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Boris Spassky vs Derek J Banks
"Take it to the Banks" (game of the day Mar-04-2007)
Canada (1971), CAN
Scandinavian Defense: Modern Variation (B01)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-07-14  hedgeh0g: <FSR: 33.Bxf6+![sic] didn't occur to me, although I hope/think I would have seen it once I got that position on the board. This Spassky is pretty good.>

Same here. I felt sure I had found the right move in e5!, since White was winning in all variations with the exception of the ...Kf7 line, where I couldn't find a convincing continuation. I was trying to make Qd8 work, but Black's king kept finding refuge on the kingside.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I guess neither 31.Rc7+ or 31.Qxd6+ works. :|
Mar-07-14  mel gibson: "hedgeh0g: <FSR: 33.Bxf6+![sic] didn't occur to me, although I hope/think I would have seen it once I got that position on the board. This Spassky is pretty good.>

Same here. I felt sure I had found the right move in e5!, since White was winning in all variations with the exception of the ...Kf7 line, where I couldn't find a convincing continuation. I was trying to make Qd8 work, but Black's king kept finding refuge on the kingside."

I agree too & that's why I didn't see the winning line. The computer did.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I believe the (really unsound) center counter gambit goes: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5?!?
Mar-07-14  PJs Studio: After 37...Kf5 38.Rf1+ picks up the Rook on g8. Spasski! World Champion for a reason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: You have to love Black for playing 11....h5 and 12....0-0-0. He was a lot braver than I was against Kasparov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Baby the rook must fall! Hence,black resigns.
Mar-07-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I'm stumped at the moment. Here's my analysis so far.

Material is even, give or take bishop-for-knight; both sides have pawns hanging. So winning a piece or whatever would be a winning advantage.

I don't see much for White after either of the sacrificial tries 31 Rc7+ or 31 Qxd6+, so let's consider the quieter

31 Bc5 Bxc5 (forced to avoid loss of material)
32 Rxc5

White's threat is mate via a combination of the queen, rook and bishop (maneuvered to the a4-e8 diagonal). It's hard for Black to defend just via a combination of flight, ... Nd7, and/or trying to keep the bishop off the diagonal via pawn moves, but I don't immediately see what to do against either

32 ... Qxg4, with a dual threat of mate and queen exchange 32 ... Qxe4, which does actually inhibit the plan a5/Ba4

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 31... Qxg4 and 31... Qxe4.

Black's king doesn't look very safe. This suggests 31.e5, to open lines:

A) 31... Bxe5 32.Bc5+

A.1) 32... Kf7 33.Bxe6+

A.1.a) 33... Kxe6 34.Qb3+ Kd7 35.Qxb7+

A.1.a.i) 35... Ke6 36.Qa6+ Kd7 (36... Kd5 36.Rd1+ and mate soon; 36... Kf7 37.Qxa7+ as in the line) 37.Qxa7+ Ke6 (37... Kc6 38.Bxf8+ + -; 37... Kc8 38.Be7+ + -) 38.Qa6+ Kd7 39.Rd1+ Ke8 (39... Kc7 40.Qb6+ Kc8 41.Rd8#) 40.Qc6+ Kf7 41.Rd7+ Nxd7 42.Qxd7#.

A.1.a.ii) 35... Kd8 36.Qe7+ Kc8 37.Bd6+ and mate in two.

A.1.a.iii) 35... Ke8 36.Qe7#.

A.1.a.iv) 35... Bc7 36.Rd1+ Ke8 (36... Ke6 37.Qd5#) 37.Qxc7 wins.

A.1.b) 33... Nxe6 34.Qd7#.

A.1.c) 33... Kg7 34.Bxg8 + - [R vs N].

A.2) 32... Ke8 33.Bxf8

A.2.a) 33... Kxf8 34.Qd7 Qf7 35.Rc8+ Kg7 36.Rxg8+ Kxg8 37.Bxe6 wins the queen.

A.2.b) 33... Rxf8 34.Bxe6, with the threats 35.Qd7# and 36.Rc8+, seems to win.

B) 31... fxe5 32.Bh4+ Kd7 (else loses the bishop at least) 33.a5 and the threat 34.Ba4 looks decisive.

C) 31... Bb4 32.Rc7+ Ke8 33.a5, again menacing 34.Ba4+, looks winning.

D) 31... Bb8 32.Bc5+ Ke8 (32... Kf7 33.Qd8 with the double threat 34.Qe7# and 34.Qxb8) 33.Bxf8 is similar to A.2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I saw 31.e5 up to 33.Bxe6 but then my ability to hold the mental picture of what was happening fell apart. Glad I made it that far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: "This Spassky is pretty good." That's rather amusing considering he was world champion when this game was played. This reminds me of Marshall's comment when he played Steinitz in a simultaneous event in Montreal. Marshall said he underestimated his opponent!
Mar-07-14  morfishine: <9...Nxc4> Looks much better for Black, especially against Spassky, than the text (9...Nxd5)

After 10.dxc4 e6, Black has the Bishop pair, and can, if he wants to, exchange Queens


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: When <FSR> makes a statement such as 'This Spassky is pretty good', it is definitely humorous, unlike some posters who delight in impugning great players past and present. His respect for the game's greats is well known.
Mar-07-14  Patriot: White has the bishop pair.

31.e5 looks very interesting.

31...Bxe5 32.Bc5+ Ke8 33.Bxf8 Kxf8 34.Qd7 followed by 35.Rc8+

31...Bxe5 32.Bc5+ Ke8 33.Bxf8 Rxf8 34.Bxe6

31...Bxe5 32.Bc5+ Kf7 33.Bxe6+ Nxe6 34.Qd7#

31...Bxe5 32.Bc5+ Kf7 33.Bxe6+ Kxe6 34.Qb3+ Kd7 35.Qxb7+

31...Bc8 32.Rc8 looks winning.

