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MATCH STANDINGS
Botvinnik - Flohr Match

Mikhail Botvinnik6/12(+2 -2 =8)[games]
Salomon Flohr6/12(+2 -2 =8)[games]

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Botvinnik - Flohr (1933)

In the wake of Mikhail Botvinnik 's win of the USSR Championship (1933), a match was devised by Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky and Nikolai Vasilyevich Krylenko to pit the new Soviet champion against Salomon Flohr, at the time one of the people believed to be strong enough to challenge Alexander Alekhine in a world championship match. Flohr agreed to the match with Botvinnik, with the first six games to be played in Moscow and the remainder to be played in Leningrad. Many figures in Soviet chess circles at the time were skeptical of Botvinnik's chances against the Czechoslovak master, despite Botvinnik's successes and increasingly systematic methods of preparation. Krylenko insisted, however, claiming that Botvinnik and the new generation by extension had to be "tested". The first half of the match was dismal for both Botvinnik and Krylenko. Flohr won the first and sixth games, but Botvinnik levelled the score with wins in games nine and ten. With two more draws, the match concluded 6-6.

Moscow/Leningrad, Soviet Union (Russia), 28 November - 19 December 1933

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Flohr 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 6 Botvinnik 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 6

Original collection: Game Collection: Botvinnik-Flohr Match 1933, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 1; 12 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Botvinnik vs Flohr 0-1401933Botvinnik - FlohrB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
2. Flohr vs Botvinnik  ½-½211933Botvinnik - FlohrE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
3. Botvinnik vs Flohr  ½-½211933Botvinnik - FlohrD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. Flohr vs Botvinnik ½-½221933Botvinnik - FlohrA84 Dutch
5. Botvinnik vs Flohr ½-½481933Botvinnik - FlohrA28 English
6. Flohr vs Botvinnik 1-0691933Botvinnik - FlohrE38 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5
7. Botvinnik vs Flohr  ½-½241933Botvinnik - FlohrA28 English
8. Flohr vs Botvinnik  ½-½211933Botvinnik - FlohrC08 French, Tarrasch, Open, 4.ed ed
9. Botvinnik vs Flohr 1-0331933Botvinnik - FlohrB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
10. Flohr vs Botvinnik 0-1301933Botvinnik - FlohrA95 Dutch, Stonewall
11. Botvinnik vs Flohr  ½-½261933Botvinnik - FlohrB10 Caro-Kann
12. Flohr vs Botvinnik  ½-½221933Botvinnik - FlohrD95 Grunfeld
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Conrad93: How did it spare Botvinnik any embarrassment?

It only proved that Botvinnik is no stronger than Flohr.

Not exactly the results the Soviets were looking for.>

This is utter nonsense. Well, I don't know what was Krylenko's or other Soviets expectation then but in 1933 Salo Flohr was world class player and one of few real contenders for possible challenge to Alekhine, while Botvinnik was only a new Soviet champion with no experience on the international level. This match had proven that Botvinnik is competitive not only in the Soviet Union but also internationally.

Dec-17-13  Conrad93: You don't actually think Flohr had a chance against Alekhine, do you?
Dec-17-13  Conrad93: Almost every game they played together resulted in a win for Alekhine.

The rest are draws. Flohr was a great player, but let's not overrate him.

Dec-17-13  Shams: <Conrad93> 80 years after the fact of course it's easy to say that. Yes, in 1933 Flohr had a couple draws, three losses and no wins against Alekhine. But then, Alekhine was the world champion, and all those games were before Flohr turned 25. (This was before the age of teenage grandmasters.) To say that Flohr was on the short list of possible challengers is not a ridiculous statement.

By the way: a couple draws, three losses and no wins...remind you of anyone's head-to-head score against a World Champion prior to facing him for the title?

Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another history lesson for <Conrad>: the score was 5-0 Alekhine with seven draws, so AAA did not even win half their games, impressive as this heads-up result is.

