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Match of the Century: USSR vs. World

Match of the Century: USSR vs. World

Ref: y7108

Product type: Printed book

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Tigran Petrosian & Aleksandar Matanovic

Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition compiled and edited by Douglas Griffin and Igor Zveglic

Foreword to the 50th Anniversary Edition:

The match between the USSR and the Rest of the World was an epoch-defining event that featured many of the greatest names in the history of chess.Five World Champions and all of the world's highest-rated players - without exception - took part. Not for nothing was it billed as the "Match of the Century".The idea for this book was inspired by Chess lnformant's work USSR v. Rest of the World, which was published in Belgrade not long after the match. lt contained brief biographical details of the players and annotations to the games by the players themselves in English (by the Rest of the World players) and Russian (by the Soviet participants). That book was the starting point of our effort, as it was extremely satisfying to develop the original work compiled by Tigran Petrosian and Aleksandar Matanovic.

The present work features expanded player biographies and translations of the Russian language annotations. It also features translations of contemporary articles from the Soviet chess press, as well as later recollections by some of the players and key characters involved in the match.

The game of chess then was very different to the modern version. Today the fundamental role played by powerful computer engines has removed much of it's mystery. But it's not only the game itself that has changed, it's leading actors have also, perhaps, become less colourful. In preparing the biographies of the participants we were struck by the extent to which many of them had been affected, either directly or indirectly, by some of the most momentous events of the first half of the twentieth century. The Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Great Terror of the late 1930s, the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941 and the subsequent Siege of Leningrad, the Holocaust, the partition of Europe along capitalist and communist lines - these had all left their mark. The lives of many of today's leading grandmasters most if not all of whom have been professional chessplayers for their entire adult lives (and sometimes even longer than that), may seem slightly one-dimensional in comparison.

It is unlikely that the game of chess will ever regain the status that it once enioyed in the Soviet Union and it's satellite countries, as well as in Yugoslavia. Truly it is difflcult to imagine the scene that took place in central Belgrade (and described in the lntroduction) occurring in any city of the world today.

On the 50th anniversary of that great event in the Serbian capital we invite the reader to take a step back to those years and to re-live the match as it was experienced at the time in the words of it's participants and some of the leading journalists of the day.

Douglas Griffin
Igor Zveglic

Published 2020, hardback, 256 pages.

Our Price:27.50

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