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Boris Spassky vs Lev Aronson
USSR Championship (1957), Moscow URS, rd 8, Jan-31
Benoni Defense: Pawn Storm Variation (A66)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-14-11  goldenbear: Spassky plays all my favorite pawn moves - c4, d4, d5, cxd5, e4, f4, a4, h3, axb5, and b4 - in the first 18 moves!
Feb-23-16  zydeco: Pretty combination starting with 31,Bxg7+.
Jan-31-21  Gaito: An instructive game, showing the power of White's central pawn storm against the Benoni. All the time White kept improving his position with precise positional play, and Black became gradually strangled. The computer (Stockfish12) tells us that White could have won even faster from the following diagram:

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In this position Spassky played 31.Bxg7, which is a logical move, getting rid of the best defender of the black king with the consequent weakness of the dark squares. White could then easily exploit the weakened dark squares after Qc1 and Qh6. Nevertheless, Black has a good defensive resource by removing the dangerous white knight on f3. Hence, the engine believes that White ought to keep that knight for attacking purposes. That knight could now jump to g5 with tempo and could eventually be sacrificed on h7 with devastating effect. Therefore, the computer quickly suggests 31.Ng5!, with a very high evaluation, namely +6.74. From the diagram, there followed 31. Bxg7?! and now Black could have replied Bxf3!, removing the dangerous knight. Of course, White is still winning, but the computer evaluation is lower. But Black played 31...Kxg7?, and then White got a new opportunity to bring his knight from f3 into the attack with tempo with 32.Ng5! (Now the computer evaluation has gone up to +7.40). But Spassky probably did not consider that Black could capture on f3, as the black bishop on b7 is a very strong piece. Hence Spassky played the logical 32.Qc1?!, and after 32...Bxf3! the computer evaluation has decreased to only +3.72. But White still had a won game, and Spassky finished it off handsomely.

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