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Tournament: 50th Hastings 1974/75 • 120 games plus 30 from the Challengers, etcuploaded Wednesday, 3 November, 2021 9:34 AM
Venue: Falaise Hall, Hastings • Date: 28 December 1974 - 14 January 1975 • Download PGN

50th Hastings Premier, 28 December 1974 to 14 January 1975

1974/75 Hastings Premier Nat'y Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16  Total
1 Hort,Vlastimil CZE 2600g
&;
½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 10½
2 Sigurjonsson,Gudmundur ISL 2480m ½
&;
½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 10
3 Vaganian,Rafael URS 2540g ½ ½
&;
½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 10
4 Andersson,Ulf SWE 2580g ½ ½ ½
&;
½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1
5 Beliavsky,Alexander G URS 2460m ½ ½ ½ ½
&;
0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1
6 Planinc,Albin YUG 2545g 0 ½ 1 ½ 1
&;
1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 9
7 Miles,Anthony J ENG 2410m ½ 0 1 ½ 1 0
&;
½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½
8 Hartston,William R ENG 2480m 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½
&;
0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½
9 Benko,Pal C USA 2510g 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1
&;
½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 7
10 Botterill,George Steven ENG 2410 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½
&;
½ 1 1 1 0 1 7
11 Stean,Michael F ENG 2345 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½
&;
½ ½ 0 ½ ½
12 Csom,Istvan HUN 2540g 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½
&;
0 1 1 ½ 6
13 Garcia Gonzales,Guillermo CUB 2450 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ 1
&;
1 1 ½ 6
14 Basman,Michael J ENG 2400 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
&;
½ 1
15 Diesen,Mark C USA 2295 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 ½
&;
½ 4
16 Mestel,A Jonathan ENG 2270 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½
&;

Average Elo: 2457 Cat: 9 GM = 10 m = 7½


1974/75 Hastings Challengers, 28 December - 6 January

"Limited to 64 players selected by the Committee"—BCM, November 1974, p407—but in fact 72 played in the final line-up

