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Boris Spassky vs Ratmir Kholmov
USSR Championship (1964), Leningrad URS, rd 5, Jan-14
King's Gambit: Accepted. Cunningham Defense (C35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-24-08  Ychromosome: If 24...gxf5 then 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Rg3#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The tournament was slightly more important than a "1st cat" event! This is actually from the second round of a double round-robin playoff following the 1963 USSR Championship. Spassky had already lost to Stein, and had to win at all costs to have any chance of becoming champion. Hence the King's Gambit, which worked like a charm.
Jun-03-12  backrank: Once again, Spassky plays with utmost precision. It's particularly impressive how quickly he gets his rooks into play! By means of some seemingly simple centralizing moves, he achieves a totally superior position. Once Black had to trade his light-colored bishop (which Spassky had forced him to do by the knight maneuver Nd5-e3-f5), his King's wing lacks shelter and collapses quickly. A simple queen manoever (Qd3-e4-h4) accomplishes the job. 24. ... Rg8? was a blunder in a lost position. On Black's only try 24. ... Kg7, White wins by 25. Qf6+ Kg8 26. Rh5! Re8 (there is nothing better) 27. Rxh7 Kxh7 28. Rf4! with the deadly threat Rh4.
Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: It is an understatement that Kholmov isn't doing too well here! Then again, Spassky made a living playing King's Gambit.
Apr-08-15  Howard: By the way, A.T PhoneHome, you might want to check out the games from the 1964 Soviet zonal tournament.

That's the one where Spassky started out with a mediocre score of only one point out of his first four games, in a 12-round event. But, from that point, he steeled himself and...

...check it out for yourself !!

Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Haha, I will eventually! I am going through the games in jakaiden's game collection "Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games"; I am getting there. :P

Thanks for the heads-up, <Howard>! Appreciated.

Apr-08-15  Howard: Also, try Googling this:

"rise and fall of Boris Spassky"

This will take you to a website which, frankly, gives a pretty good account of Spassky's early career.

Check it out !

Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: My mother told me never to go to places strangers tell me to. :P just kidding, I'll have a look man!

And I never thought Spassky "fell"; he just had his own brain and he didn't want to be ordered around but I can also understand why people say that he fell or "lost appetite".

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: White's army was well coordinated throughout the game while Black's forces were very passive, especially the Ra8 which was out of play the whole time.

<Black's only try 24. ... Kg7> Could 24 ... Qxf5 25. Rxf5 gxf5 last longer? 26. Bd3 Rg8 27. Bxf5 Rg7 holds h7, or 26. Qf6+ Kg8 27. Bd3 Ne6 28. Qxf5 Rfe8 29. Qxh7+ Kf8.

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