USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

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  • USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

    USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

    March 30, 2020

    Round One

    Today, half a century ago, one of the greatest chess events of the 20th century started in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Virtually all of the top players in the world participated in this match between the Soviet Union and the Rest of the World.

    The match consisted of four rounds, with teams of 10 players each (including six world champions, past, present, and future!) playing four games against the same player.

    The Soviet Team, in board order: Boris Spassky, Tigran Petrosian, Viktor Korchnoi, Lev Polugaevsky, Efim Geller, Vasily Smyslov, Mark Taimanov, Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Paul Keres, and reserves Leonid Stein and David Bronstein.

    The Rest of the World Team in board order: Bent Larsen, Fischer, Lajos Portisch, Vlastimil Hort, Svetozar Gligoric, Samuel Reshevsky, Wolfgang Uhlmann, Milan Matulovic, Miguel Najdorf, Borislav Ivkov, and reserves Fridrik Olafsson and Klaus Viktor Darga.

    Fischer played on board two instead of board one—another interesting story. For the line-up of the teams, Arpad Elo's rating system (brand new at the time) had been used, but Larsen objected, claiming he deserved top board based on his recent results and Fischer's inactivity. Here's what happened after, also from Kasparov, who quotes Taimanov:

    "This was an open challenge to Fischer, and it appeared that a conflict was inevitable," writes Taimanov. "But the unbelievable occurred! When Dr. [Max] Euwe — the team captain — went into Bobby's room, the latter was lying on a divan with his head buried in a pillow. And hardly had Euwe begun fulfilling his complicated diplomatic mission, when Bobby, not even turning to his respected colleague, barked out: 'I don't object...'"

    Later it was concluded that Fischer, who hadn't played competitive chess for nearly two years, didn't feel fully ready yet to meet Spassky, and perhaps rightly so. He lost to Spassky later in the year at the Siegen Olympiad.

    From Peter Doggers at chess.com

    https://www.chess.com/news/view/ussr...rld-chess-1970

    ___________-

    I think that, in these trying times, reporting the tournament’s four rounds over four days would be an excellent way of providing chess when there is no tournament chess being played!

    USSR vs Rest of the World 1970
    Belgrade, Yugoslavia
    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 1
    Spassky, Boris – Larsen, Bent
    E30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad variation

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5 c5 5.d5 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 e5 7.Nf3 d6 8.Nd2 h6 9.Bh4 Nbd7 10.e3 Nf8 11.Bd3 Ng6 12.Bg3 O-O 13.O-O Ne7 14.f4 exf4 15.Rxf4 Ng6 16.Rxf6 Qxf6 17.Ne4 Qd8 18.Nxd6 Qg5 19.Qd2 b6 20.Ne4 Qd8 21.Rf1 f5 22.Nd6 f4 23.exf4 Qxd6 24.f5 Qd8 25.fxg6 Rxf1+ 26.Kxf1 Qf6+ 27.Qf4 Bd7 28.Ke2 Rf8 29.Qxf6 gxf6 30.Kf3 Re8 31.Bf2 h5 32.h3 Kg7 33.g4 hxg4+ 34.hxg4 Rh8 35.d6 Rh1 36.Bf5 Bc6+ 37.Ke2 Rh3 38.d7 Rh8 39.Bg3 Rd8 40.Bc7 Rxd7 1/2-1/2

    7.Nf3 (7.d6!? Spassky)
    7...d6 (7...Qa5 Larsen; 7...h6 8.Bh4 e4 9.Nd2 e3 Larsen) 8.Nd2! (Spassky)
    12... 0-0 (12...Ne7 Larsen)
    14.f4! (Spassky)
    15.Rxf4 (15.exf4 Bf5 Larsen)
    16.Rxf6!? (Larsen/Spassky; 16.Bxg6 fxg6= Larsen)
    17... Qd8! (Spassky)
    18.Nxd6 (18.Bxd6 f5 Larsen/Spassky)
    18...Qg5! (Larsen/Spassky; 18...f5 19.Qh5! Qg5 20.Qxg5 hxg5 21.Rf1 Ne7 22.Nxc8 Raxc8 23.d6 Larsen) 20.Ne4 (20.Bxg6 Qxg6 21.e4 Spassky; 20.Rf1 Ne5 Larsen) 21.Rf1 (21.Bd6? f5 Larsen)
    23.exf4 (23.Nxc8? fxg3 Larsen; 23.Bxg6? Qxd6 Larsen) 24...Qd8 [24...Ne5 25.Qe3 (25.Qe2 Re8 26.Re1 Larsen) 25...Re8 26.f6 Spassky] 28.Ke2! (Spassky)

    Round 1 March 29, 1970
    Board 2
    Fischer, Robert – Petrosian, Tigran
    B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange, Rubinstein variation

    1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Na5 8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qc2 e6 10.Nf3 Qb6 11.a4 Rc8 12.Nbd2 Nc6 13.Qb1 Nh5 14.Be3 h6 15.Ne5 Nf6 16.h3 Bd6 17.O-O Kf8 18.f4 Be8 19.Bf2 Qc7 20.Bh4 Ng8 21.f5 Nxe5 22.dxe5 Bxe5 23.fxe6 Bf6 24.exf7 Bxf7 25.Nf3 Bxh4 26.Nxh4 Nf6 27.Ng6+ Bxg6 28.Bxg6 Ke7 29.Qf5 Kd8 30.Rae1 Qc5+ 31.Kh1 Rf8 32.Qe5 Rc7 33.b4 Qc6 34.c4 dxc4 35.Bf5 Rff7 36.Rd1+ Rfd7 37.Bxd7 Rxd7 38.Qb8+ Ke7 39.Rde1+ 1-0

    Position after White’s 17.O-O

    

    - Never really understood Petrosian's 17th move Kf8?!The obvious and natural move has to be O-O. Petrosian may well have been concerned by Bxh6 etc with a possible attack. But wasn't Petrosian the master of defence? Okay, if he was concerned then Ke7!? to avoid castling has got to be better than Kf8? This way the rooks are connected and black is developing the pieces. I am certainly no strong chess player, but my instincts tell me that the king on f8 with the rook on incarcerated on h8 cannot be the best way for Petrosian to handle this position? Unless I have missed something, then I stand to be corrected!

    - Previous kibitzers have discussed it (I know, 5 pages of kibitzing already) and it's generally agreed that 17...0-0 would have been better.

    - It's a wonderful game. Petrosian was so slippery - against many a player I'm sure he would have gotten a draw anyway out of this.

    - In Robert Byrne's auto bio he said that Petrosian's wife would approach him at tournaments and ask how her husband was doing. Byrne said "Why don't you ask the other Russian players?"

    Mrs. P "I can't count on them to tell the truth, but I know you will be honest with me."

    Byrne wrote "My answer was usually "Tigran stands well" but that could no longer be my answer as Bobby Fischer's chess improved.

    March 29, 1970
    Board 3
    Korchnoi, Viktor – Portisch, Lajos
    C95 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer, Borisenko variation

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.b3 Bf8 14.Bb2 g6 15.a4 Bg7 16.Bd3 c6 17.Qc2 Rc8 18.dxe5 dxe5 19.b4 Bf8 20.Red1 Qb6 21.Qb3 c5 22.axb5 axb5 23.bxc5 Bxc5 24.Qxb5 Bxf2+ 25.Kf1 Re7 26.Qxb6 Bxb6 27.Ba6 Bxa6+ 28.Rxa6 Be3 29.Ke2 Bc5 30.g4 Rb8 31.Ra2 Nf8 32.c4 N6d7 33.Kf1 f6 34.Nb1 Nb6 35.Nfd2 Rd7 36.Rc1 Ne6 37.Ba3 Rd3 38.Rc3 Rbd8 39.Bxc5 Nxc5 40.Rxd3 Rxd3 41.Ra5 Nbd7 42.Ra3 Rd4 43.Re3 Nb6 44.Ke2 Nxc4 45.Nxc4 Rxc4 46.Nc3 Kg7 47.Kf3 Ne6 48.h4 Nd4+ 49.Kf2 Rb4 50.Nd1 Ra4 51.Kg3 h5 52.Nf2 Ra2 53.g5 fxg5 54.hxg5 h4+ 55.Kg2 Ne6 56.Kf3 Nxg5+ 57.Kg4 Nf7 58.Rf3 g5 59.Kh5 Ra8 60.Rb3 Rh8+ 61.Kg4 Rh6 62.Nh3 Rf6 63.Rb8 Rd6 64.Kh5 Rh6+ 65.Kg4 Rd6 66.Kh5 Kf6 67.Rb2 Kg7 68.Rb8 1/2-1/2

    Position after White’s 57.Kg4

    


    Dragoslav Andric's account in Chess Life & Review:

    "With two extra pawns in a simple ending, grandmaster Lajos Portisch made a technical mistake that turned the World's moral triumph into a mere relative success. First he missed the move that would have forced Korchnoi to resign at once: 57...Kh6. Then, a few moves later, wishing to gain some time for deliberation, though he was far from being in time pressure, Portisch repeated the position in the belief it was only a second repetition. But in fact, he had allowed a threefold repetition. Korchnoi, of course, claimed the draw.

    Not everyone agreed on the analysis.

    Reshevsky suggested 24. Rf1 Bx6 25. g3=.

    Reshevsky gave 25...Re7 a question mark, adding that 25...Qe3, with the double threat of 26...Bg3 and 26...Nh5 with mate to follow in both cases. If 26. Nc4 Rxc4 27. Bxc4 Nh5 28. g4 (28. Bxf7+ Kh8) Qxf3 and wins. If 26. g4 Bc6 and the white Queen has no good square.

    Reshevsky gave 57...Nf7 two question marks (Evans settled for one), stating "Portisch misses an easy win: 57...Kh6 58. Nh3 (if 58. Nd3 h3 59. Nxe5 h2 60. Re1 Rg2+ 61. Kh4 Rg1 wins) Rg2+ 59. Kxh4 Rh2 60. Kg4 Rxh3, etc."

    Evans and Reshevsky agree on 58...g5? (58...Re2 59. Kxh4 Nd6 still wins)

    Evans says 59...Ra8? was the last straw: 59...Re2! 60. Rf5 Re3 61. Kg4 Kg6 still conquers.

    Reshevsky (after 63...Ra6): "Even though he is two pawns ahead, Black can make no headway: 63...Rf1 64. Kh5 Re1 65. Nxg5 Nxg5 66. Kxg5 Rxe4 67. Rb7+ Kg8 68. Kg6 Kf8 69. Kf5 Re3 70. Rh7 and draws."

    (to be continued)

  • #2
    USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

    March 30, 2020

    Round One II (continued)

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 4
    Hort, Vlastimil – Polugaevsky, Lev
    B22 Sicilian, Alapin’s variation

    1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 e6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Qe4 d6 8.Nbd2 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nf6 10.Qa4 Qd5 11.Ndf3 Bd6 12.Bf4 Qe4+ 13.Qxe4 Nxe4 14.Bd3 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Bxe5 16.Nxe5 Nc5 17.Bc2 f6 18.Nc4 Ke7 19.O-O-O Bd7 20.b4 Na6 21.Nd6 b6 22.Rhe1 g6 23.Bb3 Rad8 24.f4 Nc7 25.f5 gxf5 26.Nxf5+ Kf7 27.Rd3 Bc8 28.Rg3 Ne8 29.Nd4 Nc7 30.Nf5 Ne8 31.Nd4 Nc7 32.Re4 Rdg8 33.Rxg8 Rxg8 34.Nf5 Rd8 35.Rg4 Ne8 36.Rh4 h5 37.Rxh5 Kg6 38.Ng3 Ng7 39.Rh4 Bb7 40.Rg4+ Kf7 41.Ne2 f5 42.Rc4 Ne8 43.Rd4 Rd6 44.Nf4 Bc8 45.Ba4 Rxd4 46.Bxe8+ Kxe8 47.cxd4 Ke7 48.Kd2 Kf6 49.Nd3 Kg5 50.Ke3 Ba6 51.Nf4 Bc4 52.a3 a5 53.g3 Kg4 54.Kf2 Kg5 55.h4+ Kf6 56.Ke3 axb4 57.axb4 e5 58.Nd3 exd4+ 59.Kxd4 b5 60.Nf4 Bf1 61.Kd5 Bc4+ 62.Kd6 Bb3 63.Nd5+ Kg6 64.Ke5 Bc2 65.Ne7+ Kh5 66.Nxf5 1-0

    Position after White’s 41.Ne2

    

    - That's the position where Fischer helped Hort to win. The analysis have been done by Hort and Bobby. And Hort, a very good Czech player, won. We can remark the striking subtle force of moves 41-46 for white ...

