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

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Boris Spassky vs Paul Keres
Spassky - Keres Candidates Quarterfinal (1965), Riga LAT, rd 3, Apr-10
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Leningrad Variation. Benoni Defense (E31)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

NOTE: You are using our new chess viewer, "Olga." For more info see the Olga Quickstart Guide. You can switch back to the old viewer (pgn4web) from the pulldown menu below. If you have questions or suggestions see our Olga chessforum.

explore this opening
find similar games 26 more Spassky/Keres games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Some games have annotation. These are denoted in the game list with the icon.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-11-03  ughaibu: These two really produced some unusual chess.
Feb-11-03  mrwonkabar: i agree
Oct-16-05  Poisonpawns: Spassky avenges his gm1 loss in the nimzo-indian from the 1965 canidates quater finals.I want to say one thing:These were real champions,Spassky had to play Keres in a match,then Geller,and last Tal.Win these matches and then Play Petrosian!! for the title.How hard is that?Spassky lost to petrosian in 1966,and how to do it all over again in 1969 which he succeeded.Congrats to Topalov but today World champ doesnt have the same effect on me if it is not done thru match play with the best players.I know i am asking for perhaps too much but it is only food for thought.This is like Topalov playing Anand,Leko,Svidler in a match and then playing Kramnik! These guys were amazing chess players and to call these guys like Pono,Khalifman,Kasimjanov and whom ever else champs is wrong too me.Even Topalov he won a strong tourney.How is this different than what Kasparov or Karpov have done for years?My question is can Topalov defeat Anand in a match?or Leko? Lets hope to see some match play soon,so we can see who the best is today.
Aug-12-06  Ulhumbrus: 26 d6 will be followed by placing the White QN on d5, the White Queen on b2, and the Bishop on e5. 38 g4 undermines the e4 pawn, and this pawn will fall. In this match Spassky's performance against Keres attained a result that could have been forecast from Bobby Fischer at his best, and this third game was perhaps the best game of the match. I don't know whether anyone has asked Spassky why he did not try the Leningrad variation against Bobby Fischer's Nimzoindian defence in 1972. Perhaps the incident in the back room before the 3rd game cost Spassky the match, as Spassky said in the television interview.
Dec-12-06  Rama: In game 3, Boris evens it up.

I play the Nimzo but not like this. Nimzovitch described it as an "ideal" Queen's Gambit, by which he meant that black would not actually occupy d5 & c5 with his pawns. In other words, a hypermodern opening.

So 5. ... c5, looks alien to me. But what are we to make of 7. e3 ...? The folks in Leningrad have peculiar tastes. After 10. ... 0-0, I prefer black.

The problem is 13. ... e4. Even though it stands for 30 moves, this pawn must obviously fall.

Play revolves around it for a few moves right away; it exerts a cramping influence. By 20. ... Ng7, the players have reached a temporary standoff and the action shifts to the Q-side with 21. b4 ....

Each side wishes to exchange under favorable conditions, which the other side keeps preventing, it is interesting. With 25. ... cxd5, the dust settles. We see the move f7-f5 will shore up the black K-side, and if he can ever play b7-b5 he will have good chances on the Q-side. White has a passed Q-pawn and two open files. What is the winning plan?

Boris chooses 26. d6 .... The discombobulating pawn adavance is the theme of this game. Nonetheless with 28. ... f5, black seems to be consolidating. White avoids 29. Nd5 ..., and plays 29. Nb5 ..., instead.

The threat is Nc7 with double attack on the disconnected enemy Rooks. Good eye, Boris. 29. ... Bxb5, weakens the black K-side by removing a protector, so a Rook moves instead. After 31. ... Bxc7, white's pawn would be even more annoying, so now the other Rook moves.

Finally after 32. Nd5 ..., the Knight comes home where it belongs. With 33. Qb2 ..., it is white who has triumphed. Black has played f7-f5 but it is shaky on the open file; the other open file is occupied by the Queen. The d-pawn is doing good work shielding the Nd5 which cooperates with the Queen along the diagonal.

Black is running out of options and goes for activity with 33. ... Ba4. White tightens the screws with 36. g4 ..., and after 38. Bg4 ..., I think black should have exchanged. 38. ... Bxd5, 39. cxd5 b5, and all is well, although those white d-pawns gotta go!

Instead, 38. ... Bd7, causes a whole cascade of exchanges culminating in 43. Qxe4 ..., which had to feel good. White has an extra pawn and stands better because of his centralization.

45. Qh7+ ..., and 46. Rf1+ ..., demonstrate white's superior mobility and the black King's lack of safety. 50. Rf6 ..., gives black the choice of losing the King or the Queen; he resigns.

The outcome shows that 13. ... e4?, was rash, and that 26. d6!..., was justified. Keres' defensive resources were strained; he cracked. This was important in match-terms.

Mar-26-10  Ulhumbrus: With 29 Nb5 the N will reach d5 in three moves by means of the manoeuvre Nc3-b5-c7-d5 instead of in one move by 29 Nc3-d5. However an immediate 29 Nd5 exposes the d6 pawn to attack after 29...f4 30 ef Nf5.

30 Qc1 postpones the thrust Nc7 to uncover the Rook on d1. The Rook can now go to d6 after Nc7. On an immediate 30 Nc7 Bxc7 31 dxc7 Ba4 the Rook on d1 can't go to d6 as it is obstructed by White's Queen.

