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Boris Spassky vs Tigran V Petrosian
10th Soviet Team Championship Final-A (1967), Moscow URS, rd 3, Jul-30
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-30-05  vinohradska: For me the was the most simple puzzle on so far. My thinking was: The pawn delivers a checkmate in one move. Oh wait... I missed the bishop. Ok, no problem - kill the bishop with the queen.
Aug-30-05  snowie1: The wheels of progress aren't held up by a lack of information, but by the ILLUSION of knowledge..I almost lost the game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Even if Petrosian had foreseen 35.b5 and played instead 35...axb5. Spassky would simply have played 36 Nxb5+ Ka6 followed by 37.Nd6+ winning Petrosian's Rook and the game.
Aug-30-05  Marco65: <YouRang> I guess Petrosian was already scared by 27...Rxg4 28.b5 axb5 29.Qxb5 threatening 30.Rd7 with good position for White, while after 27...Rf4 28.b5 axb5 29.Qxb5 Rxf2 Black forces to exchange rooks and the extra pawn could decide the game at the end. I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: abcpokerboy, the least worst line for black at move 36 appears to be: 36. ... 1-0.
Second "best" is:
36. ... ♗c1+
37. ♔xc1 ♕a3+
38. ♔d2 ♕a2+
39. ♘c2 ♕xa5
Black is "only" down a rook and a knight, but at least no immediate mate is in sight.

Aug-30-05  YouRang: Thanks, <Marco65>. Perhaps you are right -- Petrosian wanted to maintain the threat of Rxf2, thus preventing Spassky from moving his d2 rook.
Aug-30-05  Uchechi: I solved this one in a few seconds.The importance of a queen sacrifice at certain times cannot be over-emphasied!
Aug-30-05  chumpionplya: I must be getting better or this is getting easier. I am sure it is the latter. Solved in maybe 10 secs.
Aug-30-05  Simplification: <snowie1> Interpose and it's mate in 4, starting with Re2+! You've nothing more than a dead draw by repetition, after your best move of Kc2.
Aug-30-05  BrownRecluse: Spassky's games have always seemed to me to be some of the most beautiful on the planet.
Aug-30-05  alexandrovm: 37.Qxd4, if black takes queen, mate follows with b6, beautiful!
Aug-30-05  chess man: Very enjoyable puzzle.
Aug-30-05  BishopofBlunder: Often in chess, as in life, I try to do things in the wrong order. I was determined to push the b-pawn before removing the guard (black bishop). I was sure I could force mate somehow. I quickly found out it doesn't work. So just for fun I tried the Queen sacrifice and, lo and behold! Checkmate city!!!

Nice puzzle. Exciting game. And I thought the French was a dull opening. I guess it depends upon the hands in which the instrument is placed.

Aug-30-05  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution 37. Qxd4+! is a good example of deflection by removing the guard (37...Rxd4 38. b6#).
Aug-30-05  soberknight: Let me clarify something for all the folks who say this is the easiest puzzle in the history of 37 cxd4 accomplishes removal of guard just as well as 37 Qxd4. The difference is that Qxd4 is check - which is what you would need to notice in a game situation. (By the way, I also solved the puzzle in about 15-20 seconds.)
Aug-30-05  haha: I used only 10 second. :D
Aug-30-05  renecon: I see lots of comments like " I solved it in 5 seconds." or " I used 10 seconds to solve". These comments are not necessary here. We need analysis!!!
Aug-30-05  Madman99X: 34. ....Bg5 is death. Surely Rf4 is better
Aug-31-05  aw1988: Pretty finish, but I think 35. b5 would be slightly quicker...
Oct-24-11  sicilianhugefun: strong killer move
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: Petrosian blundered in extreme time pressure.
Oct-24-11  AnalyzeThis: Yes, Petrosian was off during this game. He successfully defended against a lot more violent attacks then this.
Oct-24-12  marljivi: Here are some analysis: 27...Rg4? would give white a winning attack after 28.b5!...(28.Qh7?Qe8! holds the position,but not 28...Rf4 29.Qg8Kc7 30.Qa8Bf2 31.b5!ab5 32.a6!ba6 33.Na5 ;very vicious attack.)28...ab5 (Good trick to notice is 28...Ra4 29.b6Qa3 30.Kb1!Qb3 31.Rb2 .)29.Qb5Rf4 (29...Kc8 30.a6!...(Threatening ab7Qb7,Rd8 )30...ba6 31.Qa6Kb8 32.Na5Ka8 33.Rd8Qd8 34.Qb7mate.)30.Rd7Rf2 31.Kb1Rf1 32.Kc2...(Not 32.Nc1??Rc1 33.Kc1Qa3 34.Kc2Qa2 35.Kd3?e4! 36.Ke4Qg2 and black has at least perpetual check.)32...Rf2 33.Kd1...(Precise until the very end;not 33.Nd2?Qd7!! 34.Qd7Be3 after which white can fight only for a draw.)33...Rf1 34.Ke2Rf2 35.Ke1 .

I agree that in the game 34...Bg5? was the decesive mistake,and that the correct move had been 34...Rf4 instead.After this 34...Rf4 I judge the position to be in dinamic balance.For example after 35.Qh7...(Less than nothing would be 35.b5??Rf2 36.Kb1ab5 37.a6...(37.Qb5??Qe4 )37...Qe6!(But not 37...ba6?? 38.Na5Qe6 39.Ra8!Ka8 40.Qd8Ka7 41.Qc7Ka8 42.Qb7mate.)38.Nc1ba6! 39.Rd8Rd2 40.Rd7Qd7 41.Qe3Kb7 .)35...Rf2 36.Ka3Qc7(36...Bc1?? 37.Nc1Qe3 38.Na2Qe2 39.Qb1 .)37.Qd3...(37.Qh8??Bc1 38.Nc1Qc3 39.Nb3Qb2 40.Ka4Qa2mate;39.Ka4Qc2 40.Ka3Rf3 )37...Qe5 white didn't make any headway (38.Qd8??Bc1 ).

I am not completely sure if in the game 35.b5 (instead of 35.Nd4,which is also winning for white) would have been quicker,but it is true,that this move actually also wins: 35.b5Re2 (35...ab5 36.Nd4 .) 36.Kb1Re1 37.Nc1!!...(37.Kc2?Qe2! 38.Qe2Re2 39.Kd3Re3 40.Kc4ab5 41.Kb5Rc3 and the endgame is about equal.) 37...Rc1 38.Kb2b6 (38...ab5? 39.Qd4Ka6 40.Ra8mate.) 39.ab6Kb6 40.Ra8!...(But not 40.Qd4?Ka5 ,nor 40.ba6?Bf4!! 41.Qd4Qc5 42.Qf6Ka5 .)40...ab5(What else?) 41.Qd4!Qc5 (41...Kc6 42.Ra6 ) 42.Rb8Kc7 43.Qd8Kc6 44.Rc8Kb7 45.Rc5 .

Apr-11-15  A.T PhoneHome: 37.Qxd4 is a brilliant conclusion for this game! Now if 37...Rxd4, then 38.b6# mate.
Jun-21-20  carpovius: Spassky's Wizardry)
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