    - Maybe Fischer helped Hort with the adjournment analysis, but up until move 40, Hort had played very well all on his own.

    - The position was adjourned after white's move 41. Polugaevsky says that his sealed move, 41...f5 was a mistake.

    Hort gives 42...Ne8 and 44...Bc8 question marks.

    So if Fischer helped Hort I think it can only have been in a very general way...

    Round 1, March 30, 1970
    Board 5
    Geller, Efim – Gligoric, Svetozar
    C93 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defence

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 h6 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.Nf1 Bb7 13.Ng3 Na5 14.Bc2 Nc4 15.b3 Nb6 16.Bb2 Nbd7 17.Qd2 c5 18.Rad1 Qa5 19.dxc5 dxc5 20.c4 b4 21.a4 Qc7 22.Nf5 Nb8 23.Nxe5 Rxe5 24.Bxe5 Qxe5 25.f4 Qe6 26.e5 Ne8 27.Nh4 Nc6 28.Qd3 g6 29.f5 gxf5 30.Nxf5 Qg6 31.Qe2 Qg5 32.h4 Qf4 33.g3 Qxe5 34.Qg4+ Qg7 35.Nxg7 Nf6 36.Qf4 Bxg7 37.Qc7 Rb8 38.Rd6 Ng4 39.Rxc6 Bd4+ 40.Kf1 1-0

    - Gligoric plays 22...Nb8 with the idea of placing the N on d5. It is a good positional idea, but Geller settles the game almost immediately with 23.Nxe5.

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 6
    Reshevsky, Samuel – Smyslov, Vasily
    A00 Benko Opening

    1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 c6 3.Nf3 Bf5 4.O-O e6 5.d3 Be7 6.Nbd2 Nf6 7.Qe1 h6 8.e4 dxe4 9.dxe4 Bh7 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.e5 Nd5 12.Ne4 Nc5 13.Nxc5 Bxc5 14.Nd2 Qc7 15.a3 O-O 16.Nb3 Be7 17.Be4 Bxe4 18.Qxe4 Rfd8 19.Bd2 Bf8 20.Rfd1 Nb6 21.a4 Rd5 22.a5 Nd7 23.Bc3 Rd8 24.Rxd5 cxd5 25.Qe3 a6 26.Bd4 Rc8 27.c3 Qc6 28.Nc1 Nc5 29.b4 Na4 30.Nd3 Qb5 1/2-1/2

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 7
    Taimanov, Mark – Uhlmann, Wolfgang
    D80 Grunfeld, Stockholm variation

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 c5 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.e3 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Qxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Nf3 Bg7 13.O-O e6 14.Rab1 O-O 15.Nd2 f5 16.Nb3 b6 17.Rfc1 Rac8 18.Ba6 Rce8 19.Bb7 Nd8 20.Rc7 Rf7 21.Ba6 Ba4 22.Rbc1 Bf8 23.R1c4 Rxc7 24.Rxc7 Nc6 25.Bc4 Bg7 26.Rc8 Rxc8 27.Bxe6+ Kf8 28.Bxc8 Nb4 29.Nc1 Kf7 30.Bg3 Bf8 31.Bb7 Ke6 32.Bb8 Kd7 33.Bf3 Bb5 34.Bd1 a5 35.a4 Bc4 36.g4 b5 37.gxf5 gxf5 38.Be5 Nc6 39.Bh8 Ba3 40.axb5 Bxc1 41.bxc6+ Kxc6 42.Ba4+ Kd5 43.Bc2 Ke6 44.Kg2 Ba3 45.Be5 Bf8 46.Bc7 Bd5+ 47.f3 Bb4 48.Kg3 Kf6 49.Be5+ Kg6 50.Kf4 Be6 51.Ba4 Bf8 52.e4 Bh6+ 53.Kg3 fxe4 54.fxe4 Bd2 55.d5 Be1+ 56.Kf3 Bh3 57.Be8+ Kh6 58.Bf6 1-0

    - Taimanov handles the entire game extremely well. The irresistible attack of his weak e-pawn is great! Good game.

    - Nc6 is bad according to theory. e6 ought to be played since Bb5 and Bf6 (Bb4ch followed by castling) are not dangerous. Nc6 is bad because white can continuously work with threats against pawn e7 and b7.

    Black's f5 against Ne4 is bad of course but his position is inferior anyway.

    Really admirable play by Taimanov.

    - Nice game, Uhlmann did not put up a lot of resistance- 40...Bxb5 and 42...Bb5 were better chances to draw.

    - Reshevsky in his book the art of positional play tells us that Uhlmann gave up all hopes after 42... Kd5 because it gives up any thought of promoting the a-pawn.

    Also, 45. Be5 is interesting, it prevents Bd6 attacking the h2 pawn. It seems like a final touch. After that white is dominating completely.

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 8
    Matulovic, Milan – Botvinnik, Mikhail
    B06 Robatsch Defence

    1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Qe2 c6 6.Bb3 O-O 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nbd2 Qc7 11.Nc4 Nh5 12.Bg3 Nf4 13.Bxf4 exf4 14.O-O-O Bg4 15.e5 Nd7 16.Qe4 Rad8 17.Qxf4 Bxf3 18.Qxf3 b5 19.Ne3 Nxe5 20.Qg3 a5 21.a3 Kh7 22.Ng4 h5 23.Nxe5 Bxe5 24.Qf3 Kg7 25.Rhe1 Bf6 26.c3 c5 27.Rxd8 Rxd8 28.g3 c4 29.Bc2 b4 30.axb4 axb4 31.cxb4 Qb6 32.Rd1 Qxb4 33.Rxd8 Qxb2+ 34.Kd1 Bxd8 35.Qd5 Qf6 36.Ke2 Bb6 37.f4 Qc3 38.Qe4 Bd4 39.f5 gxf5 40.Qxf5 Qe3+ 41.Kf1 Qg1+ 42.Ke2 Qxh2+ 43.Kd1 Qg1+ 44.Ke2 Qe3+ 45.Kf1 Qxg3 46.Qh7+ Kf8 0-1

    Position after White’s 31.cxb4

    


    - Interesting to see how Botvinnik got an attack with opposite colour Bishops. 31... Qb6 was good but he could have played the even stronger 31... Qa7.
    31... Qa7 (to go to a1) 32. Kb1 (only move) Ra8 (the same, go to a1) 33. Qa3 Qb6!! (that is the point) 34. Qa8 Qb4 (xb2, e1) 35. Qa3 Qe1 36. Ka2 Qf2 .

    - 33. ...Qb6 isn't mentioned in Botvinnik's notes (Botvinnik's Best Games 1947-1970).He agrees 31, ...Qa7! is 'simpler' and considers both 32. ...Qd4 and 32. ...Ra8 and in that line after 33. Qa3, Qf2 considering 33... Qd4 now not so good because of 34. Rd1, Qe5; 35. f4.

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 9
    Tal, Mikhail – Najdorf, Miguel
    B48 Sicilian, Taimanov variation

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.O-O Ne5 9.h3 Bc5 10.Kh1 d6 11.f4 Ned7 12.Qf3 b5 13.Nb3 Bb7 14.a4 b4 15.Ne2 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 Nc5 17.Ng3 Rc8 18.Qe2 O-O 19.Nxc5 Qxc5 20.Rad1 a5 21.e5 dxe5 22.fxe5 Nd5 23.Ne4 Qe3 24.Qh5 Qh6 25.Qxh6 gxh6 26.Rf3 Rc7 27.Rdf1 Ne7 28.Rg3+ Kh8 29.Nd6 Nc6 30.Re3 Kg7 31.Rf4 Ne7 32.Bb5 Ng6 33.Rd4 Bd5 34.c4 bxc3 35.bxc3 Rc5 36.Ne8+ Kh8 37.Nf6 Rfc8 38.c4 Bxc4 39.Ne4 Bxb5 40.Nxc5 Rxc5 41.axb5 1/2-1/2

    Round 1, March 29, 1970
    Board 10
    Ivkov, Borislav – Keres, Paul
    C72 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.O-O Ne5 9.h3 Bc5 10.Kh1 d6 11.f4 Ned7 12.Qf3 b5 13.Nb3 Bb7 14.a4 b4 15.Ne2 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 Nc5 17.Ng3 Rc8 18.Qe2 O-O 19.Nxc5 Qxc5 20.Rad1 a5 21.e5 dxe5 22.fxe5 Nd5 23.Ne4 Qe3 24.Qh5 Qh6 25.Qxh6 gxh6 26.Rf3 Rc7 27.Rdf1 Ne7 28.Rg3+ Kh8 29.Nd6 Nc6 30.Re3 Kg7 31.Rf4 Ne7 32.Bb5 Ng6 33.Rd4 Bd5 34.c4 bxc3 35.bxc3 Rc5 36.Ne8+ Kh8 37.Nf6 Rfc8 38.c4 Bxc4 39.Ne4 Bxb5 40.Nxc5 Rxc5 41.axb5 1/2-1/2

    - 9...0-0 (9...h6 10.Nf1 Bg5!? Ivkov - Keres Amsterdam 1971) 10...exd4 (10...Nh4; 10...Bg4; 10...b5; 10...Qe8 Lasker - Steinitz Hastings 1895, Spassky - Larsen Palma de Mallorca 1969) 11...Bf6 (11...b5 12.Bb3 Bg4) 13...Nh4 (13...Nb4)
    18. Be3 (18.f4!)

    I am indebted to chessgames.com for the scores and some of the notes:

    https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=79449

    Score at the end of Round 1 USSR 5.5 – World 4.5

    Tomorrow – Round Two

    Comment


    • #3
      USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970


      March 31, 2020

      Round Two

      After World War II The Yugoslav state had decided to devote significant resources to chess for reasons of national prestige and as a flag carrier for socialist culture. The Yugoslav players were second in strength and preparation only to their Soviet counterparts. Hence, in the top ten in this match there are three from that country – Gligoric, Ivkov and Matulovic.

      The younger reader might not know who Matulovic was. These excerpts from his Wikipedia article:

      Milan Matulović (10 June 1935 – 9 October 2013) was a chess grandmaster who was the second or third strongest Yugoslav player for much of the 1960s and 1970s behind Svetozar Gligorić and possibly Borislav Ivkov. He was primarily active before 1977, but remained an occasional tournament competitor until 2006.

      Matulović was born in Belgrade. In 1958 he played a four-game training match with Bobby Fischer, of which only one game (a Matulović win) has survived. He achieved the International Master title in 1961 and became a Grandmaster in 1965.

