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Boris Spassky vs Nukhim N Rashkovsky
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 8, Oct-12
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  1-0


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Given 66 times; par: 19 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-25-05  The beginner: This puzzle is extremely hard. In the winning variation white is down with a rook and a knight all the way until the very end.

In order to solve it one must see like 8 moves ahead.

I first looked at Qxg7, trying to look for someway to give a back rank mate, but black can simply take Kxe7.

Then i look at Nxe6, But it is to deep for me to see this far ahead.

16 Nxe6 ..Qc6
17 Nxg7 ..Kxe7

White has 2 pawns for a rook, and a knight. White has a good attack but it is many moves with all kinds of posibel defences for black before the white win becomes clear.

21 Qf4+ ..Kb6
22 Re6

Here we have something for white 6 (12ply) moves after the combination started white will regain the material, Black knight and queen is lost

22 Re6 ..Nxb2
23 Kxb2 ..Nc5
24 Rxc6 ..Bxc6

White has a quuen, and 2 pawns vs black has 2 rooks, and of course the position is now completely lost for black. But is was a long way to come this far, and this was just one variation Black had other posibel defences like.

18 Qg5+ Kf8
Also leads to a white win, but to claim to solve the puzzle one should see this line also :)

Jun-25-05  djmercury: 16. Bd6 Qb6 17. Qg5 f6 18. Qh5+ Kd8 19. Nxe6+ Kc8 20. Kxd1 = According to Fritz this is the best position white can reach after Nxd1.
Jun-25-05  Phoenix: Personally, I thought yesterday was harder! Primarily because there were so many more candidate moves to look at.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Boris plays a great combination. White's queen and rook send the black king packing.
Jun-25-05  Montreal1666: <jahhaj:> In line 3) 18)Qxe6+ gives white better chances than 18)Qxg7
Jun-25-05  nikolaas: <jahjah> Sorry, I checked the official rules and there is said that b8 may be attacked. I always play with the extra rule that b8 may not be attacked.
Jun-25-05  nikolaas: Here are the changed variations:
18.Qxe6 Kd8 19.Bf5 Qc6 20.Rxd1 Re8 21.Bc7
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Nothing like my game with Spassky (about 1987) which went 1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Ng8 (played by Petrosian once - so I thought I'd surprise Spassky - but I dont think he as very surprised -possibly amused)) and Spassky as white went on to win and also beat many others in the simul! The game was actualy a long manoeuvering game but Spssky always had away of getting around my was like strugling in a Python's coils!

Here I calculated Nxe6 and variations after fxe6 - didn't look at Qc6

This was easier than the Tate game -here I would play Nxe6 in an OTB game even without knowing all variatons it looks evry winning - forces the e pawn thru opens up the King

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <The Beginner> is right but in this case I used "judgement" actually I miscalulated completely - I thought after 16 Ne6 fe6 17 Qe6 Bd5 18 Bg6+ hg 19 Qg6+ Ke6 20 Bf5+ K:f5 21. KxB Rf1+ and i had a win from ter excet that the B isnt there to check on g6!!! Oh well only spent 5m minutes looking...!
Jun-25-05  jahhaj: <nikolaas> You don't allow castling over an attacked b8 square? Weird!

In your new line I agree Black is losing after 19...♕c6 but I much prefer 19...♗c6 to 19...♕c6 as it gives a black king on c8 a flight square and doesn't expose the black queen to attack by White's bishop. Also if the black queen is better on c6 it should probably move there on move 17.

Everyone seems to be congratulating Spassky on his brilliant play but I still haven't seen a convincing line that persaudes me he has won after 16...fxe6. I'm not saying one doesn't exist! It just seems to be a lot more involved than most are giving credit for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: actually I think that after 16 Ne6 fe6 17 Bg6+ h:g6 18 Q:g6+ K:e7 19 Q:g7+ Ke8 20. Q:h8+ Ke7 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Rxd1 leaves White looks in a won position. But maybe not - eg Kd8 22 Qf8# and Bc6 22 Rf1 or 22 Rd6 and if Bd5 22. Rd5 ed5 23 e6 Kd8 24 Qf8+ but that looks as though white only gets a Qand 2 pawns v a Q and knight -might even be a draw -not sure what the winning line is... Spassky might have played Ne6 on the off chance!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: There are three squares that must be unattacked by enemy forces to allow castling.

The original square that the king is on-in other words,the king may not be in immediate check.

The intervening square-the king may not cross over a check.

The landing square,it is obviously illegal to put your king into a direct check.

None of these affect the rook:It may be in danger or pass over an in-danger square.

Of course,castling must be the initial move by king and castling rook. That is the only rule that affects the rook.

