chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Zvonko Vranesic vs Vasily Smyslov
Amsterdam Interzonal (1964), Amsterdam NED, rd 20, Jun-16
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Huebner Variation (E41)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 2,718 more games of Smyslov
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: To flip the board (so black is on the bottom) press the "I" key on your keyboard.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE.  [CLICK HERE]

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Once, this was a game of very high importance in the fight for the chess throne. Moreover, its story is quite singular; this is what Lev Polugaevsky writes:

<I should give an account of one quite unique incident. Nominally my name did not figure in it, but I was directly involved, and essentially became one of the main actors.

In 1964, Amsterdam, the Interzonal Tournament for the World Championship... I was not a participant, but I arrived there in what was for me an unusual role: ex-World champion Vasily Smyslov had invited me to be his second in this tournament, and I happily agreed.

By the rules of the event, the Soviet grandmasters -- of whom there were five -- were placed in an extremely difficult situation on account of the limit then in force: to reach the Candidate Matches a player had finish in the first six, but for the Soviet 'quintet' only three places were allowed.

So it was not surprising that, in the battle for, a 'mad' race begun over the marathon distance of 23 rounds.

Towards the finish Smyslov succeeded in bursting ahead. Before the last round he had to play off an adjourned game with the young Canadian master Z.Vranesic, where the ex-World champion had a positional advantage. In the event of win, Smyslov had a real a very real chance of contending one of the first places, so the point as especially valuable.

The endgame in the adjourned position did not seem complicated, but we did not relax, and thoroughly analysed all the possible continuations. The entire analysis was noted down by Smyslov on a sheet of paper.

On the morning of the day for adjournments, we were strolling contendly along one of Amsterdam's central streets, in fine and sunny weather that was fully in keeping with our optimistic mood. It was then that we bumped into our good friend, the Belgian grandmaster Alberic O'Kelly de Galway, who was there as Vranesic trainer. 'Alberic!' exclaimed Smyslov, 'why does not your young man resign?!' 'I myself don't know, Vasya,' replied O'Kelly with a modest smile, 'what can he be counting on?'

And there Smyslov did something that was hard to explain -- evidently it was the tension of the fatiguing struggle that told: he took out of his jacket pocket the precious sheet with its dozens of secret moves, and stated imposingly: 'Here we have taken into account all White's saving attempts, and in every case he has to resign!' Who could have thought that this at first sight unwise gesture of the always correct ex-World Champion was in fact to prove a very strong 'chess move', and that it was destined to play a decisive role in the fate of the game.

At this point we reached the hotel where O'Kelly and Vranesic were staying. 'If you like, Vasya, I could take your sheet for a few minutes and show it to my young colleague; perhaps it will convince him.' Smyslov looked inquiringly at me, and after a moment of thought, firmly said: 'okay!'

The Belgian grandmaster went up to Vranesic's room, and soon returned with the words: "You know, he looked at your 'dossier' and replied that as yet he has no definite opinion, since he has only now sat down to analyse." Inwardly I felt indignant: 'How pigheaded!' but something in my heart went pit-a-pat.

On arriving at his hotel, Smyslov once again set out the board, and we -- for probably the hundredth time! -- checked the variations we had written down. Yes, there was no doubt, everything was correct, things were hopeless for White. >

To be continued.

Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy:


click for larger view

<Black sealed the strongest move.>

51...a3!

<Weaker was 51...h6 52.Kc4 Nc7 53.Ba3 Kxe5 54.Bf8..., and, by attacking the black pawns, White easily gains a draw.

Our analysis took the following course:>

52.Kc4

<Best practical chance. After 52.Kc2 Black's task is simplified: 52...h6! 53.Kb3 Kxe5 54.Kc4 a2! 55.Bb2+ Kf4 56.Kxb5 Kg3 57.Kc4 Kxh3 58.Kb3 Kxg4, and it is easy to check that the white bishop cannot stop Black passed pawns.>

52...a2 53. Bb2 Nc7!