      Matulović was involved with controversial incidents. Over the board he played on in hopeless positions when grandmaster etiquette called for a resignation, allegedly in the hopes of reaching adjournment (suspension of a game for resumption on a later day, common in tournament play at the time) so that the news reports would read "Matulović's game is adjourned" rather than "Matulović lost."

      More seriously, after the 1970 Interzonal tournament at Palma de Mallorca, he was accused of "throwing" his game against Mark Taimanov in return for a $400 bribe, thus allowing Taimanov to advance to the Candidates matches, where Taimanov was defeated by Bobby Fischer 6–0.

      Perhaps Matulović's most notorious transgression was against István Bilek at the Sousse Interzonal in 1967. He played a losing move but then took it back after saying "j'adoube" . His opponent complained to the arbiter but the move was allowed to stand. This incident earned Matulović the nickname "J'adoubovic

      Round 2, March 31, 1970
      Board 1
      Larsen, Bent – Spassky, Boris
      A01 Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack, Modern variation

      1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nf3 e4 5.Nd4 Bc5 6.Nxc6 dxc6 7.e3 Bf5 8.Qc2 Qe7 9.Be2 O-O-O 10.f4 Ng4 11.g3 h5 12.h3 h4 13.hxg4 hxg3 14.Rg1 Rh1 15.Rxh1 g2 16.Rf1 Qh4+ 17.Kd1 gxf1=Q+ 0-1

      Final Position

      

      - I like the difference of styles. Larsen went that Dutch formation with elegant diagonal pawn structure, all pieces behind the pawns, control of the dark squares... Spassky just ignored the beautiful schemes, got doubled pawns, pushed two pawns more and destroyed White's King side.
      I think the risk with 1. b3 is getting engaged in fine manoeuvres while the enemy just throw punches that destroy them

      - Really terrible game from Larsen. His position was quite uncomfortable after Bf5 but still playable... f4 is very very bad but h3 was even worst opening his king side. It's very strange that he was able to win Game 3 forcing the Russians to withdraw Spassky to avoid that he could lose the 4 games match against Bent....

      - A quick defeat by Larsen. A memorable lesson in the dangers of giving up the center to your opponent. Of course, white can be ok if he develops his pieces, but 10 f4? is inconsistent with such plan. Also, it weakens the Kingside, and with all his development, Black can strike immediately and punish White for his clumsiness.

      Round 2, March 31, 1970
      Board 2
      Petrosian, Tigran – Fischer, Robert
      A37 Reti/English, symmetrical variation

      1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 c5 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.O-O Nge7 7.d3 O-O 8.Bd2 d5 9.a3 b6 10.Rb1 Bb7 11.b4 cxb4 12.axb4 dxc4 13.dxc4 Rc8 14.c5 bxc5 15.bxc5 Na5 16.Na4 Bc6 17.Qc2 Nb7 18.Rfc1 Qd7 19.Ne1 Nd5 20.Nb2 Bb5 21.Ned3 Bd4 22.Qb3 Nxc5 23.Nxc5 Rxc5 24.Rxc5 Bxc5 25.Nd3 Bxd3 26.Qxd3 Rd8 27.Bf3 Qc7 28.Bg5 Be7 29.Bxe7 Qxe7 30.Qd4 e5 31.Qc4 Nb6 32.Qc2 Rc8 33.Qd3 Rc4 34.Bg2 Qc7 35.Qa3 Rc3 36.Qa5 Rc5 37.Qa3 a5 38.h4 Nc4 39.Qd3 Nd6 40.Kh2 Kg7 41.Rd1 Ne8 42.Qd7 Qxd7 43.Rxd7 Nf6 44.Ra7 Ng4+ 45.Kg1 Rc1+ 46.Bf1 Ra1 47.e4 a4 48.Kg2 Ra2 49.Rxf7+ Kxf7 50.Bc4+ Ke7 51.Bxa2 a3 52.Kf3 Nf6 53.Ke3 Kd6 54.f4 Nd7 55.Bb1 Nc5 56.f5 Na6 57.g4 Nb4 58.fxg6 hxg6 59.h5 gxh5 60.gxh5 Ke6 61.Kd2 Kf6 62.Kc3 a2 63.Bxa2 Nxa2+ 64.Kb2 Nb4 65.Kc3 Nc6 66.Kc4 Nd4 0-1

      Position after Black’s 52…..Nf6

      

      - Damn, the bishop is supposed to be stronger than the knight in the ending on an open board with pawns on both sides of the board.

      Here Fischer's knight simply leaps all over the board to dispatch Petrosian with ease.

      Fischer's endgame technique was just stupendous. According to the Soltis book, Fischer was that rare player who was equally good at gaining the advantage -AND- converting the advantage into a win. Those are two distinctly different skills but Fischer was equally strong at them, unlike the vast majority of players.

      - I could look at Fischer's games all day. By move 23, he has completed the long process of winning white's isolated c pawn, without allowing any counterplay. Very instructive how BF avoids exchanges, and with piece play further surrounds the weak pawn. That, and some fancy endgame moves win.

      - The book Fischer: His Approach to Chess (by Agur) gives some interesting analysis to a position that took place around the 20th move in this game. Suffice to add that no one could believe at the time that anybody--even Fischer--could beat Petrosian twice in a row! Petrosian rarely lost a game back in those days. That someone could beat him in two consecutive games was unbelievable.

      - To the guy who suggested that Fischer missed 49. Rxf7+. No way. He was simply giving up a pawn to trade into a winning Minor Piece ending (and White had no choice but to do it). With the Rooks off, the position is a win. With the Minors off, it would be a draw. With both on, it may be a win, but not nearly as easy as with the Rooks off.

      Round 2, March 31, 1970
      Board 3
      Portisch, Lajos – Korchnoi, Viktor
      E55 Nimzo-Indian, Gligoric System, Bronstein Variation

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.O-O dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.Qb3 a6 10.a4 Ba5 11.Rd1 cxd4 12.exd4 Qb6 13.Qc2 Qc7 14.Bd3 h6 15.Bd2 Bb4 16.Qb3 Bd6 17.Rac1 Qd8 18.Bb1 b6 19.Ne5 Bb7 20.Bf4 Qe7 21.Re1 Rfe8 22.Qc2 Rac8 23.Nxd7 Qxd7 24.Be5 Qd8 25.Bxf6 Qxf6 26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.d5 Ke7 28.Rcd1 Rh8 29.Qd3 Rhd8 30.Qe2 Bc5 31.Ba2 Kf8 1/2-1/2

      - Reshevsky criticizes Black's play with his dark square Bishop. White built up pressure with simple moves. 19. Ne5! is fine, if then 19...Nxe5 20. dxe5 Bxe5 21. Bf4 (or 21. Bxh6) Qc7 22. Nd5 Qb8 23. Nxf6+ gxf6 24. Bxh6 with advantage.
      23. Nxd7 Reshevsky calls this an unnecessary release of tension and recommends 23. Qd3 followed by either 24. Qh3 or 24. Re3 and 25. Rh3

      28. Rcd1 Reshevsky "?". "Portisch again misses an opportunity. He could have obtained a winning position with 28. dxe6 dxe6 29. Be4! Bxe4 (if 29...Rh8 30. Bxb7 Rxh7 31. Nd5+ Kf7 32. Nxf6 Rxc1 33. Rxc1 Kxf6 34. Bxa6 etc.) 30. Qxe4 and the double threat of Nd5+ and Qb7+ cannot be parried."

      Instead of 30. Qe2, Reshevsky suggested 30. Qh3 as still offering some chances.

      - Of this game Dragoslav Andric wrote, "Just when (Portisch) obtained a decisively better position and was about to win a pawn, and, to top it off, when Korchnoi had only a few seconds left for 9 moves, the Hungarian most unexpectedly agreed to a draw. When the world team's captain, Dr. Euwe, asked Portisch for his reasons, the Hungarian just about forgot whatever he knew of English or Russian."

      - Strange. Even in the final position, I'd still want to play on with white.

      Round 2, March 31, 1970
      Board 4
      Polugaevsky, Lev – Hort, Vlastimil
      A28 English, Four Knights

      1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 d6 5.d4 Bg4 6.d5 Nb8 7.e4 Be7 8.h3 Bh5 9.Be3 a5 10.Bd3 Na6 11.g4 Bg6 12.Qe2 Nd7 13.h4 h5 14.g5 Ndc5 15.Bc2 c6 16.a3 O-O 17.Nd2 cxd5 18.cxd5 Rc8 19.Rb1 f6 20.Rg1 Kh7 21.Rg3 Qe8 22.Nc4 b5 23.gxf6 bxc4 24.fxe7 Qxe7 25.Rg5 Nd3+ 26.Bxd3 cxd3 27.Qxd3 Nc5 28.Bxc5 Rxc5 29.Ke2 Qb7 30.b4 1/2-1/2

      - With 25.Kd2! Polugaevsky could have set Hort some serious problems. He could have doubled rooks on the g-file.

      Round 2, March 31, 1970
      Board 5
      Gligoric, Svetozar – Geller, Efim
      E92 King’s Indian, Petrosian System, Stein variation

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 Na6 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.f3 Bd7 13.O-O Nf7 14.Nb3 b6 15.Nc1 Nc5 16.Nd3 Qe8 17.b3 f5 18.a3 Bh6 19.Bf2 Qe7 20.Qc2 fxe4 21.fxe4 Ng5 22.Nxc5 dxc5 23.a4 Nf7 24.Qd3 Nd6 25.Bf3 Rf7 26.Be3 Bg5 27.g3 Raf8 28.Bg2 Kg7 29.Rxf7+ Rxf7 30.Qd2 Bxe3+ 31.Qxe3 h5 32.Nd1 1/2-1/2

      (to be continued)


      Comment


      • #4
        USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970


        March 31, 2020

        Round Two (continued)

        Round 2, March 31, 1970
        Board 6
        Smyslov, Vasily – Reshevsky, Samuel
        A17 English, Queen’s Indian formation

        1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e4 Bb7 5.d3 d6 6.g3 Be7 7.Bg2 O-O 8.O-O c5 9.h3 Nc6 10.d4 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Rc8 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Bf4 Qc7 14.Qe2 a6 15.Rac1 Rfd8 16.Rfd1 Qa7 17.a4 e5 18.Bg5 a5 19.Nb5 Qb8 20.h4 h6 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Nc3 Be7 23.Bh3 Rc7 24.Rd3 Bb7 25.b3 Bc6 26.Rcd1 Bf8 27.Qe3 Qb7 28.Kh2 Kh8 29.h5 Kg8 30.Bf5 Qb8 31.Qf3 Re7 32.Qg4 Qc7 33.Rf3 Ree8 34.Rc1 Re7 35.Nd5 Bxd5 36.exd5 e4 37.Bxe4 Re5 38.Bd3 Rde8 39.Kg2 Qe7 40.Rf5 Re1 41.Rxe1 Qxe1 42.Rf3 Qe7 43.Qf5 g6 44.hxg6 f6 45.Qxf6 Bg7 46.Qf7+ Kh8 47.Qxe7 Rxe7 48.Rf4 Kg8 49.Rh4 Re5 50.Kf3 h5 51.Rf4 Re8 52.Bf5 Bf6 53.Bd7 Rf8 54.Rf5 h4 55.gxh4 Bxh4 56.Be6+ Kg7 57.Bf7 Rh8 58.Kg4 Bf6 59.Rf3 Rh1 60.Kf5 Re1 61.Re3 Rf1 62.Ke6 Bd4 63.Kxd6 1-0

        Smyslov in his comments:

        17.a4

        White has the initiative, no doubt. The advances b5 and d5 were prevented easily. Reshevsky regroups his defensive but weakens seriously square d5.

        Reshevsky was in time trouble by move 29..

