Russian Chess History
Chess was probably introduced in Russia in the 9th century AD through the Caspian-Volga trade route. At the time, there was a Volga trade route to Baghdad.
In the 10th century, chess reached Russia from Byzantium and from the Vikings.
Around 1262, the Russian word (as a noun) for chess , shakhmaty, was introduced.
In 1551, Ivan IV "the Terrible" (1530-1584) banned chess in Russia.
In 1584, Ivan was preparing to play a game of chess, when he fainted suddenly and died.
In 1791, the first chess book was published in Russia. It was a translation of Benjamin Franklin's Morals of Chess and published in St. Petersburg. The title was Pravila dlia Shashechnoi Igry (Rules for the Game of Chess).
In 1794, Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov was born in Viserovo, Russia. He became the first strong Russian chess player. He died in 1867.
In 1813, Carl Friedrich Andreyevich Jaenisch (YAY-nish) was born in Vyborg, Russia. He died in 1872.
In 1814, Alexander Petrov was the best player in St. Petersburg.
In 1819, Ilya Shumov was born. He died in 1881.
In 1821, the first Russian chess book was published by Ivan Butrimov (1782-1851).
In 1824, Alexander Petrov wrote A Systemized Game of Chess together with the Games of Philidor and a Commentary on them. It was the first classical book about chess in Russian. The book was published in St. Petersburg.
In 1827, Sergey Urusov was born in Russia. He died in 1897. He became a Major General in the Russian Army. The Urusov Gambit is named after him.
In 1829, Dimitry Semenovich Urusov was born. He died in 1903. He was the brother of Sergey Urusov.
In 1838, Jaenisch was a major in the Russian army. He started writing a book on chess openings.
In 1840, Jaenisch left the Russian army to concentrate full time in writing a book on chess openings.
In 1842, Jaenisch published Analyse Nouvelle des ouvertures du jeu des Echecs (A New Analysis of Chess Openings). Volume one was published in Dresden in French. In 1843, volume two was published in St. Petersburg.
In 1844, the first chess match between two masters in Russia was held. Carl Jaenisch played Alexander Petrov. They each won one game each.
In 1849, Jaenisch defeated Ilya Shumov with two wins and one loss. The match was held in St. Petersburg.
In 1850, Shumov defeated Jaenisch in a match with two wins and a loss. The match was held in St. Petersburg.
In 1850, Emmanuel Stepanovich Schiffers was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He died in 1904.
In 1850, Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin was born in Gatchina, Russia. He was the first public chess worker, organizer, and journalist in Russia.
In 1851, Shumov defeated Jaenisch in a match with two wins.
In 1853, Petrov defeated Sergey Urusov in a match with 3 wins and a draw. The match was held in St. Petersburg. Later that year, Urusov defeated Shumov in a match with 4 wins and 3 losses.
In 1854, the charter of the Petersburg Society of Chess Amateurs was created. Members included Shumov, Urusov, and Viktor Mikhailov.
In 1859, Russia's first Russian chess magazine, Shakhmatny Listok, (Chess Newsletter) was published. It lasted until 1863. The editor was Viktor Mikhailov.
In 1862, Ignatz Kolisch defeated Ilya Shumov in a match with 6 wins and 2 losses. The match was held in St. Petersburg. That same year, Kolisch drew with Sergey Urusov with 2 wins and 2 losses.
In 1862, the St. Petersburg Chess Club was disbanded by the Russian police.
In 1866, the first chess match between masters in Moscow was played. Sergey Urusov defeated Philipp Hirschfeld (1840-1896) in a match with two wins, two draws, and one loss.
In 1867, Ilya Shumov published the first book in the world about chess compositions. It was published in St. Petersburg.
In 1873, Chigorin was hustling chess at the Cafe Dominika in St. Petersburg.
In 1874, Emmanuel Schiffers defeated Andrey Chardin in a match with 5 wins and 4 losses. The match was held in St. Petersburg. Schiffers was considered the Russian champion until his student, Mikhail Chigorin, defeated him in a match in 1879.
In 1875, Szymon Winawer defeated Ilya Shumov in a match with 5 wins and 2 losses, in St. Petersburg.
