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Sofia Zonal 1957
Compiled by Chessical
--*--

Introduction:

This was one of three European World Championship zonal tournaments held in 1957, the other two being Dublin Zonal (1957) (11th May - 1st June 1957) and Wageningen Zonal (1957) , (27th October to 26th November 1957). The Sofia Zonal tournament took place in the Bulgarian capital from 9th - 25th May 1957.

Three European Zonal tournaments:

These were three of nine zonal tournaments held worldwide. The decision to hold three European zonal tournaments had been made at the FIDE Congress, Moscow in August 1956.

"The issue of Zonal and Interzonal Tournaments was relatively easy to resolve. As Zones may vary from cycle to cycle, it was decided that in the year preceding the first year of each cycle, the Zonal and Interzonal Tournaments would be determined according to the playing strength of the Federations in each Zone. An important modification was made: Zones N 1 and 3 were reworked to form three new zones (N 1, 2, 3) each with an 18-day Zonal Tournament, making a total of 54 players. Of these three European Zonal Tours, as well as those of the other six zones (a new zone being created for the Asian Nations) 21 players would be selected for the Interzonal Tournament at the rate of 14 players depending on the size of the zone, to whom would be added under certain conditions the 22nd participant designated by the organizing nation." (1)

"The adoption of these General Regulations which provided for three Zonal Tournaments in Europe (except for the USSR) resulted in the obligation to add another Zone the two existing European Zones. The division was thus:

ZONE I (West European): South Africa, England, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.

ZONE 2 (Central European): West Germany, East Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden."

ZONE 3 (East European): Albania, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia." (2)

South Africa was added to the Western European zone as there was insufficient chess organization in the south of Africa to properly institute its own geographical zone. Similarly, Sad Zaglul Basjuni (Egypt) played in Sofia Zonal. .

The tournament:

The tournament was close run with the Czech GM Miroslav Filip finishing a point ahead of Bogdan Sliwa (Poland), Oleg Neikirch (Bulgaria) and Aleksandar Matanovic (Yugoslavia). As in Wageningen (Game Collection: Donner - Larsen Zonal play off), there was a need for a play-off. The second and third places, which were qualifying slots for the Portoroz Interzonal (1958), were decided by a play-off in December 1957 with Mantanovic (2.5) and Neikirch (1.5) qualifying.

Statistics:

54 (59%) of the games were decisive, with more games won with Black, 30 (33%), than White, 24 (26%). 37 games were drawn (41%).

The most popular openings were the: Spanish (15 games), Nimzo Indian (14), QGD (12), English (8) and King's Indian (7). .

Cross tables:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 1 Filip g x 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 9 2 Sliwa m x 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 8 3 Neikirch 1 x 0 1 1 1 1 8 4 Matanonvic g 0 x 1 1 1 1 1 8 5 Pfeiffer 0 1 x 0 1 1 1 1 8 6 Mititelu 0 1 x 1 0 1 0 1 1 7 7 Karaklajic m 0 x 0 1 1 1 7 8 Szilagyi m 0 0 0 0 x 1 1 1 1 1 7 9 Barcza g 1 0 0 0 1 1 x 0 0 5 10 Zita m 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 0 1 1 5 11 Beni m 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 0 0 4 12 Fuchs 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 4 13 Basjuni 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 0 3 14 Niemela 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 x 3

<Progressive scores:>

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 1 Filip g 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 6 7 8 9 9 2 Sliwa m 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 8 3 Neikirch 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 7 8 4 Matanovic g 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 8 8 5 Pfeiffer 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 6 Mititelu 0 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 7 7 7 Karaklajic m 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 7 8 Szilagyi m 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 6 6 6 6 7 9 Barcza g 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 10 Zita m 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 5 11 Beni m 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 12 Fuchs 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 13 Basjuni 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 14 Niemela 0 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

<Play-off:>

The play-off was held in December 1957. (3)

Matonovic g x x . 1 1 2 Neikirch . x x 1 . 1 Sliwa m 0 0 0 . x x 0

<Some highlights:>

A vicious King's Indian attack by Beni defeats Sliwa and wins the Brilliancy Prize. (4)


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Sliwa vs A Beni, 1957

Karaklajic allowed mate in 6 on move 16 against Pfeiffer by playing f3


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N Karaklajic vs G Pfeiffer, 1957

Zita lost a drawn R+P ending to Mantanovic after <68.Rd8+>


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F Zita vs A Matanovic, 1957

Mititelu, in Capablanca style, beat Zita in short order after <18..exd5>


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G Mititelu vs F Zita, 1957

Fuchs defends a R v R+B ending from move 75 and secures a draw on move 122!


