45th USSR Championship Final, Leningrad 1977

Author: Wade, Robert Graham (1921- ) and L S Blackstock and H C Thomas (editors)

Publisher: Chess

Location: Sutton Coldfield

Year: 1978?



33 pages with diagrams, tables and index. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 3/4") bound in original publisher's pictorial wrappers. (Lusis: 1773) First edition.

The 45th USSR Championship was held at Leningrad, November 28 - December 22, 1977. The following players finished up just in time to spend Christmas with their families: Lev Alburt; Vladimir Bagirov; Yuri Balashov; Iossif Davidovich Dorfman; Efim Geller; Karen Ashotovich Grigorian; Boris Gulko; Alexander Kochyev; Gennadi Kuzmin; Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian; Lev Polugaevsky; Oleg Romanishin; Vasily Smyslov; Evgeni Ellinovich Sveshnikov; Mikhail Tal; Vladimir Borisovich Tukmakov. Well, maybe it wasn't Christmas, but it was a time of peace as two-thirds of the games were drawn, a USSR Championship record. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Petrosian found his way to the lead. However, a loss in round 8 allowed Gulko to first catch him, then take the lead with a win over Smyslov in round 9. At this point both players went into draw mode, spliting point after point. That set up a last-round showdown between the leaders, reminiscent of the situation in 1975 where Petrosian defeated tournament leader Gulko in the penultimate round. However, Boris kept his head (helped by having White this time around) and drew to keep his lead over Petrosian. But not over everybody else. The slow pace allowed Dorfman to come back and tie for first with a last round win over Smyslov. Meanwhile, Polugaevsky and Tal fought for a chance to catch Petrosian for third place, and this time the older man prevailed. Gulko and Dorfman then drew a six game play-off match *Game Collection: Gulko - Dorfman Play-off Match, 1978)m so everybody just called it a day and let them reign as co-champions.


Light edge wear else a very good copy.