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Vasily Smyslov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Leningrad-Moscow (1967), Leningrad URS, May-??
Indian Game: Anti-Nimzo-Indian (E10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: A trip of his Rook on the Kingside cost black the game. The Rook ending is quite instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <A trip of his Rook on the Kingside cost black the game.>

Black's problem is that the b-pawn is overextended since his 18th move. It is normal to seek a counterattack on the kingside as he did.

Maybe 22...♗xf3 23. ♗xf3 ♕c2 is a bit better (in the game, White's knight was very good for queenside attack and defense).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <beatgiant> You are right. It's hard (if not ├»mpossible) to find any satisfactory defence of black b-Pawn, if black did not trade white Knight in the 22nd move as you have suggested and then allowed white to exchange Queens, but still Korchnoi's manoeuvre with Rook which was then practically out of play helped Smyslov to win weak b-Pawn. Maybe it is not sufficient, but after 26...Ra2 27.f3 (27.Nd3 Ne4 28.Rc2 b3 29.Rc8+ Kh7 30.Kf1 Ra1+ 31.Ke2 Rh1 - it's here much better than in the game as black Knight is on e4 and after 32.h4 Rh2 black threatens Nxg3) 27...Nd5 it is not so easy for white to attack black b-Pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <26...Ra2 27.f3 (27.Nd3 Ne4 28.Rc2 b3 29.Rc8+ Kh7 30.Kf1 Ra1+ 31.Ke2 Rh1 - it's here much better than in the game as black Knight is on e4 and after 32.h4 Rh2 black threatens Nxg3) 27...Nd5>

A very interesting try! But what is the continuation after 26...♖a2 27. ♘d3 ♘e4 28. ♖c2 b3 29. ♖c8+ ♔h7 30. ♔f1 ♖a1+ 31. ♔e2 ♖h1 32. ♔f3 , so that on 32...♘d2+ 33. ♔f4 g5+ 34. hg hg+ 35. ♔e5! threatening both the queenside ( 36. ♔d4 ) and the kingside ( 36. ♔f6 ).

My suggested improvement for Korchnoi (in the actual game) is 28...g5 to get there <before> White's h4. Of course, it also weakens the kingside a little bit, so maybe White can play for positional pressure with something like 28...g5 29. ♘d3 ♖h1 30. ♘e5! ♖xh2 31. ♖d4 ♖h1 32. ♖xb4 ♘d5 33. ♖b7 .

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: < 32. ♔f3 > Correction to my previous post, I meant to say 32. h4 ♖h2 33. ♔f3 .
Mar-24-20  ronaldpatzer: The threat of Rg1 after Ne5 forced the black knight to abandon the pawn. 32. Ne5 was a clever move, preventing ...g5 (because Nf3 attacking the pawn a second time and the rook at the same time), There was constantly the threat of Nf3 ...Rh3 Rg1 followed by Kf1 and Kg2 trapping the black rook.

Nf6 saves the rook because 34. Rg1 Ng4 35 Kf1 Nh2+ Kg2 Nxf3 (attacking white rook), Kxf3 and after Rh2 white's king can't come close to the black rook.

The simple fact that black was required to go 29... Rh1 to activate the rook clearly shows that Smyslov was absolutely right in his evaluation that the b pawn of black was too far advanced and winnable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Endgame virtuoso Smyslov makes it look easy. White picks off black's weak b pawn while giving no counter play.

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