In 1875, Chigorin gave up his government post as a clerk in a state institution to be a full time chessplayer.
In September, 1876, Chigorin published a chess magazine called Shakhmatny Listok (Chess Newsletter). It had only 250 subscribers.
In 1876, Russia held its first master chess tournament, in St. Petersburg. The winner was Andrey Asharin, followed by Mikhail Chigorin, Emmanuel Schiffers, Hermann Clemenz, and Semyon Alapin.
In October-November 1877, a chess tournament was held in St. Petersburg. The winner was Chigorin, followed by Schiffers, Asharin, Clemenz, and Alapin.
In March 1878, Chigorin defeated Schiffers in a match with 7 wins and 3 losses, held in St. Petersburg. Later that year, Schiffers defeated Chigorin with 7 wins, 1 draw, and 6 losses.
In January 1879, the Best Russian Players tournament was held in St. Petersburg. Semyon Alapin and Mikhail Chigorin tied for 1st place, with Chigorin winning the play-off. Schiffers and Alexander Solovtsov tied for 3rd-4th. They were followed by Nikolai Petrovsky, Andrey Asharin, Vladimir Lizel, N. Nerling, and Evgeny Von Schmidt.
In 1879, Chigorin defeated Shiffers in a match for the Russian championship. Chigorin won with 7 wins, 4 losses, and 2 draws.
In 1880, Chigorin organized the first chess club in Russia. The club was in St. Petersburg.
In 1881, Chigorin defeated Alapin in a match with two wins and one loss, held in St. Petersburg.
In 1885, Nikolai Krylenko was born. He died in 1938. He was a Russian revolutionary and Soviet jurist.
In 1886, St. Petersburg defeated London in a telegraph match.
In 1886, Chigorin tried to establish a national chess organization in Russia, but the government barred even distributing leaflets about the proposed association.
In 1889, Schiffers was the first Russian to lecture on chess.
In 1889, Chigorin lost to Steinitz in a world championship match, held in Havana.
In 1891, Chigorin defeated William Steinitz with two wins in a telegraph match.
In 1892, Alexander Alekhine was born in Moscow.
In October-November 1893, Mikhail Chigorin and Siegbert Tarrasch tied in a match with 11 points each, held in St. Petersburg.
In 1895, there was only one chess periodical in Russia, Shakmanty Bulletin.
In 1895, Chigorin defeated Schiffers in a match with 7 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses, held in St. Petersburg.
In 1895, Chigorin finished second, behind Pillsbury, at Hastings.
In December 1895-January 1896, the first international tournament in Russia was held. The winner was Emanuel Lasker, followed by William Steinitz, Harry Pillsbury, and Mikhail Chigorin. The event was held in St. Petersburg.
In March-April 1896, Steinitz defeated Schiffers in a match with 6 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses. The event was held in Rostov on Don.
In November 1896 to January 1897, the 6th World Championship was held in Moscow. Emanuel Lasker defeated William Steinitz with 10 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses.
In April 1897, Chigorin defeated Schiffers in a match with 7 wins, 6 draws, and 1 loss, held in St. Petersburg.
In September-October 1899, the first All-Russian chess championship was held in Moscow. There were 14 players. Chigorin was the winner, followed by Schiffers, Levitsky, Lebedev, Yankovitch, Gelbak, Nenarokov, Genika, Kulomzin, Abaza, Boairkov, Falk, Kalinsky, and Pervago. A minor section was held with 14 players. That section was won by Sergey Simson.
In 1899, Chigorin lost to Steinitz in a world championship match, in Havana.
In 1900, a tournament was held in St. Petersburg with 10 players. Mikhail Chigorin and Alexander Levin tied for first place.
In 1900, the Kiev championship was won by Fyodor Duz-Khotimirsky.
In 1900, Vladimir Nenarokov (1880-1953) won the Moscow championship. He won it again in 108 and 1924.
In 1901, Chigorin won the 2nd Russian championship.
In 1902, Shakhmatny Obozrenei was the only chess magazine in Russia.
