6th World Student Team Chess Championship: Budapest 1959

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Basic data

6th World Student Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 30th June - 14th July 1959
City: Budapest, Hungary
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: Mr. László Kutassi (HUN)
Chief Arbiter: IA László Bálogh (HUN)
Teams participating: 14
Players participating: 75 (incl. 2 IMs)
Games played: 364
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Direct match; 4. Berger
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 59studwtch.zip

Tournament review

One of the most important tasks of the International Union of Students is to strengthen international ties among students through healthy sports contests. For some years back competitions and friendly encounters in various sports as well as summer and winter camps have been organised.

The World University Chess Championship has, in the last years, been among the foremost of IUS sport activities. The beginnings of IUS chess activities were modest. A small chess tournament of individuals was organised in 1952 in Liverpool, England. The Soviet grand-masters Bronstein and Taimanov came out together as victors. A year later a four-member team tournament was held in Brussels. From among the eight participating countries the Norwegian team came first followed by England and then Finland.

The opening ceremonyThe success of both these tournaments showed that among students there existed a great interest in chess competitions. The IIIrd IUS Congress, in 1953, in Warsaw decided to organise the IIIrd international student team-tournament, in 1954, to be held in Oslo, from the 11th-19th April. At that time the IUS contacted the International Chess Federation in order to bring about close co-operation in the organization of students chess activities and for the organisation of regular World University Chess Championships.

Ten teams came to Oslo and after an interesting battle Czechoslovak students came first, Soviet second and Bulgarian third. The tournament fulfilled its mission in every respect and it became clear that in future it would become more and more popular. The regular FIDE (International Chess Federation) Congress was held in 1954 in Amsterdam and one of the points on its agenda was co-operation with the IUS. The FIDE Congress officially acknowledged the Oslo tournament as the Ist World University Chess Championship and the victorious Czechoslovak team was proclaimed the first World University student chess teams champion. At the same time it was decided to hold the World University Chess Championship annually and in close co-operation with the IUS and the Chess Federation of the organizing country.

František BlatnýThe second Chess Championship was held in May 1955 in France in the student centre of Lyon. The number of participating teams had by now increased to thirteen and the Soviet team became World Champion. The IIIrd World Chess Championship was held in April 1956 in Sweden, in the historic university town of Uppsala.

A record number of 16 teams took part and for the first time in the history of the Championships a non-European team — the USA — was among the participants. Two students from the Mongolian People's Republic came as observers. Again the Soviet team won the first place. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria coming second and third.

The next World Championship, i. e. the fourth, took place in July at Reykjavik, Iceland. In spite of the distance from the continent of Europe 14 teams came to Iceland, demonstrating the ever-growing popularity of this student encounter. Apart from the USA there was present from the American continent the Ecuador student team. For the first time Mongolian students, who in later years became regular participants, took part in the tournament. The presence of the Mongolian students held a special interest for Iceland — it was the first time in the history of the country that a Mongolian citizen had set foot in Iceland.

Various photosThe title of World Chess Champion was again acquired by students from the Soviet Union. Bulgaria was second, Czechoslovakia third. Bulgaria organised the Vth Championship in the beautiful environment of the Black Sea, at Golden Sands from July 5th to 20th, 1958. 16 teams took part and among them new-comers students from Albania and Argentine. Again Soviet chess players maintained their title with the organisers, the Bulgarians, coming second and Czechoslovakia third. It could by then be said that the World University Chess Championship had become one of the most popular of FIDE's competitions and that it played a large part in popularizing chess among young people all over the world.

This fact was again shown in the VIth Championship which took place in Budapest from June 30th to July 14th, 1959. Although the Hungarian organizers had only a short time to prepare for the Championship, 14 teams took part which proves the great popularity and viability of the Championships. From the point of view of sports the Budapest encounters were of particular interest because no particular favourite existed and approximately five teams were of equal strength and every one of them had a good chance in the battle for the World Championship. The composition of the defenders of the Chess Champion title, the Soviet team, was not as strong as in past years. Not even one grand master was a member. This made the fight for the title of world champion very thrilling and interesting from the very beginning. The most balanced game was played by the Bulgarian team, which held the lead from the beginning. They played firmly and evenly to the end and deserved the first place which they won and with it the title of World Champion.

This was a fine success for Bulgarian Chess and a dignified climax to the thorough work of the Bulgarian students, who had always been among the first in previous years. The Soviet team long kept pace with the Bulgarians. In the end however, they became nervous and lost their certainty, and the loss of some important points decided the victor and new world chess champion. Third place was won by the Hungarian host team. Experienced players, with Portisch, the national champion at their head, were in the team. It was Portisch who gained the prize for the best individual score on the first table. It was generally expected that it would be the Hungarian students who, on home territory, would be the most serious candidates for the first prize.

