01 July 2009

World Championship Qualifiers 1946

There is a case to be made for including the tournaments at Groningen 1946 and Prague 1946 in any comprehensive list of World Championship qualifying events. From 'Najdorf: Life and Games' by Lissowski et al (p.27):-
The minutes of the Winterthur Congress [17th FIDE Congress, July 1946] stipulated:
If the winners of the tournaments in Groningen and Prague are not among the six above-mentioned masters [Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov, Reshevsky, Fine, & Euwe], they shall play a match in Prague organized by the Czechoslovak Federation under the auspices of FIDE. The winner of that match shall be added to the list of participants. If one of the winners is already on the list of participants, the other shall automatically qualify.

Running ahead, we may say that this clause was of direct concern to Miguel Najdorf, and that it was virtually the only one to be repudiated later -- as a clear result of actions behind the scenes by the most influential countries in the chess world.

Botvinnik won at Groningen (see Groningen 1946 chess tournament [Wikipedia.org]), and Najdorf won at Prague (see Prague 1946 [TheChessLibrary.com]).

1 comment:

schrottvogel said...

The clause isn't that clear. One can also interpret it as to trying to say that the match will only be played if BOTH winners are not among the AVRO guys. But as Botvinnik was, there was no need to play a match. Still, if I was Najdorf, I would feel a bit bitter about this.

BTW thanks for all your incredible work at tirelessly documenting all these important pieces of chess history. It's telling for the quality of historical chess research (= generally very very low) that you're about the only one. Your work is greatly appreciated :D