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Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky
Karpov - Spassky Candidates Semifinal (1974), Leningrad URS, rd 5, Apr-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E59)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: One of the few times after Game 1 that Spassky got a clear advantage in this match. After 29...Bc6?, Karpov's 30 Qd6! simultaneously threatened the bishop and 31 Be5. Spassky bailed into a pawn-up ending with 30...Qd4+, but Karpov's 32 a5! and 33 Be5! gained White a draw.

In OMGP V, Kasparov writes that Black "would have obtained a great and apparently decisive advantage by 29...h5!" (Shades of Game 4 in Spassky-Fischer.) 30 h3? loses to 30...Nxe4, and 30 Qd6 is met with 30...hg 31 Be5 Qe1+ 32 Bf1 Qe3+ 33 Kh1 Qxf3+ 34 Bg2 Qf2 35 Qxf6+ Qxf6 36 Bxf6+ Kxf6 37 e5+ Kxe5 38 Bxb7 c4 (Tal). Kasparov also gives a long line beginning 30 Be1 Qb2 to show that Black also wins there. I am not convinced, but I need to look at this with Fritz to say more.

I wonder -- did Spassky just flat-out miss 30 Qd6 as Kasparov suggests, or did he not think his position was so great in the first place? I suspect he saw 30 Qd6 but thought reaching an ending with an extra pawn (but with his opponent holding the bishop pair) was the best he could do. He also may have underestimated 32 a5.

Anyway, a very interesting game, and I recommend Kasparov's analysis of it in OMGP V -- he gives a great overview of the opening <tabiya> stretching all the way back to Bronstein vs Euwe, 1953 and all the way forward to I Sokolov vs Kasparov, 1999.

Dec-31-12  Timmanesque: Timman analysed this game in 1974 (he was present at the match), adding that after move 28 both players had about 2 minutes per move left to reach move 40. Spassky used up 8 minutes for 29...Bc6. Timman, too, gave 29...h5 as a better attempt.
Feb-24-18  edubueno: Spassky y la nimzoindia. Van por caminos opuestos. Finalmente las negras se salvan por poco, podían haber perdido el final.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Spassky had a habit of getting promising positions on the Black side of this opening in candidates matches but only drawing - see his encounters with Lajos Portisch in 1977 and 1980 (Portisch stuck with the White side throughout his career).
May-25-20  RandomVisitor: So, 29...h5 is supposed to be great and powerful... let's see what the fish says... dead even...

click for larger view


<62/49 1:09:14 0.00 29...h5 30.Be1 Qb2 31.gxh5 Nxh5 32.Qd8> Nf6 33.Qd3 Qa1 34.Kf2 Qd4+ 35.Qxd4 cxd4 36.Bb5 a6 37.Bd3 Nd7 38.Ke2 Kh6 39.a5 bxa5 40.Bxa5 Bc8 41.Bd8 Kh5 42.Bc7 f6 43.Bd8 Kh6 44.Bc4 Ne5 45.Bd3

May-26-20  RandomVisitor: <edubueno>"Spassky and the Nimzo-Indian. They go in opposite ways. Finally Black is narrowly saved, they could have lost the ending."
May-26-20  offramp: <RandomVisitor: So, 29...h5 is supposed to be great and powerful... let's see what the fish says... dead even...

<62/49 1:09:14 0.00 29...h5 30.Be1 Qb2 31.gxh5 Nxh5 32.Qd8> Nf6 33.Qd3 ...>

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After 33.Qd3, instead of ...Qa1,
33...g4 might be better.

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The obvious response looks like
34.Bc3 which leaves Black with only one response: 34...Qc1+.

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35.Kf2 Qf4.

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Now Black seems significantly better than in <RV>'s line.

May-26-20  RandomVisitor: <offramp>Interesting. After 32.Qd8

click for larger view


<75/52 12:47:29 0.00 32...Nf6 33.Qd3 g4 34.Bc3 Qc1+ 35.Kf2 Qf4 36.Qd7> Qxh2+ 37.Ke1 Qh1+ 38.Kd2 Qh6+ 39.Kc2 g3 40.Bf1 Qh2+ 41.Kb3 g2 42.Qe7 g1Q 43.Qxf6+ Kg8 44.Qd8+ Kh7 45.Qh8+ Kg6 46.Qg7+ Kh5 47.Qh8+ Kg6

75/18 12:47:29 0.00 32...Kg6 33.h4 Qf6 34.Qg8+ Qg7 35.Qb8 gxh4 36.Bxh4 Bc6 37.a5 Qd4+ 38.Kf1 bxa5 39.Qg8+ Ng7 40.Qb8

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Bozza after Bobby was never the same loike .. just sayin loike...

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