In 1903, Chigorin won the 3rd Russian championship, followed by Ossip Bernstein.
In 1906, Self Teacher by Emmanuel Schiffers was published.
In 1908, Alexander Alekhine won the Moscow Chess Club Spring Tournament.
In January, 1909, Alekhine won the Moscow Chess Club Autumn Tournament for first class players. This gained him the right to play in the St. Petersburg All Russian Amateur Tournament.
In February, 1909, Alekhine became a master after playing in the All Russian Amateur Tournament in St. Petersburg. He won the event. First prize was a vase valued at 650 rubles, donated by the Czar of Russia.
In 1909, the International Chess Congress in St. Petersburg has held.
In 1911, the first Moscow-Petrograd match was held, and won by Petrograd, with the score of 6-3. They won again in 1912.
On August 17, 1911, Mikhail Botvinnik was born in Kuokkala (nopw Repino), Russia.
In 1912, Alekhine was the strongest player in the St. Petersburg Chess Society. He was offered the position as games editor of the chess column in Novoe Vremya.
In 1912, Feodor Bogatirchuk took 2nd in the Russian championship.
In August-September, 1912, the All Russian Masters Tournament was held in Vilna. The event was won by Rubinstein, followed by Bernstein, Levitsky, Nimzovich, and Flamberg.
In 1913, Alexei Alekhine was editor of Shakhmatny Vyestnik chess magazine. He remained editor until 1916.
In 1914, Alekhine and Nimzovich tied for 1st at the All russian Masters Tournament in St. Petersburg.
In April, 1914, the first Russian chess federation was formed. It had 865 members. It was called the All-Russia Chess Union (later All-Russia Chess Society), formed at the St. Petersburg Chess Assembly.
In April-May, 1914, an international tournament was held in St. Petersburg. It was won by Emanuel Lasker, followed by Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch, and Marshall. Czar Nicholas II conferred the title "Grandmaster of Chess" to these top five players. Lasker was paid an appearance fee, the first time that had ever been done for a chessplayer.
On August 1, 1914, World War I broke out. The Russian players participating in the 19th German Chess Federation Congress in Mannheim were taken to Rastatt, Germany as prisoners of war.
After World War I broke out in 1914, it was decided to change the name of the Russian capital from St. Petersburg to Petrograd. The old name sounded too German for the contemporary Russians. It kept that name until 1924.
In December, 1915, Alekhine won the Championship of Moscow.
In 1915 and 1916, Alexander Alekhine served in the Russian Red Cross on the Austrian front as head of the mobile dressing station.
In February, 1917, a revolution broke out in Russia and Czar Nicholas II abdicated.
In 1917, Alekhine was an investigator in Moscow for Centrorosysk, a government agency that located relatives who had disappeared during the Russian Revolution and Civil War.
In November, 1917, Trotsky promoted Krylenko from ensign to commander in chief of the Russian forces.
In November, 1917, after the Boleshevik Revolution, chess was officially discouraged in Russia as a "decadent bourgeois pastime." Virtually all organized chess activities and chess clubs ended in Russia.
In 1918, the Civil War broke out, which lasted until 1921.
In 1918, Ossip Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and ordered shot by a firing squad because he was a legal advisor to bankers. A superior officer recognized him as a chess master and released him.
In June, 1919, Alekhine was arrested by the Cheka and imprisoned in Odessa. He was charged with anti-Soviet activity and passing on secret information. He was ordered shot, but saved by Yakov Vilner, who sent a telegram to the chairman of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars. The chairman knew of Alekhine and ordered him freed.
In July 1919, Nikolai Grigoriev defeated Alexander Ilyin-Genevsky with 5 wins and no losses in a match held in Moscow.
In January, 1920, Alekhine won the Moscow City Chess Championship with a perfect 11 out of 11 score. He was followed by N. Grekov, who had 8.5 out of 11. Grekov was declared the first Moscow Chess Champion because Alekhine was not a resident of Moscow.
In early 1920, Ilyin-Genevsky was appointed commissar of the General Reservists' Organization (VSEVOBUCH). Ilyin-Genevsky suggested that an All-Russian Chess Olympiad be held in Moscow. This turned out to be the first Soviet Chess Championship.
