Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Robert James Fischer vs Vasily Smyslov
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 21, Oct-13
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. General Variation (B86)  ·  0-1



explore this opening
find similar games 10 more Fischer/Smyslov games
sac: 38...Kg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-05-05  Shams: Gypsy, what are white's better 10th moves?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Well, 10.a3 is a principled and logical play; it protects the position of the knight on c3. Perhaps 9.f4 is already a bit too optimistic and it may be better to altogether eschew it in favor of the more common 9.Qf3. (All this IMKO; I am not a Sicilian expert!)
Apr-10-05  RookFile: Ok, I found some analysis on this
game by Gligoric. Apparentely, with
17. c3 instead of 17. Qe4, White

17. c3 bxc3 18. bxc3 d5 19. Qd1 d4
20. Rh3 with the idea of 21. Qh5 =.

17. c3 bxc3 18. bxc3 Bf6 19. Qe4 Rc8
20. Rh3 is good for white.

When the black knight came into d4,
apparently that was bad news for

Apr-10-06  zev22407: A demonstration of active defence by Smyslov 32)..Q-f5! black brings his queen to the king's aid with tempo.
Apr-10-06  zev22407: An elegant rook ending by Smyslov.
Jun-14-06  madlydeeply: Smyslov plays ...b4 in the sicilian just like Topalov. Not a bad game for inspiration. Does Topalov play any other Smyslovian moves?
Jan-19-07  oubobcat: what is the refutation for 4.... bb4, 5 bd2, bxn, 6 bxb, nxe4
Jan-19-07  RookFile: That is a dangerous line, it is sometimes played. 4....Bb4 5. e5 Nd5 and white can either play 6. Bd2 or the gonzo 6. Qg4.
Feb-17-07  MyriadChoices: What line was that Rookfile? I didn't understand what moves and all. Sorry :/
Feb-17-07  euripides: Against 4...Bb4+ White probably plays 5.c3. I think <rook> is referring to 5....Bb4.
May-01-09  DrGridlock: <RookFile: Ok, I found some analysis on this game by Gligoric. Apparentely, with 17. c3 instead of 17. Qe4, White equalizes.>

Analysis by Rybka confirms that White has a slightly better option at move 17, but not equality. Rybka finds:

17 Be3 (-.26)
d5; Qe2 Na5; Rh3 g6; Rf1 Nxb3; axb3 Qd6; Kh1 d4; Bh6 Rfc8;

17 c3 (-.28)
d5; Rd3 Qb6+; Kh1 d4; Bd2 Rab8; c4 bxc3; bxc3Rd6; cxb4 Qd8;

17 Qe4 (-.37)
Nd4; Rh3 Bf6; Bd5 Qb6; Kh1 Rab8; c4 bxc3; bxc3 Nb5; Rd3 Qf2;

At move 23, Rybka finds that Fischer had a better chance for improvement:

23 Rb1 (-.16)
Qa5; Bxe1 Nxc3; Bxc3 Rxc3; Rxc3 Qxc3; Bxf7+ Kh8; Bc4 a5; g3 Bd8;

23 Kh1 (-.39)
Qd7; Rd1 Rb8; Rb1 Qd8; c4 Nd4; Rxb8 Qxb8; Ra3 a5; Bc3 Qd8;

At move 24, White compounds his previous move’s inaccuracy:

24 Rd1 (-.39)
(with continuation given above)

24 Bb3 (-.92) (White’s 16th best move)
d5; Qf3 Nd6; Bxd5 Re8; Bb3 e4; Qh5 Qxf5; Qxf5 Nxf5; Re1 e3;

Rather than move 17, it was moves 23 and 24 where the game got away from White.

Aug-06-09  The Rocket: -30 is bacicalylly equality...... it just means white STANDS better.... but there are not winning lines... hence below -1... many theoretical openings have as much as +30 for white after the opening book....
Sep-03-12  Everett: <The Rocket: -30 is bacicalylly equality...... it just means white STANDS better.... but there are not winning lines... hence below -1... many theoretical openings have as much as +30 for white after the opening book....>

That's right, and the books say that "white has pull," or "white has a small advantage." It doesn't say "Black is equal"

