1972 40th Chess Championship of USSR (Score Sheet)

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Author: Zhidkov, Valery S (1939- ) and Mikhail Tal signed

Year: 1972

Publisher: USSR Chess Federation

Place: Moscow


Original quarto (11" x 7 1/2") score sheet printed on official stationery of the event in Valery Zhidkov's hand. Signed by both Valery Zhidkov and Tal, played in round eighteen, December 14th not signed by the arbiters of the tournament. Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 97 moves with a win by Tal.

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.


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