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Vasily Smyslov vs David Bronstein
USSR Championship (1951), Moscow URS, rd 9, Nov-28
Formation: King's Indian Attack (B26)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-16-02  ughaibu: Here's one for Drukenknight. What are any of these pawns worth?
Dec-17-02  drukenknight: its whatever someone is willing to give you for them.
Dec-17-02  ughaibu: Smyslov gave mate.
Dec-17-02  ughaibu: It's a nice imbalance, 3 pieces for a rook and 4 pawns. I wonder if Bronstein could have done better by advancing the b-pawn?
Dec-18-02  PVS: <its whatever someone is willing to give you for them.>

I do not think this rule obtained in the USSR at the time of the game.

Dec-18-02  PVS: Obviously Bronstein's sacrifice at 11...Nxe2+ did not work out.
Dec-18-02  ughaibu: PVS: It wasn't really a sacrifice, more an unbalanced exchange, 3 pawns for a piece. I think there was plenty of play for both sides after the opening.
Dec-18-02  PVS: I guess it initiated a sequence that traded a queen and three minor pieces for a queen, rook and two pawns, or something like that.
Dec-18-02  PVS: Bronstein would have likely done better with 11...Nc6 12. c3 Nxe2 13. Nxe2
May-20-09  Brown: More Bronstein magic, that may not have come off, but created an interesting game.

I see a very interesting and competitive game, where black seems no worse, after the alternate 14..Nxg2. Black has 3 pawns for the piece and is not facing the two bishops, as Smyslov shrewdly played for with 17.Rxb2!

Dec-19-09  notyetagm: An *incredible* <KNIGHT FORK> idea by David Bronstein.
Feb-28-12  drukenknight: going quickly here is 36...c4 a worthwhile idea?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: As mentioned above <14..Nxb2> was a better choice, as Bronstein could then extricate himself via the c4 square, hitting the bishop on d2, or the a4 square, physically inhibiting White's a-pawn. Nonetheless, he is still fine if he followed 14..Bxb2 15.Rb1 with <..Bg7>. So, the first significant error by Bronstein in this game is 15..Be6?

Smyslov does not immediately see the idea of keeping the two bishops with <15.Rxb2! Nxb2 16.Bc3>, so Bronstein could have simply swapped DSBs and been fine, but his 16th was one step too far, and Smyslov wisely exchanged pieces in a way that allowed him the best play.

Jun-17-15  zydeco: Especially against Smyslov, Bronstein had an impulse towards these wild irrational games full of material imbalances (see also Smyslov vs Bronstein, 1953).

Smsylov says he would have met 14....Nxb2 with 15.Bc3, exchanging bishops.

15....Be6 offered to sacrifice an additional piece with 16.Rxb2 Nxb2 17.Bc3 Nd1 18.Bxh8 f6 19.Bg7 Bxa2 and black's connected passed pawns are dangerous.

Smyslov suggests 16....Bxc3 17.Nxc3 Bc4 as a better alternative for black.

Smyslov was worried that if 18.Bxh8 his bishop be unavailable for defense after 18....f6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: An interesting Queenless middlegame - Smyslov's three minor pieces are more effective than Bronstein's rook and 4 pawns, leading to a mating net in the middle of the board.
Aug-25-21  Misha709600: Should Smyslov have played c3 on move 10?
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: No, 10.c3 would be illegal, as the square is occupied.

- - -

This is no King's Indian Attack. It's a straight and true Closed variation against the Sicilian Defense. It's a shame that so many obvious Closed Sicilians in the database are mislabeled under A07.

B26: Sicilian, Closed, 6.Be3
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 d6 6. Be3

Note the slight difference with:
B24: Sicilian, Closed, Smyslov variation
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 e6 6. Be3 Nd4 7. Nce2

Thus, White is playing one of his pet openings.

Apr-07-22  Misha709600: Excuse the above mistake. I meant to say c3 on move 11 when the square was unoccupied at the time. Same question.

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