1974/75 Hastings Challengers Nat'y Elo    1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9      10    Total 
1 Robert Bellin ENG 2355 +12 -3 =30 +50 +52 +25 +9 +7 +11 =5 8
2 Jonathan S Speelman ENG   +72 -22 +68 =42 +33 =31 +4 =6 +25 +3
3 Rajko Bogdanovic YUG 2430m +59 +1 =7 +6 +9 +10 +34 =11 -5 -2 7
4 Zahiruddin Farooqui PAK   =40 +43 =47 +18 +5 -11 -2 +44 +30 +22 7
5 Ulrich Nehmert FRG   +30 +21 =39 +22 -4 =6 =13 +18 +3 =1 7
6 Craig W Pritchett SCO 2350 +52 +26 =22 -3 +19 =5 +39 =2 =20 +11 7
7 David E Rumens ENG   +51 +53 =3 +26 +31 +39 -11 -1 =8 +17 7
8 Kevin J Wicker ENG   +64 =17 -9 =30 =36 +35 +26 +10 =7 +13 7
9 Milan Bajovic YUG   +14 =16 +8 +38 -3 +29 -1 =31 =22 +20
10 Michael Macdonald-Ross SCO   =33 =45 +13 +15 +38 -3 =31 -8 +36 +25
11 Dimo Werner FRG   -18 +23 +61 +47 +49 +4 +7 =3 -1 -6
12 Julian A Hardinge ENG   -1 =27 =64 +58 =40 +38 -18 +33 =37 +30 6
13 Andreas Huss SUI 2360 =37 +28 -10 +53 =16 +22 =5 =20 +31 -8 6
14 Glenn E J Lambert ENG   -9 =66 =36 +63 -37 +55 =33 =27 +38 +34 6
15 Peter J Lee ENG   +71 =41 =18 -10 =28 =36 +42 =19 =21 +37 6
16 Kenneth W Lloyd ENG   +20 =9 -38 +46 =13 =49 =30 +39 -17 +43 6
17 Zvonimir Mestrovic YUG 2400m +60 =8 =33 =67 =22 =37 +29 =30 +16 -7 6
18 Kemal Osmanovic YUG   +11 =19 =15 -4 =44 +51 +12 -5 =34 +39 6
19 Krzysztof Pytel POL 2405 +27 =18 =34 =41 -6 +23 =49 =15 =24 +31 6
20 Karlheinz Bachmann FRG   -16 +48 +21 +44 -39 =30 +37 =13 =6 -9
21 Michael E Binks ENG   +23 -5 -20 +57 -def +70 +61 =24 =15 =27
22 Peter Dankert FRG   +65 +2 =6 -5 =17 -13 +48 +49 =9 -4
23 Ulrich Gass FRG   -21 -11 =48 +66 +64 -19 =62 +53 =26 +45
24 Michael Hemmert FRG   -39 -68 +54 +72 =42 =33 +51 =21 =19 =28
25 Franz Hoelzl AUT   =35 -31 +59 +55 +41 -1 +27 +34 -2 -10
26 Geoffrey H James ENG   +58 -6 +63 -7 =46 +40 -8 =41 =23 +47
27 Thomas Pioch FRG   -19 =12 +60 +62 -29 +52 -25 =14 +51 =21
28 John M Ripley ENG   =31 -13 +57 =37 =15 +45 =16 -4 +49 =24
29 John N Sugden ENG   +66 +46 =49 -31 +27 -9 -17 =35 =41 +44
30 Richard A Beach ENG   -5 +69 =1 =8 +70 =20 +41 =17 -4 -12 5
31 Gerald H Bennett ENG   =28 +25 +62 +29 -7 =2 =10 =9 -13 -19 5
32 Rolf Bruening FRG   =61 =40 =46 -52 -35 +69 =53 =47 =57 +55 5
33 Bernard Cafferty ENG 2335 =10 +35 =17 =34 -2 =24 =14 -12 +50 =42 5
34 L Alan Edwards ENG   +48 =44 =19 =33 +67 +42 -3 -25 =18 -14 5
35 Ronald F A Harman ENG   =25 -33 -51 +60 +32 -8 +50 =29 -39 +57 5
36 Graham Hillyard ENG   -63 =51 =14 +61 =8 =15 =44 +40 -10 =41 5
37 Manfred Keller FRG   =13 -47 +66 =28 +14 =17 -20 +44 =12 -15 5
38 Jonathan Kinlay ENG   +68 =62 +16 -9 -10 -12 =43 +67 -14 +56 5
39 Victor W Knox ENG   +24 +57 =5 =49 +20 -7 -6 -16 +35 -18 5
40 John G Nicholson ENG   =4 =32 =50 =51 =12 -26 +67 -36 =46 +58 5
41 Evert-Jan Straat NED   +54 =15 =44 =19 -25 +67 -30 =26 =29 =36 5
42 Terence J Stuttard ENG   -44 +56 +45 =2 =24 -34 -15 +59 =47 =33 5
43 Shaun M Taulbut ENG   =50 -4 -52 =56 =54 +65 =38 +63 +61 -16 5
44 Leslie S Blackstock SCO   +42 =34 =41 -20 =18 =48 =36 -13 +62 -29
45 Graham P Burton ENG   =47 =10 -42 =69 =57 -28 =55 +52 +48 -23
46 Michael J Conroy ENG   +67 -29 =32 -16 =26 =62 =56 =61 =40 =54
47 Ulrich B Dresen FRG   =45 +37 =4 -11 -51 =56 +52 =32 =42 -26
48 G Gabrilo     -34 -20 =23 +65 +69 =44 -22 =56 -45 +60
49 David S C Goodman ENG   +70 +63 =29 =39 -11 =16 =19 -22 -28 =51
50 John Raymond Markus NED   =43 =61 =40 -1 =55 =53 -35 +65 -33 +66
51 Peter Muehlbach FRG   -7 =36 +35 =40 +47 -18 -24 +58 -27 =49
52 Alan Phillips ENG   -6 =70 +43 +32 -1 -27 -47 -45 +64 +62
53 H Schils     +69 -7 =55 -13 =62 =50 =32 -23 =65 +61
54 Peter Sharp ENG   -41 -58 -24 +71 =43 =59 -57 +69 +63 =46
55 Paul V Byway ENG   -62 +71 =53 -25 =50 -14 =45 +60 =56 -32 4
56 David A Curnow ENG   -57 -42 =56 =43 +58 =47 =46 =48 =55 -38 4
57 Fred Just FRG   +56 -39 -28 -21 =45 =64 +54 =62 =32 -35 4
58 Kenneth P Neat ENG   -26 +54 -67 -12 -56 +72 +64 -51 +59 -40 4
59 John C Pigott ENG   -3 =72 -25 =64 =66 =54 +68 -42 -58 +67 4
60 Ronald Blow GCI   -17 =64 -27 -35 -65 +66 +69 -55 +71 -48
61 Paul F Habershon ENG   =32 =50 -11 -36 +72 +68 -21 =46 -43 -53
62 Helmut Hassenrueck FRG   +55 =38 -31 -27 =53 =46 =23 =57 -44 -52
63 T Kiefer     +36 -49 -26 -14 -68 +71 +70 -43 -54 =65
64 A Noorlandt     -8 =60 =12 =59 -23 =57 -58 =66 -52 +71
65 Alan H Prizant ENG   -22 -67 =56 -48 +60 -43 +72 -50 =53 =63
66 Dragoljub Savic YUG   -29 =14 -37 -23 =59 -60 +71 =64 +68 -50
67 Miroslav Radojcic YUG   -46 +65 +58 =17 -34 -41 -40 -38 =69 -59 3
68 Svend Ove van Seelen DEN   -38 +24 -2 -70 +63 -61 -59 =71 -66 =69 3
69 L J Mills ENG   -53 -30 +71 =45 -48 -32 -60 -54 =67 =68
70 Sai Prakash § IND   -49 =52 =72 +68 -30 -21 -63 withdrew 2 / 7
71 Frederick W Bradbury ENG   -15 -55 -69 -54 +bye -63 -66 =68 -60 -64
72 P van Dusen     -2 =59 =70 -24 -61 -58 -65 withdrew 1 / 7

