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Boris Spassky vs Manuel Rivas Pastor
Salamanca (1991), Salamanca ESP, rd 4
Lion Defense: Lion's Jaw (B07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-30-03  dbailey: Cannot stop the threat of mate on g8 with the rook.

15. Rhd1 was a great move not only because it gained a tempo, but it was an excellent refute to the preceeding pawn move by black. Also, by black's capturing of the knight with his pawn, allowed his pawns to be doubled on the queen side, and gave Spassky a place to post his rook on the 7th. Both are bad for black.

May-30-03  mkdir: black's 12th move Ne8 is way too passive..could not understand the idea behind it...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <mkdir: black's 12th move Ne8 is way too passive..could not understand the idea behind it...>

It may well be that Rivas had thought himself able to disentangle with 14....b5, seeing only too late that White's reply dashed those hopes.

Jun-18-12  Abdel Irada: Rivas-Pastor's opening play has not been unreasonable, nor unenterprising (for example, 8. ...♘bd7, preparing 9. ...♗c5, aimed quite logically to exchange off his "bad" bishop for White's "good" one, leaving the latter with weak dark squares). I therefore give him the benefit of the doubt, and imagine that 12. ...♘e8?! was played with the intention of driving White's knight off c4 and then recycling the piece with a later ...♘d6.

The cause of Rivas' demise in this game, it seems to me, was a touch of pride. Had he admitted error with 15. ...♘ef6, White would have had to move his knight off c4, removing the attack on Black's e-pawn and thereby freeing his knight on d7. Ideally, he would have avoided the loss of time by not trying the ...♘e8-d6 maneuver in the first place, but here he inferably miscalculated and thought he could complete the maneuver, having underestimated the power of the doubled rooks.

With the rooks already doubled, of course, Black stands worse anyway, because White will exert strong pressure after 16. ♘a5 and 17. ♘c6+, and will have by far the easier game. Even so, this is better than allowing the ending he actually did.

Jun-18-12  RookFile: The system of allowing the queen trade works well when white has played c4, i.e. 1. d4 d6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 dxe5 4. Qxd8+ is something black can hold without too many problems. When the bishop can go to c4 instead ( 6. Bc4 in this game ), it enduces an extra weakness in black's armor that causes problems.
Jun-18-12  Shams: <RookFile> <. d4 d6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 dxe5 4. Qxd8+ is something black can hold without too many problems.>

I actually prefer Black, and think it's White who must "hold" if anyone. Good observation about the c4 square; I would only add that Black's ...c7-c6 is a vital resource for him in this line, giving the c7 square for the King. Black has, I think, no problems at all.

Jun-18-12  RookFile: I prefer black too. Saw some game of Tal's in the 1980's where he beat some master in about 30 moves with black.
Jun-18-12  Shams: <RookFile> Good call on that. I see that between 1982 and 1991 Tal scored 3.5/4 in this line. If White players wanted Tal's queen off the board as soon as possible, they clearly overpaid for it.

Meduna vs Tal, 1982

J C Meyer vs Tal, 1988

A Dukhov vs Tal, 1991

C Amura vs Tal, 1991

I'm glad to see these. I hadn't yet found Ng8-h6 on my own, and Tal clearly feels it's the best square for that Knight, since he plays it in all four games. Now it seems only too obvious. I have been sending that Knight to e7, and from there sometimes c8...

Jun-18-12  Shams: One more in this line, a gem by Tony Miles:
Groszpeter vs Miles, 1992
Jan-31-21  Gaito: A game efortlessly played by Spassky in the style of the young Capablanca: Black's knight on e8 was unable to move, so it remained a useless piece, and Black's QR was also unable to get into the game, because it had to defend the useless knight. Therefore, Black was giving odds of rook and knight to the former world champion, who was happy to have a free hand on the K-side. If they told me that this game had been one of fifty games played by Capablanca during a simultaneous display, I would easily have believed it. Amazing!

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