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CADOGAN CHESS BOOKS

Averbakh's Selected Games


CADOGAN CHESS SERIES

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Editor: Murray Chandler
Russian Series Editor: Ken Neat

Other chess titles from Cadogan include:

The Application of Chess Theory Paul Keres Best Games Vol.2


Yefim Geller Egon Varnusz

The Art of Chess Analysis Smyslov's 125 Selected Games


Jan Timman Vasily Smyslov

Bobby Fischer: His Approach to Chess Sokolov's Best Games


Elie Agur Ivan Sokolov

Chess in the Fast Lane Studies and Games


Bill & Michael Adams Jan Timman

Fire on Board: Shirov's Best Games The Sorcerer's Apprentice


Alexei Shirov David Bronstein & Tom FUrstenberg

The Genius of Paul Morphy Taimanov's Best Games


Chris Ward Mark Taimanov

Half a Century of Chess Timman's Selected Games


Mikhail Botvinnik Jan Timman

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal Uncompromising Chess


Mikhail Tal Alexander Belyavsky

Paul Keres Best Games Vol.l Vasily Smyslov: Endgame Virtuoso


Egon Varnusz Vasily Smyslov

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Averbakh's Selected Games

by

Yuri Averbakh

Translated and edited by Ken Neat

CADOGAN

LONDON, NEW YORK


English Translation Copyright © 1998 Ken Neat

First published 1998 by Cadogan Books pic, 27-29 Berwick St, London WI V 3RF.

Distributed in North America by The Globe Pequot Press, 6 Business Park Rd, P.O. Box
833, Old Saybrook. Connecticut 06475-0833, USA

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writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data


A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN I 85744 548 5

Typeset by Ken Neat, Durham

Printed in Great Britain by BPC Wheatons Ltd, Exeter


Contents

Foreword 7

My Chess Career 9

Biographical Details 12

Selected Games 1943- 1975

I Averbakh- Simagin, Moscow Championship Semi-Final 1 943 13


2 Averbakh-Botvinnik, Moscow Championship 1 943/4 17
3 Mikenas-Averbakh, Moscow Championship 1 943/4 20
4 Averbakh-Zak, 2nd Match Game, Moscow 1 947 22
5 Taimanov-Averbakh, Trades Un ion Team Championship, Leningrad 1 947 25
6 Averbakh-Veresov, Sem i-Final 1 6th USSR Championship, Moscow 1 947 31
7 Averbakh-Lil ienthal, Moscow Championship 1 948 34
8 Kotov-Averbakh, 1 6th U S S R Championship, Moscow 1 948 36
9 Averbakh-Bondarevsky, 1 6th USSR Championship, Moscow 1 948 40
10 Averbakh-Szabo, Moscow v. Budapest 1 949 45
11 Averbakh-Goldberg, Sem i-Final 1 8th U S S R Championship, Tula 1 950 49
12 Averbakh-Ravinsky, Moscow Championship 1 950 51
13 Averbakh-Moiseev, Moscow Cham pionship 1 950 52
14 Golovko-Averbakh, Moscow Championship 1950 54
15 Averbakh-Suetin, 1 8th U S S R Championship, Moscow 1 950 57
16 Petrosian-Averbakh, 1 8th U S S R Championship, Moscow 1 950 60
17 I1ivitsky-Averbakh, Sem i-Final 1 9th USSR Championship, Svedlovsk 1 95 1 64
18 Novotelnov-Averbakh, 1 9th USSR Championship, Moscow 1 95 1 66
19 Averbakh-Bondarevsky, 1 9th USSR Championship, Moscow 1 95 1 69
20 Averbakh- Smyslov, 1 9th USSR Championship, Moscow 1 95 1 72
21 Averbakh-Kholmov, Sem i-Final 20th USSR Championship, Minsk 1 952 75
22 Unzicker-Averbakh, Interzonal Tournament, Saltsjobaden/Stockholm 1 95 2 79
23 Averbakh-Stah lberg, Interzonal Tournament, Saltsjobaden/Stockholm 1 952 81
24 Gligoric-Averbakh, Interzonal Tournament, Saltsjobaden/Stockholm 1 952 86
25 Pilnik-Averbakh, Interzonal Tournament, Saltsjobaden/Stockholm 1 952 90
26 Averbakh-Tolush, Training Tournament, Gagra 1 953 95
27 Keres-Averbakh, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 953 97
28 Averbakh-Szabo, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 953 99
29 Euwe-Averbakh, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 953 101
3 0 Averbakh-Taimanov, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 95 3 1 05
3 1 Najdorf-Averbakh, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 953 1 06
32 Averbakh-Euwe, Candidates Tournament, Neuhausen/Zurich 1 953 1 09
33 Averbakh-Ragozin, 2 1 st U S S R Championship, Kiev 1 954 III
34 Averbakh- Suetin, 2 1 st USSR Championship, Kiev 1 954 1 13
35 Averbakh-Bannik, 2 1 st U S S R Championship, Kiev 1 954 1 16
36 Korchnoi-Averbakh, 2 1 st U S S R Championship, Kiev 1 954 1 19
37 Averbakh-Panno, U S S R v. Argentina, Buenos Aires 1 954 1 22
38 Averbakh-Aronin, U S S R Team Tournament, Riga 1 954 1 25
39 Averbakh-Botvinnik, Training Match, Nikolina Gora 1 956 1 27
40 Averbakh-Botvinnik, Training Match, Nikolina Gora 1 95 7 131
41 Polugayevsky-Averbakh, 23rd USSR Championship, Leningrad 1 95 6 1 34
42 Averbakh- Spassky, 23rd U S S R Championship Play-Off, Leningrad 1 95 6 1 37
43 Golz-Averbakh, International Tournament, Dresden 1 956 1 42
44 Averbakh-Fuchs, International Tournament, Dresden 1 956 1 44
45 Uhlmann-Averbakh, International Tournament, Dresden 1 956 1 46
46 Vasyukov-Averbakh, Moscow Championship 1 957 1 49
47 Averbakh-Polugayevsky, 25th USSR Championship, Riga 1 958 151
48 Averbakh-Fischer, Interzonal Tournament, Portoroz 1 958 1 54
49 Averbakh- Larsen, Interzonal Tournament, Portoroz 1 958 1 56
50 Korchnoi-Averbakh, 26th U S S R Championship, Tbilisi 1 959 1 58
51 Bronstein-Averbakh, 26th USSR Championship, Tbilisi 1 959 1 62
52 Roizman-Averbakh, Semi-Final 28th USSR Championship, Odessa 1 960 1 64
53 Averbakh-Petrosian, Moscow Team Championship 1 96 1 1 66
54 Averbakh-Taimanov, Moscow v. Leningrad Match 1 962 1 68
55 Averbakh-Aronin, Moscow Team Championship 1 956 171
56 Averbakh-Estrin, Moscow Championship 1 964 1 74
57 Khasin-Averbakh, Moscow Team Championship 1964 1 76
58 Averbakh-Platonov, 36th USSR Championship, Alma-Ata 1 969170 1 78
59 Averbakh-Hug, International Tournament, Palma de Mallorca 1 972 1 81
60 Averbakh-Plachetka, International Tournament, Polanica Zdroj 1 975 1 84

Tournament and Match Results 1 88

Index of Opponents 191

Index of Openings 1 92
Foreword

This book should have been published at least quarter of a century ago, when my
generation was still highly placed in the chess world and was creating chess history.
However, journalism, work for the USSR Chess Federation, as well as research on the
endgame and the origins of chess diverted me from this: there simply was not sufficient
time.
Therefore, just before my 75th birthday, I gratefully accepted the offer of Cadogan
Chess to publish a collection of my games.
However, every cloud has a silver lining! When working on games that were played
many years ago, I not only experienced as though anew the events that occurred in them,
but at the same time I gained the opportunity to look at myself from the side, effectively
from a future viewpoint, to look critically, and that means on the whole to evaluate more
objectively my chess playing.
It is considered that present-day chess differs greatly from the chess of the 1950s,
when the peak of my successes occurred. Of course, today chess has become more
competitive, more severe, more professional. Thanks to Informator, the Internet and
computer programs, grandmasters and masters now obtain an incomparably greater
amount of information than in my time. As a consequence of this, opening theory
develops more rapidly and intensively, and the role of opening knowledge is growing.
However, the longer playing sessions, stricter time controls and, finally, the
abolishment of adjournments have left their mark and affected the quality of play. This is
especially noticeable in the concluding phase of the game, the endgame.
One other important factor must be mentioned. The information language of symbols,
which stems from Informator and is now employed in many publications, has led to the
fact that commentaries written with the help of these symbols completely lack the most
important thing that is always present in a chess encounter - the conflict of personalities,
the clash of plans, the battle of ideas. As is said nowadays, the human factor is lost. The
soulless symbols do not, and are unable to reflect anything of this.
And for me the battle of ideas, the clash of plans, and also the various psychological
nuances associated with the play, have always been a significant element in the creative
process at the chess board, sometimes simply determining the result of the game,
irrespective of who had the better or worse position. It is for this reason that in my notes
I have endeavoured to devote the greatest attention to them.
In selecting these games I have aimed to give not only those that I consider my best,
the most memorable, but in the main those that reflect my personality as a grandmaster,
and reflect my understanding of chess. Moreover, in some games I wanted to convey my
experiences at the board.
The knowledgeable reader may be surprised that, although I am considered an expert
on endgame play, here I have given relatively few examples of my play in this field. This
can be explained as follow. Firstly, in my books devoted to the endgame a sufficient
number of such examples can be found, and I did not want to repeat them. Secondly, and
8 Averbakh's Selected Games

perhaps more important, I wanted to show, contrary to the 'top technician ' tag, ascribed
to me by chess journalists for my comparatively good techn ique, that I was on the whole
a player with a style that, although positional, was universal, and that I was quite strong
both in attack and defence, in positional manoeuvring, and in sharp combinational
complications. How well I have succeeded in demonstrating this, the reader can judge.
Only in my later years, when I had stopped being a chess professional and had ceased
working on trying to im prove, when I no longer had ambition and lacked both strength
and nervous energy, I sometimes used to play on techn ique, and incidentally, also not
without success.
I sincerely hope that this collection will not only enable the reader to make the
acquaintance of my games, but will help him to understand better that great game -
CHESS. A game in which, in the words of the ancient sages, victory is gained by
intellect, but I would add that in which, as in life, the factor of chance and luck also plays
a considerable role.

Yuri Averbakh
My Chess Career

I learned to play chess at the age of seven, but I became fascinated by it only much later,
when I was already thirteen.
The first chess book that accidentally came into my hands was My System by Aron
Nimzowitsch. It was hard to think of a worse choice! After all, in chess you must first
learn to attack, and only then to defend, you must gain a mastery of tactics, and only then
strategy. My System is a good book, only not for beginners. It is a textbook on positional
play, and first you must learn to make combinations. As will be seen, with me it all
happened the other way round, and it is not surprising that later, to a significant extent, I
had to relearn.
Late in 193 5 I visited the Moscow Chess Club for the first time, and there I was
fortunate enough to listen to a lecture by the great endgame expert Nikolai Grigoriev. It
made an indelible impression on me. When Grigoriev explained his pawn studies,
moving the pieces on the demonstration board with his thin, artistic fingers, I sensed,
rather than understood, the great depth and beauty of chess, observing with my own eyes
how human thought spiritualises these little wooden pieces, and they, like real actors,
begin performing miraculous spectacles, capable of touching the most sensitive parts of
the human soul. It was this perception of chess as an art that finally linked me with it. I
wanted to understand chess and study it, which is what I earnestly began doing.
My first major chess success was victory in the USSR Cadet Championship (for
juniors up to 1 6 years old). Although among the participants there were probably lads
more talented than me, such as Mark Stolberg who met an untimely death during the
Second World War, my broader understanding of chess bore its fruit.
In 1 93 9 I finished school and at the same time, after passing through the sieve of
elimination events (quarter-final and semi-final), I qualified for the final of the adult
Moscow Championship, where I met some of the acknowledged masters of chess.
Finding myself in such impressive company, I initially lost my head. The responsibility
so pressed, that in almost every game I ended up in time trouble, in the middle of the
tournament I suffered seven successive defeats, and I finished in last but one place. It is
true that there were also objective reasons for this slump - the Championship coincided
with the examination session, so that for preparing for the games and for relaxation there
was no time.
I was naturally very upset by my failure, and, on noticing this, the Chief Arbiter of the
tournament, Nikolai Ryumin, gave me some good advice:
'If you want to become a master', he said, 'you must learn to lose, you must learn to
withstand a blow, so that in the game following a defeat you play as if nothing had
happened!'
I remembered this wise advice all my life and endeavoured to follow it, although, to be
honest, I did not always manage to.
A major role in the forming of my chess outlook was played by two other men - Pyotr
Romanovsky and Benjamin Blumenfeld, both well known masters. Romanovsky taught
10 Averbakh's Selected Games

that in chess, as in any other form of creative activity, there is a battle of ideas, a battle of
different tendencies. Every genuine master should develop his chess philosophy and
follow it. These words of his forced me to think about my play, determine my creative
attitudes, and to pick out those ideas that I intended to carry out in my games.
Blumenfeld drew my attention to the psychological aspect of chess. He emphasised
that chess was played by people, each with their own character and cast of mind, with
different virtues and defects. In the struggle at the chess board one must learn to exploit
all this, one must be able to create those situations in which your skills and talent display
themselves to a greater degree than the skills and talent of the opponent.
After gaining the master title and finishing at the Institute, for five years I tried to
combine engineering work with participation in tournaments of various standards.
However, at the end of the 1940s I had to consider my future. I was at the cross-roads. I
had interesting work as a research engineer, and my candidate dissertation was
progressing. In chess I had become Moscow Champion, and had reached the final of the
USSR Championship, although I did not have any great success there. I could not help
feeling that in the creative sense I was standing still in chess: time for improvement, and
even for preparing for competitions, was practically not available. It was becoming
increasingly obvious that the attempt to sit simultaneously on two chairs did not promise
well: work interfered with chess, and chess interfered with work. I had to make a choice.
And I chose in favour of chess. I decided for a time to give up work in order to try to
become a grandmaster, and to raise my chess playing to a higher standard. At that time it
was much more difficult to gain the grandmaster title than it is now. To do this I first had
to finish in the first four in the USSR Championship Semi-Final. This I did. The next
stage was the 19th USSR Championship, which was simultaneously a zonal qualification
tournament for the World Championship. I managed to finish in the first five, who
gained the right to play in the Interzonal Tournament. The culmination was this
Interzonal Tournament, where I became a Candidate for the World Championshp and
was awarded the grandmaster title. My experiences associated with this tournament are
described in detail in my notes to the games.
The Candidates Tournament was the most significant event in my chess career. I
prepared quite thoroughly for it, but my practical experience before it was slight, and this
told on the final outcome.On the other hand, a couple of months later, with an
exceptionally high score (in these events only Botvinnik had done better) I won the
USSR Championship.
On becoming a grandmaster I began participating regularly in tournaments, but
finished with my scientific work. However, my investigative character forced me to
make a serious study of the endgame, that phase of chess where individual pieces battle
against each other. Initially I published several articles, and then I thought about a book
devoted to various types of endings. Since I was not capable of carrying out this work on
my own, I gathered a small group of masters, and we enthusiastically got down to work.
After a study had been made of endings in which neither side has more than one piece, I
initially had the idea of moving on to endings with a greater number of pieces, but, thank
God, I stopped in time. It became clear to me that such a work would kill chess, as the
game would be transformed into a competitioin in which the one who won would not be
the one who plays better, but the one who knows more.
Averbakh's Selected Games II

I should mention that this protracted work on the endgame had an adverse affect on
my further chess successes. After all, a man's creative energey is not unlimited.
When I stopped studying the endgame, my passion for research forced me to turn to
another interesting topic - the history of chess, which, after all, is full of unexplored
territory. The resolving of many mysteries of its history is a task no less enticing than the
solving of various problems at the chess board. I hope also to write a book about this.
I have spent a long life in chess, and have been not only a player, but also a trainer,
arbiter, journalist and publisher; I have been an administrator of my own country's
federation and internationally. And I am eternally grateful to the royal game, for the fact
that it has brought me so much joy, the joy of creativity. I should like to repeat the words
of Siegbert Tarrasch, that chess, like love and music, can make man happy!
Biographical Details
(added by the Translator)

Yuri Lvov ich Averbakh, born 8.2.1 922 in Kaluga

International Grandmaster ( 1 952)

I nternational Judge of Chess Compositions ( 1 956)

International Arbiter ( 1 969)

President of the USSR Chess Federation 1 972-77

Holder of several posts in FIDE since 1 97 8

Editor- in-chief o f several Russian magazines, including Shakhmatny Bulletin and


Shakhmaty v SSSR since 1 962

Author of numerous books, of which English translations have been published of Chess
Endings: Essential Knowledge (first published by Pergamon, 1 966), the 5-volume series
Comprehensive Chess Endings (Pergamon, 1 983-87), and Chess Middlegames: Essential
Knowledge (Cadogan 1 996)
Selected Games 1943-1975

The USSR Championship was not held in I played not less than twenty, and
either 1942 or 1943 . This role was perhaps even as many as thirty games with
essentially fulfil led by the Moscow Cham­ Simagin. He was a player of original, far
pionship of 1943 /4. This tournament was from routine style, an artist-researcher,
preceded by qualifying events and semi­ who sought new, untrodden paths. It was
finals, in one of which I took first place, always interesting to play against him.
ahead of Ragozin and Zubarev, who were 1 d4 �f6
already masters, and Simagin, who was 1 c4 c5
soon to become one. 3 d5 e5
4 g3 d6
Game I 5 R.gl R.e7
Averbakh-8imagin 6 e4 �
Moscow Championship Semi-Final 7 �el �bd7
1 943 8 � �e8
Benoni Defence 9 �bc3 'itfh8
10 R.e3
Of the chess players of my generation, one
of the most striking and unusual was
undoubtedly Vladimir Simagin.
A rather pale, freckled face with high
cheek-bones, glasses with a thin metal
frame, light, straw-coloured hair, protru­
ding in unruly fashion from his crown -
that is how I remember him from when I
first saw him back in 193 5. During the
war, when he was exempted from service
in the army on health grounds, Vladimir
worked as a fitter in an aircraft factory. He
laboured for twelve hours a day, with little
to eat and with little sleep, but all the same White has played the opening un­
he contrived to find time for chess. He pretentiously. 1 0 �hl should have been
went about in a quilted jacket, crude boots considered, to answer 1 0 ...g6 with 1 1 .i.h6
with wooden soles, and a shabby cap with �g7 12 1i'd2.
ear-flaps. 10 R.g5
It so happened that for a long time my The usual plan in this opening is IO ...g6
chess career and that of Vladimir took a followed by Il...�g7 and I2 .. f5 . The
.

parallel course: we used to participate in bishop move is the start of a system which
the same tournaments. We were rivals but at the time was successfully played by
also members of the same team; we played Simagin. He provokes 1 1 f4, in order after
together abroad and often shared a hotel I I . exf4 12 gxf4 .i.f6 to play 1 3 ...g5 and,
. .

room. by sacrificing a pawn, gain control of e5.


14 Averbakh's Selected Games

11 'ifd2 �xe3 17 �g h 5
12 'ifxe3 Black was hoping for 1 8 'iff3 'ife7 1 9
Strictly speaking, the exchange of g4 e4! 20 'ifg2 �d7 and 2 1 ...:ae8 with a
bishops favours B lack. Firstly, he is complicated game. But White is by no
cramped, and every exchange facil itates means obliged to follow this path. He has a
the manoeuvring of his pieces. Secondly, strong move that essentially refutes the
he rids himself of a bishop which, with its opponent' s plan.
restricted mobility, often proves 'bad ' .
However, these are general arguments, and
everything, of course, depends on the
further development of events.
12 g6
13 f4

18 'ifh6! 'iffS
Because of the threat of 1 9 g4, this
reply is forced.
19 'ifxfS :x fS
Now it is apparent that, for the
successful completion of his original plan,
13 �g7 B lack is short of just one tempo. Were his
The natural continuation was 1 3 ...fS, bishop at d7, he would be able to take on
with a roughly equal game, but Simagin f8 with his other rook.
was not one for following familiar paths. 20 g4 �g7
Here he chooses an original, but risky plan 21 �g3
- he invites the opponent to play f4-f5, so Wh ite is not in a hurry to launch an
as then to try and establish his pieces on offensive. I was afraid that after 2 1 g5
the dark squares. White accepts the �g8 22 lDe4 lDe8 with the threat of
challenge. 23 ... f6 Black would gain counterplay.
14 fS gxfS 21 �d7
B lack consistently carries out his idea. 22 lDge4
1 4 ...g5 IS f6! �h5 1 6 1Ifxg5 �dxf6 1 7 In my notes at that time I suggested that
'ifh4 :g8 18 h3 would have led to an 22 lDce4 lDge8 23 lDxf6 lDxf6 24 g5 lDe8
opening of lines, favourable to White. 25 a4 was stronger, although then 25 ...f6
15 exfS �f6 26 lDe4 fxg5 27lDxg5 lDf6 28 lDe6 :g8 is
16 �h3 :g8 possible. Instead of 25 a4, 25 lDe4 is good,
17 <i>hl since if 25 ... b5 White has the counter 26
Avoiding a little trap - 17 g4? �xf5 ! 1 8 b4! cxb4 27 c5, when B lack ' s position is
'iff3 �xg4! 19 �xg4 1i'h4 20 h3 h5. on the point of col lapse.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 15

29 16

22 �ge8
23 a4 :g8 In the resulting sharp ending White has
24 :gl a6 every chance of winning, thanks to the
I don't want to attach a question mark more active placing of his pieces. He is
to this move, although here it was quite aim ing to decide the game by an attack on
essential to play 24 ... h6. However, as I the kings ide and consistently pursues this
have already mentioned, Vladim ir Simagin course.
very much disliked making natural moves. However, with 29 :a7 he could have
25 g5 �xe4 achieved his aim more simply, for
If 25 ... �h5 26 �e2, threatening 27 example:
�g4. (a) 29 ... :d8 30 :g3 bxc4 3 1 f6 �xh3
26 �xe4 :b8 3 2 :xh3 :f8 33 g6! �g8 34 g7 �xg7 3 5
:g3 etc.;
(b) 29 ... �c8 3 0 :xf7 bxc4 (3 0 ... :g7 3 1
:xg7 �xg7 32 f6+ �g6 3 3 �xc8 :xc8 34
:fl �f7 35 g6+! hxg6 3 6 �g5+ �f8 3 7 f7
etc.) 3 1 g6! hxg6 3 2 fxg6 :g7 3 3 :f8+
:g8 34 :xe8! �xh3 3 5 g7+ �h7 3 6
�f6+, and wins.
29 �xh3
30 :xh3 :g6
Now White's task is greatly simplified.
After the more critical, but also sharper
30 ... bxc4, I would have had a choice of
two continuations:
27 :a3 ! (a) 3 1 :g4 :g6 (3 1 ...:xb2 32 g6! fxg6
Intending 2 8 f6 with a very strong 33 :xh7+! �xh7 34 :h4 mate) 32 :gh4
attack. Black's desire to obtain at least h6 33 Lh6+ :xh6 34 :xh6+ �g8 3 5 g6
some counterplay is therefore quite under­ fxg6 (3 5 ... :xb2 36 :h8+! �xh8 3 7 gxf7,
standable. or 3 5 ... :b7 36 �xd6! �xd6 37 g7) 36
27 b5 :xg6+ �f7! (3 6... �h7 3 7 f7) 3 7 :h6 (3 7
28 axb5 axb5 :g2 c3! 3 8 bxc3 :bl + 3 9 :gl :xgl + 40
16 Averbakh IS Selected Games

�xgl c4! and Black can resist) 3 7...�g8 34 ...�h7, trying to break free with the
3 8 lDg5 lDxf6 39 :g6+ �h8 40 IIxf6 king, would have been met by the crushing
IIxb2, and White still has to win this 3 5 :'g3 hxg5 36lDxg5+.
ending. During the game this did not 35 :'g3
appeal to me, and I was intending to play:
(b) 3 1 g6! :xg6 3 2 :xg6 fxg6 33 f7
lDc7 (3 3 ...lDg7 34 lDf6 h5 3 5 :'g3 ! :'fS 36
:'xg6 :'xf7 3 7 :h6 mate) 34 lDg5 h5
(34...�g7 35 :'xh7+ �f6 3 6 lDe4+ �fS
[36...�e7 3 7 fS1I'+!] 3 7 lDxd6+ �f6 3 8
fS1I'+ :'xfS 3 9 :'xc7 etc.) 3 5 :'0 �g7 3 6
h4! (not immediately 3 6 lDe6+ lDxe6 3 7
dxe6 �fS 3 8 :'f6 g 5 3 9 :'g6 �e7, when if
40 :'xg5 Black has 40 ... c3! 4 1 bxc3 �xe6,
after which ... White loses) 36...e4 3 7 IIf4
e3 3 8 �gl , and Black has no useful
moves. Thus 3 8 ... lDxd5 is met by 3 9
lDe6+ �h7 40 fS 1I' :'xfS 4 1 IIxfS c 3 42 Now if 3 5 ...�h7 White has the decisive
bxc3 lDxc3 43 :'f7+ �h8 44 :'e7, and 36 g6+.
White must gradually be able to realise his 35 hxg5
material advantage. 36 hxg5 :c8
37 :h3+ �g8
38 �g2 lDc7
39 lIal
Aiming to conclude the game with
mate.
39 lDe6
40 dxe6 fxe6
41 g6
Black resigns

The Moscow Championship of 1 943/4


attracted a truly brilliant entry. The
Muscovites Smyslov, Alatortsev, Kotov,
31 :b3 ! Panov and Yudovich were joined by the
In this simple way White eliminates Leningrad players Botvinnik, Ragozin,
any possible counterplay by the opponent. Tolush, Lisitsyn and Ravinsky, as well as
31 b4 Mikenas from the Baltic Republics. They
32 :al were opposed by the youth of Moscow -
The invasion of the rook on the open Simagin, Lyublinsky, Khachaturov and
file leads to a forced win. Black no longer me. Although I lost in the first round to my
has any satisfactory defence. colleague and constant rival Simagin, this
32 h6 is no way affected my fighting spirit. By
33 h4 :g8 defeating the master players Alatortsev,
34 :a7 :f8 Yudovich, Lisitsyn and Mikenas, and
Averbakh's Selected Games 17

holding my own in the games with grand­ the side of the latter. Perhaps this was
masters Botvinn ik, Smyslov and Kotov, I because Botvinnik was considered the
took sixth place and achieved the master favourite, although the match ended in a
norm. An important competitive barrier, draw.
which I had approached closely before the Incidentally, it was then that I ended up
war, had been overcome. The tournament for the first time in the National Hotel. It
winner was Botvinn ik, playing hors happened like this: a group of young chess
concours, and the Moscow Champion players was walking along Gorky Street
became the second-placed Smyslov. (now it is cal led, as it was in the past,
Tverskaya). Sudden ly Boris Vaksberg (I
Game 2 defin itely remember that it was he)
Averbakh-Botvinnik suggested: 'Lads! Levenfish is staying in
Moscow Championship 194314 the National. What if we call in and show
French Defence him our analyses in the Sicil ian?'
I should explain that at that time a
I do not recal l for what reason, but my variation, that subsequently even became
game with Botvinnik took place in his known as the Moscow Variation, was
room in the National Hotel, where he was being intensively analysed in Moscow - 1
then staying. e4 c5 2 lLlf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 lLlxd4 lLlf6 5
I should rem ind the reader that in the f3 e5 6 �b5+.
days of my youth Botvinnik was the idol of It was no sooner said than done! After
our young generation. We passionately making over way, not without some
supported him, intently followed his difficulty, past the heavily-moustached
successes, and learned from his games. doormen in uniform at the entrance to the
Botvinnik ' s outstanding chess successes hotel, we went up in the lift, and Vaksberg
had brought him enormous authority and cautiously knocked on the door of the
extraordinary popularity. He was known required room. I recall that the door was
throughout the country. Botvinnik was opened by Yakov Rokhlin.
admired, and he was followed and 'We need to see Grigory Yakov­
imitated. levich!' , said Vaksberg boldly, and we
And here I was playing against hesitantly followed him into the room.
Botvinn ik, one of the strongest grand­ That which we saw threw us into utter
masters in the world, who had beaten confus ion. On a sofa, lean ing over a chess
Alekhine, and Capablanca, and Lasker and board, sat Levenfish and ... Botvinn ik!
Euwe. We said hello, and then there was a
When I sat down at the board and wrote pause. The first to find his tongue was
on my scoresheet: White - Averbakh, again Vaksberg. 'Grigory Yakovlevich!' ,
Black - Botvinnik, I wondered if I was he said to Levenfish, 'we would like to
dream ing. I even secretly pinched myself invite you to visit the Stad ium of Young
on the hand. No, it was not a dream. Pioneers! And you too, Mikhail Mois­
Before me sat Botvinnik himselfl eev ich!', he added. And with that we
I remember that when in 1 93 7 proudly trooped out.
Botvinnik played a match for the title of But let us return to my game with Bot­
USSR Champion with Grigory Levenfish, vinnik. I played, as you will see, extremely
the sympathy of the Moscow lads was on cautiously and, to my surprise, I gained a
18 Averbakh 's Selected Games

draw without particular difficulty. Inci­ 14 lDb4


dentally, in that Championship Botvinnik Botvinnik did not like to leave his
dropped only two points - he lost to opponent with the two bishops.
Smyslov and drew two games.
1 e4 e6
2 d4 d5
3 lDd2 c5
4 exd5 exd5
5 �b5+ lDc6
6 lDgfJ cxd4

15 c3
A draw in this game was the limit of
my dreams, and so I consistently aim to
simplify the position. However, I S :dl
would have been much stronger, in order
to recapture with the rook. There is nothing
for the king to do at d3 .
'A new move, that has not been 15 lDxd3
considered by theory', wrote Baturinsky, 16 �xd3 �d7
the co-author of the three-volume work on 17 �g5 f6
Botvinnik that was published in the 1960s. 18 �e3
Now, many years later, it can be said A timely change of m ind. Initially I was
that it does not in fact deserve particular evidently intending to play 1 8 �h4, but
consideration. The best that Black can then I rejected this because of 1 8 ... lDfS 1 9
hope for here is a draw. �g3 �cS, when it i s White who may have
7 lDxd4 1Ife7+ difficulties.
8 1Ife2 1Ifxe2+ 18 :ac8
9 �xe2 �d7 19 :ad l l:the8
10 lDlfJ a6 20 g3 :c4
11 �d3 �d6 11 lDd4 �e5
The attempt to gain the advantage of 22 lDc2 l:tec8
the two bishops by 1 1...lDb4 could have At last Black shows his teeth. He
been answered by 12 lDeS. threatens 23 ... �xc3 .
12 lDf5 �xf5 23 �e2 a5
13 �xf5 lDge7 Black prevents the knight from going to
14 �d3 b4.
White should have considered 14 �h3 , 24 l:td3
with the idea of playing the bishop to g2, 24 :d2! was much more subtle. Then if
aiming at the dS pawn. 24 . . . bS there could have followed 25 lDa3!
Averbakh 's Selected Games 19

l:ta4 26 tiJxb5 l:txa2 (26...l:tb8 27 b3!) 27 30 cxb4 �xb4


f4! l:tb8 (27 ...�b8 28 b3) 28 c4 with 31 tiJxb4 l:txb4
complications favourable to White. 32 l:tal l:tb7
33 l:ta5 'ii7d 6
34 �e3 l:tc4
35 'ii7d l g5
36 'ii7e2
Short of time before the control, both
sides manoeuvre harm lessly, aimIng
mainly not to spoil their positions.
36 'ii7e6
37 l:tc5 l:txc5
38 �xc5 tiJc6
39 b4! d4

24 b5
25 a3
Now 25 tiJa3 l:ta4 26 tiJxb5 l:txa2
would have led to an advantage for B lack.
25 �d6
26 �d4 l:t4c6
27 l:thd l l:tb8
28 l:t3d2 b4

Why did Botvinnik not try to exploit


the weakness of the b4 pawn by 3 9...l:tb5?
Then after 40 l:tb2 d4 4 1 'ii7d3 'ii7d 5 White
has to defend against the unpleasant
42 ... tiJe5+, and if 42 f4 l:tb8, when the
threat of 43 ... l:te8 looks dangerous.
The whole point is that after the rook's
retreat White was planning an unexpected
and spectacular combination - 43 b5!
�xc5 44 bxc6! l:txb2 45 c7 when the pawn
Despite the fact that I have played cannot be stopped.
extremely timidly, completely conceding I do not know if my opponent sensed
the initiative to B lack, Botvinnik has not the danger, but he decided not to tempt fate
managed to achieve anything real. In his and immediately forced a completely
notes to this game Baturinsky remarked: drawn ending.
'Black's initiative enables him to equal ise 40 �xd4 tiJxb4
completely'. Draw agreed
29 axb4 axb4
20 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Game 3 7 "'xc4 e5
�ikenas-)lverbakh In this way Black tries immediately to
Moscow Championship 194314 solve the problem of the centre.
Catalan Opening 8 tiJgfJ
Nowadays theory considers 8 dxeS
1 d4 tiJf6 tiJxeS 9 "'c3 to be more accurate, aiming
2 c4 e6 to exploit the knight's insecure position.
3 g3 Now, however, it is White who has to be
At the time when this game was played, concerned about the insecure position of
the Catalan was a comparatively new his knight.
opening. It was introduced into tournament 8 tiJb6
play by Saviely Tartakower at the inter­ 9 "'d3 exd4
national tournament in the Catalonian 10 0-0 .i.e7
capital of Barcelona in 1 929. I did not want to defend the pawn by
3 d5 1 0 ...cS , as this would have opened the
4 .i.g2 dxc4 diagonal for the white bishop and delayed
5 "'a4+ tiJbd7 the development of my pieces.
6 tiJd2 11 tiJxd4 0-0
If 6 .xc4 Black usually used to 12 tLJ2b3 :e8
continue 6 ... a6 followed by 7 ... bS. The
idea of taking on c4 with the knight was
successfully employed in the late 1 93 0s by
the Latvian master Vladimir Petrov. If, for
example, 6...a6 7 tiJxc4 bS , then 8 "'c2
:b8 9 tLJas .i.b4+ 1 0 .i.d2 with the better
chances for White.

White's plans include setting up a pawn


centre by e2-e4, which Black intends to
counter with piece play. A conflict situa­
tion is thus created - who will be proved
right?
13 "'c2
The queen has to move because of the
6 c6 threat of . . . c6-cS.
One of my first theoretical ideas, which 13 tiJbd5
I initially employed in a game with Panov Black continues his active play in the
(Moscow Championship Sem i-Final 1 940). centre. I was intending to answer 14 e4
Because of the threat of 7 ...bS , White is with 1 4 . . . tiJb4 1 5 ...e2 cS 1 6 tiJbS .i.g4 17
obliged to take the pawn with his queen. f3 .i.e6.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 21

14 a3 .i.xb6 bxc2 2 1 .i.xc7, and White remains a


White consistently carries out his plan. pawn up.
He endeavours to restrict the opponent's 19 l:lxaS!
pieces, not allowing them to take up active This essentially forced exchange sacri­
positions. But this prophylaxis takes up fice leads to an amusing position, in which
valuable time, which Black exploits to the white knights are extremely insecurely
regroup his forces. placed. However, for the moment no
14 'it'b6 immediate combinations are apparent.
15 e4 CiJc7 20 CiJxaS CiJeS
16 .i.e3 21 'it'c3
If White's pawn were already at h3 , it If 2 1 'it'xa4 'it'a7!, and the pin on the
could definitely be said that his position is knight immediately bears fruit.
better. But the absence of this restricting 21 .i.cs
move, combined with the insecure position
of the knight at d4, gives Black excellent
possibilities for counterplay.
16 CiJg4
17 .i.d2 as
18 h3 a4

22 CiJ t'S?
The knight has to move, as 22 l:tad 1
.i.xd4 23 l:txd4 CiJb5 is completely bad.
But it should have moved so as to cover
the approaches to the white position.
Therefore 22 CiJe2! was the only correct
The s ituation has become extremely continuation, and if 22 .. .CiJb5 23 'it'c2! It is
sharp. Just as in an aerial battle the oppos­ true that in this case by 23 . ...i.xf2+ 24
ing fighter planes rush headlong towards l:txf2 'it'xa5 Black would have achieved a
each other, so here the adversaries, without good game, but that is all. Now, however,
deviating, go in for a sharpening of the his attack becomes threatening.
struggle. 22 CiJbS
Mikenas was a player of active, com­ 23 'it'c2 .i.xt'S
binational style. With the following blow, 24 ext'S CiJd4
prepared in advance, he was hoping to The black pieces rush forward, and the
refute the opponent's plan. white queen still has to worry about the
19 .i.aS defence of its knight, while in the mean­
Black appears to be in a critical time the main events are developing on the
position. If, for example, 1 9 ... axb3 20 opposite wing.
22 Averbakh 's Selected Games

25 .xa4 28
There is nothing better. The culm ination of Black's attack! His
25 lLle2+ queen approaches the enemy fortress with
26 � h2 �xtl decisive effect. Mate in three moves is
27 "'c2 threatened, and White can defend against it
only at the cost of heavy loss of material.
29 :xtl .xg3+
30 �hl .h4+ !
31 �h3 .xtl
The threat of 3 1 ...lLlg3 mate can be
parried only by giving up the queen.
Therefore White resigned.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of
this game is that the black knight, which
created the deadly threat of mate at g3 ,
made a truly heroic journey: b8-d7-b6-d5-
c7-b5-d4-e2, whereas its opposite number,
on reaching as , was stuck there to the end
If 27 ...•e3 White was intending 2 8 of the game .
•e4, including h i s queen i n the defence of
the kingside. Analysis shows that in this Game 4
case too, by replying 28 ... "'xg3 + 29 �hl Averbakh-Zak
h5! with the threat of 30 ...lLlg4!, Black 2nd Match Game
retains winning chances, although with 3 0 Moscow 1947
.xe2 lLlg4 3 1 .xe8+ �h7 3 2 "'b8! White Ruy Lopez
gains a chance to prolong the resistance:
32 ... "'xb8 33 hxg4 .g3 34 :xf2 .xf2 3 5 In 1 946 the Al l-Union Chess and Draughts
b4 "'b2 3 6 :n .xa3 3 7 lLlxb7 "'xb4 3 8 Section granted the right to a number of
lLld8. However, Black has a stronger reply. candidate masters, who had gained good
27 lLlg4+! results, to play qualification matches for
28 hxg4 the master title. It was mainly young
If 28 �h 1 lLlxg3 mate. masters who were chosen as examiners -
Petros ian, Taimanov, and myself. Not one
of the hopefuls managed to become a
master, which in general was not sur­
prising: we were al l progressing, rapidly
developing in the chess sense, and within a
few years were to become grandmasters.
It fell to me to play a match with
Vladimir Zak, an experienced player and
well-known trainer, who was later to coach
Spassky and Korchnoi.
There was an interesting prelude to this
match. Towards the end of 1 946 I took part
in the Sem i-Final of the 1 5th USSR
Averbakh's Selected Games 23

Championship, which was held in Lenin­ therefore the innovation I employed was
grad. In the first round I had White against for him a strong psychological blow,
Semyon Furman, and in reply to 1 e4 he which to some extent influenced the final
chose the Open Variation of the Ruy outcome.
Lopez. Sitting at the board and considering 1 e4 eS
my next move, I noticed that the same 2 lDfJ lDc6
position had been reached in the Kopaev­ 3 �bS a6
Levenfish game. I had heard that Leven­ 4 �a4 lDf6
fish had prepared for this tournament 5 0-0 lDxe4
together with Furman, and the idea 6 d4 bS
occurred to me of delaying my move a 7 �b3 dS
l ittle, in order to see what plan the two 8 dxeS �e6
Leningrad players had prepared. And so I 9 c3 �e7
began waiting. And my clock ticked. 10 �e3
Kopaev meanwhile was sunk in thought. Th is old move, which had been
Ten minutes passed, then twenty, and still employed by Alekhine, used to occur com­
Kopaev did not make a move. He final ly paratively rarely, and did not bring White
did so only after 40 m inutes (II), and more­ good results.
over he deviated from the main theoretical 10 0-0
continuation and won the game. But I 11 lDbd2 lDxd2
followed the theoretical path, fell into a 12 .xd2 lDaS
prepared variation, and as a result lost, 13 �c2 lDc4
overstepping the time limit on the 3 8th 14 .d3 g6
move. And in subsequent games, when in IS �h6 lDxb2
the Ruy Lopez 4 ...lDf6 was played against A theoretical position, given in many
me, I repl ied 5 d3 , not allowing the capture books, has been reached.
on e4.
Zak was present at the tournament and
it was there that he challenged me to a
match. He undoubtedly made a careful
study of my games and, of course, would
have noticed how I had lost helplessly to
Furman and how I had subsequently
avoided the Open Variation.
Before the encounter with Zak I
decided to look at my recent games, in
order to imagine to myself what sort of
impression my play would make on my
future opponent. Of course, it immediately
became clear that in the first instance I 16 .e3 ! ?
needed to improve my opening preparation The opening books considered only 16
in the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. .e2, which threatens to regain the pawn,
And this was done. but diverts the queen from participating in
Zak clearly did not expect me to the attack on the kings ide. The plan with
prepare seriously for this match, and 16 .e3 was specially prepared by me for
24 Averbakh's Selected Games

the forthcoming match. I do not think that I would have had to reply 1 9 lLlxe6 fxe6 20
it leads to an advantage for White, but f5, again with sharp play.
certainly it seriously sharpens the play, 19 .g3 c5
which in combination with the surprise
factor plays a considerable role.
16 :'e8
If 1 6...lLlc4 1 7 "'f4 :'e8 I was pro­
posing to play 1 8 lLlg5.
17 lLld4
White has created two threats. One is
obvious - to exchange the opponent's
dark-square bishop by 1 8 lLlc6, while the
other is a latent one - to begin a pawn
attack on the kingside with 1 8 f4.
If Black disregards the first threat and
plays 1 7...c5, there follows 1 8 lLlc6 "'d7
1 9 lLlxe7+ .xe7 20 �g5 .fS 2 1 �f6 White's attack can no longer he halted.
followed by 22 f4. During the game I con­ Now comes a forcing combination.
sidered the strongest reply to be 1 7 ...�fS, 20 f5 cxd4
when I was intending 1 8 �xfS :'xfS 1 9 11 fxg6! hxg6
.h6, and if 1 9 •d7 20 f4 f5 (if 20 ...c5
. . . Or 2 1 ...fxg6 22 �xg6 �g4 23 �f5.
2 1 f5!, threatening 22 f6) 2 1 g4 :'ae8 22 22 �xg6 <it>h8
gxf5 �xf5 23 lLlxf5 gxf5 24 �h I with an Black was hoping for 23 �x.f7 :'g8 24
attack on the g-file. However, Black could �xg8 :'xg8, but White had prepared in
reply 1 9 ...c5!, when after 20 �xg6 hxg6 advance the concluding blow!
2 1 lLlxe6 fxe6 22 .xg6+ <it>h8 it is doubt­
ful if White has more than perpetual check.
But Black's genuinely strongest reply,
which I noticed only when preparing this
book, was 1 7 ...�d7, when White still has
to demonstrate that his initiative is worth
the sacrificed pawn.
17 .d7
Guided by the spectacular fin ish, the
commentators considered this natural
move to be virtually the decisive mistake.
In fact even after it Black has quite
adequate resources for parrying the attack.
18 f4 lLlc4? 23 �g7+! �xg7
Only now, when Black helps the queen 24 �xt7+ �h8
to switch with gain of tempo to an attack­ Or 24 ...�g4 25 e6.
ing position, does White's attack become 25 "'g6 �f8
threatening. It was essential to play 1 8 ...c5, If 25 ...�g5 White has a mate in four
and if 19 f5 cxd4 20 cxd4 �xf5 2 1 �xf5 moves with 26 "'h5+ �g7 27 "'xg5+.
"'a7, gaining time for the defence. Perhaps 26 .g8 mate
Averbakh 's Selected Games 25

This match, which concluded with a


score of +5- 1 =5 in my favour, sticks in my
memory because of a curious incident
involving the arbiter. The blame for it lay
with the scoresheets used for one of the
last games of the match. They had been
printed on a typewriter. After we had made
the control moves, and Zak was consider­
ing his next move, the match arbiter Pyotr
Romanovsky, who was recording the
moves separately, asked if he could check
our scoresheets. So, my opponent was con­
sidering his next move, and I was looking
around. Suddenly came a heart-rending cry It seems to me that the most purposeful
from the arbiter: 'Make another move way of opposing Black's plan is the one I
each!' Zak calm ly made the move that he employed as White in a game with Estrin
had been considering. Turning to the (Moscow Championship 1 950) 8 a3 i.aS
-

board, out of the comer of my eye I saw 9 'it'c2 a6 1 0 b3, and it is far from easy for
that the last few seconds on my clock were Black to equal ise.
ticking away, and I feverishly made the 8 a6
first move that came to hand. It turned out 9 l:td l 'it'e7
that the typist had missed out one move on 10 i.dl dxc4
the scoresheets! The move I made was a 11 i.xc4 b5
bad one, and as a result I lost a pawn, 12 i.d3 i.b7
although I was able to save the draw. 13 a3

Game S
Taimanov-Averbakh
Trades Union Team Championship
Leningrad 1947
Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 lDf6
1 c4 e6
3 lDc3 i.b4
4 e3 0-0
5 lDf3 d5
6 i.d3 c5
7 0-0 lDbd7 13 cxd4
This move was first employed in the Hardly a good move: now Black gets
game Ravinsky-Ragozin, Moscow 1 942. into difficulties. He should have retreated
The idea of it is to retain both the dark­ his bishop to as, and if 14 lDdS lDxdS IS
square bishop, and the tension in the i.xaS cxd4 with roughly equal chances.
centre. The game Krogius-Bondarevsky from
8 'it'el the 17th USSR Championship Semi-Final
26 Averbakh 's Selected Games

(Leningrad 1 948) went 1 3 ....i.aS 1 4 :lacl Having convinced himself that the
.i.b6 I S .i.b 1 :lac8 1 6 lbeS cxd4 1 7 exd4 direct attack on the king by 2 1 "'c2 lbxeS
.i.xd4 1 8lbxd7lbxd7 1 9 .i.xh7+ �xh7 20 22 .i.xf6 lbg6 23 .i.eS lbxe5 24 dxeS
'ifd3 + �g8 2 1 'ifxd4 lbcs with advantage .i.xeS 25 "'h7+ �fS does not promise
to Black. anything, White tries to clear the situation .
14 exd4 .i.d6 However, the move played is a mistake. 2 1
IS .i.gS :lcd 1 , maintaining the tension, was correct.
A very unpleasant pin. 1 6 lbe4 is
threatened, as well as 1 6 lbeS , and in
addition White can carry out the standard
plan with 1 6 .i.c2 and 1 7 "'d3 . Black must
now play very precisely.
IS h6
16 .i.h4 'ife8
17 lbeS 'ifb8

21 .i.xe4
This secures Black a positional advan­
tage. After 2 1 ....i.xeS 22 dxeS lbxe4 23
.i.xe4 "'xeS 24 .i.h7+ �h8 (24 ...�xh7 25
"'d3 +) 25 'ifxeS lbxeS 26 :lxeS �xh7 he
would have won a pawn, but the opposite­
colour bishops would have seriously
hampered its realisation.
By intensifying the pressure on eS , 22 .i.xe4 .i.xeS
Black provokes 1 8 f4, after which the play 23 dxeS lbxe4
becomes markedly sharper, for example: 24 "'xe4 %:tc7
1 8 ...:le8 1 9 .i.c2 .i.e7!, and if 20 'ifd3 I 25 f4 :lxcl
would be able to reply 20 ...lbfS. However, 26 :lxc l %:tc8
by continuing 20 fS White would retain a 27 :ld l
dangerous initiative. Black's chances are also better after 27
Taimanov prefers a less committing :lxc8+ 'ifxc8, as queen and knight are
plan. nonnally stronger than queen and bishop.
18 :leI :a7 Here the bishop is restricted by its own
19 :lac l pawns, whereas the knight has a number of
After 1 9 .i.c2 Black was intending to strong-points (dS , fS). In addition the
play 1 9 ...:le8, and if 20 "'d3 lbxeS 2 1 invasion of the queen on the c-file is
dxeS .i.xeS 22 .i.xf6 .i.xf6 23 "'h7+ �fS. threatened.
19 .i.a8 27 "'c7
20 .i.b l :e8 28 h3 lbfS
21 lbe4 29 :ld6
Averbakh 's Selected Games 27

This activity merely worsens White's 40 :'a7 :'xa3


position. If 40 ... h5 there would have followed 4 1
29 tlJg6 l:xa6 �f7 42 fS! exf5 43 e6+ �g8
30 �g3 'ifc 1+ (43 ... �f6 44 e7+ �xe7 45 l:xg6) 44 �d6
31 �h2 l:e3 45 �b4, when the white e-pawn is
very dangerous.
41 h5 tlJf8

31 'iffl.!
The murderous 32 ... l:c 1 is threatened,
so that the opponent is forced to exchange In this position the game was ad­
queens. I should mention that the next part journed. Analysis showed that, despite
of the game, right up to move 40, took Black's extra pawn, White's chances are
place in a severe time scramble. better, since the knight is restricted and
32 'ifd3 'ifxd3 White is threatening to win it. However, I
33 :'xd3 l:c2 was able to find a clever trap, and much
This allows the opponent good counter­ depended on whether my opponent had
chances. Correct was 33 ... h5!, aiming to seen it.
restrict the bishop sti ll further, for The reader will no doubt have noticed
example: 34 h4 tlJe7!, and after 3 5 l:d6 how greatly the character of the position
l:c2 3 6 b4 tlJf5 3 7 l:xa6 tlJe3 , in view of has changed during the last ten moves.
the threat of 3 8 ... tlJfl +, Black has a clear Whereas earlier the knight was stronger
advantage. than the bishop, now, on the contrary, the
34 :'d8+ �h7 bishop has become stronger.
35 l:d7 �g8 42 �tl
36 l:d8+ �h7 The sealed move.
37 :'d7 l:xb2 42 l:a4!
Throwing caution to the winds. Switching the rook to a more
38 l:xf7 l:b3 favourable position with gain of tempo.
39 h4! �g8? 43 �g3
Here I was obliged to play 39 ... h5 40 fS If 43 g3 , then 43 . . . l:a2 44 �gl b4.
exfS 4 1 :'xfS l:xa3 42 l:xh5+ �g8, when 43 b4
Black's chances are at any rate no worse. 44 �c5
Now, however, the advantage passes to This move slightly raised my hopes.
White. After 44 l:b7! b3 45 l:xb3 l:c4 46 l:b7 a5
28 Averbakh 's Selected Games

47 :a7 a4 Black would have faced a 51 fxe6 :xe5


difficult struggle for a draw. 52 :xb3 :xe6
44 b3
45 :a8
Here Taimanov, assuming that the
game was decided, looked at me sympa­
thetically, but an unpleasant surprise
awaited him. 45 :b7 was essential, when I
was intending to play 45 . . . :a5 ! 46 .i.xfS
(46 .i.d6 :b5) 46 . . . �xfS 47 :xb3 :b5 48
:d3 :b8 ! 49 :d6 :a8 ! 50 :xe6 a5 5 1
:d6 a4 52 :d2 a3 5 3 :a2 �e7 54 �O
�e6 with a probable draw.

