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Sunday, October 9, 2016

1969 - a Great Year For Chess Fans

July 25, 1969
     FIDE completed the task compiling its newly conceived Elo rating system using game results collected from January 1966 to May 1969 and came up with a 'Provisional List.' The top ten players were: 

Bobby Fischer (2720) 
Boris Spassky (2690) 
Viktor Korchnoi (2680) 
Mikhail Botvinnik (2660) 
Tigran Petrosian (2650) 
Bent Larsen (2630) 
Efim Geller (2620) 
Lajos Portisch (2620) 
Paul Keres (2610) 
Lev Polugaevsky (2610) 

Other players were Smyslov, Stein, Tal (2610); Olafsson, Kholmov (2600); Bronstein, Furman, Gligoric, Hort, Najdorf, Taimanov (2590); Gipslis, Krogius (2580); Evans, Lein, Reshevsky, Vasiukov (2570); Antoshin, Lutikov, Matulovic, Savon, Suetin, Unzicker, Zaitsev (2560).

     Spassky defeated Petrosian 12.5-10.5 to become World Champion.  The World Junior Championship was won by a kid named Anatoly Karpov and Andras Adorjan won the European Junior Championship. 
     Petrosian won the Soviet Championship after a play-off with Lev Polugaevsky. The tournament was also zonal qualifier and Efim Geller, Vasily Smyslov and Mark Taimanov also made the cut. Tahl just missed making it, but he was waiting for an operation to remove a kidney. 
     The zonal tournament at Raach was won by Wolfgang Uhlmann two points ahead of the field which included Ulf Andersson, Jan Smejkal, Borislav Ivkov and Lajos Portisch. Bent Larsen won at Palma de Mallorca ahead of Petrosian, Korchnoi, Hort and Spassky. Botvinnik and Geller shared first at Wijk aan Zee ahead of Portisch and Keres. Korchnoi and Alexei Suetin shared first at the Capablanca Memorial in Havana ahead of Svetozar Gligoric. Lajos Portisch won at Amsterdam, tied for first at Monte Carlo and finished off the year by winning at Hastingsahead of Hort, Gligoric and Uhlmann.
     Jonathan Penrose won his tenth British Championship. Samuel Reshevsky won his eighth U.S. Championship. The Women's Olympiad was held in Lublin and, as expected, it was dominated by the USSR team with a near perfect 26 out of 28. Eighteen year old Ulf Andersson won his first Swedish Championship. 
     At the age of 73 Fritz Samisch made history when he played in a tournament in Busum, Germany and lost all fifteen games on time. In another effort in Linkoping, Sweden he managed to lose all 13 games, again, on time. Meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia, Ludek Pachman went to prison on unspecified charges relating to his campaigning against the Communist occupation of his country. He went on a hunger strike and nearly died. Later he was allowed to immigrate to West Germany.
     Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games was published. Japan held its first national championship. Al Horowitz sold his Chess Review to the USCF and the new magazine was renamed Chess Life & Review. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more like Chess Life than Chess Review and the postal chess department pretty much went into the toilet. 
     A few babies were born that would turn out to be pretty decent players: Viswanathan Anand,Vassily Ivanchuk, Susan Polgar, Alexei Dreev, Jeroen Piket, Greg Serper, Thomas Luther, Aaron Summerscale and Anjelina Belakovskaia
     They would replace some old-timers that passed away: Alexander Tolush, Alexey Sokolsky, Kurt Richter, Joao de Souza Mendes (7-time Brazilian champion) and the veteran Latvian-American Master and correspondence champion Leonids Dreibergs. The chess world also lost Walter Henneberger whose game was featured in the previous post. 
     The 1969 tournament at Monte Carlo produced some great games, but the following wasn't one of them. Bronstein's play demonstrated why he only scored 4.5 points; here he gets smashed in a miniature by Lajos Portisch.

1-2 Smyslov and Portisch 8.0 
3) Hort 7.0 
4-5) Lombardy and Schmid 6.5 
6) Gheorghiu 6.0 
7) Rossolimo 5.5 
8) Benko 5.0
9-10) Teschner and Bronstein 4.5 
11) Honfi 2.5 
12) Ostojic 2.0

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