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Vasily Smyslov vs Alexander Kotov
t Moscow (1943)
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 68 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-17-03  Ribeiro: This is a nice game from the opening to the end!
Jun-17-03  drukenknight: it seems that black needs to exchange very quickly if he is to survive this attack, 25...Nf4 creates more problems but maybe 26...Ne5?
Aug-05-03  PVS: Our friend Kotov again, escaping the mate with 29...Kf8. I do not see the losing move.
Aug-05-03  ughaibu: I like neither 20....d4 nor 23.....f6.
Aug-05-03  Ashley: You are thinking 20...dxe 21.Nxe4 Nd5?
Aug-05-03  ughaibu: How about 20....Nd4?
Aug-05-03  Ashley: That would open up the f-file for white's rook after the exchange of knights. Would not white's knight on c3 end up dangerously posted on d5?
Aug-05-03  ughaibu: If all the knights are exchanged on d4 and d5 and after Qd5 the queens also are exchanged white's pawn on g4 will look a bit silly and the pawn on d4 will effectively restrain white's queenside majority, I think black would have an easy game.
Aug-05-03  PVS: Could one of you give a concrete variation? I am too old to follow this.
Aug-05-03  ughaibu: 20....Nd4 21.Nxd4 cxd4 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.exd5 Qxd5 24.Qxd5 Rxd5
Oct-20-03  Tigran Petrosian: very nice
Feb-20-05  who: Kotov gives 20...dxe4 as winning
21.dxe4 Nd4 22.Rb-d1 Qc6 or
22.Nxe4 Qc6 23.Qh3 f5 24.gxf5 Rxf5
Feb-24-05  chess man: Smyslov was on a rampage! Look out!
Aug-11-07  sanyas: 20...d4 was quite probably the losing error, while 20...dxe4 would have kept an advantage. If 26...♖f7, then 27.♖xg7+! ♔xg7 (27...♖xg7 28.♕xh6+ ♔g8 29.♕xf6 should eventually win) 28.♗xh6+ ♔h8 29.♗g5+ ♔g8 30.♗xf6 ♖xf6 31.♖g1+ ♔f7 32.♕h7+ ♔e8 33.♖g7 ♖f7 34.♕h8+ ♔e7 35.♖xf7+ ♔xf7 36.♘g5+ ♔e7 37.♕g7+ ♔e8 38.♕g8+ ♔e7 39.♕f7+ ♔d6 40.♕f6+.
Jul-31-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: After 30.Rh7, some Kotov answers were forced. 31..Kd6 avoids 32.e5. Wins a piece with 34.f6! and 36.Rhxg7 (if ...Rxg7, 37.Qxf6+ and Rxg7 or Qxg7) 38.b4! also have tatics: Qxd5, 39.Qxd5 and Rxf7. 38...Te8?? 39.Qc5+ and Qa5++. 41. Nxc6 win a R and treatened Nd8+_ win the BQ. that's why Nxe4 reply (also treatened the WQ)but bxc5 end of story: after Kb4, 43 Nd4+! and dxe4. Black has not Qf3+ Qf1+ perpectual check to find some draw!
Apr-01-10  backrank: 34. f6!! would make a good Wednesday/Thursday puzzle.
Dec-19-12  Naniwazu: A quicker win would be 27. Bxh6! Bxh6 28. Rg6 and to avoid mate Black has to play 28...Ng7 29. Rxh6+ Kg8 30. Rh7 Kf7 31. Qh5+ Ke7 32. Rxg7+ Kd6 33. Rxd7+ and Black loses his Queen.
Mar-01-14  LIFE Master AJ: A truly beautiful game ...

# 68 in the Soltis book, "The 100 Best."

Mar-01-14  LIFE Master AJ: Soltis reports that Smyslov was only 22 when he played this game.

Kotov was already well known and had nearly beaten Botvinnik a few years earlier. (Kotov would also go on to write great chess books and also he had a TV series on Soviet television on chess.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: I've been surprised, playing through Smyslov's games collection, how many of his games (at least from the 1940s) involve sacrifices. I'd thought of him as being like Karpov or Capablanca and sacrificing only when it's absolutely correct.

Smyslov says that 12.a3 and 14.Rb1 are directed against the possibility of black's castling queenside.

Smyslov suggests 20.....dxe4 21.Nxe4 Nd4 and feels that the game would have been about equal.

31.....Rc8 (intending 32.....Kd8) would have lost to 32.Ng5! fxg5 33.Bxg5+

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: <Naniwazu> Black can defend after 27.Bxh6 with 27.....Kg8 28.Rg6 Rf7 29.Rbg1 Kf8 with a position slightly better than what he had in the game.
May-09-18  tigreton: Poor black king, he never found a moment of rest, after such long journey.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: These chess icons must have been exempt by Stalin from serving in the red army which was fighting successfully the Nazis (left handed?)
Nov-18-18  jphamlore: From Smyslov's 125 Selected Games, page 31:

<...White will not try to regain the sacrificed material immediately, but will build up an attack by systematic pressure. Here one has to rely on an evaluation of the position based on general principles, rather than calculate concrete variations.>

This surprises me. I am sure Smyslov at the board did calculate many deep concrete variations at this precise moment of the game. Wouldn't one need to check at least for variations such as 24. ♘f5! gxf5 25. gxf5 ♘g5, resulting in the position

click for larger view

that after something like 26. ♗xg5 fxg5 27. ♘g5+ ♔h8 28. ♘e6 that Black concretely looks on the ropes:

click for larger view

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