9th World Student Team Chess Championship: Mariánské Lázně 1962

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Basic data

9th World Student Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 7th - 22nd July 1962
City: Mariánské Lázně, Czechoslovakia (today's Czech Republic)
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: Dr. Vladimír Mahel (CSR)
Chief Arbiter: IA Karel Opočenský (CSR)
Teams participating: 18
Players participating: 101 (incl. 1 GM and 3 IMs)
Games played: 468
Competition format: Two stage four board round robin.
Three preliminary groups and two final groups.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Berger; 4. Direct match
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 62studwtch.zip (only ca. 45% of games are available)

Tournament review

The game hallThe history of the IXth World Championship of Student Chess Teams is rather unusual. The Congress of the FIDE held in Sofia in 1961 entrusted the British Chess Federation with its organization. Unfortunately it was unable to secure entry visas for the members of all teams that had applied for participation. Since this fact was in contradiction with the principles of the FIDE not to tolerate any discrimination against any of its members, the British Chess Federation had to give up the organization of this traditional student chess competition. Under these circumstances it was necessary to find another member organization of the FIDE which would be able to ensure in a relatively short time, in cooperation with the IUS, the smooth running of this tournament.

The Czechoslovak Chess Federation — as happened once before in the case of the zonal tournament at Berg en Dal — showed readiness to help the FIDE and undertook, in close cooperation with the IUS, the task of organizing this important event of the FIDE, despite the fact that then was very little time for preparation.

The Organizing Committee, formed in May 1962, immediately started to work. We take this opportunity to express our thanks for the help and cooperative spirit shown by the President of the FIDE, Dr. Folke Rogard, who promptly dispatched invitations to all member federations of the FIDE and contributed to mobilizing teams for participation in the championship.

The organizersThe civil authorities of the world-renowned spa, Mariánské Lázně, showed extraordinary understanding and we were therefore able to ensure the success of the championship. So Mariánské Lázně, known already in the world as the scene of several zonal tournaments for the world championship and where numerous international tournaments were organized, became — as "Czechoslovak Sport" put it in a witty remark — a spa for the treatment of another disease, i. e. discrimination.

Although the Organizing Committee had not even two whole months for its work we are glad to state that the IXth World Student Chess Championship was a real success. The extraordinary interest shown in this championship proves the great popularity which this event is enjoying among the students of the whole world.

The excursionAt the opening 18 teams were present at Mariánské Lázně — a record number since the beginning of the competition. There were only 16 teams entered in this event in Uppsala in 1956 and in Varna in 1958. Moreover quite a number of other countries had shown interest in participation but for various reasons did not turn up at Mariánské Lázně. For instance the students from the United States were unable, by reason of lack of time, to make all necessary arrangements for their trip to Mariánské Lázně. The President of the American Chess Federation and Vice-President of the FIDE, Mr. Spann, sent his hearty greetings to all participants in the world championship at Mariánské Lázně. The students from the German Federal Republic applied for participation with a very strong team headed by the International Master Darga. But the Chess Federation of their country apologized for their non-participation on the grounds of other commitments. On the whole 18 teams from 3 continents came to Mariánské Lázně and were accommodated in the School for Hotel Staff; for the scene of the matches the Casino hall, right in the centre of the town, was selected.

At a meeting of the team captains with the organizers, the teams were divided into three groups consisting of six teams each. From each group the first three teams passed into the final group A and the following three teams into the final group B.

The matchesThe president of the FIDE appointed the international umpire, Mr. Karel Opočenský, chief umpire of the tournament. Dr. Mahel, president of the Student Chess Organization, was director of the tournament. The following committee of referees was elected: Altio (Finland), Bondarevsky (USSR), Hollis (England), Oren (Israel), Urseanu (Rumania), Opočenský and Mahel (Czechoslovakia).

It is worth mentioning that the chief umpire and the director of the tournament, in cooperation with the organizing committee, ensured very well the smooth running of the championship.

