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Boris Spassky vs Lev Polugaevsky
Ch URS (team) (1962), Leningrad URS, rd 6, Oct-27
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-05  Runemaster: After 30.Nxc8, White has an outside passed pawn (although blockaded for now) and a great square for the knight on d6, but I would have expected it to take longer than 11 moves to win the game.

Spassky's plan is simple once you see it. He pushes a pawn to h6, paralysing the Black 'h' pawn, which can then be won. If the Black bishop goes back to the kingside to defend (as in the game), White's passed 'b' pawn advances.

If the Black king had stayed on the kingside to defend, the White king goes to the queenside to support the pawn, eventually winning the Black bishop.

Meanwhile, the White knight and the pawn on e5 squash Black's central pawn majority, so that White is effectively playing a pawn up (the 'b' pawn).

Nov-23-05  paladin at large: <Runemaster> Fine observations on a very interesting game and endgame. In the middle game Spassky managed to make threats on both sides of the board while Black's pieces all committed to the queenside. 10. Bxf6 would have disrupted Black's kingside pawns but, Spassky may have been concerned that Black could thereafter mount a serious kingside assault with the bishop pair and by playing b5-Bb7-Ke7, placing rooks on g and h files and advancing the h-pawn. I get the feeling that Spassky had this one well in hand.
Nov-03-06  drukenknight: interesting comments here but I think Polug. messed up the endgame. One rule I try to follow is to use the K as the main blockader it seems like he violates this rule on move 38 when he wanders the K over, what if:

39. Ne8 h6
40. Nd6 Bh5
41. Ke3

does something like that hold?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <drukenknight>
Before going into the line, I'd like to discuss this very interesting remark of yours.

<One rule I try to follow is to use the K as the main blockader it seems like he violates this rule on move 38 when he wanders the K over>

Your rule must be motivated by efficiency - blockade a pawn with the least mobile piece possible. In the extremes, it's good to block a pawn with a pawn, and bad to block a pawn with a queen or rook.

But in this game, the choice to blockade with the king or the bishop is not so clear, because the bishop is a "bad" one hampered by its own pawns, while the king is in an active position able to counterattack the center.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <drukenknight>
On 38...Bd1, White can go after the h-pawn with 39. Kg5. Now Black will still have to blockade the pawn with the bishop, becuase 39...Kb4 40. Kh6.

So it might go 38...Bd1 39. Kg5 Kd4 40. f4 Bb3 41. h5 Ke3 42. h6

click for larger view

I don't see a defense to White's threat of Ne8-Nf6-Nxh7 followed by queening the h-pawn.

Sep-01-07  drukenknight: Jeezus BG I leave you alone for a few months and you've got him all messed up, is it possible for black's K to grab the f pawn in all that? Another endgame I cannot figure. DId I mention that I suck at these..?
Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Spassky plays a brilliant endgame here!

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