Winning Bulgarian teamThe team had, however, several misfortunes and then their score was only sufficient for the third place. The Rumanian team was well balanced and their placing as fourth was a success. Their team has all pre-requisites for further improvement and I have no doubt that the Rumanian students will belong to the most serious candidates for the first place. The GDR team was fifth. Beside Uhlmann, an international champion, the team was almost entirely composed of experienced Olympic participants. They were certain of being better placed than as was finally shown on the tournament board. Their main shortcoming was manifested in their weaker physical condition. They made the majority of mistakes in the fourth and fifth hours of the games when they spoilt a number of good positions. The sixth place taken by the Czechoslovak team corresponds on the whole to their strength in the games and in the tournament in general. After the departure of the International Grand Master Filip and the International Master Kozma there were no strong individual players in the team to back it up. The seventh place taken up by the English students is fully deserved and corresponds to the general standard of their game during the tournament. The Polish and Mongolian teams were placed eighth and ninth. While the result of the Polish students was average, the placing of Mongolian students is pleasing because year after year their placing shows an improvement in their game. The placing must therefore be evaluated as a great success. More was expected from the Israeli students who participated in the Chess Championship for the first time. The placing of the other teams corresponded approximately to their strength.

No shortcomings were felt during the tournament and the Referee Commission with its chief referee Laszlo Balogh and international referee Zachary Stanchev as deputy had no occasion to settle any disputes. We cannot but admire the Hungarian organizers who, in spite of the short time given, excellently ensured the organization of the Championship. Special merit goes to the workers of the Organising Committee with its chairman Laszlo Kuttassi and Josef Hajtun, secretary of the Hungarian Chess Federation. Great attention was also devoted to the tournament by the Hungarian government. First Party Secretary, Janos Kadar, came to watch the games played on 64 chess boards. He himself is an excellent chess player and some years ago participated in organizational work as the chairman of the Budapest district Chess Section. All the participants were invited to an interesting excursion to Lake Balaton.

At the conclusion of the Championship the victors were awarded IUS prizes. The tournament ended as an all-round success from the point of view of sport as well as organisation.

Czechoslovak teamA whole series of interesting and theoretically valuable games were played. Valuable international experience was gained by many a young chess player and we can state that the standard of the individuals' games increased from year to year. A whole series of outstanding international Masters and Grand Masters have taken part in the past Championships I recall only some Tal, Spassky, Panno, Filip, Lombardy, Ólafsson, Larsen, Ivkov, Matanovic — some of these already rank among the most serious candidates for the title of World Champion. Besides the great importance the World Chess Championships hold for the development of chess among young people they have one other cultural and social importance. Students from the whole world, from countries with different social structures, come to know one another, they come to acquaint themselves with the life of different people in different countries where the competitions are held and by their sports encounters strengthen friendship among students as well as among the FIDE member federations. Discussions. excursions and visits to factories as well as cultural performances etc, are organised in the course of the tournaments.

Young people gain the conviction that friendly co-operation between different countries is possible and useful in the first place for themselves, for the youth to whom the future of the world belongs. In this respect the VIth World University Chess Championship held in Budapest completely fulfilled its expectations. I have not the slightest doubt that all its participants will long remember the friendly welcome and hospitality of the Hungarian people.

/ International Chess Master Ing. Jaroslav Šajtar, Vice-president of FIDE /

Individual medals

bd name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Portisch, Lajos Hungary HUN 10½ 12 87.5
2. Tringov, Georgi Bulgaria BUL 12 13 92.3
=3. Szabó, Julius Romania ROM 12 79.2
=3. Forintos, Győző Hungary HUN 12 79.2
4. Nikolaevsky, Yury Soviet Union URS 8 10 80.0
1 res. Mititelu, Gheorghe Romania ROM 9 10 90.0
2 res. Liberzon, Vladimir Soviet Union URS 7 92.9

Interesting games

Both Kings under utter danger.
Penrose, Jonathan (ENG) - Söderborg, Berndt (SWE) 1 - 0

Exposed King was easy target for black attackers.
Kraidman, Yair (ISR) - Kanko, Illka (FIN) 0 - 1

Watch the REAL power of pair of Knights!
Nikitin, Alexander (URS) - Bilek, István (HUN) 0 - 1

Anti-positional but successful chess by Portisch.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Padevsky, Nikola (BUL) 1 - 0