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William Hartston vs Boris Spassky
"Hartston, We Have a Problem" (game of the day Jul-11-2020)
Hastings (1965/66), Hastings ENG, rd 3, Dec-31
King's Gambit: Accepted. Abbazia Defense (C36)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-07-14  SimonWebbsTiger: Looking at the kibitzes:

6...bxc6 is considered inferior due the game Spassky-Sakharov, 27th Soviet Chp. 1960.

It's game 38 in Cafferty's "Spassky's 100 Best Games." Cafferty also noted how Boris met the 6...Nxc6 idea in a simul.

Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: I think Hartston needed a bottle after this one.
Apr-09-15  TheFocus: "Hartston, we have a problem."
Apr-09-15  A.T PhoneHome: That would make a great pun! For the real one:

Short vs D Houston, 1981

Dec-05-19  Ulhumbrus: < FSR: Wow. That's ballsy - playing the KG against Spassky, the King of the King's Gambit.> Like playing the Najdorf against Fischer or Kasparov
Dec-05-19  ewan14: Geller played the poisoned pawn Nahdorf against Fischer successfully in 1967. RJF was not the GOAT then
Dec-05-19  ewan14: Najdorf
Jul-08-20  Ulhumbrus: One justification for playing 5 Bc4 instead of 5 B b5+ so as to have the bishop on c4 instead of on b5 is that if the game then proceeds as after the game proceeds after the move 5 Bb5+ on 5 Bc4 c6 6 dxc6 Nxc6 7 d4 Bd6 8 Qe2+ Black cannot respond with 8 ...Be6 as 9 d5 becomes possible. Black can however play 8...Ne7 instead as White's king's bishop does not pin Black's queen's knight but then White has 9 Ne5 obstructing Black's king bishop from defending Black's f4 pawn. This may warrant further examination.
Jul-11-20  thegoodanarchist: <TheFocus: "Hartston, we have a problem.">

Sir, if I may be allowed, well done on the pun!

The 1960s are famous in the US for being the peace/love decade.

But in international chess circles, the 1960s are famous for being the time of (first) Petrosian, and after that, the inimicable <Boris Spassky>.

There are PLENTY of games that demonstrate the dominance of Boris in the second half of the 1960s. And this game is one of them!

Long live Boris Spassky!

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: A great pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morf: <FSR> There's a fine line between gutsy and foolish....>

The curious thing--or perhaps not so much so in retrospect--is that I recall reading of Hartston's lack of self-confidence and how it kept him from still greater achievements, formidable a player though he was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

--Spinal Tap

Jul-11-20  C. Auguste Dupin: Hartson must have been looking for a psychological advantage with his opening choice, playing a beloved opening of Spassky against Spassky. Spassky thoroughly punishes him in the end, showing him who is the king of flamboyant tactics.
Jul-11-20  jith1207: As User: A.T PhoneHome said, Let me just say that I'm not fan of recycling tired and worn-out puns, especially when every frequent visitor here should have known the original version (I even came across that this week once more).
Jul-11-20  Cibator: Maybe Bill figured he hadn't a prayer against the soon-to-be world title challenger, and, rather than lose a boring fifty-move back-to-the-wall struggle for the faint hope of a draw, decided to get himself a free lesson in how to conduct this kind of slugfest. Boris duly obliged.
Jul-11-20  Brenin: In the mid-1960s Bill Hartston was one of a small group of English young guns (Basman and Keene were others), mainly based in London and/or Cambridge, who I recall were not lacking in self-confidence. However, invitations to international tournaments were hard to come by at that time (the UK produced no GMs until the mid-70s), so apart from Hastings and the Olympiads there were few opportunities, at that critical stage of their careers, for them to play the very best opposition. Bill has to speak for himself, but my guess is that <Cibator> has got it right.
Jul-11-20  Everett: <
Dec-05-19 ewan14: Geller played the poisoned pawn Nahdorf against Fischer successfully in 1967. >

And RJF played the PP Najdorf vs Spassky in ‘72, and got embarrassed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As to <Cibator>'s views, I can tell you that as a chess master, I did not play much differently against 2500 players than against opponents weaker than myself--perhaps that was not for the best.

In poker, my approach is very much different; if I am at a table filled with top professionals, I will take many more risks than if my opposition is of a lower standard, the type I would grind down by simply outplaying them. There is, of course, more to it than that, but that is an overview.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> I subscribed to <CHESS> magazine in the mid-1970s, where I read of the race to become England's first grandmaster and thereby win the prize offered by James Slater for that feat. Would it be Hartston or Keene? It was . . . Tony Miles? Who? I didn't even know that he was in the running. Keene got his title a few months later. Hartston, to my great surprise, never did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <FSR>

I once asked Keene about him,Miles and the grandmastertitle.And instead of telling it was Miles who was the first,he showed me(and some others around the table) a game were he beat Tony in convincing style.The one that ends with Qb1!!.
It was like he wouldn´t surrender to the reality.

Jul-15-20  Everett: <moronovich> self-deceit is one of humankind’s most profound skills
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Guess you are right <Everett>
Aug-06-20  Everett: <moronovich> I have hopes that this will not always be the case..
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That little vignette was a classic example of selective memory.
Aug-13-20  Ulhumbrus: With 19...Qd7 Spassky makes no attempt to go after White's g3 pawn by 19...Qc7 and instead takes first White's c2 pawn and then White's a2 pawn after which White resigns within a few moves.

There may be a perfectly good reason for Spassky's choice but it seems worth making the observation to begin with.

Now let us go a little beyond the initial observation.

After 19...Qc7 Black's c pawn is pinned and invites the move 20 d5. This move also uncovers a defence from White's queen on to the f2 square in the event of 20...Qxg3

This suggests that one reason for not choosing an obvious attack ( eg 19...Qc7) is that it makes a concession to the opponent ( eg getting the c pawn pinned)

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