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Boris Spassky vs Vlastimil Hort
Spassky - Hort Candidates Quarterfinal (1977), Reykjavik ISL, rd 3, Mar-03
English Opening: King's English. Taimanov Variation (A25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-01-09  waustad: How does white finish this off after 41.) ... Ra7? Of course in those days Bg5 would have probably been the sealed move so they had teams of GMs analyzing the position over night. Probably when the move was shown the next day he resigned.
Nov-01-09  WhiteRook48: 41 Re8+ Kh7 42 Be4 maybe
Feb-03-12  offramp: 39...Rg1 is a mistake. 39...Ra5 pinning the bishop, among other moves, should draw. After 41...Ra7, then Bb7 should win:

click for larger view

I have heard that Hort got locked in a toilet before move 39.

Feb-04-12  waustad: My very lightweight sillycon found

41.) Bb7 Ra5+
42.) Kg6 Re5
43.) Rh7+ Kg8
44.) Bd5 ...

which leads to material advantage.

Nov-02-13  Olavi: Hort lost on time.
Sep-01-17  Aurora: The turn of the game and maybe the match:

HORT, who had time on the clock, went to the toilet before playing his 40th move to get to the toilet. It was necessary to cross another room that was <locked by mistake by the hotel staff> after its passage! He was issued only too late and he did not have the Time to play the 40th move.

As a result, he lost the game and later the match.

Sep-01-17  Howard: Where did you get that story from ? I have the 1977 back issues of CL&R, which gave a detailed account of the Candidates matches. No mention whatsoever of that story is given!
Sep-01-17  RookFile: It's fine. Spassky has a won position after 40. Bg5. Hort could have gone home and taken a nap, it doesn't really matter.
Sep-01-17  Aurora: French chess journalist <Dominique Primel>, chessbase
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: One possible finish could be 40...Ra7 41.Bb7 Kg8 42.Kg6 Kf8 43.Rf7+ Kg8 44.Rd7 Bb6 45.Bd5+ Kf8 46.Rxd6 Bc7 47.Rf6+ Ke8 48.Bc6+ Ke7 49.c5 Bb8 50.Bd5 Rc7 51.c6 etc.
Aug-20-18  edubueno: Se observa que a partir de la jugada 30 Hort está en grave zeitnot.
Feb-20-19  edubueno: 1) +1.74 (30 ply) 40...Ra7 41.Bb7 Kg8 42.Kg6 Rxg5+ 43.hxg5 Kf8 44.Rh7 Ke8 45.Kxh5 Kd8 46.g6 Ra3 47.Kg4 Be5 48.Kf5 Rg3 49.Bd5 Rg1 50.Rf7 Ke8 51.Bc6+ Kd8 52.Rd7+ Kc8 53.Ra7 Rc1 54.Bd5 Rg1 55.Rb7 Bd4 56.Rf7 Be5 57.Ra7 Rg3 58.Rf7 Kd8 59.Rb7
Feb-20-19  DrGridlock: The write up on the Spassky - Hort match page states,

"Game 15 was set for 13 April but Hort got sick again ("the flu" this time), and it was postponed till 15 April. However, Hort was still sick, and Spassky was also weak. Somehow (despite Hort had used up his three postponements) it was agreed to have it played on 17 April. Hort had black. He reached a crushing position where he could have forced Spassky's immediate resignation, but with about half a minute on his clock for the last six moves before the time control, he sat "entranced at the thought that the match was his". He forgot about the clock and lost on time. After this disaster he was shattered and even though he had the advantage in Game 16, he was unable to pull back."

At no point does Hort have a "crushing position." At move 35, Komodo does give black a slight edge:

Boris Spassky - Vlastimil Hort

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo 5r1 32-bit :

1. ³ (-0.35): 35...Rf8 36.Bf4 Bf6 37.Re3 Kg7 38.Rb3 Bg4 39.Rb7+ Kh8 40.Re1 Bc8 41.Rb3 Kg7 42.Rf1 Bf5 43.Rb7+ Kh8 44.Rf3 Bg4 45.Rd3 Bf5

Komodo likes Rf8 to take some of the "punch" out of Spassky's exchange sacrifice on f5. Note that at game's end that Black is still up the exchange. At move 39 ... Ra5 was perhaps more accurate for black.

Hort did play his last 5 moves somewhat like a player recovering from the flu and feeling "the call of nature." Sad that the game never got the ending it deserved. (After 14 games, the match was tied, and this win in the penultimate game virtually clinched the match for Spassky).

The match page notes,

"To console himself after the match, Hort gave a simultaneous exhibition on 21 April: +40 =6 -5. In Seltjarnarnes (at Reykjavík) two days later (23-24 April), he broke the world simultaneous record by playing 550 opponents in 24 hours and 20 minutes: +477 =63 -10."

So perhaps Hort recovered quickly from his bout with the flu.

Feb-21-19  Howard: But this is Game 3 that you're analyzing--not Game 15.

In the latter game, Spassky was dead-lost...until Hort lost on time.

Feb-21-19  Howard: Plus I think Game 3 was also lost on time ! Anyone have access to back issues of CL&R >
Feb-21-19  DrGridlock: <Howard> You are correct. This is game 3. Game 15 is here:

Spassky vs Hort, 1977

The match page states, "The first two games were drawn. In Game 3 (playing time: 5-10 pm), Hort was better but blundered in time pressure on move 39 and lost on time (move 40)"

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