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Boris Spassky vs Vladimir Savon
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 10, Oct-15
Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Maroczy Bind Breyer Variation (B39)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-21-10  Whitehat1963: Excellent game. Where was Spassky's first blunder?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: He hung around Iceland long enough to play Fischer?
Sep-21-10  Whitehat1963: Ha, ha, but I'm talking about this particular game played the following year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It's ironic that Spassky won this event outright, with all the top players present by decree of the Soviet chess organisation, after his debacle vs Fischer the previous year.
Sep-21-10  goldenbear: Of course, 17.Kxg7 worked out well, but I wonder, does the unusual transference of the knight, 17.Ne6+, have any merit?
Sep-21-10  fab4: I think as soon as Savon's knight got to e5 it was downhill skiing for Boris. Maybe exchanging rooks instead of 35.Rf2, and going for the draw, was the option. The knight dominates the bishop but no obvious way in for black.

35.g4 looked odd to me, then I noticed 35.g3 Rg3 ..

Spassky won this tournament?! I dread to think what harm the Spassky of '68 would've done to this event lol.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <fab4> Yes, just ahead of a tie in second which included the young Karpov, Petrosian, Korchnoi, et al.

Karpov, Korchnoi and Savon thus qualified for the Interzonals, as Petrosian was seeded in due to his playing in the Candidates final from the previous cycle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Not <just> ahead: Spassky won by a point ahead of the massive tie among Karpov, Korchnoi, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, and Kuzmin for second. Others, including the likes of Keres, Geller, Tal, Smyslov, Taimanov, etc. were two points or more behind them. This game against the 1970 champion was Spassky's only loss. Despite his initials, not a "B.S." performance at all. The last-place finisher was World Junior Champion Beliavsky, who would tie for first (!) with Tal the following year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Whitehat1963: Excellent game. Where was Spassky's first blunder?>

Houdini brands 16.Bh6 as a blunder, immediately switching its assessment from +.18 to -.25 <if> Savon had played 16...Bxh6! 17.Qxh6 Qb6!, which he didn't. Thereafter, it considers the position about equal, even the ending with White's odious bishop against the knight. It doesn't like Savon's 29...gxf5, giving Spassky an advantage of about +.3 after that. 34.Kf1? was a mistake, allowing 34...h3! when the normal 35.g3 would hang to 35...g3! - so Spassky had to play the yucky 35.g4 instead. Then Houdini says it's dead equal. But it thinks that 37.Rf3? suddenly gives Black about a 1-point advantage. Instead, 37.Rf2! f5 38.Re3 fxg4 39.Rg3 Ne5 40.Rf4 would be equal (OK, -0.03). But the big blunder is 38.Re6?? (38.Rd4 Rhxg4 39.Rxd4 hxg4 40.Rg3, again, about -1), allowing Black's rooks to run amok. Then it's over (more than -3).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Goodness - if I had a move "branded as a blunder" when it resulted in a very slight advantage becoming a very slight disadvantage, I'd probably square up to that peski Houdini and tell him to back off! Can computers be guilty of hyperbole, or is that the effect of human interpretation :-) ?

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