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Some USSR Chess Championship statistics and records

Here's your chance to learn some fascinating facts about the USSR Championship players, including those you probably never heard about!

Most points scored in all USSR Championships, top 10: Mark Taimanov - 243; Efim Geller - 233.5; Lev Polugaevsky - 217; Mikhail Tal - 213.5; David Bronstein - 210; Vasily Smyslov - 200.5; Viktor Korchnoi - 186; Tigran Petrosian - 177; Ratmir Kholmov - 173.5; Yuri Averbakh - 152.5.

Most games played in all USSR Championships, top 10: Mark Taimanov - 426; Efim Geller - 416; David Bronstein - 375; Lev Polugaevsky - 365; Mikhail Tal - 353; Vasily Smyslov - 349; Ratmir Kholmov - 306; Viktor Korchnoi - 304; Tigran Petrosian - 288; Yuri Averbakh - 280.

Most championships played, top 10: Efim Geller, Mark Taimanov - 23; David Bronstein, Lev Polugaevsky, Mikhail Tal - 20; Vasily Smyslov - 19; Yuri Balashov, Ratmir Kholmov, Viktor Korchnoi, Tigran Petrosian - 16.

Most wins in all USSR Championships, top 10: Mark Taimanov - 141; Efim Geller - 131; Mikhail Tal - 128; Lev Polugaevsky - 123; David Bronstein - 119; Viktor Korchnoi - 115; Vasily Smyslov - 106; Mikhail Botvinnik - 102; Tigran Petrosian - 95; Paul Keres - 82; Ratmir Kholmov - 80*.

Most draws in all USSR Championships, top-5: Efim Geller - 205; Mark Taimanov - 204; Vasily Smyslov - 189; Lev Polugaevsky - 188; David Bronstein - 182; Mikhail Tal - 171; Ratmir Kholmov - 170*; Yuri Balashov - 166; Yuri Averbakh - 165; Tigran Petrosian - 164.

Most losses in all USSR Championships, top 10: Mark Taimanov - 81; Efim Geller - 80; Semyon Furman - 78*; David Bronstein - 74; Vyacheslav Ragozin - 74; Ilya Kan - 70; Alexander Tolush - 64; Viktor Kupreichik - 63; Bukhuti Gurgenidze - 61; Evgeny Vasyukov - 59.

First player to play 100 games in USSR Championships: Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky.

First player to play 200 games in USSR Championships: Grigory Levenfish

First player to play 300 and 400 games in USSR Championships: Mark Taimanov

First player to score 100 points in USSR Championships: Mikhail Botvinnik

First player to score 200 points in USSR Championships: Mark Taimanov

First player to win 100 games in USSR Championships: Mikhail Botvinnik

First player to draw 100 games in USSR Championships: David Bronstein

First player to draw 200 games in USSR Championships: Mark Taimanov

First player to lose 50 games in USSR Championships: Sergey Freiman

Last appearance by a player who participated in the inaugural USSR Championship: Grigory Levenfish (1949 - 6/19, shared 18-20)

Biggest distance between first and last USSR Championship appearances: Vasily Smyslov - 48 years between 1940 and 1988.

Biggest distance between two USSR Championship appearances: Alexander Chistyakov - 28 years between 1939 and 1967.

Most consecutive USSR Championship played: Mark Taimanov - 14 (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1961 (2), 1962, 1963)

Players who played a full championship without losing:

Tigran Petrosian - 6 (1954 - shared 4-5, 1955 - shared 3-6, 1958 - 2nd, 1959 - 1st, 1969 - shared 1-2, 1973 - shared 2-6)

Mikhail Tal - 3 (1967 - shared 1-2, 1972 - 1st, 1978 - shared 1-2)

Yuri Balashov - 2 (1979 - shared 3-4, 1980 - shared 4-5)

Mikhail Botvinnik - 2 (1939 - 1st, 1945 - 1st)

Efim Geller - 2 (1977 - shared 5-7, 1979 - 1st)

Viktor Korchnoi - 2 (1964 - 1st, 1966 - shared 3-5)

Lev Polugaevsky - 2 (1967 - shared 1-2, 1973 - shared 2-6)

Mark Taimanov - 2 (1954 - shared 2-3, 1967 - 4th)

Alexander Alekhine - 1 (1920 - 1st)

Yuri Averbakh - 1 (1954 - 1st)

Efim Bogoljubov - 1 (1924 - 1st)

Isaak Boleslavsky - 1 (1947 - 2nd)

Iosif Dorfman - 1 (1977 - shared 1-2)