If y'all believe five is almost all of twelve, better brush up on your arithmetic.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Oct-27-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

The Soviet Chess Federation chose Flohr as a "test opponent" for <Botvinnik> in 1933:

<"Krylenko authorized Ilyin-Genevsky... to open negotiations with Czech star Salo Flohr for a match with Botvinnik in the Soviet Union. Flohr... was at the peak of his career and a legitimate world-championship challenger. A match between Botvinnik and the brilliant, diminutive positional player would be a cultural showcase for the USSR. Botvinnik claimed that the Muscovite members of Higher Soviet of Physical Culture tried to kill the match on the grounds that <<<Flohr>>> would win easily. But Krylenko was adamant.">

-"Soviet Chess 1917-1991"
Andrew Soltis
MacFarland, 2000
p. 76

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Bronstein says that Botvinnik's second, Goldberg, secured for Flohr a bon marché mink coat just prior to Flohr's two losses.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <offramp> I haven't heard about this but it would fit into my view on Botvinnik and besides it had saved him from a long vacation in Siberia.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp: Bronstein says that Botvinnik's second, Goldberg, secured for Flohr a bon marché mink coat just prior to Flohr's two losses.>

Bronstein slandered Botvinnik, Goldberg, and Flohr about an event that took place when Bronstein was nine? Why are you trying to make Bronstein look bad?

<john barleycorn: <offramp> I haven't heard about this but it would fit into my view on Botvinnik and besides it had saved him from a long vacation in Siberia.>

Botvinnik? Goldberg? Flohr? You <do> know Flohr was a citizen of the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia at the time, right?

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <keypusher: ...

Botvinnik? Goldberg? Flohr? You <do> know Flohr was a citizen of the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia at the time, right?>

I know but did you read my post?

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <john barleycorn: <keypusher: ...

Botvinnik? Goldberg? Flohr? You <do> know Flohr was a citizen of the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia at the time, right?>

I know but did you read my post?>

To my regret.

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I didn't invent it. I'm sure it's in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <keypusher> my condolence. But there is room for improvement for you.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp: I didn't invent it. I'm sure it's in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.>

OK, would you mind pulling down your copy and giving Bronstein's source for this accusation against three chess masters? I'm sure he has a good one.

Apr-29-15  Olavi: <keypusher: <offramp: Bronstein says that Botvinnik's second, Goldberg, secured for Flohr a bon marché mink coat just prior to Flohr's two losses.> Bronstein slandered Botvinnik, Goldberg, and Flohr about an event that took place when Bronstein was nine? Why are you trying to make Bronstein look bad?>

This is well known and told in the notes to the game Bronstein-Goldberg, Moscow 1945, in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I fail to see where the slander is; though of course, considering Bronstein's track record of remarks about Botvinnik, I wouldn't put it beyond him that he actually meant bribery.

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <<keypusher: <offramp: Bronstein says that Botvinnik's second, Goldberg, secured for Flohr a bon marché mink coat just prior to Flohr's two losses.> Bronstein slandered Botvinnik, Goldberg, and Flohr about an event that took place when Bronstein was nine? Why are you trying to make Bronstein look bad?> This is well known and told in the notes to the game Bronstein-Goldberg, Moscow 1945, in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I fail to see where the slander is; though of course, considering Bronstein's track record of remarks about Botvinnik, I wouldn't put it beyond him that he actually meant bribery.>

Bronstein quite obviously means bribery. What is his source? Obviously he has no direct knowledge.

Apr-29-15  Olavi: He gives no source. Of course an insider doesn't necessarily need one, such stories go around verbally, years after.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Olavi: He gives no source. Of course an insider doesn't necessarily need one, such stories go around verbally, years after.>

I do not agree. If David Bronstein wants to gossip, so be it. But if he wants to print an accusation that one grandmaster gave a bribe to another to alter the result of an important match, he needs to document his accusation, or else shut the @#$% up.

