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Rafael Vaganian vs Boris Spassky
Montpellier Candidates (1985), Montpellier FRA, rd 6, Oct-18
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Timman's Line (E15)  ·  0-1

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-07-06  waddayaplay: This was Spassky's only win in the 1985 Linares tournament. His other ten games all ended in draws.
Mar-03-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <waddayaplay> I think you posted on the wrong thread. This game was played at Montpellier not Linares, Spassky actually won it and a few others beside and finally this gamescore isn't complete. I've already submitted a correction to <chessgames> a little while ago.
Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Very complicated game between two fabulously creative players. Spassky wins it with 31...dxe3! followed by the pretty 32...e2! Probably 32.Rxe3 is better.
Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Spassky was really trying hard in this Interzonal. His games before this round 6 game were:

1 Short vs Spassky, -, 57 moves.
2 Portisch vs Spassky, -, 64 moves.
3 Spassky vs Korchnoi, -, 15 moves.
4 Ribli vs Spassky, -, 85 moves.
5 Spassky vs Timman, 0-1, 98 moves.

He was clearly determined to qualify!

After this game he was om level points. He ended up the tournament on +1. But that's not bad: the winners had +3.

Jul-13-16  Petrosianic: <Spassky was really trying hard in this Interzonal.>

It wasn't an Interzonal. Spassky's last Interzonal was in 1976, from which he didn't qualify.

Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Who needs to waste time in Interzonals when they can go straight to Candidates events?

<Petrosianic....Spassky's last Interzonal was in 1976, from which he didn't qualify.>

Call it a free shot, given that he got all the way to the final of that cycle before bowing out after the gift from Hort.

Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: Actually Spassky's last interzonal was Toluca 1982. He didn't qualify from that either, finishing half a point behind the winners Portisch and Torre.

FIDE gave him a free place at Montpellier. Possibly the French were able to nominate one player as a condition of organizing the tournament. In the event his 2600 performance justified his inclusion, but he may have(conciously or otherwise) been aiming not to qualify from it.

Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Retireborn> This will bring the wrath of the barangay down upon my head, but here goes: Torre's qualification from Toluca was a one-off; while he was a strong, solid GM and top twenty or so at his peak, there were others whose records in international play were better who never got a sniff--Andersson, Ljubojevic and Nunn come to mind off the top.

Don't even get me started on the Soviets who failed to emerge from the morass of chess over there, some mighty tough customers who were butting heads with contenders for the title.

Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <perfidious> I agree, but by 1982 an "unexpected" qualifier could be almost expected, after Uhlmann (1971), Byrne (1973), Hort (1976), Adorjan (1979). I think those were all one-offs too.

Of the Soviets, I was disappointed that Romanishin didn't quite make it in 1979; he always had an original style.

Jul-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Retireborn> It was unfortunate that Romanishin never quite got there; he had fine results, an enterprising style and the willingness to fight out a lot of games which would have served the likes of Adorjan well during his tournament career.

Do you know that Byrne very nearly made the winners' circle a second time running, from Biel Interzonal (1976)?

In that 1981-84 cycle, there was perhaps a greater element of chance, given that three events allowed only two qualifiers each from shorter tourneys.

Jul-14-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <perfidious> Yes, Byrne fell just half a point short in 1976 with another 2600 performance, nice wins against Smyslov and Larsen too. Very unfortunate for him; he deserves to be remembered for more than a couple of spectacular losses to Fischer.
Jul-21-16  Howard: True, Byrne almost made it into a Candidates playoff in 1976. The final scores among the qualifiers and near-qualifiers could hardly have been closer.

Larsen took clear first, followed by Petrosian, Portisch, and Tal tied just half a point behind him. On top of that, Smyslov, Byrne, and Huebner were all tied half a point behind THEM.

As many no doubt know, one of the most critical games was the penultimate game between Huebner and Petrosian. From a dead-won position, Huebner contrived to....LOSE. Who knows how the final scores, one round later, would have turned out if Huebner had won.

Sep-07-20  ICCM Bart Gibbons: Retireborn: <perfidious> Yes, Byrne fell just half a point short in 1976 with another 2600 performance, nice wins against Smyslov and Larsen too. Very unfortunate for him; he deserves to be remembered for more than a couple of spectacular losses to Fischer.

Robert Byrne only had one spectacular loss to Fischer. Donald Byrne had the other one.

Sep-07-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: I think the Sousse game with 13...h5! was pretty spectacular, but opinions will vary, no doubt.
Sep-08-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Retireborn>, while an incisive example of Fischer's mature phase with its opening preparation followed by crisp attacking play, that game has attracted far less notice than either victory over the Byrne brothers mentioned by <Bart Gibbons>, perhaps because it was overshadowed by the events surrounding Fischer's walkout in Sousse and likely also the eclat displayed in those other games.
Sep-09-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <zydeco>Very complicated game between two fabulously creative players. Spassky wins it with 31...dxe3! followed by the pretty 32...e2! Probably 32.Rxe3 is better.

<zydeco>
32.Rxe3 Qc7 33.Rxd6 Qxd6 - Vaganian still has the problem of the weak pawn on b4. Is it worth putting the queen out of play to defend it?

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