As far as the winner was concerned, there was no doubt whatsoever from the very beginning. The students from the Soviet Union, led by the Grand Master Spassky, gained with assurance a great and well-deserved victory. In the course of the whole championship they conceded only two draws to their opponents (Czechoslovakia and GDR). All members of the Soviet team played well and proved that Soviet chess may reckon with good young reserves for the future.

The battle for second place was quite even and was won by the Yugoslav students. Their victory was well deserved and it is necessary to appreciate the fighting spirit which they showed particularly in the elimination group. They had to fight there three matches with three representatives only and succeeded to beat even a team as strong as the team of the GDR with the score 2½-1½ ensuring for themselves participation in the final group.

Kavalek during his legendary game vs GufeldThe third place is a success for the students from the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Had it not been for a few faltering performances, such as in the last round in the encounter with Hungary, they could have had a real chance of contesting even the second place. Equally the placing won by the representatives of the GDR may be considered as a success.

More was expected from the very strong team of the Rumanian People's Republic led by the talented Gheorghiu. Some members of the Rumanian team did not give their expected performance, and so in the concluding round they were certainly dissatisfied with the result. The placing of the students from the Bulgarian People's Republic, the Hungarian People's Republic and the Polish People's Republic corresponds on the whole to the standard of their play in the championship. A success was scored by the players from the Mongolian Peoples' Republic. They have been taking part regularly in these student championships since 1957 and this year these modest representatives of the Asian continent have succeeded in fighting their way through, into the final group among the strongest teams. This success will certainly inspire them to further efforts in order to raise continually the standard of their play.

The prizesIn group B, a well-deserved victory was won by the students from Holland, who found favour with the onlookers and the citizens of Mariánské Lázně also for their "Rembrandt style" hats. The second position was occupied by the English team which, thanks to a better proportion of victories, ended ahead of the team from Israel. The other teams occupied positions corresponding approximately to the play of their representatives. However the performance of the students from Cuba, who took part for the first time in the championship, deserves mentioning. They have several talented players who, given good guidance and more experience in international encounters, will become dangerous opponents for many international masters.

Outside the tournament the participants were able to take part in cultural and sporting events organized at Mariánské Lázně. They made excursions to Prague and to the environs of Mariánské Lázně. They were received by the Chairman of the Town National Committee at Mariánské Lázně, Mr. Holý, who himself is a great friend of chess, and received souvenirs from him. They had the opportunity to see the way in which the working people of Czechoslovakia live and spend their leisure, and they could see for themselves that the Czech people desire nothing eke but to live in peace and friendship with all peoples of the world.

All participants at one photoOn July 22nd a ceremony was held at which the victors were proclaimed. The first three teams received gold, silver and bronze medals. All teams were given souvenirs from the IUS, the Czechoslovak Union for Physical Training and other organizations. Special prizes were also given to the best individual players at each board. These were as follows:
at the first board — Spassky (USSR)
at the second board — Minic (Yugoslavia)
at the third board — Kuijpers (Holland)
at the fourth board — Savon (USSR)
Reserves: 1st Khodos (USSR), 2nd Beach (England).

Then Mr. Jaroslav Sajtar officially wound up the IXth World Student Team Chess Championship on behalf of the FIDE and the Organizing Committee.

It is very gratifying that an atmosphere of friendship and mutual cooperation was such a characteristic feature of this championship. There is no doubt whatsoever about the fact that this event has become an important part of the activities of both the International Chess Federation and the International Union of Students.

The Czechoslovak chess players are proud to have contributed to the organization of the world student chess championship — the biggest so far — which is often rightly called a "small chess Olympics". The Congress of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) held in September 1962 at Saltsjöbaden in Sweden highly praised the organization of the IXth World Student Team Chess Championship and the International Union of Students for having ensured its success. The Congress entrusted the Yugoslav Chess Federation with the organization of the next championship which will take place in July 1963 in Budva.

