|4th Blind Chess Olympiad: Pula 1972|
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|4th Blind Chess Olympiad (see all-time tournament summary)|
|Date:||6th - 18th April|
|City:||Pula, Yugoslavia (todays Croatia)|
|Tournament Director:||Gustav Vlahov (YUG)|
|Players participating:||99 (no titled players)|
|Competition format:||Two stage four board round robin.
Teams were divided into four preliminary groups with top two teams from each group qualifying to the championship final.
|Final order decided by:||1. Game points; 2. Match points|
|Time control:||40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 16 moves in 1 hour|
|Related websites:||Blindeskakkens historie [DK]|
|Downloadable game file:||72olblind.zip|
The 4th Olympiad for the Blind was held at Pula, Yugoslavia. The event was organised by the Yugoslav Chess Federation, and 22 countries participated, compared with 19 at Weymouth. For the first time the Tournament was run on the FIDE pattern, i.e. teams were divided into four preliminary groups according to the results at Weymouth. The first two teams from each preliminary group going into Final Group A, the next into Group B etc.
The Soviets as expected qualified easily for Final Group A, with the second place going to Spain but only on tie-break after finishing on the same number of points as the Czechs. Many good teams like West Germany or Bulgaria failed to qualify for Final Group A as well.
/ Taken from BCAI history site /
The Fourth Chess Olympiad for the Blind was held in April in Pula, Yugoslavia. There was considerably more interest then in prior such events, with a record number of 22 countries participating.
With many more players to choose from, the Soviet Union was highly favored to win, and they did take the finals with a game score of 21-87. They won six matches and tied one with Romania.
The Yugoslavs made it much closer than had been anticipated, finishing in second place with 20½. In fact they outscored their rivals in matches with several other teams.
In the decisive encounter, however, the Soviets overwhelmed the Yugoslavs by 3½-½ to retain the championship title.
The U.S. team consisted of Albert Sandrin of Chicago, E. Schuyler Jackson of New York, Dr. James R. Slagle of Bethesda, Md., and Roderick Macdonald of Silver Spring, Md.
With the exception of Jackson the same players had participated in the Third Olympiad in 1968, when the team finished 13th out of 20. The average rating of the players was about 500 points higher this time. How much better would their performance be?
The teams were divided into four groups for preliminary round-robin play. The two top teams in each group would advance to the championship class.
In Group A the Soviet team overwhelmed its opposition, winning five matches with a point total of 18½-1½. Spain and Czechoslovakia ties with scores of 13½-6½. Spain moved up as a result of a better match result, having defeated Czechoslovakia by 3½-2½. Yugoslavia also had an easy time in Group B, with England a clear second. In Group C it was Romania which won every match to take first place. Hungary was second.
The U.S. was in Group D, and was to face Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark and East Germany. Ease Germany and Austria had reached the finals in 1968, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.
The U.S. and East Germany advanced this time, tying with point totals of 11-5. The U.S. was declared first in the group on match results, with three wins and a tie with East Germany. The latter also tied its match with Bulgaria. The finals was another matter. It quickly became clear that the U.S. would do well to stay out of last place. Our team lost in the first two rounds to England and the Soviet Union, then tied with Romania.
The fourth round was a disastrous 4-0 loss to East Germany. The team recovered to beat Hungary by 3-1, but were then trounced by Yugoslavia 3½-½.
With one round to go, the U.S. was last, but only half a point behind England and Spain, and 1½ points behind Hungary. It was possible to finish fifth, if we could beat Spain by a good score.
It did not happen, Spain won by 2½-1½. The U.S. did tie for seventh and eighth with Hungary, which lost to Yugoslavia by 4-0. The game totals were 9½-18½, and in matched 1½-5½ each.
/ by GM Isaac Kashdan, Los Angeles Times, June 1972 /