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Eduard Gufeld vs Boris Spassky
USSR Championship (1959), Tbilisi URS, rd 1, Jan-10
Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Zukertort Gambit (C64)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-14-07  Grega: I don't understand 18 ... b5. I'm not sure about Spassky's position at the time either. Is it unclear? However, my chess program thinks that pawn sac is unsound and that Spassky is doomed at 17th move. Your opinion will be appreciated.
Aug-15-07  achieve: <Grega> Very complex position after 18 Nd4, but the alternative to b4 would then be 18...g6. Then after 19 Rd1 Qe8 20 Nxe6 Nxe6 21 Nd5 and Black will face a tough and close to impossible task..

But if Gufeld had just played 19. Qxb5 he would have a considerable advantage.. Not sure here why he turned that down..

Aug-18-07  achieve: < Very complex position after 18 Nd4, but the alternative to b4 would then be 18...g6.> That was a typo.. Should be 18.b5 of course.
Oct-15-16  zydeco: I think the point of the sacrifice is 19.Qxb5 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Rb8 and the queen doesn't have a lot of good squares to go to. 21.Qa5 and 21.Qc4 are the alternatives. Then black has some interesting tactical ideas e.g. 21.Qa5 Be4 22.Bxe4 Bxb4 23.Qa4 fxe4 and black is doing great. (23.Qxa7 is impossible because of 23...Ra8 trapping the queen.)

So white tries 21.Qc4 and black plays 21...Be4 22.Bxe4 Rxb4 23.Qc2 fxe4 24.Qxe4 Rxd4! (with the trick that if 25.Qxd4 Ne2+).

These are sample lines, but it looks like black has a lot of play and probably regains the pawn. There may also be some lines where he can sac a piece on g2.

32.Bc5? is a surprising blunder at this level. 32.Bb4 is of course better.

One thing about Spassky is that he really was willing to play just about any opening system. The Classical Spanish is unusual at top level, but Spassky was one of the most flexibly-minded elite players ever.

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