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Vasily Smyslov vs Paul Keres
FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948), The Hague NED, rd 7, Mar-16
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E02)  ·  0-1



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Given 24 times; par: 84 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-01-03  pawntificator: Keres said 44 h4 would have held on.
Jan-30-04  Catfriend: I don't dare analysing it! Maybe you do? Anybody?..
Jan-26-05  mirunik: i think 49..rxf2+50 rxf2 ne3+ 51. ke1 nxc2 52. rxc2 wins too what about you ?????
Apr-08-05  aw1988: What is the big deal of analyzing h4? It is a simple move.
Apr-24-05  aw1988: Maybe I should add something to that, for fear of sounding just a little egotistical. I mean, h4 is easy enough- if black captures the rook, his own rook falls, and if gxh4 simply gxh4. Everything is balanced.
Apr-24-05  Milo: aw: don't forget ...Rf7 Rc2
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <aw1988> How about 44. h4 Nxf2? If then 45. Qxf2 bxc4, or 45. Kxf2 Rf7+ followed by ...bxc4, and in either case Black comes out the exchange up.

If White doesn't take the knight, Black's a pawn up and White's kingside is weakened, so at least it requires further analysis before concluding <Everything is balanced.>

Apr-24-05  aw1988: God, sorry. My analysis lately has been rather bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: So we agree it is indeed complicated.

Maybe it starts with 44. h4 Nxf2 45. Qb3 (guarding d3 while eyeing e6). White then looks very likely to win back the pawn at least, for example 45...Ng4 46. Rc8! or 45...Qf7 45. Rc5. Perhaps this is why Keres thought 44. h4 would have held.

Oct-03-09  The Chess Express: I love the way Keres handled the opening. He usually found a way to maximize the scope of his pieces. In the game 18. Nh4 may have been a blunder. It accelerated black's kingside attack. How about just 18. a4 and get on with the minority attack?

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Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: In Weeramantry's book he advises not to fianchetto your knight.

Here Keres makes Smyslov fianchetto his knight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

"Against Smyslov, Keres adopted tactics similar to those in... K Junge vs Alekhine, 1942 at Munich 1942. The central battle was whether Smyslov could force P-K4. When Keres effectively prevented the thrust, his rival became desperate and sacrificed a pawn unsoundly."

Smyslov to play:

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D.A. Yanofsky and H.J. Slavekoorde, "Battle Royal... A Round by Round Account of the Thrilling Contest for the World's Chess Title." "Chess Life and Review" (May 1948), p.8


Harry Golombek on <27.b5?>:

"In a quite even position, [Smyslov] suddenly procured for himself a chance of losing by a completely unsound Pawn sacrifice, the point of which seemed based on a hallucination."

Harry Golombek, "The World Chess Championship 1948" (Harding Simpole 1949), p.91

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: When I studied the games by Keres decades ago, I was deeply fascinated by this particular game. It's an extremely complicated game with complex positions all the way. The combination Keres initiated with 42.-Ng4 is one of the most impressive I can think of. I know some classics can't stand the test by the Houdinis of today, but I couldn't care less. For me this is a game of high originality, deep thinking, profound strategy and exitement. Both Smyslov and Keres should be praised for this demonstation of skills.
Aug-20-14  Howard: Hmmmm, GOTD candidate ?!
Oct-16-18  Saniyat24: the f-file showdown...!
Oct-16-18  NBZ: Interesting game! As <WCC Editing Project> pointed out (5 years ago!), 27. b5 is a baffling move and the beginning of White's troubles.

Smyslov must have thought he was winning a piece if Black played 27. ... Nxb5 28. Qc5 c6 29. a4, but I guess he did not see 29. ... Nd7! (at least not when he played his 27th move).

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