Friday, January 7, 2011

A Most Instructive Instructive Game-Smyslov-Rudakovsky 1945

A View from the Bunker, Black to Move

Here's a game which Smyslov played against Rudakovsky in the 1945 USSR championship tournament. Found here

This has appeared in many chess books including:
Silman's Re-access your Chess
Pachman's Chess Strategy
Chernev's Most Instructive Games
Best Lessons of a Chess Coach.(Chapter 1)
[Note: I'm currently working through this book]

This game appears to be the 1940's equivalent of the Opera Game. An appealing entertaining and instructive game where each move of the winner is purposeful, effective and ends with a great mating combination. It is game most used when the author wants to show an example of a strong Knight Outpost that dominates the game. It illustrates as well the value of coordination and superior position where sides of equal material can be greatly different strengths. Poor Rudakovsky is unable to accomplish anything in this game and his Queen sits helplessly watching a mating net from the opposite side of the board.

When I have a good classic instructive game that I study, I memorize it. I do this by breaking the game in phases and creating a narrative. I find the handful of games that are considered to be the classics have a nice entertaining story that runs through them.

It starts off with Basic Sicilian Scheveningen Stuff

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6

Both Sides rush to King Safety

6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O

Get out those pieces

8. Be3 Nc6(a threat forms)

A weakness is not a weakness if it cannot be exploited! f4 prepares for a King-side attack.

9. f4 {I want to play this move more in a number of openings}

Black moves big gun to play on the Queen side

Interesting you have the same position in Karpov-Spassky game here at whites move 9 (look at the winning combination!)

9 .... Qc7

White Queen positions for protection on Queen side with a quick route to King side (THE MOVE per Weeramantry)

10. Qe1 !

Black uses a tactic to gain space

10..... Nxd4 11. Bxd4 e5

White declines the pawn take since restricting Blacks Space is a major goal. Why free up the bishop and spread out his pawns ?

White develops his bishop and black tries to develop his bishop
12. Be3 Be6

Kick that Bishop!

13. f5

Forces Trade

13.... Bc4 14. Bxc4 Qxc4

White quickly enacts a plan to create a unbreachable Nd5 Outpost

15. Bg5 Rfe8(protects bishop but that's not what white is after)

Removal of the last guard of d5 and occupation

16. Bxf6 Bxf6 17. Nd5

Black runs Bishop to Safety

17 ..Bd8

Smyslov repairs a weakness before starting his attack

18. c3

Black's mysterious pawn move (?)

18 .... b5

Kick that Queen!

19. b3

I'll check you because I can

19..... Qc5+ 20. Kh1

Prepares a Qxc3 attack


Rook Lift that protects and prepares a kingside attack

21. Rf3 !

Get in the bunker(f6 would be a better)

21.... Kh8

Kamikaze Pawn

22. f6! gxf6

Build the attack and threaten an eventual QXh7 mate

23. Qh4

Protects as best he can

23... Rg8

White threatens Qxh7 mate and black defends

24. Nxf6 Rg7

White prepares a deflection mate Black fights back

25. Rg3 Bxf6

Queen pins rook and prepares for the kill

26. Qxf6

Black tries to support the now pinned rook

26. Rcg8

Smyslov brings fight to new front on the way to back rank tactics

27. Rd1

Rudakovsky has run out of moves


Chess is a cruel game; replace the pinned rook with another one
28. Rxg7 Rxg7

29. Rxd5 and the game is over with Blacks Queen sitting on the checking square totally out of the game unable to defend or get a tempo to take advantage of whites back rank

Also: here is my game collection page of games worth remembering.


  1. Hi Montse,

    Happy New Year. It seems we both had a little break from chess and are back again.

    Best wishes for the New Year,