In 1920, Ilyin-Genevsky started the first Russian chess column, which was written in the VSEVOBUCH newspaper, To the New Army.
In May 1920, the first post-Revolution chess club was opened in Moscow.
In 1920, Alexander Alekhine won the first Soviet Chess Championship in Moscow. The event was called the All-Russian Chess Olympiad, and it began on October 1, 1920. Only 16 of the 30 players invited to the tournament showed up. After Alekhine, there followed Romanovsky, Levenfish, I. Rabinovich, Grigoriev, A. Kubbel, A. Rabinovich, Blumenfeld, Daniuszewski, Ilyin-Genevsky, Zubarev, N. Pavlov, Tselikov, Mund, D. Pavlov, and Golubev.
In 1920, the All-Union Chess Congress (Syezhd) was formed.
In 1920, Alekhine served as interpreter for the Comintern (Communist International) and was appointed secretary to the Education Department.
In 1920, Ilya Rabinovich won the Petrograd chess championship.
In 1921, Iosif Tsukerman won the Moscow chess championship.
In 1921, the Petrograd Commune Chess Club published a chess-only publication, called Listok (Leaflet). It had a circulation of 200 to 500. It was later replaced by Shakhmatny Listok, the first sports publication in Soviet Russia.
On March 15, 1921, Alekhine married a foreign Communist delegate, Anneleise Ruegg (1879-1934) of Switzerland, and left Russia for good.
In 1922, Grigoriev won the Moscow championship.
In 1922, Nikolai Grekov started publishing the chess magazine Shakhmatny.
In August 1922, Moscow beat Petrograd in a match, held in Petrograd.
On October 29, 1922, Grigoriev began a chess column in Isvestia.
In 1922, the USSR was founded.
In July, 1923, the All-Russia Chess Union was recreated with 32 groups and 1,159 players. It organized the second Soviet Championship, held in Petrograd. The winner was Peter Romanovsky, followed by Levenfish, Bohatyrchuk, Duz-Khotimirsky, Nenarokov, A. Kubbel, Ilyin-Genevsky, I. Rabinovich, Grigoriev, Zubarev, Vilner, Vygodchikov, and Lebedev. Romanovsky became the nation's first Honored Master of Sport in chess.
In 1923, Vladimir and Mikhail Makogonov tied for 1st in the first Baku championship. They were brothers.
In 1924, Petrograd changed its name to Leningrad.
In 1924, Nikolai Krylenko (1885-1938), commander in chief of the Russian forces, was appointed chairman of the chess section of the All-Union Committee on Physical Culture.
In 1924, the first All-Union Workers chess competition was held. The winner was I. Friedberg of Kharkov.
In 1924, the first Red Army Chess championship took place.
In 1924, Yakov Vilner won the championship of the Ukraine.
In 1924, the Byelorussian Championship was won by Solomon Rozental.
In August, 1924, the third Soviet Championship was held in Moscow. The winner was Efim Bogoljubow, followed by Romanovksy.
In 1924, there were 24,000 registered chess players in Russia.
In February, 1925, a Central Chess Club was opened in Leningrad.
In 1925, Nikolai Krylenko used funds from the New Economic Policy (NEP) to hold the Moscow International tournament.
In 1925, the All-Union Chess Section was formed with Krylenko as its chairman. A new chess publication, 64, was created.
In 1925, the title of Soviet master (master of sport of the USSR) was created.
In August-September, 1925, the fourth Soviet Championship was held in Leningrad. The winner was Bogoljubov, followed by Levenfish, I. Rabinovich, Verlinksy, Duz-Khotimirsky, Gotthilf, Ilyin-Genevsky, Romanovsky, A. Rabonivich. There were 20 players. The tournament was held in the House of Scientists in Leningrad.
In 1925, Ilya Rabinovich became the first Soviet player to compete outside the USSR. He played at Baden-Baden, Germany and took 7th place. Baden-Baden was the first international tournament held in Germany since World War I. The event was won by Alekhine.
In 1925, Irina Tikhomirova won the Soviet women's championship.
