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Grigory Ravinsky vs Vasily Smyslov
USSR Championship (1944), Moscow URS, rd 11, Jun-06
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E02)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-20-03  ughaibu: This is a remarkable game by Smyslov. At move 20 the position looks quite harmless but Smyslov plays b6 launching a surprise attack on f2.
Feb-22-04  lordhazol: The most beautiful catalan game is Wordchampionship game no 14 Botwinnik-Symslov.Black wins after queen sacrifice.
Feb-22-04  lordhazol: 6 ...Bxc6 black preferable.White has made some queen moves.Black has been made some developments.
Mar-22-06  zev22407: Another fine attack on f2 is in the game Mestel -Smyslov 1982.
Aug-09-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: Like Bridge game: 25...c4 is a "finesse" move , if Rxc4, Bc5 with a powerful attack,where Rc4 will hold the WQ in a4, without defend f2 or line 1. 29.Nd2?? Bf2+ and win Re1 and treated Qf2+. 31.Rxf2?? Nxe4 wins. After 33...Qd4 white is zugswang. After Rf2, black invaded c1 and win.
Aug-07-10  Ulhumbrus: From move 20 Smyslov gains ground until he takes all of it.
Aug-08-10  xombie: It's hard to even tell where white went wrong. As has been pointed out, black keeps gaining ground and hogs all of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game was played in the 13th USSR Championship (1944).

Smyslov finished 2d behind Botvinnik, ahead of Boleslavsky, Flohr, Makogonov, Mikenas and Tolush, with +8 -3 =5.



Edward Winter, ed. "World Chess Champions" (Pergamon Press 1981), p.149

Jun-29-14  zydeco: Smyslov suggests 26.Rxc4 Ng4 27.Re2 Rxc4 (or 27....Bc5 28.Qc2) 28.Rxc4 Bc5 29.Qc2 Qxb5 30.h3 when white organizes a defense.

Smyslov really plays incredibly well: he's very worried about the advance of white's central pawns, so he makes a series of 'neurotic' moves out of the opening -- .....Qd6-b4-a5, ....Be8, ....c6, ....Qc7, all with the idea that he has the two bishops and can take his time solidifying the position before expanding.

Sep-05-18  tigreton: The surviving c-pawn will cause all kind of problems inside White's ranks. He will die, no doubt, but in the meantime the white pieces are completely disorganized, and black ones can invade one after another.
Sep-05-18  NBZ: Like the other posters, I am incredibly impressed by this game. Very fine positional masterpiece from Smyslov. The game's also a great example of something that John Watson keeps emphasizing in "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy." Classical theory says the two bishops are stronger in open positions. Modern theory says yes, that may be true, but very often obtaining the two bishops involve making some positional concessions in the opening. And so we very often see the side with the two bishops playing very patiently, gradually solidifying their positions, eschewing moves that open up the position, and then eventually opening up the position with devastating effect. Smyslov pretty much follows this recipe here, as <zydeco> pointed out: for many moves he is patient and plays within himself despite having the two bishops, and finally when the time is right he breaks free with ...c5!

This is the kind of game that would have mystified me two years ago. Also mystifying to me were some lines of the Nimzo-Indian, where Black first plays Bxc3, doubling White's c-pawns, only to allow them to be undoubled by playing d5 and c5, and in the process opening up the position for White's two bishops. That seemed completely bizarre to me but of course the timing is the crucial thing here: the position opens up before White has had a chance to consolidate.

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