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Boris Spassky vs Avtonomov
"Junior Mint" (game of the day Mar-21-2008)
Soviet Junior Qualifiers (1949), Leningrad URS
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Alekhine System (D28)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I know this game.
Dec-03-15  Doktorn: Got 19. Rxd5 Qxd5 and the line ending with the knight fork of the queen and king which made me pretty sure 19. Rxd5 was the right first move. But like other has commented I didn't see any direct winning combination if black declines the rock sacrifice with Qc7 (or even the dangerous looking Qe8). But a pawn is always a pawn I guess and with equal material, more active rocks and better pawn structure it is clear white is playing for the win.
Dec-03-15  stacase: This must be easy week. Every move was as obvious as the North end of a South bound goat.

I love moves that threaten mate, you don't have to say check.

But you have to see that if the Black Queen takes the Rook after 19. Rxd5 White's Queen will go on a rampage.

Dec-03-15  morfishine: A famous Spassky brilliancy <19.Rxd5> and Black succumbs after 19...Qxd5 20.Qxe7+ Kg8 21.Qxf6

All these stupid titles should be erased from all these great games


Dec-03-15  kubbybulin: Here were my thoughts...
Since 19... QxR 20. QxN K-N1 21. QxP(B6) leads to a horror show, black needs to decline the sac. But it is difficult to suggest an immediately decisive continuation for white. All I can say is that after 20. QR-Q1, I would definitely prefer white. The disjointed nature of the black position, the precarious position of the black king, the dominant white minor piece, safer king, and general coordination and development of the heavy pieces all point to an easy win for white. But in the end, I think our only task (as given to us by CG) was to find the combination as unfolded in the game.
Dec-03-15  Caissas Clown: I thought that for a Thursday,it looked deceptively simple.I was wrong - it was,simply,very simple.
Dec-03-15  roentgenium: I managed to see why Black couldn't accept the Rook sacrifice, but like others, did not see an immediate decisive end to the game if Black moves Qc7 or Qe8. In a real game, I would try to increase my positional advantage by taking control of the d7 square via Rook, so I can force the Bishop off the c1-f8 diagonal, allowing me to use e7 as another invasion point for my heavy pieces. But I honestly cannot see any concrete variation in which White ends up tactically winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <too simple> Stay strong. Weekend is coming soon... ;)
Dec-03-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a knight for a bishop plus a pawn, but black's split pawns on the king-side allows the knight a splendid outpost for attacking the exposed black king. White can cash in immediately with:

19.Rxd5! to exploit the vulnerability of the bishop. Acceptance of the rook allows a quick white victory, while declining offers similarly dismal prospects:

A.19... Qxd5 20.Qxe7+ Kg8 21.Qxf6 and the double threat of Qg7# and Ne7+ can't be met.

B.19... Qc7 20.Qd2! (threatens Rd7 and dominates the bishop's flight squares) Rd8 21.Nxe7 Kxe7 22.Re1+ wins.

B.1 20... Bc5 21.Rc1 Bxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Qxh2 23.Rd8+ Rxd8 24.Qxd8#

C.20... Qe8 21.Qd2 Ra7 (Bd8 22.Re1 wins) 22.Re1 Qc6 23.Rd8+ wins.

Dec-03-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I see no errors in 11-year-old Spassky's play.
Dec-03-15  Kasparov Fan: Black has a very "sorry" position
His pawn structure has large gaping holes.None of his pieces are in any shape to defend white's threats.
So after 1.Rxd5 Qxd5 2.Qxe7
Kg8 3.Qf6
and black is done
if black doesn't accept the rook then if not tactically then strategically he is lost.
Dec-03-15  Balmo: Probably someone's already pointed this out but "qualifyers"?? Qualifiers!

As to the puzzle, I also spent a whole looking for a way for black to decline the rook, especially the passive Qe8 which is tough to crack immediately. But white has a glorious position and should win easily anyway.

Dec-03-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I was in the same boat as most other solvers, seeing that the d5 rook was poisoned but not seeing a thumping win if it was declined.

That said, White can quickly pick up another pawn and thus have a material advantage in the line

19 Rxd5 Qc7
20 Nxe7 Qxe7
21 Rxh5

If Black grabs White's queen at that point, White will have 2 rooks for it.

Dec-03-15  eblunt: White's ♘ on f5 is an absolute monster in this puzzle. boxes blacks ♔ in behind the pawns, so both ♖s are potentially loose, dominates the black ♗ and can't be dislodged at all easily.
Dec-03-15  eblunt: 19.♖x5

19 .. ♕xd5 20 ♕xe7+ game over as per text.

19 .. ♕c7 or ♕e8 then ♖d1 ♖d7 ♕e4 and the pressure cannot be resisted. black is paralysed defending ♗e7 and has no good moves left.

19 ... Any other move loses either black ♕ or ♕xe7+ game over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: If Avtonomov had declined the rook, Stockfish suggests 9. ... Qc7 20. Qd2 Rd8 21. Nxe7 Rxd5 22. Nxd5.
Dec-03-15  qkxwsm: A good puzzle, but unfortunately this game is too well known.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White has sprung the trap and black will either lose queen or get mated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I got all the moves until the end of the game, but in my mind could not see that 21...Rh7 permits the fork 22.Ne7+

Age and rust

Dec-03-15  RookFile: The QGA is harder to play than it appears. In the opening, black lines everybody and his brother up to control the d5 square. Yet Spassky plays d5 anyway and wins handily.
Dec-03-15  CopyBlanca: That game by Tal I mentioned was Tal vs Kholmov from 1949. Also impressive. This might be a good time to sound the drum for the greatness of Bobby Fischer. His age 13 Queen sac against Donald Byrne. The Fischer game really inspired me as a youngster in early 1960's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: There are not that many different things for White to try here. The only candidate line I could imagine was the obvious 19 Rxd5 Qxd5 20 Qxe7+ Kg8. Since this is a puzzle position, there has to be a killer move at this point. 21 Qxf6 is it. Black can prevent mate with 21. . . Rh7 but it costs his queen.
Dec-03-15  MindCtrol9: Spassky has always been an aggressive player.He has many beautiful games.The move here is not hard to see.
Mar-07-16  notyetagm: Spassky vs Avtonomov, 1949

1) When you force the enemy king to move, you force him into making <ALIGNMENTS> that he does not want to make.

2) Coordinate your pieces on the loose squares near the enemy king.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: c6 is an awkward square for the knight in this line and 9..cxd (9..Be7 was better) was just inviting trouble.
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