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Semyon Furman vs Boris Spassky
"And Shun the Furmious Bishop Snatch!" (game of the day Nov-13-2019)
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 18, Feb-16
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-02-04  731: Ne1 very nice!

This is an amazing opening, Spassky gets the F-file for his rooks, plays d6 as late as move 11 and gets it for free because he sends whites bishop away to a3 where it's useless, plus he has 2 effective knights in the center, so why isn't this variation of the accelerated dragon used?

Jul-19-06  ughaibu: Minic vs Leonid Stein, 1972
Nov-25-06  Kriegspiel: What does that reference to Minic vs. Stein mean? Aside from the fact that Black won that game too, and the fact that the two games have important differences, this variation, and many similar ones (including a variety of transpositions) still show up. And even within the context of Miniv vs. Stein, Black had a number of options other than 11.Nf7 and the dismemberment of his kingside pawn structure.

Beliavsky vs Aronian, 2001


Nov-25-06  Kriegspiel: P.S. The Aronian game reference isn't intended to demonstrate Black's solution or even to be an advertisement for the variation (it's a drawn game); it's merely a recent example of the variation drawn from this database and involving two high-level players.


Mar-12-09  SmotheredKing: Pardon my ignorance, but what about 23. Qe2?
Mar-12-09  DrGridlock: <SmotheredKing: Pardon my ignorance, but what about 23. Qe2?>

White loses two pawns after -
23 ... Nxh2, 24 Qxh2 Rxf1+, 25 Bxf1 Rxf1+, 26 Rxf1 Qxf1+, 27 Qg1 Qxc4

Difficult position for white (Rybka scores it -.82), but certainly better than the forced mate that Rf2 leads to.

Nov-08-09  desiobu: Another error in Levy & O'Connell's "How to Play the Sicilian" is in ch. 2's discussion of the Maroczy Bind it doesn't reflect that Rc1 was played. Without it obviously Nc2 is possible.

I'm starting to think that this book is not very good.

Nov-18-11  DrMAL: Position transposed into Accelerated Dragon with against Mar√≥czy bind many openings do, typical Sicilian version is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 where 6.Be3 is typical move and 6...Nh6 (instead of 6...Nf6) leads to sharp position with pawn break f5 to strike at bind. 9.exf5 is required if white wants any kind of advantage. Usual move is 10.Bxd4 to get bishops advantage but 10.Bxh6 allows white DSB to have role on h6 for clearer edge, here is computer eval.

Houdini_20_x64:27/70 1:54:19 36,559,899,975
+0.32 10.Bxh6 Rxf5 11.0-0 d6 12.Rc1 Rf7 13.Bf3 Be5
+0.12 10.Bxd4 Nxf5 11.Bc5 Qa5 12.Ba3 d6 13.0-0 Be6

12...Qa5 transposes with 12...Be6 in computer line but Spassky played 12...Bfd4 to grab the outpost this was also excellent move. Game is basically equal, white's arguable edge can only come if B on a3 can do something, so white played to free it, while Spassky continued to disrupt white position, taking advantage of B not on h6 to build on f-file.

17...e5 was basically forced, black was not about to give up strong N position. Now white wanted to bother other N with P advance b4-b5 but this plan is simply too slow. After 18.b4?! Spassky could have played 18...Nxe2 also strong, but he preferred to keep pieces with 18...Be6! starting brilliant attack, black already may have edge here. Knowing 18...Nxe2 was also strong white white played 19.Bd3?! using up one critical tempo. 19.b5 was better but best move was 19.Ne3 very subtle.

Timing was just right for 19...Bg4! Spassky's ability to understand ideal tempo and initiative was key factor to his becoming WC. Game is not so well known and underrated, it was one of Spassky's most brilliant attacks. Computer evaluates 20.Qd2 as slightly better but 20.f3 did not fully anticipate 20...Bxf3! other sac 20...Nxf3+ was strong giving advantage but this move nearly wins game already.

