1st European Team Chess Championship: Vienna 1957

[ Information || The Championship Final || Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 || Statistics — final | Statistics — preliminaries ] >>


[ Basic data | Tournament review | Individual medals | Interesting games ]

Basic data

1st European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: Preliminaries: April 1955 - October 1956
Final: 22nd - 28th August 1957
City: Final: Vienna (rounds 1-2) and Baden (rounds 3-6), Austria
Venue: Final: Restaurant at Ostbahnhof (rounds 1-2), Vienna
Baden spa (rounds 3-6)
Chairman of organizing committee: Dr. Wilfried Dorazil (AUT)
Chief Arbiter: IA Harry R. Golombek (ENG)
Teams participating: Preliminaries: 12 in four groups.
Finland withdrew from group 1 and were replaced by East Germany. The latter failed to appear either.
Final: 4
Seeding: Preliminaries:
Pot 1: USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, West Germany
Pot 2: Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Romania
Pot 3: Finland, Austria, France, Luxembourg
Players participating: Preliminaries: 141 (incl. 15 GMs, 25 IMs and 1 WIM)
Final: 47 (incl. 18 GMs and 19 IMs)
Games played: Preliminaries: 200
Final: 120
Competition format: Preliminaries: 12 teams were drawn into four groups of 3. Each group saw double ten board round robin. Winners of respective groups qualified to the Championship Final.
Final: Ten board double round robin.
Final order decided by: Game points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in each next hour
Downloadable game file: Preliminaries: 57prel.zip
Final: 57etch.zip

Tournament review

The very first European Team Championship was held in Vienna and Baden, a well-known spa nearby. 11 teams were registered for preliminaries and of those top four qualified. Hungary were missing (allegedly because they were not invited to take part in the preliminaries) which was a sort of sensation. Apart from them all European top teams arrived. USSR were 100% favourites although Botvinnik did not play. Yugoslavia were thought to come second, while Czechoslovakia were favourites to take bronze. The Soviets took off in a style murdering Czechoslovakia 8½-1½ and then West Germany 7½-2½. As they earned comfortable advantage over the rest Yugoslavia lost to Czechoslovakia but still kept second position because of relatively best result achieved vs USSR (4-6). Round five 6½-3½ vs Czechoslovakia sealed Yugoslavia's silver medals and the Czechs quite easily took the bronze beating West Germany on the sixth day. The last day created one of biggest sensations ever: Yugoslavia defeated the Soviet Union. The Soviets were probably aiming at 10 quick draws but they miscalculated and lost at two bottom boards. Still, they won with impressive margin.

Team USSR were dominant all over the field winning with 7 point advantage. Of 10 best results at individual boards they won 8. Korchnoi's 5½/6 was the best result of the event. Of other teams, Rabar of Yugoslavia (3½/5) and Kozma (4/6 and an excellent win over Tal) must be mentioned. The Germans did pretty bad. Their only player with a plus score was IM Schmid (3/5).

Individual medals

no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Smyslov, Vassily Soviet Union URS 6 58.3
2. GM Keres, Paul Soviet Union URS 3 5 60.0
3. GM Bronstein, David Soviet Union URS 6 75.0
=4. GM Trifunović, Petar Yugoslavia YUG 3 5 60.0
=4. GM Tal, Mikhail Soviet Union URS 3 5 60.0
5. GM Spassky, Boris Soviet Union URS 5 70.0
6. GM Petrosian, Tigran Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
7. GM Taimanov, Mark Soviet Union URS 5 70.0
8. GM Korchnoi, Viktor Soviet Union URS 6 91.7
9. GM Tolush, Alexander Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
10. IM Rabar, Braslav Yugoslavia YUG 5 70.0

Only one medal per board (and no medals on reserve boards)
because there were too few teams participating.

Interesting games

Looking for simplification White voluntarily weakened his pawn structure.
Zíta, František (CSR) - Bronstein, David (URS) 0 - 1

Very brave opening play by Black and interesting piece sac.
Lehmann, Heinz (GER) - Spassky, Boris (URS) 0 - 1

One of Tal's classics.
Tal, Mikhail (URS) - Teschner, Rudolf (GER) 1 - 0

Kozma nicely refuted the threats and conducted aggressive attack by himself.
Tal, Mikhail (URS) - Kozma, Julius (CSR) 0 - 1

The terrible blunder sealed historical win for Yugoslavia.
Đurašević, Božidar (YUG) - Averbakh, Yury (URS) 1 - 0