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Botvinnik-Levenfish Match 1937
Compiled by suenteus po 147
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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 winter 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 game 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 6 points each in the final.

The final standings and crosstable:

=1st Botvinnik 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 6/13

=1st Levenfish 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 6/13

Game 1
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(A17) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Game 2
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 42 moves, 0-1

Game 3
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 67 moves, 1-0

Game 4
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 5
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 
(A06) Reti Opening, 49 moves, 1-0

Game 7
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 41 moves, 0-1

Game 8
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 68 moves, 1-0

Game 9
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(C02) French, Advance, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 10
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 40 moves, 0-1

Game 11
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(D93) Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3, 78 moves, 1-0

Game 12
Botvinnik vs Levenfish, 1937 
(A25) English, 40 moves, 1-0

Game 13
Levenfish vs Botvinnik, 1937 
(D83) Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit, 41 moves, 1-0

13 games

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