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Boris Spassky vs Alexander Tolush
"Russian Hackers" (game of the day Jul-10-2022)
USSR Championship (1958), Riga URS, rd 9, Jan-??
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Traditional Line (B98)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: This is a great attacking effort by Spassky. Two pawn sacrifices 16. e5! and 22.g5! to ruin Black's pawn structure and create outposts for his knights, the rook and queen invade supported by the knights and it's all over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Exciting game, in the spirit of the Sicilian.
May-02-13  shivasuri4: 21...gxf6 appears to be a better choice, improving the pawn-structure and letting the bishop continue to control the key c5 square.
May-02-13  onigorom: The prophylactic 14.Kb1 'provokes' the seemingly attacking 14...Qb7, which is the beginning of the malheur, since the Q is not covered. This attack came out of nothing.
May-02-13  Nerwal: Still 14... ♕b7 is quite curious. 14... ♖ab8 is normal.
May-02-13  RookFile: Maybe 14... Ne5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Similar motif:

Ivanchuk vs Topalov, 2007

Sep-11-16  zydeco: Spassky was Tolush's student. It's surprising they didn't agree to a quick draw.
Jul-10-18  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I prefer 26 Rhd1 first, with a mating attack:

26... Re8
27 Rxc7 Qxc7
28 Rd7
followed by Nf6+

or 26... Rbc8
27 Qxe6 +
followed by Qf7 and Nf6

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Well, they were certainly hacking at each other...
Jul-10-22  Cassandro: <HeMateMe> Fine and timely pun indeed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Thanks mate!
Jul-10-22  nevetsjy: Great game. Just more proof of how quickly things can go south in the Najdorf.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Though we don't know the exact date, this game would have been right around Spassky's 21st birthday. Perhaps he gave himself a birthday present by beating his teacher.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Williebob>, as you say, this one is close: according to Wikipedia, the event started on 12th January and ran through 14th February. Best guess is right before Spassky's birthday.
Jul-10-22  Retireborn: Megabase dates the game as 27th of January. No idea how reliable that is, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Thanks y'all. I wonder if Boris has ever discussed the end of his working relationship with Tolush? According to the Wiki, he kept working with Tolush for another couple years or so after this event, but one could easily imagine this game planting a seed of doubt for young Spassky's career ambitions. Bondarevsky, incidentally, has a slightly better head-to-head score against Tolush.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Williebob>, I have a recollection of Spassky discussing it in somewhat general terms, intimating that Tolush's choleric personality grated, but that Bondarevsky, possessing a more easygoing nature, proved a better fit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Nice puzzle like ending position.

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