§ Sean Coffey of the invaluable IRLchess website (devoted to Irish chess history & records) tells me that "S Prakash" is probably Sai Prakash, an Indian then studying at Trinity College, Dublin. Prakash played in the 1975 Irish Championship. My thanks to Sean for the information.

Other Sections of the 1974/75 Hastings Congress

(Main Tournaments 28.12.74–6.1.75; New Year Specials 30.12.74–4.1.75; Third Week Specials 6.1.75–11.1.75)

Main 'A': Josef Beutelhoff (FRG), R A Walker 6½/9; John A Gorman 6; G. Binder, Jim Burnett, C.D. Carr, N.R. Keene, N.D. Macpherson 5½; Malcolm J Lightfoot, C.L. Ridley, Geoffrey N Stokes 5; Graham Andrews, N. Borchardt, Percy B Cook, P.G. Moore, P.C. Pragua, W. Steffelaar 4½; Paul Gronau, Robert C Lynn, James R Nicolson 4; Dr Reinhard Cherubim, Norman R Oliver 3½; R Hock 2; Robert P Ross 1½; Friedhelm Bachmann, J Westphal 1½/6 (both withdrew after 6 rounds).

Main 'B': H. Ernst, R. Wentzell 6½/9; John C Fagg 6; Richard Britton, L. Deliege, R. Forthaus, Roland A Gronau, Mrs Dinah M Wright 5½; M.H. Haag 5; Shaun G Finlayson, H Gerards, G Klein, Leigh A Trangmar, P.C. Wood, P.L. Zwetsloot 4½; Bronislaw Naujokas 4; F. Buckendahl, Sydney R Capsey, F.K. Drescher, K.A. Howell, R. Sowa, G. Wagner 3½; (Richard) Nevil Coles 3; W Lammert 1½.

