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Robert Huebner vs Lajos Portisch
Hübner - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1980), Abano Terme ITA, rd 11, Aug-24
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A33)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-07  HOTDOG: this was the decisive game of the match,and Portisch needed a win.the sealed move was 43...Ke2 and after that Black has a won position.Portisch's seconds analyzed the position and realized that 43...a3 wins the White rook and the game.Indeed,Portisch wanted to play the best move,43...Bf7!,but his seconds convinced him to play 43...a3? that leads only to a draw
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  whiteshark: Who were Portisch's seconds back then ?
Dec-10-07  Open Defence: the Rook vs Knight ending is also a draw after 51..Bxf7 52.Nxf7
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  whiteshark: <OD>, Yes I just played through it:
Dec-10-07  Open Defence: wonderful thing tablebases.. able to see the exact theme involved in some of these endings...
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  whiteshark: This happened 31 years ago.

Today it'll take only a few minutes for engines to figure out that <43...Bf7> or <43... Kc6 44.Rb8 Bf7> are winning whereas <43...a3?> is not.

Thin♔ 31 years ahead, freestyle tournaments with 5 year old kids which have cpu brain implants and 10 men tablebases stored in their stainless steel skeleton...

Dec-07-15  john barleycorn: In "Deutsche Schachzeitung 10/88" Mednis gives the background story (it is probably also in one of his books)like this:

After Huebner sealed the "obvious" 43.Ke2 which was also expected by Portisch and his seconds (without naming them)Portisch went to sleep as he always did when he had seconds. His seconds did not even consider the "logical" 43....Bf7 (proposed by Portisch after he woke up)and would "convince" Portisch of 43....a3??. Back at the board Portisch took 18 minutes until he finally played 43....a3. The whole analysis failed after winning the rook but not the game after Huebner's 47.Ra7+ a move which the seconds did not pay particular attention to.

Dec-07-15  cunctatorg: It is somehow a pity that Portisch didn't advance to the 1980 Candidates Final to face Victor the Terrible; Huebner won this match and advanced to the Final to play a really interesting and fighting match but -at some moment- he felt that the pressure was too much for him to endure (or something) and he went out of the match; I was believing that Portisch should be Korchnoi's adversary and I still believe that Korchnoi and Portisch could offer a more interesting Candidates Final match, back at 1980...
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  perfidious: The story of Huebner's nerves giving way in that final was, regrettably, not the first such occasion in world championship qualifying play.
Dec-08-15  Howard: Informant 30 does indeed state that Portisch should have won this game---and he NEEDED to win, in order to stay alive in the match.

He was a heavy favorite over Hubner, but things didn't work out that way in the match...

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