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Vasily Smyslov vs Larry Evans
Helsinki Olympiad qual-3 (1952), Helsinki FIN, rd 7, Aug-19
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-22-05  WhoKeres: A beautifully played endgame by Smyslov, featured in many endame manuals. It's amazing that Smyslov is winning for a long time despite being technicaly behind in material.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Remarkable domination by Smyslov despite having pawn minorities on both wings.
Feb-19-20  Petrosianic: The Rakers can work wonders in open positions. I know I've seen the position at Move 61 in books, probably even one of Evans'.
Nov-21-21  Scuvy: Petrosianic, you are correct! See Evans ' New Ideas in Chess, p. 50, "Immobile tripled Pawns."
Nov-21-21  SChesshevsky: <...See Evans' New Ideas in Chess...>

Think "New Ideas in Chess" is one of the best Strategy/ Middle game books out there. Gives lots of useful info with examples. But best because written in a very concise format.

Here, probably a big gamble by Evans allowing the passed pawn with the 2 B's. At a minimum have to be very precise when facing such. Usually very dangerous and as seen, once that pawn gets moving.

Seen some other examples where the 2 B's come out on top. Maybe a Karpov game, though can't remember details. Definitely, Fischer-Larsen 1971 game 1.

Feb-02-22  jerseybob: From the moment black played 18..Ne5 I'm sure Smyslov noticed the Nf5 shot, and five moves later he finally gets to spring it. 17..Bb7, protecting d5, might've been wiser.
Aug-12-22  nezhmet: Evans bungled this game, white's play didn't make a lot of sense and on move 26, black has the exceedingly obvious 26...Bxa4 27. Nxf5 Kf8 and black is better. Instead, he played 26...Bxd4? which sowed the seeds of his later defeat by giving white a passed pawn and losing his bishop pair.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: One must be VERY confident of one's endgame skills to swap queens on move 12 and both rook pairs on move 22.

Surely black's key error was giving white two bishops on an open board?

Aug-13-22  Cassandro: Well, if you're Vasily Smyslov you have every reason to be confident in your endgame skills. He was quite simply the greatest endgame player of all time. He totally outplayed Evans here from a slightly worse position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is smyslov a better endgame player than Capa or MC? what do the 'bots say?
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Smyslov, one of my favorite players when I started to play and be serious about chess in the 1950s, certainly is among the great endgame players. However one of the great differences between Magnus and great players like Capablanca and Smyslov is they had the benefit of extensive adjournment analysis. Magnus plays his fantastic endgames frequently under time pressure without any interim analysis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The game has changed, in one fundamental respect, for the better: as I have noted elsewhere, players must now do all their work at the endings away from the board. No more adjournments means no more playing to make the time check and turning to one's BCE (or, at top level, their seconds) for aid and comfort.
Aug-13-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: This should be a GoTD, perhaps with a pun that plays off All's Well That Ends Well.

The immobility comment above suggests:

All's Well That Moves Well

Aug-13-22  nezhmet: 26...Bxa4! 27. Nxf5 Kf8 28. Nd6 (perhaps Evans was afraid of this?) doesn't work due to 28...Bc7!! 29. Nxf7 Nf6 30. Bc4 Ne4! 31. Bc1 Be8! 32. Bd5 Nf6! and black wins. So if white doesn't have anything special black is just better with the outside majority.
Aug-13-22  nezhmet: So it turns out the 23. Nf5 "shot" was really a blank shot and black simply got confused when he blundered with 26...Bxd4? (he can still hold that, but it is not easy). If he found the right way on move 26 only black can think about winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: all good points. I feel that Smyslov was the giant in the room anyway when it came time to analyze an adjourned endgame. Meaning, he didn't really need any help.

Didn't he advance through the knockout matches in 1980, to the final four, at age 70? Good lord, to have that kind of chess talent. I think he actually drew his semi final knockout match with Zoltan Ribli (greatest chess name ever) and the result was decided by a spin of a roulette wheel, of all things.

Remember, this is world chess. Never underestimate the chances of FIDE to completely F* it up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM>, Smyslov actually got to the final the cycle after that and lost to Kasparov (-4 =9) as he was celebrating his 63rd birthday. The spin of the wheel decided matters vs Huebner in the quarters, then he booked the win (+3 -1 =7) over Ribli in the semi-final.

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