Some USSR Chess Championship statistics and records

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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.

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