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Boris Spassky vs Nigel Short
"Caught Short" (game of the day Jul-05-2007)
Korchnoi Birthday KO (2001) (rapid), Zuerich SUI, rd 1, Apr-29
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Leningrad Variation. Benoni Defense (E31)  ·  1-0



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Given 22 times; par: 114 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-30-07  Billy Ray Valentine: In honor of the player of the day, I thought I'd point this game out... very interesting game!

Happy Birthday, Boris!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Well put, Runemaster/
Apr-16-07  BadTemper: very sexy game. started a new collection
Apr-16-07  Marmot PFL: Good game, unusually long for Spassky at this point in his career.
Jul-03-07  sanyas: After 19.g4 Spassky already had a wonderful position, and 24.Nf5 looks won to me. Short is supposed to like this kind of game? I thought he was a straight attacker.
Jul-03-07  sanyas: The point is that the knights have nowhere to go, while the bishops can choose their own opening.
Jul-05-07  JustAFish: Nice little zugzwang at the end, there.
Jul-05-07  sanyas: I sometimes think that the game of the day is chosen solely on its punnability.
Jul-05-07  Billy Ray Valentine: I've always thought this game was great... I'm glad decided to honor it with selection for GotD!

Great game by Boris! Especially for someone his age!!

Jul-05-07  arnaud1959: With two knights against two bishops in a closed position and Q+N usually stronger then Q+B, I was expecting 0-1 at the end but once again, Boris knows how to win apparently from nothing.
Jul-05-07  actionhero56: what a stupid game, it looks like something 2 patzers would play. queen pawn games are slow but this is ridiculous
Jul-05-07  sanyas: <arnaud1959> Honestly, does the position after 40 moves look won for Black to you?
Jul-05-07  ex0duz: <two knights are not always better than two bishops in a blocked position; exchanges do not always make things better for the player with less space.>

I think the player with more space in a closed position is better off usually, knight or bishop, but of course, imo this is just in general, depends on what pawn breaks etc you are able to do too. In this game in particular, when all the pawns are blocked, i notice that white has pawns on the 4/5th rank, while black is only on the 3/4th respective ranks. Knights get owned in closed positions too if they dont have good outposts by the time the positions are closed etc..

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I think I'm starting to develop a large dislike for blocked positions like this one. Manoevering pieces in a closed position should be confined to Rubik's Cube.

Here,the bishop is superior simply because the knight runs out of moves.

In this game:confined calvary BOO!
mobily clergy HORRAY!

Jul-05-07  skiskichess5: Nice finish by Boris!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: To be candid, this game reminds me of Walt Disney's "Tom & Jerry" chase. Albeit, there's lots of things to be learned.
Jul-05-07  xKinGKooLx: A very interesting game, that once again shows an exception to a well known "rule" of chess. Although Black had the two knights in a closed position, the problem was that he couldn't really do anything with them! All White had to do was move his pieces into the perfect position to break through and win. Very nicely done. A great game.
Jul-05-07  Andrew Chapman: Was 53..Nd7 a blunder? Am I wrong in thinking that it was not forced?
Aug-25-09  WhiteRook48: knights are always inferior to bishops and always will be
Sep-12-09  WhiteRook48: where's the win?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <WhiteRook48> Short is in a zugzwang and cannot stop Spassky breaking through:

click for larger view

Two of the possible continuations being:

<62...b5> 63. axb5 a4 64. Bc1 Nb6 65. g7 Nc4 66. Kg6 Nb6 67. Kxf6 c4 68. Ke7 Kxg7 69. f6+ and wins

<62... Na3> 63. e5 dxe5 64. d6 Kf8 65. g7+ Kf7 66. g8=Q+ Kxg8 67. d7 and wins

Sep-15-09  WhiteRook48: or even 62...Na3 63 e5 fxe5 64 f6!!
Sep-15-09  vulcan20: There are too many "Short" puns circulating about the games of GM Short. It was humorous when Kasparov declared as a prediction for his challenger for the 1993 World Championship "It will be Short and it will be short!", but it gets lame after a while.
Sep-16-09  AnalyzeThis: Amazing to see Spassky trot out the Leningrad variation, as late as 2001.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Vladimir Kramnik wrote a most insightful article on his predecessors, and said about this game:

Spassky is something else, he is always to the point. Sometimes he does not calculate fully but he will grasp the correct direction of play in 15 seconds! Here is another remarkable episode. Three years ago we played in a tournament celebrating Korchnoi's jubilee where Spassky, who was already over 60, defeated Short in a perfect game. Moreover, they had reached the kind of position that was Short's forte and yet he was completely out of it!

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