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Borislav Ivkov vs Karl Robatsch
Havana (1965), Havana CUB, rd 21, Sep-26
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: A fantastic reference to this game can be read in J.H. Donner's masterpiece of a book, "The King", pp. 66-72. Donner participated in the tournament and observed how Ivkov with this game lost the otherwise deserved first price. Well, the crucial blow was before that, against Garcia, when Ivkov made one of the biggest blunders in chess history: 36.d3??? allowing Garcia to win a completely lost game. Donner thinks Smyslov deserved to win the venue because of his many wins, but he only succeeded because of Ivkov's blunder.
Oct-05-14  donjova: Ivkov also wrote about this tournament (of course) in his autobiographic book. As you can imagine, most of it was about his game vs. Garcia, where he didn't want to play for a draw, because he wanted to win the tournament with two point margin, "like Fischer", how he didn't want to offer a draw in a winning position while in a time trouble, and an interesting story about what went through his mind a moment before he played 36...d3.

About this game he wrote:
"I spent two rest days in a delirium, without managing to grasp what has happened with me in a game with Garcia, instead to snap out of it and go to the next game with a goal to draw and secure the shared first place. I haven't thought for a moment that for that final act in Havana Robatsch would have the best teachers in his career. Only after he played twenty moves in five minutes, in a variation used by Kholmov to beat Fischer, he who in every game swam in a zeitnot waters more than Korchnoi and me combined, I realized how naive I was. But even then, when he offered a draw, I refused to accept the reality, that my streak of great games on that tournament has passed and that I should save what I have, the shared first...

...I should have ended the story with Robatsch by playing 1.a3"

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