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Boris Spassky vs William James Lombardy
World Student Team Championship (1960), Leningrad
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Lombardy winning the 1957 World Junior Championship was very impressive! Was Spassky absent from this event? They are the same age. Wonder why Fischer was never allowed to compete a few years after?
May-15-05  iron maiden: They would've allowed him to compete, I believe, but he was such an established player by 1959 that it probably wouldn't have been worth the time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <iron maiden> Well he was still a teenager then, don't see how or why they would have not allowed him to compete. Chess here in this country was very very unpopular back then, maybe he couldn't secure the funds?!?
May-15-05  iron maiden: I think I remember hearing somewhere that the 1959 World Junior Championship was held at the same time as the Candidates' tournament, which might explain a few things. Can anyone verify this?
Mar-19-08  Yuri Y: Andrew Soltis annotates this game in his book 'Catalogue of Chess Mistakes' p.146
Mar-20-08  RookFile: I forget the details, but a factor involved in this game was that it was a team event. That means that some of Spassky's moves were motivated by his team's situation - an attempt to somehow swindle a win out of this with white, instead of playing for a draw.

Regarding Fischer, he would have been allowed to compete for the junior championship, but he wasn't interested. Frankly, he was right - when you're a top 10 player in the world, you don't take time out to go play people hundreds of ELO points below your level.

Jun-21-08  Some call me Tim: <Yuri Y> Is the mistake 20. Qxe5? From that point forward Black makes a very instructive series of forcing moves that win a piece, based on the weakness of the B/a2, N/c3 and the R/e1. 20. fxe5 seems clearly superior. I doubt making a move like this had anything to do with the team format of the event. To me it just looks like a colossal oversight and a failure to see deeply enough into the position. Probably just playing too fast and too carelessly, possibly underestimating his opponent.

I've always liked Lombardy, probably because of the positive and sane image he projected during the 1972 match. A voice of reason among many very irrational and obnoxious "spokesmen" for Fischer. Also I share his birthday, evidently (never knew that before!).

Jun-21-08  HSOL: 20.fxe5 loses the queen to a skewer (Bc5)
Aug-27-08  myschkin: . . .


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Andrew Soltis also mentions this game in his book "Soviet Chess: 1917-1991" (p251 hbk):

"After Spassky lost a highly publicized game to the American William Lombardy on first board in the 1960 Student Olympiad he was left of the 1961 team and was eventually suspended from foreign travel three times. He was replaced at the last minute as a Soviet invitee to Hastings 1962-1963 -- a typical Sports Committee humilation.

'My nervous energy was completely destroye for three years', Spassky said of this period.

Feb-07-15  duchamp64: <Joshka> Spassky won the World Junior in 1955 and didn't compete in 1957.
Feb-07-15  perfessor: Sometimes I feel like there is no such thing as equality in the Najdorf - once black "equalizes", he's well on his way to victory.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: After 17. Rae1, White has a nice position with better development and more space, then 17 ... e5!? shakes things up.

<20.fxe5 loses the queen to a> Pin (20 ... Bc5).

Black to Play and Win after 24. Kh1.

<myschkin> Great photo!

Oct-15-17  RandomVisitor: White should hold but with complications after 22.Nxd5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <RandomVisitor> Without using an engine, I think the main line is 22. Nxd5 Nxd5 23. Bxd5 Qc5+ 24. Kh2 Qxd5 25. bxa3 Qxf5:

click for larger view

Black has better Pawn structure, but this major piece endgame should trade down to a draw.

Black could also try 23 ... Bc5+ followed by 24 ... Rae8 or 24 ... Rad8 with BOOC.

Oct-17-17  RandomVisitor: <tpstar>Yes, as the lines below show, the machine foresees that position and that white can then play 26.c4! fixing his pawn structure problem. After 22.Nxd5:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17101111_x64_modern: <1 hour computer time>

<-0.08/49 22...Nxd5 23.Bxd5 Qc5+ 24.Kh2 Qxd5 25.bxa3 Qxf5 26.c4> Rfb8 27.cxb5 Rxb5 28.Rf3 Rd8 29.a4 Ra5 30.Qe7 Qd7 31.Qxd7 Rxd7 32.Re4 g6 33.g4 Rd2+ 34.Kg3 Ra2 35.f5 gxf5 36.Rxf5 R2xa4 37.Kh4 Rxf5 38.Rxa4 Rf6 39.Kh5 Kg7 40.Ra5 Rc6 41.g5 hxg5 42.Kxg5 f6+ 43.Kg4 Rb6 44.h4 Rc6 45.Kf3 Rd6 46.Kg4 Rb6 47.Kf3 Re6 48.Kg3 Kh6 49.Kf3 Kg6 50.Kg4 Rb6 51.h5+ Kh6

0.00/49 22...Qa7+ 23.Kh2 Bxb2 24.c4 Bd4 25.Ne7+ Kh8 26.Nc6 Qc5 27.cxb5 axb5 28.Nxd4 Qxd4 29.Bb3 Rae8 30.Qd1 Qxd1 31.Rxd1 Re3 32.Rf3 Re4 33.Rdd3 Rb4 34.g4 Kg8 35.Rd1 Ne4 36.Bd5 Rb2+ 37.Kg1 Rb4 38.Rdd3 Nc5 39.Rd1 Ne4

0.00/49 22...Qc5+ 23.Qf2 Qxf2+ 24.Kxf2 Nxd5 25.Bxd5 Rad8 26.Bxf7+ Rxf7 27.bxa3 Rxf5 28.Kf3 Rc5 29.Rf2 Rc3+ 30.Re3 Rdc8 31.Rfe2 Kf7 32.g4 Rxe3+ 33.Rxe3 Rxc2 34.f5 Rc4 35.Kg3 a5 36.h4 Ra4 37.g5 h5 38.Rd3 Rg4+ 39.Kh3 Ra4 40.Rd7+ Kf8 41.Ra7 Rxa3+ 42.Kg2 a4 43.Ra8+ Kf7 44.Ra7+ Kf8

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I have the bulletin for the 1960 World Student Team Championship.

It cleary states Lombardy drew in the last round v the Bulgarian board one Atanas Stefanov Kolarov. Also from the same source Kalme- Popov, Weinstein - Radev and Mednis- Stefanov. All games were drawn.

I was unable to track down any game. Then I stumbled upon 'Chess Life' September 1960 and discovered no games had been played.

America needed 1 pts from their last match v Bulgaria to seal first place, prior to the match the Bulgarian captain offered Team USA a 2-2 draw which according to Bill Lombardy took him all of 15 seconds to accept.

One can only imagine what the 2nd placed U.S.S.R. thought about this arrangement. Maybe there is an article by Spassky in some 1960's Russian Sports Magazine claiming America has fixed student world chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Recap: ( see above).

Chess Review says the games were played but all were drawn under 20 moves.

The games were indeed played. I have found the score to Kalme - Popov (draw 18 moves)Weinstein - Radev (15 moves) and Mednis- Stefanov.(19 moves) none of the games are on here).

So all games were under 20 moves when the Bulgarian captain offered a block draw on all boards.

Glad I got that sorted out.

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