In the early 1980s Phillips & Drew was one of the largest stockbrokers in London and sponsored strong chess tournaments there in 1980, 1982 and 1984. The tournaments were played in the County Hall, seat of co-sponsor the Greater London Council, across the Thames from Parliament. The 1982 edition ran from April 15 to April 30, with the following impressive line-up in the principal "Kings" tournament:
Anatoly Karpov 2720
Jan Timman 2655
Lajos Portisch 2630
Boris Spassky 2625
Ulf Andersson 2605
Ljubomir Ljubojevic 2600
John Nunn 2590
Larry Christiansen 2585
Tony Miles 2575
Yasser Seirawan 2575
Jonathan Speelman 2550
Yefim Geller 2545
Jonathan Mestel 2500
Nigel Short 2430
Karpov and Timman were then the highest-rated players in the world.
Even a great tournament is haunted, though, by the spirits of the strong players who are not playing. At London 1982, the notable absentees were Garry Kasparov, just 19 years old but already a legend, and world #3 Viktor Korchnoi, who had lost a title match for the second time to Karpov at Merano the year before. Soviet chessplayers were not allowed to participate in any tournament with the great defector, and there were three Soviets in the P&D. But Korchnoi was to make his presence felt at County Hall.
The quiet Swedish GM Ulf Andersson, then near the peak of his strength, won his first two games to take the early lead. But then the tournament was taken over by Lajos Portisch, who after draws in the first two rounds blitzed off five straight wins. Here's a good example of his play: Portisch vs L Christiansen, 1982. With six points after seven rounds, he was a point and a half clear of second-place Andersson and two points clear of Karpov, Spassky, John Nunn and Jon Speelman. But in round 8, Portisch was crushed by Jonathan Mestel who scored his first win (A J Mestel vs Portisch, 1982)! Two rounds later, Portisch lost the sole lead and a brilliancy prize game to Jan Timman (Timman vs Portisch, 1982). That same day, April 26, Viktor Korchnoi and a group of protestors from the "Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry" set up shop outside County Hall. Korchnoi wore a placard around his neck with the words, "Let my son join me". His son was then serving a sentence in a Soviet labor camp. Evidently undisturbed by the demonstration, Karpov won a famous game against Nunn and joined Andersson and Portisch in first place (Karpov vs Nunn, 1982).
The very next day, though, young Yasser Seirawan beat Karpov, allegedly with analysis Seirawan and Korchnoi had cooked up the night before (Seirawan vs Karpov, 1982). Undeterred, in the penultimate round Karpov beat the fading Portisch. Going into the last round, Karpov and Andersson at 7 1/2 were a half point ahead of Seirawan and Portisch, with Speelman, Timman, Spassky and Miles all a half point further back.
In the last round, Spassky got a rare good position against his nemesis Karpov only to go horribly wrong in time pressure and blunder a piece. Ulf Andersson had good luck against Mestel, who overlooked 29...Rd2, which would have forced immediate resignation, and went on to lose (Ulf Andersson vs A J Mestel, 1982). The tournament book commented, <This is one of the very best results of Andersson's career, and he is a most popular co-winner.> Portisch lost to Nunn. Thus after scoring 6/7 in the early going Portisch managed only 1 point in the last six. Seirawan beat Miles - his fourth straight win! - to finish clear third.
As with the great London tournament of 1899 and other old tournaments, there was an ancillary "Knights" tournament to go along with the "Kings". John Fedorowicz and William Nicholas Watson won the Knights with 10/15, a point and a half ahead of Glenn Flear, Robert G Hartoch, Danny Kopec and Daniel John King.
That summer, Korchnoi's wife, son and step-mother were permitted to leave the USSR. Two years later, in 1984, the Soviet boycott of Korchnoi ended.
The subsequent careers of the contestants in the 1982 P&D are well-known to most kibitzers here. (If you are curious about what Jonathan Mestel is up to these days, look here http://www.ma.ic.ac.uk/~ajm8/). The fate of some of the institutions involved in the tournament, however, may be less well known. The Greater London Council, scourge of the Tories, was abolished by Margaret Thatcher in 1986. The Soviet Union astonished millions by disappearing in 1991. As for Phillips & Drew, in 1984 came London's "Big Bang", in which ownership restrictions on London brokerages were abolished. In 1987 Phillips & Drew was purchased by the Union Bank of Switzerland, which in its later incarnation as UBS AG was one of the last in a long line of those who (depending on your point of view) were tortured by, or themselves tortured the faintest chess spectre at County Hall in April 1982 - Bobby Fischer.
This account draws heavily on the excellent tournament book, based on the tournament bulletins and edited for the British Chess Magazine by Raymond Keene.
Allocation Of Prizes:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 Andersson * = 1 = 0 = 1 = = 1 = 1 1 = 8.5
2 Karpov = * 0 = 1 = = 1 1 = 1 1 = = 8.5
3 Seirawan 0 1 * 0 = 1 = 1 0 = 1 = 1 1 8.0
4 Speelman = = 1 * 0 = 1 = = = = = = = 7.0
5 Portisch 1 0 = 1 * = 0 = 1 = 0 0 1 1 7.0
6 Ljubojevic = = 0 = = * 1 0 1 0 1 = = 1 7.0
7 Timman 0 = = 0 1 0 * 1 = = = 1 = 1 7.0
8 Miles = 0 0 = = 1 0 * = 1 1 = 1 0 6.5
9 Spassky = 0 1 = 0 0 = = * = = 1 = 1 6.5
10 Geller 0 = = = = 1 = 0 = * = = = = 6.0
11 Nunn = 0 0 = 1 0 = 0 = = * = 1 = 5.5
12 Mestel 0 0 = = 1 = 0 = 0 = = * 0 1 5.0
13 Christiansen 0 = 0 = 0 = = 0 = = 0 1 * 1 5.0
14 Short = = 0 = 0 0 0 1 0 = = 0 0 * 3.5
Brilliancy Prize: Timman got 250 Pounds for his win over Portisch in Round 10.
Anderson : 2850 Pounds
Karpov : 2850 Pounds
Seirawan : 1600 Pounds
Speelman : 825 Pounds
Portisch : 825 Pounds
Ljubojevic : 825 Pounds
Timman : 825 Pounds
Miles : 350 Pounds
Spassky : 350 Pounds
Geller : 280 Pounds
Nunn : 260 Pounds
Mestel : 230 Pounds
Christiansen : 230 Pounds
Short : 200 Pounds
Previous edition: Phillips & Drew Kings (1980). Next: Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)
Original Collection: Game Collection: Phillips & Drew Kings Chess Tournament 1982 by User: keypusher.