SVETOZAR GLIGORIC1923 - 2012 |
Notes in parenthesis by Gligoric.
"In classical variations of the Ruy Lopez I liked the ideas of Smyslov who habitually found various ways of brining the black rook to e8 as soon as possible, thereby fortifying his main bastion - the e5 square. I used to apply these ideas in my own practice and develop them further thus making my own modest contribution to improvements in Black's play. I carried on playing Smyslov's variations even when he himself, probably disappointed by the continual problems he faced as Black, had long abandoned them and turned his attentions to something different."
1.e4
e5
2.Nf3
Nc6
3.Bb5
a6
4.Ba4
Nf6
5.0-0
Be7
6.Re1
b5
7.Bb3
d6
8.c3
0-0
9.h3
h6
Diagram
"Smyslov's move, which can be explained logically : 'if White can afford to lose a tempo with h2-h3, why can't Black do the same?'
The idea of this move is to take away the g5 square from the white knight (and later the bishop as well) relieve the rook from the need to protect the square f7 and as soon as
possible, and transfer it to e8 thereby reinforcing the e5 point. It is important to maintain the pawn on e5 so as not to open lines and diagonals for the well-deployed white pieces.
Several years later, GM I. Zaitsev discovered that Black can transfer the rook to e8 even without Black's preventative 9th move, but in some positions Smyslov's move has to be played eventually by Black anyway, so the Breyer, Smyslov and Ziatsev (employing the manoeuvre ...Nc6-b8-d7, ...Rf8-e8, ....h7-h6) variations have become part of a thorough strategic conception in the opening.
Although these continuations appeared much later than the classical Chigorin variation 9....Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7, they became one of the main methods of defence in modern tournament practice,
The move played, in this the first game in the match, was no surprise to Tal, because I had already employed the same defence in two earlier tournament games against him - at Moscow and Budva in 1967."
10.d4
Re8
11.Nbd2
Bf8
12.Nf1
So far the set pattern of the Smyslov Defence. Black has the choice now of playing his bishop to d7 or b7. The first keeps control over f5, the latter prepares d6-d5 and is more favoured nowadays. ["Instead of this standard manoeuvre, transferring the knight to an active position on the
king-side, White can leave the knight on d2. from this square it also protects the e4-pawn, and White can exploit the two saed tempi to further his development and gain space on the queenside by 12.a3
Bb7
13.Ba2
Na7
14.b4
exd4
15.Nxd4
c5
16.Nf5
g6
17.Ng3
c4
18.Bb1
Nc6
19.f4
a5
20.Bb2
Qb6+
21.Kh2
Bg7
22.Nf3
axb4
23.axb4
Rad8
24.Qc2
Nd7
1/2-1/2 (57) Byrne,R-Gligoric,S Sousse 1967 with the intention of proceeding with 14.b4, 15.Bb2 and probably 16.c4.
; This is exactly how (albeit by a different move order) my encounter with Tal in Moscow 1967 continued, but I immediately took some counter-measures in the centre 12.a3
Bb7
13.Ba2
d5
and after 14.exd5
(also possible is 14.dxe5
Nxe5
15.Nxe5
Rxe5
16.f4
Bc5+
17.Kh1
Mantanovic - Gligoric, Skopje 1968 later I discovered that the exchange sacrifice at e4 gives Black a sufficiently solid position) 14...Qxd5
15.Ne4
exd4!
16.Nxf6+
gxf6
17.Rxe8
Rxe8
18.Qd3!?
f5
and Black had a good position."]
12...Bb7
[" 12...Bd7
was played more often. From this square the bishop can cover both flanks and the b5 and f5 squares. However, the bishop is more active on b7 and creates a threat of attacking the centre with ..d6-d5.
The idea of this counterattack was realised in the game Stein-Spassky Interzonal tournament, Amsterdam 1964, but was later forgotten, and I revived it three years later and made it one of my main weapons (with the black pieces in open games) in the World Championship cycle of 1967-68."]
13.Ng3
Na5
"Since the e5 square has been consolidated, Black can start coordinating his queenside pawns." [Not Portisch's experimental 13...Qd7
refuted by Geller in the Moscow Grandmaster's Tournament of 1967 by 14.dxe5
dxe5
15.Nh5
]
14.Bc2
Nc4
Diagram
"Black still has time for ...c7-c5; his first task is to bring the knight into the game so that it can either take part in a counterattack in the centre or else remain (in accordance with the theories of Philidor and Breyer) behind its pawns to protect the most sensitive squares."
