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Vasily Panov vs Vasily Smyslov
USSR Championship (1940), Moscow URS, rd 13, Sep-23
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Early deviations (B75)  ·  0-1



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sac: 19...Nc6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Interesting positional sac 19..Nc6. No spectacular combination or blistering attack ensues, but white's queen and light-squared bishop are tied up for some time.

Was the sac ultimately unsound, despite the gamescore? Panov wisely eschewed 35.Bxc3? Nxf4!, but missed 35.Rxd5!. If 35..Rxd5 then 36.Bxc3, and then ..Rc8, ..Qc8, or ..Rd1+ are all grossly inadequate. So black would have to settle for 35..Rxa4, and perhaps draw.

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  samvega: 41.Rxd1 gets complicated. Would it have saved white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Samvega> Panov would have been able to put up a more prolonged resistance after your suggested move:

<41.Rxd1> Qxd1+ 42.Kh2 Bd4 43.Rxd4 Rxd4 44.Qe8+ Kg7 45.Qe5+ Kh6;

but I think the outcome would have eventually been the same.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: One's first impression is to be very skeptical of the highly speculative sacrifice in this game.

For example, what if White plays 32. Bxc6 Rxa2 33. Bxd5 Rxb3 34. Ne1. White's still a piece up, everything's protected, the c-pawn's ready to roll, and after it does, White can develop the king's rook by Rh4-Rc4. Does Black have anything solid against this?

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  samvega: If 32.Bxc6 right away, I think black replies 32..d4 (the point, I assume, of 31..e5)
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  beatgiant: <samvega>:
<If 32.Bxc6 right away, I think black replies 32..d4 (the point, I assume, of 31..e5)>

After something simple like 32. Bxc6 d4 33. Bf2 Rxa2 34. b4, White has two connected passed pawns and I don't see Black's follow-up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: hmmm ... you seem to be right, and yet I thought I'd looked at 32.Bxc6 d4 earlier and seen something more convincing for black . . .
Jul-18-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: After 18.bxa3 Ra5 followed by R8a8 will give black good counter-attack by the P sacrifice.
Jul-18-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: 19...Nc6! is a unexpected move! White wins a piece, but to keep it, his queen get out of the play, and black answered with big force exploring king's side weakness and WK off set. But after all, when white seems to survive, 39...Qd6 puts fire in the game. Couldn't play 40.Qe7?? by Qxe7, 41-Rxe7, Bf6. Sa4 allowed Sd4, Rxd4 (forced move) Qxd4 Qxd4 Rxd4. But white has Ps for the final. The Nd1 is the winning reply!
Jul-18-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: After Nd1, even 41. Qf4(?) could be followed by Qc5+ and Qf2, with the same winning attack.
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

19...Nc6 reminds of the famous
Averbakh vs Spassky, 1956 Would be interesting to know how the young (or old) Smyslov assessed the sacrifice. Terekhov: "Playing Black against Panov, he found himself in a strategically dubious position, but turned the game upside down with an <incorrect but psychologically brilliant sacrifice>."

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