Absolute Championship of the USSR, Leningrad 1941
March - April

                  1    2    3    4    5    6 
1. Botvinnik    xxxx 1 11 11 101 011  13- 6
2. Keres        0 xxxx 110 0 011 11  11 - 9
3. Smyslov      00 001 xxxx 11 1   10 -10
4. Boleslavsky  00 1 00 xxxx 111 00   9 -11
5. Lilienthal   010 100 0 000 xxxx 111   8-11
6. Bondarevsky  100 00  11 000 xxxx   8 -12

  • Upset over his 6th place showing in the 12th Championship, and fearful of losing his position as the Soviet Player with the best claim to challenge Alekhine for the World Championship, Botvinnik pulled strings to hold a Quadruple Round Robin tournament between the top 6 finishers in the 12th Championship, in place of the scheduled Bondarevsky/Lilienthal playoff. This tournament would be for a new title, the "Absolute" Championship of the USSR, a title separate from the regular Soviet Championship, to be decided once only, and to determine who had priority in challenging Alekhine.

  • Two months after the tournament, Hitler invaded Russia, postponing any possible World Championship match for at least the next 4 years. War is not only Hell, it's darned inconvenient.