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Garry Kasparov vs Vasily Smyslov
Candidates Final (1984), Vilnius URS, rd 9, Mar-30
Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation (D52)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-30-04  alexandrovm: Smyslov had the advantage but lost it in the middle game. Kasparov converted the game with a full point.
Jul-02-08  Xenon Oxide: I think this game shows how powerful a bishop pair + assymetrical pawn formation is in the hands of a dynamic attacker.
Jan-09-09  pikket: Actually, Kasparov gives Black's 10th move as 'dangerous' (for Black) in his OMGP, vol II. He states, after 16 Bf4, that White has: "the better endgame". So I'm not sure it is correct that Smyslov ever had the advantage in this game.
Mar-10-09  Dredge Rivers: This game was analysed by Jack Peters in the July 1984 issue of Chess Life. <pikket> is probably right, it's doubtful Smyslov had the advantage at any point in this or any other game of this match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <pikket: *** Kasparov gives Black's 10th move as 'dangerous' (for Black) in his OMGP, vol II. ***>

As I read GK's annotations (on page 53 of OMGP, vol. II) considering variations begining with 8. ... Bb4, it is a line with 10. ... Bxc3 (rather than 10. ... Bd6, the move played by Smyslov) that he evaluates as "not without danger" [for Black].

GK merely says of the line played in his game against Smyslov that White gets a better endgame (as stated in <pikket>'s post).

The notes in question are given as part of GK's analysis of this game: Alekhine vs Euwe, 1935

Mar-02-11  birthtimes: Actually Smyslov had a draw in hand the entire game until his blunder on move 40. He should have played instead 40...Bc4 which still would have given him more than adequate drawing chances...
Feb-18-12  Ulhumbrus: <birthtimes: Actually Smyslov had a draw in hand the entire game until his blunder on move 40. He should have played instead 40...Bc4 which still would have given him more than adequate drawing chances...> The move which Smyslov played actually, the move 40...f6 prevents the advance f6. This suggests that Smyslov played 40...f6 in order to prevent f6 eg after 40...Bc4 41 f6. Then White's king's bishop on c2 keeps Black's king out of the square h7, the f6 pawn keeps black's king out of the square g7 and white threatens potentially to win Black's h6 pawn by the pair of moves Bd2 and Bxh6
Mar-06-15  whiteshark: "The ninth game was adjourned on Friday*, with the 63-year-old Smyslov writing his 44th move on his score sheet and sealing it in the referee's envelope. However, overnight analysis convinced the former world champion that further play was useless against Kasparov's bishop-pair and great positional advantage, so he gave up without resuming play."

Robert Byrne in

* Friday = March 30, 1984

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is the final position, after 44...Kf8.

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Kasparov would probably have played 45. Be4. That threatens 46. Bxd5. It also threatens 46. Bxf6, and there is a threat to the pawn on b7 if the Bd5 moves away. So the obvious response is 45...Bxe4 46. Kxe4 Ke7, to protect the f6 pawn.

click for larger view

47. Kd5. This has the threat of 48. Kc4 and the black knight is short of squares. Of course it also threatens Kxc5, if the knight moves away.

There is not much to be done, so it's no wonder Smyslov gave up.

Oct-27-19  Albion 1959: I remember looking at this game at the time it was played. The BBC used to cover chess back then. I recall that when I saw how Kasparov had allowed his a-pawns to be split and isolated, it did look weak to me. Surely, Smyslov can get something out of this? The passed pawn on c6 must be an asset, but upon a closer study it becomes evident that the Bishop pair and the kingside majority are stronger. Also the pawns on the file are only weak if they can be attacked and they can't! Very subtle play by GK, who demonstrates that he can also play quiet positional chess, as opposed to the attacking style that brought him so many wins. Finally move 40.f6? looks bad to me, to concede a passed pawn so freely did not help black's cause:
Dec-24-22  Ulhumbrus: One journalist said that Kasparov displayed great technical and innovative skills in this game.

Kasparov said that the people who said that his strength lay in the openings forgot that he had to find the right moves in the middlegame and in the ending after the opening.

This suggests the question of how Kasparov would train a player so as to become able to find the right moves in the middlegame and the endgame.

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