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Igor Bondarevsky vs Vasily Smyslov
Moscow Championship (1946), Moscow URS
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Delayed Exchange (C85)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-31-04  Whitehat1963: Good game.
Apr-29-07  notyetagm: Position after 26 ... f5-f4!:

click for larger view

This pawn thrust by Smyslov is one of my favorite little tactical shots.

With 26 ... f5-f4!, Smyslov (Black) appears to leave the Black g4-pawn en prise. But what happens if the White e3-knight grabs the Black g4-pawn with 27 ♘e3xg4?? ? Then Black simply plays 27 ... h7-h5! and the White g4-knight is <TRAPPED> because it has <NO RETREAT>.

(VAR) Position after 27 ♘e3xg4?? h7-h5!, trapping White g4-knight:

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The tactical shot 26 ... f5-f4! perfectly exemplifies the tactical theme that I call <YOU CANNOT GO FORWARD IF YOU CANNOT GO BACK>. 26 ... f5-f4! leaves behind the Black g4-pawn but it also <GAINS TIME> on the White e3-knight to gain control of the e3-square. Now if the White e3-knight dares to go forward with 27 ♘e3xg4??, it cannot go back to its original e3-square because that square is now controlled by the Black f4-pawn. After 27 ... h7-h5! the White g4-knight is <TRAPPED> since it has <NO RETREAT> at all: it cannot go back to e3 or go safely to any other square.

The result of this alert tactical shot by Smyslov is that Black has advanced his kingside pawns with a <GAIN OF TIME> and driven the White e3-knight to the back rank. Tactics in supports of strategy is a beautiful thing in chess.

Position after 26 ... f5-f4! 27 ♘e3-d1:

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Apr-29-07  s4life: Kramnik must have learn something from this guy... at least when it comes to pushing pawns.
Nov-10-08  SufferingBruin: Jeremy Silman used this game in his How to Reassess Your Chess Workbook. Silman asked, "What should white do about black's f-pawn advance after 12... f5?"

In the book, Silman points out that e5 is weak--a passed pawn, yes, but the square in front of the pawn is firmly controlled by black after Ne6. Silman recommended <13.Bg5!>; in an open position, it's best to exchange the bishops and turn the game into a more manageable bishop/knight vs. bishop knight position. (Silman p.123)

For what it's worth, folks.

Sep-11-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: Black forced the white P to white squares (from his B), and white helped him change the opposite Bs for N x B ending, where three passed P is more powerful then only one. If Kb2, c3+ Kxa2 c3xd2 and win (New Q in c1) or Kc1, c3, followed by Bd5 and white will not promote his P in a7.
Oct-09-09  zanshin: In 'The most instructive games of chess ever played', Chernev (1965) writes:

<34...a5!> Preparation to return one of the Pawns if necessary, and free his Bishop.

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Rybka 3 says <34...a5?!> (-4.06); better is <34...Bxb3> (-5.12), e.g., 34... Bxb3 35.Nxb3 c4 36.Nd4 Nxd4 37.Bxd4 a5 38.Kf2) and the pawns cannot be stopped.

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Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This is a beautiful game - Smyslov at his best. The rarely played Delayed Exchange variation 6 Bxf6 is paradoxical; White loses a tempo but hopes to show that the Black set-up with the bishop on e7 and knight on f6 is awkward for him. 12..f5 effectively opened the position for the two bishops. Smyslov recommended 13 Bg5..Bxg5 14 Nxg5..h6 15 b4 with equality. 13 e5? was ineffective as the knight was a great blockader on e6. Smyslov after 14..g5!: "White's difficulties stem from the fact that he has no strong points in the center for his minor pieces." Smyslov dared the white knight to f6 where it proved more of a weakness than a strength. He recommended 26 Bb2 as best though Black would still have been clearly better. If 30 c3 then 30..Bc2 would have won the knight. The answer to 43 Kb2 would have been 43..c3+ 44 Kxa2..cxd 45 a7..d1(Q) 46 a8(Q)..b3+ and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: 30. c3 leads to a nice trapping of the Knight after 30...♗c2!.
Aug-30-12  Naniwazu: Smyslov plays logically from start to finish, and in the process illustrates how best to fight against the passed pawn. After 13...Be6 White can play b4 followed by Nd4 attacking the blockader. The knight in this case is a much better blockader of the passed pawn than the bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game was played in the <25th Moscow Championship 1946> .

Smyslov shared 3d with Alatortsev, Kotov, and Panov, behind Bronstein and Simagin, with +7 -5 =3.

This collection features all of Smyslov's games from this event: Game Collection: Smyslov at the 25th Moscow Championship 1946




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

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Lost Savings Bond
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Like <zanshin>, I'm aware that this game is in Chernev's book "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played". I've been a big fan of this game ever since I played over it in his book. I'd much rather play over a slow squeeze game w/ plenty of ♙ pushes than a game w/ piece/♙ sacs any day. Sacs get old after a while IMHO. A lot of them have similar motifs (♗xf7+, ♗xh7+ etc.). I'm more into long term strategy, ♙ pushes & prophylactic play a la Karpov, Flohr, Smyslov etc.. This game is a true masterpiece & 1 of the keys for Smyslov winning it is what <plang> pointed out: "...Smyslov after 14..g5!: "White's difficulties stem from the fact that he has no strong points in the center for his minor pieces." Bondarevsky valiantly tried to save this lost game but Smyslov's technique was just too good!
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