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Pal Benko vs Vasily Smyslov
Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates (1959), Bled, Zagreb & Belgrade YUG, rd 11, Sep-24
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Maroczy Bind Reti Variation (B41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: Great!!
Apr-01-05  JohnTal: Masterful endgame play by Benko - note how he kept his K and Pawns on dark squares rendering Vassily's bishop irrelevant. Also, his Knight had superior mobility and his 61st move cinched the game.
Feb-26-06  ShadowKiller: Love the way he did that! Shows how useful a bishop is...
Feb-26-06  raminov: very nice endgame played by benko
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Benko notes in his biography that Smyslov's 59th move Kc7 was a losing error.

"Black finally cracks and commits a losing error. He should have played 59...Be8, but Smyslov assumed that, after 59...Kc7, I wouldn't be able to win the h-pawn because my Knight gets trapped."

Feb-26-06  RookFile: Right. And this was adjournment analysis too. Shows you how deep adjournments were analyzed. I'm actually kind of glad adjournments are being done away with, it makes sense to just play it out.
Mar-20-12  jofisher: Silman's "Complete Endgame Course" (p356) has this as being in Zagreb, Croatia. has it as being in Bled, Yugoslavia (now in Slovenia). Can anyone please confirm the location?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <jofisher> This game is from Round 11 and played at Bled. The tournament took place in three cites Bled (Rds 1-14), Zagreb (15-21) and Belgrade (22-28).
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 10 Nd2, 11 Nb3 and 12 c5 was clever play giving Benko the advantage on the queenside. The alternative 16..Bxc5 17 Nxc6..Rxa1 18 Nxe7..Rxf1+ 19 Kxf1..Bxe7 20 Bb5+ would have been winning for White. In response to 25..f6 Benko intended 26 Nxe5!..fxe 27 Bxe5 and if Black takes the bishop (either way) he is mated after a check on the a2-g8 diagonal.

<Pawn and Two: Benko notes in his biography that Smyslov's 59th move Kc7 was a losing error. "Black finally cracks and commits a losing error. He should have played 59...Be8, but Smyslov assumed that, after 59...Kc7, I wouldn't be able to win the h-pawn because my Knight gets trapped.">

In his endgame column in Chess Life Benko gave the following line in response to 59..Be8:

60 b5..cxb 61 Nxb5..(61..Bf7 62 Nc3 followed by 63 Ne4 wins)Kc6 62 Nd6..Bd7 63 Kg4..Kd5 64 Kf4..Bc6 65 Ne4 and Black will lose both pawns.

Oct-19-16  Eduardo Bermudez: Splendid Ending !!
Apr-11-17  Toribio3: Amazing technique by Pal Benko!
Apr-05-18  pawnpro: That's a chess mind
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 74.h7 Kg7 75.h8Q+ Kxh8 76.Kxf7 Kh7 77.b5 cxb5 78.c6 etc.
Jan-06-20  Ratt Boy: Vasily overmatched.
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