Main 'C': Lucien Mouillaux (FRA), J Parker 6½/9; Ronald E Rushbrook, G Scherrer, E.J. Smith 6; Nigel W Dennis, E Hofstetter, S.T. Tan 5½; H Schwarz, H Tassell 5; W Bainbridge, P.L. Cook, D.T. Fairbank, B. Morris, J.P. Scragg 4½; Kevin R M Claudius, P. Griffiths, A. Kerry, Truman V Parrott 4; Fridolin Jaeck 3½; P.J.R. Oliver, Walter R Rayner 3; Mlle. Claude Santoy 2½; H.G. Crews 0/5 (withdrew after 5 rounds).

Main 'D': Hanneke van Parreren (NED) 6½/9; S. Brown, R.G. Clark, E.W. Knapp, W.G. Oliver, Peter Tobczewski 6; T.H. Laux, R L Quaye 5½; P. Ganszczyk, J. Hatton 5; J. Bycroft, John C Calvert, J.A. Macgregor, Mrs L.F. Morris, R.C. Shilling, W. Woodhead 4½; P.A.Baldwin, A. Milner 4; W.E. Busbridge 3; Miss E. Coulson 2; Miss M. Daniel 1; C.Fox ½.

New Year Special 'A': V. Homolka, Harry Lamb 4½/6; Rev. David J Casiot, Michael P Cook, Stephen J Taylor 4; Dr J.A. Fidler, Raymond J Gamble, George Harold Govas, Dr. Peter W Hempson 3½; David J Faulkner, H. Happel, Otto H Hardy, H.J. Kruger 3; B.R. Johnson, P. Koenig, Kenneth I Norman, D.J. Stevenson 2½; P. Carey, A.P. Primett 1½.

New Year Special 'B': J. West 5/6; V. Schlick 4½; J.G. Cooper, D. Girling, H.J. Precker 4; K.P. Anthes, N. Happel, G.C. Stevens 3½; D. Blake, J.A. Felton, James E Pattle, Kevin J Thurlow 3; S Blewitt, B.J. Little, M.J. Meakin, D.J. Mingay, G. Schmidt 2½; R.J. Dixon 2; K. Norbury 1; N.V.Gray ½.

New Year Special 'C': Jonathan J Ady 4½/6; Mrs Olive Chataway, Ulrich Christoffel, James J Essinger, M. Goll, Jack A Speigel 4; R.J. Fidler, E. Houghton 3½; C.W. Bryan, R. Lauen, R.W. Parsons, D.J. Towers 3; C. Papworth, Raymond J Pomeroy 2½; F. Fegebank, R.H. Saunders 2; W. Zimmer 1; P.A. Hann ½.

New Year Special 'D': E. Chambers 5/6; Peter A Bond, Joseph Norman H Hay 4½; Malcolm I Stewart-Mackenzie 4; F.H. Hill, R.M. Morgan, S. Wavell 3½; R.L. Baker, H. Rawcliffe, W. Brown 3; N. Brat, A.D. Harvey, l.R. Humphries, J. Lord 2½; A. Kilgariff 2; P.R.S. Gibson 2/3 (withdrew after 3 rounds); R.J.H. Day 1½; A. Norbury 1;

New Year Special 'E': K. Griggs 5/6; W. Schwab, S.P. Scott 4½; Mrs P. Jackson 4; Mrs Francesca Enns [Franziska Eskenasy], E. Newham 3½; R.D. Pearce, W.E.J. Sharp, Rev. J.G. Whitehead 3; Mrs E.D. Crowe, L. Michaelis, J.G. Wright 2½; J. Jenkins, J.E.Teubler 2; J.C. Hamer 1½; G.Burnett 1.

