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Grigory Levenfish vs Vasily Smyslov
USSR Championship (1949), Moscow URS, rd 6, Oct-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D98)  ·  1-0



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Given 6 times; par: 51 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-13-06  The17thPawn: Botvinnik's old nemesis gives Vasily a whipping in this little gem. Levenfish really got the short end of the stick from his own government after winning the 1937 USSR championship and then drawing the match that was demanded by Botvinnik the Kremlin's favorite son.
Dec-17-09  CookieNapster: Brilliant game by Levinfish.
Dec-17-09  Sacsacmate: awesoem play by Levenfish....Rxg6 is reminiscent of Tal..
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  GrahamClayton: A key game in the championship as a draw or win by Smyslov would have given him the championship title outright, instead of finishing =1st with Bronstein.
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  woldsmandriffield: The game turned on move 19: 19 fxg6 (premature? 19 Nf4 builds) 19..hxg6?! (19..fxg6! 20 Nf4 Qc7 with counterplay)

20 Bd4 was good (20 Nd4?! Qb8!) after which 20..Nf6? allowed Levenfish to win brilliantly. The last chance was 20..Qc7 when 21 Rc3 c5 22 d6 Qa5 leaves Black clinging on but alive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: This game forms the main contents of Appendix A, Smyslov's System in the Grünfeld Defense in <Andrey Terekhov, Vasily Smyslov, vol 1, 2020>.
Terekhov: "This terrible loss had a profound impact on Smyslov, After 1949, he practically stopped playing the Grünfeld Defence and switched to the Nimzo-Indian, Slav and other openings" [...] Smyslov played his own system with Black only three more times after 1949."
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  perfidious: As to the post by <The17thPawn>:

Sounds like standard stuff under the regime; Levenfish, while still a tough sumbitch, was written off as a hasbeenusetawas, while Botvinnik was their hope to challenge for the title.

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  nizmo11: The brilliancy prize for this game was awarded by Botvinnik (Terekhov). Perhaps he now felt, he could be gracious towards his old nemesis.

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