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Vasily Smyslov vs Svetozar Gligoric
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 26, Oct-25
Indian Game: West Indian Defense (E61)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-19-03  Benjamin Lau: Why not 19 e4? Wouldn't the fianchetto protect the pawn?
Jul-19-03  Yuri54: Benjamin Lau:
19.e4 Bxh3, 20.Bxh3 Nf3+ with a very bad game for white
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I can't believe this game was played in the Candidates' tournament. Poor Smyslov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  nasmichael: The joy and sorrow of chess--anything is possible, in any game, ever. It is the players which commit to the telling of the story, and it is their choices at any given moment that send the game towards its end.
Jan-19-07  notyetagm: < Benjamin Lau: Why not 19 e4? Wouldn't the fianchetto protect the pawn?>

Paraphrasing GM Gallagher on the proposed move 19 e4, <"Every time you push a pawn it weakens squares. This time it is f3 and the punishment is severe">.

19 e4 <weakens f3> ♗x♘h3 20 ♗x♗h3 <deflection from f3> ♘f3+ <double attack> and 21 ... ♘x♗d2 wins a piece.

Oct-05-07  notyetagm: White To Play: 18 ?

click for larger view

Here Smyslov played an -incredible- blunder for a player of his class. He played 18 ♖c3-c1?.

Position after 18 ♖c3-c1?:

click for larger view

Question: what is the tactical problem with this move? Answer: it greatly restricts the <MOBILITY> of the White b1-queen!

Whenever you move one of your pieces or pawns, you need to make sure that none of your pieces get <TRAPPED> or have their <MOBILITY> greatly reduced as a result. So you need to ask yourself not one question but -two- questions whenever you move:

1) Did I just <TRAP> the piece that I moved? (Escpecially(!) if you just moved a piece forward from a square it cannot go back to.)

2) Did I just <TRAP> not the piece that I moved but a different one of my pieces by <SELF-BLOCKING> a critical flight square or <BLOCKING> a line of retreat?

That is, you must be tactically alert enough to be on the lookout for -any- of your pieces losing a great deal of their <MOBILITY> and thus being on the verge of being <TRAPPED>.

Oct-05-07  notyetagm: <CONTINUED>

Now we clearly see the problem with Smyslov's 18 ♖c3-c1?. This move -greatly- reduces the mobility of the White b1-queen. In fact, the White b1-queen can move safely -only- along the b1-h7 diagonal, to the d3- and e4-squares in particular! Thus after 18 ♖c3-c1?, the White b1-queen is safe on only the three squares b1, d3, and e4.

So Black (Gligoric) plays 18 ... ♗d7-f5!, taking away all of these squares along the b1-h7 diagonal from the White b1-queen, and suddenly Her Majesty has no where to run away from the Black f5-bishop.

Position after 18 ... ♗d7-f5!:

click for larger view

How can Smyslov now meet the threat to his queen? The obvious 19 e2-e4 weakens the f3-square and loses a piece to the <DEFLECTION> combination 19 ... ♗f5x♘h3 20 ♗g2x♗h3 <deflection from f3> ♘d4-f3+ and 21 ... ♘f3x♗d2.

Seeing no good way to meet the threat of 19 ... ♗f5x♕b1 without losing at least a piece, Smyslov resigned, a shocking 18-move loss for a player who had been the World Champion just a few years earlier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: Everything said so far about Smyslov's 18 ♖c1 is true, but it can't be called a blunder because there is no viable alternative.  Black is threatening to win White's ♕ by ...♖a1, and castling drops a ♖ (18 O-O? ♘xe2+); 18 ♗c1 ♘xe2 is almost as bad, and 18 ♕d3 runs afoul of 18...♗b5, so White must try 18 ♕e4, but then good old 18...♗f5 kills him in a different manner than in the game--details left to the next kibitzer!
Feb-02-10  sfm: <hesyrett: ..Smyslov's 18 Rc1 ... but it can't be called a blunder...> Right. 17.Qb1?? was the blunder, but I wonder if White has a good move. On 17.0-0 Black can grab a healthy pawn with -,Rxd2 18.QxR,Nxe2+. Looks like White has already gone astray earlier.
May-08-10  Marmot PFL: <Smyslov is normally a great gentleman, but at that moment he just stopped the clock and left immediately, because he felt ashamed at himself for losing such a game> Gligoric
Jul-13-10  jerseybob: If you're looking for white mistakes, may I humbly submit 4.dc5? Yes, black takes time to recapture, but gets a nice free game in the center. Gligoric wasn't in Smyslov's league as a player, but 4.dc5 is an insult.
May-30-11  bronkenstein: <Gligoric wasn't in Smyslov's league as a player...> Ignorance is bliss.