Third Week Special 'A': Andrew Rowland Benedick Thomas 5½/6; David Gleave 4½; G.M. Brown, J.A. Felton, Heinrich Juehe 4; M. McNaughton, Ronald E Rushbrook, R. Talbot 3½; (Richard) Nevil Coles, L.J. Dent, Laurie A J Glyde, A. Gray, W.L. Starling, Charles Gerald Thoroton Stonehill, J.C. Wiseman 3; Geoffrey W Naldrett, W Nash, Ronald G Rusha 2½; G McInnis, P.C. Wood 2; J.D. Nicholas 1.

Third Week Special 'B': D. Hess, Jack A Speigel 4½/6; Victor Litvin 4; Kurt Baumann [married Claude Klemeniuk, who played in the 3rd Week Special 'C' section, in the 1st q. of 1975, Poplar, London], E. Chambers, Kevin R M Claudius, Bryan Alan Fewell 3½; R. Evans, G. Murray, L.A. Purser 3; D.T. Fairbank 2½; Gerald Charles Stonehill 2; Miss F. Perthen 1; G.R. Wood ½/2 (withdrew after 2 rounds).

Third Week Special 'C':. R.G. Harmer 5/6; R.A. Barrowclough, D.C. Read 4½; David Ernest Begarnie, G. Burnett, E. Mitchell 4; John C Calvert, C Hann 3½; W.E. Busbridge, J.B. Oliver 3; Francis N Copping, J. Hatton, E. Wheeler 2½; D.F. Albert, Miss Claude Klemeniuk [soon to be Mrs Claude Baumann - see above], James Frank S Learner 2; Miss J. Evans 1; Mrs D.E. Thomas ½.


Hastings—No.50 by Harry Golombek [BCM, February 1975, p50]

For the 50th Hastings International Chess Congress the organisers had assembled a really impressive array of grandmasters and masters for a Premier of Category 10. These mystic figures imply that only 9 points are necessary for a player to attain the grandmaster norm and 7½ for the international master norm. Of course, they also mean considerably more than that inasmuch as a tournament of such a category is an event of world class and immense all-round strength.

From the Soviet Union there were, or should have been (such a proviso would seem, alas, always necessary in such events) the great Viktor Korchnoi, whose remarkable fight in the Candidates Final match versus Karpov will be fresh in everyone’s memory. His companion was the former Junior World Champion, Alexander Beljavsky, who had such a magnificent result at the Soviet Championship tournament at Leningrad in December when he came equal first with the ex-world champion Mikhail Tal.

This time, reluctantly abandoning for once the ever-welcome Svetozar Gligoric (his need of a rest from tournament play was readily understandable) we had been fortunate in obtaining two of the world's most original and talented players in Velimirovic and Planinc of Yugoslavia.

From the U.S.A. there was Robert Byrne, the American grandmaster who did so well at the Leningrad Interzonal and also young Mark Diesen who qualified for the Premier from the Challengers in impressive style the previous year.

From Sweden there was Ulf Andersson — worthy successor to the famous triumvirate of Stoltz, Stahlberg and Lundin, and from Czechoslovakia Vlastimil Hort, one of the most successful tournament players of our time.

Then there were some new names — to Hastings that is: the combinative grandmaster from Hungary, Istvan Csom, that discovery from Cuba, Guillermo García, whose play I had watched with admiration at Las Palmas last year and who obtained there the first leg of his grandmaster title, and another distinguished grandmaster from the Argentine, Quinteros.

Add on the five players from the home front, Basman, Hartston, Keene, Miles and Stean and you get a tournament of category 10, a category one higher than that of the previous year.

Alas for all our plans, they were changed quite noticeably by the fickleness of Fate (and of man). Four grandmasters, R. Byrne, Korchnoi, Quinteros and Velimirovic, and one international master, Keene, had to scratch at various times and for various reasons. The only circumstance in common was that they announced their defection only a little time, in some cases a few days, before the start of the event.

Velimirovic was the first. He decided some weeks before the tournament commenced that playing in the Hastings Premier would not allow him sufficient time to prepare for the Yugoslav Championship. Quinteros fell ill at the last moment and we heard he was in hospital only a day or two before Hastings started. Korchnoi, so we were informed by the Soviet Chess Federation, found his physical condition so impaired by his strenuous fight with Karpov that he too was not fit to play. Keene, much disturbed by family cares, had to cry off.

