Just another site

Calculation,Intuition, Both…

with 2 comments

In a previous post I spoke of the influence Alekhine exerted  on Spassky. If you study both, you will really feel the connection, though sometimes it is very difficult to express it in words. Spassky always strived for positions full of tactical or combinative possibilities relying on his intuition and calculation skill. In most of his games the overall landscape seems unclear, blurred, lacking clear strategical indications. In other players’ games you  can follow their tactical lines of thought. As Spassky blended it with an immense underground intuitive work, many of his games seems very complicated, nearly chaotic, until the ideas finally emerge . Sometimes you will need to play through his games twice or three times to fully appreciate the details. Do not miss the following game or dismiss it because of the result, for instance:

W.: B. Spassky 

B.: R. Jolmov

Moscow 1957. 

1.  d4, Nf6/ 2. c4, e6 / 3. Nc3, Bb4 / 4. Bg5, h6/ 5. Bh4, c5/ 6. d5, Bxc3/ 7. bxc3, e5/ 8. Qc2, d6/ 9. e3, Qe7/ 10. Nf3, Nbd7/ 11. Nd2, e4/ 12. 0-0-0, 0-0/ 13. g4, g5/ 14. Bg3, Ne5/ 15. h3, Ng6/ 16. Be2, Re8/ 17. Rdg1, Bd7/ 18. h4, Rab8/ 19. hxg5, hxg5 /20. Rh5 !!!?


(Typical Spassky’s kind of hammer-blow. What follows is a display of blows/counterblows which require precise calculation:)
20. …, Nxh5/ 21. gxh5, Nf8/ 22. Nxe4!!, Qxe4/ 23. Qxe4, Rxe4/ 24. Bxd6, Rbe8/ 25. Rxg5, Kh8/ 26. Bxc5, f6/ 27. Rg3, b6/ 28. Bd4, Nh7/ 29. Kd2, Rg8/ 30. Rg6, Be8/ 31. Bd3!? (Does the key of the game lie in this junction as Kasparov seems to hint at? Or at another point?) 31…, Bxg6/ 32. hxg6, Rxd4/ 33. cxd4, Nf8/ 34. c5, bxc5/ 35. dxc5, Nd7! 36. c6, Nb6 / 37 e4!!?, Kg7 /38. Ba6 (Kasparov suggests 38. a4!? but …) ,Kxg6/ 39. a4, Kf7/ 40. a5, Na8!/ 41. Bc4 Rd8.  Draw agreed!. 

I am still trying to understand the way Spassky understands “strategy”. Of course he has played many games where the strategical plans are more or less “clear”. But he has always been bordering the red line which separates the complicate from the chaotic. What I am going to write now may seem too strong, but it is what I think:

Boris Spassky has been one of the most injustly treated among the World Chess Champions of all times.

When I met him in 2007  he left a deep impression on me. I do not know if it was his personal charisma, the fondness with which he treated me or the traits of is character I could perceive, but this man is worth a clear and absolute vindication.  And the problem is that you cannot mention Spassky without Fischer and the 1972 match cropping up immediately. But nobody seems to remember that Spassky was the leading figure of the 60’s, above Petrosian and Fischer. He had to play six gruelling Candidates’ matches and two World Championship ones to become Champion of the World, defeating Tal,Keres,Korchnoi,Geller ,Larsen,…and Petrosian. It is understandable that Fischer’s feat may overshadow any other achievement, but this does not mean justice to the man who also deserves it.


This is a mate in 3 composed by Pauly. (Click to enlarge if there is any problem.)



Written by QChess

January 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

Posted in CHESS, Chess games, Spassky

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on Chess Musings and commented:
    Revisiting Spassky from another blogger’s perspective.


    March 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: