18th World Student Team Chess Championship: Mayagüez 1971

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Basic data

18th World Student Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 1st - 15th July 1971
City: Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Venue: N/A
Head of Organizing Committee: Mr. Narciso Rabell-Mendéz (PUR)
Tournament Director: Mr. Francisco Torregrosa (PUR)
President of Executive Committee: Mr. José Santori Coll (PUR)
Chief Arbiter: Dr. Wilfried Dorazil (AUT)
Teams participating: 16
Players participating: 89 (incl. 1 GMs and 7 IMs)
Games played: 368
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. Direct match; 4. Berger
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 71studwtch.zip (only ca. 10% of games are in there)
Special thanks to Jack O'Keefe for the tournament book.

Tournament review

The Congress of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) held in Siegen in 1970 entrusted the organising of the 18th World Student Chess Team Championship to the Chess Federation of Puerto Rico. As usual, the IUS participated in the organisation of this tournament.

The World Championship was held from July 1 to 17, 1971 in Mayaguez. The choice of that city in the western part of the country was by no means accidental. Mayaguez has a university with some ten thousand students, and the contests, played on 64 boards, took place in the university. The games were played in its gymnasium and the participants were lodged in the university's student hostel. The great advantage of this arrangement was the short distance from the lodgings to the tournament hall.

FIDE Deputy President Rabell-Mendez launches the eventBecause of the great distance from the main student chess centres which for the most part are located in Europe and, consequently the great travelling expenses, only 16 teams were present at the opening. The opening ceremony, held on June 30 in the university tournament hall, comprised a very festive and at the same colourful programme. To the music of a solemn march and amid the great cheers of a temperamental public, the team captains, accompanied by the 16 most beautiful girls of Mayaguez, went out the platform carrying the flags of all participating countries. Official speeches were given by the Rector of the university. Dr. Jose Enrique Arraras, and the President of the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee, Felicio M. Torregrosa. The 18th Student "Chess Olympic Games" were officially opened by the President of the Puerto Rican Chess Federation, Narciso Rabell-Mendez. In the name of all participants international master Julio Kaplan (Puerto Rico) took the Olympic oath. The celebrations lasted long into the night. During the following afternoon, the organisers, board of umpires and team captains held usual meeting on technical questions. The proposal to play only in one group was rejected, since the rules of this competition specify that in the case of 14 or more teams playing it is necessary to play first in preliminary groups. The main favourites — the teams from the Soviet Union, the United States and Canada — were placed in different groups.

There were three preliminary groups altogether. The first three teams from each group then went on to finals group A. The remaining teams formed group B. The games in the preliminary groups did not produce any surprises and all the favourite teams found themselves in group A where they had to compete for the title of World Champion in the student teams contest. The greatest surprise of the games in the preliminary groups was certainly the victory of former Junior World Champion Kaplan from Puerto Rico over Soviet grand master Tukmakov. This rather surprising, unexpected result was enthusiastically cheered by the local public.

famous game Karpov-RogoffThe contest in finals group A for the gold medals and title of World Champion proceeded as expected. From their achievements in the preliminary group, it was quite clear that the members of the very strong Soviet student team were firmly determined to win back the title of World Champion that had been won last year by students from the United States. The Soviet student team did not take part in last year's championship. This year, they won very easily in finals group A and came out a full 8 points ahead of their most serious opponents — the United States student team. This result speaks for itself. It would be difficult to praise some members of the Soviet team more than others because all their individual achievements at the chess-board were better than those of the other participants (the table of individual results will also be found further on). Last year's World Champions, the student team from the United States, won the silver medals, but they had to fight hard for them and only the last round decided the winners of the second and third places. The United States team included almost all the same players as last year when they became World Champions. In the last round the United States students played against the students from Canada. Although they lost 2½-1½, they still had enough points to come out second, one-half point ahead of the Canadians. The Canadians were playing tor the first time in the World Student Chess Team Championship and they immediately scored a very good success. Winning the bronze medals, they proved that they were a well-balanced team with a good fighting spirit. Their leading player, international master Suttles, is well known internationally, while Amos is also among the better known international chess players. Israel also had a good, well-balanced team, which ended only half a point behind third place. More had been expected from the students from Iceland, but all the other results corresponded fully to the strength of the individual teams. The tournament tables showed the final results both in group A and group B where the Peruvian students came out first with great ease.

The 18th World Student Chess Team Championship was an overall success. Although fewer teams took part in it than in the 1968 Championship in Ybbs (Austria) where 25 teams participated, or in the 1969 Championship in Dresden (GDR) where there were as many as 26 teams, the fact that it was held in Latin America was a positive factor, since a number of Central and South American countries were present. This will certainly contribute in future to the expansion of student chess in these countries. We were able to welcome at the World Student Championship which has become very popular by now, teams from Canada, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well.

Bird's view at the game hallThe 18th World Student Chess Team Championship at Mayaguez had a good sporting atmosphere. Although the standard of these games did not reach the level we had seen at this Championship in the last few years, they were played in the friendly spirit which has already become traditional at these tournaments. No serious misunderstandings occurred requiring intervention of the board of umpires. For this, we must thank to a large extent the contest's head umpire, vice-president of FIDE, Dr. Wilfried Dorazil, who, together with his assistant, was responsible for the smooth course of the championship.

The 18th World Student Chess Team Championship in the picturesque town of Mayaguez was an organisational and sports success. It helped to strengthen and broaden bonds among FIDE's member associations and to popularise chess among students, particularly in Latin America. By now, the participants have returned to their homes, but they will certainly remember for a long time the hospitality of the Puerto Rican chess players and students, as well as their interesting sojourn in the unusual tropical milieu of that beautiful, though small island in the Caribbean.

/ Eng. Jaroslav Šajtar, Vice-President of FIDE /

Individual medals

bd name flag code fin. pts gms %
1. IM Tukmakov, Vladimir Soviet Union URS A 7 9 77.8
2. IM Balashov, Yury Soviet Union URS A 8 81.3
3. GM Karpov, Anatoly Soviet Union URS A 8 93.8
4. Podgaets, Mikhail Soviet Union URS A 7 8 87.5
1 res. IM Kuzmin, Gennady Soviet Union URS A 8 93.8
2 res. Razuvaev, Yury Soviet Union URS A 7 7 100.0

Interesting games

Watch the nice game pictured above.
Karpov, Anatoly (URS) - Rogoff, Kenneth (USA) 1 - 0

The famous "flick game" ended in just 15 moves!
Tarjan, James Edward (USA) - Rattinger, Friedrich (AUT) 1 - 0

A perfect example on how one should NOT play in the openings.
Rattinger, Friedrich (AUT) - Razuvaev, Yury (URS) 0 - 1

It is always useful to recreate with a bit of old-fashioned, romantic chess.
Razuvaev, Yury (URS) - Koski, Avraham (ISR) 1 - 0

A thrilling finish: find White's 25th move!....
Karpov, Anatoly (URS) - Wittmann, Walter (AUT) 1 - 0

Excellent win by talented Puerto Rican.
The only game loss conceded by Soviet players.
Kaplan, Julio (PUR) - Tukmakov, Vladimir (URS) 1 - 0