All these defections are understandable and explicable; but only Robert Byrne knows why Robert Byrne had to withdraw. Indeed, had it not been for an accident due to the zeal of John Keable in arranging simultaneous displays for the masters the organisers would never have been aware that he was not coming. He sent Byrne a telegram asking him if he was available for giving displays and received a reply, about a week before Hastings commenced, saying, cryptically and tersely, 'I am not coming'.

Substitutes had to be found and, though obviously the organisers had in mind some reserve names, they had not reckoned on having to deal with a gap of some 33% of the participants of the Premier. The result was that the tournament declined to category 9 and this in turn meant that, in order to gain the grandmaster norm players had to get 10 points, the norm for the international master title remaining the same at 7½.

It was not all loss. It was on the contrary much to our delight that we now had a place for the British Champion, George Botterill and also another for that very talented junior Jonathan Mestel. The substitution for Korchnoi was Vaganian and this was a player whose meteoric rise and inventive style of chess constituted a great asset for the Hastings tournament. Let me also add how pleasantly he behaved throughout the tournament. We could do with more grandmasters of his sunny disposition.

Possibly the most interesting addition was that of the Icelander, Gudmundur Sigurjonsson. He too has risen swiftly to the forefront of international chess. At Tiflis last year he had obtained one leg of the grandmaster title and now was his opportunity to complete this achievement.

One point more must be mentioned before I come to consider how the players played and that is the vexed question of finance. This had become very shaky, partly because our chief sponsor, James Slater, who had been so generous to us in the past, found himself constrained to cut his sponsorship by half, and partly because the inflation which had hit everybody and everything meant that we needed considerably more money.

That this year’s Hastings did not bow out, as regards the international part at any rate, was due to two great helps. The first came from The Friends of Chess who, in giving £2,000 towards the cost of Hastings, devoted about one year's income. Corporate generosity is not a very tangible thing so I will confine myself to writing that the Friends felt it was precisely for such emergencies that they existed. The other main help came from my friend W. Ritson Morry who deserves the thanks of the whole chess world for guaranteeing the remaining sum of £2,500. I am afraid he will be out of pocket to the extent of some £2,000 but his reward (in his generosity he did not expect any) will be found in the grateful thanks of all those who love chess — others need not weary themselves with reading these lines.

In considering the tournament (Peter Griffiths will deal with the happenings, round by round, but I would like to give my general overall impressions here) I have to reveal that during the event I was dominated by a feeling of relief that it was actually happening. But even so, I still found that the chess was entertaining and, by and large, of excellent quality. There have been Hastings where neither such feeling could be revealed.

In fact, this tournament was also exceptional in that there was no Soviet domination, this being chiefly due to the success against the Soviet pair of Messrs Planinc and Miles. But it should be borne in mind that the Soviet Championship, in which both Vaganian and Beljavsky participated with distinction, finished only ten days before Hastings started and this meant that both Soviet players must have tired at the outset.

The Czechoslovak player, Hort, in coming first here added yet another laurel to his crown or wreath of tournament successes. He played with great determination and skill and is a true descendant of that great line of Czechoslovak masters which, it should be remembered, includes Steinitz.

Much of the delight of those who enjoy watching chess that is both elegant and incisive, Sigurjonsson came equal second and did in fact become a grandmaster as a result of this tournament. So now Iceland has another grandmaster in addition to the great Fridrik Olafsson. He tied with Vaganian who, quite undeterred by an indifferent start, fought his way back to the forefront with a determination that was matched by his sunny courtesy — a fine ambassador for Armenian chess.

Andersson and Beljavsky were equal fourth and fifth. Beljavsky must have been disappointed at missing his grandmaster title by a half-point. But he is a player of such skill and determination that I am sure it will not be long before he does actually achieve this. Ulf Andersson who is as obstinate as he is courteous and charming probably played more moves than any other two players. Though this is rather hard on us chess journalists I have to say 'Would that there were more like him'.

