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Vasily Smyslov vs Zoltan Ribli
London (1983)  ·  Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  1-0
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Given 29 times; par: 58 [what's this?]

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sac: 28.Rxe6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: I'm surprised that Smyslov had time on moves13-16 to reverse the order of his bishop and knight along the b1-h7 diagonal. Did Ribli really have to let Smyslov do this without paying a price in development or position?
Jan-18-06  euripides: <Jim> it would at least be worth playing 13 Qe4 and seeing whether the opponent noticed it is illegal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: I think I said moves 13 thru 16. My point is it took four moves to rearrange the pieces to get the queen in front. Then Ribli messed up with 16...Ba4.
Jan-18-06  euripides: <Jim> I understood. It was a joke, not intended at your expense.
Jan-18-06  euripides: It's not clear at which stage Smyslov decided to play Qe4. He could play 13 Qe2 and follow with Qe4. The way he plays it looks slower, but both 13 Bc4 and 15 Qe4 gain a tempo by attacking d5. 14 Ne2 is a bit surprising, but perhaps Smyslov already foresaw he would need the knight on h5 for the attack to work.

Coud Ribli stop it ? 14...Na5 might be an improvement, though White can still play the bishop to a2 and b1. 13...Nxd4 needs analysis; perhaps 14 Nxd4 Bxd4 14 Bxd5 exd5 16 Nxd5 Qc5 17 Qxc5 Bxc5 18 b4 (Bf4 ?) Bd6 (or ...Bb6 19 Nxb6) 19 Nb6 and white looks better after 19...axb6 20 Rxd6 or 19...Be5 20 Nxa8 Bxa1 21 Bxh6. But there may well be a mistake in this.

I think I've read somewhere that Qh7+ in this kind of position is or was not usually considered all that dangerous, so it seems quite likely Ribli underestimated it. The final combination reminds me of one of the famous Kasparov-Karpov games where Karpov's queen drops to a discovered check.

Jan-18-06  euripides: Some classic examples where Qh7+ goes wrong:

Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858

Karpov vs Miles, 1980

Geller vs Euwe, 1953

Aug-19-06  Petrocephalon: I liked the way the B-Q battery was accomplished: although it was performed in three instead of two moves, as <Euripides> points out there was no loss of tempo.

I also liked Qh7+, because it looks like a dubious move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Brilliant breakthrough with <26. d5!>

click for larger view

<26. Re5!> would have been another story...

Jul-29-07  Poisonpawns: A great attack from Smyslov
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Fritz 7 loved this game, assigning zero "?" and four coveted "!" (28. Rxe6+!, 30. d6+!, 31. Nd5+! & 38. Rxe5!) yet no punctuation for 22. Bxh6 or 26. d5 where most human annotators would say "!" already.

Suggested improvements for Black:

1) 20 ... Qb6 21. Qh8+ Ng8 22. Ne4 =

2) 21 ... Nge7 22. Nh5 Nf5 23. b3 Qxb3 24. a4 Bxe5 25. dxe5

3) 36 ... R8d6 37. Qc3+ Ke7 38. Rc4

4) 37 ... Ke7 38. Qg7+ Nf7 39. Qg6

5) 38 ... Rc8 39. Qa1 Rxe5

6) 39 ... Rg8+ 40. Kf1 Ke6 41. Qxe5+ Kd7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Interesting. What did Fritz say about white's idea to set up 17. Qh7+ and black's allowing it, thinking he might trap white's queen.

Seirawan gave 16...Ba4 a ?, the only one until move 36, when it was already decided.

For white, Seirawan gave !! to 23. Nh5 and 26. d5, and ! to 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, and 30.

Black received ! for 12, 14, 18, 23, and 24.

This was in a book for inexperienced players, so he was probably more generous with the praise than he might be in a serious magazine, for example.

Apr-03-09  WhiteRook48: 40...Nxe5?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <WhiteRook48> 40...Nxe5 41.f4 1-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: Ribli annotated this game for the Massachusetts state chess magazine "Chess Horizons".

He said that it was a huge mistake to allow 17.Qf7+, and a good indication that he was not in good form for this match.

He also criticized his 20th move saying Ng8 (adding protection to the h6 pawn) was far better than trying to trap the Queen with Ng6.

He also miscalculated on his 26th move (Qxb2), which allowed Smyslov to play a beautiful combination.

Aug-03-10  alexrawlings: This game with white to move at move 28 was a puzzle in Leonard Barden's chess column the other day.

He wrote: <Vasily Smyslov v Zoltan Ribli, candidates semi-final 1983. The legendary Smyslov, who died earlier this year, scored one of his finest results at age 62 when he reached the world title candidates final with the aid of today's puzzle. At first glance White's position looks hopeless as Black menaces both Rxh8 and Qxf6-but the Russian veteran had prepared a decisive tactic as White (to move). How did Smyslov gain a winning material advantage?>

Sadly for Londoners this chess column is no longer in print, but it is on the internet if anyone is interested:

This could make a good (thursday or maybe friday?) puzzle at move 28 and also a worthy GOTD.

Nov-14-11  Zugzwangovich: According to Jonathon Tisdall,when Ribli got into time trouble Smyslov transgressed the moves by making an instant reply without stopping to write down his move. Ribli indicated his disapproval by restarting Smyslov's clock, and Smyslov calmly nodded, filled in his scoresheet, and quietly pressed the button. Ribli sweated, moved, and resigned shortly thereafter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Zugzwangovich> What a great little vignette, but is it really a point of etiquette that one write his moves down on his own time?
Nov-15-11  Zugzwangovich: <Shams> Doesn't seem as if it should be, but apparently there was a rule pertaining to it in 1983 (I mistyped "moves" for "rules" in my earlier post). Maybe some chess etiquette experts out there can clarify this point.
Apr-10-12  thejack: What about 22.-Rd4: ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: "What about 22.-Rd4: ?"

I think it doesn't do anything to stop the pressure on g7 with 23. Nh5.

22...Rxd4 23 Nh5 Bxe4 24 Rxe4, and no matter how black takes back on e4, he will lose either the queen or the rook on a8.

Apr-11-12  Albertan: In case anyone is interested,this was game 5 of this match between Smyslov and Ribili which ended in a 3-1 victory for Smyslov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: The final score could have been 4-1. In the final game, Ribli was about to lose a piece when he asked Smyslov for a draw. In a display of real class, Smyslov, who only need a 1/2 point to win the match, agreed.
Dec-23-12  Howard: Mjmorri,it turns out, is quite correct ! I just looked up Game 11 (the final game) in Informant #36 and Smyslov points out that actually the final position was a forced win for him. But since a draw was all he needed to clinch the match, letting off Ribli with a draw was certainly sporting---and also practical.
Sep-13-14  aragorn69: This appears to be the game Dominic Lawson refers to in: <By the way, I should add that we also staged the other semi-final between Vasily Smyslov and Zoltan Ribli. Vasily, at 62 years of age, produced in my opinion the best game of the entire event: his beautiful win in the fifth game of his match was fantastic to watch in the flesh.>
Jan-21-15  SpiritedReposte: <BBQ Ribs>
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