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Paul Keres vs Vasily Smyslov
Leningrad / Moscow training (1939), Leningrad / Moscow URS, rd 15, Jan-26
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line (D55)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-25-04  Benjamin Lau: 11...Nh5 seems better to me than the longwinded maneuver to exchange on d6. Smyslov's text moves seem too obliging to me.
Apr-25-04  WMD: Keres admitted after move 11 that Black's preparatory moves were too time consuming but only mentions the immediate 11...c5 as better.

Danny King analysed this game and on 11...Nh5 recommends the line 12.Be5! with the idea 12...Nxe5 13.dxe5! (threat g4) 13...g6 14.Rad1 "with uncomfortable pressure in the centre."

Apr-25-04  Benjamin Lau: Thanks WMD. I take it 11...Nh5 12. Be5! f6?! 13. Bf4 Nxf4 leaves black too weak on the light squares.

Does Keres mention anything wrong with 14. e6!? instead of 14. Rad1? For instance, 14. e6!? fxe6 15. Bxg6 Ng7 16. Ne5 looks very dangerous for black, better than 14. Rad1 IMO. 14. Rad1 gives black the chance to play 14...Ng7 to reinforce the e6 square and now 15...c5! is coming, which looks bad for white.

Apr-25-04  Benjamin Lau: Sorry, I forgot the analysis is from Danny King, I meant does danny king comment on 11...Nh5 12. Be5! Nxe5 13. dxe5! g5 14. e6!?, which looks better than 14. Rad1?
Feb-09-05  WMD: 11...Nh5 12.Be5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 g6 14.e6?! fxe6 15.Bxg6 Nf6 is equal.

11...Nh5 12.Be5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 g6 14.Rad1 Ng7? 15.Bc4 .

With thanks to our little German friend.

Jun-12-06  notyetagm: <WMD: ... Danny King analysed this game...>

When did GM King analyze this game? Was it for his solitaire chess column in CHESS magazine? Thanks.

Jun-12-06  notyetagm: 20 ♗e6!! is a brilliant combination of the tactical themes <DISCOVERED DEFLECTION> and <INTERFERENCE>.
Jun-12-06  notyetagm: After all of Smyslov's heroic defense, he plays 26 ... ♘d6? and loses to the tactical shot 27 ♘xh5+!, exploiting the <PIN> of the Black g6-pawn to the b1-h7 diagonal (27 ... gxh5?? 28 ♕h7#).

Just like Nimzovich said, <"The defensive power of a pinned piece is merely illusory."> Here the Black g6-pawn is the only Black piece which prevents the threat of ♕b1-h7# by blocking the b1-h7 diagonal. Since this pawn cannot leave that diagonal under penalty of allowing a mate in one, it only pretends to defend the Black h5-pawn (27 ♘xh5+!).

Jun-12-06  notyetagm: 26 ... ♘f6! is a very instructive defensive move by Black.

Black's problem is that his g6-pawn is <OVERWORKED>, having to both <DEFEND> the h5-pawn from the threat of ♘g3xh5+ and <BLOCK> the b1-h7 diagonal to meet the threat of ♕b1-h7#.

By playing 26 ... ♘f6!, Black <SHARES THE BURDEN> of his g6-pawn with his knight. The g6-pawn is no longer <OVERWORKED>. The Black g6-pawn <DEFENDS> the h5-pawn while the Black f6-knight <DEFENDS> the h7-mating focal point, i.e., 27 ♘xh5+ gxh5 28 ♕h7+ ♘xh7. Or the Black f6-knight <DEFENDS> the h5-pawn and the g6-pawn <BLOCKS> the b1-h7 diagonal to stop ♕b1-h7#, i.e., 27 ♘xh5+ ♘xh5 and now 28 ♕b1-h7# is not legal since the diagonal is blocked at g6.

Either way since each defending piece (Black g6-pawn, f6-knight) performs only one defensive task, neither is <OVERWORKED>.

