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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 41  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Botvinnik vs Sokolsky  ½-½331944USSR ChampionshipE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
2. Lisitsin vs Lilienthal  ½-½211944USSR ChampionshipA13 English
3. V Makogonov vs Flohr  ½-½261944USSR ChampionshipD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. Flohr vs Kotov  ½-½401944USSR ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
5. Boleslavsky vs V Mikenas  ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
6. Lisitsin vs Bronstein  ½-½461944USSR ChampionshipE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
7. V Makogonov vs Boleslavsky  ½-½401944USSR ChampionshipD81 Grunfeld, Russian Variation
8. Sokolsky vs Lilienthal  ½-½221944USSR ChampionshipC51 Evans Gambit
9. V Mikenas vs V Makogonov  ½-½261944USSR ChampionshipB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
10. Lilienthal vs G Ravinsky  ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipD16 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
11. Ragozin vs Boleslavsky  ½-½481944USSR ChampionshipE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
12. Alatortsev vs Flohr  ½-½181944USSR ChampionshipD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
13. V Makogonov vs Kotov  ½-½641944USSR ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Smyslov vs Alatortsev  ½-½261944USSR ChampionshipC11 French
15. G Ravinsky vs Bronstein ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipC76 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation
16. Alatortsev vs Boleslavsky  ½-½511944USSR ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
17. A Khavin vs G Ravinsky  ½-½311944USSR ChampionshipC78 Ruy Lopez
18. Veresov vs Lilienthal  ½-½461944USSR ChampionshipE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
19. Flohr vs Sokolsky  ½-½561944USSR ChampionshipD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Lilienthal vs Flohr  ½-½221944USSR ChampionshipA09 Reti Opening
21. G Ravinsky vs Veresov  ½-½341944USSR ChampionshipE07 Catalan, Closed
22. Sokolsky vs Smyslov ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
23. Alatortsev vs Ragozin  ½-½651944USSR ChampionshipA90 Dutch
24. Botvinnik vs V Makogonov  ½-½411944USSR ChampionshipC48 Four Knights
25. Lisitsin vs Kotov  ½-½691944USSR ChampionshipA08 King's Indian Attack
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 41  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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