5th European Team Chess Championship: Bath 1973

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

Basic data

5th European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: Preliminaries: July 1971 - March 1973
Final: 6th - 14th July 1973
City: Final: Bath, England
Venue: Final: Bath City Hall
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: IA Simon Gjaltema (NED)
Teams participating: Preliminaries: 24 in six groups.
Morroco (gr.1), Faroe Islands, Ireland (gr.2), Austria, Sweden (gr.5) withdrew before the start. Tunisia played vs Spain (gr.1) yet the result was later annulled due to Swiss appeal.
Final: 8
Players participating: Preliminaries: 167 (incl. 22 GMs and 49 IMs)
Final: 80 (incl. 21 GMs and 32 IMs)
Games played: Preliminaries: 288
Final: 224
Competition format: Preliminaries: Group 1 thru 5: eight board double round robin.
Group 6: eight board round robin.
Group winners and runner-up from group 6 joined Soviet Union, the incumbent champions.
Final: Eight board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Board count (how it works?)
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in each next hour
Downloadable game file: Preliminaries: 73prel.zip
Final: 73etch.zip

Tournament review

The fifth European Team Championship final was scheduled in Netherlands but since the Dutch team failed to qualify England took the responsibility of hosting the event. The Championship was held in Bath, a beautiful city of 85,000 inhabitans, lying some 100 miles west drive from London, a place where Edgar, the first king of England was crowned in 973 so the city celebrated the millenary of this ceremony at the time of the Championship.

A record number of 22 teams applied, of which one team (USSR) qualified by default as title holder and three teams withdrew without play. Two African teams, Tunisia and Morocco, were allowed to take part on a basis of a FIDE permission. As usual the preliminaries were very close and hard-fought. Switzerland eliminated Spain while England beat the weakened Netherlands' team in the only match scheduled in group 2 (Faroe Islands and Ireland withdrew) to throw the Dutchmen out. Poland surprisingly won group 3 ahead of East Germany and Denmark, to whom the Poles lost in the very beginning. Last round's horror Poland-GDR went on for a 4-4 draw which was a full success for Poland. West Germany outplayed Czechoslovakia surprisingly easy (e. g. Jansa and Přibyl lost both games each) and Romania beat Bulgaria.

Most teams sent best squads to Bath with exception of West Germany perhaps who were missing Hübner and Darga. USSR, Hungary and Yugoslavia were the big trio. West Germany and England were expected to run for 4th and 5th place while the rest of the teams were expected to fight for 6th. Round 1 saw sort of surprise as Poland beat West Germany 5-3. On the next day Yugoslavia beat Hungary, their silver medal contenders. The Soviets made huge step towards the win on day four, when they easily defeated Yugoslavia. They retained the lead with 23 points, ahead of Hungary - 20 and Yugoslavia - 17. Poland were surprisingly lying in fourth. The hosts were quite disappointing as they were in 6th with just 12½ points. The Hungarians lost silver medal hopes in penultimate round losing to Switzerland. In the last round they played very well but still not well enough to deny the Soviets and lost 5-3 while Yugoslavia easily wiped out Poland 6-2 to get the silver again. Poland achieved lifetime success finishing in fourth, ahead of England and West Germany. Romania, after six consecutive loses beat Switzerland to move into 7th and the Swiss came last - and the victory over Hungary was their only consolation.

The Soviets won four individual board prizes (only). Top scorer: Geller 4½/5. Yugoslav engine were top three (Gligorić, Ivkov, Ljubojević) who all won respective board prizes. Top players of bronze Hungarian team were stainless Portisch and Csom. Poland's sensational fourth was contributed mainly by Pytel and Sydor. Hartston of England played seven games at top board and drew all of them. Best players of Romanian and Swiss teams were Pavlov and Wirthensohn respectively.

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Gligorić, Svetozar Yugoslavia YUG 5 7 71.4
1. GM Spassky, Boris Soviet Union URS 5 7 71.4
3. GM Portisch, Lajos Hungary HUN 5 70.0

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ivkov, Borislav Yugoslavia YUG 7 64.3
1. GM Petrosian, Tigran Soviet Union URS 7 64.3
3. GM Schmid, Lothar Germany GER 6 58.3

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ljubojević, Ljubomir Yugoslavia YUG 7 78.6
2. GM Korchnoi, Viktor Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7
3. IM Bednarski, Jacek Poland POL 7 50.0
3. GM Bilek, István Hungary HUN 7 50.0

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Karpov, Anatoly Soviet Union URS 5 6 83.3
2. IM Ribli, Zoltán Hungary HUN 7 64.3
3. IM Hecht, Hans-Joachim Germany GER 6 58.3

5th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Csom, István Hungary HUN 7 78.6
2. GM Parma, Bruno Yugoslavia YUG 4 6 66.7
2. GM Tal, Mikhail Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7

6th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Smyslov, Vassily Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
2. IM Forintos, Győző Hungary HUN 4 6 66.7
3. Pavlov, Mircea Romania ROM 4 7 57.1

7th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Geller, Efim Soviet Union URS 5 90.0
2. Wirthensohn, Heinz Switzerland SUI 5 70.0
3. IM Velimirović, Dragoljub Yugoslavia YUG 7 50.0
3. IM Kostro, Jerzy Poland POL 7 50.0

8th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Sax, Gyula Hungary HUN 4 6 66.7
2. IM Kuzmin, Gennady Soviet Union URS 3 5 60.0
2. IM Sydor, Andrzej Poland POL 3 5 60.0

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Tukmakov, Vladimir Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
2. Sznapik, Aleksander Poland POL 5 50.0
2. IM Capelan, Günther Germany GER 5 50.0

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Balashov, Yury Soviet Union URS 4 62.5
2. Eley, Brian England ENG 5 50.0
3. Nehmert, Ulrich Germany GER 4 37.5

Interesting games

This one was extremely well played by Portisch.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Unzicker, Wolfgang (GER) 1 - 0

Very powerful final shot by Black.
Korchnoi, Viktor (URS) - Ghiţescu, Theodor (ROM) 0 - 1

Shortest decisive game.
Adorján, András (HUN) - Tukmakov, Vladimir (URS) 0 - 1

White put Bishop en prise to close crucial diagonal.
Bednarski, Jacek (POL) - Ghiţescu, Theodor (ROM) 1 - 0

White's treatment of the opening was quite innovative.
Ljubojević, Ljubomir (YUG) - Bilek, István (HUN) 1 - 0

One of classical Petrosian's miniatures.
Petrosian, Tigran (URS) - Lombard, Andre (SUI) 1 - 0

Csom was well known from his ability of controlling the game
while seemingly he was in deep defence.
Wade, Robert Graham (ENG) - Csom, István (HUN) 0 - 1

Petrosian forgot to push the clock button on one of later time controls
and British gentlemen did the job for him losing the game which he might won on time.
Petrosian, Tigran (URS) - Keene, Raymond Dennis (ENG) 1 - 0