After the formation of the USSR the USSR-ch was established as the national championship. However the Russia-ch continued to exist as the RSFSR-ch. The first two USSR championships in 1920 and 1923 were also recognized as RSFSR championships; the modern numbering of Russian championships begins with these two tournaments. The cities Moscow and Leningrad held their own championships and their players were ineligible to play in the RSFSR championship. However, some did participate as outside competitors: for example, Taimanov finished with the same number of points as Tarasov in the 1960 championship, but only Tarasov was awarded the title as Taimanov was from Leningrad.

Rashid Nezhmetdinov held the record of five wins of the Russian Chess Championship. (Wikipedia)

The championship of the RSFSR (the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) was one of the more important events in the Soviet Union’s chess calendar. The RSFSR was roughly equivalent, in terms of territory, to today’s Russian Federation. However, in chess terms, championships of the Russian republic have no precise modern equivalent. In Soviet times, Moscow and Leningrad effectively had the status of separate republics; they were represented separately in USSR team championships, and players from Moscow and Leningrad did not as a rule participate in championships of the Russian republic, unless appearing hors concours.

This was the case in the 18th RSFSR Championship, which took place in the Black Sea city of Sochi in the summer of 1958. There, the newly-married Viktor Korchnoi was taking part, as were several of his colleagues from Leningrad.

Ultimately, 1st place was taken by Rashid Nezhmetdinov, who thereby repeated his success from the previous year’s championship in Krasnodar. (The win in Sochi would prove to be the last of his five championship titles; he had previously won in Gorky (1950), Yaroslavl (1951) and Saratov (1953). (Douglas Griffin)

The Game, In Three Annotated Versions

SOURCE:, Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov: Games Of The 1950s

SOURCE: ChessBase Mega Database 2022

SOURCE: ChessBase 16