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Boris Spassky vs Jonathan Penrose
Palma de Mallorca (1969), Palma ESP, rd 11, Dec-05
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  1-0



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  playground player: Overlooked? No, Spassky isn't overlooked--haven't we at CG been celebrating him all week?

Spassky is like a great baseball player whose greatness becomes more apparent, not less so, with each passing year. Maybe during his active career he was overshadowed by others were were flashier, or more controversial. But we appreciate him more and more with time.

Boris, we appreciate you!

Feb-05-17  bubuli55: The first couple of moves are not hard to see. The continuation 39.Qb8 is easier to find if one can understand why the Q was there on 29.Qb8. And after 39.Qb8 one can say the road widens. Insane? I don't know. But it seems Spassky was intent on winning and Penrose was trying to close the game and hold. This was played in the prestigious Palma de Mallorca. Must be a bigger game than usual.
Feb-05-17  YouRang: Insane Sunday 37.?

click for larger view

Right away, I noticed that if I could get my knight to b6, the black queen would be a goner!

Unfortunately, that observation turned out to be useless for the sake of today's puzzle.

Feb-05-17  Marmot PFL: The only idea I could see was 37 Bxc5 dc5 38 Qxe5 with two mobile passed pawns for the knight. This looks playable and probably strong, but proving it with analysis isn't so easy. In an OTB game it would be hard to defend for black, even if a good defense exists.
Feb-05-17  RandomVisitor: 44...Kh7 draws. Black will move the knight out of the way to d7, then Qb2+ ought to be perpetual check:

44...Kh7 45.Qd4 Nd7 46.Qxb4 Qb2+

Feb-05-17  Marmot PFL: < RandomVisitor> 45 Qxb4 with 4 pawns for the knight looks like a win.
Feb-05-17  stst: An interlocking situation, White's Q is imprisoned and couldn't break through the fire wall of Black's QNN. Unless for a sac, White has no good move.
The advance of Nf5 does not look promising, try instead a B-sac: 37.Bxc5 dxB
38.Qxe5 (W Q is now released) Nd6
39.Qf6 Bc8
40.Nf5 N7xN
41.Qg6+ Kh8
42.gxN Nxf5
43.exN QXf5
44.Qxh6+ Kf8
some possible digression here:
45.d6 Qh3+
46.Kf2 Qh2+
47.Ke3 Qe5+
48.Kf2 Qh2+ .... perpetual +

45.Qg6+ then exchange Q with more P in prevail.

see how the actual game plays out....

Feb-05-17  Smothered Mate: : ​ < Marmot PFL >
44. ... Kh7 ​ 45. Qxb4 Qc7 ​ ​ ​ and my Stockfish is giving [+0.00]. ​ Black threatens Qc2+ and Qf4, the latter
​of which then threatens Nxe4 and Nxg4.

If ​ 44. ... Kh7 ​ in fact holds, then that leads one to ​
wonder whether-or-not the puzzle move actually wins.

Feb-05-17  stst: My 38....Nd6 intending to block the d-P allows White 39.Qf6, yet the game's 39.....Nef6 also allows White's 40.Nf5....

All in all, Black couldn't hole, but I don't see elegant moves like those in early of the week (of course, "insane" games usually like that.)

Getting the initial concept (trying to unlock the Q, by all means,) is good enough.

Feb-05-17  stst: <Right away, I noticed that if I could get my knight to b6, the black queen would be a goner! Unfortunately, that observation turned out to be useless for the sake of today's puzzle.>

Nh1-f2-d1-b2-a4-b6 is the only route -
will get you there... but alas, during this journey, even if the N is not disturbed, other things change dramatically, so.... even if the N can safely arrive b6, the Black Q may not be there, or, even if there, there may be plenty of escape routes, or.... the White K is being in check at that moment, and, the N will be dead in next move (if not dead on arrival.)

Feb-05-17  TheBish: Spassky vs J Penrose, 1969

White to play (37.?) "Insane"

I believe I've seen this one. Material is even, but White's light-square bishop is a prisoner behind his own pawns. His dark-square bishop isn't much better, imprisoned by Black's pawns. A breakthrough is necessary.