In 1925, the Soviets were invited to join FIDE, but refused because they could not be part of a politically neutral organization.
In November-December, 1925, the world's first state-sponsored chess tournament was held in Moscow. Over 50,000 spectators visited the tournament. The event was won by Bogoljubov, followed by Lasker, Capablanca, Marshall, Torre, Tartakower, Reti, Romanovsky, Gruenfeld, Ilyin-Genevsky, Bohatyrchuk, Rubinstein, Spielmann, Verlinsky, Levenfish, I. Rabinovich, Yates, Gotthilf, Saemisch, Duz-Khotimirsky, and Zubarev.
In 1925, the movie Chess Fever was made during the Moscow International. It was the first film to deal exclusively with chess. It was a film comedy and it featured Capablanca and some of the other participants in the Moscow tournament.
In 1925, Alexander Sergeyev won the Moscow Championship.
In 1926, Bohatirchuk wrote the first chess book in Ukrainian.
In 1926, Leningrad sponsored a chess tournament that had 1,300 players in the event.
In December, 1926, Bogoljubov defected from the USSR.
In October, 1927, Feodor Bohatirchuk and Pyotr Romanovksy tied for 1st in the 5th Soviet (fist USSR championship) championship, held in Moscow. They were followed by Duz-Khotimirsky, Model, Botvinnik, V. Makogonov, Nenarokov, Grigoriev, and Ilyin-Genevsky. There were 21 players in the event.
In October, 1927, Olga Rubtsova won the first Soviet Women's Championship.
In 1927, Alexander Ilya-Genevsky won the All-Union Workers tournament.
In 1927, the title of "Soviet Grandmaster" was created.
In 1927, the first original book in the Russian language devoted to the endgame was published, by Rabinovich.
In 1928, there were 140,000 registered chess players in Russia.
In 1928, the Moscow Championship was won by Verlinksy, followed by Nenarokov, Bernstein, and Sergeyev.
In 1928, Pyotr Izmailov won the first Russian Federation championship.
In 1929, the Moscow Championship was won by Panov.
In 1929, Boris Verlinsky won the 6th Soviet Championship, held in Odessa, and became the first "Soviet Grandmaster."
In 1929, there were 150,000 registered chess players.
In 1931, Genrikh Kasparyan won the Tblisi championship and became the first Armenian master.
In 1931, the title of "Soviet Grandmaster" was abolished.
In November, 1931, Botvinnik won the 7th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Riumin, Alatortsev, Bohatyrchuk, Verlinsky, Udovich, and Kan. There were 18 players.
In September, 1933, Botvinnik won the 8th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad. He was followed by Alatortsev, Levenfish, Lisityn, I. Rabinovich, Rauzer, Chekover, Bohatyrchuk, and Kan. There were 20 players.
In December, 1933, Botvinnik and Flohr drew a match that was held in Moscow and Leningrad.
In 1934, there were over 500,000 registered chess players in Russia.
In 1934, the title of "Master of Sports in Chess Composition" was created.
In 1934, Anfir Shlopak won the first Soviet Junior Championship.
In January, 1935, Levenfish and Ilya Rabinovich tied for the 9th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad.
In March, 1935, Botvinnik and Flohr won the Second Moscow International. Following them were Lasker, Capablanca, Spielmann, Kan, Levenfish, Lilienthal, Ragozin, Romanovsky, Alatortsev, Goglidze, I. Rabinovich, Riumin, Lisitsyn, Bohatyrchuk, Stahlberg, Pirc, Checkhover, and Menchik.
In 1935, the title of "Soviet Grandmaster" was re-created and given to Mikhail Botvinnik.
In July, 1935, 64 chess and checkers newspaper began its publication. Its circulation was 20,000.
In 1935, the trade union championship in Russia had 700,000 players participating.
In 1935, Riumin won the Moscow Championship.
In June, 1936, Capablanca won the Third Moscow International. He was followed by Botvinnik, Flohr, Lilienthal, Ragozin, Lasker, Kan, Levenfish, Riumin, and Eliskases.
In 1936, Raul Renter won the second Soviet Junior Championship.
