- Smyslov's Best Games Volume II
Smyslov's Best Games Volume II
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The Best Games of Vasily Smyslov
Volume II 1958 - 1995: 185 annotated games and over 100 pages tournament and match cross-tables.
Preface: "For more than half a century I have been taking part in chess competitions. With the leading masters of different generations I have played thousands of games, only a limited number of which have found their way into these two volumes.
In them I wanted to reflect my best creative achievements, where logic of thought enables an artistic impression to be created, and to reflect my view on chess as an opportunity for the human spirit to aspire to the heights of a genuine art.
Whether I have succeeded in this aim, it is for the reader to judge. I achieved the greatest success in my chess career in 1957, when I defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in a match for the world championship.
In the return match with Botvinnik, fate was not on my side. However, chess did not lose its fascination for me, and quarter of a century later, now at a more advanced age, I again contested the final candidates match for the world championship with the young Garry Kasparov.
The curve of my successes has been uneven, but my style of play has not undergone any significant changes.In my play I rely on experience, knowledge and calculation, but more than anything on intuition, on that feeling for position that enables it to be evaluated correctly and deeply, as long as the passion for a struggle is burning.
Of course, over this period of half a century chess has changed. By the last decade of the 20th century an information explosion had occurred in all fields of human knowledge, and this was reflected in the play of the best chess players, to the aid of whom came a powerful compiler of collective experience - the computer.
Now I most often meet players who are armed not with books, but with a chess machine, enabling a quick reply to be given about the present state of an opening variation, or about an opponent.
And yet books will never lose their instructional value, since the general laws of the game remain unchanged. A philosophical axiom of the theory of Wilhelm Steinitz was excellently expounded by Emanuel Lasker in his Chess Manual.
When an advantage has been gained, you must seek a combinative solution to the problem and take energetic measures, as otherwise the advantage will disappear.
A position changes with every move, and grasping its slightest changes, on which evaluation and concrete calculation depend, is a great skill in the practical struggle at the board.
I hope that these two volumes of my best games will help the reader to understand a little better how to find his way through the endless variations of the labyrinth of Caissa."