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Grandmaster At Work
Compiled by Benzol

Published by American Chess Promotions in 1990.

ISBN 0-939298-86-4.

Soviet Grandmaster Alexander Kotov (1913 - 1981) was a top ranking player and a World famous chess author.

This is a collection of full gamescores and positions from some of his best games.


From the Author

Is Chess an art or a sport? This is a question which has been debated right up to the present day. Those who consider chess only a sport forget one important detail - the chess game. Master games, played dozens of years ago and recorded in books and magazines, are capable, many years later, of arousing a whole torrent of feelings, and this places them alongside the best productions of other kinds of art. Being the embodiment of the wills of two battling sides, their inventiveness, schemes, imagination, chess games can later pass on the many refind thoughts and feelings of those who played them. The reader, analysing the games of the masters, experiences a great deal: this includes joy from beautiful moves, astonishment and delight at suprising schemes, disappointment from missed opportunities. It is perhaps only tears which are not aroused by the chess game. The fact that chess player's creative work awakens a range of feelings in the reader is best characterised by the enormous element of the art in chess. The principal quality of it is supplemented by the necessary sporting element. It can only be welcomed that the best games of the masters are preserved. These find their way into magazines, special bulletins and tournament books. A particular and very important role is played by a collection of the best games of this or that master. In this, the reader, besides general chess values, will in addition find the characteristics of the chessplayer in question, making it possible to understand his creative and sporting features. Each master has his own way, a unique inherent quality, and this quality is best shown by an examination of his games. In the very beginning, when working on his games, played over a period of 30 years, the author was faced with the question: in what order should the games be placed? It is possible to put the games in chronological order - this shows the development of the chessplayer and his sporting features. After long meditation, the author chose another order of presenting the games - by themes. In the basic classification of his games the author adopted approximately the same method as he used in his book The Chess Legacy of A.A.Alekhine. This, in our view, increases the value of the book, since besides the cognitive significance it furthermore assumes the character of an original text book on the middlegame, opening and endgame. Of course, a collection of the games of a certain chessplayer cannot embrace all departments of chess theory, therefore some matters will be omitted. However, the most important departments of chess theory are looked at in the book, and in the annotations the reader will find directions as to how the "laboratory of a chessplayer" works - how his brain, trained in the game, engages itself in the analysis of chess positions. Limitations of space required the author to be brief and concise, both in the annotations and in the introductory articles. Nevertheless the author hopes that the games given below will help the reader to understand chess and furthermore develop the ability to get to know the particulars of its complicated laws.


23.Game Ending

White : Rudakov

Black : Kotov

(Tula 1929)

click for larger view

Black to play

1...Qa5 2.Kxc2 Qc3+ 3.Kb1 Bxd3+ 4.exd3 Qxd3+ 5.Kb2 Qc3+ 6.Ka3 Qc5+ 7.b4 Qc3+ 8.Ka4 b5+ 9.Kxb5 e5 10.Qc1 Rb8+ 11.Ka6 Qxb4 12.Qc7 Qa4+ 13.Qa5 Qc6+ 0-1.


95.Game Ending

White : A. Polyak

Black : Kotov

(Moscow Ch 1935)

click for larger view

White to play

27.Qd4 c5 28.Qe5 Qg4+ 29.Kf2 Qh4+ 30.Kg2 Rf6 31.Qxc5 Qg4+ 32.Kf2 Qh3 33.Qxc7 Qxh2+ 34.Ke3 Qxb2 35.Qd8+ Kh7 36.Qd3 Qb6+ 37.Ke2 Rg6 38.Re5 Qb2+ 39.Ke3 Qc1+ 40.Kf3 Qh1+ 41.Ke3 Qg1+ 42.Ke2 Qg2+ 43.Ke3 Qg3+ 44.Ke4 Qf2 45.a3 Rg3 46.Qb1 Qd2 47.Kf5 Qd6 48.Ke4 Rxa3 49.Rd5 Qg6+ 50.f5 Qg4+ 51.Ke5 Qg3+ 52.Ke6 Qe3+ 53.Kd7 Rb3 54.Qc2 Rb7+ 55.Kc8 Rf7 56.Qg2 Rf8+ 57.Kd7 Qe8+ 58.Kd6 Qb8+ 59.Ke7 Rf6 60.Qe4 Qf8+ 61.Kd7 Rf7+ 62.Kc6 Qc8+ 63.Kb5 Rb7+ 0-1.


