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Svetozar Gligoric vs Vasily Smyslov
URS-YUG (1959), Kiev URS, rd 3, Jul-??
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Spassky Variation (D87)  ·  0-1



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Given 9 times; par: 57 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <perhaps: perhaps white would save itself with: 40.Qh2 >


click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Roll this puzzle back to move 38....
Jul-01-09  David2009: <TommyC: This puzzle would have been even better had it been set in the position after 38.Rxc4.> Spot on. < beenthere240: Roll this puzzle back to move 38.... > Yes. How about 38 Ng3 for White - can he cling on?
Jul-01-09  StevieB: Bh4+ looked so promising, that in my, so so chess mind, I couldn't let it go. Oh well, hopefully this will remind me to keep looking for better. Cheers!
Jul-01-09  lost in space: It took me a long time to find 39...h5!. Much too long, from my perspective.
Jul-01-09  Samagonka: How glad am I to see that I'm not the only one who missed this one! The simplest move is usually the hardest one to spot.
Jul-01-09  Civhai: White has one rook more, so I have to mate him or sacrifice the queen or something.

It's really hard to find candidate moves, because sacrificing the queen leads to nonsense and after Bh4+ Kxh4, I got nothing either. So I have to search for a quiet move. h5 seems to be the only candidate, but if he moves the queen, he gets a square for his king, so the threat of h5 is harmless.

But wait: My queen can mate on g1, g2 and f3 and the only square, where he can protect these three squares is f2 and he has to go away from that square. So I think h5 should win, but the stupid thing about quiet moves is that I ALWAYS miss a sideline or something. And especially if the opponent has more material, this can be really stupid.

Time to check.

Jul-01-09  Civhai: Oh, as always, I missed the most important line: He can just play h4, but of course, then Bxh4 wins. cu
Jul-01-09  minasina: Okay 39....h5 is the best, but I'm still happy to see that after 39....Bh4+ 40.Kxh4 g5+ all variations lead also very soon to checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As <Zenopharaos> notes on page 1 of the kibitzing here, White blundered with 38. Rxc4? -- allowing 38...Qh1+!! 39. Kg3 h5 (today's Tuesday solution) with a decisive mate threat.

Instead, 38. Ng3 = appears to hold.

Jul-02-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <zenpharaohs>, <OhioChessFan>, <patzer2> and other proponents of <38. Ng3>

Yes, it seems to be a good move, but black still loses. After lots of crunching, my silicon monster says:

1. (-4.76) 38. Ne3 Nxe3 39. Rxa5 Bh4 40. d5 Bxf2 <the rest may be unreliable> 41. dxc6 Bxc6 42. Ra6 Be4 43. Rd6 Rxd6 44. exd6 Kf7 45. d7 Ke7 46. c4 Kxd7

2. (-5.16) 38. Ng3 Nxb2 39. Rxa5 Nd3 40. Qd2 Nxf4 <the rest may be unreliable> 41. Rg1 Bg5 42. Qb2 Rb8 43. Rga1 Bh4 44. d5 Nxd5

It seems that 37.Nf1 was the losing move, and Qe2 was needed instead. See also Kasparov's analysis (link: Gligoric vs Smyslov, 1959) quoted by <aw1988>

Jul-02-09  MostlyAverageJoe: The refutation of <38. Ng3> as a saving move poses a Thursday-Friday level puzzle:

Suppose the game went thus:

38. Ng3 Nxb2 39. Qxb2?!

click for larger view

Find the best move for black. The first move is not that difficult, but analysis of the possible variants might be extensive.

Jul-02-09  gofer: <MostlyAverageJoe: The refutation of 38. Ng3 as a saving move poses a Thursday-Friday level puzzle>

Not sure that I like using Fritz for this but it is beyond my simple brain to look at this many permutations...

38 Ng3 Nxb2
39 Qxb2 Bh4!

40 Nh1 Qf3 winning for black!
40 Nxf5 gxf5 winning for black!
40 Qe2/Qf2 Qxc3 winning for black!
40 Qd2 Qf3 winning for black!

Hmmm so maybe white was in deep trouble anyway!

Jul-02-09  David2009: <MAJ:> I suggest we continue over the board, I will play White. I agree with your suggestion for White 38 Ng3 Nxb2 39 Qxb2. Your move.

It is now 19:48 French time and I am out this evening. Apologies in advance for a delayed reply to your 39th move!

Jul-02-09  MostlyAverageJoe: To <David2009>"

Okay, but CG does not like games played in public discussion forums. Let's continue on MostlyAverageJoe chessforum

Jul-05-09  gawain: I solved this one pretty quickly. A study-like position. Mate after 39...h5 cannot be stopped. <Dzechiel> gives the complete catalog.
Jul-20-09  David2009: <MAJ> has elegantly refuted 38 Ng3 as a saving move, starting 38 ...Nxb2 39 Qxb2

click for larger view

and now (as suggested by <gofer>) 39 ... Bh4! wins. As White's pieces lie, Bh4 sets up a double threat: (A) Bxg3+ followed by Qf3+ and an eventual skewer of the unprotected White Q at b2 via back rank checks (or a mate) and (B) an immediate Qf3 simply increasing the pressure with the Ba8 joining in the attack. White cannot defend both threats. Details are on MostlyAverageJoe chessforum.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game is from the <USSR-Yugoslavia Match 1959> In Kiev (1-9 July).

<Smyslov> played first board for the USSR and faced <Gligoric> four times, scoring +1 -1 -2.

USSR beat Yugoslavia 24.5 - 15.5


-Di Felice "Chess Results 1956-1960," p.383


(Rusbase dates the match 1-10 July 1959)

Jan-04-20  ewan14: Beautiful play by Smyslov
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Gligoric is made to pay dearly for the antipositional 17.e5, granting his great opponent the eternal square d5.
Jan-04-20  RookFile: It did rather breezy on the long white squared diagonal leading to white's king.
Jan-04-22  Saniyat24: White has a blocked bishop whereas the black bishops are absolute monsters....what a difference that makes...flank attack at its best...!
Jan-09-22  Justin796: Smyslov in his prime is definitely woman's candidate master strength at least.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Justin796: Smyslov in his prime is definitely woman's candidate master strength at least.>

If only we all could be such chess giants as <Justin796>! This Smyslov patzer was so weak that he won two consecutive Candidates tournaments, had a plus score in three world championship matches, and at age 63 played a Candidates match against Kasparov, almost thrice his age, for the right to face Karpov for the world championship.

<Justin796> also wrote: <Morphy had weak competition! He reminds me of Fischer in the sense of being vastly overrated...> N Marache vs Morphy, 1857. Has there ever been a more perceptive student of the game than <Justin796>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If I thought it worth the time, I would send <brandon> to iggydumb.
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