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Boris Spassky vs Lajos Portisch
Spassky - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1977), Geneva SUI, rd 13, Aug-14
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation. Botvinnik Defense I (B25)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-03  lordazol: At the end position of Spassky's winning games there is a good balance of the materials.There is a lot of possibilities for his opponents but all the way goes losing.Even great Portish had been lost his way at the Spassky's labirents.
Nov-23-03  Spitecheck: Spassky utilises his pieces much better than his opponent. Often Spasski would give away pawns here or there but through superior piece play he would often reap a greater reward than the original investment. He'd probably make a great business man, even from the background of the Soviet Union. It's ashame that we never got to see his "best" play as much after he won the World Championship.

Spitecheck

Aug-18-09  Helios727: In the final position, what is white's winning plan? Is it to consolidate his king and knight and then push the d-pawn?
Aug-18-09  sfeuler: I would think play on g7 - Bxg7 wins a piece, since Qxg7 Rg6 pins the Queen.
Jul-11-10  patzerboy: I love the recurring theme of kicking the hapless knight all over the queenside starting at move 26. Four times the knight comes under attack, eventually being driven to the edge of the board at move 31, as Spassky consolidates his grip on the center.
Apr-15-13  Everett: 34.Nh5 is nice, releasing the potential power of the rest of Spassky's army.
Apr-15-13  WiseWizard: I wonder if Smyslov influenced Spassky's handling of the closed sicilian, he also played it excellently. I'm surprised Carlsen hasn't used this opening it would suit his style well. Carlsen's opponents would be wise to avoid his d3 Ruy Lopez as he is masterful at slowly taking the center in those structures, if they respond with 1...c5 they can expect him to play the Rossolimo so switching it up with the closed sicilian would be good, hopefully we see it against Anand in the World Championship match.
Apr-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The more flexible 6....e6 has replaced 6....e5 as Black's choice when the Closed is played nowadays (Opening Explorer).

In the following cycle, these players again met, featuring 6....e6: Spassky vs Portisch, 1980.

Apr-15-13  WiseWizard: Bravo to the tireless opening expert who thought of 6...e6 it fits perfect, white's biggest "trump card" ;) is his flexibility in this structure. Still, someone should tweet Magnus and recommend this to him, would love to see him play it and produce a masterpiece. Have there even been any masterpieces lately?? Are they still possible in modern chess?
Apr-16-13  Everett: <WiseWizard: Bravo to the tireless opening expert who thought of 6...e6 it fits perfect, white's biggest "trump card" ;) is his flexibility in this structure. Still, someone should tweet Magnus and recommend this to him, would love to see him play it and produce a masterpiece. Have there even been any masterpieces lately?? Are they still possible in modern chess?>

Nope. Looks like the game is played out.

May-24-14  dernier thylacine: Strange that Spassky seems not to have seen 33.Qe1! winning a knight by double attack!

His position remains winning however and it is still a great strategic achievement!!

May-24-14  Howard: Oh, that mistake was pointed out in Chess Life and Review in its coverage of the match. Probably the Informant does too.

Incidentally, at the end of this game, the magazine said, "At this moment, Black managed to do two things at once---overstep the time limit and resign."

Nov-23-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Howard: ...

Incidentally, at the end of this game, the magazine said, "At this moment, Black managed to do two things at once---overstep the time limit and resign.">

Portisch knows how to multitask :)

Oct-24-16  Dave12: 27.exd5! is an amazing concept. the pawn would be attacked by 3 pieces vs 2, but there will be no time to capture. 30.Ba3!, c4, Re2, Re1, black has no time to breath. the final blow Nh5 is beautiful. this game shows Spasski in his best field, the middlegame.
Oct-25-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Despite the tactical nature of the game the first piece doesn't leave the board until move 35.


click for larger view

Oct-25-16  Howard: By golly, you're right! I played this game over back in '87, but I didn't notice that fact.
May-21-17  edubueno: Si bien LP planteó una lucha valiente, está claro que las posiciones de doble filo son mucho más fáciles para BS. Además en casi todas las partidas de BS contra 6...e5 las blancas ganaron.
Dec-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Spassky's 33 Rfe1! is in fact the strongest move, according to the computer. The reason being that 33 Qe1 allows Black to get rid of the dangerous Q-side pawns and run with the a-pawn. Portisch could sacrifice with 33 Qe1 Nxc4! 34 Rxe7 Rxe7 35 Qxe7 Qxe7 36 Bxe7 Rc7 and now:

a) 37 Bb4 a5 38 Bc3 a4
b) 37 d6 Bxg2+ 38 Kxg2 Rd7 rounding up the d-pwn c) 37 Re1 Be5

White is still probably winning in line a) but it is hard to judge over the board. Spassky's 33 Rfe1! gave his opponent practically no chance to save the game.

As the adage goes: "When you see a good move - don't play it. You may see a better one."

Dec-27-18  cunctatorg: Really great chess, to be honest!!

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