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Lajos Portisch vs Boris Spassky
Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1977), Geneva SUI, rd 6, Jul-17
Benoni Defense: Hromadka System (A57)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-19-11  AnalyzeThis: Don't you at least try 44. Rxh7 here? Black must be able to draw anyway with 44... Kf5.
Nov-20-11  Juninho: Could 30.Rxb3 win?
Jul-12-14  Howard: Now, here's a story about this particular game that I've always remembered over the last 36 years, since GM James Tarjan covered the match in Chess Life and Review.

Tarjan stated in his analysis of this game that at the time of adjournment, Portisch apparently concluded that even though he was likely to end up a pawn up in an endgame where he'd have two pawns to Spassky's one pawn, it would nevertheless be impossible to win, especially since he was "facing, in effect, two former world champions"---Spassky and his second, Smyslov.

On top of that, Smyslov was well-known to be one of chess history's greatest endgame players (no argument there). Thus, once Portisch convinced himself in the tranquility of his hotel room that the ending was drawn, what reason would he have to doubt that the Spassky-Smyslov duo would find the proper drawing method ?

But then Tarjan made a rather intriguing point, in my view. He gave some extremely detailed analysis of this endgame to show why Spassky could have held the draw despite being a pawn down, and he actually went on to say....

...."if the reader can understand the ins and outs of the following analysis to the point where he could have, say, drawn the position against Portisch, then he can be assured that he has the potential to reach USCF master strength."

Tarjan stated that the ability to "dissect" these kinds of endgames is actually an extremely effective test of one's chess ability, thus making the aforementioned point.

Any thoughts ?

Apr-23-16  Howard: No "thoughts" after almost two years ?

Tell you what...anyone care to submit some computer analysis. I don't have one(yet). In other words, did Portisch, perhaps, overlook good winning chances ?

May-21-17  edubueno: Partida muy interesante, BS salió a jugar golpe por golpe, que no es el estilo de Portisch. Juninho pregunta si 30 Txb3 puede ganar, NO, en ese caso 30...Txd6 y las blancas deberían abandonar.
Dec-26-18  woldsmandriffield: According to the introduction, Smyslov didn't arrive on the scene until after Game 11. From memory, coverage in Chess magazine in the UK confirms this.

A fantastic battle in the candidates - although 30..Rxd6 31 exf8=Q+ Qxf8 would have led to a simpler draw.

Dec-26-18  Howard: Oh? Kavalek states in CL&R that Smyslov was present during this game.

In fact, he states that Portisch realized during the adjournment that he'd be facing "two former WC's" as far as analyzing the adjourned position.

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