20th World Student Team Chess Championship: Teesside 1974

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

Basic data

20th World Student Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 15th July - 2nd August 1974
City: Teesside, Cleveland County, England
Venue: Thornaby Pavilion
Head of Organizing Committee: Mr. Harry Golombek (ENG)
Tournament Director: Mr. Gerry F. Walsh (ENG)
Chief Arbiter: Mr. Jaroslav Šajtar (CSR)
Teams participating: 28
Players participating: 153 (incl. 4 GMs and 5 IMs)
Games played: 732
Competition format: Two stage four board round robin.
Five preliminary groups and three final groups.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Direct match; 4. Berger
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 74studwtch.zip

Tournament review

Since 1954, the world student chess team championships have been regularly organized by the international Chess Federation (FIDE) in cooperation with the IUS, which first took the initiative in organizing these events.

In the course of the years this world student championship has become one of the most popular and important competitions organized as part of the world-wide activities of the FIDE.

This world championship has a wide following among students throughout the world and a record number of participants were present at the 19th annual competition in Graz, Austria, in 1972. That year 29 teams from four continents took part. Previously the record was held by the 1969 Dresden championship, in which 26 teams took part.

Many world grandmasters have started their chess careers at this particular championship, among them the former world champions Spassky and Tal, grandmasters Korchnoi, Portisch, Hort, Smejkal, Bronstein, Taimanov, Ólafsson, Panno, Ivkov, Matanović and Lombardy, and the present world champion, the Soviet grandmaster Anatoly Karpov.

These student world championships are often regarded as small-scale Olympiads, and quite rightly so, in my opinion. Student chess players gain important international experience there and the creative aspect of the play is of a very high standard.

View at the game hallThe jubilee 20th World Student Championship was originally planned for Ecuador in 1973. But for technical reasons the Ecuador Chess Federation withdrew its sponsorship only three months before the championship was to be held, and it was impossible to find a new organizer in such a short time. Hence the jubilee 20th world student championship took place a year later — from July 15 to August 2, 1974. It was held in Teesside, the northern English city which, as a result of municipal reform, is now called Cleveland.

The British Chess Federation in cooperation with the Cleveland County Council were the organizers, with, as usual, the cooperation of the IUS. The 1972 record was not surpassed, but the presence of 28 teams from four continents was further evidence of the popularity of this championship among students all over the world. Students from Japan, Hong Kong and Iraq were among those participating for the first time; the Welsh team was the only first-time entrant from Europe.

Indocile German GM HübnerThe title of world champion was being defended by the Soviet students, who had previously won this title 14 times. Once again this year they proved to be in a class of their own and defended their title successfully, ending up four points ahead of the US students. The Final Group A matches were extremely interesting and exciting right to the end of the competition. The competition for the silver and bronze medals was decided only in the last round. The silver medal was won by the American students, who turned out to be the surprise of the tournament. Their representatives were almost unknown internationally, but they were very strong and fully deserved their second place. Their 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia in the last round was very convincing. In the competition for third place and the bronze medal the Hungarian students emerged victors. After a hard struggle they succeeded in defeating the English students, their main rivals 2½-1½ when Vadasz — after more than 14 hours of play with England's Mestel who displayed greater skill than his rival — managed to hold the match to a draw. This half-point was very important and played a decisive role in the final standings. The English played well on their home ground and though they missed gaining the medal by a hair-breadth, their achievement must be considered a satisfactory one. The Danish team was very well-balanced. Its representatives fought tenaciously in every match and finally managed to achieve a very commendable fifth place. The students from the Federal Republic of Germany were probably less contented: they only placed sixth. They owed their bad luck to the fact that the best member of the team, the grandmaster Hübner, who is also one of the best chess-players in the world, could only compete during the first part of the tournament: from July 24 he had to take part in the Oxford Congress.

The Czechoslovak students achieved their best results since 1968. At the preceding championship in Graz they were unable to make it to Final Group A and had to settle for a tie, with their Swiss colleagues, for the 12th and 13th places. Finland, Holland and Austria also had reason to be satisfied with their achievements.

