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TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
USSR Championship Tournament

Vladimir Savon15/21(+9 -0 =12)[games]
Vasily Smyslov13.5/21(+6 -0 =15)[games]
Mikhail Tal13.5/21(+9 -3 =9)[games]
Anatoly Karpov13/21(+7 -2 =12)[games]
Leonid Stein12/21(+8 -5 =8)[games]
Yuri S Balashov12/21(+8 -5 =8)[games]
David Bronstein11.5/21(+7 -5 =9)[games]
Lev Polugaevsky11.5/21(+6 -4 =11)[games]
Mark Taimanov11/21(+6 -5 =10)[games]
Albert Kapengut10.5/21(+6 -6 =9)[games]
Nikolai V Krogius10.5/21(+5 -5 =11)[games]
Igor V Platonov10/21(+4 -5 =12)[games]
Anatoly Lein10/21(+6 -7 =8)[games]
Efim Geller9.5/21(+4 -6 =11)[games]
Vladimir Karasev9/21(+4 -7 =10)[games]
Leonid Shamkovich9/21(+5 -8 =8)[games]
Rafael Vaganian8.5/21(+4 -8 =9)[games]
Vladimir Tukmakov8.5/21(+4 -8 =9)[games]
Yuri V Nikolaevsky8.5/21(+5 -9 =7)[games]
Karen Grigorian8/21(+4 -9 =8)[games]
Roman Dzindzichashvili8/21(+2 -7 =12)[games]
Mark D Tseitlin8/21(+6 -11 =4)[games]
*

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
USSR Championship (1971)

The 39th Soviet Chess Championship was a category XI event held in the city of Leningrad from September 15 to October 18, 1971. Thirteen of the USSR's strongest masters and grandmasters qualified for the round robin tournament from the four Soviet semi-finals held earlier in the year. The qualifiers were (with ELO): Anatoly Lein (2510), Vladimir Savon (2570) and Leonid Shamkovich (2520) from Ivano-Frankovsk; Nikolai Krogius (2575), Karen Grigorian (2430) and Albert Kapengut (2450) from Perm; Anatoli Karpov (2540), Rafael Vaganian (2510), Roman Dzindzichashvili (2480) and Vladimir Karasev from Daugavpils; and Yuri Nikolaevsky (2490), Igor Platonov (2470), and Mark Tseitlin from Novosibirsk. Nine of the Soviet Union's very best players were also invited to complete the field, including (in order of ELO): Lev Polugaevsky (2640), Vasily Smyslov (2620), Mikhail Tal (2620), Efim Geller (2615), Leonid Stein (2605), Mark Taimanov (2600), David Bronstein (2590), Yuri Balashov (2570), and Vladimir Tukmakov (2565). This edition of the championship was witness to an enormous upset as International Master Vladimir Savon, who was not even among the top rated grandmasters present, won clear first in a field that included two former world champions and five former Soviet champions. Savon went undefeated and earned his crown with an impressive score of 15/21.

Leningrad, Soviet Union (Russia), 15 September - 18 October 1971 (1)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts 1 Savon * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 15 =2 Smyslov ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 13½ =2 Tal ½ ½ * ½ 0 1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 13½ 4 Karpov ½ 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 13 =5 Stein 0 ½ 1 0 * 0 ½ 1 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 12 =5 Balashov 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 * 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 12 =7 Bronstein ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 11½ =7 Polugaevsky 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 * 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 11½ 9 Taimanov ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 * 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 11 =10 Kapengut ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 0 * ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 1 10½ =10 Krogius 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 10½ =12 Platonov 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 0 10 =12 Lein 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 1 1 ½ ½ * 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 10 14 Geller ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 * 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 9½ =15 Karasev ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 0 * 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 9 =15 Shamkovich 0 ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 * 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 9 =17 Vaganian ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 * 0 0 ½ 1 0 8½ =17 Tukmakov ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 * 0 ½ 0 ½ 8½ =17 Nikolaevsky ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 * 0 ½ 0 8½ =20 Grigorian ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 * 0 ½ 8 =20 Dzindzichashvili 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 * ½ 8 =20 Tseitlin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ * 8

(1) Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov, The Soviet Championships (Cadogan 1998), pp. 154-156. Opening ceremony was on 14 September.