We shall meet again at the jubilee Xth World Student Team Chess Championship in Yugoslavia!

/ Jaroslav Šajtar, International Master, Vice-President of the FIDE. /


Mariánské Lázně 7th-22nd July 1962,

organized by the Chess Section of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Union for Physical Training jointly with the International Union of Students, in cooperation with the Council for Student Sport of the Czechoslovak Union tor Physical Training and the Chess Section of the Student Sport Organisation, Slavia Praha, sponsored by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and under the auspices of:

  • the Czechoslovak Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. František Kahuda,
  • the chairman of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Union for Physical Training, Mr. František Vodsloň,
  • the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Union of Czechoslovak Youth, Mr. Vladimír Vedra,
  • the President of the International Union of Students, Mr. Jiří Pelikán,
  • the Rector of the University of November 17, Professor Dr. Jaroslav Martulic,
  • the Chairman of the Town Council of Mariánské Lázně, Mr, Josef Holý.


  • Chairman: Jaroslav Šajtar, Vice-President of the FIDE, representing the Chess Section of the Czechoslovak Union tor Physical Training,
  • Vice-Chairman: Jaroslav Šilhavý, representing the IUS and the Council for Student Sport of the Czechoslovak Union tor Physical Training,
  • Director of the tournament: Dr. Vladimír Mahel, chairman of the Chess Sectiom of the Student Sport Organisation, Slavia Praha,
  • Members:
    • Bedřich Thelen, representing the Chess Section of the Czechoslovak Union for Physical Training,
    • František Pithart, representing the Chess Section of the Czechoslovak Union for Physical Training,
    • Petr Čáslavský, representing the Council for Student Sport of the Czechoslovak Union of Physical Training and the Presidium of the Student Sport Organization Slavia Praha,
    • Jan Mahovský, representing the Education and Sport Department of the Town Council of Mariansk6 Lazne,
    • Vera Sedova, Secretary of the Physical Training and Sport Department of the IUS,
  • The Chief Umpire, Karel Opočenský, Meritorious Master of Sports (Czechoslovakia), International umpire of the FIDE.

Individual medals

bd name flag code fin. pts gms %
1. GM Spassky, Boris Soviet Union URS A 9 83.3
2. Minić, Dragoljub Yugoslavia YUG A 8 9 88.9
3. Kuijpers, Franciscus Netherlands NED B 9 11 81.8
4. Savon, Vladimir Soviet Union URS A 6 7 85.7
1 res. Khodos, German Soviet Union URS A 9 83.3
2 res. Beach, Richard A. England ENG B 7 92.9

Best game prize

The brilliancy prize was awarded to arguably most famous game ever played at the Student Olympiads.
It is ranked 7th in Andrew Soltis' "The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century"
Gufeld, Eduard (URS) - Kaválek, Lubomír (CSR) 0 - 1

Interesting games

Pieces jigging all over the board, which is cleared of pawns.
Kaválek, Lubomír (CSR) - Marović, Dražen (YUG) 1 - 0

Nice try, but versus Spassky it is not likely to work...
Liptay, László (HUN) - Spassky, Boris (URS) 0 - 1

White neatly outplayed his opponent in the middlegame.
Hort, Vlastimil (CSR) - Filipowicz, Andrzej (POL) 1 - 0

Shortest decisive game.
Bogdanov, Emil (BUL) - Georgescu, Vasile (ROM) 0 - 1

We rarely saw Soviet players performing this bad...
Khodos, German (URS) - Möhring, Günther (GDR) 0 - 1

White had broken every opening play rule, and made every mistake any novice would avoid.
Langeweg, Christian (NED) - Hollis, Adrian Swayne (ENG) 0 - 1

You may listen to Spassky's short voice commentary on this nice game.
Spassky, Boris (URS) - Čirić, Dragoljub (YUG) 1 - 0

Tactics test. Black to move and win.
Chipev, Teodor (BUL) - Tserenbat (MGL) 0 - 1