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Mikhail Tal vs Boris Spassky
Spassky - Tal Candidates Final (1965)  ·  Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Breyer Defense (C95)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
May-17-05  knightspot: Tenacious. I think the ? move was 37 Ra6+ or the next move 38. Bf4
May-17-05  woodenbishop: Great play by Spassky.
May-17-05  fgh: Zugzwang :-)
May-17-05  RookFile: Yes, Spassky really was that good.
Jun-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Spassky executes a very clever triangulation maneuver to force zugzwang. Since h4 and e4 are the only safe squares for the White Rook, Spassky triangulates his King to lose a tempo and cover e4 before the Rook can get there.

Triangulation is most often seen during a K+P endgame, but it does pop up from time to time when pieces are still on the board.

Jul-01-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The entire R+P endgame is great. 52...Rf7 protects all of Black's pawns, puts the Rook behind the future passed f-pawn, and eventually forces the White King away from the c-pawn. Then the Black King launches a simultaneous attack on the c-pawn, tying down the Rook. The final King invasion ends the game. During all this, the Black Rook keeps all three of his pawns protected.
Feb-16-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <Mating Net: Spassky executes a very clever triangulation maneuver to force zugzwang. Since h4 and e4 are the only safe squares for the White Rook, Spassky triangulates his King to lose a tempo and cover e4 before the Rook can get there.

Triangulation is most often seen during a K+P endgame, but it does pop up from time to time when pieces are still on the board.>

This is a textbook perfect example of <triangulation>.

Feb-16-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Here we have the position on the board from this game after 64 Rh4:


click for larger view

And here is the position on the board after 66 ... Kd3:


click for larger view

Think it is the exact same board position? Don't see a big difference in these board positions? <Well, there is a huge difference - whose turn it is to move!>

In the first diagram White has just played 64 Rh4 so it is <Black's turn to move>. But in the second diagram Black has just played 66 ... Kd3 so it is <White's turn to move>.

The point of this kibitz is to show clearly what triangulation is. <The goal of triangulation is create the exact same position on the chess board but to pass the move to the opponent>. After 64 Rh4 Black would have an easy win if only it was White's turn to move. By triangulating with his king by playing 64 ... Kc2, 65 ... Kc3, and 66 ... Kd3 Spassky effectively passes the move over to White and wins by zugzwang.

Nov-11-06  slomarko: i dont get 51.Kf2 why not h4?
Nov-11-06  Albertan: MatingNet thank you for finding this illustration of triangulation so we all could learn what the concept really means.

<knightspot: Tenacious. I think the ? move was 37 Ra6+ or the next move 38. Bf4>

I believe the move 38.Bf4 was a mistake. Better was 38.c4 with this continuation possible: 38...Rb3 39.c5 Rd3 40. Kg2 Bd4 41.Bxd4 Rxd4 42.g4 Rd5 43.Rf6 Ke7 44.Rc6 Kd7=

The move 48.Ke4 was also not as good as
48.Ra8 with this continuation possible:

48. Ra8 Rd7+ 49. Ke2 Kd6 50. Bc1 Bg1 51. Ra5 Bb6 52. Rb5 Ke6 53. Bf4 Rd4 54. Be3 Rd6 55. Bf4 Rd7 56. Be3 Rd6 57. Bf4 Rd7 58. Bg3 Rd8 59. Rb3 Rd7

Another idea for Spassky on move 49 was to play 49...Rd4+ with this continuation possible: 49... Rd4+ 50. Kf3 Bd6 51. Bxd6 cxd6 52. Rxh7 Rxc4 53. h4 Rc3+ 54. Kf2 Rc4 55. Kg3 f5 56. gxf5+ gxf5

The move 50.Bxd6 was dubious at best,better was 50.Be3 with this continuation possible: 50. Be3 Rf7 51. Re8+ Kd7 52. Rg8 f5+
53. gxf5 gxf5+ 54. Kf3 Be5 55. Ra8 Kd6 56. Rd8+ Rd7 57. Rf8 Ke6 58. Re8+ Re7 59. Ra8

Spassky also could have won by playing 57...f3 as this variation shows:

57... f3+ 58. Kf2 h6 59. Re6 Kxc4
60. Rxh6 c5 61. h4 Kc3 62. h5 c4
63. Rh8 Kc2 64. Rg8 c3 65. h6 Kb2
66. Rb8+ Kc1 67. Rg8 c2 68. Rg6 Rf8
69. Rc6 Rf7 70. Ke1 f2+ 71. Kf1 Kd2
72. Rd6+ Ke3 73. Re6+ Kf3 74. Rc6 Re7
75. Rf6+ Kg4 76. Rc6 Re1+
77. Kxf2 c1=Q

Nov-11-06  Albertan: Here is another illustration of triangulation for those of you interested in the concept:

http://everything2.com/index.pl?nod...

Aug-18-08  ravel5184: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQMu...
Sep-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  sallom89: amazing end game, too bad I just got the idea of triangulation and not even that well.
Jan-30-10  waddayaplay: Third round game. Tal: <In the third game, Spassky avoided the Marshall Attack, for which we had prepared [it was played in round 1]. White should nevertheless have obtained a slight but comfortable and lasting opening advantage, but I simply played the moves in the wrong order. The game went into an equal ending, and I offered a draw. It was only after the match that I found out that Bonderavsky had given Spassky strict instructions to play on in such positions 'until Tal was sick of them'. The shrewd trainer was right. On receiving a refusal and after some further 'moving about', I began to create difficulties for myself, and adjourned the game a pawn down, although the draw had not yet been thrown away. > (Life and game of Tal, 1997, p. 304)
Aug-08-11  Ulhumbrus: 12 dxe5 relinquishes White's advantage in space and pressure on the e5 pawn, and 13 Qxd8 exchanges Queens. These choices suggest that Tal was demoralized at this point.
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Ulhumbrus: 12 dxe5 relinquishes White's advantage in space and pressure on the e5 pawn, and 13 Qxd8 exchanges Queens. These choices suggest that Tal was demoralized at this point.>

He was leading the match +1-0=1 going in.

Jan-25-12  tonsillolith: If you think about it, this triangulation really comes down to the fact that the Black king's movements correspond to elements in the dihedral group of order 6 (symmetries of the triangle), whereas the movements of the White rook simply correspond to elements in the cyclic group of order 2.

Then 3 is a factor of 6 but not of 2. This relative primality swiftly brings disaster upon the White pieces.

Oct-15-12  drunknite: I think 56 Re6+ or 56 Re5 was the move(s) he missed. But what do you think?
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