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World Chess Championship 1975

The 1975 World Chess Championship was not played due to a dispute over the match format. Champion Bobby Fischer (United States) was to play Anatoly Karpov (Soviet Union) in Manila, commencing June 1, 1975. Fischer refused to play the then-standard "Best of 24 games" match, and after FIDE was unable to work out a compromise, forfeited his title instead. Karpov was named World Champion by default on April 3, 1975.

1973 Interzonal tournamentsEdit

Two 18-player, single round robin Interzonals were played with the top three from each qualifying for the Candidates Tournament. Leningrad and Petropolis, Brazil were the venues.

June 1973 Interzonal, Leningrad
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total Tie break (not used)
1   Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union) 2635 - ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 1 13½ 108.25
2   Anatoly Karpov (Soviet Union) 2545 ½ - ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 13½ 104.25
3   Robert Byrne (United States) 2570 0 ½ - ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 12½
4   Jan Smejkal (Czechoslovakia) 2570 ½ 0 ½ - 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11
5   Robert Hübner (West Germany) 2600 0 ½ ½ 1 - 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 10 79.50
6   Bent Larsen (Denmark) 2620 0 ½ 0 1 1 - 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 10 75.00
7   Gennady Kuzmin (Soviet Union) 2565 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 - 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½
8   Mikhail Tal (Soviet Union) 2655 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 - 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 0 1 0 1 67.25
9   Svetozar Gligorić (Yugoslavia) 2595 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 0 - ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1 64.00
10   Mark Taimanov (Soviet Union) 2595 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ - ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 63.00
11   Miguel Quinteros (Argentina) 2480 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ - 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 55.75
12   Ivan Radulov (Bulgaria) 2510 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 - 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 49.50
13   Wolfgang Uhlmann (East Germany) 2550 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 - ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7 51.75
14   Eugenio Torre (Philippines) 2430 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ - ½ 1 1 1 7 45.00
15   Josip Rukavina (Yugoslavia) 2460 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ - 0 1 ½
16   Vladimir Tukmakov (Soviet Union) 2560 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 - ½ 1 6
17   Guillermo Estévez Morales (Cuba) 2385 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ - 1
18   Miguel Cuéllar (Colombia) 2400 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 -

Korchnoi, Karpov, and Byrne qualified for the Candidates Tournament.

July–August 1973 Interzonal, Petropolis
Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total Tie break (not used)
1   Henrique Mecking (Brazil) 2575 - ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 12
2   Efim Geller (Soviet Union) 2585 ½ - ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 11½ 89.50
3   Lev Polugaevsky (Soviet Union) 2640 ½ ½ - 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 11½ 88.00
4   Lajos Portisch (Hungary) 2645 ½ ½ 0 - ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 11½ 85.50
5   Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union) 2600 0 ½ ½ ½ - 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 11
6   David Bronstein (Soviet Union) 2585 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 - 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 0 10½
7   Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia) 2610 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 - 1 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 10
8   Vladimir Savon (Soviet Union) 2570 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 - ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1
9   Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia) 2535 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ - ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 9 72.75
10   Ljubomir Ljubojević (Yugoslavia) 2570 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 1 ½ - 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 9 67.50
11   Samuel Reshevsky (United States) 2575 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 - 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1
12   Oscar Panno (Argentina) 2580 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 - ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 8 62.50
13   Paul Keres (Soviet Union) 2605 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ - ½ ½ 1 1 1 8 54.25
14   Florin Gheorghiu (Romania) 2530 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ - 1 ½ ½ 1
15   Peter Biyiasas (Canada) 2395 ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 - ½ 1 1
16   Tan Lian Ann (Singapore) 2365 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ - ½ 0 3 22.00
17   Werner Hug (Switzerland) 2445 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ - ½ 3 20.25
18   Shimon Kagan (Israel) 2405 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ - 3 19.50

Mecking qualified outright for the Candidates Tournament, while the three players tied for second place contested a playoff in Portoroz for the remaining two spots.

September 1973 playoff, Portoroz
Rating 1 2 3 Total
1   Lajos Portisch (Hungary) 2650 - 11== =1==
2   Lev Polugaevsky (Soviet Union) 2625 00== - 110=
3   Efim Geller (Soviet Union) 2605 =0== 001= - 3

Portisch and Polugaevsky qualified.

1974 Candidates tournamentEdit

The 1974 Candidates Tournament was played as knockout matches. Spassky as the loser of the last championship match and Petrosian as loser of the previous candidates final were seeded directly into the tournament and joined by the top three from each of the two interzonals.

