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Vasily Smyslov vs Alexander Tolush
Central Chess Club International (1961), Moscow URS, rd 8, Jun-??
Indian Game: Anti-Nimzo-Indian (E10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-24-12  viking78: <playground player> thanks for the help, it's harder then the algebric notation, but when the method is understood I guess it's a matter of time to used to it, so I will practice some games.
Mar-24-12  BOSTER: <alwazir> <This puzzle apparently wasn't very difficult in 2004, it hasn't gotten harder since then>, but it hasn't gotten easier since then neither.

For me ,when solution to Saturday <POTD> as usual a long ,timid line this shot was not expected.

When you are getting accustomed to something, it is not easy to see the real picture. I'd come to Bb8 only after 17.Qxa8 Qxa8 18.Rb8+ Qxb8 19.Bxb8 and have not too much.

I want to add this: among many,many <CG Puzzles> which I can't recognize as <Puzzle>,this is a real <Puzzle> considering the time when it came(for me).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I was thinking of 17.Qxa8 Qxa8 18.Rb8+ Rd8 19.Rxa8 Qxa8 20.Rb1, but in this case, it would be too drawish.

click for larger view

Mar-24-12  alshatranji: Why is this called "Anti-Nimzo-Indian"? It looks like Catalan to me. I thought Bb4 is the definitive move in the Nimzo-indian.
Mar-24-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<viking78>

some of us were lucky to grow up with English descriptive and so it's a doddle. :o)

Definitely worth learning because there are many classic e.g. Batsford titles which are out of print but can be bought on the cheap from 2nd hand stores.

I think Ray Keene was one of the people who made a campaign for, what he called the more logical, algebraic in Britain in the 1970s which then became standard in all magazines and books from the 1980s. Of course, it is now a FIDE rule that games must be scored in algebraic. (Someone who famously scribbled down the game score in descriptive notation was Bobby Fischer.)

Historically Petroff and Jaenisch were using the algebraic system in 1800s Russia.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <alshatranji: Why is this called "Anti-Nimzo-Indian"?>

Because white delays Nc3. That means that black can't play Bb4 to pin that knight.

The key move is white's 3. Nf3

click for larger view

White leaves the Nb1 at home for the time being to take black out of his opening preparation.

Now, 3...Bb4+ would be a Bogo-indian and 3...b6 would be a queens indian, but black chose to strike back in the centre with d5 instead.

There are lots of transpositional possibilities which mean that it is difficult to be precise about the naming of openings. This game could also be called a Queens Gambit, a Tarrasch or, as you rightly say, a Catalan. CG have chosen to call it an anti nimzo, which is a little unusual but reasonably accurate.

I have never worked out if these opening classifications in the CG database are put there by humans or by some computer system.

Mar-24-12  mikmik777: White to play: 17.?
Smyslov vs Tolush
"Very Difficult"

Material is even. White has firm control on the b-file, while Black exerts pressure on the d-file.

There seems to be nothing in:

17.Qxa8 Qxa8
18.Rb8+ Qxb8
19.Bxb8 (19. ...a5, 19. ...Ra4, or 19. ...Rd2)

I also can't see any advantages for White in:

17.Rfc1 Bd6
18.Bxd6 Rxd6
19.Rc7 Rd1+
20.Rxd1 Qxd1+
21.Kg2 Rf8
22.Qxa7 Qxe2

So I think the best move is:

17.Bb8 [removing the guard of the a8 rook]
17. ...Rxb8
18.Qxb8 [White has won the "Exchange"]

Time to check...