Their head to head results didnt confirm this...and he was even better with Botvinnik.

May-30-11  parisattack: Along with perhaps Leonid Stein, Gligo may be the most under appreciated player of the post-war era.

His style of playing 1.d4 is clean and efficient; 'the center is everything' seems to be his motto. His book, "I Play the Pieces" is well worth study.

May-30-11  bronkenstein: Smyslov was better OFC , but I wouldn´t put Gligo in ˝different league˝. Especially not around 1960.

For another illustration , Fischer had quite negtive score with him for years , it was 4:1 (draws aside) for Gligo @ some point in 60s. Bobby managed to equalize by 1970 , then take lead while entering his prime , and Gligo was close to his...50th birthday =)

Bobby had great respect for this man , one of the few friends he had , and they even played secret training match as a preparation for ˝Fischer-Spassky 1992 return match˝.

Unfortunately , it is normal for a strong player which failed to become WC or a challenger , to be gradually forgotten :P

May-30-11  parisattack: <...they even played secret training match as a preparation for ˝Fischer-Spassky 1992 return match˝.>

Some of these games have been posted to, courtesy of David Delucia and <TheFocus>

May-30-11  TheFocus: I share credit with <parisattack> for the posting of the three training games between Fischer and Gligoric.

I wish David DeLucia will release the other seven games. Maybe in his next rumored book.

If not, I hope to beg their inclusion in my book on Fischer. Keeping my fingers crossed on that.

May-30-11  BobCrisp: @#$% <David DeLucia>! Who the hell does this person think he is!?
May-30-11  TheFocus: <Bob Crisp> Why do you say that?
May-30-11  parisattack: David has done a good deed for the chess community by having assembled so much of Bobby's memorabilia in a single - safe - location. And, of course, sharing it with us.

Better in David's fine collection than scattered to the four winds on eBay is my humble take on things.

Yes, there is another much touted Fischer Collection with (apparently) a public display. But compared to David's collection, it is mostly dregs.

May-30-11  TheFocus: <paris> Agreed. Dregs is right. It is one reason he had nothing to do with the acquirement of said collection.

I didn't see his interview in New In Chess. Did you, or do you have a copy of that issue?

May-30-11  parisattack: I do not get the NIC magazine, Issue? Is it in one of the bound NICs? If so, #? I am four or five volumes out-of-date at this time.

And, yes, you are correct (again!). I was told he had no interest in the material, especially at the price it commanded or was expected to command.

BTW <TheFocus> - I reopened my Forum with the topic, The Future of Chess. I will pass the word to those of possible interest in that discussion.

May-30-11  BobCrisp: <David has done a good deed for the chess community by having assembled so much of Bobby's memorabilia in a single - safe - location. And, of course, sharing it with us.>

Remind me, what was the asking price of his recent <Fischer> tome?

Are we to prostrate ourselves gratefully as the rich man casts us crumbs from his table?

And I'm still asking the question: how much, if any, of his collection originally came from the <Bekins mega-robbery>?

May-30-11  parisattack: I believe the original price for the Fischer tome was $300 when issued a couple years ago. The deluxe edition was more, of course.

Given the nature of the material, the quality of the publication, the production numbers, the work involved I doubt Mr. Delucia made much on the book.

I just don't think it would have come out very well as a Hardinge-Simpole, sorry.

One could always snag a nice 'Chess Magazine Owned by Bobby Fischer' for $100 on eBay, catch a piece of the action.

The answer is still 'If you don't pay your bills, s*&t can happen.'

May-30-11  TheFocus: <BobCrisp> <Remind me, what was the asking price of his recent <Fischer> tome?>

Well, I paid $330 for my copy. Worth every cent. I have all three of DeLucia's books. Spent over $900 for them.

<Are we to prostrate ourselves gratefully as the rich man casts us crumbs from his table?>

"A prophet is never honored in his own country."

As to the Bekins sale, you do know that Bobby got almost all of that back, don't you? So, don't shed any tears for Bobby's loss. And if DeLucia did buy it, I can't think of anyone better to have it.

May-30-11  TheFocus: <paris> The NIC issue was earlier this year.
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