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Vasily Smyslov vs Paul Keres
USSR Absolute Championship (1941), Leningrad- Moscow URS, rd 12, Apr-12
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Chigorin Defense Panov System (C99)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Arrangement of black pieces was sometimes pictorial in this game. Smyslov's play acts naturally, fluently and elegantly.
Feb-21-07  twin phoenix: i don't understand 34. K-h2. why does smyslov do that? why doesn't keres just take the pawn on f2? am totally confused.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <twin phoenix> 34...Qxf2 35. Rxg6+ wins Black's queen. Smyslov played Kh2 so he could break down Keres' defenses with f4.
Feb-21-07  twin phoenix: key pusher i shoulda looked a little longer. tks for pointing that out!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 33, Keres had an opportunity to obtain satisfactory play and an approximately equal position with 33...Ng7!.

Botvinnik states the following: <In the special issue of '64' (No. 7) Alatortsev correctly notes that after 33...Ng7 with the threat f5 (34.Rf3, Nh5) Black would have obtained satisfactory play.>

Fritz 9 agrees that 33...Ng7 is Black's best move. Fritz gives an evaluation of (.28) (18 ply) and suggests 34.Rc1 Rdc8 as the best continuation.

After 33...Ng7 34.Rc1 Rdc8, here are a few of Fritz's evaluations and suggested continuations:

(.00) (19 ply) 35.Rxc8+ Rxc8 36.Re3 f5 37.Bb1 Rc4. Or 37.Kh2 fxe4 38.Bxe4 Nf5.

(.00) (.19 ply) 35.Qh6 f5 36.Rf3 fxe4 37.Bxe4 Rc4.

(-.01) (19 ply) 35.Re3 Rxc1+ 36.Nxc1 Qd8 37.Rf3 f5.

(-.02) (19 ply) 35.Rc2 Rxc2 36.Bxc2 Rc8 37.Bd3 Qd8.

There are many other variations and I am sure improvements can be found for both Black and White. However, I believe Botvinnik's and Alatortsev's opinion that Black can obtain satisfactory play after 33...Ng7 is correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fjordonkson: Move 41, Why does Keres give up his queen here? Couldn't Qg3 forcing Kg3 then Rc3 pinning the bishop?
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <fjordonkson: Move 41, Why does Keres give up his queen here? Couldn't Qg3 forcing Kg3 then Rc3 pinning the bishop?>

The game continuation was an even exchange, Q+P for R+R. Your line loses because the pin is easily broken:

41...Qxg3+?? 42.Kxg3 Rc3 43.Re3

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: And White doesn't even have to play 43.Re3 since the Bishop is protected by the queen. He could also play 43.Kh2
May-29-16  RookFile: Just playing over this - I know that Keres lost the game, but this was a good effort in a losing cause. Keres offered ingenious resistance.
Feb-21-18  tigreton: I like move 40. (forty!) Qf1, a backwards attacking move is not usually easy to spot, but in this case the idea is clear: Re1 becomes unstoppable, and the rook invades the black position with gain of tempo (over the queen).
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <tigreton: I like move 40. (forty!) Qf1, a backwards attacking move is not usually easy to spot, but in this case the idea is clear: Re1 becomes unstoppable, and the rook invades the black position with gain of tempo (over the queen).>

This one's pretty easy to spot because it's the only way to save the rook while keeping the queens on.

Jun-19-20  sakredkow: In the same tournament Keres also lost the same variation through 14...Rd8 against Boleslavsky Boleslavsky vs Keres, 1941. Isaak chose 15. d5 rather than 15. Bd2.
The Chigorin was the mainline with that generation. White's early d3 move has put a stop to anything resembling that nonsense.

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