Lajos Portisch vs Boris Spassky: 3-3

by ChessBase
4/20/2007 – The two great legends of chess, who each recently celebrated their 70th birthday, met in a rapid chess match in the beautiful spa town of Hévíz, Hungary. The eleventh world champion drew blood in the first game, but the great Hungarian player equalised in game four, when Spassky overlooked a piece. We bring you an illustrated report and the games.

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April 2007
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Match of the Chess Legends

Lajos Portisch vs Boris Spassky

The Hungarian Chess Federation organised the "Match of the Chess Legends" between Lajos Portisch and Boris Spassky in in Hévíz, Hungary. The event took place from April 13-15, 2007 and was played over six rapid chess games (20 minutes + 5 seconds per move).

The lake and medicinal bath in Hévíz [photo Civertan Grafikai Stúdió]

Heviz (or Hévíz) lies in the west of Hungary and is famous for the Hévíz Spa and the Szent András Hospital. The venue was the Hotel Palace Superior Hévíz, which also the main sponsor of the event and the official web site of the match. The hotel emerges from the picturesque surroundings of the Hévíz Thermal Lake, which is famous for its magnificent, curative water.

The hotel is situated in the pedestrian street of Hévíz, 200 m from the Thermal Lake. With its distinguished look, the building recalls the atmosphere of the early century. The elegant house, built in romantic style, makes a great impression on the visitor at the very first sight. 160 individually furnished rooms and apartments with balcony.

The beautiful modern interior

The Spa and swimming pool

The medicinal bath, and people swimming in the lake

The medicinal bath and spa center up close

A blossom on the lake

The match

The Hungarian Chess Federation organized the Rapid Match of Chess Legends, Lajos Portisch and Boris Spassky in Heviz, in Hungary 13-15.04.07. The tenth World Champion Spassky won the first game with white, Portisch equalized in the fourth game, when Boris overlooked a piece.

Chess legends Boris Spassky, 70, vs Lajos Portisch, 70

The tenth world champion contemplating his next move

Spassky,Boris (2548) - Portisch,Lajos (2512) [C67]
Match of Chess legends Heviz (1), 2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.Bf4 Ng6 11.Bg3 Ke8 12.Rad1 Bg4 13.Rd3 h5 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Rxf3 Rd8 16.Rd1 Rxd1+ 17.Nxd1 h4 18.Bh2 Rh5 19.Re3 Bc5 20.Re4 Kd7 21.b4 Be7 22.Ne3 Nf8 23.Kf1 Ne6 24.Ke2 g6 25.c3 Rh8 26.Ng4 Ng7?!

27.e6+ Nxe6 28.Ne5+ Ke8 29.Nxg6 fxg6 30.Rxe6 Kf7 31.Re4 Bd6 32.Bf4 Rh5 33.Be3 a5 34.a3 axb4 35.axb4 c5 36.b5 b6 37.c4

37...Rh8? Loses a pawn. 38.Bg5 Ra8 39.Bxh4 Ra2+ 40.Kf3 Ra3+ 41.Kg4 Ra2 42.Bg3 Rd2 43.h4 Kf6 44.Kf3 Rd3+ 45.Ke2 Rc3 46.Bf4 Kf5 47.f3 Rc2+ 48.Bd2 Bg3 49.Rg4 Be5 50.Kd3 Ra2 51.h5 gxh5 52.Rg5+ Ke6 53.Rxh5 Bg3 54.Rh3 Be5 55.g4 Ra1 56.Rh6+ Kf7 57.f4 Bd6 58.Ke4 Rd1 59.Be3 Ra1 60.f5 Ra4 61.Kd5 Ra3 62.Re6 Rd3+ 63.Kc6 Rc3 64.g5 Rxc4 65.g6+ Kg8 66.Bh6 1-0.

The battle is in full swing

Portisch,Lajos (2512) - Spassky,Boris (2548) [A95]
Match of Chess Legends Heviz (4), 2007
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d5 7.Nc3 c6 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Qd3 Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Rac1 b6 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Rc2 Bb7 14.Qe3 Rae8 15.Qf4 Qd8 16.h4 Ba6 17.Re1 Nxc3 18.Rxc3 Bb7 19.Ng5 h6 20.Nf3 c5 21.Ra3 a6 22.dxc5 bxc5 23.Nd2 Ne5 24.Qa4

Now after 24...f4 Black's position is good. 24...Nd3?? Spassky overlooks the rook hiding on a3. 25.Rxd3 1-0.

Portish and Spassky analysing

The atmosphere of the one-on-one combat was fantastic, a memorable chess feast. We hope that after five years will be the new match, on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Lajos and Boris.

Report by WGM Zsuzsa Veröci, photos from the lake and the match by Gabor Veröci, brother of Zsuzsa, who played for the national handball team in over 100 games.

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