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Vasily Smyslov vs Gyula Sax
"Sax Fifth Avenue" (game of the day Apr-28-2008)
Interpolis 3rd (1979), Tilburg NED, rd 4, Nov-06
Indian Game: King's Indian. Fianchetto Variation (A49)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Nice endgame technique from Sax.
Oct-05-05  AlexanderMorphy: it's quite facinating how active the 2 kings are! Great endgame by both players.
Jul-11-07  ice lemon tea: cool endgame
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: How many people would have bet at move 28 that black had a win? I sure wouldn't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: 12.Ba3 looked odd. More amazing is that Sax apparently saw the looong-term plan of penetrating White's weak Q-side dark squares -- hence he promptly invites White to swap off the DSBs. Maybe 13.Bb2! to seize the long diagonal instead.

15..Qd4! must be the "avenue" in the title. She looks like such a target, but White can't find any better than trading down. With this move, Black won the race to <get vertical> -- the genius was to see that she isn't getting trapped. Thereafter, every recapture only drags Black's recapturing piece forward, locking in Black's 1-tempo lead.

16..Kg7!! is a sublime coda -- it's thematic for luft in any fianchetto after you trade off the Bs. Here, it's key to Black's coherent offensive strategy -- it gives Black's K a huge lead in the race to cross midfield on c. Meanwhile, White's K is still bottled up by his own Bg2, which is why White never got forward to penetrate Black's symmetrically weak Q-side light squares.

<al wazir>: After 26..Rd2 28..Kd7, Black has a whopping advantage:

- Black's R is offensive and forking, i.e. it paralyzes two White things (N+K), and blockades d, leaving White's third unit (R) with no life on e.

- Black's K can freely stroll up weak c. White's K is trapped east of d (and paralyzed anyways).

White must trade off the Rs just to relieve that pressure, conceding about three more tempi to Black's K. After 35.Kd1 White's K has managed to lose the field-position duel by <six vertical tempi> -- and White <preferred> this position because it sucks less than Black's Rd2.

Inevitably, Black doubles on the c-pawn and wins it. Six tempi will do that.

Apr-28-08  Samagonka: I almost fell bo-o-o-o-ring.
Apr-28-08  charliechaffka: Am surpised that Smyslov exchanged rooks; looks like a big blunder..?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This is the type of idea that is common in the endgame,but often poison in the middlegame-the active king. In fact the position is almost symmmetric,except for the black king.

Here,His majesty enters with a vengence and breaks up white's pawn position. White is left with a knight trying to stop TWO pawns in the same way as a dog trying to catch to rabbit-he could "bug the bunnies" but often comes up empty on both.

Apr-28-08  mworld: <al wazir: How many people would have bet at move 28 that black had a win? I sure wouldn't.>

i've been trying to study endgames so i love the fact that this is a good endgame game - but i must admit i am probably missing some of the themes here.

Your comment on move 28 being a black win...are you talking about the move as played or a different move that could have been played?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <25.f4 Kf6 26.Kf2 h5 27.Re2> looks like fully equalized.

click for larger view

Also 26.f4= was possible. Thus I think that 26.Ne3 was a mistake as it left d2 w/o protection.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kurtrichards: "Sax Fifth Avenue"?
Feb-02-14  Howard: R.I.P, GM Sax !
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