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Vasily Smyslov vs Vladimir Mikhailovich Liberzon
USSR Championship (1969), Moscow URS, rd 12, Sep-23
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-04-05  Steppenwolf: The whole d6 line seems useless. Instead of 29 Qf4+?, why not 29 Bc2!, as the bishop cannot be taken because of Rh8 mate, and white now threatens Qg6 mate. And if 29 ...Qg7 to defend g6, then simply 30 Rh8! will remove the Q from g7 and bring mate to g6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <Steppenwolf> After 29.♗c2? Black wins with 29...♕e1+ 30.♔h2 ♕e5+ 31.g3 ♖xc2

Sep-04-05  The beginner: <Steppenwolf>

29 Bc2 also work, just as well. But it will lose the bishop none the less, because of the "inbetween" check Qa1+

29 Bc2 ..Qa1+ (also stops white from mating with Rh8) 30 Kh2 ..Rxc2.

White should still win easely though.

31 Qf4+ ..K moves
32 Rf7+ ..K moves or Q sacs it self on g7, to stop the white threats. The white queen is on the way to seven rank, where it will mate with the rook, unless black gives up his queen :)

Sep-04-05  The beginner: <Jahhaj>

In your line

31 f4 and white is winning

Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: <The beginner, Steppenwolf> Yes, apologies.
Sep-04-05  jacknor: How does white win if 26...KxR instead of ...fg
Sep-04-05  sitzkrieg: I think Bc2 'd win pretty easy. Probably also Qg3. After Bc2 i only don't see a forced win after f5 but with a board it should be easy i think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: 27.Bc2+ f5 28.Rxf5 Rxf5 29.Bxf5+ wins pretty quickly. Black is getting mated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: 27.♕g3+ ♔h7 28.♖f5 also wins. That's what I saw when I first looked at the puzzle. It's not as efficient as the line above though.

Sep-04-05  EmperorAtahualpa: I got it!
Sep-04-05  sitzkrieg: Congrats!
Sep-04-05  Blitz4265: The losing move was 31...Qb3
Sep-04-05  dac1990: I'm going to try to analyze it all:

25.Re6! Qc5

[25 ...fxe6 26.Rxf8 Rc8 27.Qf7+ Kh6 28.Rxc8 Nxc8 29.Bc2 e5 30.g4 hxg4 31.Qf8+ ; 25 ...Qa3 26.Rxg6+! <26.Rxb6 Qa1+ 27.Kh2 Rxc3 28.Qe4 > Kxg6 <26 ...fxg6 27.Rxf8 Rc8 28.d6 > 28.Bc2+ f5 29.Qg3+ Kf7 <29 ...Kh7 30.Rxf5 Qc1+ 31.Kh2 Rxf5 32.Bxf5+ Kh8 33.Qe5+ Kg8 34.Be6+ Kh7 35.Qf5+ Kg7 36.Qf7+ Kh6 37.Qf8+ Kh7 38.Bf5#> 30.Rxf5+ Ke8 31.Qg6+ Kd7 32.Rxf8 Rc4 33.Qe8+ Kd6 34.Rf6+! exf6 35.Qf8+ Kc7 36.Qxa3 ; 25 ...Qd8 26.Rxb6 Rd7 27.Qe3 ]

26.Rxg6+! fxg6

[26 ...Kxg6 27.Bc2+ f5 <27 ...Kg7 28.Rg4+! hxg4 29.Qxg4+ Kh8 30.Qh5+ Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kh8 32.Qh6+ Kg8 33.Qh7#> 28.Rxf5 Rxf5 29.Bxf5+ Kh6 30.Qf4+ Kg7 31.Qg3+ Kh8 32.Qe5+ Kg8 33.Be6+ Kh7 34.Qf5+ Kg7 35.Qf7+ Kg6 36.Qf8+ Kh7 37.Bf5#; 26 ...Kh7 27.Qxh5#]

27.Rxf8 Qxc3

[27 ...Rc8 28.Qf7+ Kh6 29.Bc2 Qd6 30.Rxc8 Nxc8 31.g4! hxg4 32.Qf8+ Kh7 33.h5 g3 34.hxg6+ Qxg6 35.Qf7+ Kh8 36.Bxg6 gxf2+ 37.Kxf2 Nd6 38.Qh7#]

28.Qf7+ Kh6 29.Qf4+ Kg7 (29 ...Kh7 has the exactly same result) 30.Rf7+ Kg8

[30 ...Kh8 31.Qh6+ Kg8 and white can choose either 32.Qh7#, 32.Rf8#, or 32.Qf8#]

31.d6! Qxb3

[31 ...Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Qxf4+ 33.Rxf4+ Kg7 34.Rf7+ Kh6 35.dxc7 ; 31 ...Rc4 32.Rxe7 ]

32.Rf8+ 1-0

[32.Rf8+ Kh7 <32 ...Kg7 33.dxe7 Rc1+ 34.Qxc1 Nd7 35.Qa1+ Qc3 36.Qxc3+ Nf6 37.Qxf6+ Kh7 38.Rh8#> 33.Qe5 Rc1+ 34.Kh2 Qg8 35.Rxg8 ]

I doubt that Smyslov saw all of these variations, but what a combination! All analysis done with Fritz 8.