In Final Group B the Cuban team won a well-deserved first place; in 1972 they played in Final Group A. The teams from Sweden and Iceland were also good. The Israeli students were certainly satisfied with their result. They, too, had been in Final Group A during the last championship in Graz in 1972. The performances of the other teams were more or less in line with their usual achievements. Final Group C was dominated by the French students; only the Norwegian students in this group did less well than expected. Japan, Hong Kong and Iraq, the newcomers to the competition, lacked the necessary international experience, but we can expect better performances form them at future world student championships. The Hong Kong team was a great favourite: it was formed of five brothers, who all followed one another's matches with keen interest.

The championship began with the usual five preliminary groups, with the first two teams in each group going on to Final Group A and the next two to the B Group, while the last two teams formed the C Group. Most of the best results on the individual chessboards were achieved by Soviet students.

Youngest participant playing in a friendly game vs Soviet team captainOn the 1st board the victor was the grandmaster Vaganian, who obtained an impressive 10 points in 11 games. On the second England's Stean was best, with 9 points in 12 games. Matera from the USA, with 7½ points in 10 games also had a 75 percent success rate, but according to the rules of the competition Stean emerged the victor because of his higher number of matches. On the third board Diaz, representing Cuba, got 9½ points in 12 games. Romanishin from the USSR, emerged victorious on the fourth chessboard, with 8 points in 9 games. Among the first substitutes the Hungarian student Pinter racked up 9½ points in 10 games — the best result of the whole championship. The Soviet player Palatnik was the best of the second substitutes, obtaining 7½ points in 8 games.

The championship was very well organized. It was held in a pleasant hall in the Thornaby Pavilion in Thornaby New Town Centre, Cleveland. We are grateful to the British Chess Federation and the members of the Organization Committee for the smooth running of the championship. As the main referee, I was especially pleased by the fact that no serious quarrels broke out among the players that I had to arbitrate. I should like to thank all the participants in the championship for their fine sportsmanship throughout the whole championship.

Captain of the Soviet team receives the trophyOn July 20, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its establishment. This important date was marked by a formal dinner held at the Dragonora Hotel, in the presence of the President of FIDE, Prof. Dr. Max Euwe, and the General Secretary of FIDE, Miss Inneke Baker.

The jubilee 20th world student championship was a complete success, as regards both its sports aspects and its organization. It was a contribution to the strengthening of friendly relations among students all over the world and to the further development of chess among them.

Our only wish is for a still larger participation of student teams in this important student chess competition in the coming years, something that will certainly contribute to the further development of chess in the world.

/ Jaroslav Šajtar, President of Zone 3 of FIDE /

Individual medals

bd name flag code fin. pts gms %
1. GM Vaganian, Rafael Soviet Union URS A 10 11 90.9
=2. Matera, Salvatore United States USA A 10 75.0
=2. Stean, Michael Francis England ENG A 9 12 75.0
3. Díaz, Joaquín Carlos Cuba CUB B 12 79.2
4. IM Romanishin, Oleg Soviet Union URS A 8 9 88.9
1 res. Pintér, József Hungary HUN A 10 95.0
2 res. Palatnik, Semon Soviet Union URS A 8 93.8

Interesting games

"Frankenstein Meets Dracula" - as somebody defined this game.
Øst-Hansen, Jacob (DEN) - Nunn, John (ENG) 0 - 1

Too much of a risk vs a Soviet GM.
Kupreichik, Viktor (URS) - Pedersen, Svend (DEN) 1 - 0

That was a "poisoned pawn" line, yes, but it was White who poisoned himself!
Bessenay, Maurice (FRA) - Fedder, Steen (DEN) 0 - 1

White King voluntarily stalking to slaughter.
Adorján, András (HUN) - Vaganian, Rafael (URS) 0 - 1

Is is believed g7 is the hardest point to rush, but not this time.
Baljon, Christofoor (NED) - Jhunjhunwala, Ramesh (HKG) 1 - 0