In 1936, over 10,000 women players took part in the eliminating sections of the Russian Women's chess championship.
On January 30, 1937, Boris Spassky was born. He was the youngest first category player at 10, the youngest candidate master at 13, the youngest master at 15, and then, the world's youngest grandmaster.
In May, 1937, Levenfish won the 10th Soviet Championship, held in Tbilisi. He was followed by Konstantinopolsky, Ragozin, V. Makogonuv, Belavenets, Goglidze, Lisitsyn, and Rauzer. There were 20 players.
In 1938, Vasily Smyslov won the third Soviet Junior Championship.
In 1938, Smyslov and Sergei Belavenets tied for 1st in the Moscow championship. They were followed by Lilienthal, Vaksberg, Yeltsov, Panov, and Udovich. There were 18 players.
In 1938, Isaac Boleslasky won the Unrainian Championship.
In May, 1939, Botvinnik won the 11th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad. He was followed by Kotiv, Belavenets, V. Makogonov, Checkhiver, and Bondarevsky.
In 1939, the only Soviet grandmasters were Botvinnik, Levenfish, and Kotov.
In 1940, the USSR organized its first correspondence chess championship.
In October, 1940, Bondarevsky and Lilienthal tied for 1st place in the 12th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. They were followed by Smyslov, Keres, Boleslavsky, Botvinik, Veresov, Dubinin, and V. Makogonov.
In April, 1941, Botvinnik won the Absolute Soviet Championship, held in Moscow and Leningrad. He was followed by Keres, Smyslov, Boleslavsky, Lilienthal, and Bondarevsky.
In 1941, there were just over 50 chess masters in the Soviet Union.
In June, 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union, ending the preliminaries of the 13th Soviet Championship.
In January, 1942, Isaak Maisel won the Moscow Championship, followed by Petrov, Panov, and Alatortsev. There were 8 players. Maisel died a year later fighting against the Germans.
In 1943, Botvinnik won the Mosocw Championship. He was followed by Smyslov, Alatortsev, Lisitsyn, Udovich, Averbakh, Mikenas, Simagin, and Tolush. There were 17 players. Smyslov got the title of Moscow Champion becuase Botvinnik lived in Leningrad.
In June, 1944, Botvinnik won the 13th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Smyslov, Boleslavsky, Flohr, V. Makogonov, and Mikenas. There were 17 players.
In 1945, Botvinnik won the 14th Soviet Championship.
In September, 1945, the U.S.-USSR Radio Match was held. The Soviets won 15.5 to 4.5. It was the first international sport of any kind after World War II.
In 1946, the USSR joined FIDE.
In September, 1946, Botvinnik won at Groningen. It was the first major intenational chess tournament after World War II.
In September, 1946, the USSR won its return match against the USA in Moscow.
In March, 1947, the 15th Soviet Championship was held, in Leningrad. It was won by Paul Keres. He was followed by Boleslavsky, Bondarevsky, Smyslov, Tolush, Bronstein, Lilienthal, and Flohr. There were 20 players.
In December, 1947, Botvinnik won the Chigorin Memorial, in Moscow. He was followed by Ragozin, Boleslavsky, Smyslov, Kotov, Keres, and Novotelnov. There were 16 players.
In May, 1948, Botvinnik won the World Championship Match-Tournament, held at The Hague and in Moscow. He was followed by Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky, and Euwe.
In 1948, Elizabeth Bykova became the first Soviet woman to achieve a master's rating.
In August, 1948, David Bronstein won the first Interzonal, held in Saltjobaden. He survived an assassin's attack. First place was $550.
In November, 1948, the Soviets issued its first chess stamp, which marked the world chess championship match.
In 1948, Bronstein and Kotov won the 16th Soviet Championship.
In 1949, Bronstein and Smyslov won the 17th Soviet Championship.
In 1949, the USSR began its first correspondence chess championship. It was won in 1951 by Konstantinopolsky.
In January, 1950, Liudmila Rudenko won the Women's World Championship, held in Moscow.
In May, 1950, David Bronstein and Boleslavsky won the first Candidates Tournament, held in Budapest. They won $5,000. In August, 1950, Bronstein won the play-off.