There are other options but this is all looking good for white.

Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: An instructive treatment of the centre counter with 2..Nf6 and 3..Bg4. White's development is effortless and he chooses the path of 14 Qe2 and 15 c4 to gain space. Good tactical stuff.
Mar-07-14  RookFile: I actually like the way black played in this game. Sure, he lost, but he went down swinging and tried things. He wasn't like a lamb lead to the slaughter.
Mar-07-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I missed that ... fe allowed Bxh4+. So I was out of this one from the getgo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I blessed mind c5+ ha blows him out of the water good shot also comes next in the shape e6 rate train whistle ar good um bless the leap in advance one off dadum queen inceed at am b3 climbed it took in b7 whence d7 mercurial one together bind pocket docket rocket free for a foilable missionbat since dine on green in gauge the g4 push in try a6 sassy d7 too work a flurry over batch im liking d7...

Saviour fences a feel good castigated jangle king high passionate toss even money for the crowd effect and mix doctor queen g6 ade fade away in light roll off radius 36.Rd1 a line in the sand enterprise initiative rook jam feed a king effluent as well f5 a stint in the sun flow sensed a f1 line I key a g8 would a bet in d5 rumble on energy in spades light legend jog on fall knight i place boot raps up f8 in.

Mar-08-14  TheBish: Spassky vs Banks, 1971

White to play (31.?) "Difficult"

Material is even, but Black's king is a little exposed. Black's bishop is a key defensive piece, stopping both Rc7+ and a check from White's counterpart (Bc5+). White needs a move that opens lines to the enemy monarch before Black has time for ...Qxg4, threatening a mate of his own. The e4 pawn is attacked and not doing much, so that is a good place to look. What if we advance it, does that do anything? (A question Spassky must have asked himself.)

31. e5!!

This move forces Black's hand: Either the pawn must be captured one of two ways, or the bishop must be moved immediately (it is threatened to be captured with check). Moving the bishop (including 31...Bxe5) allows a check and infiltration to the enemy king, as does 31...fxe5 32. Bxh4+.

(a) 31...Bxe5 32. Bc5+ Kf7 (or 32...Ke8 33. Bxf8! Rxf8 34. Bxe6 Qg7 35. Rc8+ Ke7 36. Qd7#) 33. Bxe6+! and now mate after either 33...Nxe6 34. Qd7# or 33...Kxe6 34. Qd5#.

(b) 31...fxe5 32. Bxh4+ Kd7 33. Qe2! (threat: Qb5#) a6 34. Qc4 Qc8 (guarding c8; not 34...Nh7 35. Qxe6#) 35. a5! and 36. Ba4+ will hurt a bit.

(c) 31...Bb4 32. Rc7+ Ke8 33. Bxe6! Rg7 (or 33...Nxe6 34. Qd7+ Kf8 35. Rc8+) 34. Rc8+ Ke7 35. Bb3 Nd7 (to stop Qd8#) 36. Rc7 and wins.

Mar-08-14  TheBish: Whoops! Forgot that in line (a) (after 33...Kxe6, the game continuation) that d5 is no longer attacked -- the e4 pawn is no more! Doing this in my head, but of course the great Master (ok, GM) Spassky has finished this variation in the game with great finesse and accuracy.
Mar-08-14  savagerules: I believe that the Banks here was Newell Banks who was also a famous checkers master back before WW1, yes WW1 not WW2. If so he would have been more than 80 years old when he played this game so give the guy a break.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> As is proven time and again, one can't post anything facetious on the Interwebs without someone taking it seriously and expressing incredulity that one would say something so ignorant. Cf. this:

<[In 1983] Jerry Schwarz in a post on Usenet wrote:

8. Avoid sarcasm and facetious remarks.
Without the voice inflection and body language of personal communication these are easily misinterpreted. A sideways smile, :-), has become widely accepted on the net as an indication that "I'm only kidding". If you submit a satiric item without this symbol, no matter how obvious the satire is to you, do not be surprised if people take it seriously.>'s...

Reminds me of the time on Facebook someone had posted a discussion of a poll that showed that more Louisiana Republicans blamed Obama for the disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina than blamed Dubya (you know, the guy who was POTUS at the time). I posted a comment condemning Obama for the sinking of the Titanic and noting that he hadn't done a damned thing to stop it. Most people got the joke and my comment got about 300 "likes," but about 25 people took me to task for saying such a ridiculous thing. I had to patiently explain that yes, I knew that Obama had been born almost 50 years after the Titanic sank so no, I didn't <really> think he was to blame...

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <beenthere240: I believe the (really unsound) center counter gambit goes: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5?!?>

That is commonly called the Elephant Gambit or, more prosaically, the Queen's Pawn Counter Gambit. For a simul game where it succeeded admirably, see Gligoric vs Holze, 1970. For a game where it was brilliantly crushed, see Tal vs Lutikov, 1964, or take the quiz, Guess-the-Move: Tal vs Lutikov, 1964. OTOH, even Tal didn't always crush it: Tal vs A Freidl, 1970 (1/2-1/2, 36).

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> Come on, will you? We all know that Obama is to blame for everything bad which has ever happened in this country--just go to Rogoff and several of his, ah, biggest fans will tell you so.

Classic joke on Obama being blamed for mishandling the aftermath of Katrina.

Premium Chessgames Member
  John Saunders: The black player in this game was Derek J Banks, an English amateur player who was resident in Canada at the time of this game. He and I were clubmates in the 1980s at Mitcham CC in London and he told me about his game with Spassky. I think he may now live in the USA - I haven't seen him for many years. (N.B. some online databases have speculated that Black might have been Newell W Banks but that is complete nonsense!)
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