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Wolfgang Uhlmann vs Vasily Smyslov
"Inner Beauty" (game of the day Jan-01-2021)
Alekhine Memorial (1956), Moscow URS, rd 3, Oct-12
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Quiet Line (E15)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-09-03  tayer: 15. ... Nc2! was nice. If 16. Qxc2 Bxf2+ 17. Kxf2 (Kh1/f1 Bxe1 18. Rxe1 d4) Ng4+ 18. Kf3 (Kf1 Qe3+ threatening 19. ... Nh3#/Qf2#) Qe3+ 19. Kxg4 Rc4+ 20. Nxc4 Bc8+ 21. Qf5 (Kh4/h5 Qh6#) Bxf5+ 22. Kxf5 g6+ 23. Kf6 (Kg4 f5+ 24. Kh4 Qh6#) Qe6+ 24. Kg5 Qf5+ 25. Kh6 Qh5#
Dec-06-03  Resignation Trap: An especially pleasing game by Smyslov.
Uhlmann decided to lose an exchange, instead of letting Smyslov win with a combination involving the scarifice of both Knights, a Rook, and a Bishop.
Jan-31-04  Helloween: 15...Nc2 is one of my favorite moves of all time. Smyslov is simply moving his pieces into his opponent's position and plucking out whatever material he wants at a whim. There is nothing that can be done about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 13.a3 Nd4 14.Re1 looks OK.

Perhaps 14.Nxc5 Nxe2+ 15.Kh1 bxc5 16.Re1.

17.Bxa1 Rfd8 18.Bf3 Ba3 19.Nb1 Rc1

18.Re1 Bxf2+ 19.Kxf2 Ng4+ 20.Kg1 Qe3+ 21.Kh1 Nf2+ 22.Kg1 Nh3+ 23.Kh1 Qg1+ 24.Rxg1 Nf2 smothered mate.

After 18...Ba3, can White offer some resistance with 19.Re1 Bxb2 20.Qxb2 Qc5 21.Nd1?

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Smyslov is a Master of tactics & here he demonstrates his lovely idea to outplay Uhlmann before the real battle could begin.
Oct-21-07  ToTheDeath: Smyslov's 15... Nc2!! reminds me of the finish to the famous game Byrne-Fischer, only here the combination begins at c2, not f2!
Jan-31-09  Absentee: A fantastic game.
Nov-12-09  seagull1756: incredible sacrifice, taking the knight can lead to 16. Qxc2 Bxf2+ 17. Kxf2 Ng4+ 18. Kf3 Qf6+ 19. Kxg4 Rc4+ 20. bxc4 Bc8+ 21. Qf5 Qxf5+ 22. Kh4 Qg4#
Apr-05-11  PSC: I annotated the game for those interested:
Jan-31-12  kiiuglik: at first i thought smyslov decided to win back to piece by Bb4 followed by d4.. lol.. now i realize how simple minded am i
Feb-01-12  waustad: What amazes me is that there was an Alekhin Memorial tournament in Moscow in 1956. I know Stalin was dead but it still seems a bit of a hard core time to be rehabilitating a white Russian. Of course times were changing everywhere and Khrushchev was a lot more humane than his predecessor.
Jul-24-14  jerseybob: <waustad> :<rehabilitating a white Russian> That term has more than one meaning; what exactly is yours, concerning Alekhine?
Jul-24-14  Monocle: <jerseybob> I think it's more likely that Alekhine was an Anti-Bolshevik, than a cocktail.
Jul-24-14  jerseybob: Monocle: That's one meaning, the one I suspect waustad meant. There's also an ethnic, racial sense to the term too. Since Alekhine was born in Moscow, I don't think that applies.
Nov-15-15  ndg2: One of the best mate combinations never played?
Jun-20-20  mike1: Should be game of the day!
" Hiddden Beauty"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: OMG is 15 Nc2!! beautiful.

It looks like taking the knight is best but white is lost regardless.

1) -3.22 (25 ply) 16.Qxc2 Bxf2+ 17.Kh1 Bxe1 18.Rxe1 d4 19.Nc4 Bxc4 20.bxc4 dxc3 21.Qxc3 Qe6 22.Kg1 Qxc4 23.Qxc4 Rxc4 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Bd5 Rc2 26.Bb3 Rd2 27.Kf2 Rc8 28.a3 Rc3

If white plays the obvious looking 17 Kxf2, along with the line given by Tayer above:

1) mate-in-12 (29 ply) 17...Ng4+ 18.Kf1 Qe3 19.Qxh7+ Kxh7 20.Be4+ f5 21.Nd1 fxe4+ 22.Kg2 Qxd2 23.Rc1 Bxe2 24.Rxe2 Qxe2+ 25.Kh3 Kg6 26.Rc6+ Kh5 27.Rh6+ gxh6 28.a4 Qxh2#

and if 18 Kg1, black has the familiar smothered mate chessplayers learn:

1) mate-in-5 (24 ply) 18...Qe3+ 19.Kh1 Nf2+ 20.Kg1 Nh3+ 21.Kh1 Qg1+ 22.Rxg1 Nf2#

The computer improves a bit on Tayer's line:

1) mate-in-5 (21 ply) 18...Qf6+ 19.Kxg4 Rc4+ 20.Nxc4 Bc8+ 21.Qf5 Qxf5+ 22.Kh4 Qg4#

Jan-01-21  Brenin: 15 ... Nc2 is indeed a beautiful move. What a shame that Uhlmann chose a mundane defeat by 16 Rf1, rather than allowing Smyslov to reveal its full beauty with 16 Qxc2 Bxf2+.
Jan-01-21  AlicesKnight: Agree with what has been said; a beautiful unheard melody. The effective loss of two white tempi on moves 13-14 is striking, and expensive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Doesn't an early e3 give white at least a draw in this sort of position?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The consequences of 13.Na4 are not difficult to see for any competent player; bit surprising really that Uhlmann allowed the gain of two tempi for free, and ironically acquiesced in the loss of exchange later rather than allowing his great opponent to demonstrate the full splendour of his conception, a line more difficult to calculate to the end, though forcing in nature.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Happy New Years, everybody.

What a great GOTD to start out the new year.

Jan-01-21  SChesshevsky: <The consequences of 13. Na4 are not difficult to see for any competent player...>

Yeah, feels by then the young Uhlmann was totally surprised in the opening and thought he was in big trouble. Probably correctly. Maybe he saw something that wasn't there for 13. Na4 or tried some sort of bluff but returning the N was pretty much a mental resignation.

Problems may have really begun with 7. Nfd2. Could be he was looking to get a position something like in the QGD Cambridge Springs Nfd2 lines. Opening up the B and eyeing e4 and possibly getting both N's active on the qside and center.

But seems inappropriate here with so many weaknesses. Dark squares and e2. His pieces seem to just get in each others way as it takes way too much time to sort everything out and protect against those weaknesses. Smyslov's pieces attacking from all the right spots didn't help either.

Jan-01-21  waustad: The sheer elegance of Smyslov’s games is astounding.

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