World Chess Championship 1975

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The 1975 World Chess Championship was never 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. However, he refused to play the then-standard "Best of 24 games" match, and after FIDE were unable to work out a compromise, forfeited his title instead. Karpov was named World Champion by default on April 3, 1975.

1973 Interzonal tournaments[edit]

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
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
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 tournament[edit]

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
   Soviet Union Anatoly Karpov  
   Soviet Union Lev Polugaevsky     Leningrad, Apr-May 1974
     Soviet Union Anatoly Karpov 7  
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan 1974    Soviet Union Boris Spassky 4  
   Soviet Union Boris Spassky
   United States Robert Byrne     Moscow, Sep-Nov 1974
     Soviet Union Anatoly Karpov 12½
  Augusta, Georgia, USA 1974      Soviet Union Viktor Korchnoi 11½
   Soviet Union Viktor Korchnoi  
   Brazil Henrique Mecking     Odessa, Apr 1974
     Soviet Union Viktor Korchnoi
Palma de Mallorca 1974    Soviet Union Tigran Petrosian (forfeit)  
   Soviet Union Tigran Petrosian 7
   Hungary 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. He then attempted, through political means, to have the result of the match reversed.[citation needed]

Championship match[edit]

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.[1][2] 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.[3] 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.

Aftermath[edit]

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.[4] Spassky thought that Fischer would have won in 1975 but Karpov would have qualified again and beaten Fischer in 1978.[5]

The manner in which he became champion was a monkey Karpov carried on his back for the rest of his career. He combated this by participating in nearly every major tournament for the next ten years. 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 (nine) until it was shattered by Garry Kasparov (14). As a result, most chess professionals eventually agreed that Karpov is a legitimate world champion.[6]

Karpov is on record saying that if he had had the opportunity to play Fischer for the crown in his twenties, he could have been a much better player as a result.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seirawan, Yasser. Winning Chess Brilliancies. Microsoft Press. ISBN 978-1857443479. 
  2. ^ Kasparov, Garry. My Great Predecessors, Volume IV. Gloucester Publishers. ISBN 1-85744-395-0. 
  3. ^ Plisetsky & Voronkov 2005, pp. 412–13
  4. ^ Kasparov, My Great Predecessors, part IV: Fischer, p. 474
  5. ^ 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."
  6. ^ Seirawan, Yasser. Winning Chess Strategies. Microsoft Press. ISBN 978-1857443851. 

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]