Studying Old Games (Part 8)

Still on the subject of the Ruy Lopez, here’s a classic game by Vassily Smyslov in which he completely outplays a strong opponent. The first thing to look at in this game is 12…f5!, presenting White with a passed e-pawn but on a square where it inhibits the activity of his minor pieces. Next there’s 14…g5! and 15…c5!, which further restrict White’s minor pieces.

Black gets a really great position like this but how should he convert his advantage? Smyslov answers this question by further restricting White’s forces (26…f4) and then giving up his bishop pair to break down the defence (27…Bxf6). All in all a game which shows a wonderful understanding of chess:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.