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G Barcza vs R Fuchs, 1957

Somehow Basjuni holds a draw as Black against Mantanovic


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A Matanovic vs S Basjuni, 1957

Fuchs, as Black, sacrifices his Queen against Szilagyi


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R Fuchs vs G Szilagyi, 1957

Szilagyi loses a piece with 18...Qc6?


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G Pfeiffer vs G Szilagyi, 1957

Filip forces through the <a> pawn versus Mititelu


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G Mititelu vs Filip, 1957

Filip delicately wins a multiple pawn endgame against Barcza


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Filip vs G Barcza, 1957

Notes:

(1). Berman, "FIDE Review 1957", p.54. (original in French).

(2). Berman, "FIDE Review 1957", p.54. (original in French).

(3). Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956 - 1960."

(4). "Die Tat", 13 July 1957.

Original collection and text by User: Chessical

Round 1.
R Fuchs vs Sliwa, 1957
(C85) Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD), 73 moves, 0-1

Round 1.
G Szilagyi vs A Niemela, 1957
(D61) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 1.
N Karaklajic vs G Barcza, 1957
(B56) Sicilian, 59 moves, 0-1

Round 1.
S Basjuni vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(E17) Queen's Indian, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1.
G Mititelu vs Filip, 1957
(D80) Grunfeld, 36 moves, 0-1

Round 1.
F Zita vs A Beni, 1957 
(A04) Reti Opening, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 1.
O Neikirch vs A Matanovic, 1957
(E30) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2.
Filip vs R Fuchs, 1957
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 56 moves, 1-0

Round 2.
G Szilagyi vs G Mititelu, 1957
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 40 moves, 0-1

Round 2.
G Barcza vs F Zita, 1957
(A13) English, 57 moves, 0-1

Round 2.
A Niemela vs A Beni, 1957
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2.
Sliwa vs S Basjuni, 1957
(A96) Dutch, Classical Variation, 63 moves, 1-0

Round 2.
G Pfeiffer vs O Neikirch, 1957
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 57 moves, 1-0

Round 2.
A Matanovic vs N Karaklajic, 1957
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3.
R Fuchs vs G Szilagyi, 1957
(B91) Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation, 44 moves, 0-1

Round 3.
A Beni vs G Barcza, 1957
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3.
G Mititelu vs A Niemela, 1957
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 38 moves, 1-0

Round 3.
N Karaklajic vs G Pfeiffer, 1957 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 16 moves, 0-1

Round 3.
S Basjuni vs Filip, 1957
(A02) Bird's Opening, 46 moves, 0-1

Round 3.
O Neikirch vs Sliwa, 1957
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 3.
F Zita vs A Matanovic, 1957
(E66) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav Panno, 92 moves, 0-1

Round 4.
G Mititelu vs R Fuchs, 1957
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 4.
G Szilagyi vs S Basjuni, 1957
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 4.
Filip vs O Neikirch, 1957
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4.
A Niemela vs G Barcza, 1957
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 52 moves, 1-0

Round 4.
G Pfeiffer vs F Zita, 1957
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4.
A Matanovic vs A Beni, 1957
(C70) Ruy Lopez, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 4.
Sliwa vs N Karaklajic, 1957
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5.
R Fuchs vs A Niemela, 1957
(A14) English, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5.
O Neikirch vs G Szilagyi, 1957
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 5.
N Karaklajic vs Filip, 1957
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5.
S Basjuni vs G Mititelu, 1957
(E13) Queen's Indian, 4.Nc3, Main line, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5.
A Beni vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(C73) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 34 moves, 0-1

Round 5.
G Barcza vs A Matanovic, 1957
(A15) English, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 5.
F Zita vs Sliwa, 1957
(C49) Four Knights, 100 moves, 0-1

