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Boris Spassky vs Jan Timman
Buenos Aires Olympiad (1978), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 14, Nov-10
Sicilian Defense: Closed. Botvinnik Defense I Edge Variation (B25)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: The 14th and last round of the 1978 Olympiad. Spassky (in time trouble according to Timman's Informator notes) offered a draw with 28.c4, which indeed loses the advantage. He would have kept winning chances with 28.Rxf6 Nxf6 29.Be7 according to Timman, while Houdini gives the immediate 28.Be7! as simply winning.

Was this a disaster on Spassky's part? Perhaps not, as he may have been aware that the Hungarians were beating Yugoslavia by a score which made the result of his game irrelevant. I have never seen an eye witness report of this last round though.

Feb-16-17  Howard: Spassky missed a win on the last move? Interesting!

But, then, you have a point when you state that the result of this game didn't make any difference given that the Hungarians would have won the event anyway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nezhmet: Timman gives 17. Nxg6!! winning in all lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: 16 Nxg6! also seems to work: 16..Bxg6 17 Rxf8 Bxf8 18 Nf6+ Kh8 19 Bxh6 being a key line when Black cannot defend. 17 Nxg6 is even stronger.

26 Qe4 exploiting the pin is a fairly simple win. It is only 28 c4? though that gives away the win and the half point.

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