The 1969 World Chess Championship Match

Author: Clarke, Peter Hugh (1933-2014)

Publisher: British Chess Magazine

Location: St Leonards-On-Sea

Year: 1969



46 pages with illustrations, drawings, photographs, tables and diagrams. Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's wrappers. (Not listed in Lusis) First edition.

The 1969 World Chess Championship was played between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky in Moscow from April 14 to June 17, 1969. After defending his title from Spassky in 1966 with a score of 12 1/2-11 1/2, it was time for a new challenger. Using the cycle that has been used since the 1950's, first, an interzonal tournament was held. Even though Robert James Fischer lead 8.5/10 after 10 rounds, he forfeited, and the results played against him didn't count. Bent Larsen of Denmark won the event, with 15 1/2, one and a half ahead of Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union), Efim Geller (Soviet Union), and Svetozar Gligoric (Yugoslavia), each scoring 14 points. Lajos Portisch (Hungary) had 13 1/2, and three players tied for 13 Samuel Reshevsky (America), Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia) and Leonid Stein (Russia). They played a three player playoff, with Reshevsky having home field advantage (it was in Los Angeles). They played a quadruple round-robin. Although every single player scored 4/8 (including Reshevsky who drew all of his games), Reshevsky advanced due to better tie breaks in the interzonal tournament. The Candidates tournament was similar to last year (knockout format, quarter-finals and semi-finals best of 10, finals best of 12, two losing semi-finalists battle for 3rd). Here, Spassky and Mikhail Tal (of the Soviet Union) were seeded directly into the tournament, due to top finishes in the previous Candidates tournament. In the first round, Spassky beat Geller (5 1/2-2 1/2), Larsen beat Portisch (5 1/2-4 1/2), Tal beat Gligoric (5 1/2-3 1/2) and Korchnoi beat Reshevsky (5 1/2-2 1/2). Once again, Larsen was the only non-Soviet remaining (Denmark). Here, Spassky defeated Larsen by the score of 5 1/2-2 1/2, and Korchnoi surprised Tal by beating him 5 1/2-4 1/2. In the finals, it was a best of 12, where Spassky dominated Korchnoi 6 1/2-3 1/2. Meanwhile, the two losers in the semi-finals (Larsen and Tal) battled it out for 3rd. The winner would receive direct seeding into the next Candidates tournament. It was also a best of 10. Once again, Tal didn't play his best and loss 5 1/2-2 1/2. The match took place in Moscow. It was a best of 24, meaning that the first to 12 1/2 points would be declared the winner. If the match ended in a 12-12 tie, then the title holder (Petrosian) would retain the title (by default). The first round was played on April 14th, 1969. The last round was played on June 17th, 1969. Spassky had twelve points entering the round and needed just a draw with the white pieces to win the title off Petrosian. He did so successfully, and was crowned the 10th world chess championship.


Spine ends chipped, corners bumped some edge wear else about very good.