        His position is critical probably lost after 42.Rf3. (Abgabezug)

        - I gave this game a casual look, and was taken aback at how often Smyslov surprised me with his moves. I need to give this game a closer inspection - clearly I have a lot to learn.

        Round 2, March 31, 1970
        Board 7
        Uhlmann, Wolfgang – Taimanov, Mark
        E17 Queen’s Indian

        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.d5 exd5 8.Nd4 Nc6 9.cxd5 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 c5 11.Qd3 d6 12.Nc3 a6 13.Bf4 b5 14.a4 b4 15.Nd1 a5 16.b3 Ba6 17.Qc2 Nd7 18.Be4 g6 19.Bd3 Nb6 20.Bh6 Re8 21.Ne3 Bf6 22.Rad1 Qc8 23.Kg2 Bxd3 24.Rxd3 Ra7 25.Nc4 Nxc4 26.Qxc4 Rae7 27.Rf3 Re4 28.Qb5 Qd8 29.Be3 Bd4 30.Bxd4 Rxd4 31.Rd3 Rde4 32.e3 h5 33.h4 Kg7 34.Rc1 g5 35.hxg5 h4 36.Rc4 Qxg5 37.Rxe4 Rxe4 38.Qd7 Qg6 39.Rd1 hxg3 40.Rg1 Rh4 0-1

        Round 2, March 31, 1970
        Board 8
        Botvinnik, Mikhail – Matulovic, Milan
        B36 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Maroczy bind

        1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.e4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Qd2 Be6 11.f3 Qa5 12.Nb5 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Nd7 14.Rab1 Ne5 15.Rhc1 Rfc8 16.b3 Nc6 17.f4 f5 18.Bf3 fxe4 19.Bxe4 Bf5 20.Bxf5 gxf5 21.Ke2 Kf7 22.Rd1 a6 23.Nd4 Nxd4+ 24.Bxd4 b5 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.Rdc1 1/2-1/2

        Round 2, March 31, 1970
        Board 9
        Najdorf, Miguel – Tal, Mikhail
        C41 QGD, Semi-Tarrasch

        1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bc4 cxd4 8.exd4 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Re1 Nxc3 11.bxc3 b6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.Qc2 g6 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Qd2 Rc8 16.h4 Na5 17.Ng5 Bf8 18.Bxf8 Rxf8 19.h5 Nc4 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.hxg6 hxg6 22.Qf4 Qd5 23.f3 Kg7 24.Ne4 Qf5 25.Qg3 Bxe4 26.fxe4 Qa5 27.Re3 Rfc8 28.Rf1 Rxc3 29.Ref3 R8c7 30.Qf4 Kg8 31.Qd6 Rxf3 32.Qd8+ Kg7 33.Rxf3 Qe1+ 34.Kh2 Rc3 35.Qf6+ Kh6 36.Qf4+ Kh7 37.Qxf7+ Kh6 38.Qf4+ Kh7 39.Qf7+ Kh6 40.Qf8+ Kh5 41.Qh8+ Kg5 42.Qe5+ Kh6 43.Qf4+ Kh7 44.Rf1 Qe2 45.Qf7+ Kh6 46.Qf8+ Kh5 47.Rf4 Qe1 48.Qh8+ Kg5 49.Qe5+ Kh6 50.Rg4 1-0

        Vlastimil Hort narrated this game in one of his books:

        <4.d4...> After the round, Najdorf and I sit in his room once again. Miguel smiles because he did not let his opponent to play Ben-Oni. And because now, during intermission, he stands to win.

        <6.e3...> "6.e4 is also good," says Najdorf, "but I always like it when there is a lot of pieces on the board. Most of my games I won in the middle-game."

        <10...Nxc3> Najdorf was surprised by the last move by Tal. "I expected Nf6," he says and continues to show me his game.

        <16...Na5> Of course, 16...Bxh4 was not feasible for 17.Nxh4 Qxh4 18.Bg5 Qg4 19.Re4 Qf5 20.Rh4... with a devastating attack of White.

        <17.Ng5...> After 17.Ne5 the pawn h4 could already be taken.

        <19...Nc4> "What was I supposed to do?" asks Najdorf. "The 20.Qf4 was most attractive. Black can not play 20...e5 21.Qg3 exd4, because of 22.hxg6 hxg6 23.Ne6! and White wins. Nor he can play 20...Nb2 for 21.hxg6 with 22.Qh4! I though a whole hour here, but did not know what to play after the correct 20...h6!"

        <23.f3...> Thus far, both players are playing flawlessly. White could not play the tempting 23.Ne4 f5 24.Qh6 for 24...Rc7!

        <24.Qg3!...> For Najdorf, this must have been the hardest move in the game. The exchange 25.Qxf5 gxf5 26.Nd6 Rc7 27.c4 Rd8 would have probably been more advantageous for Black. By playing the last move, White actually sacrifices a pawn for an attack along the f-file.

        <29.Ref3...> This is the core of the whole thing. Black now has problems protecting the black squares of his king-side.

        <30.Qf4...> Outlines of the threat 31.Qf6+ with the following Rf3-f4-h4-h8 are suddenly on the board.

        <31...Rxf3?> This in fact is the first and last Black error. After the correct 31...Qg5! 32.Rxc3 Rxc3 33.Qb8+ Kg7 34.Qxa7 Qe3+ 35.Kh1 Qh6+ 36.Kg1 Qe3+ the game would have ended a draw.

        <32.Qd8+...> Important in-between move. I have to prize the move; Najdorf is watching if I am impressed. White takes under control the square h4.

        <34...Rc3> Tal must have pinned his hopes upon this moves, but in vain.

        <40...Kh5> Here, the game is adjourned. Najdorf knows that victory can no longer escape from his grasp. Deliberately and with epicurean care he writes the winning moves on a piece of paper. So that he does not forget? Rather that he can delight in the whole thing.

        <44.Rf1!...> The winning move!

        <50.Rg4...> Black surrenders. The weakness on g6 can not be protected.

        - Interesting anecdote to this game, as related by Dragoslav Andric: "The game was adjourned with White to move. Impatient to know whether Najdorf had more than perpetual check, the Russians gathered in the adjoining room to analyze. Checking the Black King from all angles, they could find nothing concrete for some time. Spassky then suggested the right maneuver for White. A man jumped up behind them, leaped to Spassky and kissed him enthusiastically. The thankful onlooker, of course, was Najdorf. The game ended in a White victory after only a few moves the next day."

        Round 2, March 31, 1970
        Board 10
        Keres, Paul – Ivkov, Borislav
        C87 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Averbach variation

        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 d6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.d4 Nd7 9.Nbd2 O-O 10.Nc4 Bf6 11.Be3 Qe8 12.Qd2 Qe6 13.Qc3 Rb8 14.b3 Re8 15.Na5 exd4 16.Bxd4 c5 17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.Qxf6 gxf6 19.Nd2 Ne5 20.f4 Ng6 21.g3 Bd7 22.Nac4 Bc6 23.Ne3 Kf8 24.Kf2 Bxe4 25.f5 Bc6 26.fxg6 fxg6 27.Nec4 Kf7 28.a3 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 g5 30.Ne3 h5 31.Nf5 Re8 32.Rxe8 Bxe8 33.h4 d5 34.b4 Bd7 35.Ne3 cxb4 36.axb4 gxh4 37.gxh4 Ke6 38.Nf3 Kd6 39.c3 c5 40.Ke2 Kc6 41.Kd3 Be8 42.bxc5 Kxc5 43.Nd4 Bg6+ 44.Kd2 a5 45.Ng2 Kd6 46.Nf4 Be8 47.Nd3 Bg6 48.Nb5+ Kc6 49.Nf4 Be8 50.Na3 Kd6 51.Ke3 Ke5 52.Nc2 a4 53.Nd4 a3 54.Nd3+ Kd6 55.Nc2 a2 56.Ndb4 Bg6 57.Na1 Kc5 58.Nb3+ Kc4 59.Nd2+ Kxc3 60.Nxa2+ Kb2 61.Nb4 Bf7 62.Kd4 Kc1 63.Nf3 Kd1 64.Ke3 Bg8 65.Nd3 Kc2 66.Nf4 Bf7 67.Kd4 Kd1 68.Kd3 Kc1 69.Ne2+ Kb2 70.Nc3 Bg8 71.Kd4 Kc2 72.Nxd5 Bxd5 73.Kxd5 Kd3 74.Nd4 Ke3 75.Nf5+ Kf4 76.Ke6 1-0

        - The move that really surprised me was 24... Be4. After the obvious reply f5, Black is clearly worse.

        - If not 24...Bxe4 then what? It's hard to find a plan for Black, as his ruined structure makes pawn breaks difficult and his knight has no good squares. Also his previous 2 moves were to prepare ...Bxe4 (23...Kf8 to step out of a fork on f6 after 23...Bxe4 24.Ng4) so what else is he doing?
        And the piece sacrifice is very reasonable, he gets rid of a bad knight for 2 pawns, opens up lines for the bishop, eliminates White's space advantage and repairs his kingside. The fact that it nearly worked out for Black seems to vindicate his insistence on activity at any cost.

        Results of Round Two

        USSR 6 – World 4

        Comment


        • #5
          USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

          April 1, 2020

          Round Three

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 1
          Spassky, Boris – Larsen, Bent
          E12 Queen’s Indian

          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Bd3 c5 8.O-O Nc6 9.d5 Nb4 10.d6 Bxd6 11.Bxh7+ Kxh7 12.Qxd6 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Ne8 14.Qe7 Qxe7 15.Bxe7 Rg8 16.Rfd1 Nc6 17.Rxd7 Ne5 18.Rb7 Nxc4 19.Ne4 Na5 20.Rd7 Nc6 21.f4 Rc8 22.Rc1 a5 23.a3 Kg6 24.Kg2 Rh8 25.Kf3 Rxh2 26.Ng5 e5 27.Rg1 exf4 28.Bd6 Nxd6 29.Rxd6+ f6 30.Ne6+ Kf5 31.Nxf4 Ne5+ 32.Ke2 Re8 33.Rxb6 Nc4 34.Rb3 g5 35.Nd5 Re5 36.Rd1 g4 37.Kf1 Rh1+ 38.Ke2 Rxd1 0-1

          Position after White’s 37.Kf1

          
          
          ( 38...Rxd1 39.Kxd1 Rxd5+ 40.Ke1 Ke4 41.Rb8 Kf3 42.e4 Kxe4 43.Rf8 Rd6 44.Rb8 Ne5 45.Ke2 Nf3 46.Re8+ Kf4 47.Rc8 Rd2+ 48.Kf1 Rxb2 49.Rxc5 g3 50.Rc4+ Ke5 51.Kg2 gxf2 52.Rc5+ Kd4 53.Rh5 Ne1+ 54.Kf1 )


          - Wow this IS a really weird game. I have to say that Spassky's immediate tactical attack on blacks' center is pretty bold and refreshing, and even if his endgame was unsound, the opening combinations made for nothing less than interesting play.

          - 37.Kf1 is as bad as any blunder Spassky made against Fischer. 'Benya' was reportedly down to his last couple of minutes, and Boris was trying to hurry him. 37.Nb6 Nxb6 38.Rxb6 g3 39.Rf1 should hold.

          - This is the game played right AFTER the oft-anthologized 17 move butt-kicking Spassky gave to Larsen in this game last round

          And it is a pretty bizarre one. After his ingenious play the game before, Spassky hands this one to Larsen on a silver platter.

          And so, despite having a lifetime +19-6 record against Larsen, he was only +1-1=1 against him in the USSR vs. The Rest of the World Match. After this game, the Soviets benched Spassky for the final round, and replaced him with Stein, to avoid the possibility of Larsen defeating the World Champion.