Houdini_20_x64: 28/84 36:03 25,172,740,934
+1.14 20. ... Bxf3 21.gxf3 Nxf3+ 22.Kh1 Qh3
+0.34 20. ... Nxf3+ 21.gxf3 Bxf3 22.Qe1 Nxb4

Furhman played the best he could, for example, 22.Rxf3 leads to destruction after 22...Rxf3 23.Be2 (forced) 24...Rf2 24.Qe1 (forced) 24...Rc3 25.Rc3 (forced) and simply 25...Kg7 to dispel idea of fork on e7, white's position is basically resignable here, if game goes into endgame R+P+P is technical win against white's pair of bishops, easy for player like Spassky.

23.Qe2 was required to stay alive (23.Qc2 loses to 23...Ne1 as well 24.Rxf7 Nxc2 25.Rxf8+ Kxf8 26.Bxc2 Qf3+! 27.Kg1 Qg4+ with Qxc4 and black queen all over white's timid position. I guess Furhman did not realize 23...Ne1! obliterates any shadow of hope. Game here is one Fischer would have put in book if he played, it is similar in style, and it shows not only dangerous opening weapon of Nh6-f5 plan but also extreme brilliance in understanding very subtle timing and proper risk behind sac.

Nov-18-11  AnalyzeThis: I remember when somebody tried Larsen's Nh6 against me, thinking it was the strangest move. Then, I resigned before move 30.
Nov-18-11  DrMAL: LOL, understandable, it can be very dangerous way to bust Maroczy Bind there are many ways now to do so. I think you meant Paul Keres for Nh6 move, he was one of first to play it and used it several times (Opening Explorer). Tal slaughered it in Tal vs Kupreichik, 1970 but that was due to mistakes later on, and not as result of opening. Normal plan of Nf6 also allows Breyer Variation with Ng4 against English-type Be3 in Maroczy Bind, Keres vs Petrosian, 1959 is great example of this, cheers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Great attack.
Feb-01-16  PhilFeeley: Andrew Martin covers this under his Accelerated Dragon video (Foxy video #104).

But his analysis at the end of the game goes awry and he misses checkmate - twice!

First miss:
After 24. Rd2, Martin suggests ...Nxd3, when clearly, Rf1+, 25. Bxf1 Rxf1 is mate.

Second miss:
After 24. Rd2 Nxd3 25. Rxd3 Rf1+ 26. Qxf1 Rxf1+ 27. Rxf1, then he suggests Qxd3, instead of Qxf1#!

Amazing he missed these.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <DrMAL....Usual move is 10.Bxd4 to get bishops advantage but 10.Bxh6 allows white DSB to have role on h6 for clearer edge....>

In Cafferty's annotations, I believe he recommended 10.Bxh6 Rxf5 11.0-0 over the game continuation if White wanted to obtain any advantage.

Apr-07-16  zydeco: Spassky's play is so energetic, starting with 6....Nh6!? and 8...f5! He needs only one temporary regrouping with 18....Be6 and then the attack unfolds seamlessly.
Nov-13-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Brilliant pun. Could only have been better if White had a way to shun the sacrifice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: It *IS* Jabberwocky Week!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: The middlegame looks like a Leningrad Dutch. Wonderful game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <An Englishman> Yes, the slithy toves are still at it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: What a beautiful game by Spassky. I love the final position.
Nov-13-19  Ratt Boy: More Jabberwocky! Please!

If only because it's so goofy and unnecessary, and it apparently irritated at least one reader.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Yes it is!

Submit your pun suggestions for the lines we haven't reached yet here: Pun Submission Page. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Vorpal punishment?
Dec-29-19  Albanius: Opening is misclassified as Zuckertort A04.
By move 5 it is ECO B38, a normal Sicilian Accelerated Dragon Maroczy bind, as DrMAL points out.
6..Nh6 is a known alternative to the standard 6..Nf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: There is a reason why A04 has so many games classified thus in this DB....

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