97.Game Ending

White : Sergeev

Black : Kotov

(Moscow Ch 1935)

click for larger view

White to play

58.h5 gxh5 59.Kf5 Nf8 60.Nh4 Kg8 61.Ke5 Kf7 62.Kd4 Na4 63.Nxh5 c6 64.dxc6 Ne6+ 65.Ke5 Nxg5 66.Nf4 Ke7 67.Nd5+ Kd8 68.Nf3 Nf7+ 69.Ke6 Nb6 70.Ne7 Ke8 71.c7 Nd8+ 72.Kd6 Nc4+ 73.Kd5 Kxe7 1/2-1/2.


101.Game Ending

White : Kotov

Black : Johansson

(Stockholm 1960)

click for larger view

White to play

46.b4 axb4 47.Ke3 Bc4 48.Nc5 Kf7 49.Nxd3 Rxd3+ 50.Rxd3 Bxd3 51.Kxd3 Ke7 52.Kc4 Kd6 53.Kxb4 Ke5 54.Kc5 b6+ 55.Kc6 Kf4 56.Kd6 Kxg4 57.Ke6 Kh3 58.Kxf6 g4 59.Ke6 g3 60.f6 g2 61.f7 g1=Q 62.f8=Q Qe3+ 63.Kd7 Qd4+ 64.Kc7 1/2-1/2.


103.Game Ending

White : Kotov

Black : Grigoriev

(Moscow 1936)

click for larger view

White to play

58.Rg5 Kb4 59.h4 Kc4 60.h5 Kd4 61.h6 Re8 62.h7 Rh8 63.Rh5 Ke4 64.Kg2 Kf4 65.Kh3 Kf3 66.Kh4 Kf4 67.Rh6 Kf5 68.Kh5 1-0.


112.Game Ending

White : Nei

Black : Kotov

(Odessa 1960)

click for larger view

Black to play

1...Qf2+ 2.Kd5 Qxh2 3.b5 f4 4.gxf4 g4 5.b6 g3 6.b7 Qa2+ 7.Kd6 Qa3+ 8.Kd7 Qa4+ 9.Ke7 g2 10.Qa8 White sealed this move but resigned without resuming. 0-1.


118.Game Ending

White : Panov

Black : Kotov

(Moscow Ch 1941)

click for larger view

Black to play

41...Nd4 42.Ke1 Rc1+ 43.Kf2 Rc3 44.Ke1 Rc1+ 45.Kf2 h6 46.Bf7 g5 47.Bh5 Rc3 48.Bd1 Ke4 49.Be2 Rh3 50.Kg2 Rc3 51.Kf2 a5 52.Bd1 Rc1 53.Bh5 Rh1 54.Kg2 Re1 55.Kf2 Ra1 56.Bd1 Rc1 57.Bh5 Rc3 58.Be2 Rh3 59.Kg2 Rh4 60.Bd1 Ke3 61.Rb2 Kd3 62.a3 Nf5 63.Kg1 Ne3 64.Be2+ Kc3 65.Rb1 Kc2 66.Ra1 Kxb3 67.Rb1+ Kxa3 68.Rxb6 Nxc4 69.Ra6 a4 70.h3 Kb4 71.Bd1 a3 72.Ra4+ Kb5 0-1.


