Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

register now - it's free!
Boris Spassky vs David Bronstein
"The SMERSH Gambit" (game of the day Jan-30-17)
USSR Championship (1960)  ·  King's Gambit: Accepted. Modern Defense (C36)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 117 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 22 more Spassky/Bronstein games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: As you play through the game, you can get the FEN code for any position by right-clicking on the board and choosing "Copy Position (EPD)". Copy and paste the FEN into a post to display a diagram.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <What the devil possessed me to reply 1. ... e5?? I compltely forgot that Spassky, like Spielmann in the past, very much likes to play the King's Gambit> (on their famous game in the 1960 USSR Championship) - David Bronstein.
May-10-15  nestorparma: Another neat example of Najdorf's saying: "whenever Spassky sacks a piece it's time to resign"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Why not 15...exf1Q+? What does the zwischenzug cost black?

I feel like these are the last great players to use the kings gambit to powerful effect. Whether Fischers article or the positional revolution that followed him is responsible, I dunno. But I'd enjoy a revival.

Premium Chessgames Member
  NeverAgain: Alex Schindler: <15...exf1Q+> has been found by RandomVisitor to lead to drawn positions as far back as 2006 on the 6th page of kibitzing for this game:

Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960 (kibitz #170)

Extra-deep (d=42+) analysis done with a recent Stockfish dev build (161015) confirms that the move pretty much results in a draw by force.


<15...Bxd6> can be played first, which merely leads to a transposition, despite what this confusing post by SirChrislov seems to claim - Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960 (kibitz #307)):

<<15...Nf8?> Bronstein could easily see that 15...exf1(Q)+ 16.Rxf1 loses to 17.Nxf7+! in an echo of the note 14.Qd3 (17...Kxf7 18.Ne5 Kg8 19.Qh7+!). But Black can accept the rook under safer conditions if he inserts 15...Bxd6!>

If you look closely, he makes two moves for White in a row in the first sentence. Perhaps he meant "could easily see that 15...exf1(Q)+ 16.Rxf1 <cxd6> loses to 17.Nxf7+!".

16.Rxf1 Bxd6

click for larger view

17.Qh7+ Kf8 18.cxd6 cxd6 19.Qh8+ Ke7 20.Re1+ Ne5 21.Qxg7

click for larger view

RandomVisitor examined several Black alternatives at this point, including an immediate <21...Qb6> and the crazy-looking <21...Bh3>, as leading to an even position. Stockfish confirms only <21...Be6>, all other alternatives leave White with an advantage.

21...Rg8 22.Qxh6 Be6 23.dxe5 Qb6+ 24.Kh1

click for larger view

And now after both 24...d5 and 24...Qf2 SF sees no better course for White than to take a perpetual check

a) 24...d5 25.Qf6+ Kd7 26.Ng5 Qb4 27.Ba4+ Qxa4 28.Nxe6 fxe6 29.Qf7+ Kc6 30.Rc1+ Kb6 31.Qxe6+ Ka5 32.Qxd5+ Ka6 33.Qd3+ Qb5 34.Qd6+ Qb6 35.Qd3+ Qb5

click for larger view

b) 24...Qf2 25.exd6+ Kxd6 26.Qf4+ Ke7 27.Qc7+ Ke8 28.Ba4+ Kf8 29.Qd6+ Kg7 30.Qf4 Kf8 31.Qd6+

click for larger view

Thus 15.Nd6 objectively deserves a question mark for throwing away a winning advantage [1.44/42]. It's a beautiful move that nevertheless won the game and as such will be continued to be admired, whatever computers might say.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Just watch the chess bit in the 'From Russia with Love' film.

Kronsteen (White) is given a message during the game after he played 22. NxB(Nf7-e5)+

click for larger view

The message reads: 'You are required at once."

Later on tonight I'll use my John Bull Spy De-Coding Set (£2.99 from E-SPY + P & P) and expect to discover the mating follow up moves are hidden within that message.

So Kronsteen cheated (and he was a member of Spectre not SMERSH.)

The chess bit from the film.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Sally Simpson, have you got that film position right?
Jan-02-16  john barleycorn: <offramp: Sally Simpson, have you got that film position right?> Dr. NO.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: No, I took it from here. The film removed a couple of pawns because they thought chess games were copyright.

Deciphered message reads:

"Your blueberry yoghurt is on it's way"

Jan-20-16  Joker2048: In my opinion, spassky absolutely being one of the top 5 player of all time. His skill and his technic is incredible.
I love the way he play and he is great...
Feb-29-16  SpiritedReposte: Don't know what kind of propaganda this is. But the BLUEBIRD game is the bluebird game not SMERSH(?)
Feb-29-16  dannymay: Sally Simpson Are you sure about that SPECTRE vs. SMERSH point? I was pretty sure Kronsteen was a SMERSH operative. SMERSH was the Soviet revenge machine that went after defectors, etc. SPECTRE was an international criminal cartel, apolitical and operating purely for profit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Danny,

"Kronsteen, played by Vladek Sheybal, was the head of planning for SPECTRE in From Russia with Love (1963)."

