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Vasily Smyslov vs Viktor Korchnoi
USSR Championship (1960), Leningrad URS, rd 5, Jan-31
Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Ultra-delayed Exchange Variation (D79)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: This one's confusing, did Smyslov lose on time?
Mar-11-04  crafty: 55. ♔f4 ♔d4 56. ♔f3 ♔xe5 57. ♔e3 f5   (eval -10.17; depth 25 ply; 1000M nodes)
Mar-11-04  ughaibu: Okay, thanks. I forgot that the king would be attacking both pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <ughaibu: This one's confusing, did Smyslov lose on time? >

As the analysis by <crafty> shows, the final position is totally winning for Black.

What I found confusing was why Smyslov played out this endgame so long. Surely he saw he was dead lost no later than move 50, and probably somewhat earlier (for example, no later than after <46. ... cxd3>; see diagram below).

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Oct-07-13  docbenway: I don't see what is wrong with 32.Bxc6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: <docbenway> Good question. I think both players decided that black could win the rook endgame with 32...Kb6 33.Bxb5 Rxc3 34.Rxc3 axb5! (34....Kxb5 35.Rc7 should be an easy draw) and after 35.Rc3 Ka5 white's rook is passive and the b-pawn is vulnerable.

But White could just retreat the bishop with 33.Bf3 and the after 33....Rxc3 34.Rxc3 black is more active but has nothing very convincing.

The king-and-pawn endgame looks harmless for white: 32....Bxc6 33.Rxc6+ Kb7 34.Rxc8 Rxc8 35.Rxc8 Kxc8 36.Kf3 and white's king protects b3 easily.

Korchnoi wrote in Chess Is My Life that he was proud of this game, even years later. It was a rare thing to outplay Smyslovso convincingly in a positional game.

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