Master Vassily Smyslov, 1957-58 world champion and amongst the elite during 1945-‘70, was early considered a talent by Alekhine and became famous after beating twice Resevski in 1945 in the radio mach USSR-USA. In ’46 he was third after Botvinnik and Euwe in Groeningen, in ’48 he was second after Botvinnik in the candidates WCh and then first in the USSR Ch, and he qualified third in the Canditates in Budapest in 1950. In Zurich 1953 he qualified first, two points ahead of his opponents, but in 1954 the match against Botvinnik ended +7-7=10 and Botvinnik kept his title. Botvinnik Smyslov Moscow 1954 was amazing:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 c6 9.Be3 Ng4 (back then the black Horsey over there was a N! causing complications favoring the Black) 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.h3 ed4 12.Na4 Qa6 13.hg4 b5 (and the Black retakes his piece) 14.Nxd4 ba4 15Nxc6 (and Botvinnik saw his seemingly strong blow counterbalanced sufficiently) 15. …Qxc6 16.e5 Qxc4 17.Bxa8 Nxe5 18.Rc1 Qb4 (although master Smyslov thought also about 18. …Qxa2 19.Be7 Bxg4 20.Bd5 and 18. …Bxg4 19.f3) 19.a3 (instead of the seemingly stronger but very complicated 19.Be7 Bxg4 20.Bxd6 Qb6 21.Qd5 Bf3 or 21. …Rd8) 19. …Qxb2 20.Qa4 Bb7 21.Rb1 (Kasparov pointed out 21.Bxb7 Qxb7 22.Rc3 h6 23.Bf4 Nf3+ 24.Rxf3 Qxf3 25.Bxd6 Rd8 and the Black is slightly better) 21. …Nf3+ 22.Kh1. Study this position! Over here Smyslov played 22. …Bxa8! gaining material for the Queen, and he won the game after 23.Rxb2 Nxg5+ 24.Kh2 Nf3+ 25.Kh3 Bxb2 26.Qxa7 Be4 27.a4 Kg7 28.Rd1 Be5 29.Qe7 Rc8 30.a5 Rc2 31.Kg2 Nd4+ 32.Kf1 Bf3 33.Rb1 (otherwise 33.Re1 Bxg3 34.fg3 Bg2+ 35.Kg1 Nf3🙄 33. …Nc6 0-1 (for 34.Qc7 Bd4 35.Qxd6 Rxf2+ 36.Ke1 Re2+ 37.Kf1 Rh2).
Back then Smyslov had already built his personal style: Botvinnik was looking for exemptions over the static/ classical approach whilst Smyslov was trying to bring up dynamism by means of exploiting the agent of the time -timing!- during his attacks. Analyzing the White one can recognize master Smyslov because of his struggle to keep the initiative whilst promoting his plans, and in those games it becomes obvious that the simplest plan prevails because it can be promoted more easily and without as many controversies as a more complicated one.
Another game of my beloved master Smyslov (with the White) is the one against Dr Nunn in Tilburg 1982:
One dot d four 1. …Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 (with the intention to support the d4 pawn with c3 and then play e4) 4. …0-0 5.e4 d6 6.c3 h6 7.Bh4 Nc6 (because, as pointed out by Marovic, 7. …g5 8. Bg3 Nh5 9.Nc4 e6 10.Nfd2 and 0-0-0 the pawn formation of the White is very flexible, whilst 7. …Nbd7 8.Bc4 e5 9.0-0 de5 10.de5 and Nfe3 the white Bishop on c4 becomes powerful whilst the black Bg7 is weak; and if the Black wants to avoid such a thing with 9. …g5, the pin on the diagonal h4-d8 is crushing) 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.0-0 a6 10.Bc4 e5 11.de5 de5 12.Re1 Qe8 13.a4 Nh5 14.Nb3! and over here study the position! 14. …g5 15.Bg3 Rd8 16.Nfd2 Nxg3 (because 16. …Nf4 17.f3 would have Dr Nunn struggling with eternal holes in his pawn formation and the Bishop could then press from f2) 17.hg3 Kh8 18.Qe2 Qe7 19.Nf1 -the squares d5 and f5 are weak- 19. …Qf6 20.Nc5 Bc8 21.Ne3 Ne7 22.a5 Qg6 23.g4! and the White can well resign because his pawn formation is totally destroyed. Dr Nunn went on with 23. ..b6 24.Nf5 Nxf5 25.gf5 Qc6 26.Nxa6 Bxa6 27. Bxa6 ba5 28.Rxa5 Ra8 29.Rea1 Rfd8 30.Bc4 Rxa5 31.Rxa5 Kg8 32.Ra6 Qd7 33.Bd5 Qe7 34.Qh5 Rd6 35.Rxd6 cxd6, and after 36.b4 he resigned.
And a strange incident: when the match between Smyslov and Robert Huebner could not provide a winner because of +1-1=12, it was decided that the final outcome would be brought up by means of the spinning of the roulette instead of barrage games. Smyslovs’ colour was the red and Huebners’ the black, and at the first spin the ball sat on the green -and therefore the result was again a draw! But at the second spin Smyslov was luckier for the ball sat on his colour.
RIP master Vassily Smyslov