The Soviet Union started warm favourites at the fifth European Team Chess Championships in Bath, West England on Friday (July 6) in the face of tough opposition from the seven other competing nations.
GV EXT. Guildhall Bath
SV INT. Spassky & Hartston seated ready to play
SCU Chessboard ZOOM players
SCU Unsticker PAN TO Schmidt (POLAND)
LV Players during game
SV Szado (HUNGARY)
CU Lombard (SWISS)
CU Gheorghiu (RUMANIA)
CU Players during game (2 shots)
LV Spassky & others
Initials SGM/0226 SGM/0243
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Background: The Soviet Union started warm favourites at the fifth European Team Chess Championships in Bath, West England on Friday (July 6) in the face of tough opposition from the seven other competing nations.
Former World Champion Boris Spassky went into battle admitting that he was "not on to form". And in the first round English hope William Hartston held the 36-year-old Russian to a draw.
Hungary established a winning lead over Rumania, but lost a game on bottom board and was lucky to win to top board when Szabo tried for a draw against Rummain Gheorghiu and eventually scored a win.
As predicted, Switzerland proved no match for Yugoslavia, but the contest between Poland and West Germany was fairly even, with the Poles only a point ahead at the end of the first day's play.
SYNOPSIS: Guildhall, Bath...in England's picturesque West Country..is the setting for this year's fifth European Chess Championships, which started on Friday with Russia not favourites.
Former world champion Boris Spassky told a press conference, before the tournament that he hadn't recovered from his defeat by American Bobby Fischer..and felt badly out of form. In the opening round Englishman William Hartston held the Russian to a draw, which surprised all the experts.
Here Unsticker of East Germany takes on Schmidt of Poland. The two countries were evenly matched and ended the first day with Poland only a point ahead.
Szabo of Hungary was expecting a draw in his battle against Rumanian opponent Gheorghiu...but he finished up unexpected victor. And as expected, Switzerland's Lombard proved no match against Yugoslavia.
The chess world still awaits Boris Spassky's return bout with his conqueror, Bobby Fischer. But on the Russian's current showing, they could be in for a long wait.