November 20, 2011
Created in 1920, the first championship was organized in Moscow and won by Alekhine. The fifty-seventh in 1991 was the last finished with a joint tie between Minasian and Magerramov.
The system of qualification was a long process. First, came the championships of the districts, cities, regions, territories and republics. Next the best 64 player from all the constitute republics, Moscow and Leningrad enter a countrywide qualifying tournament. Its winner constitutes the first league, the best players of which are entitled to compete in the top league together with the top players of the country.
The record holders of victories were Botvinnik (11 attempts) with 7 victories followed by Tal (19 attempts) and 6 victories, Korchnoi, Beliavsky, and Petrosian with 4 victories each. Taimanov has the highest amount of points scored with 242½ followed by Geller 235 and Polugayevsky 217. Geller and Taimanov have participated in 23 championships and Bronstein, Tal and Polugayevsky in 20 championships.
Since 1992, the USSR Championship was replaced by the Russian Chess Championship.
The Soviet champions were:1920 Alexander Alekhine, 1923 Piotr Romanovski, 1924 Efim Bogoljubow, 1925 Efim Bogoljubow, 1927 Fedor Bohatirchuk and Piotr Romanovski, 1929 Boris Verlinski, 1931 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1933 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1934 Grigory Levenfish and And Iliya Rabinovich, 1937 Grigory Levenfish, 1939 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1940 Adrei Lilienthal and Isaac Bondarevsky, 1941 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1944 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1945 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1947 Paul Keres, 1948 David Bronstein and Alexander Kotov, 1949 David Bronstein, Vassily Smyslov and Mikhail Botvinnik, 1950 Paul Keres, 1951 Paul Keres, 1952 Mikhail Botvinnik, 1953 Vassily Smyslov, 1954 Youri Averbach, 1955 Efim Geller, 1956 Mark Taimanov, Youri Averbach and Boris Spassky, 1957 Mikhail Tal, 1958 Mikhail Tal, 1959 Tigran Petrosian, 1960 Viktor Korchnoi, 1961 Tigran Petrosian, 1961 Boris Spassky, 1962 Viktor Korchnoi, 1963 Leonid Stein, 1964 Viktor Korchnoi, 1965 Leonid Stein, 1966 Leonid Stein, 1967 Mikhail Tal and Lev Polugaevsky, 1968 Lev Polugaevsky and Alexander Zaitsev, 1969 Tigran Petroisan and Lev Polugaevsky, 1970 Viktor Korchnoi, 1971 Vladimir Savon, 1972 Mikhail Tal, 1973 Boris Spassky, 1974 Alexander Beliavsky, Mikhail Tal, 1975 Tigran Petrosian, 1976 Anatoly Karpov, 1977 Iossif Dorfman, Boris Gulko, 1978 Mikhail Tal, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, 1979 Efim Geller, 1980 Alexander Beliavsky and Lev Psakhis, 1981 Gary Kasparov and Lev Psakhis, 1983 Anatoly Karpov, 1984 Andrei Sokolov, 1985 Mikhail Gurevich, 1986 Vitaly Tseshkovsky, 1987 Alexander Beliavsky, 1988 Anatoly Karpov and Gary Kasparov, 1989 Rafael Vaganian, 1990 Alexander Beliavsky, Leonid Yudasin, Evgeny Bareev and Vyzmanavin, 1991 Minasian Artashes and Ilmar Magerramov.