These tournaments were organized specifically in the late 60s, when it was determined that the youth chess in the USSR has come quite a deep crisis and need young players to prepare specially. School Botvinnik was going in the mid-60s few times, but the support of the Sports Committee has not received (I think only because of the heavy nature of the Patriarch). After a few years the level of competition is so increased that it became the second largest force after the Highest League!
I can be proud that he was the champion of the USSR in 1977 In Alma-Ata, and my most top contenders – Beliavsky, Romanishyn and Dorfman – are unable to do this! Among the Champions of the Union among young were such famous grandmasters now, Sveshnikov, Tukmakov, Vaganian, Vladimirov, Khalifman, Psakhis, Rozentalis and others.
The fight was uncompromising and continued until bare kings. There were various funny and tragic cases. I have Sveshnikov 1976 in Leningrad there was a struggle for the first place. I was playing white and had some advantage. The opponent defended clearly and on the 26th the course offered a draw – we had 20 minutes to control. Sveshnikov, making a move offered a draw. I searched and searched for the advantage, but could not find him anywhere. Then I gave him a hand in assent to a draw. At this point came the chief judge master Grigory Ravinsky (known for his love of the Opera “Queen of spades”, which is listened to more than a hundred times!, and the fact that on another championship of the USSR among young artists credited the defeat Arshak Petrosian in the party with Alvis Vitolinsh for a half-hour sitting on the toilet!). He said not yet made 30 moves, the position is unclear – play. We did another 4 stroke, and Sveshnikov says: “I’m better, I’ll play”. Two minutes remaining in a state of shock I couldn’t find the correct decision. Such numbers in the Soviet chess did not do nothing. Once Vladimir Savon game with Tal exceeded the time (the box fell half minute earlier) in a winning position, and Tal said, “Draw!”, and wrote the result on the form. Only after the game Lerner told me what to do in similar cases -, the clock stops and the draw is fixed. Everyone knows it, including “swargate” judges.
There were strikes. In Alma-Ata, 1977, we came to the hotel that night after the draw, and they say ” sorry, the seats will be tomorrow, we can go to the hotel to Medeo – 25 kilometers from the city world-famous skating rink. I had to go there at night, but the next day all the participants refused to play and demanded to postpone the first round the next day. The judges had to agree.
One of the most colourful figures of the Championships was an international master from Chisinau Nikolay Popov, later moved to Moscow and became a correspondent for the Russian television. His journalistic and acting talent he generously used in evening gatherings, when peerless imitated Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, which in those days could end badly. Usually Kolya lived in the same room with Arshak Petrosyan, they looked like Pat and Patachon. Kolya – blond under two meters tall and Arshak, little brunette. About their adventures on the young masters tournament of the year long legendary. Championship in Leningrad in 1976 after an hour playing in one of the game participants suddenly distracted from their parties terrible snoring – it reacted to our game only audience – coach Genny Zajchika unforgettable Shura Buslaev.
One of the most talented juniors Soviet chess 70s was Evgeny Vladimirov. He was raised in Alma-Ata, former Lviv master Boris Katalymov, the only original player and aggressive style. He was a passionate advocate of healthy lifestyle (he graduated from the geological faculty of the Lviv University and worked in the Tien-Shan), and, especially, against drunkenness, common in what was then the Kazakh national team. But “drunks” (people who like to drink) won, and Katalymov had to go to work as a coach in Mali.
These events slowed the development of the champion of the USSR among juniors up to age 26, and he was only 18! It seemed that he will join the list of failed talent, but he was lucky, and was offered a place in his coaching staff Garry Kasparov. Eugene was a lot of work, especially to do physical training, and easily became a grandmaster. But again scandal followed with Kasparov, unexplained, by the way, until now. Eugene was gone, then went into business in Moscow, but had to return to chess. He became a very successful coach of India, where chess has blossomed with the advent of Vishy Anand.
