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Jonathan D Sarfati vs Boris Spassky
Plaza (1988)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Kramer Variation (E70)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-11-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: This was an international tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, and as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure. In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld, one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” Well, judge for yourself.

Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.

Nov-11-06  Stanley Yee: Wow! A fantastic draw Jonathan, against a legend. Well done. Stan
Nov-11-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: its very hard for white to break down this sort of position and very easy to overreach-eg reshevsky v bronstein 1953-or euwe v najdorf 1960. i think a draw is quite reasonable-against spassky i wd certainly have seized his hand with glee.
Nov-11-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Thank you for your perspective, Grandmaster Keene. It seems more sober than that of Eddie Gufeld's.
Jan-05-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <JonathanSafarti>
I recall seeing the bulletin for this tournament -then I played Spassky in a simul - I lost as did everyone else! The draw is justified of course... I would have ripped Spassky's arm off!!

Gufeld was an amusing fellow was he not?
I saw the book he wrote.

Sep-11-13  Bobby22: That is impressive Jonathan! ... If you had to play on, what were your plans? Nothing as drastic as 21. f4!? Lazar
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