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Boris Spassky vs David Levy
"When the Levy Breaks" (game of the day Jun-28-2020)
Nice Olympiad qual-1 (1974), Nice FRA, rd 1, Jun-07
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B78)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  carpovius: <I would say it exposes a flaw in the expert's knowledge of the opening.>

I would say a huge flaw. Because 19 moves can still be considered as opening)

Jun-27-20  Howard: Evans mentioned this game briefly in The Chess Opening for You.
Jun-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <saffuna....If you've written everything you know about an opening, it gives opponents unlimited time to find holes in it.>

Larsen ran into the same practical problem; in the mid 1960s, he often played the black side of the Open Spanish, then published a monograph on the variation. Soon afterwards, it all but disappeared from his praxis.

Jun-28-20  SeanAzarin: <saffuna: ...And I see what he means. If you've written everything you know about an opening, it gives opponents unlimited time to find holes in it.>

That would explain both this game and the one where Mueller -- author of a book about the English Opening -- lost to Dake in 21 moves in a game where Dake played an English Opening.

Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: If 19...Nd5 then 20. Rd1 Qxd1+ (20...Qe3+ 21. Qxe3 Nxe3 22. Rxd7) 21. Kxd1 Nxe7 22. Nf6+ Kh8 23. Qxh7#.
Jun-28-20  Cibator: Historical note: the first time I can recall seeing 10. ... Qb8 mentioned in English-language chess literature would have been c1963, when it was the subject of a short article in the magazine "Junior Chess" (which I've mentioned in other posts on this site). It was touted then as an intriguing new idea against the Yugoslav Attack.

About four years later, in 1967, Keene, surveying the Dragon in "Chess", called it " .... an interesting move of Shtine's [sic] which has never been refuted".

Some 18 months later at Hastings 1967/68, he essayed the move - B.H. Wood called it "baroque" - against Suetin (Suetin vs Keene, 1968). The game at 62 moves lasted a bit longer than Levy's effort, but he never really had a snowflake's chance once he too had ventured on a dodgy exchange sacrifice.

Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Unaccountably, Keene and Levy failed to mention this game in their book on the Nice Olympiad.
Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR>, cannot imagine why. (rolls eyes)
Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Smyslov vs D Levy, 1970

Okay pun, but I thought I'd seen it. <Phony> does great work with GOTD.

Jun-28-20  Brenin: The Dragon was all the rage in the UK from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. I had the temerity to play it in my university championship against Peter Lee, who was an expert on it and had just become British champion. I lasted slightly longer than Levy against Spassky, but not much. I can still remember the shock caused by Spassky's win. I don't think the Dragon was played much in the UK after that.
Jun-28-20  goodevans: 365Chess.com has 219 games with <10...Qb8> scoring +110 =32 -77 to white, which isn't all that bad for black. On the other hand it only has two games with <11...a5> both of them won by white.
Jun-28-20  catlover: I seem to recall Fischer expressing his opinion that the Dragon was no longer an effective defense. I no longer have my copy of "My 60 Most Memorable Games," but I think it was in his annotations of one of those games...something about opening up the h-file with and "sac, sac, mate."
Jun-28-20  Brenin: <catlover>: <Fischer vs Larsen, 1958>
Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<saffuna>, <SeanAzarin> And I see what he means. If you've written everything you know about an opening, it gives opponents unlimited time to find holes in it.>

Maybe that's a lesson to learn if you write an opening book. <Don't> write everything you know about the opening, if you find a particularly good line, keep it to yourself. Maybe someone will try to expose your presumed lack of knowledge about that opening and play it against you. Then you unleash your hidden line, make all the analysts think that you found it OTB, and mask in the glory of your true expertise in the opening.

Just kidding, of course, :-)

Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Maybe that's a lesson to learn if you write an opening book. <Don't> write everything you know about the opening, if you find a particularly good line, keep it to yourself.>

Right.

We know of course that players sometimes do not play what they know is a strong novelty in a particular game, because it's not that important or the opponent isn't strong enough or another reason. They wait for the right moment. (Sometimes referred to as "hiding prep.")

This famously occurred in Shaked vs Kasparov, 1997. Kasparov used a novelty to defeat Shaked quickly, but afterward lamented that he had "used a nuke to kill a gnat."

Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: In Fischer's book: "I've made this sac [Bxh7 against the Sicillian] so many times I should take out a patent on it!"

Or, maybe that was more ghost writing from Larry Melvin, his co-author.

Jun-28-20  Brenin: <HeMateMe>: That was Rxh5 (RXN in old money), <Fischer vs Gligorich, 1959>, slaying another Dragon.
Jun-28-20  Cibator: <<Saffuna>: We know of course that players sometimes do not play what they know is a strong novelty in a particular game, because it's not that important or the opponent isn't strong enough or another reason.>

Legend has it that Pillsbury saved up 7.Bxf6 in this game Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1904 for eight years after having discovered it shortly after the famous loss against the same opponent at St Petersburg in 1895. (The truth or otherwise of this is debated at length earlier in the kibitzing to the game.)

Jun-28-20  Cibator: If it's any consolation to Levy, even eminent GMs weren't immune to a sub-20-move pasting from Boris:

Larsen vs Spassky, 1970

Jun-28-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: The classic story of saving your prep is of the game that introduced the Marshall Gambit. Capablanca said afterward that it was clear a lot of prep had gone into the move, but he decided to accept anyway. And he wound up winning.
Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Brenin.... I don't think the Dragon was played much in the UK after (this game).>

Though Tony Miles took up the cudgels on Black's behalf for a while in the late 1970s.

Jun-28-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Legend has it that Pillsbury saved up 7.Bxf6 in this game Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1904 for eight years after having discovered it shortly after the famous loss against the same opponent at St Petersburg in 1895.>

Yes, I have read that.

Jun-28-20  Howard: Regarding Miles, he won a rather well-known against Nunn at London 1980, in which Miles played the Dragon.
Jun-29-20  Cibator: Miles won three games with the Dragon against the Yugoslav Attack at the 1974 World U-20 Championship. One of them was the vital second-last round encounter with Kochyev which decided the title.
Jun-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  monopole2313: Levy wrote an article for CL&R (Oct. 1972) on the 10...Qb8 line. Of 11. h4 he writes "This move of Simagin's sets Black no problems" and presents a pair of lines with 11...Rc8! and 11...b5! (his exclams), both OK for Black. I wonder why he played 11...a5 here. <FSR> no game in the Nice 1974 book, but there was a photograph of the game in progress.
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