14th Clare Benedict Chess Cup: Leysin 1967

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Basic data

14th Clare Benedict Chess Cup
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 8th - 12th June 1967
City: Leysin, Switzerland
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: IA Hansjürg Leuzinger (SUI)
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 6
Players participating: 28 (incl. 5 GMs and 8 IMs)
Games played: 60
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then each next 16 moves in 1 hour
Downloadable game file: 67cbc.zip

Tournament review

Kuijpers-Glauser; Langeweg-NievergeltThe Six Nations' Tournament for the Clare Benedict Challenge Cup is played in Leysin for the 14th time. Since 1953, the year of the first event, always the same spirit of gratitude fills the hearts of the participants in the "Little Chess Olympiad" towards the generous sponsor, Miss Clare Benedict, who passed from us on October 31, 1961. She laid the first financial stone to this wonderful chess event, to which those nations are invited for whom she had a very special affection.

Darga-MedinaIn the Gold Book of the Clare Benedict Challenge Cup it is inscribed that in the year 1963 the team of the German Federal Republic had been victorious for the sixth time and had thus secured the Cup permanently. Mr. Emil Dahne, the energetic President of the German Chess Federation donated a new Cup and we would like to thank him also in this place. In order to win this valuable trophy outright, the tournament must be won four times in succession or six times in interrupted line.

Toran-Hartston; Diez-del Corral-LeeAlthough the German team with its young talents is the hot favourite again, we expect very exciting games as always. The former tournaments showed that victory is normally only got hold of in the very last round, sometimes even in the very last hour. On Gurten-Kulm in 1961, two teams finished equally first — Spain and West Germany — and the winner could only be proclaimed after a carefully elaborated tie-breaking system was applied. Will there be such a tight tussle also this time?

Last year's winner Holland will defend the Cup tenaciously, one may be sure. Nevertheless, the fights will take place in a most friendly atmosphere which distinguishes this unique tournament from the very beginning.

Alois Nagler

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This year's event for the "Clare Benedict Challenge Cup", the 14th since the series began in 1953, was held in the Swiss mountain resort of Leysin. It is difficult to imagine more peaceful surroundings for a chess tournament; for, at some 4,000 feet above sea level and with snow-capped peaks rising beyond the valleys below, the village seems cut off from the everyday world. And there it is that André Chéron, the famous endgame theoretician, has done much of his creative work.

The six competing countries were the same as in 1966, when England finished a miserable fifth. To get into one of the top three places, i. e. above one of West Germany, Spain and Holland, could be counted a success, and this task Alexander, back again as captain, set the team.

Round 1
Donner-Kupper; Prins-BlauIn round 1 the Austrians prevented us from making a single breakthrough. Kottnauer and Hartston had to be content with equality with the black pieces, while Lee was unable to build on a slight initiative from his Ruy Lopez. In my game I maintained a spatial advantage throughout the whole of the first session and adjourned with good prospects, but a few moves after resumption, I relaxed and allowed my resourceful opponent to obtain enough counterplay to draw (Clarke—Kinzel).

While grandmasters Unzicker and Darga were putting their team into the lead by beating the Swiss, a bitter struggle developed between Holland and Spain. Finally, a time scramble on Board 2 saw Medina wreck a fine position against Prins and lose. Díez del Corral brilliantly won on board four.

Round 2
Alois NaglerAfter a none too promising first round, the excellent 3—1 win over Holland in the second round put us well into the running for a high place. It could have been even better, since more careful play would have enabled me to draw a relatively simple ending. Kottnauer's victory (com­man­deered by Golombek, who was present at the event as Times Correspondent) was the key to our success, a classic example of a Kingside attack built up from an isolated Queen's-Pawn position. Hartston obtained a big advantage out of the opening, won a pawn and eventually exploited it in a Rook ending.

West Germany's win by 3—1 over Spain confirmed their position as favourites. Unzicker was again in fine form, but Darga was somewhat reckless and only just escaped in an endgame where he had several pawns for a Bishop.

