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Sergey Vsevolodovich Belavenets vs Vasily Smyslov
Leningrad/Moscow training (1939), Leningrad/Moscow RUS, rd 5, Jan-09
Formation: Queen Pawn Game: London System (D02)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: if 36.Rxe3 so 36....Rg2+ 37.Kh4 Rg5 38. f4 Rh5+ 39. Kg3 Rxh3 #
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: Why does he take on f3 giving up the Queen for knight and rook ? He couldn't have seen all the lines that follow ? Is the position equal after this trade?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There's no need for a strong master to see all the lines following 20... exf3; the positions which arise if Black should move the queen away are wretched. Moreover, the most dangerous White piece, the knight, has gone, along with any initiative, in both the positional and psychological sense.
May-02-08  ForeverYoung: This is a very interesting game to me for two reasons: 1) this opening system I commonly run into and 2) Smyslov's amazing counterattack.

Smyslov sacrificed his Queen because he didn't like his prospects after 20 ... Q moves 21 Ng5!

He points out that White's best winning chances lie in 30 bxa5. After that White's last chance to win was 31 Qe1.

In his book he mentions a fantastic drawing line pointed out by Yudovitch and Belavanets after 35 b7 Rfd7! 36 b8Q Bf4+ and White's King is forced to travel deep into enemy territory and Black is forced to settle for a draw by swinging a Bishop back and forth.

Jul-18-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: After 30...bg5, the only acceptable reply is Qe1 not loosing the time with Qe2 because of reply Td2. So now, after 31-Qe1 Td2 32.cxb6 turns dangerous. The reply must be bxc5. So white can open up some black defense by 32.c4! and has now some counter chances.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: This is a "Tal-like" game by Smyslov with a Queen sacrifice for Bishop and knight and White's King security compromised with double pawns.

The question is is it sound? With the hindsight of 70 years and the assurance of computers it seems not.

Smyslov in his "Best Game" notes also seems to think that it was probably lost with best play. He gives:

<30.bxa5> Bg5 31.Qe2 Rd2 32.Qa6 Be3 33.Rf1 Rb2 34.Qb7+ Kf6 35.Qh7 bxa5 36.Qxg6+ Ke7; but it is not clear where he thought he started to go wrong.

<13...e5> seems to equalise at once, <14.dxe5> Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 Rxe5 =; and perhaps <16...f6> was too loosening, <16....Nd7!?> 17.Qc2 Nf6 seems safer.

After <33.Qf1!> the White Queen is heading to a6 to ravage Black's Q-side and to threaten Black's King:

<33.Qa6> R8d6 34.Qa7+ Rd7 35.Qxc5 Bf6 36.Rb6; and the boot is very much on the other foot.

Even after this, the Yudovich line given by <ForeverYoung> is still a draw:

<35.b7!> Rfd2 36.b8=Q Bf2+ 37.Kg2 Rxb8 38.Qxb8 Ba7+ 39.Kg3 Bxb8 40.Rxb8 =

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Smyslov was weaving a mating net long before white realised it.
Nov-11-09  Bjornemann: <<whiteshark> Smyslov was weaving a mating net long before white realised it.> Well said!
Aug-08-10  xombie: Is more Petrosianesque than Talesque, essentially an exchange sacrifice for positional compensation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game is from a rather unusual event- a <"Leningrad/Moscow International Training Tournament"> (played 3 Jan -1 Feb 1939).

The event was unusual in that three of the four featured "foreign" masters would very soon after become Soviet masters.

<Samuel Reshevsky> was an American citizen and unambiguously a "foreigner" in this event. The Czech <Salo Flohr>, however, had already taken up residence in Moscow and would soon be a Soviet citizen. The Hungarian <Andor Lilienthal> had been a Moscow resident since 1935, and became a Soviet citizen later in 1939. Paul Keres was a citizen of the Republic of Estonia at the time of this tournament, but, arguably, briefly became a "de facto" Soviet master when the USSR invaded Estonia on June 16, 1940.

<Smyslov> had recently earned the Soviet Master title, but he fared poorly against such tough opposition, managing only shared 12th, behind Flohr, Reshevsky, and Lilienthal, scoring +4 -5 =8.

User: crawfb5 has created a collection of this tournament with an interesting introduction: Game Collection: 1939 Leningrad/Moscow

Jan-20-18  tigreton: This game shows another virtue of Smyslov, not so well know as others: resilience.
Jan-20-18  Howard: Personally, I've never really understood why people said that Smyslov had a very "harmonious" playing style---perhaps someone could help me out here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Smyslov himself said he had a harmonious style, so everyone else just copied him. After all, he should know, shouldn't he?
Jan-21-18  ughaibu: Maybe he was talking about his singing. . . .
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