Jun-12-06  notyetagm: 17 ♗f5! and if 17 ... gxf5?, then White <RELOADS> on the f5-square with 18 ♘f5, which Keres says gives White a winning attack.

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Oct-22-06  bernardchinshin: 26..Nf6 27.Rxf6

If 27..Qxf6 28.Nxh5 gxh5 29. Qh7+ Kf8 30. Qxb7 threatening the rook and Nh7+ (winning the queen)

If 27.. Kxf6 28. Qf1+ Ke7 29. Qf7+ Kd8 30. Qxb7 threatening the rook and Nf7+ (winning the queen)

Jul-18-08  The Ninth Pawn: From Game Collection: Periodic Table of Tactical Elements: 1. Pins (P) :

In Keres vs Smyslov, 1939 , the Black g6-pawn is pinned to the White h7 mating square so 27. ♘g3x♙h5+ wins a pawn, and later the game.

Sep-24-08  notyetagm: White to play: 27 ?

click for larger view

27 ♘g3xh5+!

click for larger view

<The Ninth Pawn: From Game Collection: Periodic Table of Tactical Elements: 1. Pins (P) :

In Keres vs Smyslov, 1939 , the Black g6-pawn is pinned to the White h7 mating square so 27. Ng3xh5+ wins a pawn, and later the game.>

Yes, 27 ♘g3xh5+! is an *excellent* example of exploiting a <PIN AGAINST A SQUARE>.

Sep-25-08  karik: Keres has some games dated Jan 1939, all of them in a match between Leningrad and Moscow.

Surely the date is wrong, at that time Keres didn't represent either city.

1940 is more probable.

Sep-30-08  morphynoman2: 26...Qxe3+ 27.Kh2 Nf6 28.Rxf6 Kxf6 29.Qf1+ Ke7!= 30. Qf7 Kd6 31. Qxb7 Rf8! 32. Qxa6 Rf4 33. Nf3 Rg4 and the best for white is a perpetual check. Analysis by Fritz 11
Sep-02-10  AVRO38: <karik>

The Jan 1939 date is correct. MCO-6 references this game and it was published in the first half of 1939.

Oct-23-10  outsider: this was not a match, that was a tournament parts of which took place in Leningrad and Moscow. Euwe was also involved. the date is right
Nov-22-10  sevenseaman: <The Ninth Pawn> A perceptive comment there. Pin against a vital square or in simple language, blocks a vital access - any semantics of your choice.
Aug-24-11  ToTheDeath: Are you kidding me?! What a game!
Jul-30-12  backrank: 'A scintillating display of the magical art of Keres. He dazzels his opponent (one of the strongest players in the world) with a bewildering assortment of surprise moves, sacrifices, and Knight forks both threatened and actual.' (Chernev)

'This beautiful game (with its even more beautiful variations!) is a welcome addition to the store of choice combinative masterpieces.' (Reinfeld)

Jul-30-12  BUNA: Does anyone have more information concerning this "Leningrad-Moscow-Tournament" in 1939. I have never heard of it before.

<'A scintillating display of the magical art of Keres. He dazzels his opponent (one of the strongest players in the world)>

Smyslov was 18 years old and the soviet junior champ. Would play his first soviet championship in 1940. Probably wasn't one of the strongest players in the world yet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <BUNA> Here's a little, Flohr's great triumph just after his disaster at AVRO in fall 1938.

Jul-30-12  BUNA: <perfidious> Great link. Thanks a lot!
Mar-17-13  jed44: what about 22. Bxf7+ ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Prior to this game 11 Bh4 had been played a few times; 11 Bf4 was new. 11..a6 and 12..Ne8 delaying the standard break ..c5 were indicative that Black's opening had not gone smoothly. 25..Qxe3+ 26 Kh2..Rxf1 27 Rxf1..Nf6 28 Rxf6..Kxf6 29 Qf1+..Ke5 30 Qf7..Bc8 31 Qc7+..Kd4 32 Nf3+ would have been winning for White.

A beautiful attacking game.

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