Then I come to Planinc who was sixth alone. He belongs to that small group of grandmasters of whom it can be said, 'he is a true artist'. When the picture that he paints on the chess-board is a triumph then he delights, not so much in winning points as in creating beautiful conceptions. This is the sort of player no tournament should be without. His game against Vaganian is one of the best games aesthetically speaking, that I have seen in many a long tedious year.

The Junior World Champion, Tony Miles, in scoring 8½ points and winning 7th prize in such company, has shown that he, more than any other British player, has the capacity for making the grade of grandmaster. Hartston won the remaining eighth prize and is obviously, at the moment, seeking for some means of emerging from the indifferent form in which he has been for the last 18 months.

Two players, Benko and Botterill, tied for the next place. What was a modified success for our home player must be deemed a failure on the part of such an experienced grandmaster as Benko. George Botterill, indeed, needed only another half-point for the international master norm. He played some fine games interspersed with some bad ones; but, on the whole, must have felt well satisfied with his 7 points. Stean, on the other hand, though proving very difficult to beat, was disappointing in that he failed to win a game. Csom was quite out of form and indeed not well for some part of the tournament. He is certainly a player of much greater capabilities than he showed at Hastings. García, too, was disappointing and it is possible that he was handicapped by the climate which, if mild for the time of the year, does not compare with the heat of his native isle. Basman was ... Basman, variable, colourful, talented and exasperatingly anti-positional nearly all the time. Both Diesen and Mestel, the youngest players in the tournament, found the going too hard for them. Perhaps their true place is still with the Challengers for the moment.

I leave the rest in the capable hands of Peter Griffiths. Most readers would do well to ignore my remarks and go straight on to him.


The Challengers Tournament by Peter C Griffiths [BCM, February 1975, p52]

The Challengers’ Tournament — bigger than ever this year with no less than 72 competitors in the final line-up — was a great success for the British representatives. Robert Bellin, who has been close to winning on previous occasions, after an indifferent start produced a string of wins which brought him to the top of the table, just half a point in front of Jonathan Speelman. Powerful opposition was provided by Yugoslavia in the two international masters Bogdanovic and Mestrovic, and by several other foreign players, notably Pytel, who made a respectable score in last year’s Premier, Nehmert, who has played for the West German team, and Farooqui, who performed admirably for Pakistan in the last Olympiad.

It looked as if Bogdanovic was running away with the tournament when he scored 6½ points from his first seven games, and yet he lost his last two against Speelman and Nehmert and had to be content with a share of 3rd-8th places. His tragedy was that he stood to win against Speelman in the last round, in which case he would have equalled Beilin's score and would probably have had the advantage on Sonneborn-Berger count. However, that is an old story; the fact is he did not win and the two young English players took their chances and thoroughly deserved their first and second places. It will be interesting to see how Bellin fares in the Premier next year; in addition to his attacking flair he now seems to possess a great determination in playing long endgames, and it was this which was above all responsible for his success here.

Three other British players made 7 points, which was good enough to give them a stake in the prize-list. These were Wicker, Pritchett and Rumens, the latter making a return to this level of competitive chess after some years of absence. Further down the list, Bennett and Knox were a little disappointing. Both started well but seemed to run into trouble at about the half-way stage and never recovered.


Hastings Chess Tournament for the Disabled — This new event, which took place in the Marlborough Hotel, St.Leonards-on-Sea, from December 28th 1974 to January 3rd 1975, was won by J Druce-Powell (London) with 5½/6 in front of 2 E.Mitchell (Hastings) 4½; 3. N M Shaban (Coventry) 1½; 4. J.Heys (Hastings) ½.


File Updated

Date Notes
Previously Uploaded as part of the Hastings collection some time ago.
1 November 2021 Uploaded the 120 Premier games with dates and a few emendations, plus 30 games from other sections, crosstables, etc.