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Igor Bondarevsky vs Vasily Smyslov
USSR Championship (1950), Moscow URS, rd 3, Nov-15
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Line (E40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-22-07  Maynard5: Interesting play by Smyslov. He recognizes that he can blockade both of White's passed pawns in the center. Meanwhile, after 28. c5, White's pawns are all on dark squares, in effect opening lines for Black's light square bishop. Around move 30, the counterattack begins. Black's bishop, seemingly inactive up to this time, springs into action with 30. ... Be4, followed by 31. ... Bc2, after which Black activates the knight with 33. ... Nd5, aiming at the e3 square. By move 39, White's position has been completely destroyed.
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  Richard Taylor: Smylsov considered that 20. Nb4! (his annotation) was the best move there. The idea to swap the white B and then relocate his B on a6 (where he had applied pressure to c4) back to b7. His move 16. ... Nh5 was also good to stop Bg3 but then 19. ... Nc6 seems not quite so good as White can now play 20. Nxc6 Rxc6 21. f3 (a computer move) Bb7 22. Qf2 a6 23. Nc3 Re8 24. Qe3 Rcc8... and Black is now able to make an attack against the central pawns (the pawn couple or "hanging pawns"); but from a practical or human point of view what seemed to happen was that Bondarevsky was trying to win (he had some advantage and although 19. a4 looks as though it allows the 'hole' on b4 it seems to still be best, but after 20. f4 Smyslov thought it wasn't good for Black to take the pawn on d4 after exchanging the b5 N, and played Nb4. It is hard to see where Bondarevsky went wrong but it shows how such positions can have weaknesses (the attempt with a5 is good but inaccurate) and Smyslov is able to take advantage of errors to basically blockade, indeed, as <Maynard5> said, the pawn couple now that the White Bs have been eliminated. Then he gets a passed pawn. It is quite hard to see how this came about, even with computer help.
May-29-15  zydeco: Very high class game.

Smyslov had to calculate that 17.cxd5 Nf4 18.Qe4 Nxd3 19.dxc6 Bxh4 leads to nothing.

According to Smyslov, Bondarevsky planned a pawn sacrifice with 20.f4 Bxb5 21.axb5 Nxd4 22.Qf2 Nf5 23.g4 Nd6 24.g5 Nfe4 25.Qg2.

20....Nb4! drastically alters the position. Once black exchanges knight for bishop, he has all the long-term prospects.

Smyslov seems impressed with 26.a5 - "a clever way of complicating the struggle anew."

Smyslov criticizes 30.Ne2. White could have complicated the game with 30.Na4.

Smyslov passed up the opportunity to win the exchange with 36....Nc4 37.Qc3 b2 38.Qxc2 bxa1=Q when white has a freer position.

With 44....Bd1 black threatens 45.....Qe2+ 46.Qxe2 Bxe2 47.Kxe2 b2. If 47.c6 b2 48.c7 Bg4.
If 45.h3 black triangulates to make sure the bishop reaches e2 with check: 45....Qf4+ 46.Kg1 Qe3+ 47.Kf1 Qe2+!

Jun-26-22  cehertan: Reminds me a bit of Magnus, seeing the positional and tactical merits of a position most would avoid.
Jun-27-22  suenteus po 147: Instructional game. Smyslov evaluates the position clearly at key moments and then executes plans that build from those evaluations. Eliminating White's white-squared bishop, creating the passer on the b-file, and blockading White's pawns all lead to the ultimate domination of the position and a won game. What's more, playing through the game 3 times in succession, these plans seem to generate from the order of moves in the opening, which now tempts me to employ this myself.

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