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Friday, August 16, 2019

A Bizarre Game

     The Chigorin Memorial is in honor of Mikhail Chigorin (1850–1908), founder of the Soviet Chess School and one of the leading players of his day. The first was played in 1909 in St. Petersburg. Later on, an international invitation Memorial tournament series was established, and mainly played in the Black Sea resort Sochi (from 1963 to 1990). Further irregular tournaments had been held in 1947, 1951, 1961, and 1972, played in diverse venues. From 1993 the venue returned to his hometown, the Memorial is now played as an Open event.
     In 1964 the tournament was held in Sochi and was won by Nikolai Krogius

1) Nikolai Krogius 11.0 
2-3) Ratmir Kholmov and Mato Damjanovic 10.0 
4) Boris Spassky 9.5 
5) Milan Matulovic 9.0 
6-8) Vladimir Antoshin, Anatoly Lein, and Rashid Nezhmetdinov 8.5 
9) Igor Bondarevsky 8.0 
10-11) Maximilian Ujtelky and Gideon Barcza 7.5 
12) Vladimir Doroshkievich 7.0 
13) Florian Gheorghiu 6.0 
14) Gyozo Forintos 3.5 
15) Tudev Ujtumen 3.0 
16) Gonzales Garcia 2.5 

     The winner of the following outlandish game was Maximilian Samuel Rudolf Ujtelky (April 20, 1915 - December 1979), a Slovak master and theoretician of Hungarian origin. Dr. Ujtelky was a descendant of famous Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. 
     In 1960 Ujtelky tied for first with Jiri Fichtl in the Czechoslovak Championship, but lost the playoff match for the title. He represented Czechoslovakia in Chess Olympiads three times: Amsterdam 1954, Leipzig 1960 and Havana 1966. He was awarded the IM title in 1961. 
     The defense that Ujtelky employed in the following game might better be classified as the Hippopotamus, a dull, plodding defense in which black sits tight and waits for white to overextend himself, launch a premature attack...or blunder. It’s one of those outlandish defenses that Ujtelky made a living out of playing. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. 
     In this game Nezhmetdinov, a fearsome attacker, obtained a dominating position, won (or was handed) the exchange and had good winning chances. Then after blundering away a center Pawn, he manically began sacrificing for vague attacking chances and ended up losing. A strange game.

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