An Argentine Nightmare

An Argentine Nightmare‎

GM Julio_Becerra
30 | Opening Theory

Several days ago I was watching a wonderful DVD on the Najdorf variation created by Garry Kasparov. Garry who besides being considered one of the greatest chess players in the history of the game is also becoming one of the best commentators of the game as well. “My Brilliant Predecessors” is already a classic, and any serious player who wants to progress in chess will need to be review these works. Now his second series “On Modern Chess”, is also reaching the same stature as his first series.  Without a doubt, the name of Garry Kasparov will leave its mark on chess history, not only as a champion, but also as one of most important chess writers.

I want to talk about an anecdote mentioned by Gary in the first DVD of the series on the Najdorf variation in the Sicilian Defense. In the fourteenth round from Gothenburg Interzonal in 1955 three Soviet players (Keres, Geller and Spassky) played three Argentines players (Najdorf, Panno, Pilnik) The Argentine team had prepared a sharp counter attack beginning with 9… g5!? in the 6.Bg5 variation of the Nadjorf variation of the Sicilian, with which they hoped to surprise the strong Soviet players. Geller in his game versus Panno was first to find the move 11.Nxe6!, which constitutes the beginning of the refutation.  A while later it was imitated by Keres in his game against Najdorf and later the teenager Spassky against Pilnik. But the key move that ruined all the illusions of the Argentinean players was 13. Bb5!! A truly brilliant move found by Paul Keres. Immediately, the other Soviets imitated him. This was not difficult since the games were broadcast on the hanging murals which tracked the games. The final outcome was the sensational victory of the three Soviet players over the three confused Argentineans players, all of whom lost to the same refutation of the same variation!!

Before finalizing this graceful piece of chess history I want to add an additional note: the final result that round between Soviet and Argentineans players was actually 4-0! this was because Petrosian defeated Guimard, but this result came from brilliant play in the Queen’s Gambit!

Let us now enjoy these three jewels of this famous tournament.








More from GM Julio_Becerra
The Walking ECO

The Walking ECO

He Learned Directly from God, Part 5

He Learned Directly from God, Part 5