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Raymond Keene vs Vasily Smyslov
Hastings (1968/69), Hastings ENG, rd 1, Dec-28
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-29-04  who: I wish the annotation were better. It's hard to figure out what's going on.
May-19-05  fgh: 41. Be3? What was Keene thinking? Any knowledge about this game?
May-19-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Well, if 41 Kh7 Rc7+ 42 Kg8 Kg6! 43 Kf8 Bb4+ and Rxa7, or am I missing something?
Sep-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <keypusher> You're right, but there's more. White is lost after 40...g4+

In the line you give, Black can actually win the White Rook: 41.Kh7 Rc7+ 42.Kg8 Kg6! 43.Kf8 Rc8+ (43...Bb4+ also wins, of course) 44.Ke7 Bg5+ 45.Ke6 Re8+ and White cannot prevent a skewer with 46...Rd8+ and 47...Rxd1.

Other 41st moves also lose quickly. 41.Kg7 Rc7+ either transposes after 42.Kg8 Kg6, or permits a bishop check and ...Rxa7. 41.Kh5 Rc7 42.Kh4 Rc7+ 43.Kg3 Bf4+ 44.Kg2 Rxa7 is the same idea. It has other permutations too, but White always loses either rook or bishop (or gets mated).

The White mistake came a move earlier. Instead of 40.Kh6?? (possibly time trouble), 40.Bd4! seems to hold on, eg 40...Rc7 41.Kh6 Bf4 42.Be3 is about equal; or 41...Bb4 42.Bg7 =. Or even 41...Rc2, repeating. It seems Keene missed a draw on move 40.

Sep-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: played in the first round-i was in tremendous awe of smyslov and lost a completely drawn position by panicking in time trouble-after that i lost no more games in the event and ended up third equal with tukmakov behind smyslov and gligoric but ahead of hubner smejkal and 6 others.
Sep-25-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <ray keene> Thanks for the clarification. To put this in context for people, in those days the Brits traditionally propped up the bottom of the annual Hastings GM tournament. Even 10 years later, when players like Speelman, Miles, Mestel and Nunn were involved, they tended not to do particularly well. Ray Keene's 3rd place was a major achievement.

As to the game - I see what you meant about being mystified by some of his moves. The way he uses bishops to physically block the path of a rook - like a clerical roadblock - is both anti-intuitive and highly effective...

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Hastings 1968/69
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