1972 40th Chess Championship of USSR (Score Sheet)

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Author: Tal, Mikhail (1936-1992) and Ratmir Dmitrievich Kholmov signed

Year: 1972

Publisher: USSR

Place: Moscow


original quarto (11" x 7 1/2") score sheet printed on official stationery of the event in Tal's hand. Signed by both Tal and Kholmov, played on December, 19 1972 in the 21st round no signed by the arbiters of the tournament. Queen's Indian Defense with a fifteen move draw.

The 40th Soviet Chess Championship was a category XI event played in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan from November 16th to December 25th, 1972. Nineteen of the USSR's best masters and grandmasters qualified for the round robin tournament, which also counted as a zonal event for the world championship cycle, from the four Soviet semi-finals held earlier in the year. The qualifiers were (with ELO at time of championship): Semyon Furman (2520), Evgeni Vasiukov (2575), Mikhail Mukhin (2420), and Ratmir Kholmov (2550) qualified from Uzhgorod; Nukhim Rashkovsky (2430), Eduard Gufeld (2525), Anatoly Lein (2530), Yuri Razuvaev (2490), and Karen Grigorian (2470) qualified from Cheliabinsk; Valery Zhidkov (2490), Roman Dzindzichashvili (2500), Leonid Shamkovich (2535), Yuri Balashov (2560), and Vitaly Tseshkovsky qualified from Kaliningrad; and Lev Alburt (2450), Gennadi Kuzmin (2520), Valery Zilberstein (2445), Albert Kapengut (2485), and Vladimir Tukmakov (2560) qualified from Odessa. Vitaly Tseshkovsky was unable to attend so he was replaced with Vladimir Bagirov (2515). The field was completed by the attendance of David Bronstein (2585) and Mikhail Tal (2625), both previous Soviet champions, and by the attendance of last year's Soviet champion Vladimir Savon (2595). Although not as strong as some of the top championships in the past, Tal dominated with his usual flair, finishing undefeated and clear first with 15/21, two points ahead of sole second place, Tukmakov. This Soviet crown was Tal's fourth of an eventual six he would win in his longer career as one of the world's very best chess players.

Mikhail Tal (Latvian: Mihails Tāls; Russian: Михаил Нехемьевич Таль, Michail Nechem'evič Tal, [mʲixʌˈiɫ nʲɪˈxɛmʲɪvʲit͡ɕ ˈtal]; sometimes transliterated Mihails Tals or Mihail Tal; November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992) was a Soviet-Latvian chess Grandmaster and the eighth World Chess Champion. Widely regarded as a creative genius and the best attacking player of all time, he played in a daring, combination style. His play was known above all for improvisation and unpredictability. Every game, he once said, was as inimitable and invaluable as a poem. He was often called "Misha", a diminutive for Mikhail, and "The magician from Riga". Both The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004) and Modern Chess Brilliancies (Evans 1970) include more games by Tal than any other player. Tal was also a highly regarded chess writer. He also holds the records for both the first and second longest unbeaten streaks in competitive chess history.On May 28, 1992, dying from kidney failure, he left hospital to play at the Moscow blitz tournament, where he defeated Garry Kasparov. He died one month later. The Mikhail Tal Memorial is held in Moscow each year since 2006 to honor his memory.

Ratmir Dmitrievich Kholmov (Russian: Ратмир Дмитриевич Холмов, Lithuanian: Ratmir Cholmovas, German: Ratmir Cholmow) (13 May 1925 in Shenkursk – 18 February 2006 in Moscow) was a Russian chess Grandmaster. He won many international tournaments in Eastern Europe during his career, and tied for the Soviet Championship title in 1963, but lost the playoff. Kholmov was not well known in the West, since he never competed there during his career peak, being confined to events in socialist countries. His chess results were impressive, so this may have been for security reasons, as Kholmov had been a wartime sailor. But he was one of the strongest Soviet players from the mid-1950s well into the 1970s, and was ranked as high as No. 8 in the world by Chessmetrics.com from August 1960 to March 1961. Kholmov stayed active in competitive chess right to the end of his life, and maintained a high standard.


Head edge cropped, some age darkening and edge wear, signed on both sides of the sheet else a very good copy.