<This manoeuvre is the crux of the winning plan. The knight heads for f4, and White is unable to defend his pawns.>

54.Kb3 Nd5 55.Kxa2 Nf4 56.Kb3 Kd5!

<Again the best decision. After the plausible 56...Nxh3 57.Kc4 Nf2 58.Kd4 Nxg4 59.Ke4..., the win for Black is highly problematic.>

57.e6

<White exploits his defensive resources to the full. If 57.Kc2 Nxh3 58.Bd4 (otherwise 58...Nf2) 58...Nf4 and then 59...Ng6!, when his pawns fall one by one.>

57...Kxe6 58.Bc1!

<Fighting to his last last breath. After 58.Kc4 the winning method is familiar: 58...Nxh3 59.Bd4 Nf4 followed by Ng6-e5.>

58...Ke5 59.Kc2 Ke4

<It was not too late to go wrong: 59...Nxh3? 60.Kd3...>

60.Kd1


click for larger view

<And in this position Black continues 60...Kf3 followed by 61...Nxh3 with an easy win. This was the final summary of our joint analysis.

Late that evening I left the hotel where Smyslov was staying, and set off home. I was living a long way away, about an hour's walk, with one of the organisers Mr Withaus, who was preparing the tournament bulletin.

For a long time I couldn't go to sleep, and the thought kept nagging: 'Why didn't Vranic resign; after all he saw our detailed analysis?'>

To be continued.

Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Towards morning I somehow managed to cope with my nerves, and fell into a restless sleep (if in general one could call it sleep!).

But the adjourned position was evidently 'wedged' in my brain, which was continuing to work. It was already light when like lightning, an unexpected idea 'struck' me: I jumped out of bed, grabbed my pocket set and... to my great horror I discovered that in out analysis was a terrible 'hole' -- we had overlooked an elementary drawing reply!

Glancing at my watch, I immediately realised that would not have time to see Smyslov: withing half an hour he would be on his way on his way by bus to the adjournment session. An attempt to order a taxi would hardly help, for if was even slightly late, everything would be lost.

There remined only one option: to run! After getting dressed literally in seconds, I dashed out onto the street. I had probably never run as quickly as on that memorable morning! During the marathon I feverishly sought a win in my mind, and, fortunately, I found one. In literally minutes I managed to find a move that would finally dot the 'i'.

With my last breath I reached the hotel and saw that the bus with the participants was slowly getting off. Vasily Vasilyevich, get out!' I managed to shout. Understanding nothing, Smyslov looked out of the window. 'Get out!' I ordered. Realising that something extraordinary happened, the ex-World Champion jumped off the moving bus. Without any superfluous words, on my pocket set I instantly showed the position from the last diagram, and continued: 60...Kf3? 61.h4!! gxh4 62.Bxf4..., and Smyslov immediately went as white as a sheet, realising that the position was a 'dead' draw, and that there was no time for new searching! And then I proudly and reassuringly stated: 'All the same, Vranesic is lost,' and I immediately demonstrated the winning course...

By taxi we quickly reached the tournament hall. Vranesic was already awaiting his opponent. After sitting down at the board, for a moment the ex-World Champion stiffened, evidently bringing himself together. Then a series of moves followed in a rapid tempo, and after 60.Kd1 the familiar position from the diagram was reached. Vranesic expectantly awaited his opponent's move. Smyslov slowly raised his hand and stretched it out... towards his king but halfway... it moved to the side in the direction of the pawn. There followed:>

60...Nxh3!

<The opponent's face flinched, and Vranesic, smiling stopped the clocks: after 61.Ke2 Black has the decisive 61.Nf4+, when the white king has no good square. ...>

Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: By saving this win, Smyslov (+11 -0 =12) tied for the first-to-fourth place in the tournament with Bent Larsen, Mikhail Tal, and Boris Spassky. More importantly, Smyslov edged out by a mere half a point Leonid Stein (fifth, +10) who, together with David Bronstein (sixth, +9) had to step aside for other players. Those turned out to be Borislav Ivkov (seventh, +7) and Lajos Portisch (eight-ninth, +6), the latter after his playoff wictory (+2 =1) over Samuel Reshevsky.