Vladimir Epishin - 1 (1991 - 3rd)

Tamaz Georgadze - 1 (1978 - 4th)

Boris Gulko - 1 (1977 - shared 1-2)

Anatoly Karpov - 1 (1988 - shared 1-2)

Garry Kasparov - 1 (1988 - shared 1-2)

Andor Lilienthal - 1 (1940 - shared 1-2)

Elmar Magerramov - 1 (1991 - shared 1-2)

Igor Novikov - 1 (1991 - shared 15-22)

Igor Platonov - 1 (1967 - 5th)

Vladimir Savon - 1971 (1st)

Vasily Smyslov - 1 (1971 - shared 2-3)

Andrey Sokolov - 1 (1984 - 1st)

Boris Spassky - 1 (1963 - shared 1-3)

Leonid Yudasin - 1 (1990 - shared 1-4)

Alexander Zaitsev - 1 (1968 - shared 1-2)

Players who played a full championship without drawing:

Sergey Freiman - 1 (1924 - shared 16-17)

Gavriil Veresov - 1 (1935 - shared 13-14)

Players who played a full championship without winning:

Lev Alburt - 1 (1977 - 16th)

Alexander Cherepkov - 1 (1968 - 19th)

Archil Ebralidze - 1 (1937 - 20th)

Andrey Kharitonov - 1 (1988 - shared 17-18)

Yuri Kruppa - 1 (1991 - 63rd)

Georgy Lisitsyn - 1 (1956 - 18th)

Andrey Lukin - 1 (1991 - shared 57-62)

Alexander Nikitin - 1 (1959 - 20th)

Maksim Novik - 1 (1991 - 64th)

Yuri Razuvaev - 1 (1985 - shared 14-16)

Vladimir Savon - 1 (1991 - shared 57-62)

Next records are for the players who played 100+ games in the Championships.

Best average score, top 10: Mikhail Botvinnik - 70.47% (136/193); Anatoly Karpov - 63.43% (68.5/108); Leonid Stein - 63.41% (113.5/179); Boris Spassky - 63.04% (130.5/207); Fedor Bohatirchuk - 62.98% (65.5/104); Tigran Petrosian - 61.46% (177/288); Viktor Korchnoi - 61.18% (186/304); Petr Romanovsky - 60.50% (72/119); Mikhail Tal - 60.48% (213.5/353); Paul Keres - 59.47% (144.5/243).

Worst average score, "top" 10: Sergey Freiman - 38.29% (42.5/111); Georgy Borisenko - 39.72% (56/141); Bukhuti Gurgenidze - 41.07% (69/168); Igor Zaitsev - 41.43% (43.5/105); Karen Grigorian - 41.98% (44.5/106); Viktor Kupreichik - 42.20% (59.5/141); Anatoly Bannik - 42.42% (56/132); Vasily Panov - 43.50% (43.5/100); Ilya Kan - 44.47% (84.5/190); Vladimir Simagin - 44.57% (57.5/129).

Best win percentage, top 10: Mikhail Botvinnik - 52.85% (102/193); Petr Romanovsky - 48.74% (58/119); Fedor Bohatirchuk - 46.15% (48/104); Ilya Rabinovich - 39.49% (62/157); Boris Spassky - 38.16% (79/207); Leonid Stein - 37.99% (68/179); Viktor Korchnoi - 37.83% (115/304); Grigory Levenfish - 37.26% (79/212); Alexander Kotov - 36.48% (58/159); Alexander Tolush - 36.31% (65/179).

Biggest draw percentage, top 10: Yuri Razuvaev - 68.87% (73/106); Vyacheslav Einhorn - 65.87% (83/126); Salomon Flohr - 62.50% (90/144); Aivars Gipslis - 61.67% (74/120); Nuhim Rashkovsky - 61.19% (82/134); Yuri Balashov - 60.36% (166/275); Anatoly Karpov - 60.19% (65/108); Yuri Averbakh - 58.93% (165/280); Vladimir Bagirov - 58.29%* (102*/175); Gennady Kuzmin - 58.28*% (88*/151).

Biggest decisive game percentage, top 10: Sergey Freiman - 82.88% (92/111); Petr Romanovsky - 76.47% (91/119); Viktor Kupreichik - 73.76% (104/141); Alexander Tolush - 72.07% (129/179); Vsevolod Rauzer - 69.16% (74/107); Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky - 67.12% (98/146); Alexander Kotov - 66.67% (106/159); Fedor Bohatirchuk - 66.35% (69/104); Ilya Rabinovich - 66.24% (104/157); Mikhail Botvinnik - 64.77% (125/193).