          - It was this version of Larsen that was considered a real threat to beat Fischer and go on to win the world championship.

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 2
          Fischer, Robert – Petrosian, Tigran
          B15 Caro-Kann, Gurgenidze

          1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 g6 4.e5 Bg7 5.f4 h5 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.g3 Qb6 10.Qf2 Ne7 11.Bd3 Nd7 12.Ne2 O-O-O 13.c3 f6 14.b3 Nf5 15.Rg1 c5 16.Bxf5 gxf5 17.Be3 Qa6 18.Kf1 cxd4 19.cxd4 Nb8 20.Kg2 Nc6 21.Nc1 Rd7 22.Qd2 Qa5 23.Qxa5 Nxa5 24.Nd3 Nc6 25.Rac1 Rc7 26.Rc3 b6 27.Rgc1 Kb7 28.Nb4 Rhc8 29.Rxc6 Rxc6 30.Rxc6 Rxc6 31.Nxc6 Kxc6 32.Kf3 1/2-1/2

          The Palma interzonal was still some months away then, but as it turns out 7 of the 8 candidates (and Smyslov who narrowly missed out) were playing here.

          The odd man out was Robert Huebner. Would RoW done better with him playing on one of the lower boards? Who knows.

          - One could argue that Huebner's qualifying for the Candidates was probably a fluke, given that he was only 22 at the time.

          In fact, has anyone else noticed that if one looks at the Palma interzonal crosstable, Huebner scored better against the tailenders (starting with Ivkov and going down from there) than anyone else--even Bobby!

          Don't take this the wrong way---Huebner not only qualified fair and square, but he gave Petrosian a heck of a time in their quarterfinals Candidates match! But, he was probably lucky to get as far as he did.

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 3
          Korchnoi, Viktor – Portisch, Lajos
          C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.h3 Na5 9.Nc3 O-O 10.d3 Re8 11.Bg5 c6 12.Ne2 h6 13.Bd2 Nxb3 14.axb3 c5 15.Ng3 Bf8 16.c4 b4 17.Nh2 Nh7 18.Ng4 Ra7 19.f4 exf4 20.Bxf4 Nf6 21.Nh2 Nd7 22.Qd2 Ne5 23.Rf1 Kh7 24.Rf2 g6 25.Raf1 Bg7 26.Kh1 Ree7 27.Be3 Qh8 28.Rf4 Kg8 29.Rh4 h5 30.Bg5 Reb7 31.Rhf4 Nc6 32.Bf6 Qh6 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 34.Nf3 Kh8 35.h4 Bg4 36.Ng5 Qg7 37.Rf6 Rd7 38.Qf2 Kg8 39.Qf4 Ne5 40.Qd2 Nc6 41.R1f2 Rac7 42.Kg1 a5 43.Nf1 Bf5 44.R6xf5 gxf5 45.exf5 Ne5 46.Ne3 Rc8 47.f6 Qh6 48.Nf5 Qg6 49.Ne7+ Rxe7 50.fxe7 Re8 51.Ne4 Ng4 52.Rf3 Rxe7 53.Qf4 Re6 54.Rf1 Ne5 55.Nxd6 Nxd3 56.Qxf7+ Qxf7 57.Nxf7 Nxb2 58.Nd8 Rb6 59.Rf5 Nd3 60.Rd5 Nc1 61.Rxc5 Nxb3 62.Rb5 Rxb5 63.cxb5 Nc5 0-1

          Summary by George Koltanowski in Chess Life & Review:

          "Korchnoi had much the better game against Portisch at adjournment. Maybe he didn't do his homework or felt there was no need to, but on the resumption of play, the wily Hungarian had prepared a trap that won the Exchange, and eventually Korchnoi turned down his king."

          - This game was bad luck for Korchnoi. In the opening he simply forgot to make 8.c3 and played 8.h3 allowing to trade his light-squared Bishop for Knight. It is playable line for white and there are players, who play 8.h3 knowingly but it is very unpleasant thing for any orthodox confessor of Closed Ruy Lopez if this occurs unintentionally (I know this very well from my own experience). But Korchnoi played excellently after this small opening accident and achieved clearly better game. Unfortunately, immediately after adjournment he simply blundered an exchange and lost the game quickly. It was his only but decisive loss in his mini-match against Portisch.

          - I do find 8.h3 to be a curious move in this position.

          - One possible idea is 8.h3 Na5 9.d4 exd4 10.e5 with initiative of white.

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 4
          Hort, Vlastimil – Polugaevsky, Lev
          A46 Queen’s Pawn, Torre Attack

          1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6 4.Bh4 b6 5.Nbd2 Bb7 6.e3 Be7 7.h3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Nxe4 Bxe4 10.c3 O-O 11.Bd3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 5
          Geller, Efim – Gligoric, Svetozar
          C93 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defence

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 h6 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.Nf1 Bb7 13.Ng3 Na5 14.Bc2 Nc4 15.b3 Nb6 16.Bb2 c5 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.c4 Nbd7 19.Qe2 b4 20.Rad1 Qa5 21.Bb1 Re6 22.Nf5 Rae8 23.Ne3 Nb8 24.Nd5 Nc6 25.Rd2 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, April 2, 1970
          Board 6
          Reshevsky, Samuel – Smyslov, Vasily
          C98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, Rauzer Attack

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nc6 12.Nbd2 Qc7 13.dxc5 dxc5 14.Nf1 Be6 15.Ne3 Rad8 16.Qe2 c4 17.Nf5 Rfe8 18.Bg5 Nd7 19.Bxe7 Nxe7 20.Ng5 Ng6 21.g3 h6 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Ne3 Nc5 24.Rad1 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Rd8 26.b4 cxb3 27.Rxd8+ Qxd8 28.axb3 Qd6 29.b4 Nd7 30.Bb3 Nf6 31.Ng4 Nxg4 32.Qxg4 Nf8 33.Qf5 Qc7 34.Bxe6+ Nxe6 35.Qxe6+ Kf8 36.Qxa6 Qxc3 37.Qxb5 Qe1+ 38.Kg2 Qxe4+ 39.Kh2 Ke7 40.Qc5+ Ke6 41.Qc8+ Kf7 42.Qd7+ Kg8 43.b5 Qc2 44.Qd5+ Kh7 45.Kg2 e4 46.Qd4 Kg8 47.b6 Qb3 48.Qc5 Qb2 49.Qc6 Kf7 50.h4 g6 51.Qc7+ Ke6 52.Qh7 Qf6 53.Qxh6 Qf3+ 54.Kg1 1-0

          Position after Black’s 31…Nxg4

          


          - 26...cxb3? was Black's losing move here. If he had traded Rooks and then moved his Knight back to d7, he would have been fine. But Smyslov's move allowed White to bring his Bishop to the open diagonal and create pressure on the e6 pawn.

          - Reshevsky acquitted himself well in the USSR vs. world match.

          - I agree. Excellent game by Reshevsky here.

          - Larry Evans calls 31...Nxg4? the losing move. He says that 31...Kf7 is necessary instead.

          - 33 Qf5!! is clever

          - take advantage of the pin

          - <33 Qf5!! is clever>
          Yes, it looks like one of those infuriating moves that some patzer will play just because the queen can't be taken. However here it appears the move puts Black in Zugzwang.

          - "Samuel Reshevsky's game vs. Vasily Smyslov had been adjourned," writes Brady. "Back at the Metropol Hotel, Bobby sat down with Reshevsky to analyze the position and consider possible strategies the older grandmaster might play when the game resumed. After ten years of bitterness and competition, this was the first time Fischer had had a friendly interchange with his American rival. (The next day Reshevsky won his game)."


          (to be continued)

          Comment


          • #6
            USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

            April 1, 2020

            Round Three (continued)

            Round 3, April 2, 1970
            Board 7
            Taimanov, Mark – Uhlmann, Wolfgang
            D80 Grunfeld, Stockholm variation

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 c5 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.e3 Bg7 9.Qf3 Qd8 10.Bb5+ Nd7 11.Ne2 O-O 12.O-O a6 13.Bd3 Rb8 14.a4 b6 15.Rfd1 Qe8 16.Be4 e5 17.Bc6 Qe6 18.Bg3 Rd8 19.dxe5 Bxe5 20.Bd5 Qe7 21.Qxf7+ Qxf7 22.Bxf7+ Kxf7 23.Bxe5 Rb7 24.Bf4 Re8 25.f3 c4 26.Rd4 Nc5 27.Rxc4 Be6 28.Rb4 a5 29.Rb2 Bd7 30.Rba2 Nb3 31.Rd1 Nc5 32.Rd4 Ne6 33.Rc4 g5 34.Bd6 Nc5 35.Nd4 Nxa4 36.Rcxa4 Bxa4 37.Rxa4 Rxe3 38.Nb5 Re1+ 39.Kf2 Rb1 40.c4 Rd7 41.Be5 Rd2+ 42.Ke3 Rxg2 43.Ke4 Rb4 44.Rxb4 axb4 45.Nd4 Ke7 46.Bc7 Kd7 47.Bxb6 b3 48.Nxb3 Rb2 49.Be3 Rxb3 50.Bxg5 Rc3 51.Bf6 Rxc4+ 52.Kf5 Rc2 53.h4 Rf2 54.f4 Ke8 55.Kg5 Rg2+ 56.Kh5 Rg6 57.Bg5 Kf7 58.f5 Rc6 59.f6 Ke6 60.Kh6 Rc7 61.Be3 1/2-1/2

            Position after White’s 54.f4

            

            - Uhlmann fought back hard here to draw when it looked like he might fall behind Taimanov 0-3 in their mini-match, then in the final round got his first and ultimately only win vs. his nemesis. Nice comeback.

            Uhlmann probably isn’t too well-known to the young masters of today. From Wikipedia: Wolfgang Uhlmann (born 29 March 1935) is a prominent German International Grandmaster of chess. He was East Germany's most successful professional chess player.

            His most successful attempt at World Championship qualification occurred at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal of 1970, where he tied for fifth and sixth place and reached the Candidates Matches the following year. But his quarter-final match with Bent Larsen in Las Palmas ended in disappointment, a 5˝–3˝ victory for Larsen, and Uhlmann was not able to come so close again.

            Uhlmann is acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on the French Defence, having refined and improved many of its variations and written books on the opening. He is one of very few grandmasters to have deployed the French almost exclusively in reply to 1.e4.