The storm that has swept over the board


has removed a number of pieces and
pawns, and as a result Black is a pawn up
with good winning chances.
53 :a3 :e5
In this type of purely technical ending
the rook should normally be placed behind
the passed pawn. Therefore here 53 . . .:a6
was more accurate. Black tries to carry out
a rather different plan - he intends to send
his king to the support of the passed pawn,
45 :b4 ! ! and to place his rook at g5, defending the
A surprise for the opponent and a a5 and g7 pawns.
counter-blow, prepared long in advance, 54 g4 �g8
on the purely problem-like theme of inter­ 55 � g3 �f7
ference. Both black pieces are en prise, but 56 :b3
the b3 pawn has been transformed into a White tries to hinder the king's
powerful force, and after 46 :xfS+ �h7 progress, but now I am able to improve the
47 .i.xb4 b2 it cannot be prevented from position of my rook.
queening. The situation has again changed 56 a4
sharply, and it is now White who has to 57 :a3 :a5
seek a way to save the game! 58 �f4 �f6
46 ::d8+ �b7 59 �e4
47 .i.d4 :xd4 This greatly simplifies Black' s task.
48 :b8 :d3+ More tenacious was 59 �O �g5 60 �g3
49 �fl a5 :a7 6 1 :0 g6 62 hxg6 �xg6 63 :a3 �g5
50 f5! 64 �f3 (64 �h3 �f4 65 �h4 :a5)
In this way White succeeds in 64 . . . �h4 65 �f4 :g7 ! 66 :al :xg4+ 67
eliminating his main enemy - the b3 pawn. �f5 (67 �O a3 ! ) 67 . . . :g5+ 68 �f4 (68
50 :d5! �f6 :a5) 68 ... �h5 when Black wins.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 29

�f6 :h3 72 �g6 �e6 ! 73 h6 :g3+ etc.


There is nothing else for White to do, but
to check - 69 :d2+ �e5 70 :e2+ �f4 (if
70 . . . �d6 7 1 :a2 ! ) 71 :£2+ �g3 72 :a2
�h3 ! 73 �h7 (after 73 :xa3+ :xa3 74
�xg7 �g4 75 h6 �g5 76 h7 :a7+ 77 �g8
�g6 a well-known theoretical position is
reached, where even the promotion of his
pawn to a knight does not help White - 78
h8c!£l+ �f6) 73 ... �g4 74 �g6 :a6+ 75.
�xg7 �xh5 76 �f7 �g5 77 �e7 �f5 78
�d7 �e5 79 �c7 �d5 80 �b7 :a4 and
Black wins. 73 �f5 (instead of 73 �h7)
59 :a6 also does not help in view of 73 . . . �g3 74
But why not 59 . . . �g5 60 �f3 �h4 6 1 �g6 �f3 75 �f5 :a6 76 �g5 (76 �e5
�f4 :g5 ! when White can resign? �g4) 76 . . . �e3 and, by taking his king
However, I was obsessed with the idea of across to the a-pawn, Black wins.
taking my king across to the a-pawn.
60 �f4 :a7
61 �f3 �e5
Here too 6 1 . . .�g5 62 �g3 :a5 was
possible.
62 g5!
The last chance !
62 hxg5
This is possible, but simpler was
62 . . .�f5 63 gxh6 gxh6, when Black wins a
second pawn.
63 �g4 �d4
As if bewitched, I follow my fixed idea.
Meanwhile after 63 . . . �f6 64 :f3+ �e7 ! 65 �fS �c4
65 �xg5 :a5+ 66 �g6 a3 67 �xg7 a2 68 66 :g3
:e3+ �d6 69 :d3+ �c6 70 :c3+ �b6 7 1 Being in time trouble, I had overlooked
:c l :xh5 Black would have won easily. this natural move and now became ner­
64 �xg5 :a6 vous: after 66 . . . a3 67 :xg7 a2 68 :g l the
During the game 64 . . . �c4 65 �g6 �b4 game ends in a draw. However, by calmly
66 :g3 a3 seemed insufficient to me playing 66 . . .:a7 and if 67 �g6 �d5 ! 68
because of 67 :g2, and if 67 . . . a2 68 :xa2 . :a3 �e4 69 �g5 (69 �h7 �f5) 69 . . . :a6
However, when many years later I began 70 �g4 :a5 7 1 �g3 �f5 72 �h4 �f4
analysing this ending, I established that Black would have won very easily.
Black has no reason to hurry with the 66 :f6+
advance of his pawn, but should move his 67 �e5
king back. After 67 . . . �c4 ! 68 :a2 �d5 ! 67 �g5 :a6 68 �f5 :a7 could have
the opponent can no longer play 69 :xa3 transposed into the variation given in the
:xa3 70 �xg7 because of 70 . . . :g3+! 7 1 note to the previous move.
30 Averbalch 's Selected Games

error-ridden game should have ended in a


draw. But my opponent misses his chance
and immediately commits the final and
decisive mistake.
73 l:txg7? a3 !
74 l:ta7
No better is 74 l:tb7+ �a5 75 l:ta7+
l:ta6 76 l:tc7 a2 77 l:tc l l:th6 78 l:ta l (78
�d4 �b4 ! ) 78 ... l:txh5+ 79 �d4 l:th2 80
�c3 �a4, when White lacks just one
tempo to save the game.
74 :a6
75 l:tb7+ �a4
67 :h6 76 l:tg7 :a5+
A mistake which throws away the win. 77 �f6 al
The correct continuation was 67 .. .IU7 ! 68 78 l:tg4+ �b3 !
l:tg4+ �b5 69 :g3 l:ta7 70 �f5, and here Only not 78 . . . �b5 79 l:tg l with a draw.
the simplest was 70 . . . a3 7 1 �g6 a2 72 79 :g3+ �c4
l:tg l �c4! 73 :fl (73 �h7 g5+! 74 �g6 80 :g4+ �d3
a l " 75 l:txa l l:txa l 76 �xg5 �d5 etc.) 81 :g3+ �e4
73 . . .l:tb7 74 l:tf4+ �b3 75 l:tfl l:tc7 ! 76 82 :g4+
�h7 �b2 77 :f2+ �b l 78 l:tfl + l:tc l , and
Black wins.
68 :g4+ �b3
69 :g3+ �c2
70 :g2+ �d3
71 :g3+ �c4
72 :g4+ �b5

82 �e3
82 . . . �f3 was simpler.
83 :gl :xh5
84 :g3+ �d4
85 :a3 :h2
86 �f5 :fl+
87 �g4 �c4
The time trouble mist, in which the two 88 �g3 :c2
players have been wandering about, has 89 :a8 �b4
finally lifted. The black king has been 90 �f4 :e2
forced to return, and after 73 �d4! this White resigns
Averbakh's Selected Games 31

Despite the numerous mistakes, or per­ active pieces and transposing into an
haps because of them, this tense game, endgame.
interesting in all its phases, caused great
anxiety both to the participants themselves,
and to the members of their teams. The
rook ending that arose turned out to be full
of various subtleties, which the players,
particularly in time trouble, were unable to
fathom.

Game 6
Averbakh-Veresov
Semi-Final 1 6th USSR Championship,
Moscow 1 94 7
Sicilian Defence
11 �5 e6
1 e4 c5 12 ll)de3 'iWh4
2 ll)f3 �6 Dreaming of an attack, Black switches
3 d4 cxd4 his queen to the kingside. Of course, it
4 ll)xd4 g6 could have been driven away immediately
5 c4 by 1 3 g3, when 1 3 . . . 1Ifh3 is bad because of
At that time the opening books asserted 1 4 Jtg4, but I considered that at h4 the
that allowing c2-c4 gave Black a bad queen did not present any danger.
game, as he had no way of opposing 13 l:tbl
White's strong centre. In the present game Preparing 14 b3 and 1 5 Jtb2 with
my opponent carries out an unusual plan, exchanges to follow.
devised by the Swedish player G6sta Stoltz 13 ll)cd4
(who was later to become a grandmaster), Falling in with White's intentions.
involving attacking the enemy centre with 14 ll)xd4 ll)xd4
. . . f7-fS . 15 b3 h5
5 Jtg7
6 ll)cl
For me Black' s idea was a new one,
and so I decided to move the knight out of
harm ' s way.
6 d6
7 Jte2 ll)h6
8 ll)c3 0-0
9 0-0 fS
10 exfS ll)xfS
On encountering an innovation, I have
played cautiously, and my opponent has
obtained an active position. However, his
pawn structure has been weakened, and so Against the immediate 1 5 . . . Jte5 White
I devised a plan aimed at exchanging his had the reply 1 6 ll)g4. Continuing to think
32 Averbakh 's Selected Games

about an attack, Black further weakens his 26 'ii'x d4 'ii'xd4+


pawn structure. 27 l:xd4 eS
16 i.b2 .te5 28 fxe5 l:xfl +
Finally Black has created his first 28 . . . dxeS 29 Ihf6 �xf6 30 l:d6+ was
serious threat, but it is easily parried, and worse for Black than the game contin-
White finnly seizes the initiative. uation.
17 g3 "'e4 29 �xf1 dxe5
If l 7 . . . lbxe2+ 1 8 "'xe2 "'gS 1 9 .txeS 30 l:d6
"'xeS 20 "'d3 �g7 2 1 l:bd 1 with strong White's main trump in the ending is the
pressure. possibility of creating an outside passed
18 i.xd4! "'xd4 pawn on the queenside.
If 1 8 . . . .txd4 1 9 i.d3 . 30 l:f8+
19 "'c2 �g7 31 �el
20 :bd l
During the game I made this natural
move almost without thinking. But now,
analysing the position fifty years later, I
managed to discover the stronger move 20
lbg2 ! By threatening lbh4-0 White could
have set his opponent difficult problems.
20 "'c5
11 "'e4 l:b8
22 lbcl .td7
Against 22 . . . bS, attempting to com­
plicate the game, I was intending to reply
23 b4.
23 lbd4 31
24 f4 An important moment! The white rook
is restricting the enemy king, and so Black
considers that the exchange of rooks will
ease his defence.
32 :xf6 <itxf6
33 �f2 e4?
In order to activate his king, Black
advances his pawn, but in so doing he
creates a new weakness. Subsequent events
show that now he is no longer able to save
the game. After the accurate 33 . . . b6 34
�e3 i.d7 3 S .to .trs followed by the
transference of the black king to the
queenside, White's positional advantage
White has achieved his aim : further might not have been sufficient for a win.
exchanges are inevitable. 34 �e3 �e5
24 i.c6 35 a3 b6
25 "'e3 .txd4 36 h4 .td7
Averbakh 's Selected Games 33

37 .i.n as The best chance. If 44 . . . .i.d3 there


38 .i.g2 .i.e6 follows 45 .i.c6 �f5 (or 45 . . . g5 46 hxg5
If 3 8 . . . .i.f5 39 .i.h 1 , and Black is in �f5 47 g6 ! �xg6 48 .i.xe4+) 46 b5 �g4
zugzwang. 47 b6 .i.a6 48 �f2 e3+ 49 g2 �f5 (50 .i.d7
39 .i.h3 ! mate was threatened) 50 b7 .i.xb7 5 1
.i.xb7 g5 52 hxg5 �xg5 53 .i.n h4 54 g4
and wins.
4S .i.xe4 gxh4
46 gxh4

39 bS
Analysis showed that Black would also
have failed to save the game after 39 . . . .i.a8
40 .i.d7 .i.b7 4 1 b4 axb4 42 axb4 .i.a8 43
c5 bxc5 44 bxc5, and now: At first sight it is not clear how White
(a) 44 . . . .i.d5 45 .i.e8 �f5 46 c6 ! (the can win here. After all, as soon as he
bishop sacrifice 46 . . . .i.xc6 47 .i.xc6 also advances his passed pawn, Black will give
does not save Black, e.g. 47 . . . g5 48 up his bishop for it, which leads to a
.i.xe4+ �g4 49 hxg5 �xg5 50 �n h4 5 1 theoretically drawn ending. This would be
g4, or 47 . . . �g4 48 �f2 e3+ 49 �g2, and so, if the black pawn were at h6. However,
49 . . . g5 is not possible because of 50 .i.d7 thanks to the fact that it is on a square of
mate) 46 . . . �g4 47 c7 .i.e6 48 .i.xg6 �xg3 the colour of his bishop, White can win.
49 .i.xh5 �xh4 50 .i.f7! .i.c8 5 1 �xe4 The diagram position virtually constitutes
�g5 52 �e5 .i.a6 53 .i.e6 .i.b7 54 .i.h3 a study!
i.a6 55 �d6 �f6 56 �c6 �e7 57 �b6 46 .i. a4
�d6 58 .i.g4 and wins; If 46 ... .i.e8 47 i.n �f5 48 .i.e2 �e5
(b) 44 . . . �d5 45 .i.e8 g5 (if 45 . . . �xc5 49 .i.d3 �d5 50 �f4, and after 50 . . . �d4
46 .i.xg6 �d6 47 .i.xh5 �e5 48 .i.g6 .i.c6 White can even play 5 1 .i.e2 <ifi'c3 52
49 g4 and wins) 46 hxg5 �xc5 47 .i.g6 ! .i.xh5 ! .i.xh5 53 b5 .i.e8 54 b6 .i.c6 55 h5
(47 g6? �d6 with a draw) 47 . . . i.d5 48 and wins.
i.xe4 .i.g8 49 �f4 �d6 50 �f5 �e7 5 1 47 .i.g6 .i.d l
�g6 and White wins. 48 bS �dS
40 exbS .i.xbS 49 �f4 �eS
41 .i.e8 .i.e6 SO �gS .i. e2
42 b4 axb4 If 50 ... �xb5 White wins by 5 1 i.xh5
43 axb4 .i.bS i.c2 52 .i.e8+ �c5 53 h5 �d6 54 �f6 .
44 .i.b7 ! gS! SI .i.e8!
34 Averbakh 's Selected Games

It was not yet too late to go wrong. continuation is 7 �e3 . At that time I did
After 5 I �xh5? �xb5 52 �g4 i.e8 53 not yet have a reliable antidote to the
�fS �d6 54 �g6 �e7 Black would have King's Indian Defence, and I tried the most
saved the game. varied plans.
51 �b6
Regrettable though it is, the black king
has to move even further away from the h-
pawn.
52 � xh5 � xb5
53 i.g4 �e8
54 �fS �c7
55 � g6 �d8

7 �b8
8 �e2
8 �d3 , taking control of e4, is more
active.
8 e6
9 0.-.. exd5
10 exd5 :le8
11 � e3 �bd7
56 �f6! 12 %tel � c5
The final finesse. 56 h5 or -5 6 �xe8 13 �d4 �fe4
would have led only to a draw.
Black resigns.

Game 7
Averbakh-Lilienthal
Moscow Championship 1948
King's Indian Defence

1 d4 �f6
2 c4 d6
3 �f3 g6
4 �c3 �g7
5 e4 0.-..
6 h3 �c6 White has played the opening most
7 d5 unpretentiously, and, apart from a slight
This continuation is justified if Black superiority in space, he has not gained any
replies 7 �e5, as after 8 �xe5 dxe5
... advantage.
White's position is preferable. The usual 14 �xe4 �xe4
Averbakh 's Selected Games 35

15 b3 It would have been easier for Black to


I S l:e I was probably more accurate, draw after interposing 23 . . . l:e8 ! 24 Wd2
but I thought that the exchange of bishop l:xe l + 25 .xe l .e5 .
for knight was favourable for me. 24 l:xe2 �f8
15 �g3 25 f3 c5
16 l:el �xe2+ Here the centralised knight is stronger
1 6 . . .�f5 1 7 �xf5 J.xf5 came into than the bishop, the mobility of which is
consideration, with simplification and a severely restricted. Therefore Black tries to
possible early draw. open lines, but in so doing he worsens his
17 l:xe2 J.d7 pawn structure.
18 Wd2 86 26 dxc6 bxc6
19 l:cel Wh4 27 l:d2 � e7
20 �f3 Wh5 28 �e2 J. e6
21 J.d4 l:xe2 29 �fl
22 'it'xe2

29 d5?
By playing his queen to h5, Black has Only now does White gain real winning
created the threat of . . . J.xb3 . However, chances: with the weakness at c6 the
the queen is not altogether well placed superiority of the knight over the bishop
there, and White could have tried to exploit increases.
this by 22 l:xe2 ! and if 22 . . . J.xb3 23 30 c5 �d7
J.xg7. For example, if 23 . . . J.xg2 24 �xg2 31 �d4 f6
.g4+, then 25 �h2 .xfl 26 J.c3 .h5+ 32 l:e2 J.f7
27 �g3 f5 28 fl and wins, or 23 ...•g4 24 White's plan is to restrict the bishop as
�e l �xg7 25 l:e3 and wins. Final ly, if much as possible and then launch an
23 . . .�xg7, then 24 .c3+ and 25 gxh3 . offensive on the queens ide.
But now the game goes by force into an 33 f4 l:g8
ending. 34 g3
II J.xd4 I was intending to reply to 34 . . . g5 with
Of course, not 22 . . . l:e8 23 .xe8+ 35 f5, and if 35 . . . g4 36 h4, not allowing
J.xe8 24 l:xe8+ J.f8 25 J.f6! .f5 26 J.e7 the opponent to open lines .
•d7 27 l:xf8+ �g7 28 �g5 and wins. 34 h5
23 �xd4 Wxe2 35 l:e3 l:e8
36 AverbaJch 's Selected Games

36 b4 was threatened, and if 36 . . . :b8


37 :e7+! Therefore Black decided to
exchange rooks.
36 l:txe8 �xe8
37 g4 hxg4
38 hxg4

Therefore Black resigned without


resuming the game.

Game 8
Kotov-Averbakh
1 6th USSR Championship
38 rJilc7 Moscow 1 948
Here Black should have played 3 8 ... g5 ! , Queen 's Gambit
when after 39 fxg5 fxg5 4 0 lil o rJile6 ! 4 1
lLlxg5+ rJile5 he has good drawing chances. 1 c4 lilf6
I was planning to reply 39 £5, but in this 2 lilc3 e6
case too Black could have put up a tena­ 3 lilfJ cS
cious defence. Now, however, he is lost. 4 e3 dS
39 rJilg3 �d7 S cxdS lilxdS
If 39 . . . g5 there follows 40 fxg5 fxg5 4 1 6 d4
lile6+, winning a pawn. The game has transposed into a position
40 gS fxgS from the Queen's Gambit, which is
White also wins easily after 40 . . . f5 4 1 normally reached after 1 d4 lilf6 2 c4 e6 3
rJilo as 42 rJile3 rJilb7 43 rJild3 rJila6 44 a4 lilc3 d5 4 lilo c5 5 cxd5 lilxd5 6 e3 . This
rJilb7 45 lilO rJilc7 46 rJild4 rJild8 47 rJile5 move order has enabled my opponent to
rJile7 48 lild4 �e8 49 lLlc2 followed by b3- avoid the Nimzo-Indian Defence, which I
b4. often employed at that time.
41 fxgS �c8 6 �e7
42 rJilf4 7 �c4
Here the game was adjourned. A In this way White forces the opponent
straightforward analysis showed that Black to declare his intentions in the centre.
is unable to prevent the enemy king from Nowadays 7 �d3 is more usual.
breaking into his position. 7 lilxc3
For example: 42 . . . a5 43 rJile5 �g4 (or 8 bxc3 0-0
43 . . . �a6 44 rJilf6 �d3 45 rJile7 followed by 9 0-0 lild7
46 lile6+ and 47 rJild6) 44 rJilf6 �h5 45 10 e4 "c7
lile6+ rJild7 46 lilf4. 11 �d3
Averbakh IS Selected Games 37

In the later game Bronstein-Averbakh 15 :'el


from the same tournament, 'crafty Devik' After prolonged thought White rejects
prepared a better plan - 1 1 "'e2 b6 12 j,e3 his intended plan, but now the advantage
j,b7 1 3 �2, and Black still has to gain passes to Black. 1 5 f4 cxd4 1 6 cxd4 exd4
equality. would have let to a considerable sharp­
11 b6 ening of the game, for example: 1 7 :'c 1
lOc5 1 8 "'f3 j,b7 1 9 "g3 "c6, and it is
not easy for White to show that his
initiative is worth the pawn. However,
Black in turn could give up a pawn with
1 6 . . ....c3 , for example 1 7 dxe5 lOc5 1 8
j,e2 j,xh3 with the initiative.
15 "d6!
By forcing White to declare his
intentions in the centre, Black firmly seizes
the initiative.
16 d5 lOr6
17 "0 j,g4
1 7 . . . g5 was possibly more resolute, but
12 j,g5 the move played also secures Black an
An original, but hardly successful idea. enduring positional advantage.
In such positions the bishop exchange nor­ 18 "'g3 j,xh3
mally favours Black, as it eases his defence. 19 "'xh3 c4!
12 j,xg5
13 lOxg5 h6
14 lOh3
It is readily apparent that after 1 4 1Of3
e5 White can hardly count on an opening
advantage. Kotov retreated his knight to
h3, in order to answer 1 4 . . . e5 with 1 5 f4,
sacrificing a pawn.
14 e5

Now the knight reaches the excellent


square c5, and White is left with a 'bad'
bishop, restricted by its own pawns.
20 j,xc4 lOxe4
21 "'e3 lOc5
22 :.rel e4
23 0
Black is threatening an attack on the
kingside by the advance of his f-pawn, and
38 Averbakh 's Selected Games

so 23 .g3 came into consideration, aiming 34 "'t3


to ease the defence by exchanging queens. Here both players were already in time
23 :ae8 trouble. If 34 l:tde 1 Black was intending
24 .tb5 34 . . . ...xe l 3S %lxe l l:txe l + 36 �f2 li)d3+
Trying to prevent the opponent from 3 7 "'xd3 l:txd3 3 8 'iitxe l :d4 with a won
doubling rooks on the e-file, but in reply ending.
Black is able to shut the bishop out of the 34 li)e4
game. 35 :de1
24 The decisive mistake. White should
25 fxe4 first have exchanged on b6.
26 "'d2
Forcing the opponent to reply either 27
c4, or 27 .tc6.
27 c4 f5
Black does not fall into the trap -
27 . . . a6 28 .tc6 "'xc6? 29 dxc6 l:txd2 30 c7
and the pawn cannot be stopped.
28 "'c3 :18
The rook returns, in order to reach e7
via fl .
29 a4 :t7
30 as l:tfe7
31 :0
3 1 axb6 loses to 3 1 . . .• xb6 32 �h l 35 li)d2 !
li)d3 ! 3 3 cS :xe l + 34 :xe l .xcS . 36 "'h3
If 36 "'f2, then 36 . . . l:te4 3 7 l:txe4 (3 7
.xd2 l:txe l 3 8 d6 "'cS+) 3 7 . . . li)xe4, and
there is no defence against 3 8 . . . ...d4. Had
White first exchanged on b6, he would
have been able to play 39 .xb6.
36 l:te4
37 :xe4
Or 37 l:td l li)xfl 3 8 d6 l:te l 39 l:txe l
.xe 1 40 .c8+ �h7 4 1 .f5+ g6.
37 .xe4
38 :d l
3 8 d6 "'d4+ 39 �h l "'xd6 40 l:td l was
more tenacious, although after 40 . . . •eS !
31 f4 Black's attack would have continued
In aiming to strengthen his attack, unabated.
Black opens up the position of his own 38 "'e2
king. 3 1 . . . l:t7eS was more restrained, and if Missing an opportunity to decide the
32 .h3 l:te3 . game immediately by 38 . . ....c2 ! , e.g. 39
32 .h3 .e5 :a l (39 .g4 f3 ) 39 . . . li)b l ! 40 .c8+ �h7
33 :cd l :d4 41 h3 f3 .
Averbakh 's Selected Games 39

39 :al
40 :d l
41 �hl
42 :gl

(a) 46 h3 :e l + 47 :xe l "'xe l + 48 "'fl


"'e3+ 49 �h 1 �f2+ 50 �h2 "'g3+ 5 1
�g l �xh3+ 52 �h l �f2+ 53 �g l �g4
54 "'0 "'e l + 5 5 ...n "'e3+ 56 �h l "'g3
After Black's 4 1 st move the game was and there is no defence against the mate;
adjourned, and this last move was sealed. (b) 46 "'xf4 :e l + 47 :xe l "'xe l + 48
The insecure position of his king does not "'fl "'e5 ! 49 g3 (if 49 "'0 "'d4+, while
allow him to play 42 . . . :e I here in view of after 49 "'d3 "'f4 ! 50 c5 - the only move
43 "'c8+ �f7 44 "'f5+ �e7 45 d6+! �xd6 - 50 . . . ...c l + 5 1 "'fl "'xc5+ 52 �h l �f2+
46 "'f8+. If Black is not agreeable to a 53 �g l �d3+ 54 �h l "'xb5 and wins)
draw by perpetual check (after 46 . . . �c7 47 49 . . ....d4+ 50 �h l �e3 ! 5 1 "'b l "'f6 52
"'f7+) and he plays 46 . . . :e7, there �g l "'0 with inevitable mate.
follows 47 c5+! bxc5 48 :d I ! , and only he A striking feature of these variations is
can lose. the wonderful coordination of Black's
42 �e4! queen and knight, whereas the white
Evidently the best reply. If 42 . . .... c5 bishop is merely a silent observer.
there could have followed 43 d6! �e4 (if However, it later transpired that the
43 . . ....xd6 44 "'c8+ �h7 45 .i.a4 with more prosaic 44 . . . �g3+ 45 �g l �e2+ 46
sharp play) 44 "'0 "'xd6 (not 44 . . . �f2+ �h 1 :e3 is also possible (pointed out by
45 "'xf2 ! "'xf2 46 dxe7) 45 h3, and Ken Neat).
despite Black' s extra pawn, it is not easy The most tenacious continuation here
for him to win. was 43 d6 �xd6 44 "'0 , after which play
43 "'c8+ would reduce to a rook ending: 44 . . . "'xO
This makes things easier for Black. 45 gxO �xb5 46 cxb5 :e5 47 axb6 axb6
After 43 "'0 "'h4 ! (43 . . ....d4 44 d6 48 :b 1 �t7, in which Black would have
transposes into a variation examined in the every chance of winning.
note to the previous move) 44 :a l (if 44 43 �h7
h3 �f2+ 45 �h2 :e3 ) here I was 44 cS
considering the continuation 44 . . . �f2+ 45 A desperate attempt to change the
�g l �g4. course of events. No better was 44 "'fS+
Now White has two ways of defending g6 45 "'f8 :g7, when there is no
his f2: satisfactory defence against 46 . . . ...e3 .
40 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Practical chances were offered by 44 4 .ta4 lbf6


.td7 lbd6 45 .tfS+ g6 46 .txg6+ �xg6 47 5 0-0 .te7
.g8+ �h5 48 h3 , but after 48 . . . "'g3 49 6 :el b5
.d8 lbe4 SO :fl O ! Black forces mate. 7 .tb3 d6
44 "'e3 ! 8 c3 0-0
45 g3 9 h3 as

Here I could not restrain myself and I A rarely played move, examined in
declared: 'It is mate in five moves ! ' Sovremenny Debyut* ( 1 940) with the
45 "'r.H indication that after 1 0 d4 exd4 1 1 cxd4 a4
46 l:tg2 lb a+ 1 2 .tc2 lbb4 Black gains the advantage of
47 �gl l:te1+ the two bishops, and that White should
White resigns. After 48 .tfl lbh3+ 49 therefore play either 1 0 a4 or 1 0 d3 .
"'xh3 there follows mate by 49 . . . "'xfl or 10 d4 exd4
49 . . . l:txfl . 11 lbxd4
After signing the scoresheet, my In this way the above variation is
opponent commented sarcastically: avoided, but Black' s game develops easily
'You and your mate! There was a much and freely.
simpler one, without any tricks and in three 11 lbxd4
moves ! ' Indeed - 45 . . . lbf2+ 46 �g2 0+ 12 cxd4 .tb7
47 �fl "'e l mate. 13 .tel
After this episode I never again After 1 3 lbc3 b4 1 4 lbd5 lbxd5 1 5
announced mate aloud! .txd5 .txd5 1 6 exd5 the position would
have become too dull, but now Black
Game 9 launches an immediate attack on the
Averbakh-Bondarevsky opponent's pawn centre.
16th USSR Championship 13 c5
Moscow 1 948 14 lbd2 cxd4
Ruy Lopez
* The first volume of a planned three­
1 e4 e5 volume work on opening theory, edited by
2 lbo lbc6 Levenfish. The other two volumes were
3 .tb5 a6 never published (Translator's note).
Averbakh 's Selected Games 41

15 liJa
If 1 5 b3 Black had the reply 1 5 . . . liJd7 !
1 6 .ib2 .if6 with the threat of . . . d4-d3 .
15 d5
16 e5 liJe4
17 liJxd4

Since the murderous . . . d5-d4 is threat­


ened, White finds himself under a very
strong attack. For example, if 2 1 "'h5 there
follows 2 1 . . . d4 22 .ixd4 :xg2+. It is bad
to take the rook because of 23 . . . liJf6+
winning the queen, but no better is 23 �h 1
17 f6! ? liJxf2+ 24 .ixf2 :g5+ or 23 �fl "'xd4 24
Disregarding loss of material, Bondar­ liJxe7+ �h8. After some thought I never­
evsky hurries to open lines for an attack on theless found a comparatively safe way out
the kingside. If 1 8 liJe6 he was intending of my difficulties.
1 8 . . ....b6 1 9 liJxfS 'ifxf2+ 20 �h l liJg3+ 21 liJxe7+ "'xe7
2 1 �h2 :xfS, and if 22 .ie3 liJfl + 23 22 "'e2 ! d4
:xfl "'xe3 . It is doubtful whether he How, out of two seemingly good con­
calculated precisely all the consequences tinuations, do you choose the better? This
of this sacrifice, but intuition suggested to problem, which could not be resolved by
him that Black should gain sufficient Buridan' s ass·, is one that is often faced at
compensation for it. the board. Here Bondarevsky could have
18 .ie3 :a6! immediately sacrificed a rook with
This is where the strength of . . . a6-a5 is 22 . . . :xg2+, and if 23 �xg2 d4, when 24
unexpectedly revealed - the rook gains the f3 would have led to complicated varia­
opportunity to come into play. tions with unclear consequences. Therefore
19 "'g4? he preferred the text move, but now I have
This plays into the opponent' s hands, an opportunity to repel the attack.
allowing him to switch his queen' s rook to
a strong attacking position. I of course saw • A sophism, incorrectly attributed to the
that after 1 9 liJxb5 fxe5 20 .ixe4 dxe4 2 1 1 4th century French philosopher Buridan:
"'xd8 :xd8 22 :ec 1 I would effectively 'If a hungry ass were placed exactly
be a pawn up, but it seemed to me that between two haystacks in every respect
Black's two bishops would be sufficient equal, it would starve to death because
compensation. there would be no reason why it should go
19 fS! to one rather than to the other'
20 liJxfS :g6 (Translator's note).
42 Averbakh 's Selected Games

29 �h2 �xg2
30 :gl
Why didn't White take the d4 pawn
with his queen? Then there could have
followed 30 . . . �xh3 ! 3 1 �xh3 :h6+ 32
�h4 "'f3+ 33 �h2 "'f4+ 34 1It'xf4 :xf4,
and Black has every chance of winning.

23 �xe4 �xe4
24 �g5!
This is the point! After 24 . . ....xg5 25
"'xe4 White has nothing to fear. Now,
however, Black could have sacrificed his
queen with 24 . . . �xg2, when the game
could have concluded in perpetual check:
25 �xe7 �f3+ 26 �h2 ! :g2+ 27 �h l 30 �xh3 !
:g6+ 28 �h2 (28 "'xf3 :xf3 29 �h2 31 � xh3 :h6+
:xf2+ 30 �h l :gg2) 28 . . . :g2+. In severe time trouble B'ondarevsky
24 "'f1 forces matters.
Bondarevsky tries to maintain his fad­ 32 1It'xh6
ing initiative, and thanks to White's next If 32 �h4 "'d7+ 33 �g3 (3 3 :g4
move he succeeds in this. :f3+) 33 . . ....f5 34 "'g5 :g6 and wins, or
25 e6? 34 "'xd4 "'f3+ 35 �h2 1It'f4+, and Black
An obvious oversight: I forgot that the remains a pawn up.
pawn could be taken by the rook. Mean­ 32 "'c8+
while, by continuing 25 "'xe4 ! "'xf2+ 26 33 �h2 gxh6
�h l l:lxg5 27 :e2 (also good is 27 :fl 34 �d6+ �f1
"'xfl + 28 :xfl :xfl + 29 �h2, and in this 35 �xfB "'xfB
ending White has every chance of success) 36 :g3
27 . . ....f4 28 "'d5+! �h8 29 "'xb5 Whj�e In this ending White can offer a resis­
would have won a pawn. tance only if he succeeds in coordinating
25 :xe6 his forces. This is not an easy task.
26 � h4 �d5 36 �e6
27 "'d2 37 :el+ �d5
If 27 "'xb5 :g6 28 �g3 Black has the 38 �gl
reply 28 . . . :xg3 ! Now White loses another pawn, but
27 :g6 even after 38 :e2 "'f4 39 �g2 h5 the
28 �g3 "'b7 defence would have been extremely
Black's attack bears fruit - the g2 pawn difficult.
cannot be defended. 38 "'b4
Averbakh 's Selected Games 43

39 :e2 'ifc4 second passed pawn? To combat them


40 lle7 'ifxal White would have to double rooks on the
Enough is as good as a feast! However, third rank, but then the opponent would
40 . . ....c l + and 4 1 . . :.xb2 was stronger, win a rook for these pawns and reach an
after which I would have had no saving ending with queen and h-pawn against
chances. rook and f-pawn. It seemed improbable
41 b3 that in this ending it would be possible to
gain a draw.
However, as usually happens only in
fairy-tales, chance came to my aid. I
recalled that I had once seen such a
position. A few months before the
tournament I had been one of the judges in
the studies section of the USSR Cham­
pionship for chess composition. Among
the entries that received a mention was the
following study by Henrich Kasparian :

Here the game was adjourned, and


Black sealed his next move. I returned
home in a bad mood - the adjourned
position looked hopeless. It appeared that
after 4 1 . . .'ifb 1 + 42 �g2 "'f5 the d-pawn
would quickly promote to a queen.
The game was due to be resumed the
following day, so late that evening I sat
down to analyse. Even in a bad position I
did not want to give up the point without a
fight. The first thing that had to be clarified White to play and draw
was whether it was possible to defend
against the above variation with the threat His solution was as follows: 1 :b3 h4 2
of 43 . . . d3 . After some thought, I found the .i.e5 �f5+ 3 .i.g3 "'c6+ (3 . . . hxg3 4
clever reply 43 lleg7 ! , when 43 . . . d3 ? 44 :xg3=) 4 �h2 h3 ! 5 �xh3 "'h 1 + 6 .i.h2
:f3 "'e4 45 :d7+ leads to the loss of this "'f1 + 7 �g3 "'c4 8 :f3+ �g5 9 .i.g l !
pawn. But Black can first play 43 . . . �c5, "'g4+ 1 0 �h2 "'xf3 stalemate !
threatening to advance the pawn. Again I Elegant, wouldn't you agree?
was able to find a manoeuvre: 44 :f3 "'e4 The judges were unanimous in rating
45 :gfi ! , and if 45 . . . d3 46 :7f5+. If now, the study highly, but it was not awarded a
for example, 46 . . . �d4, then 47 :5f4 d2 prize, the blame for which lay with . . . the
48 :xe4+ �xe4 49 :e3+ �d4 50 :e8 composer himself. He sent the board of
�c3 5 1 :d8. judges a letter in which he pointed out that
Thus White is not losing immediately. the study was incorrect. Instead of 2 .i.e5
But how can he defend if Black creates a there is the possibility of 2 lle3 (or 2 :h3),
44 Averbalch 's Selected Games

and the position arising after 2 . . . •xg7 53 :'h3 a4


turns out to be drawn. 54 bxa4 bxa4
At that time it was thought that a queen
and passed pawn would always win against
a rook and pawn, but Kasparian had found
a position that was an exception.

This capture inspired in me certain


hopes. By taking with the king, then
transferring it to c4 and playing . . . d4-d3,
Black would have retained the b-pawn and
I hope that you have realised the point would not have left White with any
of this? In the adjourned position I had the chances.
chance of saving the game, if I could 55 :'hf3 Citc4
manage to obtain Kasparian' s position ! 56 :'a3 'iWc2
At this I concluded my analysis. Now it 57 �g2 d3
all depended on Bondarevsky. The point 58 :'fxd3 'iWxd3
was that Kasparian' s discovery had been 59 :'xa4+ �d5
published - Mikhail Botvinnik had talked In Kasparian' s position the draw can be
about it in the chess section of Ogonyok. achieved only if the black king is in the
My chances of saving the game depended upper half of the board. Therefore, by
largely on whether Bondarevsky had read continuing 59 ... �b3 and approaching with
this popular magazine! the king from the flank, Bondarevsky
And so the game was resumed. My could have won. However, the win has not
opponent's initial play was exemplary. yet been thrown away.
41 .bl+ 60 :'xh4
42 �g2 .15 Literally holding by breath, I awaited
43 :eg7 �c5 my opponent's reply. I was only one step
44 :f3 .e4 away from a draw, but I was worried that
45 :gt7 �b4 Black might be able to prevent the rook
46 :7f4 .e5 from going to h3 . As Lev Abramov later
47 :15 .g7+ showed, this could have been done by the
48 :g3 .d7 subtle queen manoeuvre 60 . . .•g6+! 6 1
49 :m h5 �h2 .f5 62 �g3 .e5+ 63 �f3 .g5 64
50 :d3 .dS+ :'h3 (now this is too late; it is not possible
51 :gf3 .e4 to achieve Kasparian' s position) 64 . . . �d4
52 �n h4 65 :'g3 .d5+ 66 �e2 .h I and wins.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 45

Alas, however, Bondarevsky did not 71 �g2


suspect any danger, and he serenely made Of course, the queen must not be
his next move. allowed to go to fl .
71 'iWh7
72 �h2 'iWc7+
73 �g2 'iWc4
74 :e3
Draw agreed
The reader may wonder: how was it
that such a simple position was not known
to theory? The reason was that such
endings occur extremely rarely. Later it
transpired that the honour of discovering
this position did not belong to Kasparian.
When in 1 952 were published the analyti­
cal works of Nikolai Grigoriev, whose
60 �e6 untimely death had occurred in 1 93 8, in
61 :h3 ! them was discovered a detailed analysis of
Now, finally, I could breathe easily. this position, dated approximately 1 9 1 7.
Black' s subsequent attempts to refute the And the person who edited this book was
evaluation of this position as being drawn none other than Bondarevsky!
proved unsuccessful.
61 'iWe4+ Game 1 0
62 �h2 �f6 Averbakh-8zabo
63 :e3 'iWd5 Moscow v. Budapest J 949
64 :g3 h5 Ruy Lopez
65 :e3 �g5
66 :g3+ �r4 1 e4 e5
67 :e3 h4 2 lDf3 lDc6
68 :h3 'iWb7 3 .i.b5 a6
69 :e3 �g4 4 .i.a4 lDr6
70 :h3 'iWbl 5 � .i.e7
6 :el b5
7 .i.b3 �
8 c3 d6
9 h3 lDa5
10 .i.c2 c5
11 d4 'iWc7
12 lDbd2 .i.b7
Against 1 3 lDfi Black was intending to
play the sharp Panov Attack - 1 3 . . . cxd4
1 4 cxd4 :ac8 1 5 .i.d3 d5 . At that time it
was extremely popular, and theoreticians
were working intensively on its develop­
ment. I never liked entering into such
46 Averbakh IS Selected Games

theoretical disputes, where often the game transpires that it is difficult for Black to
is decided not by who plays better, but by develop his queenside play, whereas
who knows more. Therefore I preferred not White's threats on the kings ide become
to allow Black' s central freeing advance. very real . With the move played I prevent
13 d5 1 8 . . . b4, which would be answered not by
1 9 Wxc4 .i.a6, but by 1 9 .i.d3 lLlb6 20 c4,
when after blocking the position on the
queens ide White can conduct his attack on
the kingside without distraction.
18 lLla5
1 8 . . .lLlb6 came into consideration, when
White was intending to play 1 9 a3 (but not
1 9 .i.d3 c4 20 .i.c2 a3) 1 9 . . . .i.a6 20 .i.d3 .
19 :gl b4!

I had already played this against


Zagoryansky in the 1 948 Moscow
Championship, which took place not long
before the Moscow-Budapest Match. It
turned out that Szabo was well acquainted
with this game, since he made his next few
moves almost without thinking. After
blocking the centre, White prepares an
attack on the kingside. Black must aim to
attack on the queenside, but because of his Szabo is an experienced player. He sees
poorly-placed bishop at b7 and knight at a5 that he no longer has time to prepare this
this is not at all easy to do. advance, and by sacrificing a pawn he
13 :fb8 initiates play on the queens ide. Indeed,
Here Zagoryansky continued 1 3 ... .i.c8 after 1 9 . . . .i.d7 there could have followed
14 lLlfl :e8 1 5 g4 �h8 1 6 lLlg3 lLlb7 1 7 20 g5 lLle8 2 1 lLlf5 .i.f8 (White also has a
�h 1 .i. f8 1 8 :g 1 c4, but he was unable to strong attack after 2 1 . . . .i.xf5 22 exf5) 22
gain full equality. lLlh6+! gxh6 23 gxh6+ �h8 24 lLlg5 .i.c8
14 lLln lLlc4 25 Wh5 :a7 26 lLlxh7 ! We7 (interesting
15 g4 as complications arise after 26 ... �xh7 27
16 lLlg3 a4 .i.e3 ! lLlc4 28 :g7+ ! �h8 29 :ag l , when
17 �hl if 29 . . . lLlxe3 White has an elegant forced
After 1 7 .i.d3 there could have mate - 30 :g8+ �h7 3 1 % U g7+ lLlxg7 32
followed 1 7 . . . a3 ! , and if 1 8 b3 lLlb2. hxg7+ �xg8 33 1Wh8 mate) 27 .i.g5 f6 28
17 .i.c8 lLlxf6 1Wfl (if 28 ... lLlxf6 White wins by 29
18 1Wel 1Wg6) 29 Wh4 (threatening 30 lLlxe8 and
The two sides consistently carry out 3 1 .i.f6+) 29 . . . .i.e7 30 lLlxe8 .i.xg5
their plans, but within a few moves it (30 . . . 1Wxe8 3 1 .i.f6+) 3 1 Wxg5 and Black
Averbakh 's Selected Games 47

has no defence. If, for example, and switch completely to the realisation of
3 1 . . . 1i'xf2+ 32 :g2 1i'f4+ 33 1i'xf4 exf4, his extra pawn, which in this complicated
both 34 �f6 and 34 :ag l are possible. position, where Black has the two bishops,
Of course, all these variations do not is not an easy matter.
exhaust the possibilities in the position, but
they vividly demonstrate just how strong
White's attack could have been.
20 .i.xa4 bxc3
21 bxc3 .i.d7
Szabo reckons that after 22 .i.xd7
li)xd7 23 .i.e3 �b6 he will seize the
initiative on the queenside. And yet this
move is not the best. By continuing
2 1 . . .�d7 22 �f5 .i.f8 23 .i.c2 .i.a6 24
'iWd l �b6 he could have achieved a
position in which White's extra pawn is of
no great significance.
22 .i.c2 �b3 26 g6
27 �d2 :al
This eases White's task. Since b3-b4 is
not yet threatened (the c3 pawn is
hanging), Black should have played
27 . . . .i.e8, and if 28 1i'c4 �d7, when by the
threat of 29 . . . �b6 he again prevents the
advance of the b-pawn.
28 b4 Wc8
29 1i'c4 :a4

My opponent consistently aims to


exchange my light-square bishop, but
subsequent events show that in this case he
does not gain sufficient compensation for
the sacrificed pawn. He should probably
have played 22 . . . .i.b5 23 1i'd l �d7, and if
24 �f5 .i.f8 25 g5, then 25 . . . �b6 26
li)3h4 .i.e8.
23 .i.xb3 :xb3
24 axb3 ! :nl 30 1i'b3 !
2S .i.e3 %ta3 Now Black is forced to take on b4, after
26 %tbl which I am able to seize control of the c­
Black has made one definite achieve­ file.
ment - White has to forget about his attack 30 cxb4
4S Averbakh 's Selected Games

31 exb4 .tb5 Seeing through the opponent's trap:


32 1i'b2 after 39 It)a5 there would have followed
Why did White not play 32 It)e2 with 39 . . . .txa5 40 bxa5 :xa5 4 1 .td2 "'a7 ! ,
the threat of 33 It)c3? I rejected this escaping from the pin, since 4 2 .txa5
tempting move because of 32 . . . .txe2 ! 33 1i'xf2+ 43 �h l .txe2 even loses. And if 4 1
1i'xa4 It)xg4+! 34 hxg4 (34 �g2 It)xe3+ It)c3 there is only one defence, but it is
3 5 fxe3 1i'c3 ! ) 34 . . .1i'xg4 3 5 f3 (after 3 5 sufficient: 4 1 . . . lt)c7 42 "'b4 "'a6.
1i'eS+ �g7 3 6 "'xe7 1i'h5+ Black gives 39 :a8
perpetual check) 3 5 . . . .txf3 36 It)xf3 1i'xf3 40 It)a5 "'d7
with complications. 41 It)e6!
32 1i'a6
33 :el .td8
34 1i'e3 .td7

Here the game was adjourned, and this


move was sealed. By sacrificing a pawn
White clears the way for his passed pawn.
Black defends against the threat of 3 5 41 It)e7
1i'cS . After 34 . . .�g7 and i f 3 5 1i'cs .tb6?, After 4 1 . . . .txc6 42 dxc6 "'xc6 43 b5
then 36 .th6+! �xh6 37 1i'f8+ with a "'b7 44 lt)d5 the win for White is merely a
mating attack. However, he could have question of time, since if 44 . . . lt)f6 there
replied 3 5 . . .1i'xcs 3 6 :xcS .te7, after follows 45 It)xf6 .txf6 46 b6.
which White loses his b-pawn. Instead of The move played is a cunning trap! It
3 5 1i'cS White would evidently have had to appears that White can win easily by 42
reply 3 5 It)c4, as in the game. It)xdS "'xdS 43 .tb6, but then Szabo had
35 It)e4 It)e8 prepared a clever trick: 43 . . . ...bS ! 44 .txc7
36 1i'b3 � g7 "'xc7 45 It)xb5 "'b6 46 It)a3 "'xf2+ 47
If 3 6 . . . :a2 there follows 3 7 It)a5 :a4 �h 1 h5 4S g5 1i'e2 with drawing chances.
3 S lt)c6. 42 It)xb5 It)xb5
37 It)e2 ! 43 1i'd3 1i'b7
The entrance of this knight into the play 44 It)xd8 :xd8
strengthens White's position still further. 45 :a l :e8
The black pieces are thrown back. 46 :a5 It)d4
37 1i'b7 Black defends desperately. Against the
38 :bl .t b5 more tenacious but more passive 46 . . . :bS
39 It)e3 White would have achieved his goal first
Averbakh 's Selected Games 49

with an elegant manoeuvre by his queen - 51 .a !