15.a4
["White tries to exploit the fact that from b7 the bishop doesn't protect the b5-square, at the same time estimating that the opponent's counterattack in the centre is not quite correct. 15.b3
Nb6
16.Bb2
c5
17.Qd2
Qc7
18.Rad1
a5
19.Bb1
c4
20.Ba3
Rad8
21.d5
Ra8
22.b4
axb4
23.Bxb4
Bc8
24.Nh2
Na4
25.f4
exf4
26.Qxf4
Nd7
27.Nf5
Ne5
28.Re2
Nc5
29.Ng4
Bxf5
30.Qxf5
Ncd3
with strong counterplay 0-1 (62) Kavalek,L-Gligoric,S Sousse 1967.
Since he subsequently convinced himself that 15.a4 doesn't destroy Black's plans, in the ninth game of the match Tal tried ; 15.Bd3
following the example of the 2nd game of the Korchnoi- Reshevsky match, played several days earlier 15...Nb6
16.Bd2
c5
17.d5
Bc8!
(17...c4
18.Bc2
Nfd7
19.Nh2
g6
20.f4
exf4
21.Bxf4
Ne5
22.Qd2
h5
23.Rf1
Nbd7
24.Nf3
Nxf3+
25.Rxf3
Ne5
26.Bxe5
Rxe5
27.Raf1
Qg5
28.Qf2
with decisive pressure along the f-file.1-0 (31) Matulovic,M-Minic,D Vinkovci 1968; 17...Na4?
18.Rb1
c4?
19.Bxc4
Korchnoi-Reshevsky, 2nd match game 1967) ]
15...d5!
Diagram ["So this is played after all! Black's position on the queenside has been weakened and this counterattack in the centre is the only chance to keep the balance. for example, after 15...c5
16.b3
Nb6
17.a5
Black has a lot to worry about. Tal-Minic, Budva 1967."]
16.b3
[Stein,L-Spassky,B Amsterdam 1964 saw massive exchanges and a quick draw after 16.exd5
exd4
17.Rxe8
Qxe8
18.Qxd4
Bxd5
19.Nh5
Nxh5
20.Qxd5
Nf6
21.Qd1
Rd8
22.Qe1
Qxe1+
23.Nxe1
etc. The text made Gligoric think for the first time n the game, but after a short time he continued to follow his game with Tal in the USSR v Yugoslavia tournament at Budva 1967. "
23...Nd5
24.axb5
axb5
25.Bd3
Nd6
26.Kf1
Be7
27.Be2
Bf6
28.Ra5
c6
29.Ra6
b4
30.c4
Ne7
31.b3
Ne4
32.Nd3
Bc3
33.Bf3
Ng5
1/2-1/2 (33) Stein,L-Spassky,B Amsterdam 1964 simplifies the game too much.
Nor does the earlier; 16.axb5
axb5
17.Rxa8
Bxa8
18.b3
dxe4
19.Nxe4
Bxe4
20.Bxe4
exd4
21.Bc2
Rxe1+
22.Qxe1
d3
23.Qd1
d2!
24.Nxd2
Na3
1/2-1/2 (24) Unzicker,W-Gligoric,S (2575) Lugano 1968 offer anything.]
16...dxe4
17.Nxe4
Nxe4
18.Bxe4
[When Tal subsequently lectured at the Central Chess Club on the match he was asked why he didn't try 18.Rxe4
as Stein- Reshevsky, Los Angeles 19668, his answer was "Reshevsky's reply 18. ....f5 would have suited me , but what winning chances does White have after, say 18...Bxe4
19.Bxe4
Nb6
20.axb5
axb5
21.Bxa8
Nxa8
22.Nxe5
Rxe5
23.Rxa8
Qxa8
24.dxe5
Qe4
; How far can you go repeating moves? At Budva it was finally established that after 18.Bxe4
Bxe4
19.Rxe4
Qd5
20.Rg4
Na5
21.Bxh6
Nxb3
22.Rb1
bxa4
23.Nxe5
Gligoric weakened his king badly by 23...f5
was forced to give up the exchange and saved a half point only by a miracle. However, 23....Re6 would have repelled the attack, and 23. ...Qe6 would also have put an end to black's difficulties.]
18...Bxe4
19.Rxe4
Qd5!
"Black centralises the queen, with gain of tempo, and indirectly protects the pawn on e5 due to the pressure on on the white b3-pawn."