Site: James Bond Character - Kronsteen.

Feb-29-16  luftforlife: Cf. Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1955, sc. Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1955 (link to my kibitz; trying to avoid a duplicate posting here).

The fictional game described in brevis fashion in Ian Fleming's James Bond thriller From Russia With Love differs from the fictional game depicted somewhat more fulsomely in the motion picture From Russia With Love. The above-cited game was the basis for the game in the novel; this game is the basis for the game in the picture.

In the novel, the fictional villain and three-time "Champion of Moscow" Kronsteen is a SMERSH operative, run by the real-life Chief of SMERSH, General Grubozaboyschikov.

In the picture, Kronsteen is a high-ranking agent of SPECTRE, a fictional terrorist organization headed by the inimitable arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Hope that helps!

Best to all, ~ lufty

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: So he is/was a Spectre/Smerch double agent.

What about McAdams (Kronsteen opponent) was he a MI5/FB1/CIA/CSIS agent?

Premium Chessgames Member
  posoo: OOOOOOOOOOOi know da feelng! I bet when spassky played da moove it was ALL HE COULD DO to keep from SHAKING wif joy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <Appropriately our hero’s surname in reality (Spassky) has 007 letters. His first name (Boris) is an anagram of "orbis", Latin for "globe", and indeed he was going on to be the World Chess Champion.>

The game chosen by the Bond film producers, was that magical masterpieces reminiscent of Boris Spassky's beautiful 23-move victory playing the King’s Gambit against David Bronstein at Leningrad in 1960 in the sixteenth round of the 27th USSR Championship held at the Chigorin Chess Club in Leningrad from January 26th to February 26th, 1960 and won by Viktor Korchnoi, ahead of runners-up Petrosian and Geller. (video extract) (beautifully picked up screenshots)

Jan-30-17  bengalcat47: Hi Sally. Sometime you should check out The American Cryptogram Association. If you like to solve secret coded messages then this is the place!
Jan-30-17  Ilkka Salonen: Well, the pun plus the feeling of confusement about what is going on at move 15 bring to mind speculation if you are implying this was a fixed game. I don't remember if there even has indeed been speculation about this game. I read the book KGB plays chess and it's pretty interesting reading, but kind of left me feeling that under the title more things could be discussed. I would have wanted to know more about Petrosian's relationship to KGB, for example.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Smersh and Grab> is better.
Premium Chessgames Member A brilliant coup.
Jan-30-17  catlover: A beautiful game. The connection with a James Bond movie makes it especially fun.
Jan-30-17  morfishine: Spassky also upended Fischer in 1960 with the King's Gambit

the 3...d6 "Bust" would not be resurrected til the following year by Fischer



Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: One of the better examples of chess being used in the movies, aside from a complete, good movie, like "Searching for Bobby Fischer."

SMERSH was a real life acronym for a soviet intelligence group. SPECTRE is a takeoff on that, used by the Bond people for their 60s films. The two large groups were the GRU, Soviet military intelligence (international) and of course the KGB, in charge of domestic surveillance. I think the GRU still exists in that name. the KGB was downsized after the fall of communist leadership there and renamed FSS (Federal Security Service).

Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: Also known as the FSB, after its Russian acronym (ФСБ for Федеральная служба безопасности), the way the KGB was known as the KGB rather than as the CSS.
Feb-01-17  Olavi: The Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (SPECTRE) is an international organisation, often trying to provoke a conflict berween tha superpowers, so perheps Shmert Shpionam (SHMERSH) wasn't the model? At least they took some liberties.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 14)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Kandelabr's favorite games
by Kandelabr
The World's Greatest Chess Games- 100 Games
by 50movesaheadofyou
td14's favorite games
by td14
interesting games
by Rimrock
willrazen's favorite games
by willrazen
Best Chess Games of All Time
by Timothy Glenn Forney
from Great Games by ECO Code by biglo
Brilliant games
by alxlevin
Game 36
from Keres, Nei - 4 x 25 by Chessdreamer
< modern art > this game has a visual feel,apart from the mat
from sandtime's favorite games by sandtime
excmo's bookmarked games
by excmo
The Continuation of Best Games Ever
by dull2vivid
Good enough for a Bond film
from Barious Beauties and Bonehead BBQs 1950-1979 by fredthebear
games to study
by belak
From Russia With Love
from The All-Time Classics by Bubo bubo
shakespeare's favorite games
by shakespeare
from Celebrities & Immortals by Benzol
Game 171
from Chess Highlights of the 20th Century (Burgess) by Qindarka
disasterion's favorite games
by disasterion
King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
from ANNOTATED GAMES by gambitfan
plus 326 more collections (not shown)

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2017, Chessgames Services LLC