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Vasily Smyslov vs Robert James Fischer
"Escape From New Yorker" (game of the day Dec-07-2017)
Buenos Aires (1970), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 16, Aug-13
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Two Knights Line (A37)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: These two ALWAYS collided big time..

I'll come back to you on this ..

Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Perhaps it was because he knew of Smysov's defensive ability, that Bronstein's famous quote, "You want me to attack Smyslov for 3 rubles a day?" has made the rounds around the world!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

According to Vasily Smyslov, in this position, white to move, he felt himself to be in a <"difficult situation">:

click for larger view

His idea to relieve the positional pressure was to surprise <Fischer> with the pawn sac <18.b4>:

click for larger view

Smyslov included the following observation and advice in the dossier he prepared on <Fischer> for the Soviet Sports Committee, on the eve of <Spassky-Fischer 1972>:

<"If you find yourself in an unfavourable position, <<<it is good to complicate matters,>>> to divert Fischer from his planned actions. typical in this respect is my game with Fischer in Buenos Aires (1970), where in a difficult situation I successfully sacrificed a pawn by b3-b4.">

-Dmitry Plisetsky and Sergey Voronkov, "Russians vs. Fischer" Ken Neat transl. (Everyman Chess 2005), p.324


It's interesting that <Smyslov> seems to have felt that the combination of this position with the fact that his opponent was <Bobby Fischer>, meant that a "successful pawn sac" would be one that "successfully" saved the draw, rather than won the game.

Jan-27-14  ewan14: Not a "grandmaster" draw anyway

good game !

Jan-27-14  RookFile: Everybody knew that Fischer played best without an opponent. Smyslov did the right thing by trying to complicate matters, but he's not the only guy who thought of that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < RookFile: Everybody knew that Fischer played best without an opponent. >

As Larsen said, "The opponent is always very annoying."

Oct-26-15  jerseybob: Fischer may have been a little too anxious to swap light-squared bishops; 16..Ng6 might be better. We'll never know, because at Palma, Fischer in a nearly identical position tried a different plan, swapping DARK-squared bishops with 7..Bb2. To me that's the real test of Smyslov's quirky Na4 system.
Mar-24-16  ToTheDeath: One of Fischer's few weaknesses- he couldn't resist grabbing pawns! But the exchanges eased White's game somewhat. Narrow escape for Smyslov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I didn't know Smyslov was from New York. I know that Fischer was a Chicago-oid.
Dec-07-17  RookFile: After 12.... f4, this had 0-1 written all over it. Fischer was probably thinking that he never had it so good in the King's Indian. White's knights look ridiculous on a4 and c2. Put another way, black's kingside attack is going to be ferocious, while white's queenside attack it blowing up on the launching pad. It's amazing that Smyslov mananged to get a draw out of this. As was said before, Smyslov knew when to press the "random" button and complicate matters.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile....As was said before, Smyslov knew when to press the "random" button and complicate matters.>

Nunn once wrote that some players are better at understanding when to do just that when annotating a game in which an opponent failed to take that decision and drifted into a lost game without trace.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I love the pun, but was Black ever in real trouble?

Seems like not much of an escape.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Do Chicagonauts get annoyed with people who claim Fischer as a New Yorker?
Dec-07-17  ughaibu: <Do Chicagonauts get annoyed with people who claim Fischer as a New Yorker?>

But, isn't a Chicagonaut an entity that goes to Chicago? And as such, we can conceive of a Chicagonaut who originates in and comes from New York.

Are you suggesting that the New Yorkese should be embarrassed by any imputation of association with Fischer?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A Chicagonaut is one who travels with the blessing of El. Some travellers on the El entered when admission was a dime but could not exit, because exit fees had increased to 11c. They wandered for 40 years, then went to New York.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Sorry. That was the MTA in Boston I was thinking about.
Dec-07-17  ughaibu: Not the IRT
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < thegoodanarchist: I love the pun, but was Black ever in real trouble? Seems like not much of an escape.>

It was White who was supposedly in trouble. I have a vague memory that Fischer gave what he claimed was a winning line somewhere...does anyone know?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Escape from New York> would be a good title for the telegraph game from 1965.

Fischer vs Smyslov, 1965

Dec-07-17  rune ohlsson: I think the winning line begins with 19. --- b3 Any objections?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: a fighting draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Penultimate round, Fischer had already locked up first place several games earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: 1) -0.05 (35 ply) 7...d5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Na4 Bxb2 10.Nxb2 Bg4 11.O-O O-O 12.Nd3 Qd6 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Nd4 15.Bg2 Ne6 16.e3 b5 17.Qf3 c4 18.Nf4 Rfd8 19.Rab1 Rab8 20.h4 a5 21.Rfd1 Nxf4 22.exf4 Nc6 23.Re1 cxb3 24.axb3 Nd4 25.Qc3

10.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <cormier: 1) -0.05 (35 ply) 7...d5 10.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8.>

Hey, Cormier!

There is a new kid on the block. These analyses are like squid ink on old parchment, the Dead Sea Scrolls, dude.

AlphaZero is the woman now! She is in control!

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: great game, great pun.

Fischer scored 2-2 against Smyslov in the 1959 Candidates tournament, a phenomenal achievement for a 16 year old.

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