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Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky
Karpov - Spassky Candidates Semifinal (1974), Leningrad URS, rd 7, Apr-26
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Isn't this the Dutch Defense?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Yes, indeed. The opening is a total disaster for Black. After 26 g3 Spassky gives up a pawn to avoid suffocation.

In OMGP V Kasparov suggests that 29 Qb6! Qa8 30 Qd4! followed by b4 would have left Black helpless.

32 Bb6 looks natural but is a positional mistake -- after 32...Qd7 the Black queen defends the c-pawn, allowing Black to play 33...ed instead of, after which White would have invaded down the c-file. With nothing to lose, Spassky throws his k-side pawns forward and somehow gets his rooks into action.

Karpov missed or underestimated 40...Qb4, and suddenly White's king is in danger.

After getting in a terrible bind out of the opening, Spassky did a great job of mobilizing his forces despite having almost no space. Just compare his major pieces at move 26 and game's end!

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