47 .c4 ! �g8 (47 . . . lDd4 48 i.xd4 exd4 49 A manoeuvre typical of such heavy
.xd4+ �g8 50 b5) 48 .c6 �g7 piece endings. White combines the
(48 . . . lDd4 49 .xd6 .xb4 50 .xb4 :xb4 advance of his passed pawn with an attack
5 1 d6), and then by his rook - 49 :a6 ! on the king.
�f8 50 :b6 .xc6 5 1 dxc6 :xb6 52 51 'it'e8
i.xb6, and this ending must be won. 52 g5
Black resigns, as 53 .f6+ �g8 54 b7
and the unavoidable 55 :a8 is threatened,
and if 52 . . . :c8 White has the decisive 53
.f6+ �g8 54 .xd6.

Game 1 1
Averbakh-Goldberg
Semi-Final 18th USSR Championship
Tula 1 950
Dutch Defence

1 d4 e6
2 lD a f5
47 b5! 3 g3 lDf6
Less good is 47 i.xd4 .xb4 48 i.xe5+ 4 i.g2 c5
dxe5 when, in view of the insecure In combination with . . . t7-f5 this
position of the white king, Black retains advance can hardly be recommended, as it
chances of a successful defence. merely leads to a weakening of the pawn
47 lDc2 structure.
On 47 . . ..b6 White wins a second pawn 5 c4 cxd4
by 48 l:ta4 ! , as if 48 . . .. xb5 49 l:txd4. But 6 lDxd4 i.e7
now the game concludes very quickly. 7 lDc3 a6
48 :a7 .b8
49 b6 lDxe3
50 .xe3 :c2

Black's idea becomes clear. He tries to


begin an attack on the c4 pawn, but in so
doing he falls behind in development.
so Averbakh 's Selected Games

8 � jlc7 12 d6
9 e4! 13 -*.gS �d8
The natural reaction to the opponent' s 13 . . . �d7 is met by 14 llxe7+, while if
slow plan. White aims to open u p the 13 . . . �f1 or 13 . . . 0--{) , then 14 �d5 is
position. If 9 . . . fxe4 he has a choice decisive.
between the solid 1 0 jle2, and the sharp 1 0
�xe4, sacrificing a pawn for the initiative.
9 g6?
The decisive mistake. Black tries to
prevent the opening of lines, but he
achieves directly the opposite result.
10 ext'S gxt'S
1 0 . . . e5 1 1 �c2 gxf5 1 2 �e3 is also
unfavourable.

14 llxe7! jlxe7
15 �dS � xd S
16 -*.xe7+ �xe7
17 jlxd6+ �d 7
18 lld l !

11 �xt'S! ext'S
12 l:el
This quiet move is the point of White ' s
play. How is Black to defend against the
numerous threats?
1 2 . . . �d8 can be met by 1 3 llxe7 ! �xe7
1 4 -*.g5 when he is unable to avoid great
loss of material. If instead 1 2 . . . h6, averting
the threat of -*.g5 , then 1 3 -*.f4 jld8
( 1 3 . . .1Ifxc4 1 4 llc l ) 1 4 �d5 �xd5 I S An amusing position has arisen. There
1Ifh5+ �f8 1 6 -*.xd5. Also no better is is no defence against 1 9 -*.xb7, since
12 . . .�c6 1 3 -*.f4 jla5 ( 1 3 . . . d6 14 -*.xd6 1 8 . . . lla7 is met by 1 9 j1b6+.
jld7 I S -*.xc6 1Ifxc6 1 6 -*.xe7) 1 4 �d5 18 llg8
�d5 I S cxd5 �d8 1 6 jlh5+ �f1 1 7 d6 19 -*.xb7 l:g6
etc. 20 jld4 �c6
My opponent finds a way to give up his 21 jlb6+ �e8
queen for three pieces, but this merely 22 -*.xc6
delays the end somewhat. Black resigns
Averbakh 's Selected Games 51

Game 1 2 lines on the queenside, White has created a


Averbakh-Ravinsky weak pawn at c6 in the opponent' s
Moscow Championship 1950 position. Black has switched his queen to
Queen's Gambit the kingside and is now threatening also to
send a rook there via d6 and h6. White
1 d4 dS must be very careful here, otherwise he can
2 lLlf3 lLlf6 easily come under a crushing attack.
3 c4 e6
4 lLlc3 i.e7
5 i.gS 0-0
6 e3 lLlbd7
7 cxdS exdS
8 i.d3 :'e8
9 .c2 lLlfS
10 0-0 c6
11 :'abl

21 lLle2 :'d6
22 :b6 :'h6
At the cost of a pawn my opponent
aims to gain time for the attack. To
22 . . . i.d7 I was intending to reply 23 lLlg3 ,
and if 23 . . . :h6 24 i.f5 ! 'ii'h4 25 h3 .
23 :'xc6 lLlg6
If 23 . . . :ee6, then 24 :xe6 fxe6 25
.c7 ! is good enough, covering h2. But
All this has been played many times. now Black has two threats - 24 . . . 'ii'h4 and
White plans a m inority pawn attack on the 24 . . . lLlh4.
queenside. Modem theory considers 1 1 24 lLlgl !
i.xf6 i.xf6 1 2 b4 to be more effective.
11 i.g4
12 lLleS i.hS
13 b4 a6
14 a4 lLlg4
15 i.xe7 .xe7
16 lLlxg4 i.xg4
17 bS axbS
18 axbS .gS
19 �hl :'ad8
20 bxc6 bxc6
The two players have consistently
carried out their opening plans. By opening
52 Averbakh 's Selected Games

The most difficult move in this game, 34 �f3 i.f5


and one that had to be foreseen. If 35 hS :c3
24 . . .1i'h4 White can reply 25 h3 . 36 �eS :c2
24 �h4 36 . . . �e6 could have been met by 3 7
Black had prepared a devilish trap - on �c6+ �d7 3 8 h6! : a3 39 �e5+ �e7 40
the natural 25 :xh6 there would have h7.
followed 25 . . . i.h3 ! ! 26 i.xh7+ �f8 27
.c5+ :e7, and there is no defence against
the mate at 81 .
However, a chain is no stronger than its
weakest link! White finds a simple reply
that refutes the opponent' s clever idea.
25 f4! :xc6
After 25 . . .•h5, which is comparatively
best, I was intending to play 26 h3 . But
now, by interposing the capture on h7,
White wins a second pawn.
26 i.xh7+ �f8
27 hgS :xc2
28 i.xc2 i.hS 37 �xt7! �xt7
Because of 29 :f4 winning a piece, the 38 :xf5 �d6
capture on e3 was not possible. 39 :eS+ �d8
40 h6 gxh6
41 gxh6
Black resigns

Game 1 3
Averbakh-�o�v
Moscow Championship 1 950
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 cS
2 �e2 e6
3 d4 cxd4
4 �xd4 �f6
29 i.b3 ! 5 �c3 d6
To 29 g3 Black had the reply 29 . . . i.g6. 6 J.. e2 J.. e 7
29 :xe3 7 0-0 0-0
30 i.xdS .i.g6 8 f4 a6
31 :f4 �f5 9 �hl .c7
32 h4 �e7 10 .el �c6
After 32 . . . :d3 33 �e2 :d2 34 h5 ! 11 J.. e3 J.d7
.i.xh5 (34 . . . :xe2 3 5 hxg6 fxg6 36 g4) 3 5 12 :d l bS
lhfS Le2 36 .i.xf7 White also wins. 13 a3 :ac8
33 �h2 �d6 14 .g3
Averbalch 's Selected Games 53

was the more active 1 7 ... dxe5 1 8 rxe5


�fd5, when I was planning 1 9 .i.g5 .
18 f5! dxe5
Misfortunes never come singly! In such
situations you have to be able to choose the
least of the various evils, and here Black
should have played 1 8 . . . d5, stabilising the
situation in the centre of the board. By
allowing White to active his pieces, my
opponent creates the conditions for an
unexpected and spectacular tactical blow.
19 �xe5 .i.e8
20 fxe6 fxe6
The opponents have played the opening 21 :'xf'8 .i.xfS
in accordance with what was then the latest
word in theory. But here Black usually
plays 1 4 . . .�xd4 1 5 .i.xd4 .i.c6.
14 �h8
Hardly a good idea, as now White
retains his knight for a future attack and
creates the threat of e4-e5 .
15 �f3 ! b4
Black has to hurry with his counterplay.
If 1 5 ... :fd8 there could have followed 1 6
e5.
16 axb4 �xb4
17 e5 �g8
22 :'d7 ! !
This Black had not foreseen. Now he
has to give up his queen for rook and
bishop, effectively settling the outcome.
If 22 ....a5 there could have followed
23 :'f7 ! .i.c6 24 l:lxg7 ! , threatening mate
by both 25 :'xg8 and 25 ti)f7.
22 .xd7
23 �xd7 .i.xd7
24 .i. f4
Indirectly defending the c2 pawn
(24 . . . ti)xc2 25 .d3 ) and intending 25
.i.d6.
Of the possible knight moves Black 24 �e7
chooses by no means the best. Of course, 25 .i. g4 :'c6
1 7 �5 was dangerous because of 1 8
... If 25 ... ti)ed5 there could have followed
� , but 1 7 ... �8 was quite acceptable, 26 .i.d6.
when I was intending to reply 1 8 :'d2, as 26 .a �g6
S4 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Game 1 4
Golovk�Averbakh
Moscow Championship 1950
Catalan Opening

1 d4 lDf6
2 c4 e6
3 g3 Jlb4+
4 Jld2 Jle7
The idea of this manoeuvre, which used
to be employed by the Moscow master
Nikolai Ryumin in the Dutch Defence, is
to force the white bishop to occupy the
27 "a7 poor square d2.
By invading the opponent's position, 5 Jlg2 d5
White exploits the lack of coordination of 6 lDf3 lDbd7
his pieces. 7 0-0 0-0
27 Jlc8
28 "b8 �g8
After 28 . . . lDxf4 29 "xf4 �g8 30 Jlf3 !
the rook has no good retreat square.
29 Jlf3 l::tc 4
30 Jld6 lDxc2
This accelerates Black' s inevitable
defeat. The pawn, which for many moves
has been en prise, is also immune now.
31 JlxfS lDxfS
32 "b3 lDe3

8 "c2
Here 8 lDc3 would have lost a pawn.
8 c6
9 a4
Yevgeny Zagoryansky, an expert on
this opening, recommended 9 :d 1 here,
followed by 1 0 Jle 1 and 1 1 lDbd2.
9 a5
10 lDc3 b6
11 cxd5 lDxd5
Not fearing 1 2 e4 because of 1 2 . . . lDb4
33 lDd l ! l::td and 1 3 . . . Jla6.
34 "xe3 :al 12 lDal
35 h3 White defends against the threat of the
Black resigns knight move to b4 and prepares e2-e4, but
Averbakh 's Selected Games 55

now Black succeeds i n playing . . . c6-c5 defence would probably have only led to a
and firmly seizes the initiative. draw.
21 b3 -*.xb3
22 1Wxb3 :&3
23 1Wc4 :xf3
24 1Wg4

12 -*.a6
13 :fel c5
14 e4 lDb4
15 lDxb4 axb4
16 d5 exd5 It was on this - that my opponent
17 exd5 -*.16 would be tempted by the win of a piece -
18 :ad l b5 that I was counting. After 24 -*.xb4 cxb4
19 axb5 -*.xb5 25 1Wg4 lLle5 26 :xe5 -*.xe5 27 ..xn or
even 24 -*.xd7 1Wxd7 25 "xc5 it is
doubtful whether Black' s insignificant
advantage would have sufficed for a win.
24 :d3
25 "xd7 :xd5!
This is the whole point! The ill-starred
bishop at d2 comes under a mortal pin, and
even the threat of mate at e8 does not save
White.
26 1Wxd8 :fxd8
27 -*.g2
If 27 �fl I was intending to continue
not 27 ... -*.c3 28 Jlxc3 :xd 1 29 :xd 1
Black's pieces are very active. The :xd 1 + 30 �e2 :h l 3 1 Jle5, when White
immediate threat is 20 . . :a2 2 1 -*.c l -*.a4.
. can still put of a tough resistance, but 27 . . .
20 -*.h3 b3 ! 28 �e2 b2 . If now 29 -*.g2, then
By attacking the knight and threatening 29 . . . :xd2+! 30 :xd2 :e8+ 3 1 �fl
to win the c5 pawn, my opponent tries to :xe 1 +, while on 29 :fl there follows
stem Black's offensive. 29 . . . c4 ! 30 Jlg2 :e8+ 3 1 Jle3 :xd l 32
20 Jla4 :xd l c3, when White has no defence. It
Black begins a complicated should be mentioned that if he had played
combination, which against accurate 27 Jlg4, aiming to escape from the pin,
56 Averbakh 's Selected Games

27 . . . h5 ! would have immediately won a accurate, and only then 32 . . . i. d4.


piece. 32 i.b4 ':bl
33 i.d2 ':b2
34 i.el i.c5
Here too 34 . . . g5 was more accurate.
During the game I thought it obligatory to
exchange the bishops.
35 �g2 i.b4
36 i.xb4 ':xb4
37 �f3
37 h4 would have made it much more
difficult for Black to realise his material
advantage, although even now he has to
display good technique.
37 g5!
27 ':d3 ! At last! For Black to win, his king must
Not 27 . . . ':d4 28 i.f.3, when White break into the enemy position, and by
disentangles himself. advancing his pawns he cramps the
28 i.n :Jd4 opponent's king and creates pawn weak­
To win the bishop, it only remains for nesses in his position.
Black to open an escape square for his 38 h3
king. Therefore White tries to make use of
his last chance - he sacrifices the exchange
to simplify the position as much as
possible, leaving three pawns against three
on the same flank.
29 i.xb4 ':xd l
30 ':xd l ':xd l
31 i.xc5

This natural move makes things easier


for Black. After 38 �e3 he would still
have had much work to do. Here is a
possible variation: 3 8 . . . ':b3+ 39 i.d3 �g7
40 �e2 h6 4 1 �e3 �f6 42 �e2 (pawn
advances merely lead to the creation of
weaknesses, so White does best to stick to
waiting tactics) 42 . . . �e5 43 �e3 f6 44
31 i.d4 �e2 f5 45 i.c4 (if 45 �e3 f4+ 46 gxf4+
Black should not have hurried to make gxf4+ 47 �e2 f3+ 48 �e3 ':a3 49 �d2
this exchange. First 3 1 . . .g5 ! was more �f4 50 i.c4 ':a l , and after capturing one
Averbalch 's Selected Games 57

of the pawns, Black wins) 45 . . .:a3 46 This game was awarded a special prize,
j.b5 f4 47 j.c6 g4 ! 48 j.d7 h5 49 j.e8 as the best in the tournament.
0+ 50 �d2 :a2+ 5 1 �e l :a l + 52 �d2
:fl 53 �e3 :e l + 54 �d3 �fS 55 j.xh5 Game 1 5
�g5 56 j.fl :e2 and Black wins. Averbakh-Suetin
38 h5 18th USSR Championship
39 j.d3 �g7 Moscow 1950
40 �e3 h4! Sicilian Defence
41 gxh4 :xh4
42 j.n �f6 1 e4 e5
43 �a :f4+ 2 fila file6
44 �g3 �e5 3 d4 exd4
45 j.g2 �d4 4 filxd4 filf6
5 lile3 d6
6 .i.g5 e6
7 "'d2 a6
8 0-8-0 h6
9 j.f4 j.d7
10 .i.g3

The king is aiming for e 1 , in order to


attack the f2 pawn.
46 .i.b7 �d3
47 .i.a6+ �d2
48 .i.b7 �e2
49 .i.a6+ �el
50 a �d2 The opening system chosen by Black
A technical slip. By 50 . . . :h4 ! 5 1 .i.b7 was at that time extremely popular. In the
�d2 Black would have immediately summer of 1 950 one of its faithful adher­
reached e3 with his king. Now it takes ents, the master player Lev Aronin, played
somewhat longer to achieve this. a qualifying match against a candidate for
51 �fl! :b4 that title, Bonch-Osmolovsky, and twice
52 j.n f5 played 1 0 . . . b5 here, obtaining a reasonable
53 .i.a6 f4 game. Somewhat later, when I was pre­
54 .i.n :b2 paring for the USSR Championship Semi­
55 j.e2 �e3 Finals together with Grigory Ravinsky, we
56 �el �d4 discovered that after 1 0 . . . b5 1 1 .i.xd6
57 �fl :d2 .i.xd6 1 2 lilxc6 .i.xc6 1 3 "'xd6 "'xd6 1 4
White resigns :xd6 .i.xe4 1 5 lilxe4 filxe4 1 6 :txa6!
S8 Averbakh 's Selected Games

White wins a pawn. 1 1 . . . b4 1 2 lLlxc6 In my game with Suetin I was of course


�xc6 1 3 �xf8 "'xd2+ 1 4 l:lxd2 bxc3 also hoping that he would play 'Ii la Aronin' ,
does not help Black in view of I S l:ld6 ! but things turned out somewhat differently.
However, to our great regret, we ended up 10 �e7
in different tournaments. Aronin played in 11 �e2 bS
Gorky, Ravinsky in Leningrad, and I in I did not then know that this move had
Moscow. In Gorky, incidentally, Aronin occurred in Dubinin-Ilivitsky (RSFSR Cup
once more played 1 0 . . . bS, and again 1 9S0), which went 12 �xd6 b4 13 lLlb 1
successfully. lLlxe4 1 4 �xe7 "'xe7 I S "e3 with advan­
At the drawing of lots for the Cham­ tage to White, but later an improvement for
pionship I waited impatiently to see what Black was found: 1 4 . . . lLlxd2 ! I S �xd8
number Aronin would draw, but alas, it lLlxd4 1 6 �xa6 b3 ! 1 7 axb3 lLl2xb3+ 1 8
turned out that I would have Black against cxb3 lLlxb3+ 1 9 �c2 l:lxa6 when his
him. chances are no worse. Quite possibly it
Before the start of the tournament, after was this that Suetin was counting on.
taking up residence in the Moscow Hotel, II �xd6 b4
Aronin and I went out for a walk and
called in at the nearby editorial office of
the Shakhmaty v SSSR magazine. There we
met Mark Taimanov, who had not quali­
fied for the Final.
' I am submitting an article for the
magazine about the Sicilian Defence' ,
Taimanov infonned us.
'I hope you have mentioned Aronin's
achievements in the development of the
Sicilian?' , Aronin asked, half-jokingly,
half-seriously.
' Of course ! ' , Taimanov smiled.
Out of simple curiosity I picked up 13 lLlxc:6!
Taimanov's article, began turning over the An important improvement compared
pages, and suddenly noticed the entire with the Dubinin-Ilivitsky game, which I
chain of moves that had occurred in found directly at the board.
Aronin's games, with a large question 13 �xc:6
mark attached to the move 1 0 . . . bS . 14 �xe7
' Do you know about this?', I asked in Remembering that after 1 0 . . . bS 1 1
surprise. .i.xd6 b4 1 2 lLlxc6 �xc6 the correct move
'Naturally! ' , was the reply. is 1 3 .*.xf8, White deviates from the
Aronin, who was engrossed in his own correct path. I was counting only on
thoughts, did not pay any attention to our 1 4 . . ....xd2+ I S l:lxd2 bxc3 1 6 l:ld6, but I
words, but two months later, at the overlooked I S . . . �xe7 !
Chigorin Memorial Tournament, it was The correct continuation is 1 4 eS ! , for
Taimanov who succeeded in catching example: 1 4 . . . bxc3 I S "'xc3 .i.xg2 1 6
Aronin in this variation and earning an l:lhg l .*.e4 1 7 .*.xe7 "'xe7 1 8 exf6 with
important point! the better chances for White.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 59

14
Black returns the compliment. He
hopes to intensify the pressure on the e4
pawn with 1 5 . . .... b7, but underestimates
the knight sacrifice that occurs in the
game.
15 "'d6 ! "'b7
If 1 5 . . ....xd6 1 6 ':xd6 j,xe4 there
would have followed 1 7 l£lxe4 l£lxe4 1 8
':d4 f5 1 9 f.t

19 j,fJ l:te8
20 "'g3 !
After 20 ':xe8+ l£lxe8 2 1 "'f8 Black
can gain counterplay by 2 1 . . . ':c8, and if
22 d6 j,fS ! 23 j,xb7 ':xc2+ 24 �b l ':d2+
with perpetual check.
20 g5
Now White wins very simply. Things
would have been more difficult for him
after 20 . . . ':xe l 2 1 ':xe l ':c8 22 "'xg7
16 l£ld5! "'b6.
Spectacular! The knight, which has
been standing en prise for three moves,
again offers to sacrifice itself.
16 exd5
The knight can be taken in any of three
ways, but none of them brings Black relief.
Thus if 1 6 . . . j,xd5 1 7 exd5 l£lxd5 I was
proposing to play 1 8 j,f3 , while if
16 . . . l£lxd5 1 7 exd5 j,xd5 1 8 ':he l , and
now 1 8 . . . j,xg2 1 9 j,h5 ! or 1 8 . . . ':d8 1 9
j,xa6.
17 exd5 j,d7
In reply to 1 7 . . . j,xd5 White has the
decisive 1 8 j,f3 j,xf3 1 9 gxf3 , while if 21 "'d6! l£lg8
1 7 . . . l£lxd5 he wins by 1 8 ':he l , when There is nothing better. If 2 1 . . .':xe 1 22
1 8 . . . l£le7 is met by the crushing 1 9 j,xa6! "'xf6+ ':e7 23 d6.
"'d7 20 ':xe7+ "'xe7 2 1 "'xc6+. 22 l:txe8+ �xe8
18 l:thel �d8 23 l:te1+ �d8
Here we can take stock. For the 24 "'18+ �c7
sacrificed piece White has two pawns and 25 d6+ �b6
a powerful attack. 26 "'xa8 "'xa8
60 Averbakh 's Selected Games

27 .i.xa8 �cS I first played against Petrosian in 1 947,


28 .i. b7 as in a Semi-Final of the USSR Cham­
29 l:les+ �b6 pionship. Despite his youth (he was 1 8
30 .i.dS � f6 years old), he gave the impression of being
31 .i.xf7 �g4 a player who would happily take other
32 l:e7 �c6 players' pawns, but did not like giving up
his own. There I had beaten Petros ian by
sacrificing a pawn in the opening, but here,
by contrast, I decided to take a pawn and
try to hold on to it.
S e4
The theoretical continuation is 5 a4
.i.b4 6 e3 b5 7 .i.d2 a5 8 axb5 .i.xc3 9
.i.xc3 cxb5 1 0 b3 .i.b7 I I bxc4 b4 1 2 .i.b2
�f6 with sharp play. After the move
played White still has to demonstrate that
his strong pawn centre is sufficient com­
pensation for the sacrificed pawn.
S b5
33 .i.e6 6 .i.e2 .i. b7
Black resigns 7 0-0 �f6
8 a4 a6
Game 1 6 9 .i.gS �bd7
Petrosian-Averbakh 9 . . . .i.e7 did not appeal to me because of
18th USSR Championship 1 0 e5 �d5 I I �e4 .
Moscow 1 950 10 eS h6
Slav Defence 11 .i.h4 gS

1 d4 dS
2 c4 e6
3 �c3 c6
4 �f3 dxc4

This position is similar to those that


arise in the Botvinnik Variation, with the
difference that White has castled and Black
has made a couple of useful moves
( . . . �bd7 and . . . .i.b7). This difference is
Averbakh 's Selected Games 61

seen i n the variation 1 2 lDxgs? hxgs 1 3 The dangers awaiting Black are also
�xgs 'fIc7, and i f 1 4 f4 b4, while i f 1 2 illustrated by the following variation:
exf6 gxh4 1 3 lDes there follows 1 3 . . . "'xf6 2 1 . . .lDc3 22 lDxgs lDxe2+ 23 :xe2 hxgs
with a good game for Black. 24 Aae 1 and there is no defence. Thus if
12 � g3 lDdS 24 . . . 'fIxd4 there follows 25 Axe6 ! Axe6
13 lDe4 "'b6 26 'fIg8+, while if 24 . . . es 25 dxes fxes 26
The immediate 1 3 . . . cs was also AxeS ! :xes 27 1I'g8+.
possible, for example: 1 4 lDd6+ �xd6 1 5 However, when I began examining this
exd6 'ifb6 1 6 dxcs "'xcs 1 7 lDd4 0-0 . game for the present book, I came to the
14 lDd6+ � xd6 conclusion that the king should go not to
15 exd6 f6 d8, but to fB . In this case Black is able to
This move weakens Black' s position parry all the threats by the queen man­
and creates the grounds for various tactical oeuvre . . . 'fId8-e8. For example: 1 8 . . . �fB
blows. Therefore I s . . . cs was more (instead of 1 8 . . . <i>d8) 1 9 lDes lDxes
accurate. ( 1 9 . . . fxes 20 �hs, and there is no defence
16 b4 ! ? against the mate) 20 dxes 'fId8 2 1 �hs
'fId7 22 exf6 'fIh7 23 �es 'fIxg6 24 �xg6
Ag8 25 �h7 <i>f7 26 �xg8+ :xg8 and in
this sharp ending Black has at least equal
chances. Or 1 9 lDh4 'fId8 20 �hs 'fIe8 2 1
'fIxe8+ Axe8 22 lDg6+ �g7 23 lDxh8
Axh8 24 :fe l b4 (24 . . . lDfB 25 �e8 lDb6
26 as) 25 l::txe6 c3 and Black's passed
pawns are extremely dangerous.
All these variations are so complicated
and difficult that, from the practical point
of view, perhaps I was right to decline the
pawn sacrifice.
16 cxb3
Petros ian offers a second pawn This exchange is forced, otherwise the
sacrifice, adding fuel to the fire. When I bishop will be shut out of the game.
annotated this game many years ago, I 17 'fIxb3 <i>f1
assumed that its capture would lead to 1 7 . . .g4 1 8 lDh4 'fIxd4 19 :fd 1 would
unclear complications and extremely sharp have led to an unnecessary sharpening of
play. For example: 1 6 . . . lDxb4 1 7 'fIb l lDds the play. I rejected queenside castling
(also after 1 7 . . . lDd3 1 8 �xd3 cxd3 1 9 because of 1 8 :fc 1 , and decided to leave
'fIxd3 0-0-0 2 0 Ilfc 1 it i s not easy for my king in the centre.
Black to disentangle his group of pieces) 18 l::tfe1 l::tae8
1 8 'fIg6+ <i>d8 1 9 'fIg7 l::te 8 20 as 'fIa7 2 1 1 8 . . . hs was possible, not allowing any
Afe l . tactics, but I provoked Petros ian into
Here Black has a material advantage, making the following sacrifice, thinking
but his pieces are extremely cramped and that, by giving up the exchange, I would
uncoordinated. If 2 1 . . .hs even 22 lDxgs obtain a position in which the knight at ds
fxgs 23 �xhs AfB 24 :xe6 is possible, would be worth a rook.
with a winning attack. 19 lDeS+
62 Averbakh 's Selected Games

hxg5, for example: 25 . . . fxg3 26 gxh6+


�h8 27 .xg3 :'g8 28 .h4 or 25 . . . hxg5 26
.0 fxg3 27 .xg3 . It transpired that
earlier 22 ...•d8 would have been more
accurate (instead of 22 . ..•a7), including
the queen in the defence of the kingside.
Then, after 23 .i.xe8 :'xe8, White would
have had to play 24 0, when Black has the
good reply 24 . . . c5 25 .i.f2 c4 and,
although the white bishop has come into
play, the passed pawns supported by the
knight have become very dangerous. Now
too Black allows the bishop to go to f2, but
Spectacular, but that is all. Trusting my at the same time the h-file is opened,
opponent, I did not even bother checking which later complicates his task.
the consequences of accepting the 25 hxgS hxgS
sacrifice, which, incidentally, were indeed 26 .d l :'h8
dangerous - 1 9 . . . fxe5 20 .i.h5+ �g7 27 f3 c4+
(20 . . . �f8 is probably better) 2 1 .d3 - and 28 .i.fl . b8
I immediately captured with the knight. 29 .d4 .e8
19 �xeS! 30 .a7 .c6
20 dxeS f5 31 .cS c3
21 .i. hS+ � g7
22 as .a7
23 .i.xe8 lbe8
24 h4
The only way of gaining counterplay.
After 24 h3 f4 25 .i.h2 c5 White's position
would have been hopeless.

Typical time-trouble play, in which the


main thing is not to blunder anything
away.
32 :'ecl .d7
33 :lab 1
Of course, not 33 :lxc3 :'c8.
33 :'c8
24 cS 34 .a7 :'c4
I had been intending 24 . . . f4, but this 35 .b8 :'c8
now seemed dangerous because of 25 36 .a7 :'c4
Averbakh 's Selected Games 63

37 "'b8 43 "'a8 "'e6


38 "a7 44 "'xe6
Moving the queen to d7 would have led I thought that White had more chances
to a three-fold repetition of the position. of counterplay with the queens on, al­
39 "'b8 "'d7 though the position still remains tense.
Now the position has been repeated 44 :xe6
three times - on the 3 5th, 3 7th and 3 9th 45 g3 .i.d7
moves, but here it is White's tum to move, 46 .i.fl g4
and so Petrosian' s claim of a draw was 47 f4 :e8
turned down by the arbiters. 48 .i.b6 �rT
40 "'a7 �g6 49 :bbl .i.a4
50 �fl

Here the game was adjourned, and


White sealed his next move. Analysis The black king is now threatened with
showed that, in order to realise his an attack by the rooks on the h-file, but I
advantage, Black would have to overcome had already seen a combination that would
considerable difficulties. win for me.
41 .i.el b4 50 e2
42 :b3 51 :al b3
When he sealed his move, White was 52 :Lbl
evidently hoping to be able to take on c3 ,
but this does not succeed. For example: 42
.i.xc3 li)xc3 , and now:
(a) 43 :Lxb4 :Lxb4 44 :xc3 :b 1 + 45
�f2 (45 �h2 "'h7+ 46 �g3 "'h4 mate)
45 . . ....b5 ! , and 46 "'b8 is met by
46 . . . ...f1 + 47 �e3 "'e 1 + 48 �d4 :Lb4+ 49
:Lc4 "'d2+ 50 �c5 :b5 mate;
(b) 43 :xc3 bxc3 ! 44 :Lxb7 "'xb7 45
.xb7 c2 46 "'e7 c l "'+ 47 �f2 (47 �h2
:Lh4+ 48 �g3 "'e l mate) 47 . . . :Lc2+ 48
�g3 "'f4+ 49 �h3 "'h4 mate.
42 .i.e8
64 Averbakh 's Selected Games

White's threats appear to have become 62 �d3 .t b3


real. Thus if 52 . . . b2 there follows 53 :h7+ 63 � d4 .t e2
�g8 54 %lab I , and he is assured of a draw. 64 �e4 .t a4
However, it is here that Black's idea is The goal is achieved. The rest does not
revealed, although, by playing 52 . . . �g7 53 require any commentary .
.td4 lbc3 he could have won without any 65 � d4 .tb5
brilliancy. 66 .tel �a3
52 d. 67 .td2 .to
53 %laxc1 %lxd 68 .t d �e4
54 %lxd b2 White resigns
55 %lh 1
If 5 5 %lb l there would have followed Game 1 7
5 5 . . . �c3 56 %lxb2 lDd l +. I1ivitsky-Averbakb
55 �c3 Semi-Final 1 9th USSR Championship
56 .te5 b1. Sverdlovsk 1 951
At first sight 56 ... �d l + looks un­ Ragozin Defence
favourable because of 5 7 %lxd l .txd l 5 8
d7, but Black could have played this: after 1 d4 �f6
5 8 . . . b l . 59 d8 • • c2+ 60 �fl .c4+! he 2 e4 e6
picks up the bishop with check and wins. 3 �c3 .t b4
57 %lxb1 �xb1 4 e3 0-0
58 .tb4! 5 .t d3 d5
By shutting in the knight, White has set 6 a3
up a last line of defence, but it is easily Inviting the exchange on c3 , but Black
overcome. has other intentions - he takes play into the
58 �e8 Ragozin Defence.
59 �e3 �d7 6 dxe4
60 �d4 �e6 7 .t xe4 .td6
61 �e4 8 �f3

To win, all Black needs to do is give his Kuzminykh-Averbakh (Semi-Final 1 4th


opponent the move. USSR Championship, 1 945) went 8 f4 c5
61 .td1 with good play for Black.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 6S

8 �e6 A battle for control of bS begins.


9 e4 20 :e7
9 .tbS can all the same be met by 21 :bd
9 . . . eS ! 1 0 .txc6 exd4 I I �xd4 bxc6 1 2
�xc6 1i'd7 1 3 �d4 .tb7, with attacking
chances for the sacrificed pawn.
9 e5
10 d5 � e7
11 0-0 �g6
12 :el
White has evidently intending to play
g2-g3 , followed by transferring his bishop
to g2 and his knight via d2 to c4.
12 .td7

21 .ta4!
Black plans 22 . . . l:ac8 and then
23 . . . bS . At first sight this looks risky
because of 22 bS, cutting off the bishop' s
retreat, but it i s easy to see that after
22 . . . �7 23 .te3 (23 .tb4 �b6 ! )
2 3 . . . �cS Black has a fine game.
22 "'bl
In defending against the threat of
22 . . . bS, on which there would follow 23
.td3 , White concedes the bS square
13 b4 without a fight. However, also after 22
A dubious move. My opponent does not .te3 bS 23 .tb3 l:xc I 24 .txc I .txb3 2S
want to allow the black bishop onto the a7- 1i'xb3 1i'c8 Black' s position would have
g I diagonal, from where it will threaten the been preferable.
12 square, but this allows Black to begin 22 l:ae8
active play on the queens ide. 23 .td3 .tb5
13 a5 24 l:xe7 l:xc 7
14 :bl axb4 25 .te2
15 axb4 1i'e7 If 2S l:c I , trying by exchanges to
16 1i'b3 h6 simplify the defence, very strong is
17 �b5 :re8 2S . . . l:xc I + 26 .txc l .txd3 27 1i'xd3 "'a4,
18 .td2 1i'e8 when White must lose one of his pawns.
19 �xd6 25 1i'e8
1 9 1i'd3 was probably more accurate. 26 .tb3
After this exchange the second black rook A serious mistake. In defending against
also comes into play. the opponent' s threats on the queenside,
19 exd6 White has placed his pieces so badly that
20 1i'd3 this allows Black instantly to create an
66 Averbakh 's Selected Games

attack on the kingside. After 26 .i.d I or �e l iDg2 mate) 30 . . . iDh3+ 3 1 �g2 iDdxf2
even 26 .i.d3 Black would have still have 32 .i.e2.
had to demonstrate that his positional Now, however, Black's attack wins by
advantage, consisting of his more active force.
pieces, could bring anything significant.

29 "'h3 !
26 iDh5 30 .i.a4
The black cavalry, which up to here has Desperation ! There was no defence
merely been observing the events taking against the threat of 30 . . . iDdf4.
place on the opposite wing, now comes 30 iDdf4
into play with great effect. 31 gxf4 "'g4+
27 g3 32 �hl "'xf3+
White tries to set up a pawn barrier, but 33 � gl iDh4
the knights easily overcome it. Could he White resigns
have managed without this weakening
move? If, for example, 27 .i.d I iDhf4 28 Game 1 8
.i.xf4 (or 28 :e3 iDxg2 ! 29 �xg2 iDf4+ Novotelnov-Averbakh
and 29 . . ...h3) 28 . . . iDxf4 29 h3 , then 19th USSR Championship
29 . . . :c l 30 "b3 iDd3 3 1 :fl iDb2 32 Moscow 1951
:e l (32 "xb2 .i.xfl ) 32 . . . iDxd l 33 :xc l Catalan Opening
"c4.
27 :e3 iDhf4 28 iDe 1 was the best 1 d4 iDf6
defence, but even in this case the invasion 2 c4 e6
of the knights by 28 . . . iDe2+ 29 �h l iDgf4 3 iD f3 d5
looks very dangerous. 4 g3 .i.e7
27 iDhf4 5 .i. g2 0-0
28 .i.d l iDd3 6 0-0 iDbd7
29 :0 7 "'c2 c6
The sudden attack has caught my 8 .i.f4 b6
opponent unawares, and he fails to offer a Here White does not achieve anything
worthy resistance. He could have put up a with 9 cxdS cxdS 1 0 .i.c7 "'e8 I I :c l .
tougher defence with 29 :e3 ! iDgf4 ! 30 There follows I l . . . .i.a6 1 2 e3 :c8, and
iDe l (3 0 gxf4 "'g4+ 3 1 �fl iDxf4+ 32 1 3 . . . iDcs is already threatened.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 67

If 1 2 eS Black can even consider


1 2 . . . tDg4 with a sharp game, although
1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3 exf6 �xf6 1 4 tDbS eS 1 5
tDd6 :c7 1 6 tDxb7 :xb7 1 7 �xdS :c7 is
also possible.
12 exd5
13 tDxd5
Against the tempting 1 3 tDbS I was
intending to play 1 3 . . . a6 1 4 tDd6 �xd6 1 5
�xd6 :e8. After 1 6 dxcS tDxcs 1 7 �xcS
:xcS 1 8 b4 ! :c7 19 cS the chances are
roughly equal .
13 tDxd5
9 tDfd2 14 exd5 exd4
My opponent aims to advance e2-e4 15 "'a4
without moving his knight to c3 . As the
present game shows, this can hardly be
considered a good idea.
9 �b7
10 e4 lte8
Having completed his development,
Black is ready to attack the white centre by
. . . c6-cS, after which the queen at c2 will
feel uncomfortable.
11 tDe3
If 1 1 eS tDe8 1 2 tDc3 , as in the game
there would have followed 1 2 . . . cS.
11 e5!
15 tDe5!
In this way, by temporarily sacrificing a
pawn, Black seizes the initiative.
16 'ii'xd4 tDe6
17 'ii'e4
After 1 7 'ii'd3 tDxf4 1 8 gxf4 it would be
simplest to regain the pawn by 1 8 . . . �xdS
19 �xdS ( 1 9 'ii'xdS 'ii'xdS 20 �xdS :fd8
2 1 :fe l �b4) 19 . . . :cS 20 �xf7+ :xf7 2 1
'ii'xd8+ �xd8, with advantage to Black.
17 :e5
This is better than 1 7 . . . tDxf4 1 8 "'xf4
( 1 8 gxf4 �xdS transposes into the
White's pieces tum out to be not well variation given in the note to White's
placed, and already he has to fight to previous move) 18 ... �xdS 1 9 tDe4, when
maintain the balance. Black's advantage is insignificant. Thus,
12 exd5 for example, if 1 9 . . . :c4 there can follow
68 Averbalch 's Selected Games

20 b3 l:td4 2 1 :ad I with complete 23 h5!


equality. Exploiting the remoteness of the white
18 J.e3 J.xd5 queen from the kingside, Black begins an
attack on the enemy king. Now if 24 h4
there could have followed 24 . . . �c5 25
J.xc5 (25 �c4 �b3) 25 ... l:txd2 26 J.e3
l:txb2 27 l:txd8 l:txb l + 28 l:txb l l:txd8 with
winning chances, but 24 . . . �d4 was
perhaps even better, not simplifying the
position and maintaining the tension.
24 �c4 h4
25 "c2 h3

19 "bl
By placing his queen at b I , White was
hoping to neutralise Black' s pressure on
the d-file. If 1 9 "a4 Black could have
continued 1 9 . . . l:ta5 20 "d l J.xg2 2 1
�g2 l:txa2 ! 2 2 l:txa2 "d5+ 2 3 �f3
"xa2. Although White can regain his
pawn with 24 "a i , by 24 . . . "b3 25 "xa7
J.c5 Black retains an active position.
19 J.xg2 26 "e2?
20 ci>xgl l:td5 26 f3 was probably the only defence,
21 l:td l J.f6 when I was intending to play 26 . . . �d4 27
Preventing 22 �, when there would J.xd4 (27 "£2 �b3 ) 27 . . . J.xd4+ 28 ci>h l
have followed 22 . . . b5 . (28 ci>f1 "f6 29 "d3 l:te3 ! ) 28 . . . ..f6 29
22 ci>gl l:te8 l:tf1 l:td7 with a strong attack. Now,
23 84 however, Black's knight comes into play
with great effect.
26 �4
27 "0
Perhaps in his preliminary calculations
White had been intending to play 27 "g4
here, but then saw that there would have
followed 27 . . . l:te4 ! 28 "xe4 �2+ 29
ci>f1 l:txd 1 + 30 ci>xe2 l:txa l .
27 "c8?
Short of time on the clock, Black in
tum goes wrong. 27 . . . �f3+ 28 ci>h l l:txd l
29 l:txd l "a8 ! would have won
immediately. I of course saw this
Averbakh 's Selected Games 69

possibility, but I overlooked that after 30 5 e4 ..tg7


.xh3 lOes+ I would win the white knight. 6 h3
Now, however, White immediately elimin­ The so-called Averbakh Variation was
ates the dangerous knight. still then in the process of development. I
28 ..txd4 ..txd4 first employed it a year later in a game
29 l:d2 .g4 with Matanovic (Interzonal Tournament,
30 l:ad l ? 1 9S2). The modest advance of the rook's
pawn signifies that White is planning a
later g2-g4.
6 �bd7
7 ..td3 �5
8 .te2 a5

The things that happen in time trouble !


My opponent decided that his rooks should
defend each other, but this move allows
Black to conclude the game with a
spectacular combination. 3 0 l:e l would
have lost a pawn to 30 . . . l:xe l 3 1 .xe l 9 ..tg5
.txf2+ and 32 . . .• xc4, but 30 l:c l , This bishop sortie is one of the
securely defending the knight, would have components of my variation. Black faces a
prolonged the resistance. dilemma - whether to weaken his position
30 ..txtl+! with . . . h7-h6, or to reconcile himself to an
31 .xtl .xd 1+ unpleasant pin.
White resigns. After 32 :'xd l :'xd 1 + 9 h6
3 3 .fl l:ee 1 it i s pointless for him to Black prefers the former option. Of
continue. course, both have their pluses and minuses.
10 ..te3 0-0
Game 1 9 11 g4 �h7
Averbakh-Bondarevsky Defending the h6 pawn in good time.
19th USSR Championship The attempt to play . . . f7-fS immediately is
Moscow 1951 unfavourable: 1 1 ... �e8 1 2 h4 fS 1 3 exfS
King's Indian Defence gxfS 1 4 gS and White has an excellent
position.
1 d4 �f6 12 �f3 �g8
2 c4 d6 13 :'gl �7
3 �c3 e5 Now too if 1 3 . . . fS there follows 1 4 exf5
4 d5 g6 gxfS 1 S gS with a strong attack.
70 Averbakh 's Selected Games

14 1i'd2 c6 good for White. But I did not like 20 . . . .i.g4


and if 2 1 gxh6 .i.f6 22 lbg5+ .i.xg5 23
.i.xg5 f6 24 .i.e3 :g8 with a sharp game.
20 lb g8
If 20 . . . :g8 2 1 .i.c2, and it is dangerous
to play 2 1 . . . f5 22 exf5 lbxf5 (22 . . . .i.xfS 23
.i.xf5+ lbxfS 24 1i'd3) 23 :g6, threatening
to capture with the bishop on h6, while
2 1 . . . .i.f6 can be met by 22 �e2 .i.g4 23
.i.xh6.
11 :g3
White could have retained a good game
by 2 1 .i.c2, for the moment not allowing
2 1 . . . f5 on account of 22 exfS .i.xfS 23
White has prevented . . . f7-fS, but now .i.xfS+ :xfS 24 1i'd3 1i'f6 25 :g6 1i'f7 26
Black begins play on the queenside. If 1 5 lbh4. Now, however, the initiative is
0-0-0 there could have followed 1 5 . . . cxd5 seized by Black.
1 6 lbxd5 lbc6, and the attempt to win a
pawn by 1 7 lbc3 leads to complications
favourable for Black after 1 7 . . . lbe6 1 8
1i'xd6 lbed4. Therefore I decided to throw
caution to the winds and leave my king in
the centre.
15 h4 cxd5
16 cxd5 b5!
Black aims for a counterattack, for
which he is prepared to sacrifice material.
If 1 7 lbxb5 he was intending 1 7 . . . :b8 (but
not 1 7 . . . .i.xg4? 1 8 :xg4 1i'd7 because of
1 9 1i'e2 ! ) 1 8 a4 .i.a6 1 9 .i.xc5 dxc5 20
.i.d3 1i'b6. 21 3!
17 h5 b4 Of course! Bondarevsky, a splendid
18 lba4 lbxa4 attacker, makes use of the opportunity
19 .i.xa4 gxh5 offered to begin active play. White must
A committing move. My opponent play very accurately to avoid immediately
opens up the defences of his own king. ending up in a lost position.
However, this bravery is forced: 20 g5 was 22 exfS .i.xfS
threatened, and 1 9 . . . g5 would have led to a 23 �e2 !
positional advantage for White. The correct decision. In the first
20 gxh5 instance the rooks must be connected. It is
Here I considered the pawn sacrifice 20 true that after 23 . . . e4 24 lbd4 1i'h4 25
g5 . If, for example, 20 . . . hxg5 , then 2 1 l:ag 1 1i'xh5+ Black can win a pawn, but
lbxg5+ �g8 22 1i'e2, while 20. . .lbg8 2 1 by continuing 26 �e 1 and if 26 . . . .i.e5 27
gxh6 .i.xh6 (2 1 . . .lbxh6 22 :xg7+) 22 lbxfS :xfS 28 :g4 White gains sufficient
.i.xh6 lbxh6 23 lbg5+ �h8 24 lbe6! is counter-chances.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 71

23 lle8 hxg5 30 'it'f5+ and 3 1 'it'xc8+) 29 .txf6


Preventing the exchange of light-square .txf6 30 'it'd3+ e4 3 1 'it'xd5 exfl+ 32 �fl
bishops, which would favour White. with a sharp game, in the complications of
24 llagl llt7 which Black' s material advantage does not
25 � el .t e4 play any part. However, Black's last move
In this double-edged position both too provokes serious doubts. 27 ... .tbl was
players are as though walking a tight-rope, probably stronger.
afraid at any moment of falling off. Thus if 28 llg6 �h8
25 ... lDf6 there could have followed 26 29 ll6g3 .th7
llxg7+! llxg7 27 llxg7+ �xg7 28 .txh6+,
with a very strong attack in view of the
threats of 29 'it'g5 and 29 lDg5 .
26 .td l 'it'e7 !