Least defeat percentage, top 10: Anatoly Karpov - 6.48% (7/108); Tigran Petrosian - 10.07% (29/288); Leonid Stein - 11.17% (20/179); Vyacheslav Einhorn - 11.90% (15/126); Mikhail Botvinnik - 11.92% (23/193); Boris Spassky - 12.08% (25/207); Isaak Boleslavsky - 13.93% (28/201); Ratmir Kholmov - 14.05%* (43*/306); Lev Polugaevsky - 14.79% (54/365); Paul Keres - 14.81% (36/243).

Players who won or shared the first place but didn't play 100 games in the championships:

Boris Verlinsky (1929 - 89 games)

Viktor Gavrikov (1985 (shared 1-3) - 87 games)

Leonid Yudasin (1990 (shared 1-4) - 75 games)

Mikhail Gurevich (1985 (shared 1-3) - 70 games)

Garry Kasparov (1981 (shared 1-2), 1988 (shared 1-2) - 68 games)

Andrey Sokolov (1984 - 68 games)

Alexander Chernin (1985 (shared 1-3) - 53 games)

Valery Salov (1987 (shared 1-2) - 51 game)

Evgeny Bareev (1990 (shared 1-4) - 47 games)

Alexey Vyzhmanavin (1990 (shared 1-4) - 41 game)

Efim Bogoljubov (1924, 1925 - 36 games)

Alexander Alekhine (1920 - 15 games)

Artashes Minasian (1991 (shared 1-2) - 11 games)

Elmar Magerramov (1991 (shared 1-2) - 11 games)

 

* The player participated in the 1967 USSR Championship which was played by Swiss system. No exact table is available, except for the results of the first 5 players.

To be continued.

Commenti


  • 8 mesi fa

    soulpower74

    Leond Stein was a beast!! 3rd best winning percentage in Soviet Chess championhip history impressive. But then again have to give props to Mikhail Botvinnik...

  • 15 mesi fa

    Spektrowski

    Russian Wikipedia has all the USSR Championship tables, from 1920 to 1991. I have processed all those stats myself.

  • 15 mesi fa

    NimzoRoy

    Very interesting! THANKS for posting this. Aside from seeing stats on players we've all heard of I always like to see records set by lesser-known and totally unknown players, as I believe in Andy Warhol's dictum that everyone will (or is that should) get their 15 minutes of fame. AND I like seeing facts about lesser known players like Levenfish (he drew a match with Botvinnik in 1933, not exactly a lightweight or accidental feat)

    BTW what were your sources? I'm not asking because I doubt any of the facts and stats here I'm just curious where you found all this stuff (or most or even some of it in case you had to plow thru a lot of sources)

  • 19 mesi fa

    Spektrowski

    @PiPPoI

    I did a translation of Mikhail Tal's large article called "Knowledge? Intuition? Risk?" on my blog. It might be of interest to you.

  • 19 mesi fa

    PiPPoI

    Not totally related but:

    I wish Alekhine had wrote "his system". I find his style much more dinamic and interesting than those of his opponents. Maybe that sort of knowledge can`t be put into words, and is what we call intuition?

  • 19 mesi fa

    Spektrowski

    Tigran Petrosian and Yuri Balashov share an unusual feat - they both played two consecutive championships without a single loss, winning only one bronze medal in the process.

    A couple more records:

    Best average score by the players who never won or shared first place, top 3: Isaak Boleslavsky - 58.46% (117.5/201), Vladimir Makogonov - 57.14% (80/140), Artur Yusupov - 55.50% (55.5/100).

    Best average score by the players who never won a medal (shared any of the first 3 places), top 3: Vladimir Makogonov - 57.14% (80/140, best place - 4th), Salomon Flohr - 52.08% (75/144, best place - 4th), Anatoly Lein - 51.50% (68.5/133, best place - 6th).

    Worst average score by the players who did win or share first place, "top" 3: Boris Gulko - 48.83% (62.5/128), Vitaly Tseshkovsky - 49.70% (82.5/166), Andor Lilienthal - 50.68% (74/146).

    Worst average score by the players who did win a medal, "top" 3: Sergey Freiman - 38.29% (59/111, best place - 2nd), Ilya Kan - 44.47% (84.5/190, best place - 3rd), Vyacheslav Ragozin - 46.14% (95.5/207, best place - shared 2-3).

  • 19 mesi fa

    batgirl

    Interesting stats.

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