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Boris Spassky vs Alexander G Beliavsky
Reykjavik World Cup (1988), Reykjavik ISL, rd 17, Oct-24
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Tarrasch Variation (C77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-23-07  UdayanOwen: <aginis: ok so maybe i'm missing something but 25.Qh6 looks very strong to me. white is threatening Nxg6, Rd3-Nf5 and Nf3-Ng5-Qxh7 or some combination thereof. how does black defend all three?>

Interesting idea aginis...

Your move threatens the immediate 26.Nxg6 hxg6 27.Qxg6+ Kh8 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Rd3, and black gets mated.

So Black has to stop this.

25...Ne7 defends g6 and stops Nf5, but white can play 26.Re8, winning the queen for rook and bishop. Even better is 26.Nf3, when black can't escape... 26...Qc6 27.Ng5 Re8 28.Qxh7+ Kf8 29.Qxf7#.

I think 25...Be6 defends however. It breaks the pin and thus stops Nxg6. In this case it also renders 26.Nf3 harmless due to 26...f6. And if 26.Nf5, I actually think 26...gxf5 might be OK for black:

27.Rd3 f4! 28.Bxe6 fxe6 29.Rh3 Qe7; or 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Qf6+ Kg8 29.exf5 (29.Rd3 f4 looks OK for black) 29...Bxb3, and now either 30.Qg5 Kh8 31.f6 Rg8, or 30.Rd3 Ne7 31.Rg3+ Ng6.

I've run out of time, but I have analyzed a loss for black after 26.Qh6 Be6 27.Nf5 Bxf5... check it out, I'll post it later....

I haven't analyzed it yet but I think after 25.Qh6, 25...Kh8 might defend comfortably, so you might want to check that out too.

Dec-24-07  UdayanOwen: <aginis: ok so maybe i'm missing something but 25.Qh6 looks very strong to me. white is threatening Nxg6, Rd3-Nf5 and Nf3-Ng5-Qxh7 or some combination thereof. how does black defend all three?>

Okay I have time after all, so this is a continuation of my previous post...

After 25.Qh6 Be6 26.Nf5, 26...Bxf5 gives white a clear (if not winning advantage:

27.exf5. The threat of f6 and mate on g7 can only be defended in two ways:

27...Ne7 (best) 28.Rd8 (28.f6? Nf5 29.Qh3 Qb8 30.g4 Qxb6 31.gxf5 Qxf6 and black has a pawn, a better pawn structure and a safer king) 28...Qxd8 (28...Nxf5?? 29.Qd2 ) 29.Bxd8 Rxd8 (29...Nxf5?? 30.Qd2 ) and now 30.f6 or fxg6 secure a clear or winning advantage for white.

27...Kh8 28.Rd3 (28.f6? Rg8 29.Rd3 Qf8 and black is OK [30.Qxh7?? Kxh7 31.Rh3+ Qh6 ]) 28...f6 (28...Rg8 29.Rh3 Rg7 f6 ) 30.Rh3, and now black can't defend, eg., 30...Qe7 31.fxg6 .

So after 25.Qh6, I think 25...Be6 26.Nf5 gxf5 defends as analyzed in my previous post... If my analysis is correct, white will have to accept a perpetual here with 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Qf6+ etc.

But if black would like a less hairy defence than that, then 26.Qh6 Kh8 is safe:

By unpinning, black rules out 27.Nxg6.

27.Nf3 f6 is fine for black.

27.Nf5 Bxf5 (27...Rg8?? 28.Nd6 followed by 29.Nxf7 ) 28.exf5 f6, when the extra tempo in this line allows black to defend, 29.fxg6 Qxg6, or 29.Rd3 gxf5 30.Rh3 Qd7.

I've been in a bit of a rush, so I might have made some misprints....

Kibitz me if there is any doubt about what I've written and I'll check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: I suspected that the first two moves for today's puzzle would be 25 Nxg6 and 26 Qh6. I was at a loss about what to do after that; but that's a lot better than how I usually do on Sundays.
Feb-19-17  mel gibson: Too hard for me -
the computer - DR4 64 bit - agrees with the text move but gives little more than a 1 pawn advantage:

25. Nxg6 (25. Nxg6
(♘h4xg6 h7xg6 ♕e3-h6 ♗c8-e6 ♖d1-d3 ♘c6-e7 ♗b6-c7 ♗a3-c1 ♕h6xc1 ♕e8-c6 ♗c7xe5 ♗e6xb3 a2xb3 ♕c6xe4 ♖d3-e3 ♕e4-g4 h2-h3 ♕g4-h4 ♕c1-e1 ♘e7-c6 ♗e5-c7 ♕h4-f6 ♕e1-d1 a6-a5 g2-g4 b5-b4 c3-c4) +1.50/20 95)

score +1.50 depth 20.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: The first two moves aren't hard to find, but that's as far as I got. Then I thought black would play 26...Be6. (Maybe he should have.)