Round 6.
Filip vs F Zita, 1957
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 6.
Sliwa vs A Beni, 1957 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 6.
R Fuchs vs S Basjuni, 1957
(C18) French, Winawer, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6.
G Szilagyi vs N Karaklajic, 1957 
(A23) English, Bremen System, Keres Variation, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6.
G Pfeiffer vs G Barcza, 1957
(C70) Ruy Lopez, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6.
G Mititelu vs O Neikirch, 1957
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6.
A Niemela vs A Matanovic, 1957
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 7.
O Neikirch vs R Fuchs, 1957
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7.
F Zita vs G Szilagyi, 1957
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 80 moves, 0-1

Round 7.
A Beni vs Filip, 1957
(C73) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 7.
G Barcza vs Sliwa, 1957
(E54) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, 49 moves, 0-1

Round 7.
S Basjuni vs A Niemela, 1957
(A13) English, 30 moves, 0-1

Round 7.
A Matanovic vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(C75) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7.
N Karaklajic vs G Mititelu, 1957
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8.
R Fuchs vs N Karaklajic, 1957
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 64 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8.
G Szilagyi vs A Beni, 1957
(A43) Old Benoni, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 8.
Filip vs G Barcza, 1957 
(A43) Old Benoni, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 8.
A Niemela vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 8.
S Basjuni vs O Neikirch, 1957
(A13) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 8.
G Mititelu vs F Zita, 1957
(D25) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 8.
Sliwa vs A Matanovic, 1957
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 9.
F Zita vs R Fuchs, 1957
(A04) Reti Opening, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9.
G Barcza vs G Szilagyi, 1957
(A13) English, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9.
A Matanovic vs Filip, 1957
(C76) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9.
O Neikirch vs A Niemela, 1957
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 38 moves, 1-0

Round 9.
N Karaklajic vs S Basjuni, 1957 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 9.
G Pfeiffer vs Sliwa, 1957
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9.
A Beni vs G Mititelu, 1957
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 32 moves, 1-0

Round 10.
R Fuchs vs A Beni, 1957
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 47 moves, 1-0

Round 10.
G Szilagyi vs A Matanovic, 1957
(E15) Queen's Indian, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10.
Filip vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 10.
G Mititelu vs G Barcza, 1957
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 10.
A Niemela vs Sliwa, 1957
(E55) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10.
S Basjuni vs F Zita, 1957
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 10.
O Neikirch vs N Karaklajic, 1957
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11.
G Barcza vs R Fuchs, 1957
(A04) Reti Opening, 122 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11.
Sliwa vs Filip, 1957
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11.
A Beni vs S Basjuni, 1957
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 54 moves, 0-1

Round 11.
F Zita vs O Neikirch, 1957
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11.
A Matanovic vs G Mititelu, 1957
(C76) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11.
N Karaklajic vs A Niemela, 1957
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 71 moves, 1-0

Round 11.
G Pfeiffer vs G Szilagyi, 1957 
(B50) Sicilian, 19 moves, 1-0

Round 12.
R Fuchs vs A Matanovic, 1957
(C45) Scotch Game, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 12.
G Szilagyi vs Sliwa, 1957
(E07) Catalan, Closed, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 12.
A Niemela vs Filip, 1957
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 12.
S Basjuni vs G Barcza, 1957
(D90) Grunfeld, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12.
G Mititelu vs G Pfeiffer, 1957
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 42 moves, 1-0

Round 12.
N Karaklajic vs F Zita, 1957
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12.
O Neikirch vs A Beni, 1957
(A44) Old Benoni Defense, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13.
G Pfeiffer vs R Fuchs, 1957
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13.
Filip vs G Szilagyi, 1957
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13.
G Barcza vs O Neikirch, 1957
(A15) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 13.
F Zita vs A Niemela, 1957
(A06) Reti Opening, 44 moves, 1-0

Round 13.
A Matanovic vs S Basjuni, 1957 
(C03) French, Tarrasch, 98 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13.
Sliwa vs G Mititelu, 1957
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13.
A Beni vs N Karaklajic, 1957
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 62 moves, 0-1

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