In the following candidate matches, Smyslov was eliminated by Efim Geller (-3). At the end, it was Spassky who became the 1966 challenger in Petrosian-Spassky World Championship Match (1966).

---

Smyslov's off the board 'move' was quite unorthodox and it is hard to accept it as completely 'kosher' -- Vranic should not have been put in such an awkward position while the game was adjourned. But it is a great story!

(I kept the bit confused time-line of events given by Polugaevsky).

Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Excellent story, Thanks!
Mar-27-10  Hesam7: <Gypsy: Smyslov's off the board 'move' was quite unorthodox and it is hard to accept it as completely 'kosher' -- Vranic should not have been put in such an awkward position while the game was adjourned. But it is a great story! >

It is a great story but how is Smyslov's off the board move not kosher? I mean Vranesic could have declined seeing the analysis.

Mar-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Sadly enough, nowadays such stories won't happen anymore...
Mar-28-10  luzhin: I don't think the great Smyslov comes well out of this story. Apart from the attempt to browbeat a weaker player into resigning, it also shows the extent to which, as Bobby Fischer complained during the same period, the Soviets played as a team in games supposedly between two individuals. Thank goodness GM tournaments no longer have adjournments, so the players have to win their endgames without outside assistance.
Mar-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: While not entirely correct behavior, this story gives a glimpse into the pre-computer age when the only agreed upon certainties were handfuls of known endings.

I especially like the role of Lev Polugaevsky, who emerges as the Sherlock Holmes figure who intuitively knows something is amiss when Vranesic gives a non-committal reply to seeing the analysis-

<The Belgian grandmaster went up to Vranesic's room, and soon returned with the words: "You know, he looked at your 'dossier' and replied that as yet he has no definite opinion, since he has only now sat down to analyse." Inwardly I felt indignant: 'How pigheaded!' but something in my heart went pit-a-pat.>

"pit-a-pat" is the essence of Lev Polugaevsky, who would spend hours on an annoying detail in analysis that no-one else had noticed. And he was also a very sympathetic human being, running after Smyslov to give him the word.

Smyslov comes off as naive in the story. Perhaps because of his endgame ability, he had complete trust in his analysis. And it was his last move of analysis on the paper that was faulty 60...Kf3 when his brain had no doubt turned off because it had looked for some moves like an easy win.

thanks <Gypsy>

Nov-16-11  Shams: Fantastic story from <Gypsy>.
Nov-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Great story! I don't think Smyslov comes off badly. American players also analyzed with seconds - recall the story about Fischer and Benko getting into a fight over Bisguier's services. And I'm sure most players would have been very happy to get to see their opponent's adjournment analysis for free.
Nov-16-11  brankat: Another "Adjournment Story" is related to this famous game:

Capablanca vs Vidmar, 1922

Nov-16-11  brankat: The story.

Here Vidmar adjourned the game. During friendly chat with Capa after the adjournment he told the Cuban that he will, most likely, resign the game without playing on.

The continuation started at 20:00, the Central Hall was full. Dr.Vidmar walked around waiting for Capa so he could resign the game to him in person, but time was passing and clock was ticking... Tournament director came in saying that Capa`s flag will fall any second.

There Vidmar recalled that Capa wasn`t speaking French too well, and they talked in French at the time of the adjournment (in general, prior to WW2 chess elite was mostly communicating in German). It became obvious that Capa misunderstood him, and Dr.Vidmar ran to the board and in the very last seconds managed to resign the game.

That gesture was, in Nottingham 1936, declared as the most beautiful move of the English chess.

