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Boris Spassky vs Guido Cappello
Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 1 (1968), Lugano SUI, rd 2, Oct-19
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Neo-Modern Variation (B67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-25-08  hpavlo: What does one do, where does one BEGIN the process whereby one may someday hope to understand the logic behind these moves and these games? Like (to choose just one example) why 12. Nf3 and not (for instance) 12. NxN or 12. g3, followed by 13. Bg2? If all of these are valid moves, and the choice between them is a matter of style, then how can one really know what to play? And if it's all 'theory' up to move twenty-something, then how can a casual player like myself, who will never, ever have the time to study all the vast expanse of today's theory, ever begin to appreciate what's going on? Sorry, I'm just somewhat exasperated...

I mean, surely you do not win a game of chess just by choosing the right opening, do you? Surely a good chess player can outsmart somebody with an encyclopedic knowledge of opening positions?

aarrrrrgh!

Feb-20-11  KingG: <Like (to choose just one example) why 12. Nf3 and not (for instance) 12. NxN or 12. g3, followed by 13. Bg2? If all of these are valid moves, and the choice between them is a matter of style, then how can one really know what to play?> Both 12.Nxc6 and 12.g3 are certainly possible, and in fact 12.Nxc6 is more popular than what Spassky played. The theory probably wasn't very developed at the time of the game, and Spassky(who was never a great theoretician anyway) probably just wanted to keep more pieces on the board, and possibly didn't like that 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 activated Black's somewhat passive Bishop. As for the theory of this game, it probably ran out at move 12, at the latest.

If you want to understand the logic behind the moves of the game, you should ideally look for annotations to this game, or at least of similar games. If you play over enough of these annotated games, you will start to understand the different plans available to both players, and then it's just a question of paying attention to the specific tactics in the position to see why one move was played, and not another. In some cases of course, a move might just be totally mysterious until you hear what the player himself was thinking when he played it.

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