Friday, 4 June 2010

The power of two bishops

My most recent copy of "New in Chess" contains a number of tributes to Vasily Smyslov. Towards the back Jan Timman reminisces about the former world champion, having played against him on a number of occasions. In the article he shows a game played by Smyslov as a 14 year old, which eve though shows his ability to turn positional mastery into tactical dominance. The game is both a demonstration of the power of the two bishops, and the value of knowing what has gone before. As Timman says in his article, the final combination is a variation on Rotlewi - Rubenstein, 1907

Gerasimov,K - Smyslov [D05]
Moskou, 1935

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Nc6 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.0-0 Qc7 8.a3 b6 9.c4 Bb7 10.Nc3 a6 11.Re1 cxd4 12.exd4 0-0 13.Na4 Bf4 14.Ne5 dxc4 15.bxc4 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qc6 17.Bf1 Rfd8 18.Qb3 Ng4 19.h3 (D)
19. ... Rd3!! 20.Qxb6 Rxh3 21.Bd4 Bh2+ 22.Kh1 Bxe5+ 0-1

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