3rd European Team Chess Championship: Hamburg 1965

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

Basic data

3rd European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: Preliminaries: June 1963 - August 1964
Final: 6th - 16th June 1965
City: Final: Hamburg, West Germany
Venue: Final: Curio-Haus (name after Johann Curio),
contemporary photo
Tournament Director: Mr. Willy Fohl (GER)
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: Preliminaries: 10 in three groups
Final: 6
Players participating: Preliminaries: 113 (incl. 11 GMs and 27 IMs)
Final: 71 (incl. 25 GMs and 23 IMs)
Games played: Preliminaries: 210
Final: 300
Competition format: Preliminaries:
Group 1: five board Crepaux system (how it works?)
Group 2: double five board Crepaux system
Group 3: Ten board double round robin.
Group winners and runner-up from group 3 joined Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, top two from 1961 championship who qualified to the Final without play.
Final: Ten board double round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Sum of board coefficients
The tie-breaking system was quite rare. Points scored on consecutive boards were multiplied by respective coefficients (58 points for win on board 1, 56 pts for win on board 2 etc.... 42 points for win on board 10; draws counted half of it) and then added up to score 2853 for Yugoslavia and 2846 for Hungary.
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in each next hour
Downloadable game file: Preliminaries: 65etch.zip
Final: 65etch.zip
Special thanks to Rainer Smeykal for providing additional info.

Tournament review

The third cycle of European Championship had been scheduled for 1965. As in 1961, six teams entered double round robin competition of which two (USSR and Yugoslavia) qualified by default and four won respective preliminaries. The preliminary stage did not bring major upsets. Hungary and Romania qualified from Eastern European group at a cost of Bulgaria and East Germany while Netherlands overcame Spain easily. USSR were as usual major favourites for gold although they were missing Tal, Spassky, Geller, Keres and Polugaevsky, Hungary and Yugoslavia were aiming at close battle for silver sending their first suits to Hamburg.

Schmid-BotvinnikHungary made huge step towards silver beating Yugoslavia in the very beginning. The Soviets took sweet revenge for Tel Aviv 1-3 debacle and beat West Germany by 6½-3½. Round two 8-2 over Romania let the Soviets leave the opposition far behind and they strengthened their lead by consecutive 6-4 wins over Yugoslavia and Hungary. USSR were in clear lead after first cycle with 34 points ahead of Yugoslavia - 29 and Hungary - 28. West Germany were lying fourth ahead of Romania. Day six saw the Hungarians beating Yugoslavia again and both teams leveled on points. In round 8 the Soviets beat Yugoslavia 7-3 and virtually sealed the gold medals. Hungary fought hard to overtake Yugoslavia defeating the Soviets sensationally in penultimate round thanks to Szabó's magnificent win over Botvinnik and Bilek's win over Korchnoi. With last round to go Hungary and Yugoslavia were in tied second and they both won last round's matches by 6½-3½. Both teams finished with 57 points then and Yugoslavia were awarded silver medals on a basis of a special tie-break. By many this was considered unfair since the Hungarians had excellent match point record (nine wins and only one loss) and had won both matches vs Yugoslavia. The controversial tie-breaking method had soon been abolished. Caissa, the goddess of chess, soon came across the bill. One year later, at Havana Olympiad, Hungary and Yugoslavia came in tied third. Hungary were awarded bronze medals on a basis of jury verdict who decided to use unweighted Berger (not weighted, as many suggested).

Soviet's gap over the chasing group was impressive (as usual) but Botvinnik's three consecutive loses were sensation of the event. Never before and never after did Botvinnik lose three games in a row against non-Soviet players. Also, after excellent first cycle performance (4½/5) Viktor Korchnoi, the hero of 1957 and 1961 championships had a dreadful second cycle performance (1/4). Best percentage results were achieved by bottom board players: Boleslavsky and Lein. Gligorić, who courteously gave the right to play at top board to Ivkov produced best performance of all Yugoslav players. The Hungarians won two individual prizes for best board scores (Barcza and Forintos) and Portisch (their top board) avoided a single loss. West Germany easily took fourth spot despite Unzicker's poor play (=7-3) that was compensated by Schmid's excellent show. Romania came fifth (only two players achieved 50% results and nobody scored better) and the Netherlands came sixth losing all 10 matches (Donner's 5½/10 was the only consolation).

Individual medals

bd name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Petrosian, Tigran Soviet Union URS 6 10 60.0
2. GM Gligorić, Svetozar Yugoslavia YUG 7 10 70.0
3. GM Korchnoi, Viktor Soviet Union URS 9 61.1
4. GM Smyslov, Vassily Soviet Union URS 6 9 66.7
5. GM Barcza, Gedeon Hungary HUN 7 10 70.0
6. IM Forintos, Győző Hungary HUN 10 75.0
7. GM Taimanov, Mark Soviet Union URS 5 8 62.5
8. GM Averbakh, Yury Soviet Union URS 6 8 75.0
9. GM Krogius, Nikolai Soviet Union URS 8 56.3
10. GM Boleslavsky, Isaak Soviet Union URS 5 6 83.3
1 res. Lein, Anatoly Soviet Union URS 6 7 85.7
2 res. Lutikov, Anatoly Soviet Union URS 8 81.3

Only one medal per board because there were too few teams participating.

Interesting games

Gligorić managed to triple Black's pawns and blocked Kingside action.
Gligorić, Svetozar (YUG) - Botvinnik, Mikhail (URS) 1 - 0

Classical lesson of Petrosian's positional mastery.
Petrosian, Tigran (URS) - Ivkov, Borislav (YUG) 1 - 0

A lot of pieces were hanging in the course of the game but they were rarely taken.
Bilek, István (HUN) - Korchnoi, Viktor (URS) 1 - 0

Series of trades opened the board but still black Queen was trapped.
Gligorić, Svetozar (YUG) - Szabó, László (HUN) 1 - 0

23. g4? opened f4 square for black Knight.
Botvinnik, Mikhail (URS) - Szabó, László (HUN) 0 - 1

White converted positional pressure into material gains.
Boleslavsky, Isaak (URS) - Hartoch, Robert (NED) 1 - 0

Shortest decisive game (14 moves!).
Kestler, Hans Günther (GER) - Van Geet, Dirk (NED) 1 - 0

The Bc8-g4 followed by h7-h5 manoeuvre is common way to quick win in Ruy Lopez exchange.
Barendregt, Johan (NED) - Teschner, Rudolf (GER) 0 - 1

Soviet players rarely lose in 20 moves. This one is a unique exception.
Forintos, Győző (HUN) - Averbakh, Yury (URS) 1 - 0