20.Rg4
Na5
21.Bxh6
[
"The pawn at e5 is untouchable because of the unprotected state of the white queen at d1, while the intermediate moe 21.axb5
Nxb3
22.c4
Qxc4
23.dxe5
doesn't offer anything, because of 23...Rad8!
24.Qxd8
Rxd8
25.Rxc4
axb5!
1/2-1/2 (72) Minic,D-Gligoric,S Yugoslavia 1968"]
21...Nxb3
"This unusual position was seen in a previous encounter between the same opponent's at the USSR-Yugoslaia match-tournament, Budva 1967."
22.Ra3
[22.Ra3
A witty move found by Sosonko. Thus if 22...Bxa3
23.Rxg7+
Kh8
24.Ng5
Re7
25.Qh5
with a winning attack. However, there is a longer term risk - White's forces, especially the rooks, are out of contact with one another and unpleasant surprises on White's back rank cannot be rules out. However, risks have to be taken if you want to shake strong opponents and the fact that Gligoric took 35 minutes over his reply tells its own story.; "Tal had placed high hopes on this surprise move. White wants to retain the rook on the a-file at any cost in order to prevent the creation of a distant passed pawn there. In Budva, Tal played the more natural 22.Rb1
bxa4
23.Nxe5
When after the first game of our match, he was no longer so sure about the effectiveness of his novelty, in the fifth game Tal returned to to the move he played in Budva, but then I surprised him with 23. ...Qe6! (the previous year I had played badly 23. ...f5? weakening the kingside and after 24.Rg3 I had got into a difficult position and lost, while Tal knew of the move 23...Re6
which we had analysed together after the game, but following 24.c4
Qb7
(24...Qd8
25.Qf3
Rxh6
(25...Rf6
26.Qe3
) 26.Qxf7+
Kh7
(26...Kh8
27.Ng6+
Kh7
28.Ne7
Qxe7
29.Rxg7+
Bxg7
30.Qxe7
) 27.Rg6
Qh4
28.Nf3
Qh5
29.Ng5+
Kh8
30.Rxh6+!
) 25.Bxg7
Bxg7
26.Rxg7+
Kxg7
27.Qg4+
Kf8
28.Qh5
c6
29.d5
cxd5
30.cxd5
Rg6
31.Re1
Black is in dire straits; the move played in the fifth game takes away the g4 square from the white queen, protects the sixth rank and in good time removes the queen from the exposed d5 dquare, preventing her being ejected by force from the kingside); 22.Rb1
bxa4
23.Nxe5
Re6
24.Qf3
c5
while White lacks the time to create direct threats against the opponent's king. Black seriously undermines the white centre, so Tal opted for the following drawish outcome. 25.Bxg7
and a draw was agreed here. "]
22...bxa4
23.Rxa4
Rab8
[Gligoric rarely sacrifices pawns, but this is a fine move, freeing the queen from the defence of the knight. The correct reply now is 23...Rab8
24.Be3
the bishop having done a good task in weakening the enemy king position. Then Rh4, Ng5, and Qh5 would arise as ultimate threats. Instead Tal plunges into complications. (Yugoslav masters, after the game, recommended 24.Qf1
) ; "Faith in the strength of the black position helped me to find this subtle move, albeit after a considerable amount of thought. 23...Nc5
is dubious because of 24.Ra5
With the text move Black defends the endangered knight at b3 which is exerting pressure on the d4 square, and moves over to a counterattack. He does not count up the pawn, because he can make use of White's weaknesses on the first rank and along the d-file."]
24.Rxa6
After 20 minutes thought. ["Consistent play, because 24.Be3
exd4
(or 24...c5
at once.) 25.cxd4
would not produce anything good for White."]
24...exd4
[More logical looks 24...Ra8
to get threats along the rook file at once. Gligoric, however, judged the queen rook to be badly placed and having no prospects.]
25.cxd4
[If 25.Nxd4
then 25...Nxd4
26.Qxd4
Qxd4
27.cxd4
with an extra pawn for White but the ending could hardly be won.; If in this sequence 25.Nxd4
Nxd4
26.cxd4
then 26...Qf5
The only point of playing this move would, therefore, be the hope that Black would err by ; 25.Nxd4
c5?
when there follows 26.Rxg7+
Bxg7
(26...Kh8
27.Rg5
) 27.Qg4
Qe5
(or 27...Re1+
28.Kh2
Qe5+
29.f4
) 28.Nf5
with favourable complications.]
