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Vasily Smyslov vs David Bronstein
USSR Championship (1944), Moscow URS, rd 12, Jun-07
Spanish Game: Bird. Paulsen Variation (C61)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-22-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: A nice anecdote about this game...from Tom Furstenberg and David Bronstein's "The Sorcerer's Apprenctice"...

"Once when David was playing a game against Smyslov for the 1944 Soviet Championship, he kept looking at his watch and finally decided to offer a draw. They exchanged a few words, Smyslov accepted the draw and both started to leave the playing hall. The arbiter however stopped them and said in a very surprised voice: Why a draw? There is no valid reason to decide the game as a draw; there still is a lot of play!" 'Yes but we are hungry and in five minutes the cafeteria closes and we will no longer be able to have a meal', replied David. 'That is a perfectly valid reason', the arbiter agreed!"

Amazing, extremely human and hilarious at the same time! Long live Bronstein!

Jul-22-08  MaxxLange: Especially in 1944, there was no refutation of the variation that they analyzed.
Dec-23-08  Brown: If Bronstein could find a way to play the King's pawn two square and then fianchetto, his LSB, then he does it. He is able to transpose to this kind of game in nearly every opening.

27..c5! with back rank threats.

In the end, it seems that Bronstein has the better game. Also, maybe 29...Kg7 can be considered. Indeed, there is a lot of play.

Mar-12-10  Everett: <MaxxLange> Well, the Bird Defense is sound, but I am not sure if Bronstein's treatment of it works or not. As <Brown> said, it seems he could turn almost any opening into a KID. Maybe I'll start a collection with this idea in mind.
Sep-27-10  eightbyeight: The final position is a very rich middlegame and doesn't deserve to be a draw.
Oct-07-10  Everett: <eightbyeight> Yes! It's an interesting position!

<MaxxLange> In Ivan Sokolov's recent book on the Ruy Lopez, this game was mentioned. According to Sokolov's assessment, it is considered sound but under-analyzed. To think Bronstein played openings in such a way that were sound, yet very few if any have even tried them decades later!

Oct-07-10  eightbyeight: I checked it out with my computer, and it looks like agreeing to a draw in this position was not that bad. My computer spit out a clearly drawn rook ending after 30. ... Rxb3 31. Nxg6 Qxg6 32. Qxg6+ fxg6 33. Rxe6, when it looks like all the pawns will eventually be exchanged. Smyslov and Bronstein were smarter than we are.
Oct-07-10  Everett: Yes, of course they are both smarter than we are, yet it is clear that Bronstein rarely went in for an equal endgame when he can play something more interesting. Is there not something more interesting besides ...Rxb3 in the final position? Not better, but something that can keep the tension?
Oct-09-10  eightbyeight: Well, my computer's next three top picks in the final position (after Rxb3) are Rc8, Rb5, and Kg7. Here are its lines:

1...Rxb3 2.Nxg6 Qxg6 3.Qxg6+ fxg6 4.Rxe6 Kf7 5.Rc6 Rd3 6.Rxc5 Rxd2 7.Rc7+ Ke6 8.Rc6+ Kf5 9.Rd6 d3 10.Rd7

1...Rc8 2.Nd3 Bf5 3.Qc4 Qxd2 4.Re7 Qd1+ 5.Kh2 Rf8 6.Nxc5 d3 7.Qd4 d2 8.f3 Qe1

1...Rb5 2.Nxg6 c4 3.Ne5 cxb3 4.Qd3 Rc5 5.Qxd4 Rd5 6.Qb6 Qxd2 7.Nf3 Rd6 8.Qb5

1...Kg7 2.Qxc5 Rh8 3.f3 Qxd2 4.Nd3
Rd8 5.Qe5+ Kg8 6.Qf6 Rd6 7.Qe5 Rd5 8.Qe2 Qxe2 9.Rxe2

Black retains a microscopic advantage after all these moves, but there is a 0.32 difference between Rxb3 and Kg7. Still, the game is a draw, locked in the vault of the chess gods, and we can do nothing but analyze.

Oct-11-10  Everett: ...Or have our computers analyze for us and learn little...
Oct-15-10  eightbyeight: ...except that the players were pretty much correct to agree to a draw. We must take comfort in the fact that not only were there thousands of games with plenty of play drawn, but thousands of drawn positions where a player slipped up and their opponent won.
Oct-15-10  MaxxLange: <Everett> when I said:

"..in 1944, there was no refutation of the variation that they analyzed" I meant, it was war time, and they were hungry....they were too hungry and tired to keep playing all night, with no dinner

Oct-15-10  MaxxLange: the Soviet State had already chosen to spare these men from combat duty, because they served through their intellectual powers at chess, and they were needed after the war

this was a little rebellion from the chess players, that took some courage to do!

Oct-15-10  MaxxLange: the NKVD arbiter probably was ready for his dinner, too
Oct-16-10  Everett: <MaxxLange> Thank you for that! Very interesting.

<eightbyeight <thousands of drawn positions where a player slipped up and their opponent won.>> PRECISELY!

Oct-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Informator symbol: < ½»® >
Oct-16-10  Everett: BTW: Black has a strong plan in 29.Kg7 followed by ..Rh8. By move 30 black has wasted the tempo and white has improved his queen enough to make the same plan only enough for equal play.
Mar-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I wonder if Smyslov was surprised to see a Bird.
Apr-20-11  eightbyeight: <Everett: Black has a strong plan in Kg7 and Rh8.> If that plan were winning, Bronstein would have played it and my computer would have found it. Note that I included it in my analysis below. It's the number 4 pick.
Jul-02-11  Everett: <eightbyeight> please read carefully

On move 29, when the white Q is on b2, is the position I am discussing. Your authority stems from following your computer after 30.Qc2.

And Bronstein didn't play it, so it seems that you don't know what you are talking about regarding the fallibility and accuracy of even the best GMs, late in the game around dinner time.

Chess is for humans, and computers are great tools. The only greater tool is the mindless human computer user.

Jul-02-11  bronkenstein: Reposted from Bronstein`s page , in addition to <Once when David was playing a game against Smyslov for the 1944 Soviet Championship, he kept looking at his watch and finally decided to offer a draw. They exchanged a few words, Smyslov accepted the draw and both started to leave the playing hall. The arbiter however stopped them and said in a very surprised voice: Why a draw? There is no valid reason to decide the game as a draw; there still is a lot of play!" 'Yes but we are hungry and in five minutes the cafeteria closes and we will no longer be able to have a meal', replied David. 'That is a perfectly valid reason', the arbiter agreed!> , fine illustration of life standards in 1944 USSR (and linked photo is most likely his outfit during this game ) :

<The president of Sport Committee was constantly threatening to David that he will not allow him to enter the playing hall (1944. USSR championship )next time he appears in that (simple green mechanical worker uniform) inappropriate outfit. ˝But it was the only one i had...˝ =)>

http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate...

Feb-09-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Sometimes an appetite for chess is not enough.
Aug-14-15  Everett: BTW, <29..Kg7! and 30..Rh8> is straight winning. After Black penetrates in the h-file, the R can slide back to the e-file and wreak havoc. The B is better than the N, and Black will have no time to mount a defence.
Aug-02-19  Everett: Bird Ruy is the opening of the day. Here’s a nice scrap between two giants

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