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Soviet Cheating in FIDE Competition: 1952 Stockholm Interzonal

  • #61

    Actually, my authoritative source on that was Fischer.

    As I recall reading, Reshevsky sold insurance to support his family.  He was a chess part-timer.  Even so, he defeated the world champion, Botvinnik, in a four-game match in 1955.

  • #62
    JamieDelarosa wrote:

    Actually, my authoritative source on that was Fischer.

    As I recall reading, Reshevsky sold insurance to support his family.  He was a chess part-timer.  Even so, he defeated the world champion, Botvinnik, in a four-game match in 1955.

    As I said, you're showing your bias. You believe that Fischer was objective about the relative strength of Reshevsky compared to the Soviets.

  • #63

    Everybody has biases.  My bias is in favor of fair play.  Yours is in your screen-name ;^)

    Fischer and Reshevsky did not particularly like one another.  For Fischer to say Reshevsky was at one time the best player in the world is high praise, from someone who would know.

  • #64

    Just because something is legal, doensn't make it right

  • #65
    Indeng wrote:

    Just because something is legal, doensn't make it right

    That is correct.  But I contest the "legality" of pre-arranged game results, in any case.

  • #66

    ...and since everyone knew that was how the Russians played,it really wasn't unfair.The Kenyans run their races that way. The Tour'de France progresses that way. Remember "The Jordan Rules",when Detroit played the Bulls;nobody liked the way they played,but it wasn't cheating.

  • #67

    On the contrary.  Playing as a "team" in an individual tournament is collusion.

    In the 1952 Interzonal, the Soviets colluded to give themselves the greatest opportunity to qualify and move into the Candidate Tournament as many players as possible.

    Pre-arranged draws are collusion, and collusion is always cheating.

  • #68

    The 1952 Interzonal is the only example of all the games between Soviet participants being drawn in this sort of event, so it shouldn't be exaggerated how common this type of result was.

  • #69

    No one is exaggerating.  The tactic caused a great deal of "discussion" among the FIDE ruling body.  That led to three non-qualifiers tied with Averbakh, being moved forward.

    The Soviets changed their tactics somewhat in the Zurich Candidates Tournament to making sure the top Soviet was not threatened, and no Western challenger (in this case, Reshevsky), had an opportunity to meet Botvinnik.

    There is an entire topic about that subject.

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/soviet-cheating-in-fide-competition-zurich-1953

  • #70

    In fact there are hundreds of examples of this 'cheating' on all kinds of levels and occasions.

    I know plenty of instances where a car/van with 4 to 6 soviet GM's, after a 20 hour drive, showed up for a 1-day blitz/rapid or weekend chess tournament. You can bet your a$$ that they arranged there results to return home with the maximum amount of cash. Once I played a tournament where we ended up with 2 western players,  2 soviet GM's and 6 soviet IM's, for a 10-player round-robin final group.

    They were non-stop renegotiating their game-results. I don't really speak Russian, but I understood enough to know what the topic of conversation was.

    They were always famous for discussing their positions during games too. Nowadays it's not so bad anymore.


    ps. I won that group 8 out of 9, LOL. They miscalculated, hehheh.

    pps. I never really blamed them. I knew in what kind of poverty they lived (mid eighties)

  • #71

    "The Soviets changed their tactics somewhat in the Zurich Candidates Tournament"

    There Smyslov lost to Kotov when it looked as if Reshevsky still might have had a chance to catch Smyslov... If it instead had been Kotov that lost to Smyslov like that no one would have questioned that Kotov had thrown the game. So the "proof" is often a bit selective: draws between Soviets are examples of collusion while losses for the "weaker" player are thrown games.

    But I think the whole thing about what an effective "cheating" tactic it was for the top Soviet to draw the "weaker" Soviets mainly has to do with Fischer's statements after Curacao 1962. Before that few had even commented on all the non game draws between Geller and Petrosian etc. And no one ever commented on all the games between Keres and Petrosian being draws for many years either. It was first when one had to find a reason for Fischer's being so far from a top three spot in Curacao that these draws became some sort of magic way to win tournaments. 

    With all games played out one of Keres/Petrosian/Geller would probably have scored a plus in these games and had an even higher total score. If their games were pre-arranged draws they got some more rest, but at the same time Keres was almost 30 years older than Fischer, and the schedule may well have been tougher for him even if he would have gotten a few extra rest days.

  • #72

    "the Soviets were experts in collusion. Recall that one reason given by Dr. Rueben Fine for passing up the 1948 World Championship tournament was that he did not want to waste three months "watching Russians throw games to each other.""

    How many examples do you have of Russians throwing games to each other? Fine gave all kinds of reasons not to play in 1948:

    "I withdrew from the tournament because I did not care to interrupt my research"

    "I was embarked on my new profession as a psychoanalyst and was unable to play"

    "My own refusal to play in 1948 was motivated in part by the uncertainty about whether the Russians would come to the playing hall at all"

    "I was absorbed in another profession, psychology, and no longer cared to participate"

    "I did not play because of the expense involved, most of which I was expected to pay myself; and because I considered the tournament as it was arranged to be illegal"

    "it seemed foolish to play in such hostile circumstances"

    "Fine stated that he decided not to compete in the 1948 championship because if he had gone to the Netherlands (the site of the first part of the event) the Russians might not have participated"

    http://en.chessbase.com/post/edward-winter-presents-unsolved-che-mysteries-9-

  • #73

    Fine's comments, at the time, reflected his frustration with the ongoing manipulation by the Soviets.  As you might recall, Botvinnik, at one point, proclaimed he would not play in the Netherlands at all.

    He was studying for, and working on his dissertation in Psychology at the University of Southen California, in Los Angeles.

    The on-again, off-again status of the potential championship tournament was very disruptive.

  • #74

    Rest in peace, Victor Korchnoi - a REAL world champion!

  • #75

    Korchnoi will be missed. Frown

  • #76

    Bump to the top

  • #77

    I'm not sure if this has been posted somewhere in these various Soviet cheating threads, but a statistical analysis of the Soviets' play in FIDE qualification tournaments strongly suggests that they played as a "cartel."

     

    http://www.fsb.muohio.edu/moulcc/sovietchesscartel.pdf

  • #78

    How is this news.  Didn't Bobby pretty much expose that over 40 years ago.

  • #79
    DrChesspain wrote:

    I'm not sure if this has been posted somewhere in these various Soviet cheating threads, but a statistical analysis of the Soviets' play in FIDE qualification tournaments strongly suggests that they played as a "cartel."

     

    http://www.fsb.muohio.edu/moulcc/sovietchesscartel.pdf

    Yes, that is exactly correct.

  • #80

    It was 65 years ago. I feel. your pain but let it go and move on.

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