25...c5?
[Gligoric misses his second chance to take the a-file! After 25...Ra8
26.Rxa8
Rxa8
there are three unpleasant threats to meet - 27. ...Ra1, 27. ..c5 and 27. ...f5. White must answer 27.Kh2
when Black has the pleasant choice of trying one of the three first and then following up with the others in due course.]
26.Be3
Tal took 25 minutes on this and after Gligoric's 20 minutes over his reply. Tal expended a further 22 ninutes over 26. .., Rb4 so the spectators had ample time to study these crucial choices!.
26...Rb4
27.Rg5
Qb7
28.Rh6
[And this took Tal 52 minutes as he weighed all the consequences of 28.Rh6
g6
]
28...Nxd4
[28...g6
was the crucial variation, as if 29.Rh4
then an ultimate Qh5 could be met with Bg7. Tal intended to reply ; 28...g6
29.Rhxg6+
and Gligoric feared this. What would then happen? After 29...fxg6
30.Rxg6+
and Black loses if he plays 30...Kf7
31.Qd3!
Qe4
32.Ng5+
Kxg6
33.Nxe4
c4
34.Qd1!
Rxe4
35.Qc2
; However, by playing 28...g6
29.Rhxg6+
fxg6
30.Rxg6+
Bg7
Black can hold on. Then if 31.Ng5
Re7
(31...Nxd4
32.Qh5
Re4!
33.Rd6!
Qe7
34.Rd8+
Qxd8
35.Qf7+
with perpetual check, but not) 32.Qh5
Qd5
33.Rxg7+
(the queen win 33.Qh7+
Kf8
34.Ne6+
is unclear.) 33...Kxg7
34.Qh7+
Kf8
35.Qh8+
Qg8
36.Qf6+
Ke8
37.Qc6+
Kf8
and White can hardly do anything else but give perpetual check.; Not 28...g6
29.Rhxg6+
fxg6
30.Rxg6+
Bg7
31.Ng5
Rb6
32.Qh5
Rxg6
33.Qh7+
Kf8
34.Qxg6
Qe7
35.Nh7+
Kg8
36.Bh6
]
29.Nxd4
Rb1
30.Bc1
Qb2
Diagram
31.Qh5
["This impulsive move is the reason for White's defeat. After 31.Nb3
White would have a dangerous initiative.
a) 31...Qe2
32.Qd5
c4
(or 32...Re6
33.Rh4
Qe1+
34.Kh2
Bd6+
35.Bf4
Qg1+
36.Kg3
Re3+
37.Kg4!
) 33.Qf5
Qd3
(if 33...Qe1+
34.Kh2
and Black can't save himself either with 34...Qe4
(34...Qe5+
35.Qxe5
Rxe5
36.Rxe5
gxh6
37.Re8
cxb3
38.Bxh6
b2
39.Rxf8+
Kh7
40.Rxf7+
and White wins.) 35.Rh8+
Kxh8
36.Qxf7
) 34.Rh8+
Kxh8
35.Qxf7
; b) 31.Nb3
Qxb3
32.Qh5
Rxc1+
33.Kh2
Bd6+
34.Rxd6
Qb8
(34...Qb4
35.Rf6
with the threats 35...--
(35...--
36.Qh6
) 36.Qxf7+
) 35.Qh6
g6
36.Rgxg6+
fxg6
37.Qxg6+
Kf8
38.f4
and Black will have to give up his queen, because of the poor position of his king.]
31...Qxc1+
32.Kh2
Bd6+
33.Rxd6
Qf4+
34.Rg3
Qxd6
35.Nf5
Ree1
36.Qxf7+
Kxf7
37.Nxd6+
Ke6
38.Rg6+
Kd5
39.Nf5
Rb7
"Not allowing White to take on g7. Now the passed c-pawn becomes unstoppable.
40.Ne3+
Rxe3!
The fastest way to victory.
41.fxe3
Rc7!
[Denying White any last minute tactical chances which might have arisen after 41...c4
]
42.Kg3
c4
43.Kf4
c3
44.e4+
Kc4
45.Ra6
[45.Ke3
didn't work because of 45...Kb5!
]
45...c2
46.Ra1
Kd3
[46...Kd3
47.Rc1
Kd2
48.Rxc2+
Rxc2!
leaves White no chance because the black king will contain the white e-pawn.] 0-1