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Vasily Smyslov vs Vladimir Malaniuk
Calcutta op (1995), Calcutta IND
Spanish Game: Exchange. Bronstein Variation (C69)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I saw 29 f6 Bd6 Qg4+ Kc7 31 Qxg7+ Be7.

click for larger view

It’s a good start, but now what? The f pawn is pinned. And if 32 Bf4+, the bishop interferes with the f rook’s protection of the f pawn.

How about 32 Rb3!?, giving up the c pawn, after 32… Qxc2, but getting the queen off of the a1-h8 diagonal.

click for larger view

Now, 33 Bf4+ Kc6 34 Qf7!, threatening Qe6+, should be good enough.

click for larger view

It looks like black has to trade his queen for the b rook to avoid mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I fell for 29. Rxb7; never even looked at f6. But 29. Qh3 also looks like a strong move. If the black ♔ moves to a black square, Bf4+ or Bg5+ wins the ♕. If it doesn't, then 30. f6+ picks up something, e.g., 29...Qxc7 30. f6+ Kb8 31. Qc7, with multiple threats.
Apr-03-10  Chess Network: Rb7 was my first thought...then I noticed that black's queen could be picked off if the bishop could move w/ check.
Apr-03-10  SRILANKANMASTER: usual, I have had the misfortune to have been deceived into delight by the label "very difficult' that preceded this puzzle - delight at the thought that here, AT LAST was a puzzle that might perhaps challenge my (somewhat considerable) ability!...but oh, woe is me, that it took me but a mere two seconds to see the ENTIRE combination from begining to end..ah, of what use is it to have a special skill, to be a master at chess, as (I have, perhaps, some modest claim to,:) when there no feild sufficient to challenge one of those powers? Dear, dear...
Apr-03-10  tarek1: In this position, white is much better because of the development advance and the black king's weakness. The first move I thought was <29.Rxb7> but I couldn't make it work : <29...Kxb7 30.Rb1+ Qb4 31.Rxb4+ cxb4> and black's position is as bad as you like, but doesn't seem quite resignable yet. The interposition of <29.Rb3> didn't convince me because of <29...Qe5 30.Bf4> we don't want to exchange queens in such an attacking position but ... <30...Qd4+> and Black gained some time to organize the defense. I needed something else. This led me to the move I adopted :


This move is very strong because there is a specific threat behind it : Qh3+ and if Kb8 or Kc7, Bf4+ wins the black queen, and if Kd8 then Rfd1+ the black king's days are counted.

A) <29...Qe5> this looked like the most resilient defense, exchanging queens immediately would somewhat relieve the pressure.

But White can decline this honest proposal while keeping the initative :

<30.Qg4+!> The idea is to distract the black queen from the defense of g7. Of course 30...Kb8 or 30...Kc7 runs into 31.Bf4, and 30...Kd8 into 31.Rfd1+ so

A1) <30...Qe6> our queen is hanging and we still don't want to exchange but... <31.fxg7!> forking. now <31...Qxg4 32.gxh8Q> and we got a newborn queen to replace the other with a rook free of charge as a bonus. and <31...Bxg7 32.Qxg7> wins a piece.

A2) <30...Re6> now we just exploit the pin. One variation could be : <31.Rb6 Kd7 32.Rd1+> winning at least a rook. Also here <32.Rxb7+ Kd6 33.fxg7> is crushing.

B) <29...Re6> Preventing the Qh3+ threat.

<30.Qh3> attacking and pinning the rook. <30...Qe5> here <31.Rb6> with similar ideas as A2 should win but perhaps <31.Bf4> is even stronger. We can now chase the queen around <31.Bf4 Qd5 32.Rfd1 Qc6 33.fxg7 Bxg7 34.Rd6!> these are just sample variations these positions are a slaughter.

Let's just look at another defense after 29.f6

C) <29...b5> with the idea of going Kb7 and there's no discovery, but...

<30.Qh3+ Kb7 31.Qd7+> and we win the rook on e8 with mate to follow quickly.

Apr-03-10  abuzic: al wazir: I fell for 29. Rxb7; never even looked at f6. But 29. Qh3 also looks like a strong move. If the black king moves to a black square, Bf4+ or Bg5+ wins the queen. If it doesn't, then 30. f6+ picks up something, e.g., 29...Qxc7 30. f6+ Kb8 31. Qc7, with multiple threats. You mean 29...Qxc2. But: 29. Qh3 Qf6, and black is much better.
Apr-03-10  tacticalmonster: 1) White was down two pawns compensated by the half open b file toward the black king. Black had an exposed king with no pieces defending it.

