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Vasily Smyslov vs Lembit Oll
"You Can't Win Them Oll" (game of the day Jan-06-2015)
Rostov-on-Don (1993), Rostov-on-Don RUS
Dutch Defense: Semi-Leningrad Variation (A81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Yes. This is a famous game. I recall struggling to work this out as a 5 move problem I think it was.

Also Smyslov, as always, plays beautiful chess. He was one of the greatest players. Very much underrated. Handles all aspects of the game fantastically.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I keep thinking of Oll, who was such a great player, but took his own life so early. And that I met him briefly in NZ in the mid nineties I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is one of prettiest (comming) checkmates I have ever seen in a real game. Almost a pure mate in the middle of the board (unfortunately after 31...e4 32.Nh3# the "pure" mate is spoilt by the fact that the Knight attacks the Bishop on g5, the purity of mates after 31... else 32.Bd2# is "spoilt" by twofold cover of Pg4 by Knight and Rook and the point e3, which is attacked by Bishop and King) is very pleasing.
Jan-06-15  morfishine: Startling and brilliant finish and Smyslov was 70+ years old vs his much younger opponent!

<Richard Taylor> You sure have met many notable chess player during your career. I'm not sure what you mean by Smyslov being "Very much underrated". I think he's been properly and accurately recognized for his extremely commendable achievements in chess and his overall strength and style of play


Jan-06-15  kamagong24: simply amazing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Black is completely helpless in the final position.

(Smylov's threat is Bd2#.)

Playing 31...e4 to avoid the Bishop mate just switches the role of executioner to the White Knight. (32.Nh3#)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: A bit cheeky playing the Dutch Defense against Smyslov, who must have faced it many times when playing Botvinnik for the world championship
Jan-06-15  varishnakov: Wow, that rook sac and mate can out of nowhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mate will come quietly by the bishop.
Jan-06-15  lost in space: Wow, brilliantly played by Smyslov the Great
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Oll you can eat.
Jan-06-15  john barleycorn: "Eat Oll you can" or "Oll you need"
Jan-06-15  chelseaosgood: Vasilynd Oll Over
Jan-06-15  Castleinthesky: Nice game-it is interesting how Oll's king comes to trouble, rather than the trouble coming to him.
Jan-06-15  john barleycorn: <Castleinthesky: Nice game-it is interesting how Oll's king comes to trouble, rather than the trouble coming to him.>

The price of being inquisitive....

Jan-06-15  drleper: Must be close to a flawless game from Smyslov, simply beautiful play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <morfishine: Startling and brilliant finish and Smyslov was 70+ years old vs his much younger opponent! <Richard Taylor> You sure have met many notable chess player during your career. I'm not sure what you mean by Smyslov being "Very much underrated". I think he's been properly and accurately recognized for his extremely commendable achievements in chess and his overall strength and style of play>

I am a big fan of Smyslov. I feel he has a beautiful style. The "great unwashed" among the chess fans tend to neglect him for Fischer etc But his style in many ways was similar to Fischer's, and Botvinnik equaled him but how much that is due to his discipline during tournaments etc.

But yes, he is in the books and his games are appreciated.

I met a few players but I have never been overseas to play chess to a lot of it was coincidence. I played Spassky in a simul, also Averbakh as a boy (I had a draw), and Quinteros (who beat me easily, he was well dressed, very good looking man), and another simul against Olaffson who beat me also. Murray Chandler was the hardest to play in a simul as he ran from board to board as he defeated the weaker players and in the end it was like playing blitz and I couldn't think so just folded. Recently I had two interesting games against Ganguly in two simuls. I made the wrong sac as black in the Najdorf (the old main line) so after the second game I showed him what I had thought of doing and we analysed it for about 35 minutes. Very interesting...I didn't play Short but I saw him here, <Benzol> had a draw with him.

But even more interesting to me were all the characters of various abilities who used to be (and indeed still are) in chess clubs or tournaments. Many of them great woodpushers and kibitzers who loved chess but were variously eccentric or interesting. Some had great talent but will remain unknown to the world...unless someone does a history of daily (club) chess in NZ.

Some, not all, of the very strong GMs are rather dull people. Howell is rather quiet and on the face of it not very interesting. Rasmussen has a very deep voice and gets quite animated when he analyses...but there are some interesting people there. I always wonder what they are all thinking, and what they do in life, or what their interests are outside chess, what their destiny will be...Gens Una Sumus is the banner that is up at the Chess Centre....

Dec-06-16  zanzibar: Over on <chesstempo>, the famous "puzzle" from this game (i.e. white to play after 28...Kf5), only gets a rating of 1875.

Whoa, one might say. But the somewhat low rating is compensated by the somewhat longish solve time of ~8:20.

The "problem" is hard enough in plain wrapping. But please do marvel that Smyslov most certainly had to have already envisioned it when he play 28.f4.

(Which is marginally engine-best by ~0.1 in eval, but only if 28...Kf5 is properly dealt with.)

Dec-07-16  Retireborn: Somehow I have never seen this before! I think I would have played 28.Nxe5 without much thought and be embarrassed by 28...Kf5. Then 29.g4+! Kxe4 30.Ng6 closes the trap, but I wouldn't bet on me to find that...Smyslov must indeed have been seeing a tremendous amount.
Dec-07-16  zanzibar: <RB> slight typo on your move 30 I think, but I believe the pivotal move to close the trap is the quiet 31.Rg1!.

After 28.f4! Kd6-f5

click for larger view

4r3 /pp1nr3/2p4p/4pkb1/4RP2/1PBN2P1/P1P1K3/3R4 w - - 0 29

And after 29.g4+! Kxe4 30.Nf2+ Kxf4 31.Rg1!

click for larger view

This last move I found very hard to visualize from the previous diagrammed position when I was doing the solve over on <ChessTempo>

Dec-07-16  zanzibar: BTW- there is something very aesthetically pleasing about the end of this game, especially the 31...e4 32.Nh3# pseudo-Model mate finish.
Dec-08-16  Retireborn: <z> I was analyzing 28.Nxe5 instead of 28.f4 - then after 28...Kf5 29.g4+ Kxe4 30.Ng6 (only move to win) the black king can't go to f4, so Rg1 is unnecessary and mate arrives via f3 or Rd4. I don't think I would have seen this at the board.

In Informator Smyslov doesn't mention 28.Nxe5 at all, and I suppose 28.f4 is indeed a more natural move that captured his attention. I agree that 31.Rg1 is an extraordinary move and hard to find!

Dec-08-16  zanzibar: <RB> apologies for that confusion, I must have been rushing.

Plus I think I had a "bee in my bonnet" with the desire to diagram out the gameplay.

For penance, let me diagram out your variation - which is also quite nice too:

(White to move after 27...Kd6-e6)

click for larger view

4r3 /pp1nr3/2p1k2p/4p1b1/4R3/1PBN2P1/P1P1KP2/3R4 w - - 0 28

Now after 28.Nxe5 Kf5 (28...Nxe5 or 28...Nf4 are better) 29.g4+! Kxe4

click for larger view

4r3 /pp1nr3/2p4p/4N1b1/4k1P1/1PB5/P1P1KP2/3R4 w - - 0 30

And after the quiet move 30.Ng6 Black can only delay the mate, which arrives, as said, via f3# or if (30.Ne5) Rd4#

Dec-08-16  zanzibar: I must admit, there is something deeply satisfying giving your opponent a middle-game middle-board mate of their king.
Mar-03-21  bkpov: Confundus charm? Why was black keen to bring his king to middle of the board?
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