Apr-29-15  Olavi: I agree with the shutting up, but the point is, such things can never be documented. No one is going to sign an agreement. So an insider is as close to an original source as any. but, I repeat, Bronstein is not trustworthy on anything conserning Botvinnik, even the co-author Fürstenberg is clearly very uncomfortable with many statements.
Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Olavi: I agree with the shutting up, but the point is, such things can never be documented. No one is going to sign an agreement. So an insider is as close to an original source as any. but, I repeat, Bronstein is not trustworthy on anything conserning Botvinnik, even the co-author Fürstenberg is clearly very uncomfortable with many statements.>

I don't mean a signed piece of paper. I mean something like: <I believe Grigory Goldberg gave Salomon Flohr a fur coat and Flohr subsequently lost two games on purpose to allow Botvinnik to draw their match because X told me so> (or whatever). At least then there would be some basis for judging the truth of the accusation.

Nor is Bronstein any kind of an insider with respect to this match. He was nine years old and hundreds of miles away while it took place.

In <Test of Time> Kasparov recounts getting a call from Botvinnik while he was trailing Korchnoi in their 1983 candidates' match. Botvinnik reminded Kasparov that he had come back from two games behind fifty years before against Flohr and said <you haven't even lost a second game!>.

Apr-29-15  Olavi: Here it is, my translation from the German edition.

"Botvinnik says in one of his books that Goldberg helped him in the second half of the match with Salo Flohr (...). Flohr, who on average used to lose one game a year, suddenly lost two in a week! There had to be a reason, and indeed there was. Goldbergs help consisted of finding a store, where Flohr could buy a beautiful fur coat very cheaply!"

No mention of the deep throat. As for insiderness, such things do not get forgotten in ten years, when other people may have told him, when he started to play in top USSR tournaments. It's then up to the reader to decide, whether Br. is in a position to know, what he stands to gain/lose by making such statements (in 1997). Etc.

Apr-29-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Olavi> Bronstein makes two statements that can be checked.

<Botvinnik says in one of his books that Goldberg helped him in the second half of the match with Salo Flohr>

I assume that's true.

<Flohr, who on average used to lose one game a year,>

Utter crap.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

I'm going to go with the entire passage being the baseless ranting of a bitter old man.

Apr-29-15  Sally Simpson: Flohr's average one loss a year priot to 1933. (according to this site which is by no means complete.)

1928 = 2
1929 = 2
1930 - 4
1931 = 16
1932 = 7

So it does indeed read like nonsense.

Let's give Bronstein, or who ever wrote it, some benefit of the doubt. We can tidy the quote up a bit by adding '...with the White pieces.'

Then we get a bit closer. During the same 5 year period Flohr lost 9 games with the White pieces. Evens out to 2 losses a year.

So Salo was quite good with the White pieces, yet lost one here when leading the match.....Hmmmm....

Let's look at Botvinnik's Black win and see if we can spot a wrapped up in a fur coat Salo throwing a game.

Flohr vs Botvinnik, 1933


click for larger view

White resigned a Queen up!

:)

-----------------

I see K.P. posting there in 2012 what he is saying here. You have to admire a man who sticks to his guns.

I agree K.P. it's not ringing sound at all.

What does a man want with a fur coat anyway?

Let's bring in the ladies

Batgirl at chees.com:

" David Bronstein, in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, claimed that Flohr threw 2 of the games as a way of repaying Botvinnik for a fur coat. But Bronstein was a bitter enemy of Botvinnik which could color his prose."

http://www.chess.com/blog/batgirl/n...

-----

Fur Coats and the Russians Part II.

" He [Bogoljubov] also recounts the story when he had to do some fast talking to avoid prison or worse when he inadvertently purchased a fur coat from an NKVD officer in a "sting" operation."

From a jessicafischerqueen post here:

Efim Bogoljubov

I wonder if it's the same fur coat.

Apr-29-15  Olavi: In the foreword to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Tom Fürstenberg writes that apparently even a Bronstein needs an enemy, that his comments on Botvinnik should be seen against this, and that he (T.F.) intended to moderate them, but in the end decided otherwise. There's a lot more.
Apr-30-15  Sally Simpson: Hi Olavi,

There is indeed more.

But it does read as if he is just, to use KP's word, 'bitter' against Botvinnik (and trusted nobody wearing fur coats.)

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