There is some dispute about how this match between Mikhail Botvinnik and Grigory Levenfish came about. Botvinnik had co-won the very strong international tournament at Nottingham with Jose Capablanca in the summer of 1936. After returning home to the Soviet Union and being awarded the Mark of Honor by Stalin he devoted himself to his dissertation to earn his Candidates degree, which he did in short order. However, Botvinnik consequently missed the 1937 USSR Chess Championship, the same championship won by Levenfish. Botvinnik claimed that Nikolai Krylenko was furious with him for missing the tournament and forced him into the match with the new Soviet champion. Levenfish claims that Botvinnik challenged him personally without any persuasion. Either way, the two played a thirteen game match distributed among the Soviet cities of Moscow and Leningrad. It was a hard fought match with ten of the thirteen games ending decisively. Levenfish got off to an early lead in the first three games, but then Botvinnik fought back and acquired the lead for himself by the eighth game. It would ultimately be Levenfish's win in the final round that would draw the match between the two Soviet masters at 6½ points each in the final.|
The final standings and crosstable:
Original collection: Game Collection: Botvinnik-Levenfish Match 1937, by User: suenteus po 147
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
=1st Botvinnik 1 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 0 0 1 0 6½/13
=1st Levenfish 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 0 1 6½/13
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