2) Black was behind in development. His h8 rook was out of play

3) Black queen was undefended. This open the opportunity for discovery tactic.

4) White queen controlled the important g3-b8 diagonal. The b1 rook eyed the weak b7 pawn

5) the f5 pawn was supported by the f1 rook potentially opening up the f-file

candidate: 29 f6

a) 29 gxf6 30 Qh3+ Kd8 31 Rxb7 Re7 32 Rd1+ Ke8 33 Qh5+ Rf7 34 Qxf7# b) 29 Qe5 30 Qxe5 Rxe5 31 fxg7 Bxg7 32 Rf7 Bf8 33 R1xb7

Apr-03-10  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Apr-03-10  tarek1: Ok, I just saw <Jimfromprovidence>'s idea <29...Bd6> that I overlooked. Jim's answer should be OK, but in addition there is perhaps another way to deal with this :

instead of Jim's <31.Qxg7+>, <31.Rxb7+ Kxb7> looks playable.

click for larger view


<32.Qd7+ Bc7 33.Rb1+ Qb4> forced otherwise Qc6+ or Qxc7+ leads to mate <34.Rxb4+ cxb4 35.Bf4 Rc8 36.fxg7 Rhg8>

click for larger view

and now <37.Bxc7 Rxc7 38.Qd5+> picks up the rook on g8 with decisive advantage because the g7 pawn is going to queen soon.

This a long variation but it looks very forced.
I didn't use an engine so feel free to correct me if I overlooked something again.

Apr-03-10  felixd: The logical move, which doesn't involve so much calculation, is 29.f6 . I would have play it very fast in a game... But here I was looking for something stronger than 29. f6 and I couldn't find... 29. Rxb7 doesn't work so....

But finally, f6 isn't only a positional and agressive move, it is really a combination!

I think that a lot of people would have find it over the board, but they wouldn't have see the whole combination, they would just think move by one move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jimfromprovidence> Your 29...Bd6!? offers the most resistance. However, I put Fritz 10 to the task and the silicon monster came up with a pretty convincing refutation in 30. Qg4+!:

<29. f6!! Bd6> 30. Qg4+! Kc7 (30... Kb8 31. Qd7 Bc7 32. Qc6) 31. Qxg7+ Be7 32. Rb3 Qxc2 33. Rfb1 b5 34. fxe7 Kd7 35. Qe5 Rhg8 36. Qd5+ Kc7 37. Bf4+ Kb6 38. Rxb5+! axb5 39. Qd6+ Ka7 40. Qd7+ Ka8 41. Ra1+ Qa4 42. Rxa4+ bxa4 43. Qxa4+ Kb7 44. Qb5+ Ka7 45. Bd6 Rc8 46. Bxc5+ Rxc5 47. Qxc5+ Kb8 48. Qd6+ Kc8 49. Qe6+ .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As <Old Wolf> stated, The 29 f6 Bd6 continuation has many offshoots.

<Tarek1> suggests 29 f6 Bd6 Qg4+ Kc7 31 Rxb7+ Kxb7 32 Qd7+ Bc7.

But how does white proceed after 32...Ka8 instead? Looks difficult from here.

click for larger view

Another worthy continuation is 29 f6 Bf6 30 Qg4+ Kc7 31 Qxg7+ Re7, where the f pawn is again pinned and black threatens ...Qxe3+.

click for larger view

This looks very difficult after 32 Qxh8 Qxe3+ 33 Rf2 Rd7

click for larger view

Maybe 34 Qa8, threatening mate next move, works.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <abuzic>: Thanks. Yes, I meant 29...Qxc2. (I thought I'd fixed that.)

After 29. Qh3 Qf6, I wanted to play 30. Bg5 Qxg5 31. f6+ Kb8 (31...Kd8 32. Rfd1+) 32. Qd7. But I can't find a win after 31...Kc7 32. Rfd1 Bd6.

Apr-03-10  butilikefur: wait.. i saw it until 29. f6 Qe5 30. Qg4+ Qe6 31. Qxe6 Rxe6 32. fxg7 Bxg7 33. Rf7 Bd4 34. Bxd4 cxd4 35. Rxb7 . where is the improvement?
Apr-03-10  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

Smyslov vs V Malaniuk, 1995 (29.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down 2P. The Black Kc8 has 2 legal moves, both to the open and dangerously central d-file. The White Qg3 controls the dark squares on the b8-h2 diagonal, and the White Rb1 controls the semi-open b-file. The White Qg3 also x-rays the loose Qc3 through Be3, suggesting a discovered attack if the Black Kc8 moves to a dark square. The White Kg1 is secured from all checks except the pointless 29…Qxe3+.

