Montreal 1979 Tournament of Stars

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Author: Tal, Mikhail (1936-1992); Viktor Chepizhny and Alexander Borisovich Roshal

Year: 1980

Publisher: Pergamon Press

Place: Oxford, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Paris and Frankfurt


xxxi+204 with frontispiece, photographs, diagrams, tables and appendices. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 7 3/4") bound in original publisher pictorial wrappers. Translated by Kenneth P Neat. (Lusis: 1842) First edition.

In the spring of 1979, Lubomir Kavalek, along with Czech filmmakers Milos Forman and Ivan Passer, organized a double round robin tournament to be held in Montreal, Quebec from April 10th to May 7th. Dubbed "The Tournament of Stars," the event was attended by ten of the very strongest grandmasters at the time, including the world champion. The complete list of players was (in order of ELO): Anatoli Karpov (2705), Lajos Portisch (2640), Boris Spassky (2640), Bent Larsen (2625), Jan Timman (2625), Mikhail Tal (2615), Vlastimil Hort (2600), Robert Hübner (2595), Lubomir Kavalek (2590), and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2590). As a result, the average ELO rating for the tournament was 2622, making "The Tournament of Stars" a category XV event. It was also one of the strongest tournaments ever organized at that time. The only two top-ten rated players missing were Bobby Fischer (who was reclusive at the time) and Viktor Korchnoi (who was being boycotted to secure Soviet participation). The players stayed at the Meridian Hotel overlooking downtown Montreal, and they played at the Quebec Pavilion. The prize fund for the event was $110,000 and the chief arbiter was Svetozar Gligoric. Portisch and Ljubojevic started out strong, but were eventually overtaken after the halfway point by the world champion Karpov and the then-current Soviet champion Tal. In the sixteenth round, Karpov fought hard to defeat Tal and gain the lead, but the former world champion held him to a draw. It was only by a brilliant win against Ljubojevic with the black pieces in the penultimate round that Karpov was able to tie Tal in the final round and share first place with him. A point and a half behind was Lajos Portisch with +10 1/2. Ljubomir Ljubojević was fourth with +9. Jan Timman and Boris Spassky shared fifth and sixth a half point behind. Seventh through ninth was shared by Lubomir Kavalek, Robert Hübner and Vlastimil Hort with +8. Last was Bent Larsen with a score of 5 1/2.


Corners gently bumped, some light edge wear else a very good to fine copy.