The 44th Soviet men's chess championships were drawing to close in Moscow on Wednesday (15 December).
TGV AND SV PULL BACK TO show competitors at tables. (2 shots)
LV PAN: audience
CU: Petrosyan in play against Yuri Balashov.
SV:Balashov (left) and Anatoli Karpov walking between moves.
TV: Petrosyan makes move
CU: audience display board.
SV: Balashov moves, Petrosyan returns to table and makes another move. (3 shots)
GV AND SV: games in progress with audience watching. (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK: Karpov in play. (2 shots)
CU AND SV: Karpov gets up from table and walks around between moves. (2 shots)
LV: matches in progress
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Background: The 44th Soviet men's chess championships were drawing to close in Moscow on Wednesday (15 December).
SYNOPSIS: With just six rounds to be played, 18 contenders are left.
They include the reigning world champion Anatoli Karpov, former world champion Vassili Smyslov, Yuri Balashov, Mikhail Tahl and Tigran Petrosyan.
One of Wednesday's most decisive matches was played between Yuri Balashov and Tigran Petrosyan. At this stage of the championships, the two Moscow masters shared the joint lead. Both had scored 6.5 points from their first 11 games. Each player had four wins, four loves and a loss.
The Balashov-Petrosyan game was expected to provide the championships with a favourite.
However, the 48-year-old Petrosyan and the 28-year-old Balashov were so evenly matched that their game ended in a draw.
The tournament is expected to continue until Christmas Eve (24 December). However, the 12th round was important for all the players.
Particularly for Anatoli Karpov. He made an uncertain start to the championships and lost valuable early points. He began to regain form and confidence in the latter rounds and improved his standing to be just behind Balashov and Petrosyan.
Karpov was eventually to win this clash with Alexander Zarharov, gain a maximum 1.5 points, and join the two leaders on points.