            Round 3, April 2, 1970
            Board 8
            Matulovic, Milan – Botvinnik, Mikhail
            B08 Pirc, Classical System

            1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Be2 O-O 6.O-O Bg4 7.Bg5 Nc6 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Nd7 10.Ne2 h6 11.Be3 e5 12.c3 Nb6 13.b3 d5 14.exd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd5 Qxd5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Nd4 Qd5 18.Qc1 Kh7 19.Rd1 Rad8 20.Qc2 Rfe8 21.Rd2 Nxd4 22.Bxd4 Bxd4 23.Rxd4 Qe5 24.Rad1 Rxd4 25.cxd4 Qe2 26.Rd2 Qe1+ 27.Kh2 c6 28.Qc4 Re7 29.Rd3 Kg7 30.Rf3 Rd7 31.Qc5 a6 32.Rf4 Rd5 33.Qc2 Qe6 34.g3 g5 35.Re4 Qf6 36.h4 Rxd4 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Rxd4 Qxd4 39.Qf5 Qd5 40.Qc8 c5 41.a4 Kf6 42.a5 Qf5 43.Qxb7 Qxf2+ 44.Kh3 Qf1+ 45.Kh2 Qe2+ 46.Kh3 Qe6+ 47.Kh2 Qe2+ 48.Kh3 Kg6 49.Qb6+ Kh5 50.Qxc5 Qe6+ 51.Kg2 Qxb3 52.Qf5 Qa2+ 53.Kf3 Qa3+ 54.Kg2 Qa2+ 55.Kf3 Qb3+ 56.Kg2 Qb7+ 57.Kh2 Qb2+ 58.Kh3 Qg7 59.Qc5 Qf6 60.g4+ Kh6 61.Qb6 Kg7 62.Kg3 Qe6 63.Qd4+ f6 64.Qb4 Qd5 65.Kf2 Kf7 66.Qb6 Qc4 67.Kg3 Ke7 68.Kh3 Qf1+ 69.Kg3 Qd3+ 70.Kg2 Qe4+ 71.Kg3 Qf4+ 72.Kh3 Qf1+ 73.Kg3 Qe1+ 74.Kg2 Qd2+ 75.Kh3 Qd3+ 76.Kg2 Qd5+ 77.Kh3 Qh1+ 78.Kg3 Qh4+ 79.Kf3 Qh3+ 80.Kf2 Qh2+ 81.Kf1 Qf4+ 82.Ke1 Qg3+ 83.Kf1 Qf4+ 84.Ke1 Qd6 85.Qb7+ Ke6 86.Qb3+ Ke5 87.Qe3+ Kd5 88.Qd3+ Kc5 89.Qa3+ Kc6 90.Qa4+ Kd5 91.Qb3+ Ke4 92.Qc4+ 1/2-1/2

            Position after White’s 73.Kg3

            

            - Any fan of QR or Q endings will certainly enjoy this one.
            - LOTS of queen checks here.

            Round 3, April 2, 1970
            Board 9
            Tal, Mikhail – Najdorf, Miguel
            B80 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Fianchetto variation

            1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.g3 a6 7.Bg2 Nf6 8.O-O d6 9.Re1 Bd7 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Na4 e5 12.c4 Be7 13.c5 O-O 14.cxd6 Bxd6 15.Bg5 Be7 16.Qc2 h6 17.Be3 Rab8 18.Rac1 Rfd8 19.h3 Nh7 20.Bc5 Be8 21.Red1 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Ng5 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Nc5 Ne6 25.Nxe6 Qxe6 26.b3 Qe7 27.Qc3 Rb4 28.h4 f6 29.Rd3 Kh7 30.Bh3 Bg6 31.Rd7 Qf8 32.Qxc6 Rxe4 33.Qxa6 Re1+ 34.Kh2 f5 35.Rd6 Bh5 36.Qd3 e4 37.Qd5 Bg4 38.Rd8 Qf6 39.Qg8+ Kg6 40.Qe8+ Kh7 41.Bxg4 fxg4 42.Qg8+ Kg6 43.Rf8 Qe7 1-0

            - Let me steal a little comment from "The Art of Positional Play" by S. Reshevsky. After move 14, Reshevsky's comment goes to the heart of Tal's genius in this particular game, one of the "USSR vs. the Rest of the World" series: "Black's two weak pawns, particularly the QBP, stifle his pieces. No great subtlety is needed here: the pawns are clearly vulnerable targets for which Black has no discernable compensation."

            - To steal another comment from "The Art of Positional Play", Reshevsky notes that "after 44 Re8, Black's position is hopeless."

            Another way to win seems to be 44 h5+. If 44 ... Kg5, 45 Qd5+ Qe5 46 Qxe5#. Otherwise, 44 ... Kxh5 45 Qd5+ and either A) 45 ... Kg6 46 Qf5# or B) 45 ... Qg5 46 Rf5 winning queen for rook.

            - Yes, Tal had a keen positional sense. Of course this was sometimes overshadowed because he also happened to the best tactician in history, up to and since then...

            Round 3, April 2, 1970
            Board 10
            Ivkov, Borislav – Keres, Paul
            D34 QGD, Tarrasch, Prague variation

            1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.d4 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bg5 d4 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Ne4 Qe7 13.Nxc5 Qxc5 14.Qd2 Bg4 15.Rac1 Qb6 16.Ng5 Rad8 17.Qf4 Bh5 18.Qh4 Bg6 19.Be4 Ne5 20.Nxh7 Rfe8 21.Ng5 d3 22.exd3 f5 23.Bg2 Rd4 24.Qh3 Nxd3 25.Nf3 Nxc1 26.Nxd4 Qxd4 27.Rxc1 Re2 28.Rf1 Rxb2 29.Bf3 Rxa2 30.Bxb7 a5 31.Qg2 Bf7 32.Qf3 g6 33.h4 Ra1 34.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 35.Kh2 Qe5 36.Bc6 Kg7 37.Qa3 f4 38.Qa4 fxg3+ 39.fxg3 Qb2+ 40.Bg2 Qc3 41.Qb5 Qc7 42.h5 gxh5 43.Qg5+ Kf8 44.Qh6+ Ke8 45.Bc6+ Ke7 46.Qg5+ Kd6 47.Bg2 Kd7 48.Qf6 1/2-1/2

            Result of Round Three

            USSR 4 – World 6

            Comment


            • #7
              Botvinnik's appearance in this match prompted me to check his record to see if this might have been his last serious competition and indeed it was.
              A look a chessgames.com revealed only a few simul games after this match. Interestingly, his next recorded game is a simul loss against Fred Demanuele at Hart House in 1977.
              What ever became of Fred?
              Paul Leblanc
              CFC Rating Auditor
              Treasurer Chess Foundation of Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                The 70-71 Fischer was really something. To play Petrosian 13 times and win 7 of them is really something.

                Comment


                • #9
                  USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

                  April 2, 2020

                  Round Four

                  Round 4, April 4, 1970
                  Board 1
                  Larsen, Bent – Stein, Leonid
                  E67 King’s Indian, Fianchetto, Classical variation

                  1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.c4 O-O 5.O-O d6 6.d4 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.Re1 Ng4 11.f3 Nge5 12.b3 Nc5 13.Be3 f5 14.Qd2 fxe4 15.Bg5 Qd7 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Rxe4 Nc6 18.Nxc6 Rxe4 19.fxe4 Qxc6 20.e5 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Be6 22.Bxb7 Rf8 23.Be3 Qxe5 24.Re1 Qc3 25.Kg2 Qxd2+ 26.Bxd2 Bd4 27.Bf4 Kf7 28.Bh6 Rb8 29.Bc6 Bf6 30.Be3 a6 31.Bd2 Rb6 32.Bf3 Rb8 33.Ba5 Bd8 34.Rf1 Kg8 35.Bc6 Bf7 36.g4 Be7 37.Kg3 Rd8 38.Rd1 Bf6 39.h4 Be5+ 40.Kg2 Rc8 41.g5 Kg7 42.Bd7 Rd8 43.Bg4 d5 44.Bf3 h6 45.gxh6+ Kxh6 46.Bd2+ Kg7 47.Bg5 Rd6 48.Bxd5 Bxd5+ 49.Rxd5 Rxd5 50.cxd5 Kf7 51.Kf3 Ke8 52.Bf4 Bf6 53.Bxc7 Bxh4 54.b4 Kd7 55.Bb6 Bf6 56.Bc5 Bb2 57.a4 Ba3 58.a5 Bb2 59.Kf4 Bf6 60.Ke4 Bc3 61.b5 axb5 62.a6 Kc8 63.d6 Kb8 64.Kd5 Bf6 65.Kc6 g5 66.Kxb5 g4 67.Kc4 Ka8 68.Kd3 Be5 69.d7 Bc7 70.Ke4 g3 71.Kf3 Bd8 72.Kxg3 Ba5 73.Kg4 Bd8 74.Kf5 Ba5 75.Ke6 Bc7 76.Kf7 Ba5 77.Ke8 Bc7 78.Be7 Ba5 79.Bd8 Bd2 80.Bb6 Bg5 81.Bc5 1-0

                  Position after White’s 17.Rxe4

                  

                  - Stein had a heart attack just before the Leningrad Interzonal (June 1973), not long before his thirty-ninth birthday. Korchnoi, in noting his passing in his auto-biography, referred to this cause of death as 'the chess player's occupational disease'.

                  17...c5 19 Nc2 is OK for White. 17...Nf7 (wins material) 18 Rxe8 Qxe8 19 Re1 Bxd4+ 20 Kh1 Be5 21 f4 Nxg5 22 fxe5 then after either 22...Nf7 or Ne6 , 23 exd6 followed by Bd5 (or Bh3) and White will have strong counterplay on the pinned Knight at e6. At the 17th move White has a dangerous lead in development in an open position and that is why Stein simplifies but keeps the important Bg7 for defence of the King side.

                  - A surprise move by the captain of the USSR team [ namely Lev Yakovlevich Abramov ] before the last round added to its tension. He replaced no one else than the World Champion, Boris Spassky, whose loss in the previous round [ i.e. Spassky vs Larsen, 1970 ] was his first defeat after he won the title last summer. He was replaced with <Stein>, three times USSR Champion.
                  ...

                  On the top board, <Larsen> felt himself obliged to play for the public. He triumphed again in an exciting game with <Stein>, thus winning the Best Game of the Round Award, and a car for himself, too.

                  Superb technical achievement by Larsen. I am surprised that these two chess talents only ever played each other three times over a six year period. Okay, so Stein's premature death curtailed the prospect of more games with Larsen. Had they met more often, I'm sure that we would have seen many more interesting games from them.

                  Round 4, April 4, 1970
                  Board 2
                  Petrosian, Tigran – Fischer, Robert
                  D90 Grunfeld, Three Knights variation

                  1.c4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bd2 c5 7.Rc1 Nxc3 8.Bxc3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 O-O 10.e3 Qd5 11.Nb5 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 Nc6 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Be2 Bf5 15.g4 a6 16.Nc3 Be6 17.f4 Rfd8 18.Kf2 Nb4 19.a3 Nd5 20.Ne4 Nf6 21.Nxf6 exf6 22.Bf3 Rac8 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Rd1 Rc8 25.Rd2 Rc7 26.h4 h6 27.Kg3 b5 28.Rd6 Rc2 29.b4 Rc3 30.Rxa6 Bc4 31.f5 g5 32.hxg5 hxg5 33.Kf2 Rc2+ 34.Kg1 Rc1+ 35.Kg2 Rc2+ 36.Kg3 Rc3 37.Kf2 Rc2+ 38.Ke1 Rc3 39.Ra5 Rxe3+ 40.Kf2 Rd3 41.Bc6 Kf8 42.Bxb5 Bxb5 43.Rxb5 Rxa3 44.Rd5 Rb3 45.Rd4 Ke7 46.Ke2 Ra3 47.Kd2 Rb3 48.Kc2 Re3 49.Kb2 Ke8 50.Kc1 Re2 51.Kd1 Ra2 52.Ke1 Rb2 1/2-1/2

                  - I think white has a better position after capturing the knight.

                  - Lou Hays says 10...Qd5! (probably preventing white from developing his light-squared bishop). But it seems to me after 11.Nb5 11...Qxd1 12.Rxd1 white has too much pressure. Is this line of the Grunfeld playable still?

                  - Fischer knew what he was doing in the endgame to hold this. 1-0 was certainly a possibility here with inaccurate play.

                  - Why doesn't Petrosian try to infiltrate with his king by using his rook as a blocking mechanism... in the rook endgame?

                  - Amazing defense by Fischer. Black's position looks blown right out of the opening.

                  - Petrosian probably missed something here.

                  - I believe the "book" reply is 7...Nc6 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Rxc5 Qxa2 10. Bc3 followed by 11. e4. With Black's queen offside, White probably has a small advantage.