37. Bxc5!! dxc5 38. Qxe5, followed by Qa1, e5, Be4+ (or possibly Ne4) and a timely advance of the connected passed d- and e-pawns, combined with an attack on the exposed king.

Feb-05-17  RandomVisitor: After 37.Bxc5 dxc5 38.Qxe5 Ng8

click for larger view


<+1.24/40 39.Nh1> Ngf6 40.Nf2 Kg8 41.Qb8 Kg7 42.Kg3 Qc7+ 43.Qxc7+ Nxc7 44.Nd3 Nd7 45.e5 Na6 46.Be4 Nb6 47.Kf3 Ba8 48.Ke3 Kf7 49.Bg6+ Ke7 50.Ke4 Nc7 51.Nxc5 Nbxd5 52.cxd5 Bxd5+ 53.Kd4 Bg8 54.Bf5 Nb5+ 55.Ke4 Nc3+ 56.Ke3 Bd5 57.Kd4 Bf7 58.Bg6 Nb5+ 59.Ke3 Bd5 60.Bd3 Nc3 61.Kd4 Bf3 62.Bf5 Bd5 63.Na6 Bxb3 64.Nxb4 Ne2+ 65.Kc5 Ng3 66.Nc6+ Ke8

Feb-05-17  RandomVisitor: 43.Qf8+ is in fact a big mistake, allowing black to draw. Better was 43.Qh8+, winning.
Feb-05-17  Marmot PFL: <44. ... Kh7 ​ 45. Qxb4 Qc7 ​ ​ ​ and my Stockfish is giving [+0.00]. ​ Black threatens Qc2+ and Qf4, the latter ​of which then threatens Nxe4 and Nxg4. >

I thought once the WK reached h3 the attack was over and the win was easy, but i guess not (perpetual check), or if he stays on g2 and loses g4 than black has a passed pawn too as well as an extra piece.

as I said in my first post it would be very hard to find a defense like this OTB, and black didn't. Most often when faced with such a sacrifice the defender won't play the best moves, especially if it's played by the world champion.

Feb-05-17  Pedro Fernandez: Excellent sac 37.Bxc5! I liked first 37.Nf5 Nxf5 38.exf5, etc. but it doesn't work. Anyways, after 37.Bxc5 exc5 38.Qxe5 Ng8, SF_8_x64_popcnt, HT=4096 MB, d=32, 20 billion nodes analyzed @ 12,000 kN/s, recommends 39.Nh1(?) instead of 39.Qb8. I don't understand that move by SF.

click for larger view

Feb-05-17  Moszkowski012273: 39.Qf5+... is another way to win it.
Feb-06-17  Nova: <RandomVisitor: 43.Qf8+ is in fact a big mistake, allowing black to draw. Better was 43.Qh8+, winning.>

Sorry, how is 43. Qf8+ only lead to a draw? And how would 43. Qh8+ lead to a win instead? Can someone post some sample lines to demonstrate this?

Feb-06-17  savagerules: Spassky had an incredible score with the Saemisch in his career up until 1973. 20 wins 0 losses and 5 draws (according to the database on this site). No wonder Fischer decided not to play the KID in their 1972 match.
Feb-06-17  Howard: Spassky's final score of three wins and the rest of the games being draws seems a bit unusual--for him, at least.
Feb-06-17  Marmot PFL: Spassky had just recently become champion and was not in a fighting mood.
Feb-06-17  Marmot PFL: Spassky in his time as champion won only one tournament that I know of. his main chess activity seemed to be playing board 1 for the Soviets in the Olympiad and in USSR v World.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Marmot: Spassky in his time as champion won only one tournament that I know of....>

This was in keeping with the lineage from Botvinnik through Fischer: in some cases they played not at all, as for the rest, their results were often indifferent.

Karpov was the first reigning titleholder since Alekhine's first turn in the saddle to carry off top prizes with adamantine consistency.

