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Max Euwe vs Vasily Smyslov
FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948), The Hague NED / Moscow URS, rd 14, Apr-18
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D99)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I was very young when I first played through a D99 Grunfeld (Smyslov) game; I remember the move was given as 8.KN-Q2. Nothing wrong with that, but my young brain just naturally assumed - without really looking - that the move was 8.QN-Q2. I couldn't make the rest of the game score make any sense and I was nearly tearing my hair out in frustration!
Jul-12-05  aw1988: <offramp> There there.

This is the first game with the Smyslov variation.

Apr-26-06  notyetagm: This is the position on the board after 26 ... ♗f6:

click for larger view

Here Euwe misses <tactical liquidation> by the wicked <zwischenschach> (in-between check) 27 ♕xf7+!.

The tactical point is that this powerful check forces at least the queens (and maybe a pair of rooks) off of the board due to the coming royal knight fork on e6. This trading down of material leaves White a whole rook ahead, since he was able to move both his threatened e7-queen and g5-knight with forcing moves.

<There are always threats against undefended pieces>, said Reinfeld and Chernev. Here the undefended Black f4-queen together with the actively placed White g5-knight (which makes f6 a <forking square>) make this <tactical liquidation> possible.

Sep-18-06  suenteus po 147: This was Euwe's first and only win of the World Championship Match Tournament (1948)
Jul-07-07  DWINS: There are a lot of nice tactics in this game. For instance, why didn't Smyslov regain his lost pawn by 22...Qxb2?

He would end up losing a piece after 23.Qxc8! Rxc8 24.Rxc8+ Bf8 25.Bh6 Qb4 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Bxf8 Kxf8

Incidentally, 23.Ng5! looks like a killer also.

Mar-17-08  Knight13: This must've been the proudest moment of Euwe in this tournament, to actually beat someone after losing tons of games.
Sep-02-09  kooley782: I love it when Euwe plays through a long and correct game and then suddenly makes a sacrifice and wins immediately.
Jul-23-12  RookFile: In general, this was a very nice game by Euwe, even if there are some improvements noted above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is Euwe's only win against Smyslov. Smyslov beat Euwe 7-1 with, unusually, no draws.
Aug-30-13  nescio: <offramp: This is Euwe's only win against Smyslov. Smyslov beat Euwe 7-1 with, unusually, no draws.>

Well I think they only met when the world championship was at stake. Probably neither of the two ever offered one. It may be unusual, but it happens sometimes with two fighters:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <nescio>: Their very first meeting was in a full-on international event.

Smyslov vs Euwe, 1946

Aug-30-13  nescio: <perfidious> You are correct of course. I could argue that Groningen was considered a kind of candidates tournament but I won't :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Smyslov's 7-1 lifetime score against Euwe was only the second best score of another world champion against Euwe. The chess god Lasker beat him 3-0.
Jul-09-22  Cassandro: A lively game with some missed tactics by both sides.

27.Qe3 is inferior to 27.Qxf7+, which is followed up by Ne6 and winning. And of course, if 27...Rxf7 28.Rc8+ Rf8 29.Rxf8+ Kxf8 30.Ne6+ wins back the queen and 1-0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: To play 27. Qxf7+! White had to see that after 28. Rc8 Bd8! 29.Rxd8+ Rf8 he has 30.Ne6!

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