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Boris Spassky vs Robert Eugene Byrne
Spassky - Byrne Candidates Quarterfinal (1974), San Juan PUR, rd 2, Jan-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation (B92)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-05-14  RookFile: It's a wonderful thing to be able to hold a draw a pawn down. Makes you a much tougher defender.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: And when you win then, it makes you an even better one (See Smejkal - Karpov, 0-1, Leningrad 1973) lol...
Aug-07-15  Howard: That Smejkal-Karpov game was a very
critical game for Karpov !
Aug-07-15  Howard: Wonder if Spassky missed a win here. He did have a passed pawn, after all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <Howard>--In his book on the matches of the 1972-1975 World Championship Cycle, Byrne says that 43 fg6 was an error and that after 43 f6 Spassky could have won.
Aug-07-15  Howard: Oh, yes, I've seen that book. It was a Bantam (publisher) paperbook, and it had Karpov on the cover.

Actually, the book just covered the 1974 Candidates matches, if I remember right---it didn't include games from 1973.

Aug-01-18  JJL: It looks like 21. Nd5 Qc4 22.Nf6+ gxf6 doesn’t accomplish anything for White. The Q side is too loose and Black’s King can hide via f8 and e7.
Aug-01-18  JJL: 43. f6! does seem to create big problems for Black. I see 43 ... Kf7 44.Nd5 and Black does not have many good moves.

For example, 44. ... a4 45. Rh2 a3 46. Rh7+ Kg8 47. Rg7+ Kf8 48.axb and it seems like White will be able to use his King to take the g5 Pawn and win.

Does anyone have Byrne’s original analysis of this position?

Aug-01-18  ZonszeinP: Several similar endings appear in Dvoretsky book on endings
Premium Chessgames Member
  Plaskett: Apropos the comment above from ZonszeinP, when play reached the Rook and e4 Pawn Vs Rook position I was immediately reminded of a critical game from a match between Larsen and Tal which Dvoretsky cites in his manual.

Quite interesting handling of the ending before that, though, with two rooks and a minor piece each. Notwithstanding ex-World Champion Khalifman´s instruction to myself that "Knight can NEVER be better than bishop!", what with the horse stabled at d5, black´s isolated a pawn and the passed pawn at g6 for white, I agree with above commentators that Spassky must surely have been well on top there.

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