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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Mikhail Botvinnik12.5/16(+11 -2 =3)[games]
Vasily Smyslov10.5/16(+8 -3 =5)[games]
Isaac Boleslavsky10/16(+6 -2 =8)[games]
Salomon Flohr9.5/16(+5 -2 =9)[games]
Vladas Mikenas9/16(+7 -5 =4)[games]
Vladimir Makogonov9/16(+6 -4 =6)[games]
Alexander Tolush8.5/16(+8 -7 =1)[games]
Andre Lilienthal7.5/16(+4 -5 =7)[games]
Alexey Sokolsky7.5/16(+5 -6 =5)[games]
Gavriil Veresov7.5/16(+5 -6 =5)[games]
Viacheslav Ragozin7/16(+5 -7 =4)[games]
Alexander Kotov7/16(+5 -7 =4)[games]
Abram Khavin7/16(+6 -8 =2)[games]
Georgy Lisitsin7/16(+5 -7 =4)[games]
David Bronstein6.5/16(+4 -7 =5)[games]
Vladimir Alatortsev5.5/16(+3 -8 =5)[games]
Grigory Ravinsky4.5/16(+2 -9 =5)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1944)

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 Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Viacheslav Ragozin, Georgy Lisitsin and Grigory Ravinsky were invited to fill the remaining five seats. It was the first USSR championship since the USSR Absolute Championship (1941). Botvinnik finished with eleven wins and twelve and a half points out of sixteen. It was his third consecutive title (counting the absolute championship) and his fourth Soviet crown, out of an eventual total of six. The war had interrupted Botvinnik's chances for a world championship with Alexander Alekhine, and his performance in this and the USSR Championship (1945) were attempts to prove that he remained the rightful challenger.

The final standings and crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 Botvinnik * 1 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 12.5 2 Smyslov 0 * 0 ½ 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 10.5 3 Boleslavsky 0 1 * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 10.0 4 Flohr 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 9.5 5 Mikenas 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 9.0 6 Makogonov ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 0 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 9.0 7 Tolush 1 0 0 0 0 1 * ½ 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 8.5 8 Lilienthal 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ * ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 7.5 9 Sokolsky ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 ½ * 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 7.5 10 Veresov 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 * 1 0 0 0 1 1 ½ 7.5 11 Ragozin ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 7.0 12 Kotov 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 * 0 ½ 1 1 0 7.0 13 Khavin 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 1 1 ½ 7.0 14 Lisitsin 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 * ½ 1 1 7.0 15 Bronstein 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 ½ * 0 ½ 6.5 16 Alatortsev 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 * 1 5.5 17 Ravinsky 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 * 4.5

This collection would not have been possible without the efforts of <Phony Benoni>.

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1944, by User: suenteus po 147. SOURCE: Die XIII. Schachmeisterschaft der UdSSR 1944: 136 partien / herausgegeben von L. Toth. Kecskemet, Ungarn: Magyar Sakkvilag, 1949.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V Mikenas vs Smyslov 0-1541944USSR ChampionshipD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
2. Tolush vs Bronstein 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
3. G Ravinsky vs Lisitsin  0-1351944USSR ChampionshipB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
4. Lilienthal vs Botvinnik 0-1571944USSR ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
5. Bronstein vs Alatortsev 0-1391944USSR ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. Alatortsev vs A Khavin  0-1431944USSR ChampionshipA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
7. Kotov vs Smyslov 0-1411944USSR ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Kotov vs V Mikenas 0-1861944USSR ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Tolush vs Smyslov 0-1331944USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
10. A Khavin vs Sokolsky  0-1411944USSR ChampionshipC25 Vienna
11. Veresov vs Botvinnik 0-1451944USSR ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
12. Sokolsky vs Veresov  0-1261944USSR ChampionshipA00 Uncommon Opening
13. Lisitsin vs Smyslov 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
14. Tolush vs V Mikenas 0-1431944USSR ChampionshipB03 Alekhine's Defense
15. Ragozin vs V Makogonov  0-1431944USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Smyslov vs Botvinnik 0-1401944USSR ChampionshipC19 French, Winawer, Advance
17. V Makogonov vs Tolush 0-1601944USSR ChampionshipD85 Grunfeld
18. V Mikenas vs Alatortsev 0-1681944USSR ChampionshipC51 Evans Gambit
19. Bronstein vs A Khavin 0-1441944USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Alatortsev vs V Makogonov  0-1321944USSR ChampionshipC77 Ruy Lopez
21. V Mikenas vs Botvinnik 0-1321944USSR ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. Ragozin vs Tolush  0-1411944USSR ChampionshipD74 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O
23. Boleslavsky vs Sokolsky  0-1541944USSR ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
24. Smyslov vs Lilienthal 0-1421944USSR ChampionshipE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
25. Sokolsky vs V Mikenas  0-1571944USSR ChampionshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 39  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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.

Jul-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<zydeco, ughaibu>

Part of the mystery might be related to an over-representation from the <Moscow Semifinal 1944>: http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...

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> http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...

<Omsk 1944> http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1...

Curious eh?

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

<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

Jul-02-14
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.

Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen:

<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.>

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".

Mar-18-21
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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