Round 3
Unzicker-Pomar; Darga-MedinaIn round three we lost against Spain by 1—3, thus all the ground gained the previous day was lost and the balance in the middle of the tournament restored. The Spaniards fully deserved their victory. I played dispiritedly and had to surrender two pawns to hold off an attack, while Lee was gradually outplayed in a sharp Sicilian.

The big surprise of the round was Unzicker's fall, due to trying too hard to win against Prameshuber of Austria.

Round 4
Pomar-Kottnauer; Medina-ClarkeThe leader West Germany was beaten in round 4 by our team scoring 2½—1½. The leaders may have relaxed in view of their 2½ lead over the pursuers. Nevertheless, no team likes losing. Kottnauer caught Unzicker in a deep tactical snare and reached a Rook ending in which he was a pawn up with the better position. The other three games ended in draws, so we scored our second success against the Germans in this event, the first was at Neuhausen in 1961.

Round 5
To win the struggle for the second position we needed to score in the last round more than Spain (since they had the better match record) while we could afford to tie with Holland. In fact, all three challengers made heavy going of their matches, and it took some nine hours of fluctuating play to determine the final result.

Hansjürg LeuzingerAt the end of the first session the situation looked black. Despite Holland's defeat, we were by no means sure of even third place. Kottnauer had drawn, after coming close to winning against Kupper of Switzerland. The other three games were adjourned. Boards 2 and 3 (Clarke and Hartston) in bad position. Our fate appeared to depend on whether Lee could win a Knight ending in which he enjoyed a small but definite advantage against Gebauer. He calculated his chances nicely on resumption and got home by one tempo. This gave us third place. Blau had meanwhile safely exploited his extra piece, but Hartston's opponent became enmeshed in difficulties of his own making to such an extent that the game swung round to White's favour.

Holaszek-Schmid; Watzka-KestlerOur unexpected 2½—1½ win had brought us level with Spain, who had likewise struggled through to a narrow victory. Alexander's task had been fulfilled and we had achieved one of our best results in the series. Even I, who had been miserably out of luck, could rejoice in a good team performance. My colleagues had all either won or shared board prizes, and Kottnauer had excelled three grandmasters.

/ Peter H. Clarke, taken from British Chess Magazine /

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Raclette at the Carnotzet

Traditionally the prizegiving of the Clare Benedict Tournament is linked with a social get-together, garnished with culinary highlights. This time Alois Nagler had a very special idea: Raclette. the cheese specialty from the Valais at the Carnotzet Cellar of the Grand Hotel!

AutographsWhat is Raclette? The cheese fondue is well known. Raclette comes from the mountains of the Valais. The sectional area of a half of a cheese is held against the fire until the cheese starts to melt. With a knife the hot molten cheese is scraped onto a wooden plate and served together with a boiled potato in the skin. Silver onions and gherkins in vinegar are also served. An aromatic white wine from the Rhone valley, a Johannisberg. Pendant, Aigle or Yvorne enhances the treat.

The participants will remember with particular delight the Raclette evening at the Carnotzet.

Best board results

bd name code pts gms %
1. IM Kottnauer, Cenek ENG 5 70.0
2. GM Darga, Klaus GER 4 87.5
3. GM Schmid, Lothar GER 3 4 75.0
4.= Díez del Corral, Jesús ESP 3 5 60.0
4.= Lee, Peter Nicholas ENG 3 5 60.0
r. Kestler, Hans Günther GER 2 3 66.7

Interesting games

Not very apparent yet immediately successful shot.
Langeweg, Christian (NED) - Lee, Peter (ENG) 0 - 1

Unzicker pushed too hard to win; he obviously exaggerated.
Prameshuber, Alexander (AUT) - Unzicker, Wolfgang (GER) 1 - 0

A classic example of a Kingside attack
built up from an isolated Queen's-Pawn position.
Kottnauer, Cenek (ENG) - Donner, Jan (NED) 1 - 0