14th World Student Team Chess Championship: Harrachov 1967

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Basic data

14th World Student Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 15th - 31st July 1967
City: Harrachov, Czechoslovakia (today's Czech Republic)
Venue: CŠTV [Czechoslovak Television] Physical Education Centre
Head of Organizing Committee: Ing. Jaroslav Šajtar (CSR)
Tournament Director: Dr. Vladimír Mahel (CSR)
Chief Arbiter: IA Božidar Kažić (YUG)
Teams participating: 19
Players participating: 111 (incl. 3 GMs and 4 IMs)
Games played: 432
Competition format: Two stage four board round robin.
Five preliminary groups and two final groups.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Direct match; 4. Berger
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 67studwtch.zip (about 30% of games are missing)

Tournament review

Five years having elapsed since the holding in 1962 of the 9th annual World Student Team Chess Championship in Márianské Lázně. The 14th championship of this type again took place in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic from July 15—31, this time at the ČSTV physical education centre in Harrachov-Rýžoviště.

The championship was organized by the chess section of the Central Committee of ČSTV, the University Sports Council and the International Union of Students under the auspices of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Altogether 19 teams converged on the picturesque tourist centre in the Giant Mountains. At a meeting of the captains, the division of the teams into individual preliminary groups was carried out.

The organizing committeeThe opening ceremony took place on Sunday, July 16, in the presence of the Vice-President of the Central Committee of ČSTV, Mr. Julius Chvalný. I greeted the participants on behalf of the FIDE Organising Committee and declared the 14th World Student Team Championship in Harrachov open. The participants were also welcomed by Mr. Miroslav Chmelík on behalf of the International Union of Students and by secretary Antonin Vaněk on behalf of the Harrachov National Committee.

After this brief ceremony, the participants immediately started the preliminary groups' first-round matches. From the very beginning, -these matches showed great fighting spirit and brought forth a few surprising results. In the first group, the favourites of both the USSR and the GDR teams kept safely advancing. In the second group, the contest was likewise unequivocal. The favoured teams of the ČSSR and Bulgaria advanced. The third group, however, gave us the greatest surprise when advancement to the finals was achieved, apart from Yugoslavia, by the Swedish team who made an enthusiastic effort, whereas the favoured Hungarian student team had to put up with participation in group B. The fourth group also resolutely fought for advancement. The half-point lead gained by the English just sufficed for advancement after they had succeeded, in the last match of the preliminary group, to conclude their game with Austria with a draw (2-2).

Hotel entranceIn the final group A, in which the world championship title for 1967 was fought, a persevering struggle went on. At past annual championships, we used to know a few round matches before the end who would be the victor. This time it was the last round only which determined the final order of the individual teams. The world championship title was gained by the deserving Soviet team. Even though their victory was not so striking as it had been in past years, the team as a group showed great efficiency and gave proof of a highly militant spirit. A member of the Soviet team, Tukmakov, was also awarded a prize for the best individual result achieved on the second chessboard. All members of the team won gold medals.

General surprise was aroused by the U. S. student team which took second place. They deservedly won silver medals. They, too, were very militant and persevering. Apart from Zuckerman and Gilden, well-known participants in international chess tournaments, the team was exclusively composed of players who are unknown in Europe. Verber's fair play made a good impression, yet the other team members gave a well-balanced and respectable performance as well.

The greatest surprise was England's gaining third place. They had fought their way into the final group by a narrow half-point margin and their start in the final was far from good. But after four games lost, the team pulled itself together and scored sensational results against very strong rivals such as the USSR and Yugoslavia. In the last round, their defeat in the game with Rumania resulted in a set-back to third place. But even so, the winning of bronze medals constitutes the greatest success thus far achieved by English students at world student championships.

Gheorghiu /left/ and Savon /right/Altogether three teams gained 4th—6th place with the same number of points. Their order was determined by the second criterion of evaluation — the number of games won. According to this evaluation, the CSSR team — which, on the basis of games won, was the best of all — scored fourth place. At a championship, however, the results obtained on the individual chessboards are evaluated first and foremost. According to the captains' assessment prior to the opening of the competition, the Czechoslovak students were expected to be the main candidates for one of the medals. Yet the high defeat suffered from Rumania (4-0) and the last game with Sweden, which was not a very happy one, strongly influenced the final result. Fifth place was scored by the Rumanian team who relied on the good performance of their leading player, Grand Master Gheorghiu. Sixth place was taken by the GDR team, who alternately gave good and weaker performances and whose placing was, on the whole, proportionate to their achievements in the individual games.

