4th European Team Chess Championship: Kapfenberg 1970

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

Basic data

4th European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: Preliminaries: September - December 1967
Final: 10th - 17th May 1970
City: Final: Kapfenberg, Austria
Venue: Final: Werkshotel der Firma Böhler
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: IA Harry Golombek (ENG)
Teams participating: Preliminaries: 16 in four groups
(England withdrew from group 2)
Final: 8
Players participating: Preliminaries: 174 (incl. 15 GMs and 40 IMs)
Final: 96 (incl. 28 GMs and 29 IMs)
Games played: Preliminaries: 350
Final: 280
Competition format: Preliminaries:
Group 1: ten board round robin
Group 2: five board double Crepaux system (how it works?)
Groups 3 and 4: ten board double round robin
Group winners and runners-up from groups 3 and 4 joined Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, top two from 1965 championship who qualified to the Final without play.
Final: Ten board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in each next hour
Downloadable game file: Preliminaries: 70prel.zip
Final: 70etch.zip

Tournament review

The format of 1970 Championship was significantly different from previous ones. The number of participating teams was extended to 8 and double round robin was replaced by single round robin event. This certainly boost the interest in the Championship since it was easier to qualify, but also made the the gap between the best and the weakest teams significantly bigger. The preliminaries were exceptionally hard-fought. In group one Spain threw out Netherlands and Denmark qualified from group 2 at a cost of West Germany who they eliminated on a basis of match point balance. On the last day (the mixed system was in use and on each day all the teams played each other at five boards) the Germans scored 3½-1½ vs Denmark but dropped half of a point against outsiders Ireland to say goodbye to the Championship dreams. Group 4 consisted of three very strong Eastern European teams, all of which fully deserving Championship final place and Romania were kicked out in the last round despite their record 10-0 win over Greece as they helplessly saw East Germany walking on water to beat overall winners Bulgaria 7-3 and procude one of glory moments of the short history of chess in DDR.

With 11 GMs and only missing Spassky and Botvinnik the Soviets were as usual iron favourites (why do we waste your time to repeat this one after another?). Then came Hungary (six GMs including Portisch, Lengyel and Szabó at top boards) and Yugoslavia (Gligorić back at top board, Ivkov, Matulović). Bulgaria and perhaps Czechoslovakia were probably favourites for reaching 4th position. Denmark were missing GM Larsen which drastically reduced their potential. The event was hosted by Bühler company (steel producers) who celebreted their centenary in 1970. This was reason why they supported the Championship.

The Soviets took off well clearly beating Czechoslovakia and Hungary. They easily retained the lead until the end grasping a record 9½-½ win over Denmark in the meantime. East Germany showed signs of good form halving vs Yugoslavia and beating Czechoslovakia 7-3. A minimal 4½-5½ loss vs Hungary in round 4 pushed them down to 4th, half of a point behind the Hungarians. Yugoslavia were in firm second after beating Spain and Denmark respectively and then losing to Czechoslovakia. In round five Yugoslavia won seemingly decisive clash vs Hungary and were thought to easily defend second position while East Germany scored another valuable victory and moved into third ahead of Czechoslovakia who destroyed Denmark. In penultimate round, however, the German hopes were shattered by ruthless Soviet team which hammered them 8-2. Yugoslavia sensationally lost to Bulgaria and Hungary levelled on points with the Yugoslavs, who were yet to face USSR. Czechoslovakia were lying in 4th ahead of DDR. On the final day Yugoslavia lost 6½-3½ to the Soviet Union waisting all the chances and dropping to 4th after three consecutive silver medals won in 1957, 1961 and 1965 respectively. East Germany took all of the opportunities they unexpectedly faced and hammered Spain 9-1 to move into third and win the bronze medals! Czechoslovakia finished in 5th after beating Bulgaria. Spain and Denmark, two by far the weakest sides finished in 7th and 8th respectively.

All the Soviets scored more than 58% and Keres' 5/5 was the best individual result of the event. Hungary's second position must be contributed first of all to board 9 player Forintos (6/7) and Portisch (4/7 vs ultimately hard opposition). Leaders of rejuvenated German squad were GM Uhlmann (of course) who finished with two game wins and no loss, Malich and reserve Schöneberg (5/6). Uhlmann and Schöneberg won board individual prizes. Other good shows were given by Filip of Czechoslovakia (5/7), Gerenski of Bulgaria (second reserve board individual prize) and Tringov.