I said the same thing ten years ago: Spassky vs Beliavsky, 1988 (kibitz #8)

Feb-19-17  stacase: I'm happy to have gotten the first two moves.
Feb-19-17  yadasampati: 25. Nxg6 and Qh6 were pretty simple to find, but then it gets complicated. I was thinking of Rd3 (with the idea of Rg3), but i overlooked the possible answer Qc6 (covering the g6-pawn and preventing Bc7), the implications of Nf5 (enabling Ng7 after Qxg6+) and the later Bc1. Not a perfect Sunday this time, but good enough :-)
Feb-19-17  The Kings Domain: Got this one. The knight sacrifice on g6 is sound because of the pin on f7 and white's strong attack on black's kingside. Dazzling victory by Spassky.
Feb-19-17  offramp: 27. Bc7 is a lovely move. It's hard to see even with the position right in front of you, but Spassky must have foreseen it when he played 25. Nxg6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <offramp> yes, 27 Bc7 was the quiet assassin. Spassky was the king at finding moves like that
Feb-19-17  morfishine: Big Al hung in there pretty good, all things considered


Feb-19-17  sfm: Spasski as we know him.
Also an inspiring never-say-die defense by Beliavsky in a totally lost position.
Feb-19-17  WorstPlayerEver: S8 gives 26...Be6 27. Rd3 Ne7 28. Be6 fe6 29. Rh3 and, believe it or not, Black is in zugzwang.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black is about to play Be6.

White can open and seize the h-file with 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26.Qh6:

A) 26... Be6 27.Rd3

A.1) 27... Bxb3 28.Rh3 and mate next.

A.2) 27... f6 28.Bxe6+ (or 28.Rh3 since the bishop is pinned) 28... Rf7 (28... Qxe6 29.Qxg6+ Kh8 30.Qh5+ Kg7(8) 31.Rg3+ Qg4 32.Rxg4#) 29.Qxg6+ Kf8 30.Bxf7 wins decisive material.

A.3) 27... f5 28.Rh3

A.3.a) 28... Rf6 29.Qh6+ Kf7 30.Rh7#.

A.3.b) 28... Qd(e)7 29.Bxe6+ Qxe6 (29... Rf7 30.Qh8#) 30.Qh7#.

A.3.c) 28... Kf7 29.exf5

A.3.c.i) 29... Bxb3 30.fxg6+ Ke7 (30... Ke(f)6 31.g7+ wins decisive material; 30... Kg8 31.Qh7(8)#) 31.axb3 and White has three pawns for a knight, a dangerous pawn on g6 and attack.

A.3.c.ii) 29... gxf5 30.Qh7+ Kf6 31.Rh6+ Kg5 32.Qg7+ Kf4 33.Rh4#.

B) 26... Ne7

B.1) 27.Rd8 Qxd8 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.h4 doesn't look very convincing.

B.2) 27.Be3 Qc6 (27... Be6 28.Bg5 f6 29.Bxe6+ wins decisive material) 28.Bg5 Re8 and White looks stuck.

B.3) 27.Rd3

B.3.a) 27... Be6 28.Bxe6 fxe6 29.Rh3 Kf7 (29... Rf4(6) 30.Qh8+ Kf7 31.Rh7#) 30.Qh7+ Kf6 31.Be3 g5 (due to 32.Bg5+ Kxg5 33.Qh4#) 32.Bxg5+ Kxg5 33.Rg3+ Kf6 (33... Kf4 34.Qh4#) 34.Qg7#.

B.3.b) 27... Qc6 threatens Qxb6 and Qxe4.


I'm not sure but I think I'd play 25.Nxg6.

Feb-19-17  Walter Glattke: 26.-Be6 27.Rd3 Bc1 28.Qxc1 29.Kg7!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I got the first two moves, which is all I ask for on a Sunday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <thegoodanarchist: I got the first two moves, which is all I ask for on a Sunday.>

Me too, I saw the bishop on the long diagonal and figured it was 25. Ng6 hg6 26. Qh6 but I thought black would play 26...Be6 and didn't see any follow-up. Maybe Be6 is bad because after 27. Rd3 the black bishop has to do double duty defending the diagonal and prevent Rh3. Bc7 is the sort of imperial ninja move that's beyond my amateur capabilities and the rest was, well, insane...

Feb-19-17  Walter Glattke: After 26.-Be6 27.Rd3 Bc1 28.Qxc1 Kg7
29.g3 the attack could be stopped.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Walter Glattke: After 26.-Be6 27.Rd3 Bc1 28.Qxc1 Kg7 29.g3 the attack could be stopped.>

Okay, thanks for explaining, I never would have thought of 27...Bc1 (and sorry I missed your first post)

Feb-19-17  Timi: I saw the line 25. Nxg6 hxg6 26. Qh6 Be6, which I gave up because it is not necessarily winning for white. After 27. Rd3 Bc1 28. Qxc1 white is definitely better but there are still some drawing chances for black. Psychologically speaking, if Spassky had played this line, he would have won
Feb-19-17  YouRang: I correctly guessed, given the pin on Pf7, that 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26.Qh6 (threat Qxg6+ and with subsequent rook lift, etc).