Candidates (29.): Qh3, f6

[The fantasy sequence 29.Qh3 30.f6+ 31.Bf4+ 32.Qxc3 lacks force.]

29.f6 (threatening fxg7, forking Bf8 and Rh8)

White now has the fantasy threat: a devastating discovered attack, starting with (A) 30.Qh3+:

(A.1) 30…Kb8 [or Kc7] 31.Bf4+ Qd4 [else, 32.Qxc3] 32.Bxd4+

(A.2) 30…Kd8 31.Rbd1+

The check on the d-file wins material, because 31…Kc7 is an inferior transposition of (A.1).

The threat (A) forces Qc3 to leave the 3-rd rank. The burden of preventing 30.fxg7 also keeps it on the a1-h8 diagonal.


Candidates (30.): fxg7, Bf4

Here I went for 30.<fxg7>, missing


[Rg8 31.Qxe5 Rxe5 32.Rxf8+ Rd8 33.Rbf1, then 34.Rxg8 Rxg8 35.Rf8+]

31.Qxg7 Bxg7 32.Rf7

I believed that down a P and facing doubled Rs on the 7-th, Black had grim prospects, but

32…Bd4 33.Bxd4 cxd4 34.Rbxb7

gives Black resources for a draw.

Apr-03-10  sethoflagos: 2 pawns down, white is not going to win this game worrying about the loss of Pc2. Time to be active and attack black's weaknesses at b7 and g7.

<29 f6 ...>

Immediate threats are eg 29 ... gxf6 30. Qg4+ Kb8 (.. Kd8 31. Rfd1+ Ke7 32 Rxb7#/Qd7#; .. Kc7 31. Bf4+ Bd6 32. Qg7+ Kd8 33. Rfd1 Re7 32 Qxh8+ etc) 31. Bf4+ Ka7 32 Qd7. Too many variations to analyse, but it's clear that black cannot delay countering the attack.

So black must start blocking the diagonals to prevent a quick loss.


<29. ... Qe5
30. Qg4+ Re6>
30. ... Qe6 31. fxg7! Qxg4 32. fxh8=Q is a rook to the good

<31. Rf5 h5
32. Rxe5 hxg4
33. fxg7 Bxg7
34. Rxe6>
is also a rook to the good


<29. ... Re6
30. Qg4+ Qxe3+>
30. ... Qe5 31. fxg7 Bxg7 32. Rf5 h5 transposes to previous line.

<31. Rf2 Qd4
32. Qxe6+ Qd7
33. Qxd7+ Kxd7
34. Rxb7+ K moves
35. fxg7 Bxg7
36. Rxg7>

click for larger view

Still a rook to the good

And so that leaves

<29. ... Bd6
30. Qg4+ Kc7>
30. ... Kb8 31. Qd7 Bc7 32. Qc6 b5 33. Qa8+ Kd8 34. Rfd1+ wins Q

<31. Qxg7+ Re7
32. Qxh8 Qxe3+
33. Kh1 Qh6>
Threatens 34. .. Qxh2#

<34. h3 Re6> or lose rook

<35. Qa8 b5> no real option

36. Qa7+ Kd8
37. f7 ... >

click for larger view

Does black have any defence to Rbd1 followed by f8+? 37. ... Re7 38. f8=Q+ Qxf8 39. Rxf8+ and 37. ... Rf6 38. Rxf6 Qxf6 39. Rd1 are both fairly terminal.

Checking actual play, black chose 29 ... Qe5 but overlooked the double check on move 33.

Apr-03-10  sethoflagos: Hmm

Early days into the run but Rybka seems to prefer

29. f6 Bd6
30. Qxd6 Qxe3+
31. Kh1 Qd4
32. Qb6 Qd7
33. f7 +4.52

Apr-03-10  johnlspouge: < <SRILANKANMASTER> wrote: [snip] ah, of what use is it to have a special skill, [snip] when there no feild sufficient to challenge one of those powers? [snip] >

Consider the field of spelling 8>P

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: If you can fathom this the deep see is 29.f6 ads a dimension for white's play. Decompress it, the queen's now got play with squares of light. Headed over again for g4, white is a gulf apart. Look to keep taking the vitamins Malaniuk, call I for niacin. Man the push is a real killer which wrecks him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: My first thought was the R-sac on b7 but it leads nowhere after 29 ... Kxb7 30 Rb1+ Kc6. Then I remembered yesterday when I "won" the BQ for 2R. So I go for the quieter 29 f6, Trouble with such a non forcing move, B has a variety of replies so its difficult work to show that they all lose. Well all the ones I tried lose ...

