
I Rabinovich vs Levenfish, 1934
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 73 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
Kan vs Levenfish, 1934
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
Euwe vs I Rabinovich, 1934 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
M Yudovich Sr. vs Lisitsin, 1934
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
Chekhover vs Alatortsev, 1934
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 74 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
P Romanovsky vs Riumin, 1934
(A04) Reti Opening, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Wednesday, August 29)
Botvinnik vs Kmoch, 1934 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
Kmoch vs Kan, 1934
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
Riumin vs Botvinnik, 1934 
(A16) English, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
Alatortsev vs P Romanovsky, 1934
(A41) Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6), 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
Lisitsin vs Chekhover, 1934 
(A04) Reti Opening, 20 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
I Rabinovich vs M Yudovich Sr., 1934 
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 1)
Levenfish vs Euwe, 1934
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

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