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Vasily Smyslov vs Bukhuti Gurgenidze
USSR Championship (1966/67), Tbilisi URS, rd 14, Jan-20
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Knight Variation (A15)  ·  1/2-1/2



explore this opening
find similar games 4 more Smyslov/B Gurgenidze games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-25-12  master of defence: Why this game is a draw? What happens after 87.Kxg5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <master of defence>: A very interesting situation arises after <87.Kxg5>:

click for larger view

White will never be able to force Black's king out of the a8/b8/c7/c8 box, and thus never be able to win Black's a-pawn. Let's advance a few moves at random to see how the problems arise:

click for larger view

Now, if 1.Kd7 Ka8 2.Kc7 is stalemate. Or 2.Bd5+ Kb8 3.Be4 (3.Bb7 or 3.Kd7 are stalemate) Kc8 4.Ke7 Kb8, and again White's king can't approach without producing stalemate.

1.Bd5 Kc8 just runs into the same sort of thing.

Even with an extra minor piece, having an a- or h-pawn on the sixth rank can throw away a win because of the stalemating possibilities. The position would also be drawn if White had a knight. Even odder, if the position was moved one file to the right:

click for larger view

It is still a draw because Black's king cannot be dislodged from a8. If White tries to prevent it from getting there by posting the bishop on the b8-h2 diagonal, then the c8 square serves just as well. Good stuff to remember if you ever find yourself a bishop down in the ending.

Finally, if White has a knight in the third diagram (pawns on the b-file) then he can win. The knight heads for a7, keeping the king out of the corner by controlling the light squares. If Black's king attacks White's pawn, the knight goes to c8. Black then has to try ...Kd7 to attack the knight, which goes back to a7. Eventually White's king has plenty of time to come over and nudge Black's king away without stalemate possibilities.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <master> and <Phony Benoni>: This is indeed useful-I once got myself out of a fix by forcing an ending of the type from the last diagram.
Aug-13-12  vinidivici: 45.Kd5 i think it's not so good move.

Much better 45.h4. Preventing black h=pawn to come through. And later it can be attacked by the bishop.

Shame...its an easy ending though.

Jun-28-13  piertolo: June-28-13 nolot 45.Bb5!! and white wins.
Jan-05-15  Howard: This game was just alluded to on the website. That's why I looked it up here.
Jan-05-15  Howard: Just looked the game up again, quickly. Apparently, Smyslov missed a win by 45.h4, as the above reader indicated back in August, 2012.

Check out for more details.

Smyslov, by the way, didn't do very well in this particular Soviet championship.

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