World Championship Candidates 1953 at Neuhausen and Zurich

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Author: Hooper, David Vincent (1915- ) and William Winter (editors)

Year: 1953

Publisher: K Whyld

Place: Nottingham


[4]+96 pages with table and index. Quarto (10 1/4" x 8 1/2") bound in original publisher's stiff boards with spiral spine. Annotations by David Hooper and William Winter. Errata taped to back inside board. (Betts: 25-221) First edition.

Contains an introduction covering the general course of the tournament, the performances of the players and the general openings trends (by Winter); the 210 games with brief notes; and a detailed index of openings (by Hooper). Reissued in 1968 by The Chess Player, as number 77 in The Chess Player series of tournament books.

The Swiss Chess Federation spent 100,000 Swiss Francs in order to stage the event, which was one of the reasons they insisted that host countries pay the travel expenses for their respective players. Prize money for first place was 5,000 Swiss francs. Alois Nagler was tournament director. All contestants brought a second except for Bronstein and Reshevsky: Miroljub Trifunovic (Gligoric), Salomon Flohr (Taimanov), Julio Bolbochan (Najdorf), Andre Lilienthal (Petrosian), Mikhail Beilin (Averbakh), Carel Benjamin van den Berg (Euwe), Kristian Skold (Stahlberg), Tibor Florian (Szabó), Alexey Sokolsky (Boleslavsky), Viktor Moiseev (Kotov), Igor Bondarevsky (Geller), Vladimir Simagin (Smyslov), and Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush (Keres). The opening banquet featured speeches by FIDE President Folke Rogard, Mark Taimanov, and Miguel Najdorf. Vasily Smyslov sang an aria from Italian opera and Taimanov played piano compositions by Tchaikovsky and Chopin. 1 The players and their seconds stayed at the Bellevue Hotel in the beautiful resort town of Neuhausen am Rheinfall. 4 Play began on Sunday 30 August in the spacious Kirchgemeindehaus (Parish Hall), which would host the first 8 rounds. A local factory had pledged a gold watch to whoever led after Round 7, which turned out to be both Smylsov and Reshevsky. Both got a watch. In Round 9 play began in the Kongresshaus (Salon of Music in the House of Parliament) in Zürich, which would host the rest of the tournament. From rounds 9-11 Reshevsky led, only to be overtaken by Smyslov in Round 12. At the conclusion of the first half of the tournament, Smyslov was the only undefeated player, leading Reshevsky and Bronstein by a point. The American kept pace with Smyslov, sharing the lead by Round 21. The stage was set for a showdown in Round 25, with Reshevsky just a half point behind Smyslov and facing him in their second meeting of the tournament- Smyslov vs Reshevsky, 1953. Smyslov obtained an advantage out of the opening and began inexorably to restrict black's activity. According to Smyslov, the first critical moment came when Reshevsky made a "reckless attempt to complicate matters" with <33...f5>. Smyslov judged that "objectively, this move should be condemned, since it makes it easier for White to attack." Reshevsky resigned after 56 moves, giving Smyslov a 1 1/2 point lead over him with just 5 rounds to go. Smyslov cruised home easily to win the tournament by 2 points. He had earned the right to play Mikhail Botvinnik in a match for the world championship: Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954).


Some pencil notations, edges slightly darkened. A very good copy.