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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mar del Plata 1953

Julio Bolbochan in 1939
     Some of the greatest tournaments ever took place in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The tournaments began in 1928, but only from 1941 to 1970 were they truly international tournament with considerable reputation. Just take a look at some of the winners: Gideon Ståhlberg, Miguel Najdorf, Herman Pilnik, Erich Eliskases, Hector Rossetto, Paul Keres, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Lev Polugaevsky,Vasily Smyslov, Oscar Panno and Jan Timman. The Zonal Tournaments of 1951, 1954, 1969 and 2001 were played there. The Women's Zonal was also held at Mar del Plata in 1969. Today the tournament is an open event.

     Mar del Plata, the seventh largest city in Argentina, is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. It has humid and moderate summers with the average temperature being 68 degrees F (29. C). Winters are relatively cool, 46 degrees F (8 C). Snowfall is not uncommon, but snow accumulation on the ground is rare, a phenomenon that takes place every six years or so. Compare that to where I live: summers are warm to hot and humid while winters are cold and snowy. Average temperatures are 74 degrees F (23 C) in the summer and 28 degrees F (-2 C) in the winter and depending exactly where you are, snow can exceed 8 feet per year. It makes Mar del Plata sound like a nice place.
     This game features Julio Bolbochan's win over Gligoric; Bolbochan was the only undefeated player and this was Gligoric's only loss. Bolbochan (March 20, 1920 - June 28,1996) was the Argentine champion in 1946 and 1948. He learned the game from his older brother, Jacobo, and represented Argentina in seven Olympiads from 1950 to 1970. He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1977. He had several successes at Mar del Plata: shared first with Eliskases in 1951, Rossetto in 1952 and Najdorf in 1956. Bolbochan qualified to play in the Sousse interzonal but didn't participate due to the Argentine Chess Federation not having enough funds to send him. Beginninf in 1977 he lived as a chess teacher in Venezuela where he passed away.
     His brother Jacobo (December 26,1906 – July 29, 1984) won the Argentine championship twice (1931 and 1932), finished second three times and third once. He played for Argentina in three Olympiads: 1935 at second board, 1937 at second board and 1939 at fourth board. He also participated in several Mar del Plata tournaments. He was awarded the IM title at the age of 59 in 1965.
     This game is a remarkable one. Bolbochan treated a difficult opening line with great understanding when he denied Gligoric any chance to gain an advantage. When Gligoric insisted on trying to make something out of the position he only succeeded in weakening his own P-formation and limiting the activity of his Bs. Then when he failed to exchange a N at the right time, Bolbochan got a winning attack.

1) Svetozar Gligoric 16.0
2) Miguel Najdorf 14.5
3) Julio Bolbochan 13.5
4) Petar Trifunovic 13.0
5) Miguel Cuellar= 12.5
6) Herman Pilnik 11.5
7-8) Rene Letelier and Erich Eliskases 11.0
9) Hector Rossetto 10.5
10-11) Carlos Guimard and Karl Ojanen 10.0
12) Julio Bolbochan 9.5
13) Ruben Shocron 9.0
14) Herman Steiner 8.5
15-16) Antonio Medina and Carlos Maderna 7.5
17) Bernado Wexler 6.5
18) Carlos Jauregui 3.0
19-20) Flavio Carvalho and Francisco Burgalat 2.5

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