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Leonid Stein vs Boris Spassky
USSR Championship (1964), Moscow URS, rd 4, Jan-12
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-18-08  euripides: Interesting how White's build up on f7 ties Black down. The knights are supported by some tactics e.g. 49...Rxc5 50.Ndxf7 Rxf7 (Nxf7 51.Ned6+) 51.Rxf7+ Nxf7 52.Ne6+.
Jun-18-08  mezzieh: Modern players should learn how to play fighting chess even if it ends up drawn. Both Stein and Spassky were brave chess warriors and I think it was only matter of luck, that Spassky clinched World Championship and Stein not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Looking over the game, it seens like Stein is happy with a draw, but Spassky keeps refusing opportunities to repeat the position. This is due to the tournament situation.

The game is from the second half of a double round-robin playoff match between Stein, Spassky, and Kholmov following the 1963 Championship tournament. Stein had defeated Spassky in the first half (Spassky vs Stein, 1964), so Spassky badly needed to win this game.

Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Stein was a tough guy to beat. His USSR debut didn't bear resemblance to Petrosian's stage fever-esque one. He was so unlucky to never get through to the Candidates. Then again, on professional level, only points matter.
Apr-08-15  Howard: You DO know why Stein didn't quite make the Candidates in 1962 and 1965, don't you ?

Also, he came extremely close to making it in 1968, but he lost a three-way playoff

As I recall though, he did qualify for
one of the two 1973 interzonal tournaments.......but he suddenly dropped dead from a heart attack earlier that year.

Without a doubt, Stein was one of the 4-5 strongest players of the 1960's who, however, never made it into the Candidates !

Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Yes I know; the rule limiting the amount of advancing players. For Soviet Union it was three. I remember that in 1964 at Amsterdam Interzonal Stein had 16,5 point while Larsen, Spassky, Smyslov and Tal had 17 points each. So he didn't advance.
Mar-01-18  zydeco: I'm missing something about the sacrifice on move 23. It looks like black can just take the knight with 23....hxg5. If 24.Nxg5 g6 25.Qe4 Rfe8 26.Qh4 Nf8. If 24.Re3 g6 25.Nf6 Nxf6 26.Qxf6 Qxc2 when there's no time for 27.Rh3.

These are two of the greatest ever, so I assume I'm missing something pretty obvious.

45....Rxc5 runs into 46.Ndxf7 (46....Nxf7 47.Ne6+).

45.Nb7 might be strong for white. Maybe the players were anticipating 45....Nxb7 46.Ne6+ Kg8 47.Nxf8 Nxc5 48.Rd8 Kg7 49.Rc8 Rc3+ 50.Kh2 Ne4 and black is better.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: 25.♕h3, not 25.♕e4 looks like serious trouble
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: In fact that's mate on f7 or h7
Mar-02-18  zydeco: <Dionsyius1> Oh duh. Thanks.

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