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Smyslov - Hübner Candidates Quarterfinal 1983
Compiled by Tabanus
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The ageing Vasily Smyslov (62) surprisingly qualified for this match from the Las Palmas Interzonal (1982). Robert Hbner (34) was qualified when he reached the Korchnoi - Hübner Candidates Final (1980/81). Three other quarterfinal matches were held in parallel: the Korchnoi - Portisch Candidates Quarterfinal (1983), the Kasparov - Beliavsky Candidates Quarterfinal (1983), and the Ribli - Torre Candidates Quarterfinal (1983). The draw for pairings had been made in Lucerne, Switzerland on 10 November, 1982, at the FIDE congress during the chess olympiad (29 October - 16 November). 1, 2 Each match would be played to 10 games, 3 so the first player to achieve 5 points would go to the semifinal. If tied at 5-5, the matches would be extended with either two games (and two more if still tied) or four games. Der Spiegel says four games, and that if still tied (the rules may not have been 100% clear), the players could choose between two rapid games and drawing of lots. 4 The matches were held in order to select a challenger for Anatoly Karpov, the World Champion.

This match was held in Velden, Austria, about 500 meters from Casino Velden. 5 The city had hosted the Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Quarterfinal (1980). Smyslov bided with a delegation headed by Yuri L Averbakh. 6 Hbner had hired the Lucerne dentist Otto Meyer as manager, and Lubomir Kavalek as second. 7 He was also supported by Gisbert Jacoby, 7, 8 who in his own estimation was "more of a caretaker than a second". 7 The preparation for the match had cost Hbner 60000 Mark, and he had no chance of getting that back. The German Sports Federation covered barely more than one-fifth of this, and the winner would receive only 12500 Swiss francs, the loser 7500 Swiss francs. 7 A central organizer of the match was Franz Hoelzl. 9 The Swiss referee was Willy Kaufman. 6, 10

According to Edwin Albaugh, After a four-day delay, necessitated by an undisclosed Smyslov illness, play started on Thursday, his 62nd birthday. 6 Despite being an exchange down, Kaufman said that Smyslov had the initiative when Game 1 was adjourned. But Averbakh insisted that he would have to fight hard to hold the draw. 6 The position is certainly not easy to win,


click for larger view

and Hbner's 41.Kf3 was not the best. Fifteen moves later, the game was drawn. Later, there were only two decided games: Smyslov won Game 4 and Hbner won Game 9. After 14 games, the score was deadlocked at 7-7.

Velden, Austria, 24 March - 19 April 1983

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 GM Smyslov 2595 1 0 7 GM Hbner 2625 0 1 7

According to Ove Kinnmark, FIDE's rules now required the drawing of lot. 11 He does not mention the possibility of rapid games. 11 In any case, it appears that Hbner went home, 12 and that on 20 April, Smyslov and the others set off to Casino Velden to settle the issue. 5 The casino was usually closed in winter time. 5 It was based on Blackjack, but, later in 1983, slot machines and American Roulette were added to the games. 13 And now there was an opportunity to try the roulette board. There is a photo at http://de.chessbase.com/portals/3/f.... If the ball plumped into the black numbers, Hbner would win. If it plunged into red, Smyslov was the winner. At 8 pm, the turntable was put in motion, and the ball plunged into ... zero! 14 They tried again. Red 3! 14 A report in The Times (apparently by Harry Golombek) concluded: Trois, impair, rouge. And Hbner went out. 15 It was unfair, and Robert Byrne (who was a candidate in 1974) suggested a "speeded-up series of tie-break games to be used after the first tie-break fails to produce a winner" in his column in the New York Times. 16

Smyslov advanced to the Smyslov - Ribli Candidates Semifinal (1983).

Notes

1 Tidskrift fr Schack, December 1982, p. 317.

2 Harry Golombek in The Times, 5 February 1983, p. 8.

3 Tidskrift fr Schack, March-April 1983, p. 86.

4 Der Spiegel, 21 March 1983, p. 231.

5 Alexander Jongsma in De Telegraaf, 20 April 1983, p. T21.

6 Washington Times, 31 March 1983, p. 16D.

7 Der Spiegel, 21 March 1983, p. 232.

8 Schach Zeitung, August 2009, p. 5.

9 Schachclub Reinach Rssli 97 web page, http://chessclub.ch/milleniumszeits...

10 Observer-Reporter, 5 April 1983, p. D-4, https://news.google.com/newspapers?...

11 Tidskrift fr Schack, May 1983, p. 138.

12 Lars Grahn in his blog Inte Bara Schack, http://larsgrahn.blogspot.no/2009_0...

13 Casino Velden's web page at http://www.casinos.at/content/conte...

14 Het Vrije Volk, 21 April 1983, p. 27.

15 The Times, 30 April 1983.

16 The New York Times, 8 May 1983, http://www.nytimes.com/1983/05/08/a...

Original collections: Game Collection: WCC Index (Smyslov-Huebner 1983) by User: Hesam7 and Game Collection: Smyslov - Hübner Candidates Quarterfinal 1983 by User: Tabanus.

Game 1 March 24
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 2 March 26
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983 
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 3 March 28
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983
(C42) Petrov Defense, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4 March 30
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983 
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 48 moves, 1-0

Game 5 April 1
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983
(A28) English, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6 April 3
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983
(A35) English, Symmetrical, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7 April 5
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983
(D17) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 8 April 7
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983
(A15) English, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 9 April 9
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983 
(A20) English, 36 moves, 1-0

Game 10 April 11
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 11 April 13
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983
(E39) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation, 74 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12 April 15
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13 April 17
Smyslov vs Huebner, 1983 
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 14 April 19
Huebner vs Smyslov, 1983 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

14 games

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