Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Opening questions

The following passage was written about an opening variation which appeared in the first half of the current Dortmund tournament.
Although he used it four times, drawing all fours games in short order, I still consider this a difficult variation for Black. Smyslov had to display a great deal of resourcefulness in order to equalise, and his opponents did not always exploit their opportunities to the fullest. After this tournament, neither Smyslov nor the other masters made much further use of this defence, so it has disappeared from practice.
a. In which game from Dortmund did it appear?
b. Who wrote the passage?
c. Where was it written?

[Chessbase Dortmund round reports: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]


Jonathan B said...

I'm going to have a punt at

Kramnik v Le Quang Liem and ... Qa5 in the Slav. I know that was a Smyslov idea that Nosher borrowed for the match against Kasparov.

Don't know about the passage itself though.

Jonathan B said...

It occurs to me that if this is Smyslov then the passage might come from the Zurich 53 tournament book. That would make it written by Bronstein, although wasn't there later some suggestion that he put his name to a book written by somebody who was 'banned' by the Soviet authorities at that time?

Anonymous said...

JMGB's hint had me scrummaging through my copy of Zurich 1953, as the quote sounded very Bronstein. Sure enough, I found it on page 54. I'll leave it there for others to have a crack at.

Anonymous said...

The specific idea that Smyslov played in 1953 and earlier was Bb4 in the Slav. This had been played before not least by Alekhine against Euwe in 1937. Smyslov seems to added some additional ideas on how to play the resulting positions. Was Bronstein (or his ghost) writing about .. Bb4?

ejh said...

Yep: it's what we would normally think of now as the main line of the Slav, i.e. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6,e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4. It was played in the game identified in the first comment - and written in the book identified in the second, in the specific place identified in the third (game between Boleslavsky and Smyslov).

I actually meant to do this quiz for the British Championship last year, but unless I missed it, which is entirely likely, nobody played the line in Canterbury. So I was thinking of running it if it was played this year - and then it cropped up in Dortmund.