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Jeremy Silman vs Vasily Smyslov
Lone Pine (1976), Lone Pine, CA USA, rd 1, Mar-07
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Swiss Cheese Variation (B42)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-04-04  enigmaticcam: I'm surprised there are no comments on this game. To give some insight, this is from Jeremy's own words:

"In Lone Pine, 1976, I got the thrill of my life when I was paired with Smyslov! I was given the white pieces and had the evening to prepare for the game. Though Smyslov plays many openings, I suddenly became obsessed with the idea that he would try 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 g6 against me, even though he had never used this line before. In fact, at that time 5...g6 was considered to be a blunder, and my friends laughed at me for thinking he would play such a weak variation. Nevertheless, I KNEW he was going to play this way (X-Files music begins playing at this point!), and prepared for nothing else (memorizing the accepted refutation). Sure enough, he did play this system, refuted the refutation, and hardly sat down at the board as he routed me without mercy. This game was published in magazines all over the world and brought 5...g6 into prominence. Later, the Soviet grandmaster Suetin used it in a middlegame book as an example of how not to play for white. Lovely! I was now immortalized as a human punching bag!"

Sep-26-05  SnoopDogg: <Sure enough, he did play this system, refuted the refutation, and hardly sat down at the board as he routed me without mercy. >

If this is true about anaylsts in '76 thinking g6 could be refuted, no wonder Kasparov calls that age "primitive". In all my tournaments I have never seen anyone say they can refute a line played by GM's or fellow masters at move 5.

Obviously Silman needed to brush up on his American thinking technique that have brainwashed Americans with. LOL just kidding.

Dec-20-05  barefootin: I suppose just 32...Bxc3! is fairly
crisp as well, and a bit more forcing
than Smyslov's final move.

Regarding the opening, of course, we
have the ultra modern move (played now
by Gulko, Judith Polgar, etc.) of
5...Qb6!, solely with the positive
purpose of deactivating the d4-knight
as being in my opinion possibly the
very best of Black's moves at that point.
Jeremy will follow up with some
excellent Chess in this collection; of
that I am sure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: You can`t fool me barefootin... you ARE Jeremy!
Mar-04-08  Riverbeast: <Obviously Silman needed to brush up on his American thinking technique that have brainwashed Americans with. LOL just kidding.>

Maybe you should brush up on your thinking (or writing) technique. That statement makes no sense.

And it sounds like you're the one did you think of the name SnoopDogg anyway?... Did that come from your native country?

Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: LOL Riverbeast. Maybe he meant Silman Thinking Technique and got confused in the translation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Silman's premonition about the game is interesting. I can remember one tournament where the night of the first round I somehow "knew" I was going to be paired as Black against a bete noire of mine at the local club- a very strong Russian expert who's beaten me several times. And I knew exactly what the opening would be- the Gligoric system in the King's Indian. So I diligently prepared a line and came to the tournament confident and ready to crush whoever I was paired against. Sure enough, my hated rival was my opponent and I was Black.

We bashed out the first moves quickly, going into the Gligoric system, I played John Nunn's favorite reply to it ...h6, got a good position and was very happy. As he began pressing on the queenside I was making headway on the kingside, but at a critical moment I made a bold sacrifice of the exchange when I should have simply improved the position of my knight first. Rather than take my rook he saced a knight of his own and broke through in the center, meanwhile my rook was still en prise. I realized I was busted at that point and played on gamely but he never gave me even the slightest chance. I left the tournament hall a sadder and wiser player.

So I guess the lesson is a prepared variation doesn't make you invincible-foolhardiness will kill you even in a good position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: It would seem unlikely that the other Smyslov - Silman game was also played at Lone Pine in 1976.

Silman vs Smyslov, 1976

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Benzol> That game was actually Meyers - Sherwin from round 4. It looks like we have a number of messed-up Smyslov games from Lone Pine 1976.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Thanks for the explanation.


Mar-24-17  Nova: <ToTheDeath> Do you have that game to show? Loved your description - very fun to read!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Smyslov played like Kasparov in that game. I had to keep reminding myself it was really Smyslov. When black played 31...c3, I even thought: "Wow, who but Kasparov!" Was Smyslov one of his teachers?
Mar-31-17  sid299792: Swiss Cheese variation....nice name. Of course, it's aptly named because at move 6 every dark square at the sixth rank is a (temporary) hole
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Featured in the Following Game Collection [what is this?]
Round 1 (Sunday, March 7)
from Lone Pine 1976 by Phony Benoni

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