From Russia with Love
We have covered a lot of Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in the collection of 1972 games.
To redress the balance slightly, here at thequietmove, we thought it only right to give a shout out to some of the finer moments of Boris Spassky's career. What better place to start than the most televised game ever!
Whilst the film coverage of Macadams (Canada) versus Kronsteen (Czechoslovakia) at the Venice International Grandmaster Tournament, unfortunately misses white's c and d pawn, the game is clearly the Spassky masterpiece below.
Also key to note, Bronstein himself was no patzer, he was a world championship candidate and challenger in 1951 - only losing out to three endgame inaccuracies. Spassky's performance in this game is way ahead of its time and a tip of the cap to the wonders of chess. Few players would have the nerve to carry out the moves, even if they could see the weight of the tactical plusses.
What to take away from this game
Some openings are high intensityLike Tal, Spassky was an attacker and even players as good as Bronstein were not spared.
Spassky chose the King's Gambit which sacrifices a pawn for activity. With several chances to play for a marginal advantage, Spassky chose the sharpest lines, requiring high risk but high reward.
You have to be brave to play chess like this!!
In for a penny...At several points, including after 14...e2, Spassky could have taken a safe route with 15. Qxe2 (for example).
Part of chess is psychology and whilst safe moves are objectively ok, if they are not best, you have to go with your gut. This is particularly true where you have a development advantage, as in this game.
Know your tacticsTheQuietMove has published a few articles on Tactics . In this game, Spassky used his extensive tactical nous to see lots of tactical themes. Let's look at the final position: Against all defences, white has a crushing edge:
- 24...Kh8 25. Rxf8! and due to the coverage of g8 by the bishop, white can windmill his knight after 25...Rxf8 26. Ng6+ with a lot of discovered checks to follow
- 24...g6 and again time to lose the knight! 25. Rxf8 Rxf8 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qxh6+ Qh7 28. Ng6#