In 1950, FIDE created the Grandmaster title. 11 of the 27 first grandmasters were Soviets.
In December, 1950, Keres won the 18th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Aronin, Lipnitsky, Tolush, Konstantinopolsky, and Smyslov.
In May, 1951, Botvinnik tied with Bronstein in the World Championship Match, held in Moscow. Botvinnik retained the World Champion title. This was the first World Championship match under FIDE rules.
In May, 1951, Anatoly Karpov was born in Zlatoust, USSR.
In December, 1951, Keres won the 19th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Geller, Petrosian, Smyslov, Botvinnik, Averbakh, Bronstein, and Taimanov. There were 18 players.
In August, 1952, the USSR sent its first team to the chess olympiad at Helsinki. They won the gold medal.
In 1952, Botvinnik and Taimanov tied for 1st in the 20th Soviet Championship. Botvinnik won the play-off.
In 1953, Paul Keres became the first Soviet sportsman of the year in chess.
In October, 1953, Smyslov won the second Candidates tournament, held in Zurich.
In 1954, Averbakh won the 21st Soviet Championship.
In March, 1955, the 22nd Soviet Championship was won by Smyslov and Geller. The event was held in Moscow. Following them, were Botvinnik, Ilivitsky, Petrosian, Spassky, Keres, and Taimanov. There were 20 players. Geller won the play-off.
In July, 1955, the Soviets defeated the Americans 25 to 7 in a match held in Moscow.
In July, 1955, Boris Spassky won the World Junior Championship in Antwerp.
In 1955, Shakhmatny Bulletin chess magazine began appearing.
By 1955, there were over two million serious chess players in the USSR.
In 1955, the Central Chess Club in Moscow had over 10,000 chess books and over 100,000 index cards of opening theory.
In 1955, Leonid Stein won the Russian Armed Forces Championship.
In 1955, there were 104 masters and 16 grandmasters in the Soviet Union.
In 1956, Taimanov won the 23rd Soviet Championship.
In 1956, chess first appeared on Russian television. It was a report on the 23rd Soviet Championship that was broadecast from a Leningrad studio.
In February, 1957, Tal won the 24th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Bronstein, Keres, Spassky, Tolush, Kholmov, Korchnoi, and Petrosian. There were 22 players.
In April, 1957, Smyslov defeated Botvinnik for the World Championship, held in Moscow.
In 1957, the USSR won the first European team championship.
In 1957, the first Women's Chess Olympiad was held, in the Netherlands. The USSR women's team won the gold.
In February, 1958, Tal won the 25th Soviet Championship, held in Riga. He was followed by Petrosian, Bronstein, Averbakh, Polugaevsky, Spassky, Geller, and Gurgenidze.
In May, 1958, Botvinnik defeated Smyslov for the World Championship, held in Moscow.
In 1959, the Soviet Chess Federation was formed. It took over the Chess Section of the Sports Committee.
In 1959, there were 19 grandmasters in the Soviet Union.
In 1959, Petrosian won the 26th Soviet Championship, held in Tbilisi.
In 1960, Korchnoi won the 27th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad.
In May, 1960, Tal defeated Botvinnik for the World Championship, held in Moscow. Tal became the youngest world chess champion in history.
In February, 1961, Petrosian won the 28th Soviet Championship. He was followed by Korchnoi, Geller, Stein, Smyslov, and Spaasky. There were 20 players.
In May, 1961, Botvinnik defeated Tal for the World Chess Championship.
In December, 1961, Boris Spassky won the 29th Soviet Championship, held in Baku.
In 1962, Korchnoi won the 30th Soviet Championship, held in Yerevan.
In 1963, Stein won the 31st Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad.
In May, 1963, Petrosian defeated Botvinnik for the World Chess Championship.
In 1964, there were 24 grandmasters in the Soviet Union.
In 1964-65, Korchnoi won the 32nd Soviet Championship, held in Kiev.
In 1965, Stein won the 33rd Soviet Championship, held in Tallinn.
In June, 1966, Petrosian defeated Spassky for the World Chess Championship.
