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Garry Kasparov vs Boris Spassky
Barcelona World Cup (1989), Barcelona ESP, rd 17, Apr-20
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-24-03  ughaibu: Here's a nice tactical game with the queens off.
Jul-31-03  Chessnut: Spassky underestimated Kasparov
Jul-31-03  skakmiv: How can Spassky underestimate Kasparov, when Kasparov was the world champ?
Aug-01-03  PVS: <How can Spassky underestimate Kasparov, when Kasparov was the world champ?>

After a match with Fischer in his prime, no one seems formidable. Ask Petrosyan or Larsen. Come to think of it, you shall require a medium for the former.

Aug-01-03  ughaibu: I dont see anything in Spassky's play to suggest he underestimated Kasparov.
Sep-03-04  Deck: As much as I like Spassky, he did boast during the 1988/89 World Cup (which this game was a part of) that Kasparov "was like a child" and that "he could read his moves easily." This fine win by Kaspy probably put a damper on Spassky's optimism, though.
Sep-05-04  Everett: Deck, that's hilarious! I guess Spassky saw all the moves that blew him off the board, eh?
May-12-05  Airlock: It seems to me that Russian players make some very odd comments sometimes, for example the Spassky quote here.
May-18-05  weirdoid: <Airlock> Not that odd, really, assuming that it is true - Kasparov had never beat Spassky before.

But yes, it was odd nonetheless (just not *very* odd). Though AFAIK Kasparov lost his earlier games against the (over-the-hill) spasky, Kasparov was not yet in his prime either. Here he was definitely already much stronger than back when he lost.

Jan-20-08  notyetagm: <(Kasparov is a genius at limiting the scope of his opponent’s pieces. See Inside Chess Vol. #2, Issue 12 for my notes to the game Kasparov - Spassky, Barcelona World Cup 1989.)>

-- Seirawan

Jan-20-08  notyetagm: <Everett: Deck, that's hilarious! I guess Spassky saw all the moves that blew him off the board, eh?>


Jan-20-08  KingG: <As much as I like Spassky, he did boast during the 1988/89 World Cup (which this game was a part of) that Kasparov "was like a child" and that "he could read his moves easily." This fine win by Kaspy probably put a damper on Spassky's optimism, though.> Considering Spassky was virtually lost in both games he won against Kasparov, i doubt he was being serious with this comment. His wins had more to do with being a better practical player in those games than being able to 'read Kasparov's moves'.
Mar-12-08  hedgeh0g: Does anyone know the percentage of games (out of total games won) Kasparov has won with passed pawn threats? At least with most of his best games, the threats he generates with his pawns are too much for his opponents to handle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Spassky played this game on auto pilot.

The Spassky of '69 would not blow a pawn like he did here in such a straightforward position on move 31.

The endgame was fascinating tho.. Seemed to me black had chances to hold.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Just this page of comments?! lol

Gazza v Boris and what an endgame !

This endgame is worthy of much study!

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The endgame here between two of the greatest chess players of all time is worthy of study .

Jeez. lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: The move pair at #31 is curious. I don't really see the point of Kasparov's <31. Bc2>; but far more remarkable is Spassky's reply, <31. ... Na8>, which is just incomprehensible. There was no need to jettison the a-pawn that I can see.

In any case, Kasparov's play from this point forward makes a strong impression. Perhaps a move like <38. Nxg6!> is routine for players of this class, but the piece sac to gain a monster pawn center impressed this patzer.

Nov-15-13  nummerzwei: 31.Bc2 clears the d-file to be able to protect d4 with Rd1 if necessary.
Jan-13-16  Joker2048: It was beautiful. I really empresed by that. Fight between two giants. I think Spassky really one the classic player of all time. And of course Garry Kasparov. I think in this game kasparov use better of his brain and he win. Nice game by both of them.
May-26-17  cunctatorg: Garry Kasparov is undoubtedly the stronger absolute attacker of all time!!

Regarding the stronger relative attacker of all time, I do prefer AAA whom the young Kasparov admired and idolized.

Boris Spassky made a joke or -rather- sent a challenge to Garry Kasparov; he was fully aware of Garry's strength (at his very prime!!...) and the difference of both players back at 1989 as he was aware of their relative score and Garry's desire to make amends!!... Therefore he sent an invitation to Kasparov and Garry came with his synthesis of deep positional and attacking chess which was an Alekhine's trademark also!! The result was a lovely game of deepest chess...

May-26-17  nummerzwei: In the line 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3 c6 8.Qc2 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 Black succeeds in throwing a spanner in White's works, meeting 10.Bd3 with 10...Nf4. In fact I've played this myself with both colours.

On the other hand, ...Nh5 seems to have less point when White can still play Nge2. In a move order like 8.Qc2 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 you could at least argue that White individually may be more comfortable playing Nf3 instead.

The move order Spassky went for (with Kasparov's cards already on the table, and exposing himself to 10.g4) seems to be still worse, although it has been played many times.

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