World Chess Championship 1951

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The 1951 World Chess Championship was played between Mikhail Botvinnik and David Bronstein in Moscow from March 15 to May 11, 1951. Botvinnik retained his title.

1948 Interzonal tournament[edit]

An interzonal tournament was held at Saltsjöbaden in Stockholm, Sweden, in July and August 1948. The top eight finishers qualified for the Candidates tournament.

1948 Interzonal Tournament
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Total Tie break
1  David Bronstein (Soviet Union) x 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 13½
2  László Szabó (Hungary) 0 x ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 12½
3  Isaac Boleslavsky (Soviet Union) ½ ½ x ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 12
4  Alexander Kotov (Soviet Union) 0 ½ ½ x ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 11½
5  Andor Lilienthal (Soviet Union) ½ 0 ½ ½ x 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 11
6  Igor Bondarevsky (Soviet Union) ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 x ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 10½ 93.75
7  Miguel Najdorf (Argentina) ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ x ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 10½ 93.75
8  Gideon Ståhlberg (Sweden) ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ x ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 10½ 93.75
9  Salo Flohr (Soviet Union) ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ x ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 10½ 93.25
10  Petar Trifunović (Yugoslavia) ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ x ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 10
11  Vasja Pirc (Yugoslavia) 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ x ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 87.75
12  Svetozar Gligorić (Yugoslavia) ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ x 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 84.50
13  Eero Böök (Finland) ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 x ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 81.25
14  Viacheslav Ragozin (Soviet Union) 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ x 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 78.75
15  Daniel Yanofsky (Canada) ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 x 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 78.25
16  Savielly Tartakower (France) 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 x 0 ½ ½ ½ 8
17  Ludek Pachman (Czechoslovakia) ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 x 1 ½ 1
18  Gösta Stoltz (Sweden) 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 x ½ ½
19  Lajos Steiner (Australia) 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ x ½
20  Erik Lundin (Sweden) 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ x

The four players tied for sixth place were to have played off for three spots in the Candidates tournament, but Bondarevsky had to withdraw due to illness, so the other three qualified automatically.

1950 Candidates tournament[edit]

The 1950 Candidates tournament was held in Budapest, Hungary in April and May 1950. The players who finished second through fifth in the 1948 championship tournament (Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky, and Euwe) were seeded directly into the tournament, along with Reuben Fine, who had been invited to the 1948 tournament but had to withdraw for health reasons. Reshevsky, Euwe, and Fine all declined to take part. The remaining two (Smyslov and Keres) were joined by the top eight finishers from the Interzonal.

1950 Candidates Tournament
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score Tie break
1  David Bronstein (Soviet Union) xx = = 0 1 = 1 1 1 1 = 0 1 = = 1 = = 1 12 103.00
2  Isaac Boleslavsky (Soviet Union) = = xx 1 = = = = = 1 = = = = 1 = 1 1 1 12 101.25
3  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union) 1 0 0 = xx = = 1 = = 1 0 1 = 1 = = = = 10
4  Paul Keres (Soviet Union) = 0 = = = = xx = = 1 0 1 = = = = 1 = =
5  Miguel Najdorf (Argentina) 0 0 = = 0 = = = xx = = = = 1 1 = 1 = = 9
6  Alexander Kotov (Soviet Union) 0 = 0 = = 0 0 1 = = xx = 1 1 0 1 0 1 =
7  Gideon Ståhlberg (Sweden) 1 0 = = 1 0 0 = = = = 0 xx = = = = = = 8
8  Andor Lilienthal (Soviet Union) = = = 0 = 0 = = 0 0 0 1 = = xx 1 0 = = 7 63.00
9  László Szabó (Hungary) 0 = = 0 = = = 0 = 0 0 1 = = 0 1 xx 1 0 7 61.75
10  Salo Flohr (Soviet Union) = 0 0 0 = = = = = = 0 = = = = = 0 1 xx 7 60.75

The co-winners then played a 12-game rematch in Moscow in July and August 1950. In the event of another tie, the first decisive game would determine Botvinnik's challenger for the title.

Candidates playoff 1950
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points 13 14 Total
 David Bronstein (Soviet Union) 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 6 ½ 1
 Isaac Boleslavsky (Soviet Union) 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 6 ½ 0

Bronstein thus earned the right to challenge the reigning champion.

1951 Championship match[edit]

The match was played as best of 24 games. If it ended 12-12, Botvinnik, the holder, would retain the Championship.

World Chess Championship Match 1951
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
 Mikhail Botvinnik (Soviet Union) ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 12
 David Bronstein (Soviet Union) ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 0 ½ 12

Botvinnik retained the championship.

External links[edit]