Original collection: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1971, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 231  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Smyslov vs Balashov  ½-½251971USSR ChampionshipD95 Grunfeld
2. Bronstein vs Tseitlin 1-0401971USSR ChampionshipE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
3. I Platonov vs Dzindzichashvili  1-0551971USSR ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
4. Geller vs Vaganian  ½-½511971USSR ChampionshipB05 Alekhine's Defense, Modern
5. Karpov vs Taimanov 1-0491971USSR ChampionshipB44 Sicilian
6. Stein vs Polugaevsky 1-0361971USSR ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
7. V Karasev vs Shamkovich 1-0571971USSR ChampionshipD74 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O
8. Savon vs Tal ½-½371971USSR ChampionshipB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
9. A Kapengut vs Tukmakov 1-0411971USSR ChampionshipC95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer
10. K Grigorian vs A Lein  ½-½451971USSR ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Y Nikolaevsky vs Krogius 0-1441971USSR ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. Balashov vs Savon 0-1481971USSR ChampionshipA73 Benoni, Classical, 9.O-O
13. Shamkovich vs Bronstein 0-1561971USSR ChampionshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
14. Dzindzichashvili vs Krogius  ½-½881971USSR ChampionshipE46 Nimzo-Indian
15. A Lein vs Geller  0-1561971USSR ChampionshipC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
16. Vaganian vs Karpov 1-0271971USSR ChampionshipA14 English
17. I Platonov vs K Grigorian 1-0291971USSR ChampionshipA04 Reti Opening
18. Polugaevsky vs Smyslov  ½-½171971USSR ChampionshipA30 English, Symmetrical
19. Taimanov vs Stein 0-1611971USSR ChampionshipA75 Benoni, Classical with ...a6 and 10...Bg4
20. Tal vs A Kapengut  ½-½201971USSR ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
21. Tukmakov vs V Karasev  ½-½241971USSR ChampionshipA22 English
22. Tseitlin vs Y Nikolaevsky  1-0261971USSR ChampionshipB06 Robatsch
23. A Kapengut vs Balashov  1-0511971USSR ChampionshipB44 Sicilian
24. Bronstein vs Tukmakov 0-1411971USSR ChampionshipB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
25. K Grigorian vs Dzindzichashvili 0-1411971USSR ChampionshipE12 Queen's Indian
 page 1 of 10; games 1-25 of 231  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-17-14  GumboGambit: This tournament represented the pinnacle of Savons career. A resounding victory, going undefeated and finishing more than one point ahead of three different WCs. Now that is something to hang the proverbial hat on.
Dec-16-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <GumboGambit> Karpov wouldn't be world champion for another four years, but your point is still well taken.
Feb-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Does Savon's victory qualify as the biggest USSR championship upset in history?

What do the historians say?

Jul-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: " Fusilli: Does Savon's victory qualify as the biggest USSR championship upset in history? What do the historians say?"

I don't know about the historians but I would say YES !!

Jul-17-15  Howard: He wasn't even a grandmaster at the time.
Jul-17-15  Harvestman: These days someone would accuse him of cheating via computers.
Jul-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Harvestman

Unfortunately you are absolutely right.. I have had the same thought! In case of allegations of cheating there are programs which can determine if there are cheating going on.

Salov learned chess at a very old age compared to most masters then and now!

Jul-17-15  morfishine: Where was Spassky?
Jul-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: I guess he was preparing for the match against Fischer

More about Spassky:

http://www.kingpinchess.net/2007/11...

morfishine: Where was Spassky?

Jul-18-15  morfishine: <SpaceRunner> Thanks for the very interesting interview article!

I was thinking maybe Spassky was preparing for the 1972 match, but then I thought "What better way to prepare than to play a bunch of Russian Grandmasters?"

*****

May-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: Funnily enough, Lein and Shamkovich would compete together in the United States Chess Championships in just a few years too.
Nov-16-19  cunctatorg: <Opening ceremony was on 14 September> 1971, regarding <the 1971, 39th USSR championship.>

However ....

... <the Fischer-Petrosian Candidates Final Match> had been <scheduled in Buenos Aires from September 30 - October 26 1971.>

I think that it's not <too hard> to guess that the many strongest Grand Masters and the few chess Titans that participated in the aforementioned Soviet Championship were, ..., well, upset (e.g. in a state of awe and shock) due to Fischer's performances during the 1970 Interzonal and, above all, his performances in the 1971 Candidates Quarter Final and the Candidates Semi Final.

Well, after ten or twelve rounds, the legendary Fischer-Petrosian match started in Buenos Aires with a Fischer's victory in the very first round and I suppose that the aforementioned Soviet great chess players became even more upset. Tigran Petrosian won the second game of the match and the aforementioned Soviet chess players should had become extremely preoccupied with the course of the match in Buenos Aires!... After two more weeks, near the end of that championship, these great Soviet chess players most probably should had been in a non-appropriate state to play chess...

Vladimir Savon wasn't among the strongest Soviet Grand Masters and he was -of course- a very gifted and ambitious chess player, a high class Soviet chess player. I tend to believe that the course of the Buenos Aires match was, back then, his smallest concern - contrary to the Soviet chess Titans who tend to perceive themselves not as Titans but as titans... So, Vladimir Savon found -and grabbed- his chance to perform his best result ever!!

Long live Bobby Fischer's legend!!

Sep-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Brilliant performances here by Savon and Tal here.
Sep-06-21  sudoplatov: The 1973 Soviet Championship at the time seemed like a bit of a surprise as Spassky was considered by some to have gone downhill. It was doubly upsetting in that after Spassky's loss to Fischer in 1972, he (Spassky) showed that he was still one of the best Soviet GMs.

The Soviet Championships are fun to look at.

Oct-02-21  King.Arthur.Brazil: Very nice interview with Spassky and helps enough to understand what has happening with his match among Fisher. I always suspect that something was very wrong about what Fisher always did against the organizers and the appearing tranquility of Spassky... Now, we understand what a drama lived Spassky that time and what communist party had pressure him, all the time, which destroyed his forces...

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