In 1976 I had the opportunity to be a sparring partner on the collection of Eugene with Botvinnik in front of youth superiority of Europe – it was one of the best tables!
Vladimirov – Mikhalchishin [A07]
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.0-0 Be7 5.b3 0-0 6.Bb2 b5! This way of dealing with the center of the opponent I always liked how when you play white or black. Funny to say, but then it was a revelation. 7.c4 a6. Here I could not decide what to do – was very tempting and 7…bxc4 8.bxc4 c6 9.d4 Ba6, bringing the Bishop to a more active position. 8.d4. I would prefer 8.d3 with a further 9.Nbd2 planning for E3-E4. 8…Bb7 9.Nbd2 c5!?. I was planning on 9…Nbd7, but I didn’t like 10.c5. 10.cxd5 Bxd5 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.e4!?. Interesting calculation, more passive 12.Qb1 preparing e3-e4, was also possible. 12…Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 14.Qe1 Bd5. It would be very dangerous 14…Qd5 15.Rd1 Qb7 16.Qc3 f6 17.Qxc5 Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Qxf3 19.Rfe1 with a terrible push for the sacrificed pawn. 15.Qc3 Qf6 16.Qxf6 gxf6 17.Bxf6 Nd7 18.Bb2 Rac8. Suddenly after numerous exchanges emerged the advantage of black – white must be very careful. 19.Rac1 Be7 20.Nd2. Better 20.Rfd1. 20…Bxg2 21.Kxg2 Nc5!
The first serious student of the great coach Mark Butler was Valery Chekhov. Once Valera became the world champion among young men, so soon parted with his coach. It was his worst mistake, he became a grandmaster, once in 1984 he played in the big leagues, but it’s a talented chess player ended. Sorry, Valera was more talented than some of the subsequent Butler students who have achieved much greater success.
Chekhov – Mikhalchishin [D85]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nf3 c5 5.d4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 g6 7.e4. Now go to the Grunfeld defence. Such strong grandmasters as Ermolinsky and Akesson played here with me 7.e3 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.a4 0-0 10.0-0 Qc7 11.Ba3 Bxb5 12.axb5 Nd7 13.Qe2 e5 14.e4 a6! 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Bxc5 Qxc5 17.bxa6 Rxa6 18.Rxa6 bxa6 19.Qxa6 Qxc3, and the First League in Volgodonsk 1981 we with Ermolinsky signed a draw. 7…Bg7 8.Be2. At the time, Eingorn with Palatnik not yet invented popular now 8.Rb1. At this point I had to play 8…Nc6. 8…0-0?! 9.0-0 b6. I have this arrangement loved and understood even in those years, though once Valery Salov “roll me through the meadow”. 10.Bg5 Bb7 11.Qd3 cxd4 12.cxd4 Qd6 leads. Subsequently I play Vilela in 1984 – he applied the maneuver 12…Qd7 and then on to the a4. 13.Rac1 e6 14.Qe3 Nc6 15.Rfd1 Rac8 16.Bf4. White clear the way for his entrance. 16…Qe7 17.d5 exd5 18.exd5 Qxe3 19.fxe3!. With the idea to reinforce the checkpoint by e3-e4. 19…Nb4 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.d6.
Memorable parties I will also a great game against the Moscow master Mark Berkovich, subsequently moved to Israel.
Berkovich – Mikhalchishin [C06]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nc6 8.Ne2 f6 9.exf6 Qxf6. In those days on f6 was beaten by Queen is only much later, everyone regrouped at the capture of the knight 10.Nf3 Bb4+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2 0-0 13.0-0 e5! 14.Nc3?! Stronger 14.dxe5 Ndxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Nd4 with equality. 14…exd4. 14…e4 would have 15.Nxd5 Qg6 16.Bc4! with win. 15.Nxd5 Qd6 Leads 16.Bc4.
The accuracy of end – white resigned.
Author Adrian Mikhalchishin
the Chairman of the FIDE trainers Commission,
honorary friend of web-club Fenix-64