Author: Jack Lee Spence (1926-1978)
Publisher: Spence Limited Editions
iii+39+[2 ad] pages with tables. Quarto (10 3/4" x 8 1/2") bound in spiral wrappers. Foreign Tournament Series Volume VI. Limited edition series number 24 of 140 copies. Facsimile copy of original publication.
The 23rd USSR Championship was held in Leningrad from January 10 through February 15, 1956. While not as strong at the previous year's edition, it did feature the first appearance of perennial contenders Tal and Polugaevsky as part of this cast of characters: Vladimir Antoshin Yuri Averbakh Anatolij Bannik Isaac Boleslavsky Georgy Konstantinovich Borisenko Vasily Byvshev Abram Khasin Ratmir Kholmov Viktor Korchnoi Georgy Lisitsin Lev Polugaevsky Viacheslav Ragozin Vladimir Simagin Boris Spassky Mark Taimanov Mikhail Tal Alexander Kazimirovich Tolush Vladlen Yakovlevich Zurakhov. Though both newcomers did well, Averbakh and Spassky spent most of the tournament conducting the major battle for the crown. Kholmov, Korchnoi, Taimanov, and Tal stayed close, but were not able to maintain themselves in the top places. By round 14, Averbakh and Spassky had 10 points, a full point ahded of Kholmov and 1 1/2 ahead of Korchnoi, Polugaevsky, Taimanov and Tal. Averbakh then drew out to reach 11.5. Spassky reached the same score more adventurously with a win over Lisitsin followed by a loss to Korchnoi and a last round draw. Thus, Averbakh and Spassky shared first--with a hard-charging Taimanov, who did what he had to do by winning his last three games. Taimanov's momentum carried over into the play-off match. This was marred by Spassky's illness, which prevented him from playing his second game with Averbakh. However, it made no difference as Taimanov had clinched the gold medal by that point.
Facsimile copy else very good.