38....Bd7 obstructs Black's defence of the b7 pawn but on 38...b6 39 Bxf5 Rxf5 40 Rxf5 Qxf5 41 Ne7+ Bxe7 42 dxe7 White has a winning attack, as White is playing with an extra bishop on the black squares while Black's QB does nothing on the white squares. One threat is Bd6 followed by Rd1-f1-f8.

40 Qb1 proposes an exchange of the d6 pawn for Black's e4 pawn following which White's Queen occupies the dominating central post of e4.

49 Rf6 shows a snapshot of Spassky's attacking skill in action. The Rook attacks the point e5 as well as the point f6, threatening to occupy either point. Black's KB covers e5 by 49...Bd6 whereupon the Spassky moves the Rook to the point f6 and now Black's Queen is unable to defend both the bishop and the Rook.

I cannot resisting repeating a part of my previous remark: In this match Spassky's performance against Keres attained a result that could have been forecast from Bobby Fischer at his best.

Mar-29-10  Ulhumbrus: As my previous message contsained an error, I will send it again with the correction.

With 29 Nb5 the N will reach d5 in three moves by means of the manoeuvre Nc3-b5-c7-d5 instead of in one move by 29 Nc3-d5. However an immediate 29 Nd5 exposes the d6 pawn to attack after 29...f4 30 ef Nf5. 30 Qc1 postpones the thrust Nc7 to uncover the Rook on d1. The Rook can now go to d6 after Nc7. On an immediate 30 Nc7 Bxc7 31 dxc7 Ba4 the Rook on d1 can't go to d6 as it is obstructed by White's Queen.

38....Bd7 obstructs Black's defence of the b7 pawn but on 38...b6 39 Bxf5 Rxf5 40 Rxf5 Qxf5 41 Ne7+ Bxe7 42 dxe7 White has a winning attack, as White is playing with an extra bishop on the black squares while Black's QB does nothing on the white squares. One threat is Bd6 followed by Rd1-f1-f8.

40 Qb1 proposes an exchange of the d6 pawn for Black's e4 pawn following which White's Queen occupies the dominating central post of e4.

49 Rf5! shows a snapshot of Spassky's attacking skill in action. The Rook attacks the point e5 as well as the point f6, threatening to occupy either point. Black's KB covers e5 by 49...Bd6 whereupon the Spassky moves the Rook to the point f6 and now Black's Queen is unable to defend both the bishop and the Rook.

At the cost of repeating a part of a previous remark, in this match Spassky's performance against Keres attained a result that could have been forecast from Bobby Fischer at his best.

One interesting "if" of chess history is what might have happened if Spassky had not submitted to Fischer psychologically in a backroom incident before the third match game at Reykjavik. In that case Spassky might have drawn or even won the match.

One remark by Gligorich suggests that Spassky at his best played as strongly as Fischer, but that Fischer was able to maintain such a playing form and sustained effort for a longer period and without gaps. To borrow a remark of Korchnoi, if Fischer had played in the USSR chess championship of 1973, what might have happened?

Jul-21-10  goldenbear: And here is another very pretty game from Petrosian.
Jul-27-10  Ulhumbrus: Following 30...Qf6 White's N and B are going to end up occupying the two central squares d5 and e5. White will make this possible in the following way. The N will go to c7 and thence to d5, compelling Black's Queen to vacate the long diagonal. Then White's Queen will occupy the long diagonal by Qb2 and from there White's Queen will support the move Be5.
Jul-27-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Most of the psychological pressure on Spassky in '72 was less from Fischer than from inside the USSR. He was the first Soviet to risk losing "their title" to an outsider, worse yet an American. Not surprising that it was too much to handle. Spassky did come back and play better in the 2nd half of the match, but none of his games were of the quality of Fischer's best (games 3, 5, 6, 10, 13). Spassky's opening prep was not as bad as many said, for instance he had probably a winning position in game 4 but let it slip away.
Jun-30-12  sicilianhugefun: Spassky's 47th move h3 represents coolness and indomitable composure against pressure. These are some of the qualities that makes a champion. Bravo Spassky!
Apr-20-15  Ulhumbrus: One small part or phase of the story may be described as follows.

With 13...e4 Keres hopes that Spassky will open lines whilst Keres is ahead in development.

Spassky does no such thing. He closes the e file by f4 and when Keres tries to open lines by 14....g5 Spassky declines to play 15 fxg5 and withdraws his bishop by 15 Bg3 instead.

Spassky will open lines by 19 fxg5 only after he has completed his development and it is he who will benefit from the opened lines.

Perhaps this game can be called a grand symphony of attack on Spassky's part.

Dec-10-16  Saniyat24: A high class performance by Spassky...interesting and intense...!
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 Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
gm 3 1965 Canidates Quater finals
from The Canidates Matches by Poisonpawns
Candidates Quarterfinals Game #3
from Road to the Championship - Boris Spassky by suenteus po 147
Nimzo Indian
by Zhbugnoimt
Spassky during his best years
from Ulhumbrus' favorite games by Ulhumbrus
Keres vs World Champs Decisive Games Spassky
from Keres vs World & Almost Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
Center Control and passed pawn
from Positional by russian bunny
Game 508
from Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 2 by Chessdreamer
6.d5 d6 7.e3 e5 8.Ne2 Nbd7 9.a3 Ba5 10.Qc2 O-O 11.Nc1 Re8
from 98_E30-E31_Nimzo-Indian Defense: Leningrad Varia by whiteshark
Round 3
from WCC Index [Spassky-Keres 1965] by Hesam7
Match Spassky!
by amadeus
Match Keres!
by amadeus
Saniyat24's favorite games
by Saniyat24


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 | Notable Games | 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