                  - My opening book is from Suetin and 50 years old.
                  In your and also my line (see original post) it could continue like 7...Nc6 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Rxc5 Qxa2 10. Bc3 Be6 ?! 11. d5 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Qa3 13. Rxc6 bxc6 14. dxe6 Qxc3+ 15. Qd2 Qa1+ 16. Qd1 Qc3+ 17. Nd2 Rd8

                  Maybe to make progress in chess I should buy newer opening books and a computer - something I have refused so far.

                  Round 4, April 4, 1970
                  Board 3
                  Portisch, Lajos – Korchnoi, Viktor
                  A33 English, symmetrical variation

                  1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 e6 6.g3 Qb6 7.Nb3 Ne5 8.e4 Bb4 9.Qe2 O-O 10.f4 Nc6 11.e5 Ne8 12.Bd2 f6 13.c5 Qd8 14.a3 Bxc3 15.Bxc3 fxe5 16.Bxe5 b6 17.Bg2 Nxe5 18.Bxa8 Nf7 19.Bg2 bxc5 20.Nxc5 Qb6 21.Qf2 Qb5 22.Bf1 Qc6 23.Bg2 Qb5 24.Bf1 Qc6 25.Bg2 1/2-1/2

                  Final Position

                  

                  - So, Fischer saw this shameful stuff. Portisch repeats the moves, playing against the World Team strategy, and happy himself with a match won against Korchnoi. Fischer reports to Euwe, and this demonstrates that back in 70s, this guy was a real team player. He was not satisfied of what happened in this fantastic 1970 match. Once Fischer was into something , he was for real.

                  - Never knew about this game. The match was very close 20.5 for USSR vs 19.5 for rest of the world, so if Portisch wins its a tie match. Clearly Portisch is exchange ahead and should continue playing. It looks like a double-crossing by the Hungarian to his rest of the world teammates.

                  - When I saw the comments on this game, I thought that you were simply ripping on poor Portisch. I was going to write a message in defense of the Hungarian. But, being someone who appreciates "just the plain truth," I decided to check with contemporary reports of this event.

                  - In round three the World defeated the USSR 6-4, but the USSR held on to a minimal margin overall: 15.5-14.5. According to Koltanowski, "The captain of the World team, Dr. Max Euwe, called a meeting of his team to instruct them to play for a draw on every board. The strategy is that the Russians must play to win the last round and may overreach themselves."

                  Larry Evans: "Hungary's Lajos Portisch (33) forgot that it was HIS birthday and extended a costly gift by allowing Viktor Korchnoi a draw by repetition on move 25. Since Portisch had a technically won position and more time on his clock, his teammates were understandably bitter. "I'm really mad! It's disgraceful," said Fischer subsequently. "Korchnoi's position was hopeless." B H Wood of the British CHESS opined that the Hungarian "suffered from a rush of blood from his boots."... Korchnoi had no complaint, although he dropped the set 2.5-1.5. The entire match would have been tied had he lost this game as well."

                  [In the final position] "White is an exchange ahead and has many good moves. Castling Queenside is one, Rd1 is another. Instead it was drawn by repetition on move 25 after Bf1, Qc6, Bg2, Qb5, etc. No one regretted his decision more than Portisch when it became clear that it cost a tie match; but he has been known to chicken out when he felt there is any danger in a position, and he was anxious to clinch his set with 2.5 - a conceit the world press is not likely soon to forget."

                  Round 4, April 4, 1970
                  Board 4
                  Polugaevsky, Lev – Hort, Vlastimil
                  D53 QGD, Orthodox Defence

                  1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 h6 6.Bh4 b6 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Rc1 Bb7 11.Ne2 Qb4+ 12.Qd2 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Kd7 14.h4 Nc6 15.Nf4 Kd6 16.h5 Ne7 17.Be2 c5 18.dxc5+ bxc5 19.Bf3 Rab8 20.Rhd1 Rhd8 21.Ke1 Bc6 22.b3 a5 23.Nd3 Rb5 24.Nb2 Kc7 25.Na4 c4 26.bxc4 dxc4 27.Rxc4 Rxd1+ 28.Bxd1 Kd6 29.g3 Nd5 30.Nc3 Nxc3 31.Rxc3 Bd5 32.a3 Rb2 33.Rd3 Kc5 34.Rc3+ Kd6 35.Rd3 Kc5 36.Rc3+ 1/2-1/2

                  This game provides instruction on how to play against hanging pawns. Black initiates this position with 17...c5. White accepts and the hanging pawns soon appear, to pressure them with 19.Bf3 and 20.Rhd1. 21.Ke1, just gets the king out of the way. 22.c3 protects, as the rook attacks, but it also completes the blockade. Black's 22...a5 is an attempt to break the blockade and we're treated to a wonderful knight maneuver that stops this queenside counter and forces the loss of one of the pawns, 25...c4. And soon the other one is up for grabs!

                  That's how it's done!

                  (To be continued)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

                    April 2, 2020

                    Round Four (continued)

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 5
                    Gligoric, Svetozar – Geller, Efim
                    B92 King’s Indian Petrosian System, Stein variation

                    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.O-O Bd7 11.Ne1 Nc5 12.Nd3 b6 13.f3 Qe8 14.Nxc5 bxc5 15.a4 Nh5 16.Nb5 Qb8 17.Bd3 Nf4 18.Bc2 f5 19.Ra3 Rf7 20.Kh1 Qc8 21.Be1 Nh5 22.exf5 Bxf5 23.Bxf5 gxf5 24.g3 Nf6 25.Re3 Qd7 26.Bc3 Kh8 27.Ree1 Ra6 28.Qd2 c6 29.dxc6 Qxc6 30.Rd1 Ne8 31.Qg2 Qc8 32.Rd5 Qe6 33.b3 Nf6 34.Rdd1 d5 35.cxd5 Nxd5 36.Qd2 Nxc3 37.Qxc3 Rd7 38.Qc2 Rc6 39.Rxd7 Qxd7 40.Rd1 Qe6 41.g4 c4 42.bxc4 1/2-1/2

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 6
                    Smyslov, Vasily – Olafsson, Fridrik
                    E05 Catalan, open, Classical main line

                    1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bf4 Nc6 11.Rd1 Nb4 12.Qc1 Qc8 13.Bg5 Nbd5 14.Nbd2 h6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.Nb3 Bd6 17.Nc5 Bd5 18.Ne5 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 a5 20.Qe3 Bxc5 21.dxc5 Qa6 22.Qd3 Nd5 23.e4 Nf6 24.f3 c6 25.Qe3 Rad8 26.Rd6 Rxd6 27.cxd6 c5 28.Qxc5 b4 29.Re1 Rd8 30.Nc6 Ra8 31.Ne7+ Kh7 32.e5 Nd7 33.Qc2+ g6 34.f4 Nb6 35.Qe2 Qb7+ 36.Qf3 Qa6 37.Rc1 Nc4 38.Qe2 Qb7+ 39.Kg1 Nxd6 40.exd6 Qb6+ 41.Qf2 Qxd6 42.Nc8 Qd3 43.Nb6 Rd8 44.b3 Qf5 45.Nc4 Rd3 46.Ne5 Rc3 47.Qd2 Rxc1+ 48.Qxc1 g5 49.Qd2 Kg7 50.Qd3 Qf6 51.Qd4 Qf5 52.Qd3 Qf6 53.Qe4 Qd8 54.Nf3 Qd1+ 55.Kf2 Qc1 56.Qe3 Qb1 57.Qe2 g4 58.Ne5 h5 59.Kg2 f6 60.Nd3 Kf7 61.Nf2 Ke7 62.h3 f5 63.hxg4 hxg4 64.Nd3 Kf7 65.Kh2 Qa1 66.Ne5+ Kf8 67.Qd2 1-0


                    - The story behind this game.. Reshevsky, whose religious scruples kept him from playing until after sundown on Saturday, gave up his place to Fridrik Olafsson of Iceland. After this game, Olafsson was asked why he played a piece down for so long, he replied: "Because it was my only game in the match!"

                    Olafsson could have resigned on move 40.

                    - And this was the final game of the match, the score at the moment being 19,5:19,5...

                    - Smyslov shows the right way to play this: he does not hurry. The extra piece is black's problem, not his.

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 7
                    Uhlmann, Wolfgang – Taimanov, Mark
                    A17 English, Nimzo-English Opening

                    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 O-O 5.Bg2 d5 6.a3 Be7 7.d4 c6 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Qd3 a5 10.Bf4 b6 11.cxd5 Ba6 12.Qb1 cxd5 13.Re1 Rc8 14.Rc1 b5 15.b4 Qb6 16.Bf1 a4 17.Qd3 Rc6 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Ng4 20.Qf3 f5 21.h3 g5 22.hxg4 gxf4 23.Qxf4 d4 24.Nd1 fxg4 25.Rxc6 Qxc6 26.Rc1 Qd7 27.Qxg4+ Kh8 28.Bg2 Bc8 29.Nb2 Rg8 30.Qh3 Bg5 31.Rc2 Qf7 32.Nd3 Bd7 33.Rc7 Rc8 34.Rxc8+ Bxc8 35.Qg4 Bh6 36.Qxd4 Bd7 37.Nc5 Be8 38.Qd8 Bf8 39.Qc8 Bxc5 40.Qxc5 Kg7 41.Bc6 Bxc6 42.Qxc6 Qf5 43.Qxb5 Qb1+ 44.Kh2 Qf5 45.Qd7+ Kh6 46.Qd4 Kg7 47.Kg2 1-0

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 8
                    Botvinnik, Mikhail – Matulovic, Milan
                    A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation

                    1.Nf3 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.d4 f5 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.a3 Bd7 11.Qc2 Qc7 12.b3 a6 13.Bb2 b5 14.Nd1 bxc4 15.bxc4 Rab8 16.Bc3 Ng4 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qc3+ Kg8 19.Nb2 Rb7 20.Nd3 Rfb8 21.Rab1 Rxb1 22.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 23.Nxb1 Qb6 24.Nd2 Nf6 25.h3 Kf7 26.Kh2 Nb7 27.e4 fxe4 28.Nxe4 Nd8 29.Ng5+ Ke8 30.Nf4 Nf7 31.Nfe6 Nxg5 32.Nxg5 Qb1 33.Be4 Qa2 34.Kg2 Bf5 35.Bxf5 gxf5 36.Qd3 h6 37.Ne6 Ne4 38.Qf3 Qxc4 39.Qh5+ Kd7 40.Qxf5 Nc3 41.Nxc5+ Ke8 42.Qg6+ Kd8 43.Ne6+ Kd7 44.Nf4 Nxd5 45.Qxh6 Qe4+ 46.Kh2 Qe1 47.Nd3 Qc3 48.Qg6 Qxa3 49.h4 Qc3 50.h5 Qf6 51.Qg4+ e6 52.Qa4+ Ke7 53.Qxa6 Qf3 54.Qa7+ Kd8 55.Qh7 Nf6 56.Qh8+ Kd7 57.Qg7+ Kc6 58.h6 Ng4+ 59.Kg1 Qd1+ 60.Kg2 Qe2 61.Kh3 Nxh6 62.Qxh6 Qxd3 63.Qxe6 Qf1+ 1/2-1/2

                    Position after Black’s 60…Qe2

                    

                    61.Qa7 seems to win for Botvinnik.

                    - How? On the other hand, what's wrong with 61.h7?

                    - The point of 61. Qa7 is to prevent ...Ne3+, which is a strong reply to the suggested <61. h7>.
                    On 61. Qa7 Nxh6 62. Nb4+ Kb5 63. Qa6+ wins the queen, and on 61. Qa7 Qe4+ 62. Kh3 Qh1+ 63. Kxg4 Qe4+ 64. f4 Black soon runs out of checks.

