The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World
by Jan Timman
New In Chess
The 1962 Candidates' Tournament in Curaçao was one of the fiercest chess battles of all time. At the height of the Cold War, eight players contested the right to challenge World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. The format of the tournament was a gruelling quadruple round-robin. Twenty-eight games were to be played on the tropical island, in a contest that lasted two months. The air trembled with drama and intrigue...
One of the favourites, the brilliant Mikhail Tal, was taken to hospital after 21 rounds and had to withdraw. Three other players from the Soviet Union, Keres, Petrosian, and Geller, were making suspiciously short draws when playing each other. The two American players came to blows over the services of the second they were supposed to share. Bella Kortchnoi, whose husband took an early lead in the tournament, was a puppet in the hands of the scheming Rona Petrosian, wife of the winner. And one of the favourites was a lanky 19-year-old boy from Brooklyn, Bobby Fischer, who openly accused the Soviets of collusion and was later proved right.
In the end, Tigran Petrosian was the winner and went on to become the new World Champion the following year. But such was the impact of Fischer's accusations that this was the last time such a battle was organised. Henceforth the challenger to the highest crown was determined in a series of matches. Curaçao 1962 was the last Candidates' Tournament.
In Curaçao 1962, GM Jan Timman returns to this clash of giants and takes a fresh look at the games. Timman describes the course of the tournament and annotates the most important games (including 16 of Fischer's) in his usual lucid and instructive style. Curaçao 1962 revives a tradition of great tournament books, such as Alekhine's New York 1927 and Bronstein's Zurich 1953.
GM Jan Timman is a former World Champion Candidate, who rose to the number 2 spot of the FIDE world rankings in 1988, just behind Anatoly Karpov. He is the author of several highly acclaimed bestsellers, such as Curaçao 1962 (the printed version), Fischer World Champion (co-author Max Euwe), On the Attack, Power chess with Pieces, and The Art of the Endgame. He is co-editor-in-chief of New in Chess where he has his regular column.
About the book
This book was previously published as Curaçao 1962 by New in Chess, ISBN 978-90-5691-139-2. The original paperback has 216 pages. In the e+Books edition, you can play through all the material on the live board. Navigate the Contents by chapter. Games are indexed by player (White or Black).