In 1966, there were 3,540,000 registered chess players in the USSR.
In 1966-67, Stein won the 34th Soviet Championship, held in Tbilisi.
In 1967, Tal and Polugaevsky won the 35th Soviet Championship, held in Kharkow.
In 1968-69, Polugaevsky won the 36th Soviet Championship, held in Alma Alta.
In 1969, there were 32 grandmasters in the Soviet Union.
In June, 1969, Spassky defeated Petrosian in the World Chess Championship.
In 1969, Petrosian won the 37th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow.
In April, 1970, the USSR defeated the Rest of the World 20.5 to 19.5 in Belgrade.
In December, 1970, Korchnoi won the 38th Soviet Championship, held in Riga. He was followed by Tukmakov, Stein, Balashov, Gipslis, Karpov, And Savon. There were 22 players in the event.
In 1971, Savon won the 39th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad.
In 1972, Tal won the 40th Soviet Championship, held in Baku.
In October, 1973, Spassky won the 41st Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Karpov, Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller, and Grigorian. There were 18 players.
In 1974, Tal and Beliavsky won the 42nd Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad,
In 1975, Petrosian won the 43rd Soviet Championship, held in Yerevan.
In December, 1976, Karpov won the 44th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. He was followed by Balashov, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Dorfman, Smyslov, and Tal. There were 18 players.
In 1977, Dorfman and Gulko won the 45th Soviet Championship, hel din Leningrad.
In 1978, Tal and Tseshkovsky won the 46th Soviet Championship, held in Tbilisi.
In October, 1978, Karpov defeated Korchnoi for the World Chess Championship, held in Baguio City.
In 1979, Geller won the 47th Soviet Championship, held in Minsk.
In 1980-81, Beliavsky and Psakhis won the 48th Soviet Championship, held in Vilnius.
In 1981, Kasparov and Psakhis won the 49th Soviet Championship, held in Frunze.
In November, 1981, Karpov defeated Korchnoi for the World Chess Championship, held in Merano.
In 1982, there were 3.6 million people in the USSR engaged in chess.
In April, 1983, Karpov won the 50th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow.
In June, 1984, the USSR defeated the Rest of the World in London, with a score of 21 to 19.
In 1984, Andrey Sokolov won the 51st Soviet Championship, held in Lvov.
In September, 1984, the World Championship Match between Karpov and Kasparov began in Moscow. It was halted in February, 1985 after 48 games. At the time, Karpov had won 5 games and lost 3 games.
In 1985, Mikhail Gurevich, Viktor Gavrikov, and Alexander Chernin tied for 1st at the 52nd Soviet Championship, held in Riga.
In November, 1985, Kasparov defeated Karpov in the World Championship Match, held in Moscow, to become the new world chess champion.
In April, 1986, Tseshkovsky won the 53rd Soviet Championship, held in Kiev. He was followed by Malanyuk, Eingorn, Lerner, Balashov, Gavrikov, and Bareev. There were 18 players.
In October, 1986, Kasparov defended his title against Karpov, held in London and Leningrad.
In 1987, Beliavsky and Salov the 54th Soviet Championship, held in Minsk. Beliavsky won the play-off. There were 18 players.
In December, 1987, Kasparov and Karpov tied in their World Championship Match in Seville, Spain. Kasparov kept his title.
In August, 1988, Kasparov and Karpov tied for 1st in the 55th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. They were followed by Yusupov, Salov, Eingorn, and Ivanchuk. There were 18 players.
In 1989, Vaganian won the 56th Soviet Championship, held in Odessa. There were 16 players.
In November, 1990, Beliavsky, Yudasin, Bareev, and Vyzhmanavin won the 57th Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad. There were 14 players.
In December, 1990, Kasparov defeated Karpov in the World Championship match, held in New York and Lyons.
In November, 1991, Elmar Magerramov and Artashes Minasian tied for 1st at the 58th Soviet Championship. The event was a Swiss System held in Moscow. Minasian won the event on tie-break. There were 64 players.
On January 1, 1992, the Soviet Union (USSR) offically ceased to exist.