If 29 ... lDf6 there would have followed


30 lDh4. To defend against this threat my
opponent moves his bishop out of the line
of fire, but he leaves his rook at c8
Bondarevsky sees through his oppon­ undefended, which White exploits. It
ent's cunning plan. Against the natural should be mentioned that the two players
26 . . .lDf6 I had prepared a spectacular com­ were already short of time.
bination: 27 .txh6 ! ! .txh6 28 'it'xh6+! ! 30 'it'a6! 'it'd8
�xh6 29 llg6+ .txg6 30 llxg6+ �xh5 In the time scramble Bondarevsky loses
(30 . . . �h7 3 1 lDg5+ �h8 32 lDxf7+ �h7 the thread. It was probably better to
33 lDxd8) 3 1 lDxe5+ lDg4 (the only move; abandon the queenside pawns to their fate
if 3 1 ... �h4 there follows 32 llh6+ �g5 33 and reply 30 . . . llcfS 3 1 'it'xa5 lDf6, aiming
�f7+ �f5 34 lDxd8 llxd8 35 .tc2+ �e5 for activity on the kingside. For example:
36 f4+, winning the knight) 32 .txg4+ 32 lDh4 lDe4 33 lDg6+ .txg6 34 hxg6 (34
�h4 33 llh6+ �g5 34 lDxf7+ �xg4 3 5 llxg6 lDxf2) 34 ... lDxg3 35 gxf7 lD5 36
lDxd8, when White i s a pawn u p with good 'it'xb4 lDxe3 3 7 fxe3 'it'xf7, and the
winning chances. Alas, however, all this opposite-colour bishops give Black good
brilliance remained off-stage, and now I chances of saving the game.
again had to think how to defend against 31 lDh4 lla8
27 . . . lDf6. Black could not reply 3 1 . . .lDe7 because
27 'it'e2 .tfS of 32 .tg4 with the threat of 33 .te6.
White was intending to answer 27 . . . lDf6 32 'it'e4 lDf6
with 28 .tg5 ! .txd5 (28 ... .txfl 29 'it'ill 33 lDg6+ .txg6
72 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Black's misfortune is that he is forced 41 :xg8+ � xg8


to take on g6. 3 3 . . . �g8 would have been 42 �xh6
met by the spectacular 34 c!t)xe5 ! dxe5 3 5 Black resigns
d6 ! , when White has a decisive attack:
(a) 3 5 ... c!t)e8 36 �b3 ! "d7 37 J.xh6 Game 20
�f8 (3 7 . . . �h8 38 'ilxf7 "xf7 39 �xf7 Averbakh-8myslov
J.xh6 40 :g8+) 3 8 �xg7+ :xg7 39 :£3+ 19th USSR Championship
�f5 40 "g8+! :xg8 4 1 :xg8 mate; Moscow 1951
(b) 3 5 . . . �f8 36 d7 ! "xd7 (36 . . . c!t)xd7 Ruy Lopez
3 7 Lg7 :xg7 38 J.xh6) 3 7 �c5+ �e8 3 8
Lg7 :xg7 39 :xg7 "xg7 4 0 "e6+ �d8 1 e4 e5
41 J.b6+. 2 c!t)f3 c!t)c6
It is interesting that all White's pieces 3 J.b5 a6
take part in the attack, apart, of course, 4 �a4 d6
from his king. 5 c3 J.d7
34 lbg6 :c8 6 d4 c!t) r6
If 34 . . . �h7 3 5 �c2. 7 0-0 �e7
35 1Ifd3 e4 8 :e1 0-0
The only way to offer any resistance 9 c!t) bd2 exd4
was by 3 5 . . ...f8 . 10 cxd4 c!t) b4
36 "d2 c!t)g8

This was first played by Romanovsky


37 �g4! against Yates (First International Tourna­
The entrance of this bishop into the ment, Moscow 1 925). After 1 1 J.xd7
play crowns the attack. "xd7 1 2 c!t)fl c5 1 3 b3 d5 ! 1 4 a3 c!t)c6 1 5
37 l:c4 �5 "d8 ! Black achieved an excellent
38 J.e6 l:e7 position. Since then the variation has often
39 �xg8 "xg8 occurred in tournament play.
40 l:xh6+ 11 J.xd7 "xd7
The prosaic 40 J.xh6 would also have 12 lila c5
won, but the last few seconds were ticking 1 2 . . . d5 1 3 �5 ! "d6 1 4 a3 lilc6 1 5
away on my clock. lilxc6 "xc6 1 6 e5 c!t)e4 is less good
40 J.xh6 because of 1 7 c!t)e3 .
Averbakh 's Selected Games 73

13 a3 �c6
14 d5
1 4 �g3 is more flexible, as yet not
fixing the position in the centre.
14 �e5
15 �xe5 dxe5

19 g6
The commentators considered this to be
a poor move, but in my opinion it is not at
all bad. Smyslov's aim of initiating play on
the kings ide is positionally well-founded:
White has delayed the development of his
A problematic position has arisen. pieces. After the recommended 19 ... :n
White has a protected passed pawn and the there could have followed 20 b3 , and if
possibility of an attack on the kingside 20 . . . �f8 2 1 fxes fxes 22 �b2.
with f2.-f4. Black has three pawns against 20 �b6+ �b8
two on the queenside. 21 f5
16 � g3
Bronstein suggested 1 6 �e3 here, and
if 1 6 . . . �e4 1 7 �c4, but Keres showed
that after 1 7 . . ...fS 1 8 f3 �d6 1 9 l:xes
"g6 ! 20 l:xe7 �xc4 2 1 l:xb7 l:fd8 Black
has a reasonable game.
16 �e8!
17 f4 � d6!
Trying to force the opponent to declare
his intentions. 1 7 . . . f6 would have created a
new weakness in Black's position - the es
pawn.
18 �f5 f6
Of course, not 1 8 . . . exf4 1 9 �xd6 "xd6 A committing advance, which during
20 es "h6 2 1 ..g4 with the initiative for the game I thought to be obligatory, as
White. otherwise Black would play . . . f6-fS . How­
19 g3 ever, after 2 1 "f3 the move 2 1 . . . fS would
This idea of maintaining the pawn have been premature because of 22 exfS !
tension leads to a loss of time. 1 9 "f3 was (22 fxes i.xes 23 exfs i.d4+) 22 . . . exf4 23
more accurate, when if 1 9 . . . exf4 20 �xf4 fxg6 ! , and if 23 . . . fxg3 , then 24 �n+ �g8
i.xf4 2 1 "xf4 White has a good game. 25 l:xe8! :axe8 26 gxh7+ is possible, with
74 Averbalch 's Selected Games

a strong attack, while if 2 1 . . ....g7, then 22 f-file, on which he is counting, does not
fS gS 23 "'hS is good. It has to be admitted prove possible.
that 2 1 "'0 would have been more in the
spirit of the position than 2 1 fS .
21 c4
22 h4
White has no option other than to
continue in the same vein. The idea of the
plan with 2 1 fS and 22 h4 is to gain control
of fS after 23 fxg6 hxg6 24 hS . However,
against accurate defence White is not able
to carry this out, and therefore 22 :fl
came into consideration, and if 22 . . . �cS+
23 �g2 lDd6 24 "'e2 .
22 �c5+
23 �g2 27 �h6 :f7
28 exfS :xfS
29 "'c2 !
Apparently this simple reply was not
anticipated by Smyslov. Unexpectedly his
position becomes critical .
29 :xn
30 :xn :g8

23 gxfS
Smyslov is let down by his sense of
position. By 23 . . . lDd6 ! he could have set
White serious problems. If 24 fxg6 hxg6
2S hS, then after 2S . . . gS he would have to
reply either 26 g4 "'h7 27 lDfS lDxfS 28
gxfS, or 26 lDg4 "'h7 27 "'e2, but in both
cases Black has fair prospects. 31 "'fS!
24 lDxfS lDd6 Having taken the initiative, White
2S lDxd6 .*.xd6 consistently exploits it. After 3 1 "'xc4 :g4
26 :n fS 32 "'d3 (or 32 "'e2) 32 . . . e4 Black would
After consistently pursuing his strategy have gained strong counterplay.
of opening lines on the kingside, Black 31 "'xfS
fails to take account of the fact that after 32 :xfS :g6
the exchange of knights the situation has Hardly better was 32 . . . e4 33 .*.f4 .*.xf4
changed sharply, and that the seizure of the 34 Lf4 :d8 3 S :fS, when White should
Averbakh 's Selected Games 75

win this ending, as it is not easy for the 4 .i. g5 �e7


opponent's king to take part in the battle 5 lDfJ 0-0
against the d-pawn. For example, 3 5 . . J �d6 6 "'c2 h6
36 �f2 l:tb6 37 �e3 l:xb2 38 d6 l:tb3+ 39 7 .i. h4 b6
�e4 l:txg3 (39 ... l:d3 40 l:dS) 40 d7 l:tg8 8 cxd5 lDxd5
4 1 l:teS . Probably 3S . . . e3 36 �f3 l:te8 3 7 9 �xe7 "'xe7
�e2 �g7 was the best defence, but after 10 lDxd5 exd5
38 d6 l:td8 39 l:tdS �f6 40 �xe3 �e6 4 1 11 l:tel
�d4 bS 42 l:teS+! White wins. A standard position of the Tartakower­
33 �g5 � g8 Magogonov-Bondarevsky variation has
34 h5 l: g7 been reached. White's plan is to force
35 �fJ b5 . . . c7-c6, restricting the opponent' s options,
36 �h6 e4+ but Black is able to avoid this.
37 �xe4 l: xg3 11 lDa6
38 l:f6 12 e3

38 �c5 12 c5!
This loses immediately. 38 . . . �e7 39 Excellently played! It transpires that the
l:txa6 �f7 would have prolonged the acceptance of the pawn sacrifice by 1 3
resistance. .i.xa6 .i.xa6 1 4 dxcS bxcS 1 5 "'xcS leads
39 d6 �h8 to difficulties for White after I S . . . 'ii'b 7 !
40 �d5 13 "'a4
Black resigns On encountering for the first time the
variation played by Black, I chose an
Game 2 1 incorrect order of moves. 1 3 dxcS bxcS
Averbakh-Kholmov and only then 1 4 ...a4 was more accurate,
Semi-Final 20th USSR Championship although even in this case Black has a
Minsk 1 952 good game.
Queen's Gambit 13 c4!
In my preliminary calculations I had
1 c4 e6 been intending to answer this with 1 4 b3 ,
2 lDc3 d5 but only now did I notice that after
3 d4 lDf6 1 4 . . . bS ! 1 5 "'xbS "'a3 White faces serious
76 Averbakh 's Selected Games

difficulties. It has to be conceded that the positional mistake, allowing White again
queen move to a4 was an empty threat, to take the initiative and to develop his
leading to the complete loss of the offensive on the kingside. After the correct
initiative. 1 8 ......d6 1 9 g4 the bishop could have
14 .i.e2 &iJc7 retreated to h7, and if 20 f4 Black could
15 "'c2 bS have replied 20 . . . f6, driving back the
16 0-0 "'f6 knight, while 1 9 "'as could have been
answered by 1 9 . f6 20 &iJf3 "'b6.
. .

19 g4!
This is the point! The bishop has to
retreat to c8, and this means that playing it
to fS was merely a waste of time.
19 .i.c8
20 f4 "'d6
21 f5
White consistently carries out his pawn
offensive on the kingside, the goal of
which is His Majesty the enemy king.
Black must try to defend his kingside
while continuing his attack on the
Now the position can be assessed. queenside.
Black has good possibilities on the queen­ 21 f6
side, where he has an extra pawn. White 22 &iJg6 l:d8
must seek chances on the kingside and in With the intention of playing his bishop
the centre. With his last move Kholmov to f7, Kholmov leaves the e8 square free
aims to develop his bishop at fS, in order to for it.
eliminate White's possible play with e3-e4. 23 .i.f3 .i.d7
17 &fJes .i.f5 24 &iJf4 .i.e8
18 "'d2 as

25 :tl !
Kholmov made this natural move, White places his rooks on the second
depriving the white queen of the as square, rank, so that they defend the queenside and
almost without thinking, but in fact it is a help the offensive on the kingside.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 77

25 .iLf7 White is aiming to include his queen in


26 h4 l:te8 the attack, but Black does not allow it to go
27 l:t g2 l:t e7 to h4.
Black intends to attack the weak e3 35 .iLh5 c3
pawn with his rooks. Perhaps he should
have left one rook on the queens ide and
played 27 . . . b4, threatening 28 . . . a4.
28 l:tel l:tae8
29 l:tee2 b4
White is all ready to advance g4-g5,
and therefore Black should have made the
important defensive move 29 . . . �f8.

Black can no longer delay the advance


of this pawn.
36 bxc3 bxc3
37 "'h4 l:td6
If 37 . . . �f8 I was intending to play 3 8
l:tg6 ! "'h7 39 l:txg7 tDxg7 (39 . . ....xf5 40
tDg6+! ) 40 f6 tDf5 41 fxe7+ tDxe7 42 "'f6
l:tc8 43 .iLg6 tDxg6 44 tDxg6+ "'xg6 45
30 g5 ! l:txg6 c2 46 "'h8+ and wins.
With the start of the pawn storm the 38 l:txg7+! �f8!
position becomes considerably sharper. Black's entire defence rests on this
30 fxg5 move. 38 . . . tDxg7 39 "'xe7 is bad for him.
31 hxg5 hxg5
32 l:txg5 l:td8
Kholmov saw that on 32 . . ....f6 there
would follow 33 l:teg2 ! , and if 33 . . . l:txe3
34 l:txg7+ "'xg7 3 5 f6 with a very strong
attack. If Black does not take the rook, but
replies 34 . . . �f8, then very strong is 3 5
l:txf7+! �xf7 (3 5 . . ....xf7 36 tDg6+) 3 6
.iLh5+ �f8 3 7 tDg6+ and wins. Finally, if
34 . . . �h8 White plays 35 l:t7g3 ! (threat­
ening 3 6 l:th2+ or 36 l:th3+), and if
35 . . . l:te l + 36 �h2, when there is no
defence against 37 l:th3+. Therefore Black
has to regroup, in order to defend g7. 39 l:t7g5?
33 :eg2 tDe8 With the last few seconds ticking away
34 "'12 "'h6 on the clock, and moves having to be made
78 Averbakh 's Selected Games

instantly, it was not easy to find the correct calmly. It is clear that the situation has
continuation of the attack, as the position become extremely sharp, both kings lack
was still very sharp. Not seeing anything pawn protection, and a piece attack is
forcing, I simply decided to protect once possible from both sides.
more my bishop at h5 . 41 lDe6+ � e7 !
Subsequent analysis showed that White Mate would have followed after
would have retained a strong attack after 4 1 . . . .txe6 42 fxe6+ lDf6 43 "'xf6+ ! "'xf6
39 :7g6 ! .txg6 40 lDxg6+ :xg6 4 1 fxg6, 44 :g8+ and 45 :e8.
for example: 42 .txt7 e2 !
(a) 4 1 . . ....xe3+ 42 :f2+ �g8 (42 . . . �g7 Kholmov defends resourcefully. If
43 .td l ! ) 43 .tf3 ! lDc7 44 "'f6 with the 42 . . . �xf7 there would have followed 43
threat of 45 .txd5+; l:th2 c2 ! 44 :xh6 ! c l "'+ 45 �h2, when
(b) 4 1 . . .:xe3 42 g7+! lDxg7 43 :f2+ Black has no defence, while after 42 . . . :h4
�g8 44 .tf7+ �h7 45 .tg6+! and wins. 43 .th5 :xh5 44 :xh5 "'xh5 45 "'e l l
The move played by me is a mistake, White retains every chance of winning.
after which the roles are reversed, and it is 43 "'xe2 "'h4
now White who has to find a way to save 44 :5g3 :e1+
the game, as the initiative again passes to 45 �a "'hl
my opponent.
39 :xe3
Black returns the compliment.
Although he had quite sufficient time for
thought, he in tum does not make the
strongest move. 39 . . . lDf6 was correct,
tying up even more tightly the clump of
white pieces on the kingside, after which
the c3 pawn could have played the decisive
role. Now, however, I gain the opportunity
to disentangle my pieces.
40 "'a :e4

46 :g4
During the game I considered this to be
the best move, as I assumed that after 46
"'d3 :b6 47 .txe8 :b2+ 48 �f3 :fl + 49
�g4 :xg2 Black would have definite
counter-chances. But in subsequent analy­
sis it was discovered that with 50 "'a3+
White gives mate in six moves: 50 . . . �xe8
5 1 "'f8+ �d7 52 "'d8+ �c6 53 "'c7+
�b5 54 "'b7+ �c4 55 "'b3 . And if Black
tries to bring his knight into play -
46 . . . lDf6, then 47 :g7 ! and if 47 . . . lDe4+
Here White's time trouble ended, and at 48 "'xe4 ! , when taking the queen allows
last it was possible to evaluate the position 49 -*.g6+ with mate next move.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 79

46 "0+ If 56 ... lbf6, then 57 :g7 mate.


46 . . . lbf6 can be met by 47 :g7 ! lbe4+ 57 :h7+
48 "xe4 ! , while if 47 . . ...h4+ White Black resigns in view of inevitable
replies 48 lUg3 "h2+ 49 �xe 1 , and after mate.
49 . . . "xc2 he gives mate by 50 .i.g6. A mind-boggling, extremely tense
47 �g3 �xt7 game, in which both players displayed
48 lbg5+ �e7 considerable resourcefulness.
49 lba
Now that the knight has come to the aid Game 22
of the white king, Black' s attack quickly Unzicker-Averbakh
peters out. Interzonal Tournament
49 :e3 SaltsjobadeniStockholm 1 952
50 :a "d3 Ruy Lopez
After the exchange of queens the
realisation of the advantage becomes 1 e4 e5
straightforward. If 50 .....g 1 + White would 2 lba lbc6
have won by 5 1 �f4 ! , and the same move 3 .i.b5 a6
would have followed after 50 . . ...h 1 5 1 4 .i.a4 lbf6
:h4 "g 1 +. Comparatively best was 5 0-0 d6
50 . . ...e l 5 1 �g2 "c3 , exchanging queens This move, often employed by
with the white king less actively placed. Rubinstein, is not as well studied as the
51 "xd3 :xd3 usuaI 5 . . . .i.e7 6 :e l b5 7 .i.b3 d6.
52 :e2+ �f8 6 :el
53 �f4 lb g7 Fearing a prepared variation, for which
If 53 . . . lbf6 54 :h4 ! :c6 5 5 :g2 with a Soviet players were renowned, Unzicker
decisive attack. However, a similar attack avoids the theoretical continuation 6
also develops in the game. .i.xc6+ bxc6 7 d4.
6 .i.g4
Rubinstein usually played 6 . . . b5 7 .i.b3
lba5, but I carry out a plan involving the
exchange of the dark-square bishops.
7 c3 lbd7

54 :h2 ! lbe8
After 54 . . . lbxf5, which Black initially
planned, White wins a piece by 5 5 lbe5 .
55 :h8+ �e7
56 :gg8 :d8
80 Averbakh 's Selected Games

8 h3 ! Only here did I realise just how


The correct reply. After 8 d3 "f6 Black dangerous my position had become. The
would not have had any problems. unpleasant c3-c4-cs is threatened.
8 �xf3 16 1Ih4
9 "xf3 �e7 17 c4 1If4
10 d4 0-0 18 "c3
11 �e3 �g5 Of course, not 1 8 "xf4 exf4, and with
A well known strategic idea. Since 1 2 his control of es Black gains counterplay.
�2 loses a pawn to 1 2 . . . exd4 1 3 cxd4 18 %tac8
lDxd4, Black provokes d4-ds, in order
after the exchange of dark-square bishops
to demonstrate that in such positions a
knight is no weaker than a bishop.
However, this plan is slow and does not
lead to complete equality.
12 d5 lDcb8
13 lDd2 �xe3
14 "xe3

19 lDb3
If 1 9 cs there would have followed
1 9 . . . dxcs 20 bxcs lDxcs 2 1 "xcs "xd2,
and therefore White's desire to remove his
knight from the attack by the queen is quite
understandable. However, due to this loss
of an important tempo . Black now has
counterplay sufficient for equality.
Unzicker rejected 1 9 a4 because of the
14 lDb6 following variation : 1 9 . . . cs 20 dxc6 ':'xc6,
A serious positional mistake, after and if 2 1 as lDxc4 22 lDxc4 bs 23 axb6
which the opponent' s advantage becomes lDxb6 24 �b3 lDxc4 25 �xc4 %tfc8, when
obvious. Since White is intending an Black regains his piece. However, in a
offensive on the queenside, Black should joint analysis after the game we established
aim for counterplay on the kingside, and that by 26 ':'xa6 ! ':'xa6 27 �xf7+ �xf7 28
this must be done energetically. 1 4 . . . h6 and "xc8 White could nevertheless have
I s .....gs was probably better, or even gained a decisive advantage. Therefore
1 4 ...""4. Black's desire to develop his Black would probably have had to answer
second knight is quite understandable, but 2 1 as with 2 1 . . . lDc8, going totally onto
in so doing he puts it on a bad square, the defensive.
where it subsequently comes under attack. 19 15!
15 �c2 lD8d7 Black' s counterplay is based on tactics.
16 b4 If 20 exfS "xc4, while after 20 cs I was
Averbakh 's Selected Games 81

plann i ng 20 . . . fxe4 2 1 cxb6 Wxf2+ 2 2 �h l 26 cxd6! l:lxb7


cxb6 and the bishop is lost. 27 dxc7
20 B fxe4 White has consistently carried out his
21 .i.xe4 lLlf6 plan, and appears to have achieved his aim .
22 lLlaS l:l b8 With a swift advance his c-pawn has
23 cS reached the penultimate rank, and it cannot
be stopped by normal means with 27 . . . ':'c8
because of 28 d6 l:la7 29 Wc6, when White
must win. The attempt to launch a
counterattack by 27 . . . lLlg4 28 hxg4 Wf2+
29 �h2 l:lb6 also fails after 3 0 ':'e3 .
However, the dangerous pawn can be
eliminated, and this leads by force to a
draw.

White has finally managed to play c4-


c5, but by now Black has sufficient tactical
resources for a successful defence.
23 lLlxe4
24 fxe4
24 l:lxe4 could have been met by
24 . . . lLlxd5 25 'ii'c4 'ii'f7 .
24 lLld7
27 ':'xc7 !
28 Wxc7 lLlg4
Draw agreed
After 29 hxg4 'ii'f2+ 30 �h 1 Wh4+
Black gives perpetual check.

Game 23
Averbakh-Stahlberg
Interzonal Tournament
SaltsjobadeniStockholm 1952
French Defence

1 e4 e6
2S lLlxb7 2 d4 dS
Now a fierce tactical battle commences. 3 lLld2 cS
25 . . . l:lxb7 would be met by 26 c6 l:lbb8 27 4 exdS WxdS
cxd7. S lLlgB cxd4
2S lLlf6 6 .i.c4 Wd8
S2 Averbakh 's Selected Games

6 . . ....d6, as often occurs nowadays, is 1 4 J.xb5+ �f8 1 5 J.d2 'ii'b6 1 6 J.b4+


preferable. J.e7 1 7 'ii'e3 'ii'xb5 ! I S ':'dS+ 'ii'e S and
7 0-0 �c6 Black defends, but possible is 1 3 J.d2 'ii'e 5
8 �b3 J.e7 14 �b5 ! "'xe2 ( 1 4 . . . �e7 1 5 J.c3 ! ) 1 5
�c7+ �d7 ( l 5 . . .�dS 1 6 J.a5+) 1 6 J.f4+! !
"'xd l + 1 7 ':'xd l + �c6 I S �xaS with a
strong attack.
12 J.e3 �ge7
13 J.xd4
1 3 �xd4 would have been met by
1 3 . . . ...c7 14 �xc6 'ii'xc6, and if 1 5 J.f4,
then not 1 5 . . . 0--0 1 6 J.d6 ':'eS 1 7 J.xe7
':'xe7 I S ':'dS+ ':'eS because of 1 9 J.d5 ! ,
but 1 6 J.b3 J.b7 1 7 f3 0--0 with a
satisfactory game for Black.
13 �xd4
14 :xd4 'ii'c7
9 "'e2 ! 15 :ad l 0-0
This is stronger than 9 �bxd4 �xd4 1 0 Black has finally castled, but in the
�xd4 a6, as in Smyslov-Stahlberg, played meantime White has completely mobilised
a little earlier at the Olympiad in Helsinki. his forces and gained control of the d-fiJe.
White does not hurry to regain his pawn,
but first develops his pieces.
9 J.f6
10 :d l a6?
A mistake that allows White to develop
a strong initiative, although even after
1 0 . . . �ge7 1 1 c3 it would not have been
easy for Black to equalise.

16 "'eS!
1 6 �e5 was possible, for the moment
keeping the queens on, but going into the
endgame is also good.
16 'ii'xeS
17 �xeS �g6
By also exchanging the knights, Black
tries to simplify the defence. However,
11 �bxd4! J.xd4 1 7 . . . b5 I S J.b3 �g6 was probably more
After 1 1 . . .�xd4 1 2 �xd4 "'a5 the accurate (but not I S . . . J.b7 1 9 ':'d7 �c6 20
reply 1 3 �b5 ! ? is not so clear: 1 3 . . . axb5 �xfl, winning a pawn).
Averbakh 's Selected Games 83

18 lLlxg6 hxg6 agreeing to the draw tacitly offered by the


19 a4! e5 opponent.
The only way of bringing the black 31 as g6
bishop into play, but now the scope of 32 ..i.d5 t;j;g7
White's bishop is extended. 33 c4
20 :d6 jus By advancing his queenside pawns,
21 ..i.b3 :ac8 White further strengthens his position. If
22 c3 �h7 now 3 3 ... c,i(fS, then 34 c,i(e3 c,i(e7 35 :b6
:d7 36 c,i(e4, and Black loses material.
Therefore his next move is the only way of
creating counterplay.

In the resulting ending White's


positional advantage is more significant
than might appear at first sight. He can
easily strengthen the placing of his pieces, 33 e4!
whereas for the opponent to do this is not 34 fxe4 ..i.xg4
at all simple. Thus, for example, White's 35 b4 ..i.c8
king can easily move to the centre, which The immediate 3 5 ... f5 would have lost
cannot be said about the opponent's king. to 36 :b6.
23 f3 :c7 36 c5 f5
Black defends against 24 g4 by 37 �e3 f4+
vacating c8 for his bishop. 38 �f3 �h6
24 �n g5 39 :d8 ..i.d7
25 g4 ..i.c8 White was threatening 40 :xc8 and 4 1
26 :d8 :xd8 ..i.xb7, transposing into a purely technical
27 :xd8 �g6 ending with an easy win.
Black's king is aiming for e7, but 40 :h8+
naturally White prevents this. The last move before the time control
28 :d6+ �h7 and, as often happens, an inaccuracy. By
Worse is 28 . . . f6, when it is hard for the continuing 40 e5 ! ..i.f5 (40 . . . ..i.c6 4 1 c,i(e4
king to come into play. :f7 42 ..i.xc6 f3 43 e6 ! ) 4 1 e6 :e7 42 :d6
29 :d8 �g6 White could have won without any great
30 :d6+ �h7 difficulty, for example:
White repeats moves to gain time on (a) 42 ...�g7 43 :d7 ! :xd7 44 exd7
the clock. There was little justification for ..i.xd7 45 ..i.xb7 ..i.b5 46 c6;
84 Averbakh 's Selected Games

(b) 42 . . . .i.h3 43 �e4 ! .i.g2+ 44 �e5 me that Black had no defence against 48 a7
.i.xd5 45 :xd5 :e8 46 :d7. followed by moving away the rook with
Now, however, the play becomes check.
slightly sharper. What was I to do? Choose the new
path, discovered at the board, or that which
had been considered in the analysis? After
much hesitation, I nevertheless chose the
second path. This decision was correct, if
only because in the last variation, by
playing 47 . . . �e5 48 a7 :e7 ! , Black would
have parried the threat of the a-pawn' s
advance.
However, the consideration of the
variations associated with 44 b5, and
especially my doubts, cost a great deal of
time, and I ended up in time trouble.
44 bxe6
40 �g7 4S :b6 :d7!
41 :g8+
The game was adjourned in this
position and Black sealed his next move.
He had to choose between playing his king
to h7 or g6, as 4 1 . . .�f6 would have lost to
42 :£8+! �e5 43 :f7, when he is
completely helpless, e.g. 43 . . . g4+ 44 �f2
g5 45 :g7 �f6 46 :h7 �e5 47 :f7 ! �d4
48 .i.e6 etc.
Analysis showed that White's
advantage was enough for a win, but that
the way to it lay via a sharp rook ending
that demanded accurate play.
41 � h6 46 :xa6?
42 :h8+ �g7 This is what time trouble means! White
43 :b8 .i.e6 captures the wrong pawn. 46 :xc6 would
44 .i.xe6 have won, for example:
I examined this move in my night-time (a) 46 . . .:d2 47 e5 ! :xh2 48 :c7+ �h6
analysis. However, during the adjournment (48 . . . �g8 49 b5 ! ) 49 :f7 ! , and Black has
session the following morning, I noticed no defence against the advance of the a­
the possibility of the pawn breakthrough and c-pawns;
44 b5 and feverishly began calculating (b) 46 . . . :d3+ is no better: 47 �g4 ! f.3
variations: 44 . . . .i.xd5 45 exd5 :xc5 46 d6 (47 . . . �h6 48 :xa6) 48 �xg5 f2 49 :xg6+
:d5 47 :xb7+ �f6 48 d7 �e7 49 bxa6 and 50 :f6.
:xa5 50 a7 and wins, or 44 . . . axb5 45 A justification for my mistake was that
.i.xc6 bxc6 (45 . . . :xc6 46 :xb7+ �h6 47 in my night-time analysis I did not
:xb5) 46 a6 �f6 47 :a8 and it seemed to establish which pawn it was better to take,
Averbakh 's Selected Games 85

although on the most general grounds I 47 :h3


should have taken the c-pawn, as then the 4S b5
rook would have taken part in the play on If 48 :xc6 the simplest is 48 . . . :xh2+
two fronts. 49 �f3 :h3+ 50 �g2 :g3+ 5 1 �f2 g4.
46 :d3+! 4S :xh2+
A strong move, which I underestimated. 49 �d3 :h3+
In my preliminary calculations I thought 50 � d4?
that I could reply 47 �g4 f3 48 �g3 g4 49 There was still a draw by 50 �e2, and
:Xc6 49 . . . :d2 50 e5 :g2+ 5 1 �h4 f2 52 if 50 . . . :e3+ 5 1 �d2.
:f6, when I suddenly noticed that after 50 g4
52 . . . �h6! there was no defence against 51 :a7+
53 . . . 0 =. and 54 . . . g5 mate. Black would also have retained winning
In such double-edged positions it is chances after the comparatively better 5 1
extremely important to remain calm and bxc6 g3 52 c7 :h8 (52 . . . g2 53 c81i' g l .+
composed, but I began to panic and lost the 54 �d5 is less clear) 53 :b6 :c8 54 e5
ability to evaluate the position objectively. :xc7 5 5 �e4 g5 .
However, the win was no longer there. 51 �f6
Thus, for example, if in the last variation 52 e5+ �g5
instead of 49 :xc6 White plays 49 h3 gxh3 53 bxe6 g3
50 �3, there follows 50 . . . g5 ! 5 1 :xc6 54 e7 :hS
g4+ 52 �g3, and now not 52 . . . :d2 53 e5 ! 55 :b7 g2
:g2+ 54 �h4 f2 5 5 :f6 g3 56 a6 :g l 57 56 :bl �g4
�h3 ! 0 .+ 5 8 :xO :xfl 59 c6 when
White wins, but 52 . . . :d I ! with counter­
play sufficient for a draw. If 53 e5 Black
replies 53 . . . :g 1 + 54 �f2 (54 �h4? g3 5 5
:f6 g2, and it i s Black who wins)
54 . . .:g2+ 5 5 �O g3 56 :f6 :f2+ 57 �g l
with a draw.

White's time trouble is over, but his


position is hopeless.
57 a6 f3
5S a7 tl
Whereas only fragments remain of
White's powerful pawn trio, Black' s con­
nected pair of pawns advances irresistibly
47 �e2 to the queening rank.
White loses his head. 4 7 �f2 was the 59 as. :xaS
simplest way to draw. 60 :bS :xbS
86 Averbakh 's Selected Games

61 cxbS'" Game 24
White resigns Gligoric-Averbakh
Interzonal Tournament
After signing the scoresheet, I shook Saltsj6badeniStockhoim 1 952
my opponent's hand and set off for the Nimzo-Indian Defence
hotel. It was just coming up to lunch time.
However, on entering the restaurant, I felt 1 d4 lDf6
that I was incapable not only of eating, but 2 c4 e6
even of sitting down at the table. 3 lDc3 .i.b4
We were playing and living in Salts­ 4 a3
jobaden, a suburb of Stockholm. Going out Undoubtedly the most critical
into the fresh air, although there was a continuation . White shows that he does not
strong wind and a light Autumn rain was consider the exchange on c3 to be a threat.
falling, I wandered around a forest, not On the contrary, in order to gain the two
following any paths, until I found myself bishops he is ready to waste a tempo.
on the banks of a small lake, edged with 4 .i.xc3+
boulders. I sat down on a bench that 5 bxc3 0--{)
opportunely appeared, and began gazing at
the water. I sat there for at least half an
hour . . .
Strangely enough, this calmed my
nerves that had been so angered by the
vexing defeat. Incidentally, realising that
water had a pacifying effect on me, on
more than one subsequent occasion I got
myself back into a normal state after an
especially nervy encounter, by observing
the surface of water.
' What are you getting so hysterical
about?' , I persuaded myself. 'After all, the
tournament is not over, and your chances 6 f3
have not yet been lost. There are still nine This desire to advance e2-e4 In one
rounds to go. ' move is perfectly understandable.
On returning to the hotel, I set up a plan 6 d5
for the coming battles. In order to finish in In other games played at that time,
the first five, which would give the right to Black tried to manage without this move.
participate in the Candidates Tournament Thus Szabo against Bronstein (Budapest
and also the grandmaster title, I needed to 1 950) played 6 . . . lDh5 7 lDh3 f5 here, and
score at least 7 points out of 9. And I slightly later Taimanov with Black against
succeeded in fulfilling this difficult task. I Szabo (Szczawno Zdroj 1 950) chose 6 . . . b6
will not describe what effort and nervous 7 e4 lDe8 followed by . . . lDc6-a5 and
energy this cost me. As the unforgettable . . ..i.a6, attacking the c4 pawn.
Grigory Levenfish once said: ' Major 7 cxd5
successes do not happen without a major If 7 e3 c5 8 cxd5 Black has the
expenditure of nervous energy! ' . satisfactory reply 8 . . . lDxd5, as played in
Averbakh 's Selected Games 87

the game Lilienthal-Botvinnik (Moscow


1 935).
7 exd5
8 e3 lLl h5

11 c5
Black should not have been in a hurry
to make this move. The correct contin­
uation was 1 1 . . . lLld7, and if 1 2 �f2 lLle6
This move marks the start of a new 1 3 �d3 lLldfS with a good position.
plan, which I prepared specially for the 12 �fl lLlg6
Interzonal Tournament. 13 h5
9 'ifcl l:te8 An inaccuracy in reply. After 1 3 �d3
10 g4 lLlc6 14 lLle2 �e6 1 5 g5 ! it is bad to play
After prolonged thought Gligoric 1 5 . . . l:tc8 because of 1 6 h5 lLlfS 1 7 g6 ! with
decides on the immediate advance of his g­ an attack for White (Gheorghiu-Fischer,
pawn. The whole point is that the usual Havana Olympiad 1 966), although
plan of development in such positions, 1 5 . . . lLlfS is quite possible, with equal
involving kingside castling and the chances.
preparation of e3-e4, is difficult to carry
out here. Thus if 1 0 �d3 there can follow
1 0 . . . 'ifh4+ 1 1 'iff2 lLlf4! 1 2 �f1 'iff6, and
Black successfully regroups his forces.
Therefore White takes the risk of
beginning an immediate pawn offensive on
the kingside.
10 lLlf4
11 h4
This position clearly deserves a
diagram . In the course of the first eleven
moves White has succeeded in moving all
his pawns ! And yet, because the position is
a closed one, this has not caused him any 13 lLlfS
serious difficulties. After all, the white 14 lLlel lLlc6
pawns constitute a kind of barricade, 15 lLlf4
through which for the moment the black Black also has a good game after 1 5
pieces are unable to break. lLlg3 i.. e6 1 6 i.. d3 I:tc8.
88 Averbakh 's Selected Games

15 lDe6 has a psychological basis. Unable to mount


16 lDxe6 �xe6 an attack on the kings ide, Gligoric tried to
17 �d3 h6 begin active play in the centre, but the
18 �d2 l:c8 insecure position of his king prevented
this. After the exchange of queens my
opponent decided that he no longer had to
worry about his king.
25 "'xb6 lDxb6
26 �fS �e6
27 e4

The situation has clarified. Whereas for


the moment White's initiative on the
kingside is not making any progress, on the
queenside Black is able to begin active
play.
19 'ifb2 lDa5
20 :agl f6 The irony of fate! Back on the 6th
21 :el move White played f2-fl , preparing e2-e4,
Realising that there is nothing he can do but then for a certain time was forced to
on the kings ide, Gligoric reverts to his reject this move. On the 2 1 st move he
initial plan of advancing e3-e4. Indeed, the again began preparing it. And now, when
attempt to continue the pawn offensive by the move is finally made, it turns out to be
2 1 f4 :c7 22 g5 would merely have a mistake, as it completely hands the
weakened White's position, since his king initiative to the opponent.
is insecurely placed. 27 �xfS
21 �f7 28 gxfS
22 "'bl :e7 28 exfS would probably have simplified
23 :e2 lDc4 the defence, but at this point Gligoric was
24 �c1 thinking of more.
After 24 �xc4 dxc4 White's position 28 lD a4!
would be inferior, despite the opposite­ Beginning a deep cavalry raid into the
colour bishops, since to 25 "'b2, with the opponent's rearguard.
threat of 26 e4, Black would have the 29 �d2 :ce8
strong reply 25 . . . ...c7! White's premature activity has led to
24 "'b6 his pieces being tied up. 3 0 :he l , which
In view of the vulnerable position of the he was planning earlier, would have been
white king, perhaps Black should not have met, as in the game, by 30 . . . lDb2.
exchanged queens, but the move played 30 :h4
Averbakh 's Selected Games 89

35 J.xh6 �xf5
36 J.d �xd4
37 :exe4 �xf3
38 :xe7 :xe7
39 �a �e5
The knight, which has completed a
lengthy manoeuvre: b8-c6-a5-c4-b6-a4-b2-
c4-d6-fS-d4-f3-e5, has not done badly! The
win for Black, who is two pawns up, is not
far off.
40 :d4 :d7
41 �e3

30 �b2 !
31 �fl
3 1 J.e l �c4 32 dxc5 was hardly any
better. After 32 . . . dxe4 3 3 :hxe4 l:xe4 34
fxe4 (34 l:xe4 l:xe4 35 fxe4 �xa3)
34 . . . l:c8 Black would have gained the
bette r ending.
31 �c4
32 J.d

Here the game was adjourned, and


Black sealed his next move.
41 l:c7
42 :d l �f7
43 :gl l:el
44 �e4 :h2
Now White loses a third pawn, but
Gligoric, evidently hoping for some stroke
of luck, continues to drag out this quite
hopeless ending.
The decisive mistake. Here too 32 dxc5 45 h6 gxh6
dxe4 33 J.c l (33 fxe4 l:xe4 34 l:hxe4 46 �d5 l:h5
l:xe4 3 5 J.c l :h4) 33 . . . l:c8 34 l:hxe4 47 �d6 b5
l:xe4 3 5 l:xe4 :xc5 would have led to an 48 l:g3 l:h4
advantage for Black, but even so this was 49 �d5 86
better than the game continuation, which 50 J.d2 l:h5
loses material. 51 J.c3 l:g5
32 cxd4 52 l:h3 h5
33 cxd4 �d6! 53 J.d2 :15
34 l:g4 dxe4 54 �e4 �e6
90 Averbakh 's Selected Games

55 �f4 filg6 whom he had drawn. Preference was given


56 �e3 l:te5+ to the player with the higher overall sum.
57 <i>f3 l:td5 For such arithmetic calculations even
58 <i>e2 my engineering education was not
necessary. I quickly established that, in the
event of a tie, neither Szabo nor Gligoric
was a danger to me: my tie-break score
was much higher. But with Stahlberg the
situation was worse. Strangely enough, the
difference in our scores would depend on
the result of the game between the two
English players who were occupying
places at the very bottom of the tourna­
ment table. If Golombek were to win, I
would be ahead of Stahlberg by quarter of
a point. But if Wade were to win, then by
the same quarter of a point Stahlberg
58 file5! would be ahead of me ! This was if in the
59 �f2 last round I were to draw, and my rivals
Or S9 l:txhS filc4. were to win.
59 file:4 And so the last round began.
60 a4 l:te5+
61 <i>f3 b4 Game 2S
62 <i>g2 a5 Pilnik-Averbakh
White resigns Interzonal Tournament
SaltsjobadenlStockholm 1 952
In accordance with the rules of the Ruy Lopez
Interzonal Tournament, the players oc­
cupying the first five places gained the 1 e4 e5
right to participate in the Candidates 2 fil f3 file:6
Tournament and automatically became 3 �b5 a6
grandmasters. And before the last round I 4 �a4 fil f6
had at last moved up to clear fifth place. 5 0--0 d6
My main rivals - Gligoric, Szabo and 6 c:3
Stahlberg, were half a point behind. To the This move forced me to think seriously.
cherished goal - the grandmaster title - According to the theory of the time, if I
there remained just one more step. were to play 6 . . lilxe4 the game would
.

Even a draw would guarantee me a embark on a course of great simplification,


share of fifth place. In this case preference leading to a roughly equal ending, where a
would be given to the player with the draw - the quite logical outcome - would
higher tie-break score, which was guarantee me at least a share of fifth place.
calculated as follows: the total number of The old proverb runs 'A bird in the
points gained by opponents against whom hand is worth two in the bush' , and I
the player had won was added to half the decided to act in accordance with popular
total of points gained by players with wisdom .
Averbakh 's Selected Games 91

when castling leads to the loss of a pawn


after 1 3 �xd7 lDxd7 1 4 .i.xc7, as does
1 2 . . .�xa4 1 3 'ii'xa4+ 'ii'd7 because of 1 4
'ii'xd7+ �xd7 I S �xc7. I n this latter
variation 1 3 . . . bS 1 4 'ii'f4 � ( 1 4 . . . lDdS I S
'ii'g3 ! ) I S �xc7 .d7 is comparatively
best, with some play for the pawn.

