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🏆 USSR Championship (1944) Chess Event Description
The 13th Soviet Chess Championship was held in the capital of Moscow from May 21st to June 17th. Twelve of the Soviet Union's best chess masters qualified from three semifinal tournaments played earlier in the year. Andor Lilienthal, Vladimir Makogonov, Vladas Mikenas, and David Bronstein qualified from Baku. Alexander Kotov, Salomon Flohr, Gavriil Veresov, and Vladimir Alatortsev qualified from Moscow. Alexey Sokolsky, Abram Khavin, Isaac Boleslavsky, and Alexander Tolush qualified from Omsk, and Mikhail B ... [more]

Player: Vasily Smyslov

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V Mikenas vs Smyslov 0-1541944USSR ChampionshipD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
2. Smyslov vs V Makogonov 1-0601944USSR ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
3. Kotov vs Smyslov 0-1411944USSR ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. Smyslov vs Ragozin 1-0501944USSR ChampionshipC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
5. Tolush vs Smyslov 0-1331944USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
6. Smyslov vs Alatortsev  ½-½261944USSR ChampionshipC11 French
7. Lisitsin vs Smyslov 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
8. Smyslov vs Botvinnik 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipC19 French, Winawer, Advance
9. Sokolsky vs Smyslov ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
10. Smyslov vs Lilienthal 0-1421944USSR ChampionshipE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
11. G Ravinsky vs Smyslov 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
12. Smyslov vs Bronstein ½-½301944USSR ChampionshipC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
13. A Khavin vs Smyslov  ½-½581944USSR ChampionshipC28 Vienna Game
14. Smyslov vs Veresov 1-0351944USSR ChampionshipB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
15. Flohr vs Smyslov  ½-½251944USSR ChampionshipE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. Smyslov vs Boleslavsky 0-1591944USSR ChampionshipB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Smyslov wins | Smyslov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-12-14  ughaibu: Anyone know why Ravinsky was invited?
Jul-01-14  zydeco: <ughaibu> Ravinsky was apparently well-respected as a trainer and theorist. No idea why he was invited specifically......but somebody obviously felt he deserved a spot as a wild card.
Jul-01-14  ughaibu: Okay, thanks. I don't remember another occasion when an invitee didn't seem clearly indicated, though I guess in this tournament, Lisitsin too might raise some eyebrows.
Jul-01-14  zydeco: Looking at the crosstables of a couple of the other USSR championships, Boris Ratner is another inexplicable invitee (for the 1945 championship). I can't figure out who the hell Ratner is.....although he did marginally better than Ravinsky.
Jul-02-14  ughaibu: I've looked through a few more, starting from this championship, and the only oddities I've noticed are Ravinsky, in 1944, and in 1945, Ratner pointed out by you and also Koblents.

I think Koblents can be explained, as he was Latvian champion that year and Latvia would have just become part of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately Ratner's page isn't wildly informative, but it does state that he was Ukrainian. However, the Ukranian championship of 1945 was won by Bannik, so that doesn't seem to help. And in any case, Ravinsky was Russian, so no further light there either.

Premium Chessgames Member

<zydeco, ughaibu>

Part of the mystery might be related to an over-representation from the <Moscow Semifinal 1944>:

You'll note that 7 of the 8 top finishers made it in to the championship, including <Lisitsin> in 7th and <Ravinsky> in 8th.

Compare this representation to that from the other two semifinals.

<Baku 1944>

<Omsk 1944>

Curious eh?

Jul-02-14  ughaibu: That looks reasonable. I guess there were transport and accommodation difficulties around that time.
Premium Chessgames Member

<ughaibu> Yes, good point. The <Baku 1944> semifinal, for example, was played literally in the footsteps of the retreating Germans.

<David Bronstein's> route from <Baku> to the USSR Championship (1944) was somewhat adventurous in terms of "travel and accomodation":

<"By February 1944 the Germans had been driven back to the Dneiper River, and <<<Bronstein>>> joined the USSR Championship Semifinal in Baku. His 4th place finish qualified him for the final and drew the interest of Boris Vainstein, who quickly became an avid promoter of Bronstein's chess career. Vainstein was an influential member of the Communist Party, and he managed to have Bronstein relocated to Moscow from his job rebuilding a steel factory in the ruins of Stalingrad. Bronstein managed only 15th place at the USSR Championship (1944), but he was hardly disgraced, since he won his game against the incumbent "Absolute Soviet champion": Bronstein vs Botvinnik, 1944.">

David Bronstein

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <One> draw for Tolush in sixteen games, and one big win, against no less than Botvinnik, Tolush's only career victory against the future world champion.
Aug-27-16  ughaibu: 13th: "his second consecutive win (counting the absolute championship)"

14th: "his second consecutive title"

Either the 14th was his third consecutive title or the 13th was not his second consecutive title.

Premium Chessgames Member


<<One> draw for Tolush in sixteen games, and one big win, against no less than Botvinnik, Tolush's only career victory against the future world champion.>

Tolush vs Botvinnik, 1944

According to <Tal>, <Tolush> was a fearsome blitz player, in no small part due to his habit of shouting "ON, KAZIMIROVICH!" after each move.

Jan-16-20  AlexPomor: <jessicafischerqueen>

<According to <Tal>, <Tolush> was a fearsome blitz player, in no small part due to his habit of shouting "ON, KAZIMIROVICH!" after each move.>

According to <Botvinnik>: "Go ahead, Kazimiryich!" (not "Kazimirovich" - in russian it sounds too official) - when he pushed his passed pawn. In russian: "Âïåðåä, Êàçèìèðû÷!" "Cannon fodder resists!" - when the Tolush's position was winning, but his rival didn't resign. In russian: "Ïóøå÷íîå ìÿñî ñîïðîòèâëÿåòñÿ!" "Last Amen to pies" - when his rival resigned. In russian: "Àìèíü ïèðîæêàì". "Zing-Zilyevich is catched up!" - when he resigned. In russian: "Äçûíü-Äçèëåâè÷ ñõâà÷åí!" "The infantry is divided from the tanks!" - when he forced rival's Queen was passive in a game. In russian: "Ïåõîòà îòðåçàåòñÿ îò òàíêîâ".

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <It was [Botvinnik's] third consecutive title (counting the absolute championship) >

That can't be right, unless the 12th USSR Championship is excluded. USSR Championship (1940)

The Absolute Championship didn't deprive the 12th Championship of its status, did it? USSR Absolute Championship (1941)

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