Whatever one thinks of the style of play of the little man from Zlatoust, he was the goods from 1975 on, until Kasparov came along and outproduced even his fine skein of results.

Feb-09-17  patzer2: For the Sunday Feb 5, 2017 puzzle solution, it was not difficult to guess the correct move 37. Bxc5! with a positional sacrifice to win two pawns for the piece, centralize the Queen and create two strong connected passed pawns.

However, as is often the case with our Sunday puzzles, the follow-up wasn't easy. Even Spassky missed a few stronger moves.

Here's a look with Deep Fritz 15:

<37. Bxc5!> This decisive positional attacking sham sacrifice, striking while the iron is hot, is strongest and best. This is not the time for slow positional maneuvering with timid tries like 37. Bf2 Qc8 38. Qxc8 Bxc8 39. Nf1 (+0.65 @ 25 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

<37...dxc5 38. Qxe5 Ng8 39. Qb8 Nef6?>

This not so obvious mistake allows White a strong initiative, which ultimately proves decisive. The computers indicate Black can put up more resistance with 39... Ngf6 40. Nf5 Qc8 when play might continue 41. Qe5 Qc7 42. Qxc7+ Nxc7 43. Nd6 Ba6 44. e5 Nd7 45. e6 Nf6 46. Be4+ Kg7 47. Nf5+ Kf8 48. Kf3 Ng8 49. Ke3 Bc8 50. Nd6 Ba6 51. Bf3 (+1.39 @ 24 depth, Deep Fritz 15.)

Another computer assesses White's winning chances even lower after 39...Ngf6 40. Nf5 Qc8 (+0.55 @ 32 depth, Stockfish 7.)

<40. Nf5!> Now White is winning with Komodo 10.3 assessing it +3.27 @ 34 depth in White's favor.

<40...Ne7 41. Nxh6 Nexd5>

If 41... Kxh6, White is on the way to a sure mate after 42. Qf8+ Kh7 43. Qf7+ Kh8 44. Qxf6+ Kg8 45. h6 Nc8 46. e5 Qe7 47. Qxe7 Nxe7 48. d6 Nc6 49. e6 Kf8 50. h7 Kg7 51. e7 Nxe7 52. h8=Q+ Kxh8 53. dxe7 Bxf3+ 54. Kxf3 Kh7 55. e8=Q with #5 to follow)

<42. cxd5 Kxh6 43. Qf8+?>

This almost lets Black off the hook as Spassky overlooks the strong winning continuation 43. Qh8+! Nh7 44. Qg8 Qd6 45. e5 Qa6 46. Kg3 Qd3 47. Qe6+ Kg7 48. h6+ Kf8 49. Qd6+ Kg8 50. Qb8+ Bc8 51. Qxc8+ Nf8 52. Qb7 Qg6 53. e6 Qf6 54. e7 Kf7 55. exf8=Q+ Kxf8 56. h7 Qe5+ 57. Kh3 Qg7 58. Qxg7+ Kxg7 59. Be4 with #6 to follow.

<43... Qg7 44. Qxc5 Nd7??> This is the losing move for Black. Instead, Black could have kept it level with 44...Kh7 45. Qxb4 Qc7 = (0.00 @ 35 depth, Stockfish 290117.)

<45. Qd6+> Now it's all over but for the shouting, as play continues <45...Kh7 46. e5 Kh8 47. h6 Qh7 48. e6 Qc2+ 49. Kg3 1-0.> Black resigns as mate is unstoppable (#11 per Komodo 9.3 @ 29 depth.)

Black missed an opportunity earlier in the opening for a good game with 13...c5?! Clearly stronger is 13...cxd5 14. cxd5 Nxd5 15. exd5 e4 16. fxe4 Bxa1 17. Qxb4 Qc7 = (-0.04 @ 20 depth, Deep Fritz 15), when with a Rook for a piece and a pawn Black's position is fine.

Feb-09-17  ChessHigherCat: If 17. Bg5, Bh6!! saves her royal highness's heiny
May-29-22  Carrubo: No gotd?
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