Sep-27-12  LovingFischer: 10.f5?! (10.e5)
23.Kh1?! (23.Rd1)
29.Bc2? (29.Qxh6 Rd8 30.Bc2 Bg7 31.Dh7+ Kf8 32.Bxe4 dxe4 33.f6 Bxf6 34.Rh6 complicates the game of Black, since its King is most at risk) 30.f6? (30. Bxe4 dxe4 31.Rg3 f6 32.h4) 36. Rxf6?! (36.Re1)
Nov-20-12  ChessYouGood: One of the first lessons to teach the novice is to not attempt to win when your position is worse.
Nov-22-13  zydeco: It's interesting how many bad games Fischer had this tournament. He loses a pawn for nothing in the opening. In spite of that, Fischer comes up with a surprisingly menacing attack, and Smyslov needs the trick with 32.....Qf5 to defend. If 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Qh5 Kf8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Smyslov's move order is interesting with quick castling while leaving the queenside pieces undeveloped; nowadays White often plays an early Qf3 (prior to f4) against this setup. White often leaves the king pawn undefended in this variation and it is often dangerous to take it; here most felt that 10 f5?! was not best recommending 10 a3 instead. 24 c4..Nc7 25 Bb4..Nxd5 26 Bxc5..Nf4 would have been good for Black. 24 Bb3!? lifted the d5-blokade; an alternative was 24 Rf1..Rfc8 25 c4..Nc7 26 Bb7..Rb8 27 Be3..Rxc4 28 Qxc4..Rxb7 though Black has two center pawns for the exchange. Smyslov provided the variation 29 Qxh6..Rfc8 30 Bc2..Bg7 31 Qf7+..Kf8 32 Bxe4..dxe 33 f6..Bxf6 and concluded that Black was winning; in fact, Dvoretsky pointed out that after 34 Rh6..Bg7 35 Rg6 it is White that is winning. The stronger response to 29 Qxh6 would have been 29..Rd8! 30 Bc2..Bg7 31 Qh7+..Kf8 32 Bxe4..dxe 33 f6..Bxf6 34 Rh6..Qc6! 35 Qf5..Rd6 36 Rxf6..Rxf6 37 Qxf6..Qxf6 38 Rxf6..Rxc3 39 Kg1..Ra3 with a better endgame for Black. Still, this would have been preferable to the game continuation.

<zydeco: ..... If 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Qh5 Kf8.>

Smyslov gives the line 37 hxg..Qf4! 38 Qg4..h5! and wins.

It is a very short endgame but, ad usual, Smslov's technique is impeccable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Smyslov's one career victory against Fischer. Bob is age 16, here.
Oct-05-17  outplayer: When I saw this game for the first time today i had a feeling i didn't like the move 15...Bxf3. It gives White the square f3 for the rook to transfer to h3 and gives the pair of bishops to White only for a pawn. A better move is 15...Bc6 or even 15...Bb7.
Oct-05-17  RookFile: Yeah, I think that's right. It seems to give away some of black's advantage and let Fischer back in the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Some examples of how the best defense is a good offense. First, 32...Qf5! threatens mate (and if 33.Rxf5,Rb1+). Second, 37...Qf4 attacks the Rook, gaining a tempo for the third attacking move, 38...Kg7!, because 39.hxg5,hxg5 threatens ...Rh8, and White is forced to enter a lost endgame.
Oct-05-17  SChesshevsky: Many of those old Russian masters were very principled. 15...Bxf3 does gain a tempo to let the N develop protecting the hanging b pawn. Plus it follows the principle to exchange when ahead in material. But Smyslov probably looked really hard at how he was going to defend the king, especially h7, and any problems with the d5 square before letting go of the LSB.

Modern chess, with computer influence, probably prefers less simplification and more forcing ideas for black that are probably better.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Beautiful game by Smyslov. It's been said he was great at distributing his pieces harmoniously. One can see that in this game.
Sep-16-18  Howard: To be honest, I just don't understand the meaning of the word "harmonious" when it comes to playing chess--and I've read that above-comment about Smyslov several times.

Perhaps someone can help me here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Howard>
"Harmonious" is an aesthetic judgement about a series of moves, or an arrangement of pieces, that they fit well together into a larger picture. For some of us, this aesthetic side adds a lot to the enjoyment of chess. But of course, it's hard to pin it down with a precise definition.

In this game, look at the position around move 27 and ask yourself whose position "looks better" aesthetically.

search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
For studying.
from Chess is like universe .... by arielbekarov
This must have frustrated Fischer to no end.
from Oginschile's favorite games by Oginschile
Sicilian Defense: Fisher-Sozin Attack. General Variation
from MKD's Sicilian Defense Black by MKD
Round 21, Game 81
from WCC Index [Candidates Tournament 1959] by Resignation Trap
Smyslov beats Fisher with Black pieces
from DeepBlade's favorite games by DeepBlade
Grande Smyslov
from Partidas de Xadrez by adalav
Fischer-Sozin Attack. General Variation
from ANNOTATED GAMES by gambitfan
Fischer-Sozin Attack. General Variation
from FISCHER GAMES by gambitfan
Game 18
from Russians versus Fischer by Anatoly21
Yugoslavia ct 1959
from Fischer vs The Russians by wanabe2000
Game 57
from 125 Selected Games by Vasily Smyslov by suenteus po 147
dannieray's favorite games
by dannieray
smyslov beats fischer's attack
from fav Smyslov & Petrosian games by guoduke
Match Fischer!
by amadeus
Match Smyslov!
by amadeus
Smyslov's lone victory over very young Fischer in his varation
from Sicilians All Sorts of Sicilians by Fredthebear by fredthebear
Fischer vs the World Champions Decisive Games
by visayanbraindoctor
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. General Variation
from yepyeni by deniznba
Game 20
from How to Beat Bobby Fischer (Mednis) by Qindarka
Smslov's technique is impeccable.
from SmyslovV and SpasskyB Games by fredthebear
plus 40 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC