THE SOVIET CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

1920-1991

Results and Crosstables

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A record of the strongest National Championship in the history of... history, whose winners included 8 World Champions (plus a 9th Champion who tried but never won it!), 4 unsuccessful World Championship Challengers, and 13 players who made it as far as the Candidates Level.

# Year Winner/s Location Top
Score
Z Notes
1 1920 Alekhine, Alexander Moscow 12-3 - Called "Russian Chess Olympiad" at the time
2 1923 Romanovsky, Peter Petrograd 10-2 - -
3 1924 Bogoljubow, Efim Moscow 15-2 - -
- 1924 Bogoljubow-Romanovsky Match Leningrad +5-1=6 - -
4 1925 Bogoljubow, Efim Leningrad 14-5 - -
5 1927 Bohatirchuk, Fedor
Romanovsky, Peter
Moscow 14-5 - Botvinnik's debut
6 1929 Verlinsky, Boris Odessa 7-1 - -
7 1931 Botvinnik, Mikhail Moscow 13-3 - -
8 1933 Botvinnik, Mikhail Leningrad 14-5 - -
9 1934/5 Levenfish, Grigory
Rabinovich, Ilya
Leningrad 12-7 - -
10 1937 Levenfish, Grigory Tbilisi 12-6 - -
11 1939 Botvinnik, Mikhail Leningrad 12-4 - -
12 1940 Lilienthal, Andre
Bondarevsky, Igor
Moscow 13-5 - -
- 1941 Botvinnik, Mikhail Leningrad 13-6 - "Absolute" Championship
13 1944 Botvinnik, Mikhail Moscow 12-3 - -
14 1945 Botvinnik, Mikhail Moscow 15-2 - -
15 1947 Keres, Paul Leningrad 14-5 - -
16 1948 Bronstein, David
Kotov, Alexander
Moscow 12-6 - -
17 1949 Smyslov, Vassily
Bronstein, David
Moscow 13-6 - -
18 1950 Keres, Paul Moscow 11-5 - -
19 1951 Keres, Paul Moscow 12-5 Z -
20 1952 Botvinnik, Mikhail
Taimanov, Mark
Moscow 13-5 - Won by reigning World Champion
21 1953 Averbakh, Yuri Kiev 14-4 - -
22 1955 Geller, Efim
Smyslov, Vassily
Moscow 12-7 Z -
23 1956 Taimanov, Mark
Averbakh, Yuri
Spassky, Boris
Leningrad 11-5 - -
24 1957 Tal, Mikhail Moscow 14-7 - -
25 1958 Tal, Mikhail Riga 12-5 Z -
26 1959 Petrosian, Tigran Tbilisi 13-5 - -
27 1960 Korchnoi, Viktor Leningrad 14-5 - -
28 1961 Petrosian, Tigran Moscow 13-5 Z -
29 1961 Spassky, Boris Baku 14-5 - -
30 1962 Korchnoi, Viktor Yerevan 14-5 - -
31 1963 Stein, Leonid
Spassky, Boris
Kholmov, Ratmir
Leningrad 12-7 - -
32 1964/5 Korchnoi, Viktor Kiev 15-4 - -
33 1965 Stein, Leonid Tallinn 14-5 - -
34 1966/7 Stein, Leonid Tbilisi 13-7 Z -
35 1967 Polugaevsky, Lev
Tal, Mikhail
Kharkow 10-3 - 126 player Swiss
36 1968/9 Polugaevsky, Lev
Zaitsev, Alexander
Alma Ata 12-6 - -
37 1969 Petrosian, Tigran
Polugaevsky, Lev
Moscow 14-8 Z -
38 1970 Korchnoi, Viktor Riga 16-5 - -
39 1971 Savon, Vladimir Leningrad 15-6 - -
40 1972 Tal, Mikhail Baku 15-6 Z -
41 1973 Spassky, Boris Moscow 11-5 - -
42 1974 Beliavsky, Alexander
Tal, Mikhail
Leningrad 9-5 - -
43 1975 Petrosian, Tigran Yerevan 10-5 - -
44 1976 Karpov, Anatoly Moscow 12-5 - Won by reigning World Champion
45 1977 Gulko, Boris
Dorfman, Iosif
Leningrad 9-5 - Title shared after 6-game playoff match drawn
46 1978 Tal, Mikhail
Tseshovsky, Vitaly
Tbilisi 11-6 - -
47 1979 Geller, Efim Minsk 11-5 - -
48 1980/1 Psakhis, Lev
Beliavsky, Alexander
Vilnius 10-6 - -
49 1981 Psakhis, Lev
Kasparov, Garry
Frunze 12-4 - -
50 1983 Karpov, Anatoly Moscow 9-5 - Won by reigning World Champion
51 1984 Sokolov, Andrei Lvov 12-4 - -
52 1985 Gavrikov, Viktor
Gurevich, Mikhail
Chernin, Alexander
Riga 11-8 Z Title shared after playoff drawn
53 1986 Cseshkovsky, Vitaly Kiev 11-6 Y -
54 1987 Beliavsky, Alexander
Salov, Valery
Minsk 11-6 Z -
55 1988 Kasparov, Garry
Karpov, Anatoly
Moscow 11-5 - Won by reigning World Champion
56 1989 Vaganian, Rafael Odessa 9-6 - -
57 1990 Beliavsky, Alexander
Yudasin, Leonid
Bareev, Evgeny
Vyzhmanian, Alexey
Leningrad 8-4 - -
58 1991 Minasian, Artashes
Magerramov, Elmar
Moscow 8-2 - Swiss, Minasian awarded title on tiebreak

If a tie for first, all winners are listed. Winner's name in bold indicates that he beat the other winner/s in a playoff for the title.


Player Titles Won
Mikhail Botvinnik 6
Mikhail Tal 6
Boris Spassky 4
Tigran Petrosian 4
Viktor Korchnoi 4
Alexander Belyavsky 4
Efim Bogoljubow 3
Paul Keres 3
Leonid Stein 3
Lev Polugaevsky 3
Anatoly Karpov 3
Pyotr Romanovsky 2
Grigory Levenfish 2
David Bronstein 2
Vassily Smyslov 2
Mark Taimanov 2
Yuri Averbakh 2
Efim Geller 2
Vitaly Tseshkovsky 2
Lev Psakhis 2
Garry Kasparov 2
Alexander Alekhine 1
Fedor Bohatirchuk 1
Boris Verlinsky 1
Ilya Rabinovich 1
Andre Lilienthal 1
Igor Bondarevsky 1
Alexander Kotov 1
Ratmir Kholmov 1
Alexander Zaitsev 1
Vladimir Savon 1
Boris Gulko 1
Josef Dorfman 1
Andre Sokolov 1
Viktor Gavrikov 1
Mikhail Gurevich 1
Alexander Chernin 1
Valery Salov 1
Rafael Vaganian 1
Leonid Yudasin 1
Leonid Bareev 1
Evgeny Vyzhmanian 1
Artashes Minasian 1
Elmar Magerramov 1

Soviet Championship Statistics,
contributed by Giuseppe Gabelli

All-Time Best Scoring Percentages
Most Appearances, All-Time
Most Championship Victories
Soviet Championship Trivia