Borislav Ivkov in Havana 1965. Two beautiful endgames...
photo by Agraz published in Bohemia of 10.09.1965, p. 53, in https://dloc.com/UF00029010/03156

Borislav Ivkov in Havana 1965. Two beautiful endgames...

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Looking for material for my previous blog about Ciocaltea, I was browsing through his games and an interesting tournament where he participated was the 4th Capablanca Memorial of 1965 in Havana. A super tournament won by Smyslov with 15.5/21, while at 2nd place tied with 15 Ivkov, Geller and Fischer. In this tournament Fischer participated giving his moves by phone or telex, while being at the Manhattan Chess Club, due to difficulties travelling to Cuba.

"Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were still severely strained, though communications were easing at that time and unofficial cultural intercourse was beginning to be considered, and from all indications it seemed, at least at first, that he would have no trouble traveling there... The U.S. State Department often permitted newsmen and correspondents access to Cuba and other 'off limits' countries, while it denied entrance to ordinary citizens... But the State Department flatly refused to recognize him as a legitimate columnist and therefore denied him the opportunity to travel to Havana." from Bobby Fischer by Frank Brady, p. 85-86.

Fischer possibly was considered a favorite to win, or at least an at the time star. In Bohemia of Sep 3, 1965, p. 56, after some great players being mentioned, that participated in previous Capablanca Memorials, like Tal & Spassky, one can read: Today is Bobby Fischer, one of the most discussed figures for his temperament, who unfolds at the level of the greats... [=Hoy es Bobby Fischer, una de las figuras mas discutidas por su temperamento, que se desenvuelve al nivel de los grandes...].

The empty table of the game of the first round, between Fischer and Lehman, probably drew some attention. Photo by Aldo y Fere published in Bohemia of 03.09.1965, p. 58

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One other thing that attracted my attention is that in the following Bohemia magazine of Sep 10, 1965 [from where the head photo], a feature photo article was published on Borislav Ivkov. So I've looked at his games.

The following are two having beautiful endgames, at least on how the winning endgame positions were created.

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Ivkov vs Smyslov, 1-0

An exchange Slav. The interesting thing is that Ivkov won this game at this high level. Interesting, as many of the exchange Slav variations have a really high percentage of draws, over 80% or even 90%. Maybe because of the symmetry of this opening. Even if you don't read the annotations of the pgn, just look at how Ivkov created this winning endgame.

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Fischer vs Ivkov, 0-1

An endgame that I think was won cause of a forced exchange...

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Thanx for reading....