More had been expected from the Yugoslav team whose composition was very favourable and well-balanced. However, the members of the team were not in very good form at the Harrachov world championship and this was reflected in the placing. The Bulgarian team likewise placed in conformity with their performance in the competition. More had also been expected from. the Danish team, who, in the last two years, won third place each time. They played with the same composition as in past years, but neither were in top sports form at this championship.

Tenth place in group A went to the Swedish team, which managed to get into the finals after a thrilling contest with Hungary.

The general fitness of these teams is testified to by the fact that the Hungarian student team scored an overwhelming victory in group B. Its two representatives, Faragó at the third chessboard and Nagy as second substitute, were awarded prizes for the best individual results at their chessboards.

On a trip in the Harrachov hillsThe twelfth place was accorded to the agreeable team of Austrians students. They too can boast that two of their members won prizes for the best results achieved at their chessboards. On the first chessboard it was Holaszek, and, as second substitute, Bukacek who gave a hundred percent performance — six games won out of six games played. Thirteenth place fell to the team of Iceland, and after them came the Dutch team. In past years, Dutch students played a more significant role at world student championships, but this year there were several newcomers who did not as yet 'possess sufficient international experience. The Belgians had improved, but on the other hand, the Finns and the Cuban team scored worse results than in past years. The players from Scotland and Ireland gained places which conformed to the level of their performance in the competition. Yet the Icelanders can boast that their player Kristjánsson obtained a prize for the best performance on the fourth chessboard.

The championship was very well organised. Thanks are due for this to the organisers — the International Union of Students, the Czechoslovak Chess Federation and the Higher School Sports Council. The championship was held in the Physical Education Centre of the Czechoslovak Union of Physical Education (ČSTV) in Harrachov, situated in the beautiful Giant Mountains. There the participants were accommodated and boarded, and there they also played the games. This collective life was propitious for creating an atmosphere of sociability and friendship among all participants.

The main referee, Božidar Kažić, was pleased to state that the world championship took place in the best, friendliest sporting spirit and that it was not necessary to interfere in a single case.

English team receive prizesDuring their leisure time, the participants had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the natural beauty of the Giant Mountains and they found that Harrachov is a suitable place hot only for playing chess but also for spending a fine holiday. They also made friends with the hospitable and industrious Czechoslovak people who love peace and wish to develop and consolidate friendly relations with working people all over the world.

The 14th World Student Championship was concluded with a closing ceremony on Sunday, July 30, at which the winners were announced and prizes distributed.

On Monday, July 31, most of the teams went to Prague where they spent a few days sightseeing in the beautiful capital of the Czechoslovak Republic. Then we parted with the hope of meeting again soon at the 15th Jubilee World Student Team Chess Championship in 1968.

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

Individual medals

no. name flag code fin. pts gms %
1. Holaszek, Hans Austria AUT B 7 9 77.8
2. Tukmakov, Vladimir Soviet Union URS A 11 77.3
3. Faragó, Iván Hungary HUN B 7 9 77.8
4. Kristjánsson, Bragi Iceland ISL B 10 75.0
1 res. Bukacek, Emil Austria AUT B 6 6 100.0
2 res. Nagy, Ervin Hungary HUN B 5 90.0

Interesting games

Seemingly drawn endgame decided by one shocker move.
Tukmakov, Vladimir (URS) - Hennings, Artur (GDR) 1 - 0

That is what I call a desperate defence (this time it worked).
Stork, Wim (NED) - Gulko, Boris (URS) ½ - ½

The pressure was ample to get the pawn back and win one extra pawn.
Kristjánsson, Bragi (ISL) - Roberts, Mark (IRL) 1 - 0

Ever been confused facing French? That's a good virgin path (out of book on move 3).
Soltis, Andrew (USA) - Whiteley, Andrew (ENG) 1 - 0

...on another hand employing dubious openings (Philidor) may lead to quick debacles.
Zuckerman, Bernard (USA) - Martens, Rolf (SWE) 1 - 0

"A very exciting and interesting game" — Šajtar. Probably the best of Harrachov.
Verber, Richard William (USA) - Smejkal, Jan (CSR) 0 - 1

This colourful line leads almost inevitably to forced draw.
Wostyn, Rik Hendrik (BEL) - Tuomainen, Ilmari Toivo (FIN) ½ - ½