The first round matches were first to win three games, draws not counting. Semifinals were first to four wins, while the final was first to five wins but with a maximum of 24 games. Karpov beat Korchnoi 3–2 with 19 draws, earning the right to challenge Fischer.

  Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Final
                           
  Moscow, Jan–Feb 1974
     Anatoly Karpov  
     Lev Polugaevsky     Leningrad, Apr–May 1974
       Anatoly Karpov 7  
  San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan 1974      Boris Spassky 4  
     Boris Spassky
     Robert Byrne     Moscow, Sep–Nov 1974
       Anatoly Karpov 12½
  Augusta, Georgia, USA 1974        Viktor Korchnoi 11½
     Viktor Korchnoi  
     Henrique Mecking     Odessa, Apr 1974
       Viktor Korchnoi
  Palma de Mallorca 1974      Tigran Petrosian (forfeit)  
     Tigran Petrosian 7
     Lajos Portisch 6  

The semifinal stage was marked by the presence of two ex-champions, Petrosian and Spassky, playing in different matches. The two had faced each other in the 1966 and 1969 title matches. Both were eliminated in this stage of the current cycle. Although the match rules called for four wins in the semifinals, Petrosian resigned the match after losing three games.

Candidates Final MatchEdit

Candidates Match 1974[1]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Points
  Anatoly Karpov (USSR) ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 12½
  Viktor Korchnoi (USSR) ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 11½

Championship matchEdit

Fischer had, prior to his 1972 match against Spassky, felt that the first-to-12½-points format was not fair, since it encouraged whoever was leading to play for draws instead of wins. He himself espoused this strategy in the match: after having taken a comfortable lead, he drew games 14–20. With each game, he coasted closer to the title, while Spassky lost a chance to fight back. This style of chess offended Fischer. Instead he demanded the format be changed to that used in the very first World Championship, between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort, where the winner was the first player to score 10 wins with draws not counting. In case of a 9–9 score, the champion would retain title, and the prize fund split equally.[2][3] A FIDE Congress was held in 1974 during the Nice Olympiad. The delegates voted in favor of Fischer's 10-win proposal, but rejected the 9–9 clause as well as the possibility of an unlimited match.[4] In response, Fischer refused to defend his title. Deadlines were extended for Fischer's reconsideration, but he did not respond, so Karpov was named World Champion by default on April 3, 1975.

AftermathEdit

After Fischer defaulted, Karpov became World Champion by forfeit. Whether Karpov could have beaten Fischer is a matter of speculation. Future world champion Garry Kasparov argued that Karpov would have had good chances, because he had beaten Spassky convincingly and was a new breed of tough professional, and indeed had higher quality games, while Fischer had been inactive for three years.[5] Spassky thought that Fischer would have won in 1975 but Karpov would have qualified again and beaten Fischer in 1978.[6]

Karpov had become world champion without defeating the previous champion in a match, causing some to question the legitimacy of his title. He combated these questions by participating in nearly every major tournament for the next ten years.[7] He convincingly won the very strong Milan tournament in 1975, and captured his first of three Soviet titles in 1976. He created a phenomenal streak of tournament wins against the strongest players in the world. Karpov held the record for most consecutive tournament victories (9) until it was shattered by Garry Kasparov (14). As a result, most experts soon acknowledged him as a legitimate world champion.[8][9][10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974)". Chessgames Services LLC.
  2. ^ Seirawan, Yasser. Winning Chess Brilliancies. Microsoft Press. ISBN 978-1857443479.
  3. ^ Kasparov, Garry. My Great Predecessors, Volume IV. Gloucester Publishers. ISBN 1-85744-395-0.
  4. ^ Plisetsky & Voronkov 2005, pp. 412–13
  5. ^ Kasparov, My Great Predecessors, part IV: Fischer, p. 474
  6. ^ In an article (PDF) published in 2004 on the Chesscafe website Susan Polgar wrote: "I spoke to Boris Spassky about this same issue and he believes that Bobby would have won in 1975, but that Anatoly would have won the rematch."
  7. ^ Seirawan, Yasser. Winning Chess Strategies. Microsoft Press. ISBN 978-1857443851.
  8. ^ Seirawan, Yasser. Winning Chess Brilliancies. Microsoft Press. ISBN 9781857443479.
  9. ^ Goodman, David (1986). The Centenary Match Kasparov-Karpov III. Macmillan Pub Co. ISBN 978-0020287001.
  10. ^ Fine, Reuben (1976). The world's great chess games. Ishi Press. ISBN 978-4871875325.

Further readingEdit

  • Anatoly Karpov: The Road to the World Chess Championship, Robert Byrne, Bantam Books, 1976

External linksEdit