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Vasily Smyslov vs Max Euwe
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 8, Aug-22
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-15-04  Sergey Sorokhtin: NEW KASPAROV'S COMMENT!! 33…Bd2.

Black tries to activate his ‘bad bishop’ and then also his crippled knight. But saving the game was possible by aiming for a pawn endgame – 33...Bg5! 34.Kb3 Bxh4 35.gxh4 Ne7 36.Nxe7 Kxe7 37.Kc4, and now not 37...f5? 38.f3! f4 39.Kb5 Kd7 40.c4 Kd8 41.Kc6 Kc8 42.fxg4 hxg4 43.h5+–, but 37...Kd7! 38.Kb5 (+– Smyslov) 38...Ke7 39.c4 (39.Kc6 g3!; 39.g3 Kd7=) 39...g3!! 40.f3 Ke8 41.c5 dxc5 42.Kxc5 Kd7 or 40.fxg3 f5 41.exf5 Kf6 42.g4 hxg4 43.c5 Kxf5 44.Kc6 e4 45.Kxc7 e3 46.cxd6 e2 47.d7 e1Q 48.d8Q Qa5+ 49.Kc8 Qa8+ 50.Kc7 Qa5+ with a draw. (Sorokhtin)

34.Kc2 Be1?

Now 34...Bg5 was urgent, for example: 35.Kd3 Bxh4 36.gxh4 Ne7 37.Nxe7 Kxe7 38.Ke3 Kf7 39.f3 Kg6 40.fxg4 hxg4 41.Kf2 f5 42.exf5+ Kf6! (drawing the c3-pawn on ñ4, where it is more vulnerable) 43.Kg3 Kxf5 44.c4 Ke4 45.Kxg4 (45.h5 Kf5=) 45…Kd3 46.h5 e4, trying to get a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pioneer27: I was looking over this game in Smyslov’s My Best Games of Chess: 1935---1957 (Game 21)and the endgame caught my attention. This endgame is also found in Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors Vol II p. 272. At move 40, Smyslov gives the following analysis: “Passive defense would prolong, but not save, the game, for example: 40...., Kf7; 41. Ka4, Ke8; 42. Kb5, Kd7; 43. Nh6, Bxg3; 44. Nxg4, Bh4; 45. Nh6, Bg5; 46. Nf5, Bc1; 47. Ka6, Kc8; 48. Ka7, Bg5; 49. Ka8, Bc1; 50. g4 (freeing the Knight for maneuvering), Bg5; 51. Ne7+, Kd7; 52. Nc6, Kc8; 53. Na7+, Kd7;
54. Kb7, or 48. . . ., Bd2; 49. Ka8, Be1; 50. g4, Bf2; 51. Ne7+, Kd7; 52. Ng8, Bh4; 53. Kb8!, Bg5: 54. Kb7 and Black is in zugzwang.”

It’s this second line beginning with 48. . . , Bd2 that has me baffled. I do not see how White wins after 54. . . , Bh4. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Pioneer27> Not sure, but I think on Bh4, Smyslov intends to manuever the Knight to e6

Repeating the var. 40...Kf7 41.Ka4 Ke8 42.Kb5 Kd7 43.Nh6 Bxg3 44.Nxg4 Bh4 45.Nh6 Bg5 46.Nf5 Bc1 47.Ka6 Kc8 48.Ka7 Bd2 49.Ka8 Be1 50.g4 Bf2 51.Ne7+ Kd7 52.Ng8 Bh4 53.Kb8 Bg5 54.Kb7 Bh4

And now:
55.Nh6 (the square left unguarded by Bh4) Bf2 56.Nf5 Be1 57.Ng7 Bd2 58.Ne6 Ba5 Black is tied down to c7

59.c5! threat of c6 gets the White king into the position 59...dxc5 60.Nxc5+ Kd6 61.Na6 Bb6 62.Nb8 Bc5 63.Kc8 should win

Aug-15-07  wolfmaster: Interesting endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: First meeting between these two champions; Smyslov played 5 d3 to avoid the Open Defense which was a specialty of Euwe. 8..b5!? was a new move which Smyslov criticized as weakening the queenside too much. 14..Ne7?! leaving the knight on h5 unprotected worked out poorly; 14..Nf4 looks like an improvement. After Smyslov's 15 a4! both 15..Bd7 16 Nxe5 and 15..Be6 16 Nxg5 would have won a pawn. White's advantage in the endgame was based on more space and Black's "bad" bishop. 29..a3 30 b4 would not have helped Black. I agree that Smyslov's note at move 40 was not as clear as his usual high level of analysis.
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