Mar-24-12  Marmot PFL: Smells like home cooking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: <Viking78> In the summer of 1972 I was young, carefree and on holiday in France with a bunch of friends. I was desperate to follow the Spassky Fischer match being played in Reykjavic. Every day I went to the local town square (Riberac) and bought Le Monde. To my horror they used the algebraic notation. I was brought up on the other one, P-K4 etc (?descriptive?) and really struggled to understand what was going on. I think that the French in those days had a couple of differences (F for bishop, I think). It was a learning curve in more ways than one. I was backing Spassky as Fischer seemed to me to represent everything I hated politically. So I learned algebraic notation the hard way and also learned to accept the pain of losing. But youth, coffee, the swifts wheeling overhead, bad French and chess - it was bliss to be alive. As for today's game - I lost the plot completely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <viking78> The old descriptive notation is pretty simple when you get used to it. The format is <name of the piece>-<name of the square>.

So B-KN5 is bishop to king's knight 5, which we would know as Bg5.

Captures are <name of capturing piece> x <name of captured piece>.

So PxP is pawn takes pawn, and BxKt or BxN is bishop takes knight.

Things get a little complicated if more than one piece can do something. Take this example:

click for larger view

In this position, white played 3. N(b)-d2. Because both knights can get to d2, in descriptive this would be written as 3. QN-Q2. In other words, Queen's knight to queen 2.

This can get confusing later in the game when you have to remember which knight is the king's knight and which is the queen's knight, and the same with the rooks.

In this position ...

click for larger view

If white played 4. cd (also writted as cxd5), the descriptive would be 4. BPxP. And 3. dc would be 4. QPxP.

And to get really silly, in this position...

click for larger view

5. cb would have to be written as QBPxNP. In other words, Queens bishop pawn x knight pawn.

Because there are several pawn captures, we can't simply say 4. PxP. That would be ambiguous.

And because both bishop pawns can capture a pawn, we can't say 4. BPxP.

And because the queens bishop pawn can capture two pawns, we can't just say 4. QBPxP. Hence 4. QBPxNP.

I think that's why descriptive died out! But if you can understand all that you can read just about any chess book.

Unless you go even further back to the days of Staunton when it was even weirder. But I'll leave that for another time. Your head is probably swimming with all of this stuff anyway. Of course, this QBPxNP stuff is very rare. Most of the time it's much much easier to follow.

Mar-24-12  alshatranji: Once: <alshatranji: Why is this called "Anti-Nimzo-Indian"?> Because white delays Nc3. That means that black can't play Bb4 to pin that knight.

Thank you for the explanation. But I find it strange to call the opening after a line that did not even happen. I still insist that Bb4 is the Nimzo-Indian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Oxspawn> I had a similar experience only a few hours ago. I managed to prise the best boy in the world away from his laptop and we walked down the hill into Godalming. The sun was shining, the squirrels were cavorting and he is (thankfully) still too young to be interested in the skimpy fwocks that the girls of the town were sporting.

Hiding in church street is a new chess and games shop, where I parted with some earth pounds in return for an endgame DVD in the vain hope that I could buy some ratings points.

Playing on the TV was a recording of game 2 of Spassky-Fischer from 1972. We paused for a while as I explained how Fischer didn't show up and lost the game by default. I could tell that his heart wasn't really in it, but for a brief second or two we shared a precious father-son moment.

From there, via a discussion of Von Bardeleben to a Nero where we shared a cheescake. He read New Scientist and told me (with much more excitement and interest) that they hadn't actually found a particle that could travel faster than the speed of light. It was a calculation error. Einstein is still right.

For an eleven year old science geek, that sort of stuff is far more exciting than Spassky-Fischer 1972. Mind you, we did have an interesting discussion about whether the Millenniun Falcon could have beaten the Enterpise D in a drag race...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <alshatranji> It's a nimzo indian if white plays Nc3 and black pins that knight with Bb4.

But many white players don't like to face the nimzo-indian. So they play a move order that makes it impossible. That's why it's called an "anti nimzo indian" - a system designed to prevent the nimzo from happening.

There's a similar name in the Ruy Lopez. Frank Marshall invented the Marshall gambit where black offers up a pawn in order to get an attack. He famously saved up this opening for years until he got a chance to spring it on capablanca. Capa saw the attack, decided he was honour-bound to walk into it, and managed to defend and win.