Nov-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <brankat> If it had been Reshevsky rather than Vidmar, Reshevsky would have taken the free point. (See Al Lawrence's article in Chess Life this month about Reshevsky, which is available online at the United States Chess Federation website.)
Nov-16-11  Petrosianic: Heck, if it had been Matulovic, he probably would have deliberately told Capa he was resigning just to see if it would keep him from showing.
Nov-16-11  brankat: <FSR> I have not seen the article yet, although I did hear about it. Well, It's been known for a long time that old Sammy had not really been endowed with a high degree of the trait called sportsmanship. So, yes, he probably would have taken the point.
Nov-16-11  brankat: <Petrosianic> Matulovic would be a likely candidate for something like that. Who knows, possibly Kasparov, too, in view of the incident with Judith Polgar during the Linares :-)
Nov-16-11  brankat: <FSR> <Petrosianic>

Speaking of gentlemanly attitude, or lack thereof, only a few days ago I read some anecdotal material at Chessville site, Quotes/anecdotes section, and found one sample which, at first I thought was funny, but a little later realized was actually distasteful and offensive.

Oddly enough it came form a source I would least expect it to, Dr.Max Euwe.. Anyhow, here it is:

<We don't have such dogs in the Soviet Union. – Mikhail Botvinnik (upon seeing a rare breed while on a walk with Euwe in England in 1936)

No, I suppose your people have eaten them all. – Max Euwe (this caused a rift with Botvinnik that lasted for years, but was eventually healed)>

Nov-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <brankat> Lasted for years? Botvinnik must have been very sensitive. I'm sure Euwe wasn't trying to offend him so. In college, another member of our chess team liked to horrify me with stories about eating dogs in his native Philippines, and claiming to have designs upon my dog.
Nov-17-11  SketchQuark: <FSR> Tone and context is important. =P
Nov-17-11  brankat: <FSR> It is possible that Dr.Euwe saw it as a joke. At the same time, apparently, Botvinnik was not possessed of much of a sense of humour, certainly not the "black" one.

But then, chess players are a special breed themselves :-)

Apr-14-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Gypsy> That is some story.
Jan-24-15  Everett: Woof woof
Sep-29-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <luzhin: I don't think the great Smyslov comes well out of this story. Apart from the attempt to browbeat a weaker player into resigning, it also shows the extent to which, as Bobby Fischer complained during the same period, the Soviets played as a team in games supposedly between two individuals. Thank goodness GM tournaments no longer have adjournments, so the players have to win their endgames without outside assistance.>

Nonsense. If there had been as many strong US players the same thing would have happened. And in fact Smyslov didn't want Spassky to win, he would have been "browbeating" Spassky or anyone else, in fact the term is wrong as it was merely his feeling that the analysis was water tight. This sounds like nerves, and there is nothing wrong with it. Now Smyslov's ambition was, like all the others to win the WCs HIMSELF. Adjournments also helped Fischer alhough in one famous case his analysis missed a draw against Keres. But adjournments meant some great blunders on resumption, and some great wins.

Fischer gave up chess, it is not clear why, but there had been an agreement between Karpov and Fischer that the match wasn't to either of their liking.

Fischer actually got on well with Smyslov: Smyslov went on to play and played Kasparov in a match to decide who would challenge for the world champs when he was quite old, in fact, during the match Kasparov celebrated his 21st and Smyslov his 60th.

Fischer's griping about the Soviets etc was a part of the insidious madness that was to send him, well send him spinning into loopy land.

Sep-29-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <brankat....(i)t's been known for a long time that old Sammy (Reshevsky) had not really been endowed with a high degree of the trait called sportsmanship. So, yes, he probably would have taken the point.>

More than likely.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.


NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Endgames virtuoso Smyslov
by LESTRADAR
Endgames virtuoso Smyslov
by mneuwirth
Amsterdam Interzonal 1964
by sneaky pete
zz30_B:N - Realise their magic relationship
by whiteshark

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC