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Untitled Document

history of chess tournaments in Marienbad

Snowdrops vs. Oldhands – Czech Coal Chess Match 2011

History of Chess Tournaments in Marienbad

Spa towns are traditionaly hosts towns of chess events. Marienbad too has got a respecteble chess history.

1925: Nimcowitsch and Rubinstein

Marienbad first enter the world of chess in 1925, when the town hosted a strongly attended international tournament. The tournament was organized by Isidor Gunsberg, who was also the tournament director. He started his chess career as a hidden person in chess automaton Mefisto, but later he made his name as a tournament player too. In a tournament book Gunsberg thanked Mr Baruch, the director of two hotels, and also to Mr Schwappachera, the director of the town's spa. At the tournament Aaron Nimcowitsch reached perhaps one of his biggest successes, when he shared the top place with Akiba Rubinstein. Both of them gained 11 points out of the possible 15. The third and fourth position were taken by Marshall, who was the only one not to loose any game, and Torre Repetto, both gaining 10 points. They were followed by Réti and Tartakover, both 9 1 points and Spielmann 8 1 points The last one to receive a cash price was Grünfeld for his 8 points. Apart from prices for received points a few extra prices for beautifully performed games were given out. The first major chess tournament in Marienbad lasted for three weeks, ending on 8 July 1925
Order: Nimcowitsch, Rubinstein 11, Marshall, Torre Repetto 10, Réti, Tartakover 9 1/2, Spielman 8 1/2...
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O rozluštění účastníků na fotografii se zasloužil historik Jan Kalendovský. zleva: N.N., A. Nimcovič, R.P. Michell, A. Rubinstein, I. Gunsberg, N.N., V. Tietz, Sir George Thomas, D. Janovskij, F.J. Marshall, F.D.Yates
stojící: L. Burian, H. Kmoch, M. Walter, C. Torre, N.N., D. Przepiórka, R. Spielmann, R. Réti, E. Grunfeld, F. Samisch, S. Tartakoweb, A. Haida, K. Opočenský.

1948: Foltys

In 1948 a chess tournament of West Bohemia Spa Towns was organized, the first half was held in Carlsbad and the second in Marienbad. After the first half of the tournament an order of the top players was following: Steiner, Vidmar 7 1/2, Barcza, Janowski 7, Pirc, Stoltz 6 1/2, Foltys, Opocensky, Tartakover 6. Savielly Tartakover, then sixty-one years old, did not only take part in the Marienbad tournament in 1925, but also he competed in all four Carlsbad tournaments. The unexpectably strong finish (5,5 out of 6) made Jan Foltys the winner of the tournament.
Order: Foltys 13, Barcza 12 1/2, Steiner 12, Pirc, Stoltz 11 1/2, Opočenský, Vidmar 11...
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Účastníci turnaje Západočeských lázní 1948

1951: Pachman

In 1951 Marienbad held FIDE's Zonal Tournament. The players competed in Donbas hotel, with the exception of the two last rounds, when the tournament was moved to Prague. Czech players were once again playing pretty well. The tournament was won by Ludek Pachman, who was not beaten once, receiving 13 points out of possible 16. The international master Foltys did not started off well, but because of the good finish, he manage to qualify.
Order: Pachman 13, Szabó 12, Barcza, Stoltz 10 1/2, Foltys, Benkö 10…
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Pásmový turnaj FIDE 1951

1954: Pachman

In 1954, the second zonal tournament was played in Marienbad, this time under a sad name Jan Foltys Memorial. In March 1952, Jan Foltys died of leukemia at the young age of 43. Marienbad hosted rounds 7 – 14, the rest of the tournament was played in Prague. The winner was once again Pachman, this time winning only for half a point ahead of a Hungarian grandmaster Szabó, who managed to beat Pachman in a direct combat. For nineteen years old Fridrik Olafsson and Wolfgang Uhlmann it was their first time at the zonal tournament.
Order: Pachman 15, Szabó 14 1/2, Sliwa 13, Filip, Stahlberg 12 1/2, Olaffson 11 1/2...
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Pásmový turnaj FIDE 1954

Luděk Pachman v pásmovém turnaji v Mariánských Lázních 1954

1956 and 1959: Filip a Polugaievsky

Other two strongly attended tournaments were played in Mariensbad in 1956, this tournament was partly organized by Prague, and in 1959. The first one, Steinitz Memorial Tournament, was won by a Czechoslovakian player Miroslav Filip. The second came Viacheslav Ragozin, which was for a Botvinnik's second one of his biggest sport successes in 50's. Salo Flohr was left with the third position, he got a better rating then the fourth Ludek Pachman. At 1959 tournament, Lev Polugaievsky and Laszló Szabó battled to win the tournament. The eighteen years younger Soviet Union's player won the battle and at the end also the entire tournament securing an extra half a point. Out of the Czechoslovakian players, the best were Július Kozma and Maximilián Ujtelky.
Order of tournament Mariensbad – Prague 1956: Filip 13, Ragozin 12 1/2, Flohr, Pachman 12, Stahlberg 11 1/2…
Order of Mariensbad tournament 1959: Polugajevskij 11 1/2, Szabó 11, Kozma, Ujtelky 9 1/2...

