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Vasily Smyslov vs Boris Spassky
Moscow-Leningrad Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 2, Dec-05
Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-03-08  smarterthanbobby: cool,
Mar-27-09  WhiteRook48: how Spassky is beaten
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Smyslov's technique is incredibly polished.
Dec-29-11  Shams: What happens on 17...Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Nxd4 or 18...Rxe1+ and 19...Nxd4<?>
Dec-29-11  ughaibu: After white captures on d5 with the bishop, Nac6 looks pretty equal, to me.
Dec-29-11  King Death: <Shams> After 18...Re1+ 19.Qe1 Nd4 (or 19...Ne7 20.Qe3) 20.Nd5 Nf3+ I like White. Also after 18...Nd4 19.Nd5 Black seems to have trouble defending his queenside pawns even though again he can break up the kingside. It's hard to see how he can exploit the weakness that White would have then because his pieces aren't well placed and he's short of space.
Dec-29-11  Shams: Thank you.

I just played through a nice miniature in this variation where White played 0-0/gxf3 and won in 17 moves: Aronin vs V Mikenas, 1951

Is this a regular feature of the 4.Nf3 Alekhine's?

Dec-29-11  ewan14: Why was Spassky playing the Alekhine's ?
Dec-29-11  paul1959: Spassky had good results with the Alekhine in 1959 (1.5/2) but got 0/2 in 1960 and did not play it afterwards. This was a difficult period for him and he was probably experimenting.
Dec-29-11  King Death: <Shams> About the 4.Nf3 line against the Alekhine I don't know, but if I remember right, usually 4...Bg4 5.Be2 c6 (or 5...e6) and 4...g6 are played a lot more.
Dec-29-11  ewan14: Thank you paul1959
Dec-30-11  SChesshevsky: <Shams> I don't think Spassky wanted to open up the center with 17..Bxf3 & ...Nxd4.

After lines like King Death showed it looks like White with much better development and control of open d&e files has all sorts of potential tactical shots like back rank mates, fork on c7, and at least raking the queenside with an endgame advantage. He probably didn't want to venture there.

This must have been a depressing loss for Spassky and can see why he discarded the Alekhine. I wonder if Spassky's Alekhine experience had any influence on Fischer's choice to use it 72?

Dec-30-11  M.D. Wilson: Terrible game by Spassky. He was at somewhat of a crossroads at this time, as both his dedication and interest in chess was low. Smyslov cleaned up here as would be expected. I've always found that Spassky and Smyslov had a similar approach to the game; Spassky was more aggressive and tactical, whereas Smyslov preferred more quiet, positional ways to victory.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game was Round Two of the

<12th Moscow-Leningrad Match 1960>, played in Moscow (35 Dec)

<Smyslov> played 2d board for Moscow, scoring +1 -0 =1 vs. Spassky.

Leningrad won 40.5 - 39.5.



Di Felice, "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.499

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