I'm not sure if there can be a "local rule"-of this type---Though there may be some in other circumstances-eg.fifty move rule,repitition rule etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's some analysis with Fritz 8 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qc7!?> Black invites White to take the Knight and double his pawns.<8. Bd3> White did OK taking the challenge with 8. Bxf6 in Topalov vs Anand, 1997, but the position is double edged as Black still has lots of counterplay with the two Bishops as in C Velasquez vs Leitao, 2004 . <8...Nbd7> Worthy of consideration, and in line with Black's intention in playing 7...Qc7!?, is 8...b5!? as in K Spraggett vs Gelfand, 1990 and B Jonasson vs Wojtkiewicz, 1994 . <9. Qe2 b5 10. O-O-O Bb7> Here I like 10...b4!?, transposing to the 8...b5!? recommendation in the Black victory from the Spraggett vs. Geller game link above. <11. Rhe1 Be7 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nd5 14. Bxe7> Apparently White overlooked a strong winning shot with 14. Nxe6! fxe6 15. Qh5+ Kd8 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Bxe7+ Kxe7 18. Qh4+ g5 19. Qxg5+ Ke8 20. Qg7 Rf8 21. Bxh7 Kd8 22. Be4 Kc8 23. Bxd5 exd5 24. e6 Qf4+ 25. Kb1 Nb6 26. Rd3 Qf2 27. Rc1 Rd8 28. Rf3 Qh4 29. Rh3 Qf4 30. Rh7 Rb8 31. Qa7 Re8 32. Re1 Qd6 33. Rf1 Qc5 34. Rd7 Qc6 35. Rff7 Na8 36. Rb7 <14... Nxc3!> Up to this point, Black has played well and with best play can fully equalize.
<15. Qg4!?> Spassky decides to take a little risk and complicate for winning chances, since the alternative 15. bxc3 gives Black easy equality after 15. bxc3 Kxe7 16. Qg4 Bd5 (Not 16... Qxc3? 17. Nxe6 fxe6?? 18. Qxg7+ ) 17. Be4 Bxe4 18. Rxe4 Rhg8 19. Qg5+ Ke8 20. Nxe6 fxe6 21. Qh5+ Ke7 (21... Kd8? 22. Red4 ; 21... g6? 22. Qxh7 Rf8 23. Red4 Rf7 24. Qxf7+ Kxf7 25. Rxd7+ Qxd7 26. Rxd7+ ) 22. Qg5+ Ke8 23. Qh5+ Ke7 24. Qg5+ Ke8 =, with a draw by threefold repetition. <15... Nxd1 16. Nxe6 Qc6??> This is the losing move. Black missed a last chance to hold with 16...fxe6! 17. Bd6 (Not 17. Qxg7? Nf8! 18. Qxh8 Qxe7 19. Rxd1 Bxg2 20. Qg8 Bd5 ) 17... Qb6 18. Qxe6+ Kd8 19. Qe7+ Kc8 20. Bf5 Bc6 21. Qxg7 Rd8 22. Rxd1 Qe3+ 23. Kb1 Qe2 24. Rc1 Qd2 25. Qxh7 Kb7 26. g3 Rh8 27. Qe7 Rad8 28. h4 Rhe8 29. Qf7 Bd5 30. Qg7 Rg8 31. Qh7 Rh8 32. Qg7 Rhg8 33. Qe7 Rge8 34. Qg7 Rg8 =, forcing a draw by threefold reptition. <17. Nxg7+ Kxe7 18. Qg5+ f6> (18... Kf8 19. Nf5! Qg6 20. Qe7+ Kg8 21. e6!! ; 18...Nf6 19. Be4! ) <19. exf6+ Kd8 20. f7+ Kc7 21. Qf4+ 1-0> Black resigned, but play could have continued 21...Kb6 (21... Qd6 22. Ne6+ Kc6 23. Be4+ ; 21... Kc8 22. Re8+ Rxe8 23. fxe8=Q#) 22. Re6 1-0

Jun-25-05  jahhaj: <Richard Taylor> In your line, 20...♘f8 and Black is winning easily enough.

I think you are probably right that Spassky hadn't seen all the way to a win when he played Ne6. If a win is there then it is sufficiently deep that Spassky would have had to have been a God-like genius to see it all.

Jun-25-05  thesonicvision: 21..Kb6
22. Re6 wins the queen

22. Ne6+ Kc6
23. Be4+ wins the queen

of course, if the king steps on
the back rank, white will promote the
f-pawn after exchanging rooks.

about 16. Nxe6:

in a real game, this would be easy
to see as a candidate move- but
EVERYONE here would reject it in
torunament play after being unable to
compensate for the severe material
disadvantages white would suffer.

if you were able to see the the
entire winning line, i am very much

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Correction to my analysis above. I meant to refer to the Spraggett versus Gelfand (not Geller), 1990 game link above in recommending 10..b5!?.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Geronimo: Oh <thesonicvision> you're praise for us is too optimistic... I would have 16ed with NxE6 in tournament play because I'm too sloppy to calculate all the severe material disadvantages!