OK 29 f6

A. 29 ...gxf6 30 Qg4+
if ... Kb8 31 Bf4+ Ka7 32 Qd7 Re7 33 Rxb7+ Ka8 34 Qc8 if ... Kd8 31 Rd1+ Ke7 32 Rd7#
if ... Kc7 31 Rb7+ Kxb7 32 Qd7+ Kb6 33 Rb1+ Ka5 34 Bd2 or 32 ... Ka8 33 Qxe8+ Kb7 34 Qd7+ ( Ka8 35 Qc8+) Kb8 38 Rb1+ etc

B. 29 ...Qe5 30 Qg4+ (again)
if ... Qe6 31 fxg7 (Qxg4 32 gxh8=Q) Bxg7 32 Qxg7 Qe7 (or d7) 33 Rf7

C (the best defense I can find) 29 ... Qxc2 30 Qg4+ (yet again) and if 30 ... Kb8 or Kd8 as before. If 30 ... Kc7 (again best?) and something like 31 fxg7 Rg8 32 gxf8=Q Rexf8 33 Qh3 Rf1+ 34 Rxf1 Rg7 35 Rc1

Difficult, I know there are possibilities I didnt consider and I want now to see what was played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Wow, a ++ ! OK, worthy of Saturday, and I almost got it (I think).

<dzechiel> I agree, v. diff. And I wasnt reading your reply, just your mind ;-) I wonder if B could have held out with 29 ... Qxc2 ....

Apr-03-10  wals: Rybka 3 1-cpu:
calculates two possible alternatives:-

1. (4.63): 29...Bd6 30.Qxd6[] Qxe3+ 31.Kh1[] Qd4 32.Qb6[] Qd7 33.Qa7[] b5 34.Qxa6+[] Qb7 35.Qa5[] b4 36.Qxc5+ Qc7[] 37.Qf5+ Qd7 38.f7 Qxf5 39.fxe8Q+ Rxe8 40.Rxf5 e3 41.Rxb4 Kd7 42.Rf7+ Kd6 43.Rb1 Rc8

2. (4.68): 29...Re6 30.Qg4[] Qxe3+ 31.Kh1[] Qd4 32.Qxe6+[] Qd7 33.Qxd7+ Kxd7 34.fxg7 Bxg7 35.Rxb7+[] Ke6 36.Rxg7[] Rd8 37.Re1 Rd4 38.Rxh7 Rc4 39.Kg1 Rxc2

(, 04.04.2010)

Apr-03-10  sethoflagos: <wals: Rybka 3 1-cpu:
calculates two possible alternatives:->

For an inordinate amount of time Rybka believes the following attacking line for white is a damp squib:

29. f6 Bd6
30. Qg4+ Kd8
31. Qd7 Bc7
32. Qc6 b5

Eventually, it will start to substitute the Q sacrifice 32. ... Qb4 in preference to

33. Qxa6 b4
34. Ra1 Qxe3+
35. Kh1

when it realises that 35. ... Ba5 is still mate in seven!

Just takes a while :-)

Apr-03-10  cjgone: Got all the moves right except for the pawn take.. I was thinking that maybe the bishop threaten of the queen might be better because he still can't take the pawn without losing the queen and he has to move it allowing you to now take his pawn. And he can't take it back either.. I'm not sure how it would play out.
Apr-03-10  TheBish: Smyslov vs V Malaniuk, 1995

White to play (29.?) "Very Difficult"

White is down two pawns, but both Black's king and queen look a little precarious. The key seems to be that Black's queen is unprotected, so that a check with White's bishop would uncover an attack on the queen, winning it.

29. f6!

This threatens 30. Qh3+ Kd8 31. Rfd1+ Kc7 32. Bf4+, winning the queen. Now:

A) 29...gxf6 30. Qh3+ f5 (or 30...Kd8 31. Rfd1+, winning as in the previous note) 31. Rxf5! and Black is in trouble, e.g. 31...Qxc2 32. Rxc5+ or 31...Re6 32. Rxf8+.

B) 29...Re6 30. Qh3 Kd7 (or 30...Qe5 32. fxg7) 31. Rfd1+ Bd6 32. Rxd6+ Kxd6 33. Bf4+ wins the queen.

C) 29...Qe5 30. Qg4+ Qe6 (or 30...Re6 31. fxg7, or 30...Kb8 31. Bf4, or 30...Kd8 31. Rfd1+ Bd6 32. Rxb7) 31. fxg7! Bxg7 32. Qxg7 wins a piece.

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