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Boris Spassky vs Samuel Reshevsky
Amsterdam Interzonal (1964), Amsterdam NED, rd 17, Jun-11
Torre Attack: Classical Defense (A46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-27-05  niterider1969: I agree that Spassky had upper hand and with a pawn to the good I would have carried on.
Sep-01-09  jerseybob: Reshevsky really takes his eye off the ball with 11..c4?, after which the game is strategically lost. If he were trying to mobilize a queenside majority it might be credible, but there's no majority, and after c4, no queenside counterplay. All black can do is wait for the inevitable e4 break.
Sep-01-09  AnalyzeThis: I don't agree with you, jerseybob. It would have been terrible if black had that bad b7 bishop for the endgame, but Reshevsky made sure he got rid of it. In playing over the game, I thought black's position was defendable, one that might have been held for a draw. The losing mistake came later.
Sep-01-09  jerseybob: Reshevsky was an unreal defender; he might've missed a better chance somewhere. Do you have any suggestions? That doesn't change my assessment of 11..c4?, which takes most of the tension out of the center, relieving white of all queenside worries so he can concentrate on the center and kingside, with the aid of his half-open e-file. That feature of the pawn position remains until the very end of the game, it's undeniable. Now admittedly, white may have the edge in any case with his more versatile pawn setup, but black should keep him guessing awhile longer.
Sep-01-09  goldenbear: I just took a casual glance at this, but I think 33.a4 was the losing move. Qd6, which ties White's queen to Qe2 (or else Black has b4), probably maintains equality.
Sep-01-09  goldenbear: Actually, if 33.Qd6, then maybe White can play 34.a4. Black's position is more difficult than I thought.
Sep-01-09  goldenbear: Geez, is it possible 24.Nxe4 was the losing move?
Sep-01-09  jerseybob: Golden Bear: Sitting here enjoying your serial kibitzes and almost don't want to break in! It's true, black IS in big trouble, and the beauty of it for white is there's no rush. The static aspects of the position remain no matter how many pieces are left. Concerning the threat of b4 after 33..Qd6, I'm not sure white has to freak about that. He can make one swap, axb4,axb4(a4!? seems defensible) but then leave his c-pawn and b-pawn right where they are. Back on black's 24th turn, Nd5 might've been a little more tenacious, but then white starts flooding the zone starting with 25.Qd2 and black may soon regret not swapping knights.
Sep-01-09  AnalyzeThis: Position after 43. Qe5:

click for larger view

Reshevsky played the best move, 46....Kf7, which should have drawn, according to the computer.

After Spassky's 47. Qb8, Reshevsky missed the shocking 47....f4+!!, inviting 48. gxf4 Qf5, with tremendous counterplay.

I doubt that he would have lost the game after 47... f4+.

Sep-01-09  WhiteRook48: 44 Qb8, it's not move 46 yet
Sep-01-09  jerseybob: Does your computer consider 44.Qb8 to be best for white?
Sep-02-09  AnalyzeThis: Yes, thanks for the move number correction. Fritz says that 44. Qxd5, Qc7+, Qb8, or f4 are about equal value, with black getting an equal position in each case.
Sep-02-09  jerseybob: Does it consider 44.h4!? Black is very close to being in zugzwang. One line I looked at was 44.h4,g4 45.Qf4
Sep-02-09  kooley782: 44. h4!? is an interesting choice. After your variation, 44.h4 g4 45.Qf4, black can play 45. ...gxf3 46.Qxf3 Qxf3 47.Kxf3 with an unclear king and pawn endgame that will probably draw.
Sep-02-09  kooley782: Black might even consider 44.h4 f4+, which is a pawn sac that leads to some weird complications.

<AnalyzeThis> I agree, I do believe that Black has sufficient counterplay with 44. ...f4+! when Spassky played 44.Qb8.

Sep-02-09  kooley782: Sorry about triple posting, but I've been looking at 44.h4!? f4+?! and I think it leads to a win for white. You can look at it on your own, but i think the pawn sac only leads to trouble. 44.h4!? is drawish, which might be all Spassky can spare in this endgame.
Sep-02-09  jerseybob: I just had a real "duh!" moment: I finally set this up on a board. If 44.h4,g4? simply 45.QxQ,e6xQ 46.fg,fg 47.Kf4, so black needs another 44th. I've gotta go somewhere; I'll work on that later.
Apr-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Samuel Reshevsky was known for his stubborn playing but beyond that, he was a formidable and dangerous opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Picture from this game:
Dec-23-15  jerseybob: <Tabanus: Picture from this game> Great picture, and get a load of Reshevsky's clock: he's just played his 3rd move and has already blown ten minutes! For a wannabe World Champ, not the way to go!
Dec-23-15  TheFocus: Really good game by Spassky with the Torre Attack. Once the Rooks were exchanged, I knew Spassky would win.

I have had to defeat ...c4 in similar positions (see my bio), and never see why opponents use it. It usually leads to blocked Quensides while White pursues a Kingside attack, which... is what he was planning on doing when he played this opening.

Jan-27-18  edubueno: No es clara la posición, pero me parece que después de 44...f4+; 45 gxf4 - Df5; existe un jaque intermedio 46 Dc7+ y probablemente las negras no puedan salvar la partida.
Feb-18-19  RookFile: No worries. 44....f4+ 45. gxf5 Qf5 46. Qc7+ Kg6=
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: In <Timman’s Titans> (New in Chess ©2016, at page 181), Jan Timman criticizes Reshevsky’s 40. … Kh7 (“The notorious last move before the time control …”), and says that after 40. … f6, “there wouldn’t have been much left for White to undertake”. While this is true, even after the game continuation, the position was still one that Black should have been able to hold.

Significantly, however, one move earlier, Spassky could have obtained a winning pawn endgame by trading queens: 40.Qxd5 exd5, for example, 41.h4 gxh4 42.gxh4 Kh7 43.Kg3 g6 44.Kg4 f6 45.h5 Kg7 46.hxg6 Kxg6 47.Kf4 Kg7 48.Kf5 Kf7 49.f4 Ke7 50.Kg6 Ke6 51.f5+ and Black’s f-pawn falls.

There are many other possible variations, of course, but after the exchange of queens at move 40, the pawn endgame should be winning for White.

Dec-13-20  Ulhumbrus: The position after 17 Nd2 suggests an interesting question. Should Black keep the c4 pawn by 17...b4 or should Black keep the e4 pawn by 17...f5? One example of a justification for choosing to keep the e4 pawn by 17...f5 is that it may become a weapon whereas the c4 pawn does not seem to do much after ...b5.
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