full chart 1956 full chart 1959

1961: Olafsson

In 1960 a zonal tournament were to take place in Dutch Berg en Dal. Political pressure of the cold war resulted in visa refusal to Wolfgang Uhlmann, who was sent from Amsterdam airport back to Germany. To express their disagreement, Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Polish and Yugoslavian players refused to take part at the tournament. Nevertheless, the tournament went on and it was won by Icelander Fridrik Olafsson, who received 7 1/2 points out of possible 9. However at the end the results were anuled and the tournament replayed, this time in Marienbad. Olafsson managed to win this time around too, followed by Miroslav Filip and Wolfgang Uhlmann. FIDE awarded the right to the second and the third player from Berg en Dal to compete for one qualifying position. When the score was 3 - 3, the Austrian player Dückstein stteped down and hence the last qualifyng position was taken by a Western German player Teschner.
Order: Olafsson 12 1/2, Filip 12, Uhlmann 10 1/2, Johannessen 9 1/2, Ghitescu 9, Čirić a BoboThetsov 8 1/2…
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1962: Spassky, Gufeld, Bagirov

Similarly as in the case of the zonal tournament in Berg en Dal, not all of the potential players of the 1962 World Championship of the University Students Teams obtained the needed visa, so instead of the planed Great Britain, the tournament was moved to Marienbad. The organizers managed to prepare the tournament within less then two months, for which they received an international praise. The head of the committee of organizers was Jaroslav Sajtar, the main referee of the tournament was Karel Opocensky and one of the other referees was Igor Bondarevsky. 18 teams played in the tournament, they were divided into three groups, each of which has six members. One half qualified for final A and the second half for final B. Czechoslovakian team won a bronze medal, the Yugoslavian team secured silver. The winner of the tournament was the Soviet Union's team, which was led by the only grandmaster presented at the tournament, Boris Spassky.
Order: 1. USSR 14 (gm Boris Spassky 7 1/2 out of 9 , Eduard Gufeld 7 1/2 out of 10, Vladimir Bagirov 7 1/2 out of 10, Vladimir Savon 6 out of 7, German Khodos 7 1/2 out of 9, Hans Tomson 6 out of 7); 2. Yugoslavia 12 (Dragoljub Čirić 7 out of 11, Dragoljub Minić 8 out of 10 , Dražen Marović 7 1/2 out of 12, Predrag Ostojić 9 out of 12, Ivan Nemet 31 out of 5); 3. Czechoslovakia 10 (Vlastimil Hort 8 out of 12, Vlastimil Jansa 6 1/2 out of 11, Lubomír Kaválek 5 1/2 out of 9, Jindřich Trapl 5 out of 9, Slavoj Kupka 6 out of 8, Michal Janata 2 out of 3)...

1962 and 1965: Tajmanov and Keres and Hort

International chess tournaments were held in Marienbad in 60's too, however after that the tradition was broken for a longer period of time. In 1962 Mark Taimanov won leaving behind Georgij Tringovem and Božidar Djuraševič. They were followed by a group of player, who gained 7 point, to which belonged together with more experienced counterparts then only eighteen years old Vlastimil Hort. Three years on, Hort came second, being overtaken by Paul Keres, who managed to get a better rating. The third position was taken by Leonid Shamkovich, then still a citizen of the Soviet Union. With a wider gap from the leading trio, which did not receive any nil, followed Wolfgang Uhlmann, who received one half point more then two Czechoslovakian players and a chess matador Gideon Stahlberg.
Order of the Marienbad 1962 tournament: Tajmanov 8, Tringov, Djuraševič 7 1/2, Čirić, Sliwa, Hort, Ghitescu po 7…
Order of the Mariensbad 1965 tournament: Keres, Hort 11, Shamkovich 10 1/2, Uhlmann 9, Filip, Pachman, Stahlberg po 8 1/2…

full chart 1962
full chart 1965

1978: Prandstetter

In 1978 Marienbad hosted a Czechoslovakian Chess Championship. The winner was Eduard Prandstetter with 11 1/2 points out of 16, leaving behind Jan Smejkal with 11 and Jan Sikora Lerch with 10. The same year, when he turned twenty, Marek Vokac secured the fourth position at the tournament.
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2008: Karpov, Hort, Olafsson a Uhlmann

In 2008 a two-round Scheveningen match Snowdrops versus Old-hands - Czech Coal Chess Match was played in Marienbad. Chess legends Anatoly Karpov, Vlastimil Hort, Fridrik Olafsson and Wolfgang Uhlmann won 17,5 : 14,5 over the team of young women grandmasters Viktorija Cmilyte, Anna Ushenina, Katerina Nemcova a Jana Jackova. The best individual result was reached by the grandmaster Vlastimil Hort (6,5 points out of 8 games). Out of the women team the best was Viktorija Cmilyte with (4,5 points out of 8 games).

2009: Kortchoi, Timman, Hort and Hübner

In 2009 there was the double-rounds scheveningen match Snowdrops and Oldhands – Czech Coal Chess Match in Marianske Lazne. The team of chess legends Viktor Kortchnoi, Jan Timman, Vlastimil Hort and Robert Hübner lost 15,5 : 16,5 to the team of yound grandmasters Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Katarina Lahno and Jana Jackova. The best individual result was reached by Humpy Koneru (5,5 points from 8 games). The best result from Oldhands was reached by Jan Timman (4,5 points from 8 games).

2010: Hort, Portisch, Velimirovic and Uhlmann

In 2009 there was the double-rounds scheveningen match Snowdrops and Oldhands – Czech Coal Chess Match in Marianske Lazne. The team of chess legends Vlastimil Hort, Lajos Portisch, Dragoljub Velimirovic and Wolfgang Uhlmann lost 14 : 18 to the team of yound grandmasters Humpy Koneru, Arianne Caoili, Tereza Olsarova and Viktorija Cmilyte. The best individual result was reached by Humpy Koneru (6 points from 8 games). The best result from Oldhands was reached by Vlastimil Hort (5 points from 8 games).

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