05 April 2009

Moscow 1925, 1935, and 1936

It's obvious from the titles of my two previous posts -- Moscow 1936 Tournament Book and Moscow 1936 [photo] -- that they were both about the Moscow 1936 tournament. Why two posts? The LabateChess.com introduction to the tournament book, at Moscow 1936 : International Chess Tournament, also linked in that first post, says,

The third Moscow international chess tournament in 1936 had an impressive field of participants, including two former world champions (Jose Raul Capablanca, Emanuel Lasker) and one future world champion (Mikhail Botvinnik). The tournament took place at the Hall of Columns in Moscow, Russia from May 14th to June 8th, 1936.

The solid mix of Western and Soviet competitors were to play a double round-robin, consisting of eighteen total games. Capablanca, nine years removed from being the world champion, was alone in first place at the halfway mark. A point and a half behind him were Botvinnik, Lasker, and Viacheslav Ragozin. The only player to keep within reasonable distance of the leader was Botvinnik, but he eventually finished a full point behind the tournament champion, Capablanca.

This tournament book was written by one of the participants, Gregory Levenfish and later translated to English by Jimmy Adams. The seventh round game between Capablanca and Botvinnik was an instant classic (link to Kevin Marchese's Rookhouse.com).

The phrase 'third Moscow international chess tournament' means that the event followed the Moscow 1925 and Moscow 1935 tournaments. Crosstables for the three tournaments, which were all seminal events in the development of Soviet chess, are available at WorldChessLinks.net.

I've already touched on the tournaments at least twice in

Other resources of special note are

All three events featured World Champions Lasker, Capablanca, and Botvinnik, although Botvinnik had only a minor role in 1925.

1 comment:

Michael Goeller said...

We had a good lecture at our club titled "Moscow 1925 and the Origins of the Soviet School of Chess" which may interest your readers. Around the time of that lecture, I was looking at games from Moscow and made several posts on the tournament, including "Torre Plays the Torre at Moscow 1925" and "Torre - Saemisch, Moscow 1925". Readers may also appreciate Winter's excellent discussion of the famous Capa - Bogo game from that tournament in his piece "Analytical Discord."

I am a big fan of this tournament and other tournaments of the 1920s, when the West could still boast of its champions!