                    Finally, after 61. Qa7 Qxd3 62. Qa4+ followed by 63. Qxg4, I don't see how Black can stop the h-pawn or get a perpetual check.

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 9
                    Najdorf, Miguel – Tal, Mikhail
                    E69 King’s Indian, Fianchetto, Classical main line

                    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.O-O d6 6.d4 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qb6 10.Re1 Re8 11.d5 Nc5 12.Rb1 a5 13.Be3 Qc7 14.Nd2 Bd7 15.Bf1 Rab8 16.a3 cxd5 17.cxd5 b5 18.b4 Nd3 19.Bxd3 Qxc3 20.Rb3 Qc7 21.bxa5 Qxa5 22.Kh2 Rec8 23.Qe2 Rb7 24.Reb1 Rcb8 1/2-1/2

                    Round 4, April 4, 1970
                    Board 10
                    Keres, Paul – Ivkov, Borislav
                    B50 Sicilian Defence, Scheveningen/Najdorf/dragon

                    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Nc6 6.g3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.O-O h5 9.d3 h4 10.g4 e5 11.Nd5 Nce7 12.Rb1 Nxd5 13.exd5 a5 14.c3 Ne7 15.Qe2 f5 16.f4 fxg4 17.Qxg4 Qd7 18.fxe5 Bxe5 19.Bg5 Qxg4 20.hxg4 Rh7 21.Be4 Kd7 22.Rf3 Rg8 23.Rbf1 Ke8 24.Kh1 h3 25.Rd1 Kd7 26.d4 cxd4 27.cxd4 Bh8 28.Kh2 Rc8 29.Rdf1 Bxd4 30.Rf7 Be5+ 31.Kh1 Rxf7 32.Rxf7 Rc4 33.Bxg6 Rd4 34.Rxe7+ Kc8 35.Bf5+ Kb8 36.Re8+ Ka7 37.Be3 1-0

                    Position after White’s 12.Rb1

                    

                    - In Informator, Keres gives 12.Rb1 a ! and says it prepares b4; Houdini likes 12.c3 which presumably has the same idea.

                    12.Bg5 is an interesting move to analyze; Black breaks the pin with 12...Qd7, and then 13.Bf6 (or 13.Nf6+ or 13.Bxe7 which will come to the same thing) Nxf6 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Qxf6 0-0-0! looks pretty equal.

                    After such an early ...h5-h4 it seems unlikely that Black was intending to follow up with ...0-0 in any case.

                    - Rb1 is the human version of the computer a3 "idea". Keres played brilliantly (as usual) this match

                    Final Result

                    USSR 20.5 – World 19.5

                    Round 1 5.5-4.5
                    Round 2 6-4
                    Round 3 4-6
                    Round 4 5-5

                    ___________

                    Final Comment by Dragoslav Andric

                    As Matulovic, who had become used to playing a pawn behind against Botvinnik, managed again to force a draw, the final round ended in a 5-5 tie, making the overall score 20.5-19.5 in favor of the Russians. One half point made the difference.

                    Who was “responsible” for the missing half point? Was it Uhlmann, who discouraged the spectators not so much by his two losses but by his complete lack of resistance? Was it Portisch with his three illogical draws? Or was it Dr. Euwe, who replaced the wrong man – or the right man with the wrong one? No, no, The prevailing opinion in Belgrade after the match was that it was lost by the Yugoslavs, the hosts. There were just too many of them on the team. And, since they had played so many team matches against Soviet teams (one a year for more than a decade!), they were too conscious of who the better players were. This might explain their meager 4 points out of twelve games this time.

                    There were some other striking facts, however. On the top four (Olympic) boards, the world simply blew the soviets over with 10.5-5.5. Fischer alone did better n his four games (3 points) than four grandmaster collected out of ten (Petrosian and Ivkov 1 point each, and Olafsson and Stein zero). Only one match was undecided, Tal-Najdorf 2-2.
                    The final tally prompted Dr. Euwe to remark wittily at the closing banquet: “We have won the match on the first nine boards…”

                    Let one thing more be noted finally: all the former world champions and the current one were present. This has never been the case at any chess even before not even at any of the chess olympiads. That fact alone should suffice to make the Match of the Century a unique encounter in the history of the old game.

                    Chess Life and Review, June 1970, page 300.

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                    • #11
                      USSR vs The Rest of the World, 1970

                      April 3, 2020

                      There is a book about the match forthcoming.

                      The author Douglas Griffin says this in his blog:

                      To mark the 50th anniversary of the contest in Belgrade, Chess Informant will publish an updated, expanded version of the original book on the event, SSSR – Sbornaya Mira, (edited by Tigran Petrosian & Aleksandar Matanovic and published shortly after the match).

                      The 1970 edition featured annotations to the games of the match (almost exclusively by the players themselves) and brief biographical information (essentially, summaries of their tournament and match records). The commentary by the Soviet players was given in the original Russian, and that of the ‘Rest of the World’ team was presented in English.

                      For the new, expanded version I have translated the Soviet players’ commentary into English. The book also includes translations of articles from the contemporary Soviet press (‘64‘, Shakhmaty v SSSR & Shakhmaty (Riga) covering with the background to the match, the preparations of the Soviet team and the reactions of the Soviet chess establishment in the immediate aftermath of the event. Detailed player biographies and summaries of the previous head-to-head contests between the players have also been included. The book concludes with a retrospective look at the match, featuring extracts from interviews with some of the participants that were conducted many years later.

                      The Match

                      Virtually without exception, all of the World’s leading players took part in the event in Belgrade. No fewer than six World Champions (past, present and future) were among the participants.

                      The question of who would lead the Rest of the World team almost led to the non-appearance of both Bent Larsen and Bobby Fischer, but was finally resolved at the eleventh hour thanks to some extraordinary perseverance on the part of the Yugoslav organisers, commendable flexibility on the part of the Soviets – who could have insisted that Fischer took top board as originally agreed – and an uncharacteristically modest gesture by Fischer, when accepted Larsen’s claim to the top spot in the team. With this sole exception, the line-up of the Rest of the World team was more or less in accordance with the players’ Elo ratings, and was announced well in advance of the match. This allowed the Soviets to optimise their chances by a judicious choice of board-order. Thus, for example, Vasily Smyslov, who had a favourable personal score against Sammy Reshevsky, was assigned to face the American on Board 5. However, this seems to have led to considerable rancour and ill-feeling among some of the Soviet participants. Mikhail Botvinnik, who was paired against Milan Matulović on Board 8, was so upset that he refused to have his photo taken with his team-mates on their departure from Moscow.

                      The USSR Chess Federation had been predictably thorough in its preparations for the event. The team took part in what would today be called a ‘training camp’ on the outskirts of the Soviet capital, with leading trainers and theoreticians such as Isaac Boleslavsky and Semyon Furman present. The famous chess journalist Aleksandr Roshal was given access to this camp and he subsequently painted some remarkable vignettes of the activities there. For example:

                      Isaac Efremovich Boleslavsky… helped the team members in their theoretical preparation. I have called Boleslavsky by his name and patronymic since here he was christened ‘Academician’. This grandmaster gave lectures to the entire team. Admitted to one of these lectures, I was at first simply moved by the spectacle that had opened up to me. On the entrance of Boleslavsky, the entire cohort of mischievous grandmasters, as if in a school lesson, jumped up and respectfully froze. Outwardly, no-one expressed their surprise; the ‘Academician’ allowed himself to sit down and set about delivering the lecture. Replies during the exercise he categorically avoided: “I did not give you the floor” (this, to Vasily Smyslov), “You do not understand such positions” (to Efim Geller). Boleslavsky was harsh, but fair, and thanks to this, such lessons soon became mainstream and everyone was fascinated by the work.

                      [Source: A. B. Roshal, Vperedi – Bolshaya igra, ‘64’ (№ 13, 27th March-2nd April, 1970).]

                      The directors of the training camp also concerned themselves with the physical and psychological preparedness of the players. Nevertheless, the Soviets’ ultimate victory in the match proved to be an extremely close-run thing. Years later, Smyslov would recall:

                      As it turned out, everything was decided in my [final-round] game with Ólafsson. I had the advantage in position. But psychologically I proved to be in a very difficult situation. All of the other games were finished, while we still had around an hour to play [in the first session]. The rest of the teams (both theirs and ours) crowded around and waited. The final result depended completely on us. To make a draw would mean a draw in the match as a whole. Were I to win, we would win. Were Ólafsson to win… Imagine the situation?! I would then be the sole culprit. Imagine how much nervous energy this game cost me! One mistake by me, and the World team would be the victors…

                      This game, incidentally, our reviewers did not notice. They picked out others, but everything was decided by it. That’s why I at once told everyone that this victory remains for me one of the most memorable; in terms of its intensity it can only be compared with the one that made me World Champion.

                      [Source: Interview of Smyslov by N. Anzikeev – ‘Da ne prervetsya svyaz’ vremen!’, ’64’ (№ 8, 2002).]

                      Had Portisch not agreed a draw in a highly favourable situation in his game v. Korchnoi in the final round, the result could easily have been different.

                      The narrow victory in the match provoked considerable soul-searching on the part of the Soviets. Particularly concerning was the fact that on the top 4 boards (the ‘Olympiad’ boards) they had been decisively defeated. Tigran Petrosian wrote a lengthy article for Shakhmaty v SSSR, examining the faults that had been allowed to developed in the Soviet chess movement.

                      It seems to me that the root of the problem is that we have had a gradual unhealthy roll towards the side of the organisation of an enormous number of events, which should have led, and did lead, to a significant decrease in the requirements for obtaining various chess titles. Previously – and in particular before the war and in the first post-war years – the acquisition of titles was, for people captivated by chess, as a rule, not an end in itself, but the logical conclusion of the study of essence of the game, the comprehension of the secrets of mastery, the accumulation of a certain chess culture and the natural appearance of great chess strength. However for many today, the pursuit of “commissioned titles” has become a fetish, requiring only a relatively short-term effort and, naturally, less knowledge and a lower class of play. “Freshly-baked” candidate masters, masters and grandmasters give birth to their own kind… This process continues, and the saddest thing is that no end is apparent.

                      [Source: T. V. Petrosian: Kakie izmenenia, ‘Shakhmaty v SSSR’ (№6, 1970). The article first appeared in the Belgrade newspaper ‘Politika’.]

                      Petrosian’s article ends with the question:

                      Will there appear in the chess world a new Larsen, Fischer, Portisch or Gligorić, or will there appear from the great group of talented young masters in our country a new Tal or Spassky?

                      Within six months, the 20-year-old Anatoly Karpov would share 1st-2nd place with Leonid Stein in the star-studded Alekhine Memorial tournament in Moscow (ahead of the likes of Spassky, Smyslov, Tal and Korchnoi). Petrosian’s question had been answered…

                      The Games

                      Many of the games in the match subsequently became famous. One may point, for example, to Spassky’s celebrated win in only 17 moves v. Larsen in the 2nd round, or Fischers’ two convincing victories v. Petrosian. The prize for the best game in the match by a Soviet grandmaster went to Efim Geller, for his 1st-round win v. Svetozar Gligorić.

                      _____________

                      It has been a considerable pleasure to work on this project with my colleagues in Belgrade. I sincerely hope that the book will prove popular with chess enthusiasts, thereby helping to cement the special place of the ‘Match of the Century’ in the history of chess.

                      The book’s publication has understandably been delayed by the ongoing global health emergency, but I believe it is due to be printed and distributed some time in April.

                      https://dgriffinchess.wordpress.com/...belgrade-1970/

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