Sep-04-05  John Doe: How about 29. Rg8? It threatens mate in one, and if the queen tries to aid the king, Rh8 does the monarch in.

I also looked and 29. Bc2 but that fails to the intermezzo 29...Qa1+ 30.Kh2 Rxc2

Although, I think white can still win after that fiasco with Rg8

Sep-04-05  The beginner: <John Doe>

29 Rg8 ? ..Qf6 and black apears to be ok

Sep-04-05  John Doe: Foiled again...
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Dac1990> Thanks for the thorough job of analysis with Fritz 8 in looking at 25. Re6! You did a good job of organizing and sorting out the strongest winning lines.

Although Fritz 8 rates your line slightly stronger, for the possibility 26...Kxg6!? I prefer:

26... Kxg6!? 27. Qg3+! Kh6 (27... Kh7 28. Bc2+ f5 29. Rxf5 Rxf5 30. Bxf5+ Kh8 31. Qe5+ Kg8 32. Be6+ Kh7 33. Qf5+ Kg7 34. Qf7+ Kh6 35. Qf8+! Kg6 36. Bf5#) 28. Qg5+ Kh7 29. Qxh5+ Kg7 30. Rg4+ Kf6 31. Qg5#.

Sep-04-05  LIFE Master AJ: I thought Re6! looked decisive.

Here is my analysis, (of the critical part of the game): 25.Re6! Qc5; This could be forced.

[ </= 25...fxe6? 26.Rxf8 Rc8 27.Qf7+ Kh6 28.Bc2 e5 29.Rxc8 Nxc8 30.g4! , Mate in 8?]

26.Rxg6+!!, Chess brilliance.

[One student suggested: 26.Re3, which is not convincing. ("=") ]

26...fxg6[]; This is forced, moving the BK allows a mate in one.

[ </= 26...Kxg6?; 27.Bc2+!, I was looking at Qg3+ when I was analyzing in my head, the box finds a way that is significantly better. ( Or 27.Qg3+ Kh7; 28.Rf5, )
27...f5[]; 28.Rxf5, (Mate shortly?) ]

27.Rxf8 Qxc3; 28.Qf7+! Kh6; 29.Qf4+ Kg7; 30.Rf7+ Kg8; 31.d6! Qxb3?, As I thought, this is a mistake; Fritz confirms that Black had to check on the c1-square.

32.Rf8+, Black resigns, 1-0.
[ After 32...Kh7; 33.Qe5!, a disaster cannot be averted. (Taking the Rook with 33.PxR/c7 probably also wins.) 32...Kg7?; allows 33.dxe7, with mate to follow. ]

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <The beginner> Although 29. Qf4+! is objectively better, Black is not OK after 29. Rg8!? Qf6 30. Rxg6+! Qxg6 31. Qf4+! Kh7 32. Qxc7 Qb1+ 33. Kh2 Qxb3 34. Qxe7+ Kg8 35. Qe8+ Kg7 36. Qe5+ Kf8 37. Qb8+ Kf7 38. Qxb7+ Kf8 39. d6 Qb4 40. Qe7+ Kg8 41. Qe8+ Kg7 42. Qe5+ Kg8 43. d7 Nxd7 44. Qd5+ Kf8 45. Qxd7 Qxh4+ 46. Kg1 Qg5 47. g3 h4 48. Qc8+ Ke7 49. Qb7+ Kd8 50. Qb6+ Ke7 51. Qe3+ Qxe3 52. fxe3 (+5.62 @ 22 depth per Fritz 8).
Sep-04-05  Boomie: The line I followed was 20. ♖e6 ♕d7 because then the black Q helps restrain the attack. Anyway it is sans Fritz so presented with my apologies.

The continuation was:

20. ♖e6 ♕d7 21. ♖xg6+ ♔xg6 22. ♗c2+ ♔h6

(22...♔g7 23. ♕g3+ ♔h8 24. ♖f5)

23 ♖f5

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I'll take credit for this one-i answered both the first move as well as the second.The queen was chased and the white queen and rook are lined up for the attack-even as the other rook is sac-ed.
Sep-04-05  alexandrovm: Re6 seems strong!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I saw most of this up to 27. ...Q:c3 but I thought that White could win by 28. Qf7+ Kh6 29. Rg8 and if now

29. ... Qd3 30. Rh8#

But I see now I missed 29. ...Qf6

But I would have seen it when I got to that postion and played Qf4+!!

Smyslov as played some briliant complex lines and attacks - he is an all rounder.

Sep-06-05  LIFE Master AJ: <RT> By that, I take it to mean that Smyslov - in his prime - could play tactics and positional chess. (He is famous for his endings.)
Jul-05-12  Everett: Is there anything wrong with 21..Nc8, aiming for Nd6? The idea is that it controls f7, creates a blockade on the d-pawn, and puts the N in contact with f5, in case interfering on the f-file is necessary.
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