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Boris Spassky vs Orest Averkin
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 2, Oct-03
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0


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Given 4 times; par: 55 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-04-17  mikealando: Wow! Stellar chess, GM Spassky
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical but White has two linked passed pawns on the queenside.

Black threatens Bh4.

The rook on c8 prevents Bc7. However, White can create a double threat on c7 and g7 with Qe5. This suggests 26.Bc7:

A) 26... Rxc7 27.Qe5 Bf8 (say) 28.Qxc7 + - [R+N vs 2B].

B) 26... Bf6 27.Bxb6 Qxb6 28.Nxb5 Rxc1 (28... Qxb5 29.Rxc8+ and mate in two) 29.Qxc1 + - [R+N vs B] (29... Qxb5 30.Qc8+).

C) 26... Bh4 27.Bxb6

C.1) 27... Bxg3 28.Bxa5 Bxe1 29.Rxe1 + - [N].

C.2) 27... Qxb6 28.Nxb5 (28.Qe3 Qxe3 29.Rxe3 Bg5 recovers the exchange)

C.2.a) 28... Rxc1 29.Qxc1 g6 (29... Bxg3 30.Qc8+ and mate next; 29... Qxb5 30.Qc8+ etc.) 30.Rb3 + - [R+N vs B].

C.2.b) 28... Rb8 29.a4 Bxg3 30.Qxg3 + - [N].

Feb-04-17  mikealando: Then again, he scored 11 wins and 28 draws against the great Bobby Fischer, thus Averkin may have have played him with fingers a-trembling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: <Cheapo by the Dozen: My move was Nd5.>

I looked at this too... ...but it really doesn't work as black has a forced win (I think)...

26 Nd5 Qxe1+
27 Rxe1 exd5
28 Rxe7 Rf6!

click for larger view

I never saw <26 Bc7!> very nice...

Feb-04-17  steinitzfan: It looks like Spassky won the exchange with what looks like it could be one of the harder Fred Reinfeld puzzles -- still too much for me. I wonder if this was adequate to win without the genius-level play starting with 30.Rxf7. Oddly, Black's pieces just can't coordinate at that point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Way out of my league, but enjoyed seeing the beautiful way Spassky played it. Like <The Kings Domain> I kept trying to find a solution with Rxg7+.
Feb-04-17  saturn2: With two banal moves white wins the exchange. I did not see this however. Instead I looked at Rxg7 followed by either Qe5, Qg3, or Be5.
Feb-04-17  kb2ct:

26. Bc7 wins thee exchange, but the whole combo is difficult to see.


Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Saturday 26.?

click for larger view

The first thing that popped out to me was the potential of Qe5, threatening Qxg7#. But the threat by itself is easily parried (e.g. ...f6).

So, we look for a way to turn that "single threat" into a "double threat", which would give Qe5 some teeth. It didn't take too long to see that <26.Bc7!> does the job nicely.

click for larger view

We threaten to win the exchange by taking the pinned Rb6, prompting black to take the bishop with <26...Rxc7>, and NOW <27.Qe5> has its teeth!

click for larger view

Black must defend against Qxg7#, and so white wins the exchange anyway with 28.Qxc7. Not too hard for a Saturday. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Incredibly easy for a Saturday. Bc7 was literally kicking and screaming and wetting its pants to be played! Just kidding, not even close..
Feb-04-17  drollere: the point at move 32, where the black Q cannot defend the black QB on e8 due to the white N at c3, is especially nice.
Feb-04-17  JimmyRockHound: How does white progress after 27. ...Kf8?
Feb-04-17  BOSTER: When your opponent playing without white bishop, the best strategy to put own pieces on white squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: Didnt see Rf7 but Bc7 was not that hard to spot;though did spend a couple of minutes determining that Rg7 didn't work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: If black plays 27...Kf8 then if 28 Qxc7 Bd6 follows, here is the position.

click for larger view

The bishop skewers rook and queen. Even though white can check with 29 Qd8+ after 29...Be8 (the reason for 27...Kf8) the queen has limited mobility and white's g rook and b pawn are under attack.

click for larger view

This does not look like an easy victory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: That's one of the things I like about Spassky's play up to the 80s. Full of basic tactics I can understand but he spots the opportunities and then strings the tactics together with perception and logic. It's as if he's saying "See, chess is simple - I play the same chess you play, it's just that I can string the elements together soo much more than you do". More like he's demonstrating what chess is capable of and inviting me to enjoy it.
Feb-04-17  CountryGirl: Got Bc7, but did not see Rxf7. Powerful stuff, Boris!
Feb-04-17  mel gibson: The computer says:

Bc7 (26. Bc7 (♗f4-c7 ♖c8xc7 ♕e1-e5 ♔g8-f8 a2-a4 ♖c7xc3 ♖c1xc3 ♖b6-d6 h2-h3 ♖d6-d1+ ♔h1-h2 ♕a5-b6 ♖c3-c8+ ♗e7-d8 ♕e5xg7+ ♔f8-e7 ♕g7-g5+ ♔e7-f8 ♖c8xd8+ ♕b6xd8 ♕g5xd8+ ♖d1xd8 a4xb5 ♖d8-b8 ♖g3-b3 ♔f8-e7 ♔h2-g3 ♔e7-d6 ♔g3-f4 ♖b8-b6 g2-g4) +0.92/16 72)

Less than a pawn advantage: +0.92 depth 16.
This is a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  transpose: Although I saw Qe5, I did not foresee Rxf7 and Qc8, the latter is an amazing demonstration of chess vision, realizing that Black cannot save the bishop with queen or rook.

Was it Fischer who said Spassky could lose a piece and you'd never know from his countenance whether he had blundered or sacrificed? Spassky was an attacking genius.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Having just played through Keene vs V Kovacevic, 1973 with Keene's comments, I am changing my mind. Not about how much I like Spassky's style but thinking now it probably isn't the one true way to play chess. Spassky's style is so attractive to me because I learnt about tactics in a classical setting and that's what Spassky demonstrates so well. But Keene's games, which seem so frustrating and ugly to me, only do so (I think) because I haven't learnt to think of chess the way Nimzovitch did. For someone who has studied My System, Keene's way of playing is probably beautiful because it is the often successful demonstration of Nimzovitch's principles. Maybe then it comes down to whether Nimzovitch or the classical way of looking at chess is more beautiful, but that is almost in the realms of aesthetic philosophy. For the pragmatist I guess the answer to which is the more effective in combat has to be the classical system, because that seems to win more games.
Feb-19-17  Moszkowski012273: 29.Rg4... is substantially stronger.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: How so <Moszkowski012273>? If you can spare the time, can you summarise? I'm no good at following long lines of notation. Thanks
Feb-22-17  Moszkowski012273: The Bishop can't be saved. After 29...Bf6 we get 30.Rf4,Kg7 31.RxB,KxR 32.Ne4+... which is absolutely crushing.

29...g5 is even worse after 30.Qd8+...

Remember,,,, White is already up an exchange.

Feb-22-17  Moszkowski012273: But,,,of course,,, what was played IS still quite winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Very nice :-)
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