La solución del problema histórico de finales: Smyslov vs Benko

por Karsten Müller
29/10/2020 – Karsten Müller había examinado un fascinante problema de finales histórico, junto con los lectores de ChessBase, surgido en su tiempo en la partida disputada por Vassily Smyslov y Pal Benkö en 1975. Smyslov era un experto en finales de partidas, pero eso no quita que haya pasado por alto de la verdadera profundidad de este interesante final de partida. Karsten Müller y Zoran Petronijevic, junto con los lectores, han examinado de fondo el asunto. Las conclusiones en inglés... | Foto: Archivo Nacional de Holanda

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Endgame riddle V. Smyslov - P. Benko solved!

The rook endgame was really tricky to defend and both sides made a number of mistakes. However, the analyses indicate that the initial position was a draw.


Zoran Petronijevic sums up his findings:

  • 1. Smyslov and Mikhalchishin think that the initial position is won for White but our analyses indicate that it is a draw.
  • 2. The easiest way for Black to make a draw is probably 42...Rc6, which defendson the 6th rank.
  • 3. The game move 44.Rh1!? is an interesting attempt to play for win.
  • 4. 44...g5 is a mistake after which Black is lost. 44...Rg8! draws. In this line 50...g4 is an important resource that was found by Charles Sullivan. Without 50...g4, Black is lost.
  • 5. 46.Ra1 is a mistake, which gives the win away. But the strong 46.Re4 should lead to a win.
  • 6. 46...Kc7 is an instructive mistake that loses. At first, I thought that the prophylactic move 46...Rb8 would lose as well. However, with the help of  Alberto Oggero, Charles Sullivan, and last but not least, Karsten Mueller, we now know that this move leads to draw. In this fascinating line readers can find a lot of astonishing ideas for Black.
  • 7. 48.b5 is a mistake after which the position is even again.
  • 8. 50...Rb6 is very strong – Black defends on the 6th rank.
  • 9. 51...Kc8 leads to a draw but makes things more difficult for Black. Easier was 51...Kd8.
  • 10. 55... Kb7 is a mistake, after which Black is lost. After 55...Kc8! Black can draw.
  • 11. After the careless 62.Rf6 the position is again drawn.
  • 10. 62...Re4 was the last mistake in this very interesting and instructive game. After this move Black is finally lost.

Thanks to the help of a lot of endgame lovers (Charles Sullivan, Alberto Oggero, Karsten Müller, and a lot of other analysts who suggested interesting lines in the ChessBase comment section), we are now closer to the truth. I don't want to say that we know the truth, but we are closer to it.



El GM hamburgués y doctor Karsten Müller, nacido en 1970, juega desde 1988 en el Hamburger Schachklub en la primera división de la Bundesliga y en 1996 y 1997 fue tercero en el campeonato de Alemania. Es un experto en finales de fama internacional y se encarga regularmente de las columnas de finales de ChessBase Magazine y del "Endgame Corner" de