But the Marshall is still going strong. Subsequent analysis has found better moves for black. So many white players choose to sidestep it with "anti-Marshall" systems - variations that don't allow black to get into the Marshall attack that he is thoroughly booked for.

Mar-24-12  viking78: Thanks <SimonWebbsTiger> and <Once> for your kind comments. Just one question for Once: I really must keep in mind which Knight is where even after 80 moves when maybe 20 moves where done bye all knights in case any of them can jump at same square to know which of them to do the move?
Mar-24-12  dragon player: Today's position looks quite simple, but there should be a tactical shot. Let's have a look.
I've been looking at moves like Qxa8 and Bc7, but they don't seem to work. What to play?
Well, I don't know, I give up. Let's check.


OK, I feel quite stupid now. When you see Bb8 you
instantly get it. Too bad.

4/6 now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <viking78> There are several styles of descriptional notation. In some you did have to know which knight was the king's knight all the way through the endgame.

But it's by no means universal. Some other books use a different method where an ambiguous piece is described by its current square.

For example, in front of me right now is my much loved copy of Fischer's "My 60 memorable games". I have an edition published in 1989 in descriptive notation. It uses the KN/QN type of notation.

In the very first game in the book ...

Fischer vs J Sherwin, 1957

... we get to this position, with black (Sherwin) to move ...

click for larger view

In algebraic notation, his move was 15...Nce7. In my copy of the book, it is given as 15...QN-K2.

But, the other way to describe that move in descriptive would have been 15...N(B3)-K2. In other words, the knight that is sitting on the bishop's third square (c6) to e7.

Some books even mix the two styles. I pulled Irving Chernev's "Logical Chess" off the shelf. This tends to use KN and QN in the opening, but N(B3) in the middlegame and ending.

Trust me, it sounds more confusing than it really is. Once you try reading through the games it should all become clear.

Mar-24-12  waustad: Oh bother. I looked at the actual winning line for several moves and somehow it didn't register in my mind that white was up the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Ensign ar blimps battery f4 too b8s the Papillon it all i see for...

Esconced in cove d8 idea win a8 edge us bet in spread it among i st b8 ave washout racing free def inceed it jam in utter edifice b8,

Provincial queen or rook is chucked for one in looks it assumption in a hold it 17...qxb8 18.qxb8+ rxb8 19.rxb8 firm bedrocks for white in which,

too build in land it apost in easy it after bishop found to it nice in

b8 low single mind briefly considered in c7 or c1 vested it exchange in

dry it often in c7 equal pond i gauge in boot it f4b8 in fecd it's top

in flurry it ok in got him by the ghosting brevity of anymore in here

beget it qd8 in e8 also it soggy dampner in b7 buttoned up initial b8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: No fun today. I knew this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: <Once> And game three he blew if I remember right and it was only at the end that they both played to their best.

Not sure that fathers and sons should play chess against each other.There are too many things in the mix to make it easy to win or lose. But cheesecake... that's win-win.

Mar-24-12  TheBish: Smyslov vs Tolush, 1961

White to play (17.?) "Very Difficult"

I think the most difficult thing about this problem is that my head got in the way! I was trying to make it more difficult than it was, looking at 17. Bc7, which wins after 17...Qe8 18. Bb8 (trapping the rook and winning the exchange), but after 17...Qd5 18. Be5!? Rd2, White gains nothing. Then it dawned on me that Bf4-c7 isn't necessary; in fact, it blocks the queen's attack on Black's Be7!

17. Bb8!

This wins the exchange as described above, since if 17...Qd5 simply 18. Qxe7 wins a piece. I think that's it, time to how it played out.

Mar-24-12  TheBish: That is, time to <see> how it played out.
Mar-24-12  njchess: A famous game, and move from Smyslov. Nice to see it as a puzzle.
Mar-24-12  BlackSheep: Took me about 5 mins to finally see what was required here and its as simple as it is elegant Bb8! the rest as they say is technique .
Apr-09-12  LIFE Master AJ: Easiest Saturday ever?
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