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Uhlmann, Wolfgang East Germany GDR 7 64.3
2. GM Petrosian, Tigran Soviet Union URS 6 58.3
3. GM Gligorić, Svetozar Yugoslavia YUG 4 7 57.1
3. GM Portisch, Lajos Hungary HUN 4 7 57.1
3. GM Hort, Vlastimil Czechoslovakia CSR 4 7 57.1

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Filip, Miroslav Czechoslovakia CSR 5 7 71.4
2. GM Korchnoi, Viktor Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7
3. IM Malich, Burkhard East Germany GDR 7 64.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Polugaevsky, Lev Soviet Union URS 5 7 71.4
2. GM Padevsky, Nikola Bulgaria BUL 7 64.3
3. GM Szabó, László Hungary HUN 6 58.3

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Geller, Efim Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7
2. GM Parma, Bruno Yugoslavia YUG 7 64.3
2. IM Smejkal, Jan Czechoslovakia CSR 7 64.3

5th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Smyslov, Vassily Soviet Union URS 5 6 83.3
2. IM Minić, Dragoljub Yugoslavia YUG 7 64.3
2. IM Liebert, Heinz East Germany GDR 7 64.3

6th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Taimanov, Mark Soviet Union URS 5 6 83.3
2. GM Bilek, István Hungary HUN 5 7 71.4
3. IM Zinn, Lothar East Germany GDR 7 64.3

7th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Tal, Mikhail Soviet Union URS 5 6 83.3
2. IM Dely, Péter Hungary HUN 6 58.3
3. IM Kurajica, Bojan Yugoslavia YUG 7 50.0
3. Plachetka, Ján Czechoslovakia CSR 7 50.0
3. Minev, Nikolai Bulgaria BUL 7 50.0

8th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Keres, Paul Soviet Union URS 5 5 100.0
2. IM Csom, István Hungary HUN 4 6 66.7
3. Kupka, Slavoj Czechoslovakia CSR 7 64.3

9th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Forintos, Győző Hungary HUN 6 7 85.7
2. Velimirović, Dragoljub Yugoslavia YUG 5 7 71.4
3. GM Stein, Leonid Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7

10th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Kholmov, Ratmir Soviet Union URS 6 75.0
2. Merino Mejuto, Domingo Spain ESP 6 41.7
2. Bjerre, Troels Denmark DEN 6 41.7

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Schöneberg, Manfred East Germany GDR 5 6 83.3
2. IM Balashov, Yury Soviet Union URS 5 70.0
3. IM Adorján, András Hungary HUN 4 62.5

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Gerenski, Hristo Bulgaria BUL 5 90.0
2. GM Gipslis, Aivars Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
3. Hvenekilde, Jørgen Denmark DEN 2 6 33.3

Interesting games

Black gave exchange for refuting White's attack.
Hort, Vlastimil (CSR) - Petrosian, Tigran (URS) 0 - 1

Keres sacrificed a piece to open "h" file for attack.
Keres, Paul (URS) - Dely, Péter (HUN) 1 - 0

Magnificent mating finish that cost White both Rooks.
Geller, Efim (URS) - Liebert, Heinz (GDR) 1 - 0

What a drama! Black made decisive blunder already after time control
(which he was not aware of apparently).
Padevsky, Nikola (BUL) - Jansa, Vlastimil (CSR) 1 - 0

Did White really think he would win the piece?
Pomar Salamanca, Arturo (ESP) - Uhlmann, Wolfgang (GDR) 0 - 1

White decided to take the risk and open the position.
Bobotsov, Milko (BUL) - Uhlmann, Wolfgang (GDR) 0 - 1

Black overlooked simple fork.
Keres, Paul (URS) - Kurajica, Bojan (YUG) 1 - 0

Bishop moves cost Black a few tempos - enough to take the final shot.
Polugaevsky, Lev (URS) - Matulović, Milan (YUG) 1 - 0