6th European Team Chess Championship: Moscow 1977

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

Basic data

6th European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 13th - 24th April 1977
City: Moscow, Soviet Union (todays Russia)
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 8
Players participating: 80 (incl. 41 GMs and 26 IMs)
Games played: 224
Competition format: Eight board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in each next hour
Official logo: Moscow 1977
Downloadable game file: 77etch.zip

Tournament review

Moscow hosted the final of 6th European Team Championship and it was clear sign of who is the favourite to take gold medals. The Soviet team, moreover, did not struggle for Championship final place since they qualified by default as title holders. Of other teams, England narrowly overcame Holland who dropped as much as 5½ point vs Wales. Hungary and Romania easily wiped out pack of Western European teams. Czechoslovakia defeated Poland and Sweden (to whom they lost, though) in probably the strongest preliminary group. Apart from the USSR Yugoslavia (9 GMs in the squad) and Hungary (8 GMs) were listed as main contenders. None of European's top players was missing.

The Soviets started impressively hammering Czechoslovakia (five wins and three draws) and Yugoslavia beat Hungary despite Portisch's good win over Ljubojević. The Balkan nations, Romania and Bulgaria beat the Western sides surprisingly easy. Yugoslavia's decent performance of round 1 was overshadowed by round two debacle against the Soviets. West Germany enjoyed big win over depressed Czech and Slovaks. Bulgaria's 4½-3½ over Czechoslovakia on day three let the Bulgarian surprise to move into the sole third, although far behind the USSR and Hungary. Round 4 wrote the last chapter of the championship run story as the Soviets defeated Hungary by clear 6-2 to unanimously overwhelm the rest of the teams. Yugoslavia narrowly ran over Bulgaria but did not manage to catch up with them. Yugoslavia did even worse on day five losing to progressing Czechoslovakia as Romania and Hungary won their respective matches and moved into tied second. In round six Bulgaria held Hungary to draw while Romania and Yugoslavia won 5-3 each. With one round to go standings were: USSR (stepping from one win to another) 35½; Romania 26½; Hungary 25½; Yugoslavia 24½. In the decisive battle Hungary easily ran over Czechoslovakia 5½-2½ which proved ample loan for silver medal as Romania lost to Yugoslavia by the same margin and fell down to fourth. Germany and Bulgaria finished in shared fifth place while Czechoslovakia, who needed time to get some engine power managed to overcome England.

Team USSR, the home squad, earned huge advantage over the rest and produced one of best ever ETCh shows scoring fabulous 74.5% with just two game loses. Newly crowned World Champion Karpov won in brilliant style his five games and then took a rest. Tseshkovsky, one of reserve players, scored 4½/5. Hungary relied on Portisch and Ribli (board prize). Yugoslavia came third and did not manage to deny the Hungarians as they lacked leadership (Gligorić's 2½/7 cannot be taken seriously of course). Czech expatriate Ludek Pachman was top player of West German team.

Individual medals

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Karpov, Anatoly Soviet Union URS 5 5 100.0
2. GM Portisch, Lajos Hungary HUN 7 64.3
3. GM Smejkal, Jan Czechoslovakia CSR 4 7 57.1

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Ribli, Zoltán Hungary HUN 7 64.3
2. GM Petrosian, Tigran Soviet Union URS 6 58.3
3. GM Tringov, Georgi Bulgaria BUL 4 7 57.1

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Şubă, Mihai Romania ROM 7 64.3
2. GM Matanović, Aleksandar Yugoslavia YUG 3 6 50.0
2. GM Darga, Klaus Germany GER 3 6 50.0

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Tal, Mikhail Soviet Union URS 6 75.0
2. GM Velimirović, Dragoljub Yugoslavia YUG 7 64.3
3. IM Ghiţescu, Theodor Romania ROM 4 7 57.1

5th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Balashov, Yury Soviet Union URS 4 6 66.7
1. GM Pachman, Ludek Germany GER 4 6 66.7
3. GM Parma, Bruno Yugoslavia YUG 6 58.3

6th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Geller, Efim Soviet Union URS 7 64.3
2. GM Ivkov, Borislav Yugoslavia YUG 4 7 57.1
2. GM Spasov, Luben Bulgaria BUL 4 7 57.1

7th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Bukić, Enver Yugoslavia YUG 6 58.3
1. GM Romanishin, Oleg Soviet Union URS 6 58.3
1. GM Vadász, László Hungary HUN 6 58.3

8th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Tseshkovsky, Vitaly Soviet Union URS 5 90.0
2. Ungureanu, Emil Romania ROM 4 7 57.1
3. IM Popov, Luben Bulgaria BUL 7 50.0

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. Dorfman, Iosif Soviet Union URS 6 75.0
2. GM Knežević, Milorad Yugoslavia YUG 4 62.5
2. Ostermeyer, Peter Germany GER 4 62.5

2nd Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Sveshnikov, Evgeny Soviet Union URS 4 5 80.0
2. IM Stoica, Valentin Romania ROM 5 70.0
3. Schmidt, Bodo Germany GER 2 4 50.0

Interesting games

Black's position was already critical when he made decisive blunder.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Ljubojević, Ljubomir (YUG) 1 - 0

Opening the King's wing was decisive manoeuvre.
Karpov, Anatoly (URS) - Gheorghiu, Florin (ROM) 1 - 0

Good game by Smejkal with positional sac of Knight on d5.
Smejkal, Jan (CSR) - Ljubojević, Ljubomir (YUG) 1 - 0

The brave Queen sac that did NOT lead to forced ending.
Augustin, Josef (CSR) - Nunn, John (ENG) 0 - 1

Black won opposite squared Bishop ending - a good technique.
Mestel, Jonathan (ENG) - Balashov, Yury (URS) 0 - 1

One of few games Portisch lost in 20 moves.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Karpov, Anatoly (URS) 0 - 1

A very good game full of drama and with few mistakes.
Portisch, Lajos (HUN) - Keene, Raymond Dennis (ENG) 1 - 0

White committed quite simple mistake.
Balashov, Yury (URS) - Subă, Mihai (ROM) 0 - 1