6 lDxe4
7 d4 �d7
8 l:lel lD f6
9 dxe5
The game Geller-Lipnitsky (Kiev 1 9S0)
continued 9 . . . lDxeS 10 lDxeS dxeS 1 1
l:lxeS+ �e7 1 2 �gS ( 1 2 �xd7+ 'ii'xd7 1 3
'ii'e2 O--O-O ! ) 1 2 . . .�xa4 1 3 'ii'xa4+ 'ii'd7 1 4 After examining these variations I came
'ii'xd7+ �xd7 I S lDd2 h 6 1 6 �h4 l:lae8 1 7 to the sad conclusion that I did not even
lDo �d8 ! with roughly equal chances. have my one bird in the hand, and, gritting
In an earlier game Ryum in-Ragozin my teeth, I prepared to defend desperately.
(Moscow 1 93 8) White first played 9 �xc6 On my way to the grandmaster title I had
�xc6 and only then 1 0 dxeS dxeS 1 1 encountered so many barriers, and now,
'ii'xd8+ l:lxd8 1 2 lDxeS .i.e4 1 3 iDd2 �e7 when the goal was within reach,
1 4 lDxe4 lDxe4 I S �f4 iDes with a quick everything had collapsed like a house of
draw. cards !
Before my game with Pilnik I asked 10 �xa4
Geller what he thought about this 11 'ii'xa4+ .d7
variation, and he replied very evasively. It 12 'ii'd 4!
was only five years later that I discovered
why. In the game Geller-Weltmander
(Gorky 1 9S4) there followed I S �h6 ! with
advantage to White.
I, of course, remembered the Geller­
Lipnitsky game, and without thinking I
played:
9 lDxe5
10 �f4!
This move looks much stronger than 1 0
lDxeS . While developing, White intensifies
the pressure in the centre. If 1 0 . . . i.e7 there
now follows 1 1 lDxeS dxeS 1 2 i.xeS,
92 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Avoiding a subtle trap. Against the lLlaS l:d7 1 9 "'a8+ .i.b8 20 l:ae l , when if
natural 1 2 "'b3 I had prepared the reply 20 . . ....c2 2 1 lLlxc6 bxc6 22 "'xc6+ l:c7 23
1 2 . . . 0-0-0 ! , and if 1 3 .i.xeS dxeS 1 4 "'xa6+ <it>d8 24 lLld4 with a powerful
lLlxeS "'f5 ! , when after I S lLlxf7 .i.cs attack, or 20 . . . l:c7 2 1 lLld4 l:d8 (2 1 . . . cS 22
Black has a strong attack. l:xcS ! is strong) and White has the
Here I was again obliged to think. At convincing 22 l:Se3 ! "'g6 (22 . . ....d2 23
first I was intending to play 1 2 . . . 0-0-0, but lLlc4 ! ) 23 lLldxc6.
I rejected this because of 1 3 .i.xeS dxeS 1 4 It should be mentioned that including
"'a7, after examining these variations: the bishop in the defence of the queenside
also does not help: I S . . . .i.d6 1 6 lLlc4 .i.b8
is met by 1 7 "'cS ! ( 1 7 lLlb6+ �c7 1 8
lLlxd7 .i.xa7 is not dangerous) 1 7 . . . .i.c7 1 8
lLlfxeS "'fS 1 9 "'a7 ! with numerous
threats.
It must also be added that Black cannot
answer 1 2 "'d4 with 1 2 . . . cS 1 3 .i.xeS !
cxd4 because of 1 4 .i.xf6+.
However, in reply to 1 2 . . . 0-0-0 1 3
.i.xeS it would seem possible to interpose
1 3 . . . cS, for example: 1 4 "'c4 bS ( 1 4 . . . dxeS
I S lLlxeS "'e8 1 6 lLla3 ) I S "'b3 , and then
not I S . . . c4 1 6 "'a3 , but simply I S . . . dxeS
1 4 . . . c6 ! (evidently the best reply; 1 6 lLlxeS "'fS with counterplay.
1 4 . . ....dS is bad because of I S "'a8+ �d7 The most difficult thing in chess is
1 6 lLlxeS+ "'xeS 1 7 "'xd8+ and 1 8 :xeS) choosing, out of two evils, the one which
I S lLlbd2 ! (this is much stronger than I S causes less damage. I rejected queenside
lLlxeS "'dS, when both 1 6 . . ....xeS and castling, and played instead:
1 6 . . . .tcS are threatened). 12 .i.e7
Now if I S . . ....c7 there follows ' I 6 lLlc4 13 .i.xe5 dxe5
"'b8 1 7 "'xb8+ �xb8 1 8 lLlfxeS and the f7 14 "'xe5
pawn is lost, while if I S . . . �c7 1 6 lLlc4
"'dS 1 7 "'b6+ �c8 ( 1 7 . . . �b8 1 8 lLlaS :d7
1 9 lLlxeS :c7 20 lLlexc6+ �c8 2 1 "'a7 !
bxc6 22 "'a8+ �d7 23 l:tad l ) 1 8 "'b3 !
�c7 ( 1 8 . . . .i.cS 1 9 :xeS) 1 9 :ad l "'bS 20
%txd8 �xd8 2 1 lLlcxeS .
Since 1 6 lLlc4 is a threat, Black can
play I S . . ....dS . This did not appeal to me
because of 1 6 :xeS "'d3 1 7 lLlb3 ,
threatening 1 8 lLlaS . Forty-five years later I
subjected this position to a thorough
analysis, but was still unable to find any
tolerable defence. For example: 1 7 . . ....c2
1 8 lLlaS "'xb2 1 9 :ee I ! and there is no Black has a difficult position. Castling
defence against 20 l:eb 1 , or 1 7 . . . .td6 1 8 is impossible, and the initiative is
Averbakh 's Selected Games 93

completely with White, who can quickly


mobilise all his forces. I had to go totally
onto the defensive.
14 �f8
15 lDbd2 l:e8
16 lDe4 b6
The c5 square has to be defended. After
1 6 . . . .i.d8 White has the unpleasant reply
1 7 .c5+ .i.e7 ( 1 7 . . .• e7? 1 8 lDxf6) 1 8
.a7.
17 l:ad l .c8

21 .b4+
At first sight 2 1 l:e4 h4 22 l%c4 looks
dangerous here, but this is not so. Black
replies 22 . . . •d8! 23 h3 c5 24 b4 l:h5 ! ,
retaining possibilities of a defence.
21 �g8
22 .a4 b5
Apparently Black has to play this. After
the game I thought that 22 . . .c�h7 would
have been more accurate, as if 23 lDe5
Black has the good reply 23 . . . l:e8 !
18 lDxf6 (weaker is 23 . . . .i.xe5 24 l:xe5 g6 25 .f4 !
This exchange favours Black, as it .f8 2 6 l:e l c 5 27 .f6) 2 4 .d l �g8, and
eases his defensive problems. After 1 8 .f4 25 .xh5 is bad because of 25 . . . g6 ! ,
lDxe4 1 9 l:xe4 he would not have replied winning a piece.
1 9 . . . .i.f6 20 l:xe8+ �xe8 2 1 lDe5 .i.xe5 However, 23 .c4 (instead of 23 lDe5)
(2 1 . . .•e6 22 lDg4 .i.d8 23 .d4) 22 is stronger, and only after 23 . . . l:f8 - 24
. •xe5+ �f8 23 .d4 with a decisive lDe5 .
"
advantage, but 1 9 . . . .i.d6, although after 20
lhe8+ .xe8 he would have to reckon with
the exchange sacrifice 2 1 l:xd6.
18 .i.xf6
19 .f4 l:xe1+
20 l:xel
The situation has clarified - whereas
the white forces are fully mobilised, Black
still requires time to bring his rook into
play.
20 h5!
After 20 . . . h6 White had the very strong
2 1 h4, and if 2 1 . . . �g8 22 g4, in order to
answer 22 . . . �h7 with 23 g5 . 23 .f4 l:h6
94 Averbakh 's Selected Games

24 h3 :g6 32 �h7
25 'ife4 �f8 33 Wxc7 Wel+
26 Wd5! h4 34 �h2 Wxfl
27 :e4 :h6 35 b3 'ifxal
36 'ifx17 Wc2
37 'ifh5+ �g8
38 Wd5+ �h7
39 c4 bxc4
It was probably simpler to take on b3 ,
but the last few seconds were ticking away
on my clock.
40 bxc4

Black had been in time trouble since


move 20, and so I made the last few moves
very quickly.
28 �g5
In this way White wins a pawn, but
play goes into a queen ending in which he
has only minimal winning chances.
28 .txg5
29 Wxg5 �g8! 40 a5 !
30 :xh4 :xh4 Now the exchange of the a- and c-
31 'ifxh4 'ife6 pawns is unavoidable.
41 Wh5+ �g8
42 'ifd5+ �h7
43 'ifxa5
No better is 43 cS a4 44 c6 a3, when
Black's passed pawn is no less dangerous
than White's.
The game was adjourned in this
position, and after sealing my next move I
got up from the board and went over to the
arbiter's desk, where precisely at that time
the FIDE President Folke Rogard, together
with the arbiters, was working out the tie­
break scores: all three of my rivals had
32 'ifd8+ won their games. My question: ' Excuse
This further simplification favours me, how did the Golombek-Wade game
Black, but even after 32 a3 'ife l + 33 �h2 finish?' , caused them considerable
'ife2 White has little chance of winning. surprise.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 95

' Golombek-Wade?' , repeated Rogard


in astonishment, and they all looked at me
as if I were mad.
But I knew what I was asking! After
ending up in a difficult position, I had not
got up from the board for a second, and
had not seen what was happening on the
remaining boards. It transpired that
Golombek had won, and so a draw in my
game would guarantee me fifth place. The
following morning, over the course of
several hours, Pilnik tested me, but he was
unable to achieve anything significant.
61 "e5
Strictly speaking, 6 1 . . .Wxfl+ would
have led to a drawn pawn ending, but I
thought that in the queen ending it was
easier to defend.
62 "b7+ �g8
63 "c8+ �g7
64 "d7+ �g8
65 "d8+ �g7
66 �f3 "c3+
67 �a "c2+
68 �e3 "c3+
Draw agreed
43 "xc4 On the results of the tournament, I,
44 "e5 "d3 along with Petrosian and Taimanov, was
45 h4 "c4 awarded the title of grandmaster.
46 "t5+ �g8
47 �h3 "b3+ Game 26
48 "f3 "e6+ Averbakh-Tolush
49 g4 g6 Training Tournament
50 "a8+ �h7 Gagra 1953
51 "a7+ �g8 Modem Benoni
52 "b8+ �h7
53 "c7+ �g8 A training tournament of ten grandmasters
54 "c3 "e4 was arranged by the USSR Sports
55 �g3 �h7 Committee to prepare for a match against
56 "d2 "e5+ the USA, which was due to be held that
57 �h3 "e4 year. All the strongest players in the
58 ..a �g7 country, with the exception of Botvinnik
59 �g3 "e5+ and Bronstein, took part in it. The match,
60 �g2 "e4+ however, did not take place, but the
61 "f3 tournament remained.
96 Averbakh 's Selected Games

1 d4 tDf6
2 e4 eS
3 dS e6
4 tDe3 exdS
S exdS d6
6 e4 g6
7 .i. e2 .i. g7
8 tDf3 0-0
9 0-0 %te8
10 1i'e2

14 tD fd7
This move was later condemned by the
theorists, but the more active 1 4 . . . h6 1 5
.i.g3 g5 1 6 f4 ! , as occurred in the game
Malich-Browne (Amsterdam 1 972), also
leads to an advantage for White. It would
seem that the plan chosen by Black
altogether fails to equalise.
IS .i.e3 f6
16 f4 tDr7
At that time the theory of this opening, 17 .i.tl 15?
then called the Indian Defence, was only
just beginning to develop. Nowadays 1 0
00 i s considered the strongest.
10 86
At one time I O . . . tDa6 was very popular.
Thus the game Averbakh-Tal (25th USSR
Championship, Riga 1 95 8) went 1 1 .i.f4
tDb4 1 2 1i'b 1 tDxe4 1 3 tDxe4 .i.fS 1 4 tDfd2
tDxd5 1 5 .i.xd6? tDf6, and Black emerged
a pawn up. However, by continuing 1 5
J.. g3 ! White would have retained the
advantage. 1 5 . . . .i.h6 1 6 .i.b5 ! is good for
him, while if 1 5 . . . 1i'e7 1 6 .tf3 %tad8 1 7
:e 1 , as suggested by Kholmov. My opponent tries to seize the initiative
11 84 tDbd7 by forcible means, for which, it has to be
12 .i.f4 1i'e7 said, he had purely psychological grounds.
The alternative is 1 2 . . . 1i'e7. When I was still a master, I played Alex­
13 tDd2 tDes ander Tolush four times, with a dismal
14 h3 outcome for me -one draw and three
White intends to retreat his bishop to e3 defeats. The point was that I simply could
and then play f2-f4. not adapt to his exceptionally aggressive,
Averbakh 's Selected Games 97

forceful style, and even reckless, risky play This allows a spectacular finish. How­
brought him success. But on this occasion ever, even after the more tenacious
he met his match ! 23 ...•d8 24 lLle4 lLlh8 25 'ii'h 5 �g8 26
18 exfS j,xc3 j,h4 .fS 27 :e3 Black has no defence
This is the point of Black's idea - he against the combined attack of the enemy
wins a piece. pieces.
19 fxg6 hxg6 24 :e8+! �xe8
20 bxc3 25 .g8+
Of course, not 20 Wxg6+ j,g7 2 1 j,d3 Black resigns
lLlfS, when Black has everything in order. After 25 . . . �e7 26 j,h4+ he is mated in
20 lbe2 two moves.
21 Wxg6+ �f8
Game 27
Keres-Averbakh
Candidates Tournament
NeuhausenlZurich 1 953
Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 lLlf6
2 c4 e6
3 lLlc3 j, b4
4 e3 0-0
5 j, d3 d5
6 lLlo c5
7 0-0 lLlc6
22 Itael ! 8 a3 j,xc3
The entry of the second rook into the 9 bxc3
battle refutes the opponent's combination.
If 22 . . .ltxd2 there follows 23 j,h4 lLlb6 24
:e8+ with the same mate as in the game.
22 :xe1
23 lbe1 lLlb6

In the 1 950s this was one of the most


common 'tabiyas' of the Nimzo-Indian
Defence, in which the theoreticians tested
the most varied plans for both White and
Black, and every tournament introduced
98 Averbakh 's Selected Games

something new. The Candidates Tourna­


ment was no exception.
9 b6
10 llJeS
A continuation that Keres had prepared
specially for this tournament. If now
I O . . . llJxeS 1 1 dxeS dxc4 1 2 lLxc4, and
White's position is preferable. However,
Black has a better reply.
10 lLb7
11 f4
This is the point of White's play. After
supporting his knight with the pawn, he
intends to begin active play on the 17 'ii'd 6
kingside. Therefore both 1 1 . . . 11Je4 and 18 fS exfS
1 1 . . . 11JxeS would be playing into his hands. 19 lLxfS %le7
11 llJaS 10 e4 :d8
11 :f4?
To defend his d4 pawn Keres does not
want to move his rook off the f-fiIe, and so
he makes this move, which effectively
proves to be the decisive mistake. The
drawback to it is not that a pawn is lost,
but that it leads by force to the exchange of
queens, so that the weakening of Black's
kingside, caused by his next move, is not
dangerous.

12 exdS
Keres decides to relieve the situation in
the centre, but in so doing he loses one of
his trumps - the advantage of the two
bishops.
12 "'xdS
13 "'e1 exd4
14 exd4 llJb3
15 :bl llJxd
16 %lbxd :ae8
17 "'b1 11 gS
If White's bishop were at b2, his central 11 :a "'xd4
pawns would be very strong. But here, 13 "'xd4
even after c3-c4, they are likely to become There is no choice. If 23 "'e2 %le7 24
weaknesses, which need to be defended. %le I :de8, and Black wins.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 99

23 :xd4 the resulting rook ending, whereas now he


24 :cfi :d6 wins without any difficulty.
31 h3 !
32 gxh3
If 32 g3 there follows 32 . . . h2+ 33 �h 1
J.b7+ 34 J.e4 :xc4 3 5 J.xb7 :c 1 +.
32 :xh3
33 :d4 J.c8
34 :d8+ t:i;e7
35 :gd4 J.e6
36 �gl :g5+
37 �f2 :a5
38 :b8 :xa3
39 J.e2 :h2+
40 �el :a1+
When he played 2 1 . . . g5, Black had to 41 :d l
evaluate this position precisely and con­
vince himself that there was no way for the
opponent to exploit the insecure position of
his knight.
25 h4 gxh4
26 :f4 :c5
27 lbg4
If 27 J.xh7+, then 27 . . .ri;g7 .
27 lbxg4
28 :xg4+ �f8
29 J.xh7 i.a6
30 :ff4 :h6
31 J.d3
41 :xe2+
White resigns

Game 28
Averbakh-8zabo
Candidates Tournament
NeuhausenlZurich 1953
Ruy Lopez

1 e4 e5
2 lbfJ lbc6
3 J.b5 a6
4 J.a4 lbf6
Probably more tenacious was 3 1 J.g6 5 � lbxe4
J.xc4 32 :xc4 :xc4 33 :xc4 :xg6 34 6 d4 b5
:xh4, when Black would still have to win 7 J.b3 d5
1 00 Averbakh 's Selected Games

8 dxe5 �e6 li)g5 1 8 b4 ! White gained the advantage.


9 c3 �c5 Although half a century ago there was not
such an extensive exchange of information
as there is now, the Hungarian grandmaster
had learned of my game and had prepared
an improvement.
15 c5
16 1i'd l f4
Of course, I was prepared for this
move.
17 f3

Szabo shows that he is ready to engage


with me in a theoretical argument in this, a
variation of the Ruy Lopez that was then
very popular.
10 li)bd2 0-0
11 �c2 f5
12 li)b3 �a7
13 li)fd4 li)xd4
14 li)xd4 �xd4
15 1i'xd4 17 li)g5
On 1 7 . . . li)g3 White was intending 1 8
hxg3 fxg3 1 9 1i'd3 , and if 1 9 . . . 1i'h4 20
1i'xh7+ 1i'xh7 21 �xh7+ �xh7 22 �g5
with advantage, while after 1 9 . . . �fS 20
1i'xfS l:xf5 21 �xfS 1i'h4 22 �h3 , in
contrast to the 1 5 cxd4 variation, Black
cannot capture on d4.
18 a4
The knight on g5 is not too well placed,
but for the moment the attempt to transfer
it to e6 does not succeed. If 1 8 . . . �fS there
follows 1 9 �xf5 l:xfS 20 axb5 axb5 2 1
l:xa8 1i'xa8 22 1i'd3 and White wins
At that time the theoretical continuation material. I had established all this earlier in
1 5 cxd4 had been so thoroughly analysed my analysis of 1 5 1i'xd4.
by the theoreticians, that in a game with 18 b4
Sokolsky (Trades Union Team Champion­ 19 h4
ship 1 95 1 ) I tried deviating from the When analysing this position earlier, I
familiar path in favour of the queen was proposing to reply here 1 9 cxb4, and if
capture. After 1 5 . . . c5 1 6 1i'd l l:a7 1 7 f3 1 9 . . . cxb4 20 1i'd4, but during the game I
Averbakh 's Selected Games 101

noticed the dangerous pawn sacrifice Having convinced himself that his
1 9 . . . c4! , and after 20 "d4 there could attack is threatening to peter out, with a
follow 20 . . . .i.fS ! 2 1 .i.xfS :xf5 22 :d l rook sacrifice my opponent forces
lDe6, and if 23 "xd5 1i'b6+ 24 �fl :dS. perpetual check.
Unsettled by this discovery, I decided 24 :xeS
to risk a sharp continuation, in which 25 "xeS .g3+
Black has nothing better than to force a 26 �hl .xfJ+
draw. 27 �gl
Draw agreed

Game 29
Euwe-Averbakh
Candidates Tournament
NeuhausenlZurich 1 953
Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 lDf6
2 c4 e6
3 lDc3 .i.b4
4 e3 0-0
5 .i.d3 dS
19 lDh3+ 6 lDfJ cS
20 gxh3 .xh4 7 0-0 lDc6
21 :a .i.xh3 8 a3 .i.xc3
22 : h2 :ae8 9 bxc3 b6
23 "xd5+ �h8 10 cxdS exdS
24 .i.d2 11 lDd2

It appears that White has managed to The former World Champion demon­
stabilise the position. If 24 . . . :e6 he had strates his preparation for the tournament.
prepared 25 .i.xf4, while after 24 .....g5+ He intends to play his rook to e I , transfer
25 �h l :XeS he has 26 "d3 ! .i.fS 27 his knight via fl to g3 and, after supporting
"d6, winning. his d-pawn by moving his bishop to b2,
1 02 Averbakh 's Selected Games

play f2-f3 and e3-e4. However, all this


requires time, and I decided to oppose my
opponent's plan with a rapid pawn
offensive on the queenside.
11 .te6
12 .tb2 e4
13 .te2 b5
14 f3 as
15 %tel
After the immediate 1 5 e4 I would
hardly have gone in for the unclear
complications arising after 1 5 . . . dxe4 1 6
fxe4 ltJg4, as recommended by several
commentators, but would have replied 19 e4 ltJe7
1 5 . . . b4, pursuing my own strategy. 20 ltJg3 �h8
15 1Vb6 21 lIe2 ltJfg8
16 ltJn b4 Black sounds the retreat too early,
allowing White to activate his pieces. My
plan, after the opening of the centre, was to
transpose into a favourable ending.
However, I could have tried to do this
differently. For example, 2 1 . . .lIaeS was
good, and if 22 e5 ltJfgS 23 ltJh5 only then
23 . . . f5 .
22 ltJh5 fS

17 1Vd2
One has to admire Euwe's composure.
Here he could have played 1 7 lIc 1 , so that
after I S . . . b3 his rook would not be shut in.
However, he did not want to waste time on
the rook move - he thought that within a
few moves all the same it would come into
play.
17 b3 And this move, which I had planned far
18 .tbl a4 in advance, is in fact a serious mistake,
Thus Black has achieved his aim by after which White should have developed a
creating a strong protected passed pawn on strong initiative. 22 . . . 1VdS ! was correct,
the queens ide, but now he has to withstand and if 23 1Vg5 ltJg6.
his opponent's offensive in the centre, and 23 1Vg5 %tt7
later his attack on the kingside. 24 exfS .txfS
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 03

25 .i.xfS ttlxfS 28 :e8


Euwe condemned this move, since it
only leads to the exchange of rooks and an
inferior ending for White, and thought that
after 28 :e6 ! he would still have retained
the better chances. However, this is not
altogether so. As Stahlberg showed, Black
can reply 28 . . . :dd7, and if 29 :a6 :fe7 !
30 �t2 :xe 1 3 1 �xe 1 :e7+ followed by
32 . . . ttle3 with strong counterplay. Of
course, 29 :a6 is not the best move, but
after 29 �t2 g6 30 ttlg3 ttld6 Black can
again maintain the balance. In addition I
had an interesting possibility - 28 . . . :c8 ! ,
26 :ael with the idea of sacrificing my knight for
The queen ' s rook has been offside for the d4 pawn and then playing . . . c4-c3 . In
so long that White's desire to bring it into reply to 29 :b6 there would have followed
play immediately is quite understandable. 29 . . . :e7 with a complicated game.
However, 26 :e5 ! , tying down Black' s 28 :xe8
forces, would have been much stronger. In 29 :xe8 :e7!
this case I would have had to reply 30 :xe7
26 . . . ttlfe7 27 :ae l (27 :xd5 ttlxd5 28 Alas, White is forced to exchange
"xd5 "g6 ! 29 "xa8 :e7 ! ) 27 . . ...d8, rooks, otherwise he loses his bishop.
going onto the defensive, although if 28 30 ttlgxe7
ttlf4 I would have had the simplifying 31 �tl
exchange 28 . . . :xf4 29 "xf4 ttlg6. Black was threatening 3 1 . . . ttle3 with an
26 "d8! immediate win. This same move would
Consistently aiming for simplification. have followed on 3 1 .i.e 1 .
27 "xd8 31 �g8
No better was 27 "d2 "h4, or 27 "f4
ttlge7 with the threat of 28 . . . ttlg6.
27 :xd8

32 g4
Could the former World Champion
have saved this ending? In order to win,
1 04 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Black needs to break through on the


kingside or to create a second weakness
there. However, for the moment the
position is blocked, and to open lines or
create weaknesses, time is required.
Could not White have regrouped -
transferred his knight to b l and freed his
bishop from the duty of guarding the a3
and c3 pawns? Bronstein thought that he
could, and to demonstrate this he gave the
following variation: 32 lDf4 �f7
(defending against 33 lDe6) 33 g3 lDd6 34
lDg2 lDbS 3 S lDe3 lDc8 36 lDfl lDcd6 3 7
lDd2 with good chances o f a successful 36 lDxa3 !
defence. 37 .txa3
However, by playing 3 3 . . . gS ! 34 lDg2 Black also wins elegantly after 3 7
lDg6! Black does not allow the knight to lDxdS lDc2+ 3 8 �d2 lDe4+! 39 �c l lDf2,
go to e3 . If 3 S g4 he has the decisive for example: 40 lDb6 lDd3+ 4 1 �b 1 a3 42
manoeuvre 3 s . . . lDg7 36 �e3 (36 lDe3 lDxc4 a2 mate, or 40 lDb4 lDxb4 4 1 cxb4
lDf4) 36 . . . lDe6 followed by . . . lDgf4, and lDd3+ 42 �b l lDxb4 followed by 43 . . . lDdS
the exchange of knights by 3 S lDe3 also and 44 . . . c3 .
does not help: after 3 S . . . lDxe3 36 �xe3 he 37 lDb5
plays his king to fS and then, by advancing 38 .tel lDxc3
his pawns, opens lines on the kingside. 39 lDe2
Therefore it is hardly correct to If 39 �d2, then Black wins by
condemn the advance of the g-pawn. 39 . . . lDb l + 40 �d l c3 4 1 lDxdS c2+ 42
32 lDd6 �e2 a3 43 lDb4 a2 .
33 �e3 lDb5
34 f4?
After moving his knight to an active
attacking position, Black was considering
the combination with a piece sacrifice that
did in fact occur in the game. Therefore
White should have urgently brought his
knight to the aid of the bishop. After 34
lDf4 I would still have had to demonstrate
that Black's advantage was sufficient for a
win. Now, however, events develop by
force.
34 lDc8
35 fS lDcd6 39 lDbl !
36 lDf4 But not 39 . . . lDxe2? 40 �xe2 c3 4 1 �d l
My opponent assumed that with this b2 42 .txb2 cxb2 43 �c2 a3 44 gS ! with a
move he was forcing the knight to return to draw.
c7, but Black has a better option. White resigns.
Averbakh 's Selected Games l OS

Game 30 15 'ilh3
Averbakh-Taimanov If I S 'irf2 Black can sacrifice a piece:
Candidates Tournament I S . . . 0-0! 1 6 g4 lDxb3 1 7 axb3 'ilxeS 1 8
NeuhausenlZurich 1953 gxhS 'irxhS with an attack.
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
2 lDf3 lDc6
3 d4 cxd4
4 lDxd4 lDf6
5 lDc3 d6
6 .i.c4 e6
7 0-0 a6
8 .i.e3 'ilc7
9 .i.b3 .i.e7
10 f4 lDa5
11 'irf3 b5
15 'ilxe5?
It was this capture that I was counting
on ! In the later game Bannik-Taimanov
(23rd USSR Championship, 1 9S4)
Taimanov showed what Black should play
- I s . . . lDxb3 1 6 lDxb3 'ilxeS 1 7 lDaS b4 1 8
lDc4 'irc7 1 9 'irxhS g6 20 'ile2 bxc3 with
the better chances.
16 .i.xe6! fxe6
If Black declines the sacrifice by
1 6 . 0-0 , White has the decisive 1 7 %Irs
..

lDf4 1 8 %lxeS lDxh3+ 1 9 .i.xh3 .


17 lDxe6
Taimanov quickly made these opening
moves: he had already played this on more
than one occasion. Moreover, in his notes
to his game with Lipnitsky ( 1 9th USSR
Championship, 1 9S 1 ) he criticised White's
next move, declaring that the entire
variation was unfavourable for him. It was
this assertion that prompted me to play it.
The point was that in my preparations I
had discovered an interesting trap, and I
was hoping that my opponent would fall
into it.
12 e5 .i.b7
13 'irg3 dxeS An amazing position has arisen. It is
14 fxe5 lDhS Black to play, but in one move he is unable
1 06 Averbakh 's Selected Games

to defend against the two threats of 1 8 Game 3 1


�d4 and 1 8 'it'xhS, as 1 7 . . . �f6 is met by Najdorf-Averbakb
1 8 .tf4, and finally, on the desperate Candidates Tournament
1 7 . . . �d7 there follows 1 8 l:tad l + �d6 NeuhausenlZurich 1953
( 1 8 . . . �c6 1 9 'it'0+) 1 9 �cS+ (or 1 9 �f8+) Queen 's Indian Defence
19 . . . �c7 20 l:tf7+ when White has a
crushing attack. 1 e4 �f6
17 .te8 2 �f3 e6
This is essentially an admission of 3 g3 b6
defeat. 4 � g2 � b7
18 "xh5+ 'it'xh5 5 0-0 � e7
19 �xg7+ �d7 6 d4 0-0
20 �xh5 �e4 7 �c3 �e4
21 � d4 :g8 8 'it'd � xc3
22 � d5 l:tg5 9 bxc3
23 �hf6+ �xf6
24 �xf6+ �e6
25 �xh7 l:tg6

This move, which has currently gone


out of fashion, is much better than its
reputation, although it is not able to set
It would have been simpler to resign, Black any serious problems.
but through inertia Black continues his 9 �e6
hopeless resistance and plays on to mate. 10 �e5
26 :ael b4 The start of an unfortunate strategic
27 b3 �a3 plan that hands the initiative to the
28 :e5 �b5 opponent. After 1 0 �d2 ! �aS 1 1 .txb7
29 �e3 �c3 �xb7 1 2 e4 c6 1 3 l:tb l the play would
30 �m :g7 have taken on a positional, trench-warfare
31 :f6+ �e7 character.
32 .th6 :g4 10 �a5
33 :e7+ �d8 11 �xb7 �xb7
34 :h7 :b8 12 'it'a4
35 � .txe6 Continuing in the same spirit. I would
36 :m mate have preferred 12 e4 �aS 13 'it'd3 d6 1 4
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 07

li)g4, when, after placing his knight at e3 , considers here the variation I S . . . ...c6 1 6
White has a solid enough position. li)b4 "'b7, although after 1 7 �e3 li)c4 1 8
c6 the situation would have become more
complicated.
16 llbl llec8
17 h4
In this way White prepares 1 8 �f4, as
on the immediate bishop move he was
afraid of 1 7 . . . gS .
17 d5
18 �f4 f6
With the obvious threat of exchanging
on cS and playing . . . e6-eS .

12 d6
13 li)d3
Hardly better was 1 3 li)c6 "'d7 1 4
li)xe7+ ( 1 4 dS �f6) 1 4 ......xe7, when the
pattern remains the same - the game
reduces to a battle of knight against bishop.
13 li)a5
14 c5 "'e8
15 "'xe8 llfxe8

19 li)b4
A clever attempt to complicate matters.
Now after 1 9 . . . bxcS there would have
followed 20 li)a6, and if 20 . . . cxd4 2 1
li)xc7, e.g. 2 1 . . . 11ab8 22 llxb8 llxb8 23
li)xdS or 21 . . . eS 22 li)xdS with unclear
complications. However, Black has no
reason to go in for such play.
19 a6!
20 cxb6
If 20 li)d3 , then good is 20 . . . bxcS 2 1
The result of White's pseudo-active li)xcs e S 22 �e3 �xcS 2 3 dxcS llab8 24
play is that there are weaknesses in his llfd 1 llxb 1 2S llxb 1 q;f7 with a
position, and the initiative is completely in favourable ending.
the hands of his opponent. Of course, 20 cxb6
Najdorf could have retained the queens by 21 �d2
playing IS 'ii'c 2, but it is doubtful whether All the commentators at the time
this would have improved his chances of a condemned this move, suggesting instead
successful defence. Euwe, for example, 2 1 li)d3 , but after 2 1 . . . bS 22 llfc l �a3 23
l OS Averbakh 's Selected Games

:c2 lLlc4 White's position would have 29 Itxc8+ lLlxc8


remained difficult. 30 f3 lLle7
30 . . . lLld6 was perhaps simpler, but I
considered it important to forestall any
possibilities associated with e3-e4 (30 e4
would now be met by 30 . . . lLlc6, winning
at least a pawn).
31 .tfl
3 1 : f2 :c l 32 :e2 lLlfS 33 � f2 came
into consideration.
31 �ti
Of course, not 3 1 . . .:b2 32 Itc l Itxb4
33 :c7 �f7 34 l:a7 when White acquires
serious counter-chances.
32 Itbl lLlfS
21 lLlc4 33 �f1 lLld6
22 .tel 34 :b3 lLlc4
22 .tc l was no better. Black would not 35 �g2 fS
have replied 22 . . . .txb4 23 :xb4 bS 24
:d l , when White holds on, but 22 . . . lLld6 !
with the unpleasant threat of 23 . . . lLle4.
22 .txb4
23 cxb4
After 23 :xb4 the second rook would
be unable to take part in the defence of the
c3 pawn.
23 lLla3
24 Itb3 lLlbS
25 e3 ltd
26 a4 lLld6
27 as bS
The logical conclusion to such endings.
White simply has no useful moves. 36 f4 is
met by 36 . . . lLld2 and 37 . . . lLle4, while if 36
e4, then 36 . . . fxe4 3 7 fxe4 00 and
3 S . . . lLlxe4. Finally, if 36 hS h6, or 36 Itd3
lLlb2, winning the bishop. There is nothing
for White to do, but to give up his e-pawn.
36 :bl lLlxe3+
37 �gl f4
Of course, there were also other ways,
but this is probably the simplest.
38 gxf4 lLlfS
39 �f1 g6
28 1tc3 Itc8 40 Itb3 �e7
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 09

41 l:t bl �d7 14 �xe5 "xe5


White resigns : his position is 15 l:tel i.d7
completely hopeless. If 1 6 e4 Black was intending the
tactical blow 1 6 . . . i.a4 ! 1 7 "xa4 "xc3,
Game 32 when the best White can hope for is a draw
Averbakh-Euwe after 1 8 i.gS "xd3 1 9 i.xf6 gxf6 20 l:ad 1
Candidates Tournament "c3 2 1 l:e3 "eS 22 l:dS "a 1 + 23 l:d l .
NeuhauseniZurich 1953 16 i.b2
Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 �f6
2 c4 e6
3 �c3 i.b4
4 e3 c5
5 �f3 0-0
6 i.d3 d5
7 0-0 �c6
8 a3 i.xc3
9 bxc3

16 c4!
A pawn sacrifice specially prepared for
this tournament by the former World
Champion. It creates considerable prob­
lems for White, and they have to solved
directly at the board.
17 i.xc4
Declining the sacrifice by 1 7 i.e2
would have given Black a comfortable
game after 1 7 . . . i.c6. But now White must
play very accurately to avoid losing.
Exactly this position was reached in the 17 �g4
game between the same opponents from 18 f4
the first cycle of the tournament, only with 1 8 g3 "hS 1 9 f4 (but not 1 9 h4 �eS 20
reversed colours. I played 9 . . . b6. Euwe i.e2 i.g4) 1 9 . . . ..cS would have come to
prefers the more popular plan, involving roughly the same thing.
. . . e6-eS . 18 "c5
9 dxc4 19 "d3
10 i.xc4 "c7 White is obliged to calculate exactly at
11 i.d3 e5 every step. Thus if 1 9 i.d3 there could
12 "c2 "e7 have followed 19 . . . �xe3 20 "f2 l:fe8,
Here 1 2 . . . l:te8 is usually played, and if when 21 i.c l is bad because of 2 1 . . ...xc3 ,
1 3 e4 c4. while 2 1 l:e2 "b6 22 l:ae 1 �dS is good
13 dxe5 �xe5 for Black.
1 10 Averbakh 's Selected Games

25 :e7
25 :ed2 also promises little because of
25 . . . :c8.
25 �e6
26 :xd8 :xd8
27 �xe6 fxe6
28 :xb7

19 :ad8
20 :ad l !
After 2 0 .d4 Black has the unpleasant
20 •h5 2 1 h3 �c6, while if 20 �d5
. . .

�e6, immediately regaining the pawn.


20 .b6
21 .e2 lLlxe3
22 Wxe3 .xb2 28 :c8
29 :xb6 :xel
30 :a6
The only chance of retaining at least
some practical winning chances.
30 �f7
31 cka h5
32 a4 :a3
33 h4 �f6
34 :a5 g6
35 �e2

23 :e2 !
This modest rook move, which I
anticipated back on move 1 7 when I took
the c4 pawn, is the whole point: because of
24 :a2 Black is unable to take on a3 , and
he is forced to exchange queens.
23 .b6
24 .xb6 axb6
As a result of the interesting tactical
complications, White has a favourable
ending, but here this is not enough to win. 35
Averbakh 's Selected Games III

Incredible! - that such an experienced Game 33


player as Max Euwe should make such an Averbakh-Ragozin
obvious mistake. Evidently a part was 21st USSR Championship
played here by the fatigue that he Kiev 1954
experienced during the second half of the Dutch Defence
tournament, being the oldest participant.
After 3 S :a.2+ 36 �f3 �f7 it would have
... 1 c4 f5
been time to agree a draw, since taking the 2 g3 tLlf6
king across to the a-pawn would involve a 3 .i.g2 e6
great risk. 4 tLla .i. e7
Here is an interesting observation: 5 0-0 0-0
Botvinnik once said to me that Euwe, with 6 d4 d6
his great height (more than 1 .9 metres), In the end, a well known position from
liked making long moves. Perhaps it is this the Ilyin-Genevsky Variation has been
that explains this long, although extremely reached by transposition of moves.
unfortunate rook move. 7 tLlc3 'ii'e8
36 :g5! :a3 8 1%e1
37 a5 �f1 A standard idea. White prepares e2-e4
Now, with the kingside pawns and this is not prevented by 8 . . ..g6 9 e4 !
.

defended, White's king goes to the support fxe4 1 0 tLlxe4 tLlxe4 1 1 1%xe4 'ii'xe4 on
of his passed pawn. account of 1 2 tLlh4, when the queen has no
38 �d2 retreat square.

38 �e7 8 tLle4
39 �cl �d6 9 'ii'c2 'ii'g6
40 �b2 :a4 10 .i.e3
41 g3 �c6 1 0 tLlxe4? fxe4 1 1 tLld2 would have lost
42 �b3 :a1 to 1 l . e3 ! Now, however, White is
. .

43 �b4 1%b1+ threatening to take on e4.


44 �c4 1%a1 10 tLlxc3
45 �b3 11 'ii'xc3 tLld7
Black resigns The game Averbakh-Sokolsky, played
later in the same tournament, went
1 12 Averbakh 's Selected Games

1 1 . . .�f6 1 2 :ad 1 lDc6 1 3 'it'b3 a5 1 4 c5 should first have played 1 5 . . . l:b8, and after
with a slight advantage for White, but 1 2 1 6 l:ec 1 �d7 1 7 lDe 1 �c6 he would have
b4 ! , employed later by Furman, i s even had a solid game, although I was intending
better. 1 8 lDd3 and considered the resulting
position to be favourable for White.
However, Ragozin was already in an
optimistic mood, which explains his
following move, after which Black's
position collapses like a house of cards.
15 b6?
16 �g5! �xg5
1 6 . . . �b7 loses a piece to 1 7 �xe7
lDxe7 1 8 lDh4.
17 lDxg5 �b7
After 1 7 . . .• xg5 1 8 �xd5 exd5 1 9
.xd5+ �h8 20 .xa8 Black has no
compensation for the lost material.
12 c5 If now the knight were obliged to
This move is justified: White has retreat, Black would gain a reasonable
completed his development and can game, but White has a new possibility.
embark on active play. At the same time he
is obliged to hurry, otherwise after
1 2 . . .�f6 and 1 3 . . . e5 Black will have a
good game.
12 lDf6
13 cxd6 cxd6
14 'it'b3 lDd5
15 �d2

18 e4! fxe4
19 lDxe4
During the last four moves the position
has changed radically. My opponent has
managed to develop his bishop, but at what
a price ! His central pawns are weak, and
the knight at d5 is insecure. Passive
defence was not to Ragozin' s taste. He
It may seem that Black has successfully initiates a tactical skirmish, but apparently
solved his opening problems. His knight at miscalculates.
dS is well placed, and it only remains to 19 lDe7
develop his queen' s bishop. To do this he 20 lDxd6 �xg2
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 13

Game 34
Averbakh-Suetin
21 st USSR Championship
Kiev 1954
Slav Defence

1 d4 dS
2 c4 c6
3 lOc3 lOf6
4 1Of3 dxc4
5 a4 1.rs
6 e3 e6
7 1.xc4 1.b4
21 "xe6+! 8 0-0 0-0
Perhaps Black had been counting on 2 1 9 .e2 lObd7
:xe6 1.dS, when White loses a piece.
21 .xe6
22 l:xe6 1.h3
23 l:xe7 l:ad8
24 lOe4 l:xd4
25 l:el h6
In time trouble, Black gives up a
second pawn in order to retain his bishop
and activate his second rook. If 2S . . . aS I
was intending to play 26 lOgS 1.rs 27 1Oe6
1.xe6 28 l:7xe6 :d2 29 l: l e2.
26 l:xa7 l:c8
27 f3 :c2
Black still overlooks the impending 10 e4 1.g4
danger. 11 :d l .e7
12 h3 1.xf3
13 "xf3 eS
14 dS lOb6
15 1.b3 cxdS
16 as d4
17 axb6 dxd
18 bxd 1.cS
19 bxa7
At that time this variation of the Slav
Defence had been extensively analysed,
and, had Black played 1 9 . . . :xa7, after 20
:xa7 1.xa7 a position could have been
reached from the game Lilienthal-Aronin
28 lOf6+ ( 1 6th USSR Championship, 1 948), where
Black resigns after 2 1 1.gS :d8 22 1.dS White gained a
1 14 Averbakh 's Selected Games

slight advantage. Alexei Suetin was always This intermediate move is the whole
well prepared theoretically, and he makes a point.
new move, preventing the bishop from 24 f5
going to gS . 25 :xd5
2S exdS would have led to unclear play.
25 fxe4

19 h6
20 .i.e3 b6
If 20 . . . bS there would have followed 2 1 26 .i.e3
l:aS, winning a pawn. I made this move, defending the f2
21 .i.d5 l:ba7 pawn, without particular thought. But now,
By first playing 2 1 . . .�xdS Black would studying this position many years later, I
have maintained material equality, but by noticed the strong reply 26 "'g4 ! with the
replying 22 exdS White would have unpleasant threat of 27 l:d7. If Black
created a dangerous passed pawn. replies 26 . . . .i.xf2+ 27 �h2 l:n, then 28
22 :xa7 "'xa7 l:d8+ �h7 29 J.xg7 is decisive, while if
he plays 26 . . . ...n, then 27 cJa>h2 "'f6 28
.i.e3 with the better chances for White.
26 "'al+
27 cJa>h2 .i.xe3
27 . . ....xc3 28 J.xcS "xg3+ 29 cJa>xg3
bxcS 30 l:xeS would have led to a lost
rook ending, e.g. 30 . . . c4 3 1 l:xe4 :c8 32
l:e2 c3 33 l:c2, and the king goes across to
the c3 pawn.
28 "'xe3
29 l:d2
30 l:d7
Black seeks salvation in a queen
23 .i.xh6! ending, but in so doing he gives up a pawn.
This combination refutes the Much better was 30 . . :.e6 ! 3 1 l:b7, and
opponent's innovation. here not 3 1 . . :.f6 32 "'xe4 "'xf2 33 "'xeS,
23 . � xd 5 but 3 1 . . . ... f5! 32 "'g3 "'f6, when White's
24 "'g3 ! advantage is insufficient for a win.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 15

41 'ife2
In such positions, where there are no
passed pawns, White's plan is to penetrate
with his king into the opponent's position
and weave a mating net.
42 g4
Opening the way for the king.
42 'ifd2
43 �g3 'ifc3+
44 �h4 'ifd4
45 .f5+

31 l:txf7 �xf7
32 .xe4 'ifxc3
33 'ifb7+ �g8
34 .xb6 'ifcl
35 .d8+ �f7
36 'ifd7+ �g8
37 .e6+ �h7
38 .f7 .e4
39 g3
39 g4 was possible, but I did not hurry,
aiming to begin the realisation of my
advantage only after adjourning the game 45 g6
and analysing it at home. This makes things slightly easier for
39 �h6 White. Had the black king retreated to the
40 �g1 �h7 back rank, after f2-f.3 and �h5 White
41 �h2 would have played g5-g6 and again set up
a mating net, but in this case Black would
have acquired stalemating chances, and the
win would have been not at all simple.
Now, however, White's king quickly
invades the enemy position.
46 .f7+ �h6
47 .f6! �h7
48 �g5 .d2+
49 f4! exf4
Going into the pawn ending is no better
- 49 . . ..xf4+ 50 .xf4 exf4 5 1 �xf4 �h6
52 �e5 �g5 53 �e6 �h4 54 �f6 and
White wins.
In this position the game was 50 .f7+ �h8
adjourned, and Black had to seal his next 51 �h6
move. Black resigns
1 16 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Game 3 S
Averbakh-Bannik
21st USSR Championship
Kiev 1954
English Opening

1 c4 eS
2 lDc3 lDc6
3 g3 g6
4 R.g2 R.g7
5 e3

10 R. c8
In his notes to the game with Resh­
evsky, Botvinnik attaches an exclamation
mark to this move, whereas Konstantin­
opolsky, in his notes to the present game in
the tournament book, thinks that the retreat
to d7 is more natural . However, then White
is not obliged to play d4-dS .
11 dS lDeS
12 b3
In the same notes Botvinnik asserts that
In the 1 93 0s this was Botvinnik' s the continuation chosen by me also
favourite continuation. However, in his last achieves nothing, although he does not
book of collected games, published in the give any variations to demonstrate this.
1 980s, he himself points out that S d3 or The question arises: if this variation is
even S e4 sets Black more difficult so unpromising, why did I choose it?
problems. Firstly, I did not consider it to be
5 lDge7 unpromising. Secondly, and this is the
6 lDge2 d6 main thing, the variation employed gives
7 � � White a fairly solid position, and at this
8 d4 exd4 moment, two rounds before the end of the
9 exd4 R.g4 tournament, I was leading my nearest rival
The well-known game Botvinnik-Resh­ by a whole point, so that I did not need to
evsky (AVRO Tournament 1 93 8) went aim for the maximum . My main task was
9 . . . lDfS 1 0 dS lDeS 1 1 b3 as 1 2 R.b2 lDd7 not to allow the opponent active play.
1 3 a3 lDcs 1 4 b4 with a positional advan­ 12 a6
tage. Botvinnik thought that by the bishop This move was recommended by
move to g4 Black could ful ly equalise. Botvinnik, reckoning on 1 3 R.b2 bS ! with
10 f3 good counterplay for Black, but my plans
If 1 0 h3 Botvinnik gives 1 0 . . . R.xe2 1 1 included a different way of developing the
lDxe2 lDfS 1 2 dS lDeS 1 3 'ii'c2 :e8 with an bishop. Black could have considerably
acceptable game for Black. sharpened the play by 1 2 . . . c6, but Bannik,
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 17

a player of strictly positional style, did not Being cramped, Black is glad of every
make such moves. exchange, but this does not improve his
position.
22 %:txel .f8
23 ci>a
Anticipating the transition into a minor
piece ending, White improves the position
of his king.
23 %:te8
24 :xe8 j,xe8
25 �e2 �d8

13 -*.g5! h6
14 -*.e3 �f5
15 -*.a %:te8
16 .d2 %:tb8
17 �d4 �xd4
18 -*.xd4 -*.d7
White has a spatial advantage, and also
a slight lead in development, so that Black
has to play very cautiously. The more
active l B . . . bS also has its drawbacks. Tarrasch in his time said that if one
White replies 1 9 cxbS axbS 20 f4 �g4 2 1 piece stands badly, then the entire position
j,xg7 ci>xg7 22 %:tfe 1 with a good game. becomes bad. In our case the black knight
is poorly placed, and this later plays the
decisive role. Whereas White gradually
strengthens his position, Black is unable to
find any possibilities for counterplay.
26 .e3 q;n
27 b4!
Beginning to cramp the opponent on
the queens ide.
27 -*.d7
28 1.0 -*.xd4
29 �xd4
White was threatening c4-cS, so Black
decides to exchange the dark-square
19 h3 f5 bishops, but now the white knight has
Defending against the threat of winning taken up a strong position.
the knight. 29 j,c8
20 f4 �n 30 j,e2 j,d7
21 %:tfel :xe1+ 31 j,dl .g7
1 18 Averbakh 's Selected Games

By removing his control of c5, Black knight. However, this was the last move
allows the opponent to make an important before the time control, and he had only
pawn advance. seconds left on his clock. Now his position
32 cS! "'f6 becomes hopeless.
33 -*. b3 �g7
34 cxd6 cxd6

41 h4!
The only move that leads to a win.
With the queens on the board it is easier White no longer allows the knight
for Black to defend, so White decides to manoeuvre.
exchange them, after which he acquires 41 �h8
new possibilities for strengthening his This move was sealed by my opponent,
position - the centralisation of his king and but it is already too late.
the advance of his queenside pawns. 42 hS! �f7
3S "'c3! gS 43 as �d8
This move was condemned by the 43 . . . �5 would have offered some
commentators, as it weakens the f5 pawn, practical chances, but after 44 fxe5 dxe5
but on the other hand it could have allowed 45 b5 -*.c8 46 �4 ! axb5 47 -*.xb5 -*.d7 48
Black to markedly improve the position of -*.xd7 �xd7 49 �c5+ �d6 50 �b7+
his knight. �xd5 5 1 a6 �c6 52 �5+ �b6 53 �4+
36 �e2 ! "'xc3 �xa6 54 �xe5 White wins.
37 �xc3 gxf4
Black should not have been in a hurry
to make this exchange. After 3 7 . ./ijiJ
followed by 3 8 . . . �h8 and 39 . . . �g6 he
could have hoped to save the game.
However, the move played is not a fatal
mistake.
38 gxf4 �f6
39 -*.c4 �f7
40 a4 �e7
The last opportunity for a successful
resistance was 40 . . . �h8, when B lack
succeeds in improving the position of his
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 19

44 b5!
White's plan is crystal-clear. He needs
to open lines on the queens ide and then try
to penetrate with his king into the enemy
position.
44 Jlc8
45 �e3 �e8
46 �d4 �e7
47 Jld3 �f7
48 �a4 axb5
Because of the threat of 49 �b6, this
exchange is forced.
49 Jlxb5 Jld7
This move too has to be made, after 59 �d4 �8
which the win for White becomes a matter 60 �b5+ �d7
of simple technique. 61 �b6 �e7
50 Jlxd7 �xd7 62 �c7
Black resigns
By my victory in this game I won the
title of USSR Champion with a round to
spare.

