Smyslov - and the Art of Simplification!

May 27, 2009, 5:43 AM |

In my last post I have praised the crystal-clear positional play of Akiba Rubinstein. His games were the favorites in my youth. Now I have become much older  but nevertheless, I prefer  the good and clear positional play. in the last years I liked more and more the games of Vasily Smyslov (this is a link)

Vasily Smyslov in 2002

His games have become for me a source of inspiration. In my view his strongest point was the simplification from a middle game position into a better or won endgame. It happened very often in his games, that we have to  presume a winning method behind it. Here a game where he demonstrated his art of simplification masterfully.

In the starting position we see, that white has a clear advantage. He is a pawn ahead in a calm position Nevertheless the position is not so easy to win. There are different coloured bishops on board and they have a high draw tendency in endgames. So let us see, how Smyslov managed it to transpose the position into a won endgame. He started a process of simplification



You have seen now how his  art of simplification  had worked. Have one more look at the end position . You see a clear better endgame for White. For those who want to see the rook endgame. Here it is: