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Boris Spassky vs Peter Nicholas Lee
"Stagger Lee" (game of the day Jun-03-2011)
Hastings (1965/66), Hastings ENG, rd 7, Jan-05
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Leningrad Variation (E30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-08-05  organist: This game appears with light notes from move 18 on in Walker's,"Chess Openings for Juniors" pp 27-30.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Boris had a jolly holly Christmas that year. 13.Bxe5! and 18.Nxf7! pretty sacrifices. Lee needed to play 15...Ne4! to keep up an interesting fight.
Dec-17-06  esticles: 13. Bxe5 wasn't a sacrifice.
Dec-17-06  Rocafella: <esticles> Well done, have some tea (I hope you see the joke in that =P)
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: after 15.h4, 15...Ne4 or perhaps 15...Rf8, but 15...gxh4 may not be the losing move. After 16.e3, it may be that 16...b6 is the losing move. Perhaps Black can now play 16...Ne4 instead. If 16...Ne4 17.Rxh4 Nf6 18.Rd1 Qa6 may be OK.

After 16...b6 17.Rd1 seems to win. If 17...Ke7, then 18.Rxd6! Kxd6 (18...f6 19.Ng6) 19.Nxf7+ and 20.Nxh8 wins

18.Nxf7! wins in more brilliant style than 18.Ng6 Rg8 19.Qe4+ Kd8 20.Qxh4+ Kc7 21.Ne7 Qxc3+ 22.Ke2 Rg5 23.Nd5+

Jun-03-11  bigpernz: what was Lee's idea behind moving the queen to the a file?
Jun-03-11  rilkefan: I was itching to play Nxf7 - I wondered if black could hold out longer with 17...Ke7.
Jun-03-11  YoungEd: Wouldn't it have been something if Spassky had fallen for 13. ♕xe4 ♕xc1++?
Jun-03-11  sevenseaman: 24. Qg7 catches the R cold while still guarding c3. Clever!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Keene and Taulbut (1982) disparage <10...Qa5> as neglecting development and prefer:

<10...Nh5> 11. e3 Qf6 12. Rd1 b6 13. Be2 Nxg3 14. hxg3 Bb7 15. Bf3 O-O-O 16. Ne2 h5 17. Rxh5 Rxh5 18. Bxh5 Na5 "and Black exposes all of the pawn weaknesses".

In this line, <17. Bd5> is probably an improvement for White, although Black remains better.

Jun-03-11  rossvassilev: brilliant knight sac on move 18! Spassky could get away with not castling but not his opponents.
Jun-03-11  TheRavenPK: I bet Spassky knew what to do as soon as move 14.h4. He calculated it until mate or a huge advantage and just played it.. great one
Jun-03-11  mountm: <Chessical>: Other deviations from that line for White, giving slight improvements, could include 13.Nf3 and 16.Bd5
Jun-03-11  mountm: I have to agree with <wwall> from last year, 16...b6 looks to be the loser here. 18...Rf8 or Rh7 are better than Kxf7, but by that point the damage is already done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brutal win! The rook is doomed!
Jun-03-11  BobCrisp: What the hell is <Stagger Lee>?
Jun-03-11  izimbra: <BobCrisp: What the hell is <Stagger Lee>?>

Original tune was by Lloyd Price.

Jun-03-11  Jim Bartle: I think the song goes back well before Lloyd Price.
Jun-03-11  akatombo:
Jun-03-11  Maatalkko: I thought it was a Nick Cave reference. Didn't know it was a folk song too.
Jun-03-11  picard: 24. ... Rh7!!! what an amazing move that would have been!
Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: 18.Nxf7 is a beauty! That way Spassky gets King out in the open.

Followed up with clever interplay between Queen and Rook, Spassky finishes off with 24.Qg7 and all this is done with c3 square in mind!

Spassky was brilliant.

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