Game 36
Korchnoi-Averbakh
21st USSR Championship
Kiev 1954
Sicilian Defence

This game was played in the last round of


the Championship. I was already out of
51 �c4 �c7 reach of my rivals, as I was leading my
52 �b5 �d8 closest pursuers, Korchnoi and Taimanov,
53 �c3 by one and a half points. For me the battle
Now the knight heads towards the fS was over, and I was in a very benign
pawn. mood, naively assuming that my opponent
53 �f7 would be similarly inclined. All the same
54 �e2 �d8 he could not catch me, and a share of
55 �d4 �f7 second place was more or less assured.
56 �xf5 1 e4 c5
In conclusion Black finds himself in 2 �f3 �c6
zugzwang, and he is forced to allow the 3 d4 cxd4
advance of the enemy king. 4 �xd4 �f6
56 �d7 5 �c3 d6
57 �b6 �c8 6 Jlg5 e6
58 �a7 �c7 7 'iVd2 a6
1 20 Averbakh 's Selected Games

8 0-0-0 �d7 1 7 'iVxf6 It)d5 1 8 'iVd4 It)xc3 1 9 'iVxc3+


9 f4 h6 'ifxc3 20 bxc3 with a quick draw. Later an
10 �h4 It)xe4 analysis by the Soviet master Grechkin
11 'iVel It)f6 was published, showing that, instead of
12 It)f5 'iVaS 1 6 . . . lt)e7, stronger is 1 6 . . . lt)b4, and if 1 7
13 It)xd6+ �xd6 a3 lt)xc2 !
14 ':xd6 0-0-0 17 ':d2 !
After this improvement, specially
prepared by Korchnoi, I should have
realised that my opponent was by no
means peacefully inclined, but I was still in
a benign mood and simply could not
develop any fighting spirit.
17 'iff5
This falls in with White's plans. Even
here, by replying 1 7 . . . �c6 and if 1 8 'ifxf6
It)d5 ! , Black could have achieved a
reasonable game.
18 �d3 It)g6
19 'iffl 'ifxf4
This variation had been analysed in 20 �xg6 'ifxfl
detail and was considered by theory to be 21 ':xfl fxg6
difficult for B lack, but I had employed it 22 ':xf6 gS
against Gligoric in the 1 953 Candidates 23 It)e4
Tournament, and after 1 5 'ifd2 It)e7 1 6
.i.d3 .i.c6 1 7 ':xd8+ ':xd8 1 8 ':d 1 'ifh5 1 9
g3 It)f5 I achieved a good game.
15 �xf6 gxf6
16 'iVh4 It)e7

Black's position is markedly inferior.


He has a weak pawn at e6, his dark squares
are weakened, and here the knight is
stronger than the bishop. Now I should
probably have parted with a pawn, but
I knew the game Lyskov-Bonch­ activated my pieces by 23 . . . .i.c6, and if 24
Osmolovsky ( 1 9th USSR Championship ':xe6 ':hfS 25 ':e I ':d4, but I did not yet
Semi-Final, Lvov 1 95 1 ), which continued sense that I was on the verge of losing.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 121

23 l:tdfS seeking the slightest saving chances,


24 l:thfl l:txf6 setting myself the modest goal of not
25 l:txf6 b6 losing before the 40th move, in order to
Defending against the threat of 26 lLlcs . adjourn the game and not give pleasure to
26 ci>d2 ci>c7 Korchnoi's most ardent supporters.
27 l:tt7 ci>c6 29 b5
28 ci>e3 .i.c8 30 c5 b4
29 c4 31 ci>d4 g4
32 �c4

Korchnoi has gradually strengthened


his position, and I now realised that I was 32 g3 !
losing. ' So what?' , I thought to myself. In order to gain at least some counter­
'What does it matter? All the same he can 't play, Black must activate his rook, and for
catch me ! ' this he sacrifices a pawn.
However, quite unexpectedly the spec­ 33 lLlxg3 as
tators came to my aid. The tournament was 34 lLle4 l:td8
being held in the region of Kiev called 35 lLld6
Podol. The spectators attending the event, If 3 S l:ta7 I was proposing to reply
especially the youngest ones, openly sup­ 3 S . . . eS, threatening a check at e6.
ported the youngest competitor Korchnoi, 35 .i.a6+
and, to put it mildly, did not distinguish 36 �d4 :g8
themselves by their good manners, and 37 g3 :g4+
were not ashamed to loudly express their 38 lLle4
sympathies. And here, when I ended up in 3 8 :f4 is worse because of 3 8 . . . :gS,
a critical position, a group of youths, threatening both to capture on cS, as well
sitting in the gallery, began chanting in a as . . . e6-eS .
whisper: 'Averbakh, resign ! Averbakh, 38 .i.c4
resign ! ' 39 b3 .i.d5
This chanting acted on m e like a call to 40 l:tf4 l:tg8
arms, aroused my desire to fight, and Strictly speaking, I had fulfilled my
forced me to gather my strength. task, by lasting out to move 40. However,
'I'll give you resign ! ' , I whispered to the position remains cheerless for Black,
myself, and, gritting my teeth, I began despite the slight activation of his pieces.
1 22 Averbakh 's Selected Games

But here to my aid came. . . Korchnoi And here 49 �f6 was more accurate,
himselfl Instead of adjourning the game, and only if 49 . . . �a4 50 g4.
and then at home, in a calm atmosphere, 49 :a3 !
clarifying the way to win, he decided to 50 �xe6
finish me off without adjourning, seeing as That's it. The win is no longer there!
we still had time on our clocks. And so the After 50 h4 ! l:g3 5 1 �f4 l:h3 52 h5 l:h l
battle continued with its former intensity. 53 l:e2 ! l:a l 54 g5 White would still have
retained winning chances.
50 l:h3 !
But now, as often occurs in rook
endings, the active placing of the black
pieces prevents White from realising his
extra pawn.
51 �f5 �a4
52 g5 hxg5
53 �xg5 l:c3
54 :e2 l:c5+
55 �g4 l:c4+

41 �f6 :d8
42 �e5 �xc5
43 :d4 a4
44 bxa4 :a8
45 �e4+
Of course, simpler was 45 �xd5 exd5
46 :xd5+ �c4 47 :d2 :xa4 48 �f6 etc.
45 Jtxe4
46 :xe4 :xa4
47 :e2 :a6
48 :c2+ �b5
49 g4 Here the game was finally adjourned
and declared a draw without being
resumed. After 56 �g3 l:c3+ 57 �g2 :c4
5 8 h3 �a3 59 �g3 Black plays 59 . . . l:c l
60 h4 :a l 6 1 h5 :xa2 with an easy draw.

Game 3 7
Averbakh-Panno
USSR v. Argentina
Buenos Aires 1954
King's Indian Defelice

1 d4 �f6
2 c4 g6
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 23

3 �c3 i.g7 8 "'a5


4 e4 d6 9 i.d2 !
5 i.e2 0-0 9 "'d2 is not in the spirit of the
6 i.g5 variation in view of 9 . . . bS ! , with the
initiative for the sacrificed pawn.
Incidentally, it should be mentioned that
the retreat of the bishop by no means loses
a tempo: the black queen will also have to
abandon the as square.
9 e5
Strangely enough, this pawn advance is
a serious mistake. By closing the centre,
Black frees the opponent' s hands for an
attack on the kingside.
The correct continuation is considered
to be 9 . . . e6 1 0 �f3 exdS 1 1 exdS i.g4 1 2
0-0 with a slight advantage for White.
This game with Panno was one of the Therefore modem theory thinks that
first in which I employed the variation instead of 8 . . . "'as Black should play 8 . . . e6
with S i.e2 and 6 i.gS , which soon immediately.
became known as the Averbakh Variation.
White's last move appears to contradict
one of the basic principles of opening play
- without yet completing his development,
White crosses the demarcation line.
Besides, did not the great Lasker say that
at the start of the game the knights should
first be brought out, and only then the
bishops?
Nevertheless, this bishop development
is positionally well-founded. White en­
deavours to forestall his opponent's
activity, by restricting his actions.
Incidentally, the move 6 i.gS involves a 10 g4!
quite concrete trap - the routine 6 . . . eS is The centre is closed, and White
met by 7 dxeS dxeS 8 "'xd8 l:xd8 9 �dS, immediately launches a pawn stonn on the
winning material, while if 6 ... h6 the bishop kingside.
retreats to f4 or e3 , and then by 8 "'d2 10 �e8
White gains a tempo for his development. 11 h4 f5
6 c5 As is customary in the King's Indian
7 d5 a6 Defence, Black tries in this way to create
8 a4 counterplay. However, here this plan has
This move also comes into White's an obvious drawback - it seriously
strategic plan - it forestalls Black's play on weakens the black king' s position.
the queenside. 12 h5 f4
1 24 AverbaJch 's Selected Games

Seeing that the opening of the kings ide 18 :h4 �d7


will only favour the opponent (White was 19 hxg6 hxg6
threatening 1 3 hxg6 hxg6 1 4 gxfS gxfS 1 5 20 "hI
.i.hS �f6 1 6 .i.g6 with an attack), Panno
tries immediately to close the position.
13 g5!
Threatening by hS-h6 to shut the g7
bishop completely out of the game, and at
the same time preparing the exchange of
light-square bishops, after which a number
of light squares in the opponent' s position
will be weakened.
13 :17
14 .i.g4 "d8
Black sounds the retreat over the entire
front and goes completely onto the defen­
sive. However, the attempt to counter­ White has regrouped his heavy pieces
attack on the queenside could only have and deployed them at active posts. All is
turned out badly, for example: 1 4 . . . .i.xg4 ready for the invasion of the enemy
1 5 "xg4 "b4 1 6 hxg6 hxg6 1 7 "c8 ! :e7 position .
1 8 b3 ! , and if 1 8 . . . ..xb3 there follows 1 9 20 .i.e7
:b l and 2 0 :xb7. 21 :h8+ c:j;t7
15 .i.xe8 "xe8 22 "h6 �f8
16 �fJ .i.f8 After evacuating his king from g8 and
defending the g6 pawn with his knight,
Black thought that he had stabilised his
position. However, the security of his king
is imaginary, since the pieces crowding
round it do not defend it well. White only
needs to blow up the enemy fortress, and
with his next move he prepares this
explosion.

17 �e2 !
Solid barriers have been set up in the
middle of the board, and so here White's
king feels completely safe. To continue the
offensive it only remains for him to switch
his heavy pieces to the h-file and then to
open it.
17 :tg7
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 2S

23 l:th l !
Now it i s difficult for Black to defend
against the destructive bishop sacrifice at
f4. For example: 23 . . . i.d8 24 i.xf4 exf4
2S l:th4 �e7 26 :xf4 with a decisive
attack.
23
With the desperate 23 . . . bS Black could
have tried to reduce the tempo of the
attack, for example 24 axbS axbS 2S cxbS
li)c7 26 i.xf4 ! li)xbS, but after 27 i.xeS
dxeS 28 li)xeS+ �e8 29 li)xbS 1Wa6 30
1I'xg7 1I'xbS+ 3 1 'i>f3 White has an easy
win. 29 li)h4!
24 i.xf4! 1I'c7 White's mating attack develops very
As 24 . . . exf4 loses to 2S :h4, Black has smoothly.
to defend against the threat of 2S i.xeS ! If, 29 i.d8
for example, 24 . . . li)d7, then 2S 1Wh3 li)b6 30 li)xg6+ � g7
26 i.xeS ! , winning material. 30 . . . :xg6 would have allowed mate in
two moves - 3 1 :h8+ 'i>g7 32 1I'g8 .
31 li)xe5
Black resigns

Game 3 8
Averbakh-Aronin
USSR Team Championship
Riga 1954
King's Indian Defence

1 d4 li)f6
2 c4 g6
3 li)c3 i.g7
25 1Wh2 ! 4 e4 d6
Again threatening to capture on eS . 5 i.e2 0-0
25 li)d7 6 i.g5 c5
26 1Wh3 7 d5 h6
The triumph of White's plan. The At that time the theory of this variation,
queen succeeds in invading the weak which later became known as the
squares in the enemy position. Averbakh Variation, was only just being
26 li)fS developed, and my opponents tried various
27 :xfS+! plans against me.
The only defender of the e6 square has 8 i.f4 li)bd7
to be eliminated. 9 li)f3 li)g4
27 'i>xfS Black immediately tries to begin active
28 1I'e6 :g8 play in the centre.
1 26 Averbakh 's Selected Games

The natural reaction to Black's previous


move. Now his commander will feel
uncomfortable.
16 dxeS
1 6 . . . gxf4 1 7 exf6 fxg3 would have lost
immediately to 1 8 i.. d 3+.
17 fxgS i.. xgS
Just one mistake by Black has led to
this difficult position, where it is already
hard to offer any good advice. 1 7 . . . hxgS
was no better because of 1 8 i.. d 3+ �g7 1 9
lDc3 with the threat of 2 0 lDe4.
18 i.. d3+ rlilg7
10 1i'd2 19 "'e2 :'h8
Having provoked 7 . . . h6, White gains In defending against the threat of 20
an important tempo for his development. 1i'e4, Black weakens his control of fl,
10 �h7 which White immediately exploits.
1 0 . . . gS is dangerous. Since White has 20 d6 e6
not yet castled, after 1 1 i.. g3 he will be 21 lDc7 :'b8
threatening 1 2 h4.
11 i.. g3 lDgeS
12 lDxeS i.. xeS
13 f4 i.. d 4
14 lDbS i.. f6
15 0-0 gS

22 lbt7+!
Black resigns
After 22 . . . rlilxfl 23 1i'hS+ rlilg7 24
"'g6+ �f8 2S lDxe6 he is mated.

In the summer of 1 9S5, before the USSR­


In this way Black tries to wrest control USA match, Mikhail Botvinnik suggested
of the eS square for his pieces, but in so to me that we play a couple of training
doing he weakens the position of his king. games. I readily agreed: who would not be
After the more logical I S a6 1 6 lDc3
•.• interested in doing battle with the
i.. d4+ 1 7 �h l eS I was intending to champion of the world? Before this we had
continue 1 8 dxe6 fxe6 1 9 f5 . met only in official competitions (with a
16 eS! score of + 1 =2, not in my favour).
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 27

As a sparring-partner I evidently suited Game 39


Botvinnik, and over the next two years we Averbakh-Botvinnik
played about 25 training games. The time Training Match
control was the standard one of two and a Nikolina Gora 1 956
half hours for 40 moves. If a game French Defence
remained unfinished, it was not normally
resumed. 1 e4 e6
An exception to this occurred in two 2 d4 dS
matches. One was played in August 1 956, 3 �d2 �f6
when the World Champion was preparing 4 eS �fd7
for the Olympiad in Moscow and for the 5 .*.d3 cS
Alekhine Memorial Tournament, and the 6 c3 b6
second was in January 1 95 7, at the con­
cluding stage of Botvinnik' s preparations
for his second world championship match
with Vasily Smyslov. In these matches,
games were adjourned after 40 moves and
then resumed.
In the first match we played five games
with an overall score of + 1 =4 in
Botvinnik's favour. Three of these games
were adjourned and played on right to the
finish. In all of them I had an advantage,
and I was reckoning to pick up at least two
points. Alas, I only managed to score one
point. What happened? A favourite continuation of Botvinnik,
First of all one has to acknowledge the the aim of which is to exchange the c8
World Champion 's analytical skill, and his bishop for the active one at d3 .
resourcefulness and tenacity. My analysis, 7 �e2
on the other hand, left much to be desired. In a game S .Abramian-Botvinnik
Not in self-justification, but for the sake of (Leningrad 1 93 8) White tried to prevent
the truth, I should say that there were also the exchange of bishops by 7 We2, on
objective reasons for this: a couple of days which there followed 7 . . . cxd4 8 cxd4 �c6
before th� ill-fated adjournment session, I with two threats - 9 . . . �xd4 and 9 . . . �b4.
received the proofs of my book How to 7 .*.a6
Solve Chess Studies, and instead of 8 .*.xa6 �xa6
'polishing' the adjourned positions, I was 9 �
obliged to work on the proofs, which had The desire to quickly remove the king
to be returned to the typesetter as quickly from the centre is understandable, but 9 h4
as possible. came seriously into consideration, aiming
When the adjournment session came to to seize space for active play on the
an end, Botvinnik did not conceal his joy, kingside. To 9 . . . h5 White could reply 1 0
and smilingly remarked: 'You know, Yura, �g3 g6 1 1 �f3 , when he obtains a similar
out of three equal adjourned positions I position to the game, but with less
normally always win one ! ' expenditure of time.
1 28 Averbakh 's Selected Games

9 tDc7! 15 tDel tDc6


This is more accurate than 9 ... i.e7 1 0 16 Wd2 b5
f4 f5 I I exf6, when the pawn has to be 17 tDa a5
taken with the bishop (if 1 1 . . . tDxf6 1 2 18 i.g5
Wa4+ winning a piece), as occurred in the
game Botvinnik-Petrov ( 1 2th USSR
Championship, Moscow 1 940).
10 tDg3 h5

White has finally achieved his aim - the


exchange of bishops, but the initiative has
already been lost: the black pawns have
advanced. Perhaps here he should first
A similar position had already occurred have played 1 8 a3 .
in Botvinnik's game with Tolush (20th 18 i.xg5
USSR Championship, Moscow 1 952), in 19 tDxg5 b4
which he carried out the same plan as he 20 h4 We7
does here. Keeping his king in the centre The unpleasant 2 1 . . . a4 is threatened, so
for the moment, the World Champion aims that White's next move is forced.
to restrict White's possibilities on the 21 a4 tj;d7
kingside and to mount a pawn offensive on
the queens ide. However, White too has his
trumps.
11 tDa i.e7
12 i.e3 tDb8
The knight is transferred to a more
active position, from where it will be able
to support the advance of Black' s pawns.
13 tDel g6
14 tDd3
Inviting Black to block the centre. If I
had tried to exchange the dark-square
bishops immediately by 1 4 tDf3 tDc6 I S
"'d2, there could have followed 1 5 . . . .:tc8, 22 .:tfel
and if 1 6 i.g5 i.xg5 1 7 tDxg5 cxd4 1 8 The opponent was intending 22 .l:thb8,
..

cxd4 tDxd4 1 9 tDxf7 tDf3+ 20 gxf3 tj;xf7. and probably I should have prevented him
14 c4 from connecting his rooks by 22 "'f4, and
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 29

only then transferred my rook to 0 . For 31 lbe3 lbg7


example: 22 . . J lhfS 23 :fe l llabS 24 :e3 32 :f6
bxc3 25 bxc3 :b3 26 :0 .
22 llhbS
23 :e3 bxc3
24 bxc3 ll b3
25 llf3 lb dS
26 "'f4 �eS
27 lb h7 � d7
2S lbg5 � c6

Setting a clever trap, into which my


opponent falls. Now Black should have
moved his king to c7 . If 32 . . . lbfS I was
intending 33 lbxf5 gxf5 34 :h6, and after
3 5 :xh5 the h4 pawn becomes very
dangerous.
32 lbeS?
33 lbxd5!
Black has a clear positional advantage, When the king lacks pawn cover, one
and so he avoids repeating the position. always has to watch out for unexpected
Now if 29 lbxf7 there could have followed blows such as this. Botvinnik's usual
29 . . . lbxf1 3 0 "xf1 "xf1 3 1 :xf1 :xc3 vigilance was evidently dulled by the
with a sharp and unclear ending: preceding quiet manoeuvring play.
(a) 32 lbe2 can be met by 32 . . . :b3 3 3 33 �xd5
lbf4 :abS 34 lbxg6 :b l + 3 5 :xb l :xb l + If Black had declined the knight
36 �h2 c 3 3 7 :0 :b3 ! 3 s lbf4 c2 39 lbe2 sacrifice by playing 33 . . ... b7, the game
:xf3 40 gxO lbeS with advantage to could have gone as follows: 34 "'f4 ! lbxf6
Black; 3 5 "xf6 :b l + 36 :xb l "xb l + 3 7 �h2
(b) 32 :g7 (probably best) 32 . . . :d3 33 "d3 3 S lbe3 1i'xc3 39 d5+ �b7 40 lbxf1
lbe2 :bS 34 :xg6 (34 lbf4 :d2 ! ) 34 ... :b2 lbxf1 4 1 1i'xf1+ �aS 42 1i'xe6 and White
3 5 �fl , and if 3 5 . . . c3 36 :g3 c2 3 7 :xd3 has quite sufficient compensation for the
:b l + 3 s lbc l llxa l 39 :c3+ and 40 :xc2 . exchange.
Of course, all these sharp variations are 34 "f4 �c6
not obligatory, but they do show just how 35 d5+ �b7
complex this ending is. 36 "xc4 � aS
In short, I avoided the capture on f1 and 37 :f4 1i'c7
played instead: White has two pawns and an attack for
29 lba llabS the piece, so it is quite understandable that
30 "ct lbes the defender should aim to exchange
Black tries to transfer his knight to f5 . queens. In fact, by playing 3 7 :0 (instead
1 30 Averbakh 's Selected Games

of 3 7 l:tf4), and if 3 7 . . . ..c7 3 8 "d3 , White 42 :'cS


could have retained all the advantages of 42 d7 &£jc7 43 &£je4 suggests itself, but
his position, without exchanging queens. after 43 . . . :'d l 44 &£jd6 :'d3 it is doubtful
whether White can win.
42 :'b7 !
Black's No. 1 enemy is the passed d­
pawn, and so he prepares to undennine its
defences by . . . f7-f6.
43 &£je4
By continuing 43 f4 f6 44 &£jf3 White
would still have every chance of winning.
43 f6
44 exf6?
A mistake. Here too 44 f4 was stronger,
maintaining the powerful pawn phalanx.
44 &£jrT
38 d6 45 l:lxaS l:ld7 !
Of course, I wanted to keep the queens I overlooked this move, assuming that
on, but after 3 8 'tWa6+ 'tWa7 39 "d3 &£jc7 after 45 . . . &£jfxd6 46 &£jxd6 &£jxd6 47 l:te5
the black pieces would have occupied White would win the e6 pawn while
active positions. retaining his f6 pawn. Now, however, he
38 "xc4 must lose both d- and f-pawns, and with
39 :'xc4 :'b1+ them his winning chances, although the
40 l:lxbl :'xb1+ advantage remains on his side.
41 �h2 �b8 46 l:tbS+ �c8
The game was adjourned in this 47 &£jcS :'xd6
position, and White sealed his next move. 48 as
He no longer has an attack, but his strong
protected passed pawn and the active
placing of his pieces give him the
advantage. The question is - can it be
converted into a win?

48 &£jc7 !
Black defends very accurately. After
48 . . .&£jxf6 49 a6 his position could again
have become critical.
49 IIb6 IIxb6
Averbakh IS Selected Games 131

50 axb6 �e8 unfinished game I was the exchange up,


51 �xe6 �xf6 and hence had winning chances.
52 c4 �e5 This was an extremely tense match. I
53 c5 �c6 remember that we battled with a fierceness
54 f3 �d7 that was unusual for training games. In
several games there was a severe time
scramble, which often led to blunders.
Now, playing through these games, and
experiencing as if anew all the changes of
fortune in those encounters, I suddenly
realised that such training games use up
too much strength and nervous energy. It is
quite possible that, when a month and a
half later Botvinnik sat down at the board
with Smyslov, he had not managed to
recover fully after our battles, and to some
extent this may have affected the outcome
of the match.
55 �f8+
This leads to further simplification and Game 40
a quick draw, but there is nothing better. Averbakh-Botvinnik
55 �e8 Training Match
56 �xg6 �d7 Nikolina Gora 195 7
57 �f4 �xc5 Dutch Defence
58 �xh5 �d7
59 b7 �f7 1 d4 e6
60 g4 �c5 2 �f3 f5
Draw agreed 3 g3 �f6
4 i.g2 i.e7
The concluding stage of Botvinnik's 5 0-0 0-0
preparations for his second match for the 6 c4 d5
World Championship with Smyslov was to 7 b3 �c6
be our match of twelve games, in which
the World Champion intended to 'run in'
the opening variations prepared for
Smyslov. We were intending to begin
playing immediately after the 1 957 New
Year, but I caught an unexpected cold and
was ill for a week. This somewhat inter­
fered with our plans: Botvinnik definitely
wanted to finish the match in January. As a
result we restricted ourselves to ten games,
and the adjourned ninth game was not in
fact resumed. The match score was +3-2=4
in favour of Botvinnik, but in the
132 Averbakh 's Selected Games

The Dutch was always one of Nothing good comes of 1 8 �xb4 1i'aS
Botvinnik's favourite defences as Black. In 1 9 a3 "'xa3 20 �d3 "'xb3 2 1 :b l :a2 ! ,
this game he tries a new idea - the rapid when Black remains a pawn up.
development of his queens ide minor 18 "'b6
pieces. 19 f4 g6
8 �b2 �d7 20 �f3 :f7
9 �e3 �e4 21 :tl :e7
10 exd5 �xc3 22 :g2
11 �xc3 exd5
The dS pawn is unprotected, and White
could have exploited this factor to develop
his queenside initiative by 1 2 b4 ! Instead
he chooses a slow knight manoeuvre, after
which he effectively loses his opening
advantage.

White demonstrates his intention to


attack on the kingside either with an
immediate g3-g4, or with h2-h3 followed
by g3-g4. With the aim of forestalling his
opponent, Black immediately counter­
attacks in the centre, but this leads by force
to a better ending for White.
12 �el �e6 22 e5?
13 �d3 a5! 23 dxe5 �xe5
Now Black prevents b3-b4. 24 �xe5 :xe5
14 :c1
Played without any pretensions. Here
1 4 a3 came into consideration, for example
1 4 . . . �d6 1 S e3 (defending against a poss-
ible . . . fS-f4) I S . . . 1i'e7 1 6 b4 ! , temporarily
sacrificing a pawn in order to fight for the
initiative.
14 �d6
15 e3 �b4
Finally extinguishing any possibilities
for the opponent on the queenside.
16 �xb4 axb4
17 1i'd2 e6
18 :e2 25 1i'd4!
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 33

Botvinnik clearly underestimated this


move, which leads to exchanges favour­
able for White.
2S :.e8
26 lheS .xeS
If 26 ... :xc5, then 27 :c2 :c6 28 .xb6
l:[xb6 29 :c5 :c6 3 0 :b5 leads to the
same ending that occurs in the game.
27 :d2 .xd4
By 27 . . .•c l + 28 :d l .c2 Black could
have kept the queens on, but with 29 .i.xd5
White immediately wins a pawn.
28 :xd4
34 .i.n
If 34 ... �f7 35 :xb7+ �f6 there follows
not 36 :xh7 because of 36 . . . d4! 3 7 .i.e2
.i.xb3 38 exd4 .i.f7, when it is doubtful
whether White can realise his material
advantage, but 36 .i.e2 :xh2 37 b4.
3S b4 gS
36 .i.e2 gxf4
37 gxf4

28 :d+
29 �a :e2+
30 �el :xal
31 :xb4 :.7
The defence in inferior positions such
as this one is especially difficult, in that
out of several evils one has to choose the
least. The alternative was 3 1 . . . :xh2 32
l:[xb7 :b2 3 3 b4 h6 34 b5 g5 with a sharp
ending. 37 d4
32 �d2 :.2+ A desperate attempt to bring the bishop
33 �d3 :a into play. If 37 . . .:xh2 3 8 :xb7 :h l then
If 3 3 . . . :xh2 34 :xb7 :h3 , then 35 �e2 39 b5 :b l 40 b6, e.g. 40 . . . h5 4 1 �c2 :b4
:h2+ 36 �e 1 transposes into the variation 42 �c3 :e4 (42 . . . :b l 43 .i.d3 ) 43 :xf7 !
given in the note to Black' s 3 1 st move, �xf7 44 .i.xh5+ �f6 45 b7 and the pawn
since if 3 5 . . .:xg3 White has the un­ cannot be stopped.
pleasant 36 �f2 :h3 37 �g2, when the 38 :xb7 dxe3
black rook is out of play. It is no better going into a rook ending:
34 :b6! 38 . . . .i.d5 39 :b8+ �g7 40 �xd4 :xe2 4 1
1 34 Averbakh 's Selected Games

�xd5 l:xe3 42 b5 l:e4 43 b6, and White Game 4 1


must win. Polugayevsky-Averbakb
39 �xe3 :xh2 23rd USSR Championship
40 bS .tdS Leningrad 1956
Nimzo-Indian Defence

1 d4 �f6
2 c4 e6
3 �c3 .tb4
4 a3 .txc3+
S bxc3 cS

Despite the equal material, it is hard for


Black to combat the opponent' s outside
passed pawn. For example: 40 . . . l:h3+ 4 1
�d4 l:h2 (4 1 . . . :b3 4 2 l:xf7) 4 2 l:e7 �f8
43 l:e5 l:h6 44 �c5 .te8 45 .tn and
wins.
41 :c7 :h6
42 �d4 .te4 The most natural and popular way of
43 .tc4+ �f8 countering the Samisch Variation,
44 �eS although I often played 5 . . 0-0 , aiming for
.

less well studied continuations. However,


in the given case my choice was based on
the fact that the trainer of the young
Polugayevsky was International Master
Lev Aronin, who I had played several
times, and who was well familiar with my
opening repertoire.
6 e3 b6
7 .td3 .tb7
8 f3 �6
9 �e2 0-0
10 0-0 �a5
11 e4 �e8
The triumph of White's plan. 44 . . . l:b6 12 �g3
is met by 45 .te6 ! :xb5+ 46 �f6, while if Judging by the speed with which my
44 . . . l:h2 45 .te6 �e8 46 b6 �d8 47 l:c8+ opponent made these moves, I realised that
�e7 48 b7 .txb7 49 l:c7+. Therefore I would have to face an opening
Black resigned . innovation, as we were following the well
Averbakh 's Selected Games 135

known Geller-Euwe game from the 1 953 should have closed the centre by 1 7 d5, so
Candidates Tournament. However, there as then to begin an attack on the kingside
was already no way of deviating. with 1 8 �h5 and g2-g4-g5 . However, it
seems to me that a concretely-thinking
player like the young Lev could hardly
have made such a move, unless it was
prepared beforehand. Probably more to his
taste were the tactical complications that
arose in the game.
17 l:txe4
18 dxeS fxeS
19 "'b3

12 exd4
13 exd4 l:te8
14 f4 �xe4
15 fS f6
16 a4!
And here is the important improvement.
The afore-mentioned game went 1 6 l:tf4
b5 ! 1 7 l:th4 "'b6 with strong counterplay.
By not allowing . . . b6-b5, White seriously
restricts Black' s possibilities. 19 dS
As the 'post-mortem ' showed,
1 9 . . ....c7 ! was also good. Polugayevsky
was intending to reply 20 f6 �xf6 2 1 �fS,
threatening 22 �e3 or 22 �d6. Then if
2 1 . . .d5 there could have followed 22 .i.a3
l:td8 (22 . . . l:ta8 23 .i.d6) 23 .i.e7 l:td7 24
�h6+ �h8 (or 24 . . . gxh6 25 "'g3+ �h8 26
.i.xf6+ l:tg7 27 .i.xe5) 25 l:txf6 (with 25
�f7+ White can force a draw) 25 ... gxf6 26
.i.xf6+ l:tg7 27 "'a3 "'c5+ 28 "'xc5 l:txc5
29 �f5 with a material advantage in the
ending.
But Black has a better defence - instead
16 eS of 2 1 . . . d5 he should play 2 1 . . . .i.xe4 ! 22
In the first instance I decided not to .i.a3 .i.xfS 23 .i.xfS �xfS 24 l:txfS "'c5+
allow the rook to go via f4 to h4. 25 �h l l:tc l + 26 l:tfl l:txa l 27 l:txa l with
17 .i.xe4+ three pawns for the exchange, although the
The commentators criticised Polu­ insecure position of the opponent's king
gayevsky for this move, reckoning that he leaves White with some saving chances.
136 Averbakh 's Selected Games

20 �a3 :n In the 23rd Championship of the country,


21 :ad l which took place early in 1 956 in Lenin­
Trying to exploit the resulting pin. grad, the battle for first place was mainly
21 :fc7 between Spassky and me. Only at the
22 exd5 �xd5 finish were we caught by Taimanov, who
23 �b2 :7c5 won his last three games. Such a
An unnecessary move. After 23 . . . :d4 ! conclusion had not been provided for in
24 :xd4 (24 'iVe3 :c2) 24 . . . exd4 the white the regulations, and at the Closing Cere­
queen has no good square. Thus 25 "b4 mony the chief arbiter Igor Bondarevsky
:c2 or 25 . . . :c4 is good for Black, while announced the decision of the Sports
after 25 "d l �c4 26 :f4 d3 he has the Committee - we were to be given one
advantage. day's rest, and then we would again join
24 f6! battle, contesting a three-way play-off, the
Polugayevsky exploits the very first winner of which would become the
opportunity to obtain serious counter­ champion.
chances. After a tiring, almost month-long event,
24 lLIxf6 we were faced with playing a further four
exceptionally important games. If one
draws an analogy with athletics, it could be
said that at the finish of a marathon the
athletes were being asked to run an extra
one hundred metre race.
The games from the play-off showed
that the three of us played in a state that
can in no way be called normal. In almost
all the games there were wild adventures
and numerous mistakes. For example,
during the resumption of my first game
with Taimanov (White), the following
position was reached:
25 �xe5
The decisive mistake. Now the game
concludes, whereas 25 lLIfS ! would have
led to complications, Black's best reply
probably being 25 . . ...c7.
25 :c2 !
26 �xf6 :xg2+
27 �hl :d2+
28 lLIe4 :xd l
29 :xd l "e8!
30 "g3 "xe4+
31 �gl "hl+
White resigns
After 32 �f2 there follows 32 . . . :c2+ Despite White's extra pawn, the
33 :d2 "g2+ 34 "xg2 :xd2+. position is drawn. To maintain the balance
Averbakh 's Selected Games 137

B lack needs to manoeuvre accurately with


his king and bishop, in accordance with the
rule of corresponding squares. Thus with
the white king at c7 or cS, Black' s king
should be at e7, and when the white king is
at b6 it should be at fS.
Taimanov tried his last chance, and
played:
71 �b8
Now 7 1 . . . �fS would be a mistake
because of 72 �c8 �e7 73 �c7, when
White wins. The correct reply was any
bishop move along the e4-h I diagonal, and
only if 72 �a7 �fS. If now the white king a theoretical position was reached, in
moves between a6 and as, the bishop which White cannot simultaneously
keeps on the same diagonal, but as soon as achieve two things - win Black's pawn
the white king goes to b6 or b4, the bishop and prevent his king from reaching the h8
returns to dS . And White cannot win by comer.
exchanging his f-pawn for the c-pawn, as However, the worst was still to come!
then Black gives up his bishop for the d­ Real miracles occurred in my second game
pawn. with Spassky.
I was in slight time trouble: I still had to
make two moves before the time control. Game 42
And suddenly the idea came to me that I Averbakh-Spassky
could immediately give up my bishop, and 23rd USSR Championship Play-Off
transpose into a little-known study by Leningrad 1956
Rauzer, which I had examined when I was King's Indian Defence
writing a book on bishop endings. And,
without a moment's doubt, I took the 1 e4 tbf6
pawn: 1 tbe3 g6
71 .i.xt7?? 3 e4 d6
72 .i.xt7 �d6 4 d4 .i.g7
The spectators gasped. No one could 5 .i.el 0-0
understand what was going on, as after the 6 .i.g5 e5
retreat of the bishop to c4, b3 or a2, 7 d5 "a5
73 . . . cS can be met by 74 dS, when White 8 .i.dl a6
wins. 9 a4 e5?
Taimanov sank into thought and found The first miracle! Spassky either forgot
virtually the only move that leads to a about, or did not know of, my game with
draw: Panno (cf. No.3 8), after which this move
73 h3?? came to be regarded as a serious strategic
Now after mistake, depriving Black of any chance of
73 e5 active play in the centre.
74 dxe5+ �xe5 The correct continuation, of course, is
75 � e7 �b5! 9 .. . e6.
138 Averbakh 's Selected Games

here I sank into thought. For a whole hour!


On what did I waste all this time? It turns
out that my thoughts were occupied by the
following problem : what was better - to
try and continue the attack or to concern
myself with realising the material
advantage? And, after much hesitation, I
chose the first option. Strictly speaking,
this was not the best decision, and was at
the least a double-edged one: the position
in the centre and on the queenside would
be opened up, and my king could then also
be in danger. But from the practical view
10 g4 lDe8 point there was nothing at all to think
11 h4 IS about. I should have taken the knight, and
12 hS f4 only then decided what to do next.
13 gS However, as I said earlier, my state was far
Up to here I did not have to think about from normal, and my tired brain found it
my moves: all this had already occurred in hard to withstand the resulting load.
the afore-mentioned game with Panno. 17 dxc6 bxc6
13 "d8
Finally, the paths diverge. Panno played
1 3 . . .:.n, defending against the threat of 1 4
.

h6.
14 .i.g4 lDc7
15 .i.xc8 "xe8
16 lDa

18 lDh4
Thus, White has decided to continue the
attack. Meanwhile, after 1 8 as ! lDe6 1 9
hxg6 hxg6 20 lDa4 he need not have feared
20 . . . lDd4 2 1 lDb6 ..g4 22 lDxd4 f3 23
lDc2 "xe4+ 24 lDe3 , while after 20 . . ...d8
2 1 lDb6 ':'a7 22 .i.c3 lDd4 23 .i.xd4 exd4
16 lDc6 24 "d3 followed by 25 0-0-() the extra
Realising that he has lost the opening piece would be bound to have its say.
battle, Spassky decides on a desperate step 18 "e8
- he sacrifices a piece, in order to gain at 19 hxg6 hxg6
least some chance of counterplay. And 20 "g4 lZ.b8
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 39

21 lDd l lDe6 The third miracle ! Spassky does not see


22 l:a3 lDd4 the threatened combination.
23 l:ab3 11fT 27 �xd4
The black pieces have become much The fourth miracle! Here White could
more active, whereas for the moment have won with the following spectacular
White's attack does not look dangerous. combination involving the sacrifice of both
24 �c3 l:fe8 rooks: 27 :h8+! �xh8 (if 27 . . .fi;fl, then
25 l:3b2 28 .i.xd4 ! is decisive) 28 :xh8+ �g7 29
:h7+! �xh7 (29 . . . �g8 30 .i.xd4 :xg6 3 1
1Ih5) 30 'ilh5+ �g7 3 1 'ilh6+ �g8 32
'ilh8+ �fl 33 1Ih7+ �e8 34 1Ig8+ �d7
35 1Ifl+ �c8 (3 5 . . .�d8 36 �a5+ with
mate in two moves) 36 lDe7+, and to
defend against the mate, Black has to give
up his queen by 36 . . . :xe7. If he plays
36 . . . �b7, there follows 37 lDd5+! �a8 3 8
lDc7+ �b7 39 lDb5+. However, i n view of
the extreme situation, neither I, nor
Spassky was capable of calculating all
these forcing variations.
27 l:xg6
25 1Ixc4? I was counting on 27 . . . exd4 28 "'fS
The second miracle! Spassky goes in with the threat of mate in four moves by 29
for a sharpening of the play, which leads to :h8+ .i.xh8 3 0 :xh8+ �g7 3 1 :h7+! and
White developing a very strong attack. To 32 "fl.
25 . . .:b7 ! , defending the seventh rank, I 28 1115 11e6
was intending to reply 26 fl , when there 29 1Ixe6+ l:xe6
could have followed 26 . . . d5 with a 30 .i.c3
complicated game, in which for the
moment White ' s extra piece does not play
any particular role.
26 lDxg6 l:e6

It would seem that, after exchanging


queens, White should quickly realise his
extra piece. However, Black's strong pawn
centre enables him to create counterplay,
1 40 Averbakh 's Selected Games

and, in addition, by now I was in severe 39 c5


time trouble. 40 :gh4 �g7
30 d5 41 �a5 c3 !
31 f3 :b3 !
32 :h3
Too passive. 32 :c2 came into
consideration, e.g. 3 2 . . . d4 3 3 �a5 :xf3
34 :xc5 :g3 3 5 �d8, or 32 . . . c4 33 �f2.
32 c4
33 �d2 :g6
34 :gl d4
35 �a5 �f8
36 :g4
Why not 3 6 �c7, forcing the bishop to
return to g7, as 36 . . . �b4+ 3 7 �c l is not
dangerous for White?
36 :d6 I had not managed to catch my breath
after the time scramble, when in this
position I was faced with having to seal a
move.
I sorrowfully considered the adjourned
position. The opponent' s avalanche of
pawns and active rooks look threatening.
There was no question of winning, but
perhaps, God willing, it might be possible
to draw. I thought for 45 minutes over my
sealed move. Spassky's trainer, Alexander
Tolush, thought that by 42 �xc3 dxc3 43
bxc3 White could have gained a draw.
However, I did not see this, and I sealed a
Black exploits the fact that White's different move, after which, as analysis
rook has left the first rank, and sets a trap. showed, I should have lost.
If 3 7 l..c 7 there could have followed 42 bxc3
3 7 . . . c3+ 3 8 bxc3 dxc3+ 39 �c2 :d2+! 40 On the resumption there followed:
�xb3 c2 or 39 �c l :d2 40 t£Jxc3 :bb2 42 :a3
with a dangerous attack. 43 cxd4 exd4
37 �c2 :d7 44 :xf4 :a2+
38 g6 :db7 45 �d3
39 l.. e 1 If 45 �c l , then 45 . . . d3 with the threat
With my last few seconds ticking away, of 46 . . . :c2 mate is decisive.
I made this essentially pointless bishop 45 :b1
move. However, even after the more active 46 :h 1 :xa4
39 l.. d 8 l.. g7 (defending against 40 ... l.. f6) 47 �c2
40 as :7b5 it is doubtful whether White 47 t£Jc3 was a tougher defence,
can win. although it too would not have saved the
Averbakh 's Selected Games 141

game for White after 47 . . . c4+ 4 8 �c2


:xh l 49 l2)xa4 :a l 50 l2)b6 d3+ 5 1 �d2
:a2+ 52 �e l c3 53 l2)d5 :a l + 54 �f2
.i.d4+ 55 �g2 :xa5 56 l2)e7+ �g7 57
:f7+ �h6 5 8 f4 .i.g7 59 l2)fS+ :xfS when
B lack wins.
47 ':b5
48 e5
The last chance. If the bishop moves
there follows 48 . . . c4 with an irresistible
attack.