But black can unpin with ...Be6, and the followup was unclear to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I tried 29...Be6 as a defense, in hope of an exchange of white bishops, but it does not work.

click for larger view

White to play and mate.

Feb-19-17  stst: Only see one initiative that might make some progress: 25.Qh6 ... (A)
26.Nf3 (aims g5) Be7
27.Bc5 (try deflect) if (i) BxB, 28.Ng5 no defense for Qxh7# if (ii)........f6
28.BxB QxB
29.Nh4 Qg7
30.Nxg6+ Kg8
31.QxQ KxQ
32.NxR KxN
W prevails with material gain

(B)25.....Be7 will prolong somewhat ...
26.Nxg6 hxN
27.Qxg6+ Kh8
28.Qh6+ Kg8
29.Rd3 Bg4
30.Rg3 Qc8
31.Qg6+ Kh8
32.Bxf7 no good defense, try RxB
33.RxB struggling, try QxR
34.QxQ W Q-B + 3 extra pawns vs R-B-N should prevail though still a long fight

See how this champ pulled it out....

Feb-19-17  Tiggler: <YouRang: I correctly guessed, given the pin on Pf7, that 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26.Qh6 (threat Qxg6+ and with subsequent rook lift, etc).

But black can unpin with ...Be6, and the followup was unclear to me.>

I think white soon wins a second pawn, and gets a winning endgame. Here's my .pgn:

[Event "Reykjavik"]
[Site "Reykjavik ISL"]
[Date "1988.10.??"]
[Round "17"]
[White "Boris Spassky"]
[Black "Alexander Beliavsky"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C86"]
[Opening "Spanish"]
[Variation "Worrall Attack, 7...O-O 8.c3 d6 9.Rd1"] [WhiteElo "2000"]
[TimeControl "240+6"]
[Termination "normal"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[WhiteType "human"]
[BlackType "human"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. d3 d6 8. Nd5 Nxd5 9. Bxd5 Bd7 10. c3 O-O 11. d4 Qe8 12. O-O Rd8 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Qe2 Bd6 15. Nh4 Ne7 16. Bb3 c5 17. Be3 c4 18. Bc2 Bc8 19. Bb6 Rd7 20. Rfd1 g6 21. b3 cxb3 22. Bxb3 Ba3 23. Qe3 Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Nc6 25. Nxg6 hxg6 26. Qh6 Ne7 (26. .. Be6 27. Rd3 Ne7 28. Bc7 Bc1 29. Qxc1 Qc6 30. Bxe5 Bxb3 31. axb3 Qxe4 32. Re3 Qg4 33. c4 bxc4 (33. .. Nf5 34. Re1 Nh4 (34. .. Nd4 35. Kh1 Ne6 (35. .. Nf5 36. h3 Qh4 37. Kg1 Nd4 38. c5 ±) 36. c5 ±) 35. Bg3 Nf5 36. h3 Qd4 37. Be5 Qb6 38. Bb2 Qc6 39. cxb5 Qxc1 40. Rxc1 axb5 41. Rc5 b4 42. Rb5 Re8 43. Rxb4 ±) 34. h3 Qd7 35. bxc4 Nf5 36. Re1 Re8 (36. .. f6 37. Bb2 ±) 37. Bc3 Rxe1+ 38. Qxe1 Kf8 (38. .. Qc6 39. Qe5 f6 40. Qxf6 Qxf6 41. Bxf6 Kf7 42. Bc3 Nd6 43. c5 Nb5 44. Bb4 Nc7 45. h4 ±) 39. Bb4+ Kg8 40. Qe5 Qd1+ 41. Kh2 Qd8 42. f4 Qd4 (42. .. f6 43. Qe6+ Kg7 44. Bc3 Nd4 45. Qxa6 Qc7 46. Kh1 Nc6 47. Bb2 Qd7 48. c5 Qe6 49. Kh2 ±) 43. Qe8+ Kg7 44. Qf8+ Kh7 45. Qxf7+ Kh8 46. Qc7 Ne3 47. Be1 Kg8 48. Bf2 Ng4+ 49. hxg4 Qxf2 50. Kh3 ±) 27. Bc7 Nf5 28. exf5 Bxf5 29. g4 Be4 30. Re1 Bc1 31. Qxc1 Qc6 32. Qe3 Bh1 33. Qh3 Qxc7 34. Kxh1 Re8 35. Qh6 Qc6+ 36. Kg1 Qf6 37. Rd1 Qc6 38. Rd3 Qe4 39. Rh3 Qe1+ 40. Kg2 Qe4+ 41. Kg3 1-0

Feb-19-17  Sularus: got the first two moves of white. this is an improvement for me. :D
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