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Boris Spassky vs Andrew Jonathan Mestel
Phillips & Drew Kings (1982), London ENG, rd 9, Apr-25
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-06-09  Helios727: What happens after 39... Kg8 ?
Aug-06-09  Postal: 39...Kg8 40.Qxe8+ Nf8 41.g7 I suppose...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni:

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After 39...Kg8 it's mate in three: 40.Rf8+! Kg7 (40...Kxf8 41.g7#) 41.Qg8+ Kh6 42.Qh8#.

Aug-06-09  Postal: <PB> Thx, that's even better than my above post!
Aug-06-09  WhiteRook48: my crude analysis went 39...Kh8 40 Rxe8+ Qf8 41 Qxf8+???
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <WhiteRook48> That was a little crude, I fear. After 39...Kh8, the best line looks like 40.g7+ Kh7 (40...Kg8 41.Rf8+ Kh7 42.Rh8#) 41.g8B+ Kh8/h6 42.Rh7#.

Some might even prefer 40.Rh7#, but only if they lack a sense of humor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: I was in the audience watching this game which took place in the same round as Karpov-Miles, another Dragon Sicilian. It was a Sunday and a lot of people came to see the chess. William Hartston did the commentary and likened it to a symposium on the Dragon.

After Mestel resigned there was applause which Spassky tried to quieten down with his hands as other games were still going on, featuring some time trouble. He signed the tournament brochure for me afterwards and I congratulated him on the win. Spassky said he thought the opening had gone well for Black and that Mestel would have had excellent chances if he had played 20..d5!

Looking at the game nearly 37 years later, 20..d5! is a clear improvement. Mestel turns down repetition soon after and went for the win with 23..a4. I remember Graham Burgess saying that at this stage of his career, Spassky was happy to make draws against younger talented players but that 'if you go for him', Spassky would win. Mestel goes for him in this game and validates this advice.

Presumably Mestel didn't want to provoke the exchange sacifice 28..Ng4 29 Rxg4! hxg4 20 f5 but 28..e5 or 28..d5 (still) were both playable. And you definitely don't want to be playing moves like 30..e5? against Boris Spassky.

Feb-02-19  Retireborn: <woldsman> Thanks for the interesting anecdote.

Evidently Mestel was hoping to win, otherwise he could have just played 18...Qa5 19.Kb2 Qb6 and Spassky would have likely repeated.

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