54 l2)f5 ':f8
55 :h5 ':e8
56 �e4 ':gl
57 :h3
The simplifying 57 l2)xg7 �xg7 58 e6+
�g6 59 :xc5 :xe6+ would have favoured
Black.
57 .i.f8
58 �d5 :d 1+
59 �e4 :ct
60 �d5 :d 1+
48 d3+ 61 �e4 :d7
The fifth miracle ! Spassky wins a
whole rook, emerging the exchange and a
pawn ahead, but in so doing he allows
White to activate his pieces and, in the end,
to save the game.
As Tolush showed, 48 ... .i.xe5 ! would
have won. If 49 .i.d2 or 49 :e4 there
follows 49 . . . c4, and it is not apparent how
White can defend against the numerous
threats.
49 �xd3 :xf4
50 .i.c3 :xf3+
51 �e4 :g3
52 �f4 :xg6 62 l2)h6+ .i.xh6
53 l2)e3 :b8 But here the exchange favours White,
Black decides to switch to defence. The since his pieces remain active. However, it
active 53 . . . :b3 could have been met by 54 was dangerous for Black to avoid it
�5, e.g. 54 . . . :e6 55 �f5 �f7 56 l2)c7 because of 63 l2)g4.
and White's initiative is sufficient for a 63 :xh6 :h7
draw. 64 :g6+ �f7
1 42 Averbalch 's Selected Games

65 l:t f6+ � e7 1 c4 e6
66 l:tc6 �d7 3 lLlc3 .i. b4
If 66 . . . %lh4+ 67 �d5 c4, then 68 %lxa6 4 e3 0-0
%ld8+ 69 %ld6 ! l:tc8 (or 69 . . . l:tb8 70 %lc6) 5 .i. d3 dS
70 %lf6 with the unpleasant threat of 7 1 6 lLlo cS
.i.b4+. 7 0-0 lLlbd7
67 l:t xcS l:th6
68 �dS l:tb6
69 .i.aS l:tbS
70 l:txbS axbS

The opening variation with the


development of the knight at d7 was very
popular in the 1 950s, until is drawbacks
were disclosed.
71 e6+ 8 a3 dxc4
This move was by no means obligatory. Modem theory considers that this move
Also possible was 7 1 �c5 %lb8 72 .i.b4 is insufficient for full equality because of 9
�e6 73 �c6 ! , again with a draw. axb4 ! cxd4 (9 . . . cxd3 1 0 bxc5) 1 0 .i.xh7+!
71 l:txe6 lLlxh7 1 1 "xd4, but in my time this was
72 �cS l:tes+ not yet known.
73 �b6 9 .i.xc4 cxd4
Draw agreed 10 exd4 .i.xc3
After 74 .i.b4 and 75 .i.c5 White 11 bxc3 1i'c7
eliminates the enemy pawn. 12 "el
This is better than 1 2 1i'd3 e5 ! , when
The final result of the play-off was: Black has an excellent game (Kluger­
Taimanov 3 points out of 4, Averbakh 2�, Furman, Bucharest 1 954).
Spassky �. 12 b6
It is dangerous to win a pawn by
Game 43 1 2 . . . lLlb6 1 3 .i.d3 "xc3 , as after 1 4 .i.d2
Golz-Averbakh Black is behind in development.
International Tournament 13 .i.bl
Dresden 1 956 Here the bishop is badly placed; it
Nimzo-Indian Defence would have been better to develop it at d2.
13 .i.b7
1 d4 lLlf6 14 .i.a2
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 43

probably have had to reply 1 7 . . . j,a6 1 8


:fe I j,c4, occupying the c4 square.
Instead of the move played, 1 6 . . . lLlg4
also looks quite good.
17 c4?
White heads towards his own doom .
Now events develop by force.
17 lLlf4
18 1i'd2 j,xO
19 pO eSt
20 dxeS
Black was threatening both 20 . . . 1I'b6
and 20 . . ... b7, so White is forced to take
At last White's original plan has taken this pawn.
shape: if 1 4 . . . lLld5 he was intending I S c4 20 lLlh3+
lLlf4 1 6 "e3 . However, Black has a more 21 �g2 lLlxeS
interesting possibility, involving an attack
on the kingside. Initially I was intending to
reply 1 4 . . . lLlg4 IS g3 "c6 1 6 d5 exd5 1 7
lLld4 ..g6 1 8 :fe I "h5 1 9 0 lLlgf6, but
this seemed too small an achievement, and
I preferred to sacrifice a pawn myself, in
order to gain time for the attack.
14 bS! ?
15 "xbS :ab8
16 "e2 lLldS

The strength of Black's attack is


illustrated by the following variations:
(a) 22 �xh3 lLlxo 23 1i'c3 1i'xh2+ 24
�g4 "g2+ 25 �f4 g5+ 26 �e3 (26 �fS
"h3+ 27 �e4 :fe8+ 28 �d3 "fS mate)
26 . . . :fe8+ 27 �d3 :bd8+ 28 �c2 :e2+
29 �b3 lLld4+ 30 "xd4 1I'b7+ 3 1 �a4
"a6+ 32 �b4 :b8+ 33 �c3 "a5+ 34
�d3 "d2 mate;
(b) 22 "d4 :xb2 23 "xb2 (23 �xh3
1 6 ... .i.xO 1 7 gxO lLld5 did not appeal lLlxO ! 24 "xb2 "xh2+ 25 �g4 "g2+ 26
to me because of 1 8 .i.xd5, although in fact �f4 :e8 ! 27 :h l lLlg5 28 :ae l "O+! 29
in this case Black would have had a good �xg5 f6+ 30 �h4 g5 mate) 23 . . . lLlf4+ 24
game. But now, by playing 1 7 "d2 lLlf4 �h l (24 �g3 lLled3 25 1I'b5 "c8 ! or 25
1 8 .i.c l ! , my opponent would have "d2 "d6) 24 . . ...c6 25 1I'b3 lLled3 .26
retained possibilities of a defence. I would "d l "g6 27 :g l lLlxf2 mate.
1 44 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Of course, I did not calculate all these have to play 28 "g5, and after 28 . . . :xg5
spectacular variations at the board, but 29 hxg5 'ii'xfl Black wins easily.
intuition suggested to me that, with
White's king so open and his pieces badly
placed, a tactical solution would always be
found.
22 .txe5 "xe5
23 �xh3
White does not believe in the
correctness of White's combination. 23
:fe I was relatively best, when I was
intending to reply 23 . . . "h5 with the threat
of 24 . . . :b2 !
23 :b6
24 � gl
There is nothing better. After 24 :g l Therefore White resigned.
there would have followed 24 . . . "h5+ 25
�g2 :g6+ 26 �fl "h3+ 27 �e2 :e8+, Game 44
when major loss of material for White is Averbakh-Fuchs
inevitable, while if 24 :fe I :h6+ 25 International Tournament
'ii'xh6 (25 �g2 :xh2+ 26 �g l "h5 with a Dresden 1 956
quick mate) 25 . . ... f5+ 26 �g2 gxh6. King's Indian Defence

1 c4 g6
2 ttlc3 .tg7
3 d4 ttlf6
4 e4 d6
5 .te2 0-0
6 .tg5 c5
7 d5 a6
8 a4 e6
9 "d2 "a5

24 :h6!
25 h4
If 25 f4 "h5 with decisive threats.
25 :g6+
26 �h3 "f5+
27 �h2 "f6!
The final finesse. It was not yet too late
to go wrong: after 27 . . ... h5 White would
save himself by 28 "f4. But now, to de­
fend against the mate, my opponent would
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 45

10 :a3 !
One of the new ideas that I tried to put
into practice in this variation - firstly, now
it is extremely difficult for Black to play
. . . b7-b5, and secondly, the rook may be
switched, as in the game, to h3 for an
attack on the kingside.
10 exd5
11 exd5 �bd7
12 �f3 �b6
The opponent' s plan is clear - he
intends to attack the c4 pawn with his
knight and queen.
13 0-0 16 �e4!
Unexpectedly the black queen finds
itself in a dangerous position, and in
addition the d6 pawn is hanging. If
16 ... �e5 there would have followed 1 7
"'h3 ! �bxc4 1 8 �f6+ Jlxf6 1 9 Jlxf6
"'d2 ! (the only defence; if 1 9 . . . �d7 White
gives mate in three moves - 20 "xh7+
�xh7 2 1 %lh3+ �g8 22 %lh8 mate) 20
%le3 ! �d7 2 1 Jlc3 �xe3 22 Jlxd2 �xfl
23 �xfl with a considerable advantage for
White.
Having decided that nothing good will
come of active play, my opponent begins
13 Jlg4 retreating over the entire front, but now
Sharp play would have resulted from White markedly strengthens the placing of
1 3 . . . ..,,4 1 4 "'c l ! ( 1 4 as �xc4 1 5 Jlxc4 his pieces.
"xc4 1 6 :a4 "'b3), for example 1 4 . . . �e4 16 �c8
( l 4 . . . �xc4 1 5 �a2 "xb2 1 6 Jlxc4) 1 5
�xe4 Jlxb2 1 6 �f6+ �h8 ( l 6 . . . �g7 1 7
Jlh6+!) 1 7 "'f4 "xa3 1 8 "'xd6 with
complications favourable to White.
However, the move played is no better.
It would appear that Black's entire strategy
is dubious.
14 "'f4! Jlxf3
15 "'xf3 �fd7
Probably B lack should have admitted
the faultiness of his plan and played
1 5 . . . �bd7, but instead he persists,
allowing White to develop a sudden attack
on the king. 17 "'h3 ! "c7
1 46 Averbakh 's Selected Games

The attempt to drive the knight from e4


by 1 7 . . . fS would have been unsuccessful
because of I S .i.d2 "ikc7 19 ltJg5 and 20
ltJe6.
18 "ikh4 l::te8
There is nothing better. If, for example,
I S . . . f6, then 1 9 l::th 3 h5 20 .i.xh5 fxg5 2 1
ltJxg5 gxh5 22 ltJe6 "ikb6 23 ltJxg7 �xg7
24 "ikxh5 with a decisive attack.
19 %th3 h5
1 9 . . . ltJf8 does not help: 20 ltJf6+ .i.xf6
2 1 .i.xf6 ltJe7 (2 1 . . . h5 22 .i.xh5) 22 .i.g4 !
h5 23 .i.xh5 ltJf5 24 "ikg5 ltJh7 25 .i.xg6 !
and wins. A voluntary fork! 22 ... gxf5 is met by 23
1.f6 .i.xf6 24 "ikxf6, and if 24 . . . 'ike7 25
.i.xf7+! "ikxf7 26 l::th S mate.
22 gxh5
This loses quickly. 22 ... ltJh7 was the
most tenacious, when 23 1.g4 ltJxg5 24
'ikxg5 was possible, with a continuing
attack.
23 1.f6 ltJg6
24 "ikg5 ltJce7
25 ltJh6+ �rs
26 .i.xb2
Black resigns

20 ltJg3 ! Game 45
White has no reason to hurry, and so he Uhlmann-Averbakh
calmly prepares the sacrifice on h5 . After International Tournament
the immediate 20 .i.xh5 there could have Dresden 1956
followed 20 . . . l::txe4 ! 2 1 "ikxe4 gxh5 22 Nimzo-Indian Defence
l::txh5 ltJf8 and Black holds on.
20 ltJrs 1 d4 ltJf6
Against the attempt to neutralise the 2 c4 e6
opponent's attack by 20 . . . l::txe2 2 1 ltJxe2 3 ltJc3 .i. b4
.i.xb2 I was intending to reply 22 .i.dS ! 4 e3 0-0
.."S 23 l::te 3 . 5 ltJge2 d5
21 1.xh5! 1.xb2 6 a3 .i.e7
The acceptance of the sacrifice 7 cxd5 exd5
2 1 . . .gxh5 could have led to the following 8 ltJg3 c5!
finish: 22 ltJxh5 ltJg6 23 ltJf6+! .i.xf6 24 In my games with Reshevsky and
.i.xf6 ltJxh4 25 l::txh4, when mate cannot Kotov from the 1 953 Candidates Tourna­
be avoided. ment I tried to manage without this move,
22 ltJf5! but both times I had an inferior game.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 47

Meanwhile, this continuation, which oc- 14 exd4 :e8


curred back in the 1 937 Euwe-Alekhine 1 4 . . . lLlg4 I S h3 lLlxf2 was premature
Match, is the simplest way to equalise. because of 1 6 J.xh7+! (but not 1 6 �xf2
9 dxeS J.xeS 'it'h4 1 7 'it'o f5 ! with an attack) 1 6 . . . �xh7
1 7 :xf2 J.xg3 1 8 'it'd3+ and 1 9 'it'xg3 .
IS lLlfS -*.xfS
16 J.xfS 'it'b6

10 J.d3
Here Euwe played 1 0 b4, but after
I O . . . d4 ! he ran into difficulties. For
example, if I I lLla4 there could have Black has a lead in development and
followed I I . . . dxe3 ! 1 2 'it'xd8 ( 1 2 lLlxc5? now begins active play.
exf2+ 13 �e2 J.g4+) 12 ... exf2+ 13 �e2 17 b3 g6
-*.g4+ and Black wins. 18 J.h3
10 lLle6 Uhlmann intends to play his bishop to
11 0-0 J.e6 g2, to attack the d5 pawn.
12 lLlee2 J.d6 18 lLle4
19 'it'd3 J.e7
20 g3 J.f6
21 J.e3 :e7
22 :ac1 :ae8
23 :fd l 'ii'd 6

13 lLld4
By giving up attempts to exploit the
weakness of Black' s isolated pawn, White
even ends up with a slightly inferior game.
13 lLlxd4
1 48 Averbakh 's Selected Games

The initiative is completely in Black's 33 "xe2 lLlxh3+ 34 .i.xh3 ':xh3 3 S "eS


possession. White has to defend weak­ was possible, with drawing chances.
nesses on both wings. 31 :xg2+!
24 .i.g2 ! Of course, not 3 1 . . ...g3 32 "xdS
The incautious 24 b4 would be met by lLlxh3+ 3 3 �h l lLlf2+ 34 :xf2 ':xf2 3S
24 . . . 1L1xg3 ! 2S hxg3 ':xe3 26 fxe3 "xg3+ ': fl or 33 . . . 1L1gS 34 ':c8+ �h7 3 S ':xf7+.
27 .i.g2 .i.gS with a powerful attack. 32 r:iilxg2 "g3+
24 hS! 33 �hl "xh3+
Continuing to intensify the pressure on 34 �gl
the kingside. After 24 . . ...xa3 I did not care
for 2S .i.xe4 ! dxe4 (2S . . . ':xe4 26 ':cS ':d8
27 :XdS :xdS 28 "xe4 "xb3 29 ':b 1
"c4 30 "e8+ r:iil g 7 3 1 ':xb7) 26 "c4 "d6
27 dS when White seizes the initiative.
2S "bS a6
26 "as h4
27 g4
If 27 .i.f4, then 27 . . . ..e6 28 .i.eS h3 .
27 .i.gS!
28 .i.xgS lLlxgS
29 h3
29 "xdS would have lost to 29 . . . lLlh3+
30 �fl (30 r:iil h l 1L1xf2+ 3 1 �g l "xdS and 34 "xe3+!
32 . . . 1L1xd l ) 30 . . . ':e2 ! An important finesse. It seems
29 ':e2 incredible, but now Black manages to win
30 :0 ':8e3 ! both enemy rooks!
3S �h l
If 3 S ':f2, then 3 s . . . 1L1h3+ 3 6 �h l
"xc 1 + 3 7 �g2 "g 1 + and wins.
3S "h3+
36 �gl "g3+
37 �hl lLlfJ

31 he3
Uhlmann risks accepting the sacrifice,
assuming that Black' s attack will lead only
to a draw. He could have defended suc­
cessfully only by declining the sacrifice
with 3 1 ':c3 . Then 3 1 . . . b6 ! 32 "xa6 ':xc3
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 49

38 "'d8+ to be in White's favour. Since then this


3 S :'cS+ does not save the rook: type of sacrifice has to a certain extent
3 S . . . �g7 39 :'xfl "'xfl+ 40 �h2 "'g3+ become a standard idea.
4 1 �h 1 "'h3+ 42 �g 1 "'xg4+ and After this brief introduction the follow­
43 . . ....xcS. ing game will be more understandable.
38 �g7
39 "'xt3+ Game 46
40 "'f4+ Vasyukov-Averbakh
41 "'xg4+ Moscow Championship 195 7
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
1 lDt3 lDc6
3 d4 cxd4
4 lDxd4 lDf6
5 lDc3 d6
6 .i.g5 a6
I frequently used to employ this
defence against the Rauzer Attack 6 .i.g5,
trying to manage, initially, without the
move . . . e7-e6, and aiming for the rapid
development of play on the queenside.
Here the game was adjourned, and 7 "'dl .i.d7
White resigned without resuming. After 8 � b5
42 �t2 "'f4+ 43 �e2 "'xc 1 44 "'xd5
"'c2+ 45 �e3 "'c6 46 "'e5+ "'f6 Black
realises his advantage without difficulty.

Which is stronger, a minor piece or three


pawns? Experience shows that in the
middlegame the piece is usually stronger
than the pawns. But in the endgame, on the
contrary, the pawns, if they are connected,
can easily be superior to either a knight or
a bishop, although, of course, the outcome
depends on the concrete situation. Thus,
for example, in the 1 954 USSR-Argentina
Match, Bronstein won an excellent game 9 .i.xf6
against Najdorf, after sacrificing a piece Falling in with the opponent' s plan,
for three pawns. Here is how it began: I e4 which is in fact to force White to capture
c5 2 lDfl d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 lDxd4 lDf6 5 lDc3 on f6. However, after 9 f4 he would have
a6 6 .i.g5 e6 7 "'fl lDbd7 S 0-0-0 "'c7 9 had to reckon with 9 . . . b4 1 0 .i.xf6 bxc3 1 1
...g3 b5 1 0 .i.xb5 axb5 1 1 lDdxb5 "'bS 1 2 "'xc3 gxf6 1 2 lDxc6 "'c7 1 3 lDb4 "'xc3
lDxd6+ .i.xd6 1 3 "'xd6 "'xd6 1 4 :'xd6 h6 1 4 bxc3 as 1 5 lDd5 :'bS ! 1 6 .i.d3 .i.g7,
1 5 .i.d2 .i.b7 1 6 fl and this ending proved threatening 1 7 . . . e6.
1 50 Averbakh 's Selected Games

9 gx!6 - to exchange rooks, then activate his king,


10 �bl e6 and begin advancing his pawns. What can
Yevgeny Vasyukov is a player of com­ Black do to oppose this plan?
binational style, and so I quite deliberately 16 :a7!
provoked him into sacrificing a piece. Of course, not 1 6 . . . l:thd8 and 1 7 . . . �e8,
Besides, I wanted to test in practice the which would have been playing into
resulting ending. White's hands. Black must succeed in
creating play on the queenside and in the
centre. At the same time he sets his
opponent a positional trap - the invasion of
the knight at d6 looks very tempting.
17 �bS :b7
18 :6d2 :hb8
19 b3
1 9 c4 was more accurate, but White did
not yet realise that, after reaching d6, the
knight might end up in a dangerous
position.
19 �aS
20 �d6 :c7
11 �xbS axbS White has achieved his aim - his knight
12 �dxbS Wb8 has been established at d6. But what of it?
13 �xd6+ �xd6 The capture on f7, which he had planned in
14 Wxd6 Wxd6 advance, would have led to difficulties
15 :xd6 �e7 after 2 1 �xf7 �c4 22 l:td4 es 23 :4d3
The absence of the opponent's dark­ �bs .
square bishop allows Black to deploy his 21 �al �c6
king comfortably at e7.
16 :hd l

22 fJ
A serious mistake, which leaves White
Thus the game has gone by force into a in a critical position. 22 c4 was still
complicated ending, where White has three correct, and if 22 . . . l:td7 23 cS . Then in
pawns for a bishop. His strategy is simple reply to 23 . . . l:tbd8 White has the brilliant
Averbakh 's Selected Games 151

resource 24 I:tc l ! , e.g. 24 . . . .i.xe4? 25 30 a4 l£lxe4


l£lxe4 I:txd2 26 l£lxd2 :xd2 27 c6 and if 31 b4 f5
27 . . . �d8 or 27 ... l:td8 - 28 b4, winning the 32 a5 �c:6
knight, while 24 . . . l£lb7 is very strongly met 33 �b3 h5
by 25 I:tdc2, when the knight is immune. 34 b5+ �c:5
Evidently I would have had to answer 22 Black' s active king and knight in com­
c4 with 22 . . . l£lb7, with an unclear game. bination with his passed pawn in the centre
22 I:td7! enable him to combat successfully the op­
23 c:4 ponent's outwardly dangerous pawn trio.
Too late, although it does set a clever Thus, for example, if 35 a6 there would
trap. If 23 . . . l:txb3 there would have have followed 35 . . . �b6 36 �b4 h4 37 h3
followed 24 l£lc8+! �d8 25 I:txd7+ .i.xd7 (no better is 37 c5+ l£lxc5 38 a7 l£la6+ 39
26 axb3 . However, Black has something bxa6 �xa7 etc.) 37 . . . f4 38 c5+ l£lxc5 39 a7
better. �xa7 40 �xc5 e4 4 1 �d4 e3 etc.
23 :bd8
It transpires that after 24 c5 l£lb7 White
loses a pawn, although this was probably
the most tenacious defence.
24 e5
Vasyukov aims at all costs to maintain
the pride of his position - his three
connected passed pawns, but this weakens
his central pawns.
24 fxe5
25 l£le4 .i.xe4
26 :xd7+ :xd7
27 :xd7+ �xd7
28 fxe4 35 �c:2 l£ld6
36 b6 l£lb7
37 a6 �xb6
38 axb7 �xb7
White resigns

Game 47
Averbakh-Polugayevsky
25th USSR Championship
Riga 1958
Modem Defence

1 c:4 g6
2 d4 .i.g7
28 l£lb7 ! 3 e4 d6
Here too this manoeuvre leads to the By choosing this move order, Black
win of another pawn, and with it the game. retains the option of developing his king's
29 �b2 l£ld6 knight at f6 or e7, or even at h6.
1 52 Averbakh 's Selected Games

4 ltJc3 ltJc6 1 2 ltJb5 �d8 1 3 ltJxa7 �xfS 1 4 ltJb5 �e4


5 �e3 eS 1 5 fl ltJxfl+ 1 6 ltJxfl �xfl 1 7 :g l in the
6 dS game Ivkov-Notaros (Novi Sad 1 976).
6 ltJge2 can be met by 6 . . . exd4 7 ltJxd4
ltJge7 8 �e2 0-0 9 0-0 f5, although the
immediate 6 . . . f5 is also probably quite
good.
6 ltJce7
After 6 . . . ltJd4 7 ltJge2 ltJxe2 8 �xe2
�7 White has the same move 9 g4 ! as in
the game.

10 �h3!
An important move, the aim of which is
to exchange the light-square bishops.
10 ltJf6
11 "0 a6
Black probably has better chances of
equalising after 1 1 .. .f4 1 2 �d2 h5, as in
the game Portisch-Ree (Amsterdam 1 967),
7 g4 ! but my opponent persists in trying to avoid
This aggressive advance has the aim of the exchange of bishops. With the move
restricting the opponent' s activity. If 7 fl played he plans to switch his queen to the
there could have followed 7 . . . fS, or alter­ kingside, by freeing it from having to
natively 7 . . . �h6, exchanging the dark­ defend the c7 pawn.
square bishops. 12 exfS 1i'e8
7 fS 13 ltJge2 "hS
To 7 . . . h5 I was intending to reply 8 g5 14 1i'xhS ltJ xh S
fS 9 fl . Not wishing to reconcile himself to
the cramping of his pieces on the kingside,
Polugayevsky nevertheless makes the
thematic advance of his f-pawn, even
though it involves losing the right to castle.
8 gxfS
Here 8 g5 is no longer effective: after
8 . . f4 9 �d2 h6 ! Black frees himself.
.

8 gxfS
91i'hS+ �f8
9 . ltJg6, trying to avoid the loss of
. .

castling, led to a favourable ending for


White after 1 0 exf5 1i'h4 1 1 1i'xh4 ltJxh4
Averbakh 's Selected Games I S3

Polugayevsky had aimed for this


position when he played 1 1 . . . a6, thinking
that he would equalise. However, White
has an elegant way to retain a positional
advantage. First he forces Black to take on
fS with his knight.
15 .t g5 ! lDxfS
If I S ... .tf6 I was intending 1 6 .txf6
lDxf6 1 7 f4 ! exf4 1 8 :fl , retaining my
extra pawn.

22 c6
When in a cramped position, one
should not create unnecessary weaknesses.
This attempt to open lines, in order to gain
counterplay, merely hastens Black's
defeat. It was probably better to stick to
waiting tactics with 22 . . . :g8 23 lDef6
:h8, keeping the threat of . . . c7-c6 10
reserve.
23 �d3 cxd5
16 lDg3 ! 23 . . . bS would have merely led to the
This knight move, which had to be activation of the white king: 24 lDhg3 !
foreseen earlier, is the whole point. Now bxc4+ 2S �xc4 cxdS+ 26 �xdS :c2 27
Black faces a difficult choice. If lDfS, and if 27 . . . :xb2 28 :b l .
1 6 . . . lDfxg3 , then 1 7 hxg3 .txh3 1 8 :xh3 24 cxd5 .tr4
lDf6 1 9 �e2 or 1 9 .txf6 .txf6 20 lDe4, The last chance of a defence was
while after 1 6 . . . lDhxg3 there would have 24 . . . :g8, and if 2S lDhg3 :g4. Now,
followed 1 7 fxg3 ! lDd4 1 8 0-0+ �e8 1 9 however, there is no defence against the
.txc8 :xc8 2 0 lDe4, in each case with transference of the knight to fS .
advantage to White. 25 lDg7 :a8
16 lDd4 There is nothing better. If 2S ... :g8 26
17 .txc8 :xc8 lDfS l:txg l 27 :xg l :d8 (defending
Black also has a difficult position after against the threat of 28 :g8+! �xg8 29
1 7 . . . lDxg3 1 8 fxg3 lDf3+ 1 9 �e2 lDxgS 20 lDe7+ �f8 30 lDxc8, winning the d6 pawn)
:afl + �e7 2 1 h4 ! lDfl 22 .te6 lDd8 23 28 lDf6 lDh6 29 lDxh6 .i.xh6 30 :g8+ �e7
.tfS, but this would evidently have been 3 1 :xd8 �xd8 32 lDxh7 and White wins .
the lesser evil. 26 lDfS :d8
18 lDxh5 lDf3+ 27 :g4!
19 �e2 lDxg5 The concluding finesse. By the threat of
20 :agl .th6 28 :xf4 White prevents 27 ... lDh6, and the
21 h4 lDf1 threat of doubling rooks on the g-file
22 lDe4 decides the outcome in a few moves.
1 54 Averbakh 's Selected Games

youth, almost still a child, showed himself


to be a fully developed chess fighter,
demonstrating amazing composure, precise
calculation, and truly devilish ingenuity. I
was especially staggered not so much by
his very extensive opening knowledge, as
by his striving everywhere to seek new
paths. Fischer's play displayed not only his
enormous talent, but also hinted at the
enormous amount of work he had done on
the study of chess. However, judge for
yourself:

27 :g8 Game 48
28 lbg8+ �xg8 Averbakh-Fischer
29 :gl+ �h8 Interzonal Tournament
30 :g7 Portoroz 1 958
Black resigns: if 30 . . . �h6 there King's Indian Defence
follows 3 1 �f6 with inevitable mate.
1 d4 �f6
I played against Robert James Fischer on 1 c4 g6
only one, single occasion. This occurred at 3 �c3 .i.g7
the very start of the brilliant career of the 4 e4 d6
future eleventh Champion of the World. 5 .i.e2 0-0
Fischer was just 14 years old when he 6 .i.g5
won the USA adult Championship, a Without particular thought I decided to
whole point ahead of the second-placed employ my variation against the young
Samuel Reshevsky, and gained the right to American. It now seems to me that this
take part in the World Championship decision was not altogether correct. By that
Interzonal Tournament. This tournament time, when the Interzonal Tournament took
took place in the Autumn of the following place, the variation had become firmly
year in one of the Yugoslav seaside resorts. established in tournament play. Fischer
It was there that I saw Fischer for the first undoubtedly knew it, and had prepared
time. He turned out to be a skinny teenager specially for it.
in jeans and sweater, rather shy and even 6 h6
unsociable in his dealings with others. 7 .i.e3 c5
Bobby, as the participants and journalists 8 d5
quickly began calling him, gazed without Only in the mid- 1 970s was it estab­
the slightest interest at the colourful lished that after 8 e5 ! White can count on
countryside of the sunny Adriatic. He was an opening advantage. For example:
not attracted either by the golden sand, or 8 . . . �fd7 9 exd6 exd6 1 0 �f3, or 8 . dxe5
. .

the deep blue sea. All his thoughts were 9 dxe5 "'xd 1 + 1 0 :xd I �g4 I I .i.xc5
concentrated on chess. Chess comprised �xe5 1 2 �d5 .
his inner life, and he was completely The move made by me in the game
absorbed in it. And at the chess board this does not promise White much.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 55

.*.xfl lLlbd7 1 5 �f4 lLlb6 1 6 'it'd3 lLlfd7 !


gave Black good play.
13 lLlbd7
14 lLld2

8 e6
9 h3
Before developing his knight at fl ,
White has to defend against the threat of
9 . . . lLlg4. 14 a6!
9 exdS My opponent accepts the challenge,
10 exdS :e8 although the less sharp 1 4 . . . g5, preparing a
11 lLlo �f5 retreat for the bishop, was also possible.
15 h4
Throwing caution to the winds. Perhaps
1 5 a4 would have been less committing,
and if 1 5 . . . b5 1 6 axb5 axb5 1 7 :xa8
"'xa8 1 8 lLlxb5, also with great
complications.
15 bS
Now commences forcing play, as a
result of which White succeeds in winning
a piece, but Black acquires dangerous
threats.
16 gS b4
17 gxf6 bxc3
12 g4 18 lLlxe4 ':xe4
I reckoned that after 1 2 0-0 lLle4 1 3 19 fxg7 "'xh4
lLlxe4 �xe4 White has not even a hint of 20 �f1 cxb2
an advantage, and I devised an extremely 21 :bl
double-edged plan involving a pawn attack In this wild position, where we each
on the kings ide, using up a considerable had about ten minutes left for our
amount of time in the process. remaining moves, I suddenly heard almost
12 �e4 in a whisper: 'Draw? ' . I would not like
13 :gl playing such a position in time trouble
Much later in a game with Geller I either with White, or with Black; besides,
played 1 3 0-0 here, but 1 3 . . . �xfl 1 4 my tournament position was quite good,
1 56 Averbakh IS Selected Games

and there was no point in taking a risk. subtleties. My opponent, who was evid­
Therefore I accepted the offer. ently aware of this, deviates from the
As is well known, later Fischer himself theoretical 9 . . . d5 in favour of a less well
very rarely used to offer draws. And when studied continuation.
on one occasion he was asked about this
game, he replied:
'Averbakh was afraid of losing to a
child, and I was afraid of losing to a
grandmaster. And so we agreed a draw! '

9 .i.e6
10 �bl "'a5
But here Larsen shows himself to be
not very well versed in the chosen
variation . The move played is a strategic
To be fair, I should mention that after mistake, condemning Black to a difficult
2 1 . . . •h3+ 22 :81 .h l + 23 1%g l .h3+ defence. Geller' s recommendation of
the game could have ended in a draw by 1 0 . . . ttJe5 was better.
perpetual check. 11 ttJxe6 fxe6
12 .i.c4 ttJd8
Game 49 13 ttJd5! .xd2
Averbakh-Larsen 14 ttJxf6+ .i.xf6
Interzonal Tournament 15 1%xd2
Portoroz 1958
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
2 ttJa d6
3 d4 cxd4
4 ttJxd4 ttJf6
5 ttJc3 g6
6 .i.e3 .i.g7
7 a 0-0
8 .d2 ttJc6
9 �
In the 1 950s I myself happily played
the black side of the Dragon Variation, and Thus the game has gone by force into
I think that I had a fair understanding of its an ending in which, because of his weak
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 57

pawn at e6, it is difficult for Black to 26 jtd5 �c4


coordinate his forces. 27 jtc1 b5
15 jte5
Black intends by 1 6 . . . jtf4 to exchange
bishops, in order to ease his defence.
However, White easily prevents this, and it
turns out that Black has merely wasted
precious time. 1 5 . . . �g7 followed by . . . e6-
e5 was probably stronger, aiming to bring
the knight into play as quickly as possible.
16 l:d3 ! l:c8
17 jtb3 b6
18 jtd2
White's plan is to advance his kingside
pawns, also exploiting the unfortunate
position of the black bishop. 28 g4!
18 � g7 By opening lines, White destroys the
19 g3 jtf6 black king's fortress.
20 h4 h6 28 hxg4
21 lin After 28 . . . jtxh4 29 g5 the bishop is
The immediate 2 1 f4 came into trapped.
consideration, but White is not in a hurry. 29 l:g3 l:h8
21 l:c7 30 l:xg4 l:xh4
22 f4 h5 31 l:xg6+ �h7
32 jtg8+ �h8
33 jte6 �b6
After 33 . . . �h7 the simplest way to win
was 34 l:gg l followed by 35 l:h l .

23 l:df3 !
Threatening 24 e5 . To defend against it,
Black aims for play on the queens ide, but
this only leads to White's initiative on the
kingside developing into a powerful attack. 34 l:h6+! l:xh6
23 �c6 35 jtxh6 l:c4
24 c3 e5 There is no other defence against 36
25 f5 �a5 l:h l .
1 58 Averbakh 's Selected Games

36 i.xc4 lLlxc4 However, 7 lLln came into consideration,


37 b3 lLla5 and if 7 . . . i.b4 8 i.d3 lLlf6 9 0-0 with
38 i.e3 lLlc6 rapid development.
39 l:tgl a5 7 d6
40 a3 �h7
41 �c2 a4
42 b4 lLld8
43 l:td l
Black resigns

Game 50
Korchnoi-Averbakh
26th USSR Championship
Tbilisi 1 959
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
2 lLlo lLlc6 I decided to switch to normal lines of
3 d4 cxd4 the Scheveningen Variation, although here
4 lLlxd4 .c7 Black had a wide choice of continuations,
such as 7 . . . b5 or 7 . . lLlxd4 8 "'xd4 b5 etc.
.

However, here my opponent departs from


the routine, and adopts what seems to me
to be a fairly rational piece set-up, aiming
for an attack against Black's kingside.
8 lLlb3 lLlf6
9 i.d3 i.e7
10 "'0

An old continuation, that is occasion­


ally employed in modem tournaments.
Knowing Korchnoi to be a player who
aims for the maximum, I invite him to try
and refute this move, but he prefers not to
deviate from the familiar paths.
5 lLlc3 e6
6 f4 a6
If 6 . . . i.b4 there would have followed 7 10 lLld7
lLldb5 and 8 a3 . If 1 0 0-0 I was afraid of 1 1 g4, and for
...

7 a3 the moment I decided not to be in a hurry


Not allowing the bishop to go to b4. to castle.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 59

11 0-0 �f6
12 �d2 tLld4
13 tLlxd4 �xd4+
14 �hl tLlc5
A poor move, which is essentially a
loss of time. I should have castled, and
only after I S .h3 played I S . . . tLlcS .

18 �b6
19 f5
White immediately launches an attack
on the kingside. If 1 9 ... f6 there could have
followed 20 tLlf4 eS 2 1 tLlg6 ! , when the
strength of his attack is demonstrated by
the following variations:
15 :ac t !
This simple move refutes Black's idea,
since, with him being behind in develop­
ment, the exchange on d3 favours White.
15 0-0
I 5 . . . �d7 did not appeal to me because
of the same move 1 6 b4, for example
1 6 . . . tLla4 1 7 tLle2 �b2 1 8 :b l , and it is
not possible to capture on a3, as there
follows 1 9 :b3 �b2 20 c3 . However,
1 8 . . . .i.f6 was possible, and if 1 9 c4 tLlb2.
At any event this was the lesser evil, as
after the move in the game Black has no
counterplay at all. (a) 2 1 . . .hxg6 22 fxg6 :e8 23 .hS �e6
16 b4 tLlxd3 24 .h7+ �f8 25 �h6 .e7 26 .h8+ �g8
17 cxd3 .d8 27 �xg7+ .xg7 28 :xf6+;
18 tLle2 (b) 2 1 . . .:e8 22 .h5 �e6 23 :0 �fl
When I chose 1 4 . . . tLlcS I was pro­ 24 .xh7+! <iifxh7 25 :h3+ <iif g 8 26 :h8
posing in this position to retreat my bishop mate;
to f6, but it was only now that I noticed (c) 2 1 . . .:n 22 11'h5 :c7 23 :0 :xc l +
that after 1 9 tLlg3 .i.d7 ( 1 9 . . . g6 20 fS) 20 24 .i.xc l .e8 (24 . . .•c 7 2 5 .xh7+ ! <iif fl
tLlhS .i.c6 2 1 .g3 ! Black has serious 26 .i.h6) 25 :h3 hxg6 26 .h8+ �n 27
problems. fxg6+ �e7 28 .xg7+ �e6 29 :h8 etc.
However, the move played in the game 19 e5
is no better. 20 .h5 f6
1 60 Averbakh 's Selected Games

21 :to 'ii'e8 25 "'xh7


22 'ii' h 4 �d7 25 "'h5+! �e7 26 "'xh7 was more
accurate. Then if 26 . . . ':c2 there would
have followed 27 �h6 ! ':xe2 28 �xg7
�d8 (28 . . . ':f7 29 �xf6+ ! with mate in
three moves) 29 �xfS "'xfS 30 ':g3 i.e8
3 1 ':g8 "'e7 32 ':g7 "'fS 33 ':xb7 and
wins, while if 26 . . ....f7 27 lLlc3 �c6 28
':g3 ':g8 29 ':g6 with the better chances
for White.
Now, however, Black gains counter­
play, and the rest of the game took place in
a severe time scramble.
25 ':h8
26 "'g6+ <ifi>g8
Although he has come under a very 27 ':xh8+ <it>xh8
strong attack, Black calmly completes his 28 'ii'g4
development. If 23 :th3 I was intending to After 28 "'xe8+ �xe8 29 ':c 1 :'xc 1 +
run with my king from the danger zone - 30 lLlxc l �b5 Black' s chances are not at
23 . . . �f7 24 'ii'xh7 :th8 25 'ii'g6+ �g8. all worse in view of the threat of . . . i.. d4-
23 :ten b2.
If 23 :th3 Korchnoi was afraid of 28 :te2
23 . . . h5 24 lLlg3 �f2, and it is against this 29 i.. e l �g8
that his last move was directed. However, 30 h4 "'17
it must be considered a loss of time, as this 31 h5 �e8
continuation did not come into my plans
because of 25 :tfl �xg3 26 ':xg3
followed by 27 ':g6.
23 :te8
24 ':h3 �f7!

32 lLlg3
If 32 h6 there would have followed
32 . . . "'h5+ 33 'ii'xh5 �xh5 34 lLlg3 �g4
3 5 �h2 i.. f2 36 lLlh l i.. d4 with the threat
of 37 . . . �e2.
Strangely enough, this simple reply 32 �f8
came as a surprise to my opponent. 33 h6 gxh6
Averbakh 's Selected Games 161

34 �xh6+ rile7 Threatening 3 8 . . . �xg3 39 rilxg3 .g8+


40 .g4 :xg2+ and wins.
38 �g5 .g7

35 rilh2
Korchnoi does not appreciate the dan­
gers of his position and continues to play 39 �h6
for a win. With 3 5 :c l he could probably This loses a piece. However, even after
have achieved a draw, e.g. 35 . . .l:lxc l + 36 the comparatively better 39 �c l �xg3 40
�xc l .h7+ 3 7 .h3 .xh3+ 3 8 gxh3 �b5 .xg3 .h7+ 41 .h4 .xh4+ 42 rilxh4
39 rilg2 �xd3 40 rilfJ etc. :xg2 Black would have had good winning
35 .h7 chances.
36 .h4 39 �xg3
36 .g7+ .xg7 37 �xg7 �e3 ! would 40 �xg7 �xh4
have left the white bishop shut out of the 41 �xh4 :xgl
game, but 36 .h3 was more accurate.
36 .h8!

An amusing position. It turns out that


the white bishop has nowhere to go.
37 rilh3 Through inertia White made two more
This leaves White on the verge of moves:
defeat. After 3 7 �g5 .xh4+ 3 8 �xh4 he 42 :d :xg7
could still have hoped for a draw. 43 :c7+ �f8
37 �tl White resigns
1 62 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Game 5 1 roughly equal chances (Jimenez-Pomar,


Bronstein-Averbakh Havana Olympiad 1 966). It is against
26th USSR Championship . . . d6-d5, on which there would follow e4-
Tbilisi 1959 e5, that the rook move is aimed.
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
2 lDfJ lDc6
3 d4 cxd4
4 lDxd4 lDf6
5 lDc3 d6
6 .*.g5 e6
7 Wd2 .*.e7
8 0-0-0 �
9 lDb3

11 'irc7
Now, when the d6 pawn is securely
defended, Black sets about implementing
his main strategic plan - a pawn attack on
the queens ide.
12 g4 a6
13 .*.h4
What is this - improvisation or a
thoroughly prepare� variation? At first I
thought that White h ad simply blundered
away a pawn - 1 3 . . . lDxe4 1 4 �xe4 .*.xh4,
Modem theory considers 9 f4 to be the but of course I then saw that after 1 4
strongest, but Bronstein always goes his Ilxe4 ! .*.xh4 1 5 g 5 the black bishop would
own way. However, the move played was be trapped. However, the white bishop is
also not new, and had occurred several not too well placed at h4.
times in events in the 1 950s.
9 'irb6
10 fJ l:d8
11 Ilel
The usual continuation here was 1 1
.*.e3 'irc7 1 2 'irfl, temporarily preventing
1 2 . . . a6 and switching the queen to the
kingside. Thus, for example, Fischer­
Benko (USA Championship 1 959/60) con­
tinued 1 2 . . . lDd7 1 3 �b5 'irb8 1 4 g4 a6 I S
�5d4 with a slight advantage to White.
However, Black can reply 12 ... d5 13 exd5
�xd5 1 4 �xd5 Ilxd5 1 5 Ilxd5 exd5 with
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 63

13 b5 22 .c7
14 g5 tDd7 Of course, not 22 . . ....xf2 23 .ixf2 :b8
15 f4 tDb6 24 f6, and White has nothing to fear.
16 ...n 23 .id3 .if8
24 .ig3

Bronstein aims for f4-fS-f6, but Black


too has his trumps. White's position is difficult. Black is
16 b4 threatening a pawn storm which apparently
17 tDe2 as cannot be stopped. Thus 24 .d2 can be
18 tDbd4 g6 met by 24 . . . a4 2S .xb4 dS 26 "'c3 "'xc3
19 tDxc6 "'xc6 27 bxc3 dxe4 28 .ixe4 :b8 with an attack.
20 tDd4 "'c5 24 a4
21 f5 e5 25 .d2
Black was threatening . . . a4-a3 , but
now the b-pawn advances.
25 b3
26 �bl tDc4

22 tDf3
White defends his gS pawn, but he
should probably have sacrificed it by 22
tDbS . After 22 . . . •xf2 23 .ixf2 .ixgS+ 24
�b l :b8 2S tDc7 :d7 (2S . . . :b7 26 .ia6!) 27 .ixc4
26 .ixb6 :xb6 27 tDd s it seems to me that 27 .c3 tDa3+ 28 �c l .xc3 29 bxc3
he has full compensation for the pawn. tDxc2 would have led to a better ending for
1 64 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Black, while if 27 'iVe2 there would have Game 52


followed 27 . . . bxa2+ 28 �a l �a6 with Roizman-Averbakh
favourable complications. However, for Semi-Final 28th USSR Championship
White it was not an easy matter, when Odessa 1960
short of time, to choose the least evil. Nimzo-Indian Defence
27 'iVxe4
28 f6 1 d4 lLlf6
I would have preferred 28 fxg6 hxg6 29 2 e4 e6
'it'e2 . 3 lLlc3 �b4
28 �b7 4 e3 0-0
29 'it'e2 l:tde8 5 �d3 d5
30 exb3 axb3 6 lLlf3 e5
31 a3 7 0-0 lLle6
It was hardly any better to go into an 8 a3 �xc3
ending by 3 1 'it'xc4 l:txc4 32 �2 : after 9 bxc3 'it'e7
32 . . J �d4 33 lLlxb3 �xe4+ White has to 10 �b2 dxe4
part with the exchange, since he is mated 11 �xe4 e5
after 34 �al l:txa2+! or 34 �c l l:tc8+.
Even so, this would have held out longer.

A well-studied theoretical position has


been reached, where White usually pre­
31 'iVa4! vents the pin on his knight by 1 2 h3 .
Now it is hard for White to defend However, my opponent decides to go his
against the mating attack. own way.
32 lLld2 l:te2 12 d5
33 'iVd3 l:txb2+! Strangely, this move is not mentioned
After 33 l:tc 1 Black could also have in any of the opening books known to me.
won differently - 33 . . . l:txd2 34 'iVxd2 12 lLlaS
�xe4+ 3 5 �a l d5, when there is no 13 �a2 e4
defence against the deadly ... �xa3 . 14 lLld2 e4
34 �xb2 'iVxa3+ It is evident that White's 1 2th move has
35 �c3 l:te8+ turned out badly, and he is already in some
36 lLle4 d5 difficulties, as his bishops are shut out of
37 exd5 �b4 mate the game. Boleslavsky recommended here
Averbalch 's Selected Games 1 65

1 5 d6 "'c6 1 6 a4 followed by 1 7 .i.a3 , but 20 lilxe3


Black can reply 1 5 . . ....xd6 1 6 lilxc4 lilxc4 21 .i. d3 :ae8
1 7 .i.xc4 "'c7, retaining some advantage. 22 ...a

15 "'e2 ? 22 "'d8!
Now White's position becomes critical . Beginning a tactical sequence that leads
15 .i. g4! by force to a win. The bishop at d3 is
16 B exB threatened, and 23 :xe3 is not possible
17 gxB .i.h3 because of 23 . . . ... g5+. Finally, if 23 .i.e4
"'g5+ 24 "'g3 "'xg3+ 25 hxg3 :xe4 26
fxe4 lilc2 and Black should win this
ending, although this was a more tenacious
defence than that in the game.
23 .i.e1
My opponent hopes for the simplifi-
cation after 23 ......xd3 24 .i.xe3 "'xc3 25
.i.xa7, when 25 . . . :xe l + 26 :xe l "'xa3 is
not possible because of 27 .i.c5, but Black
finds a combinational continuation of the
attack.

18 l:tfel
1 8 l:tfd 1 would have maintained
material equality, e.g. 1 8 . . . lilxd5 1 9 lilxc4
lilxc4 20 :xd5, or 1 8 ... :ac8 1 9 lile4,
although in both cases Black has an
undisputed positional advantage.
18 lilxd 5
19 lilxe4 lilxe4
20 .i.xe4
If 20 "'xc4 "'b6 ! with numerous
threats.
1 66 Averbalch 's Selected Games

23 tL)g4! 6 i.e3 c6
24 i.xh7+ �xh7 7 "'d2 a6
25 fxg4 :xel+ 7 . . . :eS came into consideration, to
26 "'xel :e8 answer S i.h6 with S . . . i.hS.
27 i.e3 :e4 8 i.h6 b5
28 "'bl f5 9 O-O-O!
29 i.f2 llxg4+
30 i.g3 %lg6
White resigns, as he loses a piece.

Game 53
Averbakh-Petrosian
Moscow Team Championship 1961
King's Indian Defence

1 d4 tL)f6
2 c4 g6
3 tL)c3 i.g7
4 e4 d6
5 f.3 A couple of months before this game I
met Petros ian in the 2Sth USSR Cham­
pionship, but instead of castling I played
the less accurate 9 h4. After 9 . . . e5 1 0 d5
cxd5 1 1 cxd5 tL)bd7 1 2 g4 i.xh6 1 3 "'xh6
�hS 1 4 h5 tL)gS 1 5 "'e3 g5 ! White did not
achieve anything in particular, and the
game quickly ended in a draw. Therefore
Petros ian was not averse to repeating this
variation, but I had prepared an improve­
ment, for the moment preventing 9 . . . e5.
9 i.e6
Here 9 . . . ...a5 1 0 �b l :eS is usually
played.
As the Averbakh Variation gained in 10 h4!
popularity, I myself began playing it In such positions, where White's main
comparatively rarely. Firstly, I did not like task is to get his attack in first, pawns do
repeating one and the same thing, and not count. For this reason Black's previous
secondly, a certain feeling of satiation had move was dubious.
set in. Therefore I began employing the 10 i.xc4
Simisch Variation, especially when I was 11 i.xc4 bxc4
aiming for a win. 12 h5 i.h8
5 0-0 Having a pawn in reserve, Petros ian is
If Black does not castle early, White ready to give up the exchange, but White
carri es out the same plan, aiming for the does not fall for the bait and continues his
exchange of the dark-square bishops. offensive.
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 67

23 �g5+ rj;e7 (23 . . . <i>g6 24 l:tdfl ) 24


l:he l + <i>d8 25 .xc6 l:xe l 26 .xa8+, and
if 26 . . . <i>c7 27 �f7 with complications
favourable for White, but after 26 . . . <i>e7 27
.xh8 .c7+ 28 <i>d2 .a5+ Black has
perpetual check.
18 %lab8
19 fxg6 bxg6
20 eS

13 bxg6 fxg6
14 �b3 l:te8
1 4 . . . �bd7 1 5 �g5 is unpleasant for
Black, so he decides to move his rook in
order then to play . . . e7-e6.
IS .e2 e6
16 g4!
Attack, first and foremost! That is
White's motto.
16 �bd7 It appears that White has managed to
17 f4 .as get at the enemy king. After 20 . . . dxe5
there follows 2 1 .c2, e.g. 2 1 . . . rj;f7 22
�g5+ <i>e7 23 .xg6. If now Black replies
23 . . . exd4 24 l:xd4 �5, then 25 %le 1 ! ,
when 25 . . . �xg6 allows 26 l:xe6 mate, and
so Black is obliged to give up the exchange
with 25 . . . %lf8 .
Seeing that the ground is slipping from
under his feet, and striving at any cost to
change the unfavourable course of events,
Petrosian, like a wounded tiger, resorts to
desperate measures.
20 %lxb2
Now it is White who has to defend
18 IS accurately, in order himself not to come
Disregarding possible loss of material, under a strong attack.
White aims to open up the position of the 21 <i>xb2
enemy king. After 1 8 . . . exf5 1 9 gxfS �xe4 Worse is 2 1 .xb2 l:b8, when after 22
I was intending to reply 20 fxg6 ! �xc3 2 1 .c2 .a3+ 23 <i>d2 l:b2 Black wins the
gxh7+ , and if 2 1 . . 5�)xh7 22 .c2+. During queen, while if 22 .a l then simply
the game I thought that after 2 1 . ..<i>f7 I 22 . . . dxe5 .
could sacrifice a piece - 22 .xc4+ �d5 21 l:tb8+
1 68 Averbakh 's Selected Games

22 �c2 lDd5 1 c4 g6
23 'ii'xc4 g5 2 d4 lDf6
If 23 . . . lDxc3 there would have followed 3 lDc3 .t g7
mate in two by 24 'ii'xe6+ and 25 lDg5 . But 4 e4 0-0
now 24 . . . lDe3 is threatened. 5 .t e3 d6
6 f3 lDc6
There are various ways of opposing the
Samisch Variation. The piece set-up em­
ployed by Black was then the latest word
in fashion.
7 'ii'd 2 a6
8 0-0-0
Despite the opponent' s obvious inten­
tion of attacking on the queenside, White
accepts the challenge and castles long.
8 .td7
Black also plays 8 . . . l:b8 here, or even
8 . . . b5, in any case with a complicated
24 l:d3 lDb4+ game.
25 ci>d l d5
26 'ii' b3 c5
Taking the rook 26 . . . lDxd3 would have
been met by 27 1IIc 2, e.g. 27 . . . lD7xe5 28
dxe5 .txe5 29 'ii'xd3 'ii'xc3 30 1IIg6+ .tg7
(30 . .ci>h8 3 1 .tg7+ .txg7 32 lDxg5+ with
.

a quick mate) 3 1 'ii'xe6+ ci>h8 32 .txg7+


ci>xg7 33 'ii'e 7+ �g8 34 'ii'x g5+ ci>f8 3 5
l:fl + and White wins.
27 'ii' b l c4
28 1IIc t
Black resigns

It was interesting that the following year I 9 .th6!


won in similar fashion, with a swift pawn An important link in White's plan. The
attack, against Mark Taimanov. g7 bishop can take part both in attack and
in defence, and therefore it is important to
Game 54 exchange it.
Averbakh-Taimanov On the previous move Taimanov should
Moscow v. Leningrad Match 1 962 probably have played 8 . . . l:e8, preserving
King's Indian Defence the bishop from exchange.
9 b5
A few days before this game Mark 10 h4
Taimanov and I had met in the USSR The essence of the play is: who will be
Team Championship. There he had won. the first to reach the enemy king?
Now I had a chance to even the score. 10 e5
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 69

11 .i.xg7 �xg7 16 f4!


