23 August 2009

Soviet Chess 1941-45

Two timelines from posts in 2007 touched on the WWII period: The Botvinnik - Keres Rivalry ended, '1941-06 • Germany invades the USSR', and The World Championship Interregnum started, '1945-05 • WWII ends in Europe'. The chess events of the missing years were completely overshadowed by the events of WWII, of which a full description is in Wikipedia's Eastern Front (World War II).

As for Soviet chess during WWII, I once copied a summary from Grekov's 'Soviet Chess' in For Chess historians only. Botvinnik accounted for the same years in '100 Selected Games':-

1941: 'When the Great Patriotic War began the need for defense of the Motherland called for the application of my powers in another field.'

1943: 'From 1941 to 1943 I gave all my time to work as an engineer. During the summer I had to travel a great deal, visiting the power stations in the Urals to test high-tension insulation. During the winter I worked in the high-tension laboratory at Molotov, servicing the works of the Molotov Electricity Corporation in the repair and testing of insulations. At the beginning of 1943 I took up chess again. On Wednesdays and Saturdays I was freed from work in order to devote myself to the game.' • Mentions a master tournament in Sverdlovsk and the Moscow championship.

1944: 'At the beginning of the year I transferred to work in the Technical Department of the Ministry for Electric Power Stations, and moved with my family to Moscow.' • Mentions the 13th Soviet Championship, Moscow.

1945: Mentions the 14th Soviet Championship, Moscow, and the USSR-USA radio match.

More about the USSR post-war team matches can be found in another post from 2007, USSR vs. USA/GBR 1945-55.

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