The point for me today (and maybe I speak for others who can't or don't calculate so deeply) is that I was able to see the tactical advantage of the text move and some possible lines after a short assessment of the position. Perhaps this is one way in which working puzzles really benefits speed play, as opposed to long games. In tournament play I would never have gotten to this position, and in my speedchess addiction I'm likely to find myself in similar - but never identical - tactical surroundings....

Jun-25-05  Rocafella: Very strange
I actually got it and its Saturday
Jun-25-05  halcyonteam: got it, easy~
Jun-25-05  Helloween: <patzer2>, I think that 14.Nxe6 is not winning by any means. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Qe2 b5 10.O-O-O Bb7 11.Rhe1 Be7 <(here I think 11...O-O-O!? 12.Bxb5! axb5 13.Ndxb5 Qa5 14.Rxd6! leads to a very interesting game, check it out)> 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Nd5 14.Bxe7 (and here 14.Nxe6!? Bxg5+ 15.Nxg5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Qxc3 17.e6<(another try:17.Nxf7 Qa3+ 18.Kd2 O-O 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qh5+ Kg8 21.e6 Qb4+ 22.c3 Qb2+ looks unclear but probably drawish)> 17...Qa3+ 18.Kd2 Qa5+ 19.c3 Qxa2+ 20.Ke3 Qxe2+ is unclear.)14...Nxc3 15.Qg4 Nxd1 16.Nxe6 and here, I think<16...fxe6 17.Bd6 Qb6 18.Qxe6+ Kd8 19.Bf5 Bc6 20.Qe7+ Kc8 21.e6 can lead to prolonged attacking chances for White, as Black has no clear way to force a draw; 21.e6 Nf6 22.Qxg7 Rg8 (22...Re8 23.Rxd1 Qe3+ 24.Kb1 Nd5 25.c4! Qe2 26.Bc2 Ne7 27.cxb5 axb5 28.Bxe7 Qxe6 29.Ba3 b4 30.Bb3 Qe4+ 31 Bc2 Qxg2 32.Bf5+ Kb8 33.Qd4 Ra4 34.Bxb4 looks unclear)23.Qxf6 Ne3 24.Bxh7 Nd5 25.Qf7 Re8 26.Bf5 Ne3 27.Bh3 isn't neccessarily a draw yet...>
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Helloween> I guess you're right. After 14. Nxe6!?, it would appear Black can fully equalize with 14... Bxg5+ 15. Nxg5 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Qxc3 17. e6 Qa3+ 18. Kd2 Qa5+ 19.c3 Qxa2+ 20. Ke3 Qxe2+ 21. Rxe2 fxe6 22. Nxe6 Rb8=.

After 16...fxe6 17. Bd6 Qb6 18. Qxe6+ Kd8 19. Qe7+ (19. Bf5 Bc6 20. Qe7+ Kc8 21. e6 Nf6 22. Qxg7 Rg8 23. Qxf6 Ne3 24. Bxh7 Nd5 25. Qf7 Re8 26. Bf5 Ne3 27. Bh3 Nd5 =, Fritz 8 assesses the position as fully equal. However, I must admit it is an unbalanced position with White having four pawns for the Rook and the initiative. Fritz 8's suggestion in this line is for White to take a draw by repetition of moves with 28. Bf5 Ne3 etc., and it is unclear as to whether other options lead to a winning advantage for White.

So, it would appear both 14. Nxe6!? and 16. Nxe6!? give White some winning chances against likely mistakes in a difficult position, but that with accurate play Black has reasonable drawing chances. However, I must agree that Spassky's idea to defer and play the sacrifice 16. Nxe6!? gives White the best winning chances, and was therefore the right choice.

Jun-25-05  Nezhmetdinov: The really great move here is 15 QG4!? Spassky had to see everything from there - that would have been a real puzzle!
Jun-26-05  nikolaas: <jahhaj: <nikolaas> You don't allow castling over an attacked b8 square? Weird!> I'm a weirdo.

An interesting idea would be:
16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Bd6 Qb6 18.Qg5
-a)Qd8 19.Qxg7 Rf8 20.Qxh7 with the terrible threat Bg6 Though I'm afraid Nf6 might save the day.
Another idea is also 18.Bg6 hxg6 19.Qxe6 Kd8 20.Rxd1 Kc8 21.Qf7 with the idea of pushing the e-pawn. Can someone please check these lines with a comp?

Jun-07-13  olpa: Note that after 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Bd6 Qb6 18.Qg5 Qd8 white does not play Qxg7, but 19. Qg6+ hxg6 20.Bxg6 mate. And yes, 18...Nf6 holds the position.
Sep-21-14  SpiritedReposte: Opening preparation? No brakes on this attack from Spassky.
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