Smyslov and the French Defense

Smyslov and the French Defense

kenytiger
kenytiger
Mar 22, 2008, 12:00 AM |
22 | Amazing Games

Vasily Smyslov, outstanding member of the Soviet School comes to the world in 1921. He learns the game of Chess when he is still a child, his first teacher is his father, an engineer who works at the Moscow Motor Works.

When it is announced that Smyslov, then a seventeen-year-old schoolboy, would compete in the Moscow Championship of 1938, the news does not arise a stir. None of the Masters considers him a dangerous rival.

But as the Tournament progresses, everyone's attention is focused on Smyslov. The surprising factor is not only his victories over strong and experienced opponents, but his amazing style. He plunges confidently into combinational and positional play, and is proficient in the technique of exploiting advantages.

The schoolboy unexpectedly becomes an examiner, and a strict one, too. Many Masters fail to pass the examination of difficult and entangled games which he gives them. Finally, he ties for first, outstripping GM Lilienthal and many other first-class-players. This especific achievement wins him the title of Master.

In the game below, from the 1954 World Title Match, Smyslov defeats his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Botvinnik.

(Notes by Soviet GM Alexander Kotov)


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