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Boris Spassky vs Yasser Seirawan
"And Then A Step to the Right" (game of the day Jun-25-2020)
Montpellier Candidates (1985), Montpellier FRA, rd 9, Oct-23
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bonsch-Osmolovsky Variation (C34)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-24-05  AdrianP: Just to flesh out <seven>'s correct analysis

10...Qxe4? Bb5 - if White interposes something, Re1 pins the Queen to the King. If Black plays Rd8, Re1 anyway and Black loses the Q because of Re8#

Nov-13-05  notyetagm: To add a note to <AdrianP>'s analysis given above, even interposing along the a4-e8 diagonal with the c-pawn to threaten the checking White light-squared bishop does not help Black because White can capture the Black queen with his queen and and it's <check>: 10 ... ♕x♘? 11 ♗b5+ c6 12 ♖e1 ♕x♖+ 13 ♕x♕+. Then since Black must get out of check White can rescue his b5-bishop from the Black c6-pawn, thus winning ♕ for ♖+♘.

I've messed up so many attempted combinations in blitz games because I miss exactly this tactical point, a check at the end of a sequence.

Mar-08-06  who: <AdrianP> You mean 10...Qxe4 11.Bb5+ <K>d8 loses to 12.Re1 because of the mate threat.
Dec-17-06  Dr. Siggy: Two remarks about this true poem to Caissa by the great Boris Spassky:

I. In my patzer's opinion, Spassky's 8.Kf2!!! is the most beautiful move played over any chessboard in the last twenty-five or thirty years!

II. Mind you, the database misquotes White's 18th move! Spassky didn't play 18.Rhe1?? (which would have allowed the very strong reply 18...Qh4+!) but simply 18.Rae1!, leaving Black completely K.O.!

Sep-08-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: After the game, Seirawan said that he would love to have another chance at Spassky's King's Gambit. But that's the beauty of Spassky's King's Gambit. He usually took the full point, and rarely, if ever, gave his opponents a second chance.
Nov-03-12  Howard: The latest issue of "Chess Monthly" mentions this game.

Very good game--no question about it ! It's rather surprising though that it didn't make the Informant back when it took place.

Nov-03-12  RookFile: I remember Chess Life actually had a good good and rather humorous cartoon of this game, showing Spassky making the move Kf2! and Seirawan looking dismayed.
Nov-23-14  Mudphudder: Why didn't Yass at least play 18...Qxe1+ and get a rook first before sacrificing the queen?
Mar-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: I'm probably missing hte obvious here, but if 9...Qxe4, and white plays 10Bb5+, black blocks with 10... c6, white swings over the rook to pin the queen to the king --- isn't that trading two minors and a rook for a queen?

Why didn't Yaz take the knight in that circumstance? am i missing a better move here?

Mar-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: My first post doesn't seem to have gone through.

I'm probably missing hte obvious here, but if 9...Qxe4, and white plays 10Bb5+, black blocks with 10... c6, white swings over the rook to pin the queen to the king --- isn't that trading two minors and a rook for a queen?

Why didn't Seirawan take the knight in that circumstance? am i missing a better move here?

Mar-23-15  Jim Bartle: I think white loses only the rook and the knight, because white captures the rook with check, and the bishop can move to safety. (?)
Jun-25-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Funny how the pawns protecting the White King are even worse than Black’s, yet Spassky’s King is safer.
Jun-25-20  Brenin: Great pun: the only criticism is that the step to the right (8 Kf2) precedes the jump to the left (15 Qa6+).
Jun-25-20  Swedish Logician: Spassky's splendid Kf2 brings back memories of White's going the other way, with 12. Kxd2, in what is probably the finest positional King's gambit ever played <Stoltz vs Saemisch, 1932>
Jun-25-20  C. Auguste Dupin: However unsound it may appear from modern theoretical and engine analysis, the good ol' King's Gambit, in my opinion, continues to retain its notorious tendency to make life really difficult for black. Infact if one considers its practical and psychological effects it may even be considered a sound and viable option for white. This is because it takes only a few inaccuracies from black ( and they are almost unavoidable ) to really turn the game in white's favor even from an objective point of view and after that it is white who has a clear strategic and tactical plan.

The great Boris Spassky was always a fan of such openings. He had an opportunistic attacking style in which he combined good strategic ideas with brilliant tactical vision. But most importantly he was an expert of subjective analysis of positions and as Kasparov also said, no matter what the objective evaluation if he felt at home in the position, he would most likely outplay his opponent.

Jun-25-20  goodevans: Black more often plays and has had much more success in this line with 6...Nd5 rather than Seirawan's 6...Ng6.

8.Kf2 is a novelty that has been repeated since. In K Astrup vs L K Nilsson, 1996 black tried 8...Qxe4 which handed white a bit of an advantage but less than in this game.

<Alex Schindler: I'm probably missing hte obvious here, but if 9...Qxe4, and white plays 10Bb5+, black blocks with 10... c6, white swings over the rook to pin the queen to the king --- isn't that trading two minors and a rook for a queen?> That would be true if either the Q was protected or recapturing after 10...Qxe1+ wasn't a check. As things stand black gets just R+N for the Q.

In A Flaata vs O Rause, 2000 black avoided Spassky's 9.h5 by playing 8...h5 and got an equal game which he went on to win.

Jun-25-20  goodevans:


click for larger view

The need to defend against mates on both b7 and c7 means that black <really does have nothing better than> 17...Rxd4 18.Rae1 Rxf4 (19.Qb5+ Ka8 20.Qc6+ Kb8) 21.Rxe7 Bxe7.

Jun-25-20  Cybernian: GM Daniel King recently posted an analysis of this game on his YouTube channel https://youtu.be/OUKcJGhFkn0. Very entertaining, indeed!
Jun-25-20  belgradegambit: To me this is the one and only “step to the right” game: D Khismatullin vs Eljanov, 2015
Jun-25-20  areknames: <belgradegambit> Thanks for the reminder, obviously the "step to the right" immortal.
Jun-25-20  Everett: < The great Boris Spassky was always a fan of such openings. He had an opportunistic attacking style in which he combined good strategic ideas with brilliant tactical vision. But most importantly he was an expert of subjective analysis of positions and as Kasparov also said, no matter what the objective evaluation if he felt at home in the position, he would most likely outplay his opponent.>

Like some other greats, in particular our current WC, who’s currently successful opening repertoire is filled with negative computer evals

Jun-25-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It's really not that complicated fellows. It's just a step to the right!

<https://www.bing.com/images/search?...>

watch closely, now:

<https://www.bing.com/images/search?... >

See? That wasn't so hard.

Forgive this casual chess fans lack of extreme Fischer knowledge but 1) did Spassky ever play the KGA against Bob and 2) how did Fischer do? I would assume if there was a game, he didn't get beat up as bad as Yaz did here.

Jun-25-20  Howard: There was their 1960 game, which was kings gambit
Jun-26-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: I'm tempted to call Seirawan's game rocky, but that might understate the matter.

Indeed, it could be called a horrow show. A rocky horrow show. The very picture of a rocky horrow show.

Jun-26-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Seirawan's king was a Frankenfurter?
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