12 lLl ge2 Now the opening of lines, expanding
White's attacking possibilities, becomes
inevitable.
16 :tab8

12 lLlaS
A poor move. In cut-and-thrust play of
this type, pawns do not count. Black wins a
pawn, but allows his opponent a strong White has a wide choice. One possibil­
initiative. After 1 2 . . . hS 1 3 lLldS bxc4 1 4 ity, for example, is 1 7 fxeS dxeS 1 8 hxg6
lLlxf6 1i'xf6 I S d S lLle7 1 6 lLlc3 White fxg6 1 9 dxeS "xeS 20 1i'h6+ �f7 2 1
would have had only slightly the better l:txd7+ lLlxd7 22 1i'xh7+ �e8 (22 . . ...g7 23
chances. l:tf1 + lLlf6 24 l:txf6+ �xf6 2S eS+ �f7 26
13 lLlg3 ! lLlxc4 e6+ �f6 27 lLlge4+) 23 "xg6+ �d8 .
14 .i.xc4 bxc4 However, here I did not see how I could
IS hS "e7 continue the attack, and after greatly
prolonged thought I opted for:
17 dxeS dxeS
18 G :th8
The threat of 1 9 hxg6 fxg6 20 "h6+
looks too dangerous to be ignored.

We had both aimed for this position,


but evaluated it differently. I thought that I
could create dangerous threats on the
kingside. My opponent, a great optimist,
incidentally, considered that White's attack
was not dangerous. 19 fxg6
1 70 Averbakh 's Selected Games

1 9 h6+ �f8 20 :hfl was tempting, 26 . . . �g8 27 :xg6+) 27 :xf7+, again with
disrupting the coordination of the black mate. My opponent was evidently relying
pieces. However, this would have relieved on the splendid resource 24 . . . .tg4+ 25
the tension on the kingside. I preferred a "'xg4 (25 �e l loses to 25 . . . ...c 1 + 26 �f2
sharper move, after which the opponent "'xd2+ 27 "'xd2 :xb2) 25 . . . :xb2. But
would acquire counter-threats. However, to even so the final word remains with White.
attack, without allowing the opponent any With 26 :xf7+! �xf7 (26 . . . �h8 is no
counter-play, is not something that better: 27 :h7+! �xh7 28 hxg6+ etc.) 27
happens often ! hxg6+ ! (27 "'xg6+ leads only to a draw)
19 hxg6 he mates the black king.
20 "'gS "'b4 Thus 23 :xf6 ! was the quickest way to
The desperate attempt to complicate win, albeit a complicated one, since if
matters with 20 . . . :xb2 is most simply 23 . . . :xf6 White has 24 h6+.
countered by 2 1 :xd7 "'xd7 22 :d 1 . 23 :e6
21 :d2 :b6 24 "'xc7 :b7
22 :f1 :hb8 2S "'r4 .tc6
Taimanov, a resourceful tactician, has If 25 ... :eb6 26 "'e5 :e6 27 "'d4,
the ability to set clever traps, and when threatening both 28 h6+ and 28 �d5 .
playing him you must always be on your 26 hxg6 fxg6
guard. 27 "'gS �h 7
28 �hS+ �h8
29 "'h6 "'e7
30 �r4 "'f7

23 "'xeS
A simple solution to the problem .
Without reducing the tempo of the attack,
White gains a material advantage. At the Black's position is hopeless. White has
same time he avoids a trap - 23 :xf6 both an extra pawn, and a powerful attack.
"'xc3+ and if 24 bxc3 there follows mate My opponent's only chance was that I was
in two moves. This all seems very element­ in severe time trouble. When there are only
ary, but White has the unexpected reply 24 seconds left on your clock, it is not easy to
�d 1 ! , when it is not clear who has caught calculated even the most elementary
who. Thus if 24 . . . :xb2 25 :xg6+ with a combination. The variation 3 1 :d8+ (the
quick mate. 24 . . . .ta4+ 25 �e2 :xb2 is no immediate 3 1 �xg6+ is also possible)
better because of 26 �fS+ �f8 (or 3 1 . . . .te8 32 �xg6+! flashed through my
Averbakh 's Selected Games 171

m ind, but my hand had already made a


move:
31 ':fd l
Following a sound practical rule: in
time trouble the main thing is that
everything should be defended.
31 :f6
32 :d8+ -*.e8
33 �cd5 c3
A typical time trouble move, which is
largely a psychological attack.
34 �xf6 cxb2+
35 �bl
Black resigns Black chooses an original, but double­
edged plan. Without hurrying to castle, he
intends to develop his pieces on the
queenside, in order to create pressure there
on the opponent' s position.
9 .i.h6 -*.xh6
10 .xh6 b5
I O . . .•b6 would be an empty threat: 1 1
0--{).....{) e5 1 2 �b3 , and 1 2 . . . •xf2 is dan­
gerous in view of 1 3 ':dfl .b6 ( 1 3 . . .•xg2
1 4 ':hg l ) 1 4 ':xf6 �xf6 1 5 .g7.
11 0-0-0 -*.b7

The arbiters affirmed that I had some


twenty seconds left on my clock, but Black
has no moves enabling him even to
prolong the resistance.

Game 5 5
Averbakh-Aronin
Moscow Team Championship 1 956
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 c5
2 �fJ d6 12 :hel !
3 d4 cxd4 White does not waste time on the
4 �xd4 �f6 defence of his central pawn. Its capture
5 M a6 would lead to the opening of the e-file,
6 .i.e2 g6 which would be fraught with danger for
7 .i.e3 .i.g7 Black, as his king is held up in the middle
8 .d2 �bd7 of the board.
1 72 Averbakh 's Selected Games

12 'fIe7 Therefore my opponent quite naturally


My opponent intends to castle on the declines the sacrifice, but his reply allows
queenside, but . . . yet another combination. However, here it
13 �dS is not easy to find a satisfactory defence
In order to open the file, White again for Black. Thus if 1 6 . . . �xg2 there would
offers a pawn sacrifice. have followed 1 7 'fIf6 eS 1 8 lIxeS+! dxeS
13 �xdS 1 9 �e6 ! with a quick win. Evidently
14 exdS �xdS l 6 . . . eS ! was comparatively the best
Of course it would have been more defence, when I was intending 1 7 f4.
prudent to castle, when there would have
followed 1 5 �g4. Relying on his defensive
resources, Aronin decided to accept the
sacrifice.
15 'fIg7 1If8
If 1 5 . . . 0-0-0 I was planning 1 6 �xbS,
regaining the pawn.

17 �e6! �xe6
1 7 . . . 0-0-0 leads after 1 8 �xdS exdS to
a bad position without any counter­
chances, so Black throws caution to the
winds and accepts the sacrifice.
18 �xe6! fxe6
19 lIxe6+ �d8
16 �xbS! 20 lIdxd6!
This is the point! Black was hoping for
1 6 �xbS axbS 1 7 lIxdS lIxa2, intending if
1 8 �xbS to reply 1 8 . . . lIa l + 1 9 �d2 lIxe l
20 �xe l 'fIxc2, as 2 1 �xd7+ �xd7 22
'fIxfS is not dangerous because of
22 . . . 'fIe4+ and 23 . . . 'fIxdS .
16 e6
If 1 6 . . . axbS White was planning a
complicated combination on the theme of
the double attack: 1 7 �xbS 'fIaS ( 1 7 . . .'fIc6
1 8 lIxdS �b6 leads to a spectacular finish
- 1 9 �xd6+ �d7 20 �4+! ) 1 8 �xd6+!
�d8 1 9 'fIxf8+! �xfS 20 �b7+ �c7 2 1
�xaS lIxas 22 b4 lIbS 23 a4, remaining The climax of White's combination. 2 1
the exchange up. 'fIxfS mate is threatened, and 20 . . . lIe8
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 73

loses quickly to 2 1 :xe8+ �xe8 22 :e6+


�d8 23 1IIg 8+ �f8 24 1IIxf8+ �d7 25
l:e7+ �d6 26 1IIf6+.
By giving up his queen, Black finds the
only possible way of prolonging the
resistance.
20 'ifxd6
21 l:xd6 �c7

28 :e2
A clever defence. If 29 1IIxaS there
follows 29 . . . :xd2 30 1IIxd2 �xa4.
29 l:xe2 :xe2
30 'ifxaS �e4
This seemingly active move simplifies
White's problems. However, even after
30 . . . �xg2 3 1 'ifa7+ �b7 32 as �c8 33
White's attack has led to an original 1IIc 5+, followed by the advance of his
position with an unusual balance of forces: queenside pawns, he would have won.
queen and three pawns against rook, 31 1IIe5+ � b7
bishop and knight. One might argue about
which side has a material advantage, but
the fact that the black king has no pawn
protection and has to be defended by
pieces forces the position to be evaluated
in favour of White. However, in order to
realise his advantage he must act
energetically, otherwise the black pieces,
after uniting, may be able to assail the
opponent's king with great force.
22 l:d2 l:ae8
23 b3 l:e1+
24 �b2 l:fe8!
After doubling on the e-file, Black 32 �a3 !
intends to exchange White's only rook. Due to the pin, the c2 pawn is immune.
25 1IId 4 �b6 32 �dS
The threat of 25 1IIa7+ has to be 33 as �c7
parried. 34 a6+!
26 a4 as The concluding finesse. The pawn
27 111c3 l:leS cannot be taken: if 34 . . .�xa6 35 1IIxc7, or
28 f4 34 . . . �xa6 3 5 111b 5+.
1 74 Averbalch 's Selected Games

34 �b6 Yakov Estrin was an International


34 . . . �c8 loses to 3 5 a7, e.g. 3 5 . . . �b7 Master and simultaneously an ICCF
36 a8.+! �xa8 37 .b5+, or 35 . . . h5 3 6 Grandmaster, who later ( 1 972-5) became
a8.+! �xa8 3 7 .b5 :te l 3 8 . b4 and World Correspondence Champion. A
again Black loses a piece. theoretician, he earned a number of points
35 .d4+ �a5 thanks to his superior knowledge of
36 . b4+ �xa6 opening theory. However, it was precisely
37 .c4+ �bS+ this quality that I wanted to exploit in the
38 �b4 present game.
Black resigns The point was that Black's last move
was first employed in 1 946 by Ragozin in
Game 56 a game from the Leningrad Championship
Averbakh-Estrin and since then had been considered
Moscow Championship 1964 completely sound. In particular, Estrin had
Queen' s Gambit successful employed it several times in
correspondence tournaments.
1 d4 d5 Meanwhile, back in the same year
2 c4 e6 1 946, when I examined this position I had
3 �c3 �f6 doubts about the strength of 8 . . . •c7. It is
4 �f3 .i.b4 patently obvious that White has a great
5 .i.g5 dxc4 lead in development, and with the strong
A transposition of moves has led to a move 9 .b3 ! he can hope to exploit it. I
position from the sharp Vienna Variation found this move then, but was unable to
of the Queen' s Gambit, one of my find any opportunity to use it. And now, 1 8
opponent's favourite openings with Black. years later, such an opportunity finally
The aim of my chosen move order was to arrived.
conceal my intention of playing this very Now it was very important not to
variation, in which I had prepared a little frighten my opponent, not to reveal that I
surprise. had something prepared. And so, before
6 e4 c5 making my reply, I thought, or rather made
7 .i.xc4 cxd4 on that I was thinking, for about an hour!
8 �xd4 .c7 9 . b3 !
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 75

Before this the main continuation was brings fresh reserves into the attack. Less
considered to be 9 .a4+ lbc6 1 0 lbxc6 clear is I S lbc7+ �d8 1 6 lbxa8 WcS ! with
.i.xc3+ I I bxc3 .i.d7 with an acceptable the two threats of 1 7 . . . Wxc4 and
game for Black. 1 7 . . . lbf2+.
9 .i.xc3+
10 .xc3 lbxe4
The little show I put on had achieved its
aim - my opponent did not even suspect
that he had fallen victim to a prepared
variation. Now Black comes under a very
strong attack.

15 lbef6
If I S ... lbecS, defending the e6 pawn,
then 1 6 .i.e3 1i'h4 1 7 lbd6+ and 1 8 .i.gS+
leads to the win of the queen.
16 .i.xe6! .xb2
The bishop could not be taken because
of mate in two moves .
11 lbb5! •c5 17 %let
I think it was at this move that Estrin
terminated his calculations. By attacking
the f2 pawn he was hoping to gain time for
the defence. However, the check at f2 is
not yet mate, and there are only two pieces
participating in Black' s attack. Therefore,
without concerning himself over defence,
White continues his offensive.
12 .xg7! %lf8
13 .i.h6
Continuing to ignore the opponent' s
threat.
13 .xfl+
Probably the toughest defence was A tragi-comic position ! 1 7 . . . •xbS
13 lbd7 1 4 0-0 .xc4 IS a4 ! a6 1 6 %lac l
... loses to 1 8 .i.c4+, and meanwhile White is
axbS, giving up the queen. Now Black threatening 1 8 .i.xd7+ �xd7 19 %lc7+ �d8
loses by force. 20 .xf8+, a line which also wins after
14 �d l lbd7 1 7 . . .•b4 - 1 8 .i.xd7+ �xd7 1 9 %lc7+ �d8
15 l:tel ! 20 .xf6+ and mates. Therefore Black
At d I the king feels fine, and White resigned .
1 76 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Game 57
Khasin-Averbakh
Moscow Team Championship 1964
Sicilian Defence

1 e4 cS
2 lLlf3 lLlc6
3 d4 cxd4
4 lLlxd4 g6
Inviting White to play 5 c4, to which I
usually used to reply 5 . . . .1g7 6 .1e3 lLlf6
7 lLlc3 lLlg4 S 1Wxg4 lLlxd4 9 1Wd l lLle6
with a complicated game, but my opponent
prefers a more proven alternative. 10 lLlxd4
S lLlc3 .1g7 11 .1xd4 bS
6 .1e3 lLlf6 12 gS lLlhS
7 .1c4 0-0 13 .1xg7 �xg7
8 .1b3 14 1i'd4+
After exchanging the dark-square
bishops, my opponent thought that with
this check he would gain the advantage.
However, Black finds an excellent
resource.

This variation, in which Black delays


. . . d7-d6, often occurs in modem
tournaments. It is well known that S . . . lLla5
is a mistake here because of 9 e5 lLleS 1 0
.1xf7+ ! , but S . . .lLlg4 9 1Wxg4 lLlxd4 is
possible. However, I preferred to transpose 14 eS!
into a familiar position from the Dragon The white king is still in the centre, and
Variation. I thought that the piece sacrifice, which
8 d6 Black's last move involves, was fully
9 f3 .1d7 justified.
10 g4 However, International Master Abram
A comparatively fresh idea. According Khasin is no coward. He believes in him­
to modem theory, it is the h-pawn that is self, and in the defensive possibilities of a
' supposed' to advance. position, and readily accepts sacrifices.
Averbakh IS Selected Games 1 77

15 .xd6 'ifxg5
16 'ifxd7
1 6 'ifd2 was more cautious, of course,
but my opponent evidently still had
pleasant memories of our meeting in the
29th USSR Championship (Baku 1 96 1 ).
There, in a game from the last round that
was exceptionally important for me, he had
boldly accepted my sacrifices and won.
However, history does not always repeat
itself!

(b) 1 8 .d2 .xf3 1 9 0-0-0 (if 1 9 l:lg l


.xe4 with the threat of 20 . . . :d8; no better
is 1 9 �xf4 .xh l + 20 �f2 .xa l 2 1 �hS+
�h8 ! 22 �f6 :g8 and the attack is
parried, or else 20 . . ..xh2+ 2 1 �g2 f5 with
an attack for Black) 1 9 . . . �xe2+ 20 �b l
�d4 2 1 i.dS and, despite the loss of a
pawn, White can resist.
17 .xa7
There is nothing better. 1 7 .xbS loses
immediately to 1 7 . . . .g2 when the rook is
16 l:lad8! lost, as 1 8 :fl or 1 8 'iffl allows 1 8 . . .'ifd2
Here I had to choose between the mate. 1 7 .g4 .e3+ 1 8 �fl :d2 1 9 'ifg l
obvious 1 6 . . . 'ife3+ (apparently my oppo­ is also inadequate because of 1 9 . . . •xf3+
nent was reckoning on this move), and the 20 �e l :g2 2 1 .cS �f4 22 :fl :e2+.
continuation in the game. And this, as is 17 l:ld4!
well known, is one of the most difficult
things - to choose the better, out of two
moves that seem roughly equivalent. In
such situations Eduard Gufeld, for
example, used to take a coin out of his
pocket and resolve such a question more
simply: 'heads or tails! ' .
After 1 6 . . ..e3+ 1 7 �e2 �f4 there are
two possibilities:
(see diagram next column)

. (a) 1 8 'ifxbS �g8 (if 1 8 . . . �g2+ 1 9 �fl


'ifxf3+ 20 �g l �e3, then 2 1 'ifxeS+ �g8
22 'ifg3 'ifxe2 23 l:le l ) 1 9 i.c4 �g2+ 20 18 �e2
�d l (20 �fl ? 'ifxf3+ 2 1 �g l �e3 ) It is a pity that White avoids the most
20 . . . l:lad8+ 2 1 i.dS and White holds on; spectacular variation of the combination.
1 78 Averbakh 's Selected Games

In reply to 1 8 �f2 Black would have had 20 'ii'xe5+ � h6


to find 1 8 . . . lDf4 (if 1 8 . . . l:d2+ 1 9 �e l 21 'iVxb5 l: b8
'iVg2, then 20 'iVg l ) 1 9 l:ad l lDh3+ 20 �fl Simpler than 2 1 ...lDf4 22 .tc4 lDg2+,
'iVe3 2 1 �g2 'ii'f2 +! 22 �xh3 'ii'xf.3+ 23 and so on as in the previous variation.
�h4 h6 24 l:hg 1 g5+ 25 l:xg5+ hxg5+ 26 22 'iVa6 l:b6
�xg5 'iVf4+ 27 �h5 l:h8 mate.
A reader of one of our chess magazines
once suggested that a commentator should
indicate which variations he saw at the
board, and which he did not see. Of course,
this is an interesting opinion, but for the
description of a game it is not essential.
After all, man is not a computer. As a rule,
an experienced master never calculates all
the variations of a combination. Relying on
his intuition, he works out only the
necessary minimum . Of course, I did not
examine this last variation, but, being
convinced of the correctness of the White resigns: if 23 'iVc4 there follows
sacrifice, I would undoubtedly have found 23 . . . lDf4 with inevitable mate.
it at the board. Incidentally, the quality of a
combination is not impaired by what a Game 58
player saw or did not see at the board. Averbakh-Platonov
Rather the opposite. 36th USSR Championship
18 'ii'e3 Alma-Ata 1969170
19 'iVe7 Queen 's Gambit
The struggle would have been
prolonged only a little by 1 9 'iVa5 lDf4 20 1 c4
'iVxb5 �h6 2 1 .tc4 (2 1 l:g l l:b8 ! 22 'iVa6 This first move of the bishop's pawn
l:b6) 2 1 . . .lDg2+ 22 �fl 'iVxf.3+ 23 �g l often occurs in modem tournaments. How­
lDe3 , and White can resign. ever, when the two players finally disclose
19 l:d2 their intentions, it often happens that,
instead of the English Opening, a position
from some other opening is reached.
1 c5
2 lDo lDc6
3 e3
Instead of the romantic R6ti Opening,
White shows his desire to play a prosaic
Queen 's Gambit. There is nothing for
Black other than to accept the invitation,
since if 3 . . . g6 4 d4 .tg7 White has the
rather strong 5 d5 .
3 e6
4 lDc3 lDf6
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 79

5 d4 d5 13 . c2 !
6 a3 After the immediate 1 3 c4 Black could
have exchanged queens, when White's
chances of an attack are reduced prac-
tically to nil.
13 h6
1 3 . . . g6 is also unattractive.
14 c4 dxc4
1 4 . . . d4 loses a pawn after I S .te4,
while 1 4 . . . .te6 I S lUd I is unpleasant for
Black. It would appear that he has to take
on c4.
15 .txc4

6 lDe4
In reply to White's unpretentious
opening, Black has several good contin­
uations: 6 . . . .te7, 6 . . . a6 and finally
6 . . . cxd4. As for the move chosen by Black,
I do not particularly like it, although it is
sometimes played.
7 .td3 lDxc3
8 bxc3 .te7
9 0-0 0-0
10 .tb2 b6
This leads to difficulties. The natural 15 �h8
I O . . . dxc4 I I .txc4 b6 would have led to a How else can Black defend against the
complicated struggle, in which White has threat of 1 6 .g6?
only slightly the better chances. He loses a pawn after I S . . . .te6 1 6 Wc3
11 cxd5 exd5 .f6 1 7 .xf6 gxf6 1 8 .ta6, while if
12 dxc5 .txc5 I S . . . lDe7, then 1 6 1Ud l .c7 1 7 .c3 lDfS
1 8 e4.
16 .e4
The attack develops of its own accord.
First of all White switches his mighty
queen to the kingside, and he does it with
gain of tempo.
16 .tb7
Already this is probably the decisive
mistake. By playing 16 . . . .td7 Black could
have hoped for a successful defence,
whereas now he comes under a powerful
attack. Events develop by force.
17 :tfd l .c8
1 80 Averbakh 's Selected Games

If 1 7 . . ....e7 there follows 1 8 "'g4 f6 way by 22 "'g3 ! , e.g. 22 . . . ...xg3 23 hxg3


( 1 8 . . . fS 1 9 "'g6) 1 9 lLlh4 with a decisive l:ab8 24 lLle5 ! lLlxe5 25 i.xe5 i.f6! 26
advantage. i.xb8 i.c6! By elegant tight-rope walking
Black manages to save the piece, but with
27 i.xa7 White wins at least a pawn.
22 i.xh4
23 lLlxh4

18 i.d3 !
Forcing the opponent to open up still
further the position of his king.
18 IS
19 "'h4 "e6 23 "'gS
Mate follows after 1 9 . . . �h7 20 lLlg5+ The main variation of the combination
�g6 2 1 i.e2. was much more interesting: 23 . . ...h7 24
20 i.c4 "'g6 i.d5 l:ac8 25 i.e6 ! l:ce8 26 i.xfS ! l:xfS
21 l:d7 i.e7 27 l:xg7 l:b5 28 lLlg6+ "xg6 29 l:xg6+
There is no other way of defending the l:xb2 30 l:xh6+ �g7 3 1 l:xc6, and White
g7 pawn. After 2 1 . . . lLld4 22 exd4 i.xf3 23 wins.
"g3 or even 23 l:xg7 White wins a piece. 24 f4 "'g4
If 23 . . ....g4 immediately, then 24 f3
"'g5 25 f4 wins.

22 l:xb7 ! ?
Spectacular, but by no means obliga­
tory. White could have gained a material 25 i. e2 !
advantage in a less complicated, prosaic, Black resigns
Averbalch 's Selected Games 181

If 2 5 . . . ...xe2 there follows mate in two does so only at the cost of allowing White
moves, while after 25 . . ....xh4 26 J..xg7+ decisive scope elsewhere. The various
�g8 27 J.. c4+ %lf7 28 %lxf7 Black has no catastrophes which could have befallen
defence against the numerous threats, e.g. Black, had he not kept a very careful watch
28 . . . lLla5 29 J.. e6 %le8 30 %le7+ �h7 3 1 on these pawns, are made clear in the
J.. f6+ %lxe7 32 J.. xf5+ �g8 33 J.. xh4) 26 notes.
lLlg6+ etc.

Game 59
Averbakh-Hug
International Tournament
Palma de Mallorca 1972
Dutch Defence

The comments to this game appear with


the kind permission of Peter Griffitm, who
originally wrote them for his 'Practical
Chess Endings ' series in the British Chess
Magazine (April 19 73). A few minor
corrections by me are given in square After a good deal of manoeuvring in the
brackets (Translator 's note). earlier stages, White embarks on a
permanent piece sacrifice which is based
1 d4 e6 2 e4 fS 3 lLla lLlf6 4 g3 J.. e7 5 on the following positional considerations:
J.. g2 0-0 6 0-0 e6 7 lLlc3 d5 8 'ire2 a5 9 ( I ) The two connected passed pawns
lLle5 lLlbd7 10 exd5 exd5 l 1 lLld3 lLle4 12 will have to be permanently watched.
a lLlxc3 13 bxc3 J.. d 6 14 J.. d 2 lLlf6 15 (2) For this reason Black' s rooks will
.tf4 .txf4 16 gxf4 'ire7 17 'ird2 lLld7 18 have to remain passive for a very long
�hl %le8 1 9 lLle5 lLlxe5 20 he5 J.. e6 21 time.
%lgl �h8 22 f4 'irh4 23 J.. a %le7 24 %lg5 (3 ) His bishop will be a useless piece in
g6 25 %lagl %lg8 26 e3 %leg7 27 'irg2 b5 view of the fact that White will be
28 .td l a4 29 .te2 J.. d 7 30 .td3 J.. e6 31 operating exclusively on the dark squares.
'iro %lt7 32 %l1g3 'irh6 33 'irbl 'irf8 34 (4) The white king can penetrate
'irb4 %lfg7 35 %lh3 'ire7 36 %lgl J.. c8 37 undisturbed through the dark squares on
'irxe7 %lxe7 38 %lhg3 %leg7 39 �g2 .te6 the queens ide.
40 �a h6 41 �e2 �h7 42 %la %lb7 43 (5) The black king is in danger, as we
�d2 J.. t7 44 %lbl %la8 45 %lg3 J.. e6 46 will see.
%lbgl %lg8 47 �e2 %la7 48 .te2 J.. t7 49 h4 52 .txh5! gxh5
h5 50 %lg5 %le8 51 �d2 %le6 53 %lxfS J.. g6
This endgame is an object lesson in Black's best chance, although it allows
mind over matter in chess, and at the same the white rook through to the eighth rank,
time a fine illustration of the possibilities since he will now at least be able to
open to two active rooks when they blockade the pawns for a while. Anything
penetrate to the seventh and/or eighth else, such as 53 . . . %lae7, would permit 54
ranks. Although in this ending Black %lfg5 with a subsequent f4-f3, e.g.
manages to keep them under control, he 54 . . . .te8 55 f5 %lh6 56 f6 %lf7 (56 ... %le6
1 82 Averbakh 's Selected Games

57 ':'g7+ and mates) 57 e6 winning easily. Naturally White does not oblige by
A clear warning to Black that the pawns exchanging the passive black rook, unless
will rush forward at the slightest excuse. he can gain some substantial compensating
54 :f8 � g7 advantage such as the freeing of his pawns;
55 :c8 ':'f7 besides, he has plans for manoeuvring
56 �c1 behind Black's lines with both rooks.
For the moment White's threats on the 59 :f7
kingside are contained, so the king starts 60 ':'g5 :15
its long journey to c5, after which the 61 ':'c7+
combined pressure on both wings is almost
certain to break Black's resistance.
56 �h6
57 :g5!

61 � g8
If 6 1 ...�h6 White calmly proceeds with
his king's walk - 62 �a3 ! , since Black
cannot capture on g5 . If 6 1 . . . .:.f7 62 ':'xf7+
White is in no hurry, so he takes the i.xf7 63 f5 ':'e8 64 e6 i.g8 65 �a3 and
time to set a trap without endangering Black must remain totally passive while
anything. The following variations illus­ the king strolls in: he cannot even chall­
trate most pointedly the perils to which enge rooks at g7 because of the mate at h5.
Black is exposed: And to sacrifice the bishop back at any
(a) 57 . . . :fS 5 8 ':'h8+ �g7 59 ':'hxh5 stage would lead to a hopeless rook
and White wins immediately, as Black ending.
cannot defend himself against the threat of [The rook ending after 64 e6 i.xe6 65
f4-fS, whether he moves his rook away or ':'xh5+ �g7 66 ':'g5+ �h7 67 fxe6 ':'xe6
exchanges; 68 ':'g3 �h6 does not look altogether clear.
(b) 57 . . .i.f5 58 ':'h8+ i.h7 (or 58 . . . :h7 It seems more consistent for White to
59 ':'f8 i.e4 60 fS and wins) 59 fS ':'ee7 60 maintain the bind and continue infiltrating
:g6 mate! with his king: 64 �a3 , and if 64 . . . :g8 65
57 �h7 ! llxg8 �xg8 66 �b4 i.e8 67 �c5 �f7 68
Black is alive to the danger, so White �d6 a3 69 f6 with a zugzwang position
must revert to his main plan, the invasion similar to that in the diagram below.]
by the king. The critical variations occur if Black
58 �bl ':'15 plays here 63 ....:.e7 64 �a3 i.e8 65 �b4
59 :gl ':'g7, whereupon White's king gets a real
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 83

opportunity to make its presence felt: 66


:xg7+ �xg7 67 �c5 �d7 (or 67 . . . �f7 68
�d6 and Black is in zugzwang, since he
must allow �e7 followed by fS-f6 and e5-
e6 - if 68 . . . �f8 69 e6 etc.) 68 f6+ �f7 (if
68 . . . �g6 69 �d6 and 70 �e7) 69 �d6,
and now:
(a) 69 . . . �c8 (this leads to some
amusing play) 70 a3 ! (not immediately 70
�xc6 because of 70 . . . �e6 7 1 �xb5
�d7+, whereas now a king move would
permit 7 1 e6 or 7 1 �e7, so Black must
block e6 with his bishop) 70 . . . �e6 7 1
�xc6 �e8 72 �xb5 �d7+ 73 �c5 ! �e6 White has achieved a position which he
74 �b4 �d7 75 c4 dxc4 76 �xc4 and the can win in a number of ways, yet how
pawns must win; many players would have refrained from
(b) 69 . . . �e8 70 a3 ! capturing the c-pawn now? After 66 :xc6
:xc6+ 67 �xc6 �e7 68 �xb5 �e8+ 69
�c5 �e6, or possibly 68 . . . �e6 immed­
iately with similar variations, White should
still win by a timely e3-e4 followed by d4-
d5+ and so on, but Averbakh sees that he
can do even better by being patient for a
while and leaving Black to find reasonable
moves, which is constantly becoming more
difficult for him.
66 �g6
An attempt to stop the invasion of the
second rook, which is unfortunately
doomed to failure since he is so short of
and Black is in zugzwang. manoeuvring room, but he has nothing
62 1:g1 �f8 better; 66 . . . :g6?, for example, would fail
62 . . . :f7 63 :xf7 �xf7 64 :g5 would to 67 :xf7.
lose another pawn - 64 . . . 1:e8 65 fS �h7 67 a3
66 :xh5 followed by �a3-b4-c5 etc., and No hurry!
Black' s chances of survival are very slim. 67 �c8
63 �a3 �f7 Or 67 . . . :f7? 68 :xg6, a curious echo
It is remarkable how Black has been of the last variation.
quite unable to achieve anything with his 68 1:g7 �e8
extra piece. White has simply arran ged to 69 1:h7 1:f8
do everything on the dark squares and is If 69 ... :g6 70 :xg6 �xg6 7 1 :g7 �e8
ignoring the bishop's domain entirely! 72 �d6, and the blockade of the pawns
64 �b4 �e8 will be swept away, e.g. 72 . . . �d8 73 �e6
65 �c5 �d8 [or 73 :a7], or 72 . . . :f7 73 l:lxf7 .i.xf7 74
66 :a7 ! fS, and the avalanche is unstoppable.
1 84 Averbakh 's Selected Games

If 69 . . . �g6 70 l:th6 �f7 7 1 l:txe6 �xe6 finish off a fine game like this one with the
72 �d6 �f7 73 l:tg7, with e5-e6 to follow. greatest possible precision, so White looks
for and finds an alternative mating net.
74 :b6!
Threatening 75 l:ta8+ �d7 76 l:tb7
mate, or 75 . . . �c7 76 l:tab8 with inevitable
mate, so Black must move the rook on e6
to make room .
74 :g6
75 fS!
The pawn has the last word after all; it
covers e6, thereby threatening the same
mate as given above, while capturing it
allows a different finish.
[75 e6, forcing the rook to return to e6
The move played releases the passed and allowing the above mate, also wins.]
pawn, which is certain to have equally 75 :xfS
serious consequences before long. 76 :a8+ �c7
70 l:tgg7 �b8 Or 76 . . . �d7 77 l:tb7+ �e6 78 :Xe8
71 :b7+ �a8 mate.
72 :a7+ �b8 77 l:tab8
73 :hb7+ �c8

Black resigns, as mate is forced.


White has set up the orthodox starting
position for manoeuvring with doubled Game 60
rooks on the seventh rank, and would Averbakh-Plachetka
nonnally have in mind the possibility of International Tournament
protecting his rook at b7, thereby creating Polanica Zdroj 1 975
the irresistible threat of l:ta8 mate. Here, English Opening
however, 74 �b6 for this purpose will not
quite do because of 74 . . . c5+ 75 �xc5 1 c4 lLlf6
:c6+ and the king is driven back. It is 1 lLlc:3 d5
characteristic of a grandmaster to want to 3 cxd5 lLlxd5
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 85

4 g3 g6 10 h4!
Despite the fact that Black has
preserved his bishop from exchange, White
begins an attack on the opponent' s king.
10 lDc6
11 lDa
Here the capture on c6 would not be
logical : White has already revealed his
plans. Now he forestalls the black knight
manoeuvre c6-e5-g4.
11 e5

Such a ' mixture' of the English


Opening and the Grunfeld Defence is fairly
common in modem chess.
5 �g2 lDb6
The alternative is 5 . . .lDxc3 6 bxc3 � g7
7 l:tb l lDd7.
6 d3 �g7
7 �e3
White's strategy is not to hurry with
castling, but to try in the first instance to
neutralise the opponent's dark-square A dubious move, which, as later
bishop and not allow him to develop his transpires, weakens the f6 square. Black
knight at c6 (because of �xc6). should probably have played 1 1 . . .lDd7 1 2
7 0-0 h 5 lDf6, bringing his knight to the defence
7 . . . lDsd7 is more subtle, also delaying of the kingside. 1 1 . . . �f5 also looks a
castling and as yet not disclosing his plans. reasonable alternative.
8 "'ct l:te8 12 h5 lDd4
9 �h6 �h8 13 hxg6 fxg6
My opponent does not risk taking with
the h-pawn, fearing after 1 3 . . . hxg6 1 4 tiJe4
f6 1 5 tiJxd4 exd4 the spectacular 1 6 �fS !
For example: 1 6 . . . l:txfS 1 7 l:txh8+ �xh8
1 8 "'h6+ �g8 1 9 "'xg6+ �h8 20 0-0-0.
Black would have had to reply 1 6 . . . g5,
after which I was planning to retreat my
bishop to a3, retaining a positional
advantage.
14 lDe4
Having acquired the e4 square, White
immediately uses it to strengthen his
position. 1 5 � g5 is threatened.
1 86 Averbakh 's Selected Games

11 �xc8 1Wxc8
2 1 ...:xc8 22 as �S 23 J.h3 is
unpleasant for Black.
22 as �dS
23 a6 bS
24 1Wcs 1Wd7
2S :c1 l:ae8
26 �e4

14 1We7
15 .i.gS 1WfT
16 .i.e3 :e7
17 �fgS 1We8
18 .i.xd4 exd4
19 a4!
White's queen needs to reach the a2-g8
diagonal, but the direct 1 9 1Wc2 is parried
by 1 9 . . . 1WbS . Therefore he begins an 26 :b8
attack on the queenside. 20 1Wc2 is now a A trap. If White plays 27 1Wxc6 1Wxc6
threat. 28 :xc6, then by 28 . . �b4 29 l:d6 J.eS
.

19 c6 Black regains his pawn.


27 J.h3 1We8
28 0-0
Black' s position is full of weaknesses,
and it only remains for White to bring his
second rook into play in the centre, for his
advantage to become decisive.
28 l:c7

20 �d6!
White is not afraid of ghosts! In reply
to 20 . . . :xe2+ 2 1 �fl 1We7 there would
have followed 22 :xh7 J.g7 (22 . . . 1Wxd6
23 :xh8+ ! ) 23 �de4, winning the
exchange.
20 1Wd8
Averba/ch 's Selected Games I S7

After 2S ...l:tb6 29 �6 and 30 li)cs


Black loses the exchange.
29 .d6
This queen invasion decides the
outcome.
29 l:td8
30 .i.e6+ <i>g7
31 .e5+ <i>h6
32 .g5+ <i>g7
33 .e5+ <i>h6
34 .g5+ <i>g7
35 .i.xd5 l:txd5
36 .xd5!
After repeating moves because of time 39 %lfd
trouble, White carries out the concluding Of course, it is possible this way, but 39
combination. <i>g2 ! .xc7 40 %lh l + <i>g5 41 f4+ �f6 42
The rest is simple. �S+ was much more dramatic.
36 exd5 39 .i.f6
37 l:txe7+ <i>h6 40 l:tle6
38 �6 .b8 Blaek resigns
Tournament and Match Results

Year Event + - =
Place

1 93 8 Leningrad. USSR Cadet Championship 6 3


1 93 8 Kaluga. Championship (hors concours) 13 1
1 93 9 Moscow. Championship (Sem i-Final) 5 0 4
1 93 9 Moscow. Championship (Final) 1 7 5 13
1 940 Moscow. Championship (Semi-F inal) 3 3 7 8
1 940 Moscow. A l l-Union Candidate Master Tournament 3 3 5 4-6
1 943 Moscow. Championship (Semi-Final) 9 0 2 1
1 943/4 Moscow. Championship (F inal) 6 3 7 6
1 944 Moscow. USSR Championship Semi-F inal 2 2 11
1 944 Ivanovo 5 3 3 5-7
1 945 Leningrad. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 6 5 4 6-7
1 945 Moscow. Championship of the Zen it Sports Society 8 2 1 1 -2
1 945 Moscow. Championship (Sem i-Final) 6 8 3
1 945 Moscow. Trades Union Team Championship
1 946 Moscow. Championship (Final) 5 5 5 8- 1 2
1 946 Leningrad. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 4 3 11 7-9
1 946 Vilnius. Baltic Championship (hors concours) 14 1 4 1
1 947 Moscow. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 9 1 5 1
1 947 Leningrad. Trades Union Team Championship 4 0 5 I
1 948 Moscow. Ryumin Memorial Tournament 5 3 1 -2
1 948 A lushta. Championship of the Zenit Sports Society 5 0 2 1 -2
1 948 Moscow. 1 6th USSR Championship 4 6 8 1 3- 1 4
1 948 Leningrad. USSR Team Championship 4 1 0 1
1 949 Moscow. Championship (Final) 9 0 6 1
1 949 MoscowlBudapest. Moscow-Budapest Match 6 2 8 5
1 950 Szczawno Zdroj (Poland). International Tournament 7 3 9 8
1 950 Moscow. Championship (Final) 7 0 8 1
1 950 Tula. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 8 0 7 1 -2
1 950 Moscow. 1 8th USSR Championship 4 7 6 14
1 95 1 Leningrad. Trades Union Team Championship 5 0 1 1
1 95 1 Moscow. Championship (Final) 4 2 6 4-5
1 95 1 Sverdlovsk. USSR Championship Semi-Fi nal 8 2 9 3 -4
1 95 1 Moscow. 1 9th USSR Championship (Zonal Tournament) 5 3 9 6-8
1 95 1 Tbilisi. USSR Team Championship 2 0 3 2
1 952 Moscow. Championship (Final) 2 5 8 13
1 952 Minsk. USSR Championship Semi-Final 8 5 4 5-6
1 952 SaltsjlSbadenlStockholm. Interzonal Tournament 6 13 5
1 95 3 Minsk. Trades Union Team Championship 6 0 4
1 95 3 Gagra. Grandmaster Training Tournament 2 2 5 4-7
Averbakh 's Selected Games 1 89

Year Event + - =
Place

1 95 3 NeuhausenlZurich. Candidates Tournament 5 6 17 1 0- 1 1


1 95 3 Vienna. USSR-Austria Match ( v . MOi ler) 1 0 1
1 95 4 Kiev. 2 1 st U S S R Championship 10 0 9
1 954 B uenos A i res. USSR-Argentina Match (v. Panno) 2 0 2
1 954 Paris. USSR-France Match (v. Muffang) 0 1
1 954 New York. USSR-USA Match (v. D .Byrne) 1 3 0
1 954 London. USSR-England Match (v. Penrose) 2 0 0
1 954 Stockhol m . USSR-Sweden Match (v. Horberg) 1 0 1
1 954 Riga. USSR Team Championship 2 2 6 5
1 95 5 Baku. Azerbaijan Championshp (hors concours) 14 0 1 1
1 95 5 Voroshilovgrad. USSR Team Championship 3 0 6 2
1 95 5 Moscow. 22nd USSR Championship 3 15 1 5- 1 6
1 95 5 Moscow. U S S R Championship Semi-Final 9 3 6 2
1 956 Leningrad. 23rd USSR Championship 7 1 9 1 -3
1 956 Leningrad. 23rd USSR Championship Play-Off 1 0 3 2
1 956 Dresden. I nternational Tournament 9 0 6 1 -2
1 956 Belgrade. USSR-Yugoslavia Match 2 0 6 3
1 956 Dj akarta. Match v. Hutagalung 3 0
1 956 Djakarta. International Tournament 6 0
1 95 7 Moscow. Championship (Final) 4 1 7 3 -4
1 95 7 Vienna. European Team Championship 1 2
1 95 7 Sverdlovsk. U S S R Championship Sem i-Fi nal 7 3 9 4-5
1 95 8 Riga. 25th USSR Championship (Zonal Tournament) 6 2 10 4
1 95 8 Kiev. USSR-Yugoslavia Match (v. Durasevic) 0 3
1 95 8 Portoroz. Interzonal Tournament 6 3 11 7- 1 1
1 95 8 V ilnius. USSR Team Championship 3 0 4 1
1 959 Tbil i s i . 26th USSR Championsh ip 5 3 II 7-8
1 959 Moscow. USSR Spartakiad 6 0 3 1
1 959 Yerevan. USSR Championship Semi-Final 7 7 2
1 959/60 Hastings. I nternational Tournament 4 0 6 2-3
1 960 Leningrad. 27th USSR Championship 4 1 13 6
1 960 Kislovodsk. Championship of the Trud Sports Society 7 3 5 3 -4
1 960 Adelaide. Australian Championship (hors concours) 13 0 2
1 960 Djakarta. International Tournament 6 O·
1 960 Odessa. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 7 1 9 1
1 96 1 Moscow. 28th USSR Championship (Zonal Tournament) 4 2 13 7-8
1 96 1 Moscow. Team Championship 3 0 1 1
1 96 1 Belgrade. USSR-Yugoslavia Match 2 2 2
1 96 1 Vienna. Schlechter Memorial Tournament 5 0 4
1 96 1 Baku. 29th USSR Championship 7 4 9 6-7
1 96 1 Moscow. USSR Team Championship 0 2 3
1 96 1 Moscow. Open Championship 5 0 10 1 -2
1 962 Leningrad. USSR Team Championship
1 90 Averbakh 's Selected Games

Year Event + - =
Place

1 963 Beverwijk. I nternational Tournament 5 3 9 7


1 963 Moscow. USSR Spartakiad 3 1 5 2
1 963 Leningrad. USSR Championship (Zonal Tournament) 3 4 12 1 2- 1 3
1 964 Moscow. Championship (Final) 8 3 6 4
1 964 Kislovodsk. I nternational Tournament 3 0 7 3
1 964 Moscow. USSR Team Championship 0 0 6 3
1 965 Mar del Plata. I nternational Tournament 6 0 9 3
1 965 Rio de Janeiro. I nternational Tournament 6 0 1
1 965 Hamburg. European team Championship 5 I 2
1 965 Yerevan . I nternational Tournament 1 2 10 7- 1 1
1 966 Moscow. USSR Team Championship
1 966 Titovo-Uzice. I nternational Tournament 4 I 10 5-6
1 967 Christchurch. International Tournament 12 0 2 1
1 968 Moscow. Championship (Final) 4 1 10 4
1 969 A lma-Ata. 3 6th USSR Championship 4 3 12 1 1-13
1 969 Grozny. USSR Team Championship 3 0 7 1
1 970 Moscow. Championship (Final) 2-3
1 970 Riga. 3 8th USSR Championship 4 3 14 8-9
1 970 Budapest. I nternational Tournament 1 1 13 8- 1 2
1 97 1 B ucharest. I nternational Tournament 6 2 6 1 -2
1 972 Odessa. USSR Championship Semi-Final 4 2 11 6- 1 0
1 972 Palma de Mal lorca. I nternational Tournament 4 1 10 5-7
1 973 Lvov. USSR Championship Sem i-Final 4 4 7
1 974 Moscow. USSR Cup 0 3 6
1 974 Moscow. Championship of the Zenit Sports Society 8 2 5 1
1 97 5 Polanica Zdroj . International Tournament 6 8 1 -2
1 975 A lgarve. International Tournament 1 2 8 9- 1 0
1 976 Polanica Zdroj . International Tournament 5 I 8 2-4
1 977 Reggio Emil ia. I nternational Tournament 4 0 7 2
1 978 Moscow. Championship (F inal) 4 4 7 8- 1 0
1 979 Djakarta. International Tournament 4 1 5 1 -3
1 979 Mani la. I nternational Tournament 4 1 8 3-5
1 982 Costa Brava. Moscow-Catalonia Match (v. Fernandez) 1 0 1
1 982 Moscow. Open Championship 2 3 12 11
1 98 5 Warsaw. Moscow-Sofia-Warsaw Match I 0 3
1 987 Graz. I nternational Tournament (Open) 5 1 3 8- 1 5
1 989 Palma de Mal lorca. International Tournament (Open) 1 5 4
1 990 New York. I nternational Tournament 0 4 5 10
1 992 New York. Marshal l C l ub International Tournament 3 0 6 1 -3
1 993 Natanya. I nternational Tournament 3 2 4 4
Index of Opponents

Aronin 1 25 , 1 7 1 Naj dorf 1 06


Novotelnov 66
Bannik 1 1 6
Bondarevsky 40, 69 Panno 1 22
Botvinnik 1 7, 1 27, 1 3 1 Petros ian 60, 1 66
Bronstein 1 62 Pi lnik 90
Platonov 1 78
Estrin 1 74 Plachetka 1 84
Euwe 1 0 1 , 1 09 Polugayevsky 1 3 4, 1 5 1

Fischer 1 54 Ragozin 1 1 1
Fuchs 1 44 Ravinsky 5 1
Roizman 1 64
Gligoric 86
Goldberg 49 Simagin 1 3
Golovko 54 Smyslov 72
Golz 1 42 Spas sky 1 3 7
Stahlberg 8 1
Hug 1 8 1 Suetin 57, 1 1 3
Szabo 45, 99
I1ivitsky 64
Taimanov 25, 1 05, 1 3 6, 1 68
Keres 97 Tolush 95
Khasin 1 76
Kholmov 75 Uhlmann 1 46
Korchnoi 1 1 9, 1 5 8 Unzicker 79
Kotov 3 6
Vasyukov 1 49
Larsen 1 5 6 Veresov 3 1
Lilienthal 34
Zak 22
Mikenas 20
Moiseev 52
Index of Openings

Benoni Defence 1 3

Catalan Opening 20, 54, 66

Dutch Defence 49, 8 1 , I l l , 1 3 1 , 1 8 1

English Opening 1 1 6, 1 84

French Defence 1 7, 1 27

King ' s Indian Defence 34, 69, 1 22, 1 25 , 1 3 7, 1 44, 1 54, 1 66, 1 68

Modem Benoni 95

Modem Defence 1 5 1

Nimzo-Indian Defence 25, 86, 97, 1 0 1 , 1 09, 1 34, 1 42, 1 46, 1 64

Queen ' s Gambit 36, 5 1 , 75, 1 74, 1 78

Queen ' s Indian Defence 1 06

Ragozin Defence 64

Ruy Lopez 22, 40, 4 5 , 72, 79, 90, 99

Sicilian Defence 3 1 , 52, 57, 1 05 , 1 1 9, 1 49, 1 5 6, 1 5 8, 1 62, 1 7 1 , 1 76

S lav Defence 60, 1 1 3