1 : The Opening
Gurgenidze vs Kotov, 1955
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 33 moves, 0-1

Letelier vs Kotov, 1950
(A83) Dutch, Staunton Gambit, 27 moves, 0-1

Ravinsky vs Kotov, 1944
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 21 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Szily, 1949
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 23 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Wade, 1952
(A41) Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6), 21 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Bastrikov, 1955 
(A65) Benoni, 6.e4, 36 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs J Enevoldsen, 1958
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 25 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs M Bonch-Osmolovsky, 1941
(E43) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 25 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Kotov, 1939
(B10) Caro-Kann, 42 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs A Tsvetkov, 1947 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 42 moves, 1-0

2 : Combinations
Kotov vs A Matanovic, 1952 
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs M Yudovich Sr., 1940
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Ragozin, 1949 
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs L Bogatirev, 1935
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 43 moves, 1-0

Aronin vs Kotov, 1948 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 55 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs A Burehall, 1959
(A69) Benoni, Four Pawns Attack, Main line, 33 moves, 1-0

B E Horberg vs Kotov, 1959 
(B06) Robatsch, 20 moves, 0-1

Petrosian vs Kotov, 1952 
(B50) Sicilian, 17 moves, 0-1

Suetin vs Kotov, 1958 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 51 moves, 0-1

Averbakh vs Kotov, 1953 
(A55) Old Indian, Main line, 51 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs M Yudovich Sr., 1939 
(D39) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation, 31 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs N Sorokin, 1936
(B32) Sicilian, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Kotov vs G Barcza, 1952 
(E72) King's Indian, 31 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Keres, 1950 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 33 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Tolush, 1947 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 35 moves, 1-0

3 : Tactical Blows
J H Donner vs Kotov, 1950
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 25 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Euwe, 1946 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 45 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Tartakower, 1948 
(D07) Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, 81 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Gligoric, 1952 
(E64) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System, 66 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs I Pogrebissky, 1939
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 30 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Golombek, 1950
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 35 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Korchnoi, 1955
(A37) English, Symmetrical, 73 moves, 1-0

Geller vs Kotov, 1953 
(E59) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line, 42 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs M Yudovich Sr., 1941
(D28) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 52 moves, 1-0

Stahlberg vs Kotov, 1953 
(A55) Old Indian, Main line, 61 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs P N Troitsky, 1938
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 60 moves, 1-0

Guimard vs Kotov, 1946 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 48 moves, 0-1

4 : Attack on the King
Kotov vs Bronstein, 1944 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 31 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs I Aramanovich, 1944
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Unzicker, 1952 
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 30 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Flohr, 1944 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs V Makogonov, 1939
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 50 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Lisitsin, 1939
(E26) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 33 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs S Khalilbeili, 1954 
(E56) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6, 42 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Alatortsev, 1942 
(D16) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 59 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Gligoric, 1947 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 42 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs H Steiner, 1955
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Bondarevsky, 1960
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 39 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Lisitsin, 1944
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 35 moves, 1-0

Stoltz vs Kotov, 1952 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 42 moves, 0-1

Golombek vs Kotov, 1952
(A15) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs A Poliak, 1937
(A80) Dutch, 32 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs G Crown, 1947 
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 37 moves, 1-0

Y Neishtadt vs Kotov, 1956
(B06) Robatsch, 38 moves, 0-1

Rossolimo vs Kotov, 1950
(B11) Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4, 66 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Keres, 1951 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

Lilienthal vs Kotov, 1948 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 27 moves, 0-1

Lilienthal vs Kotov, 1946 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 41 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Szabo, 1953 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 39 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Spassky, 1958 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 34 moves, 1-0

Botvinnik vs Kotov, 1946 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 24 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs C Kottnauer, 1946 
(A53) Old Indian, 26 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs O'Kelly, 1946 
(D28) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 31 moves, 1-0

5 : Sacrifice of a Pawn for the Initiative
Flohr vs Kotov, 1949 
(A97) Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky, 33 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Lilienthal, 1944 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 33 moves, 1-0

Tolush vs Kotov, 1958
(B06) Robatsch, 34 moves, 0-1

Aronin vs Kotov, 1951
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 30 moves, 0-1

6 : Attack in the Centre and on the Queen's Flank
Kotov vs Levenfish, 1949 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Flohr, 1950 
(D29) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Lilienthal, 1950 
(D97) Grunfeld, Russian, 37 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs E Gereben, 1949
(D94) Grunfeld, 35 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Furman, 1949
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 41 moves, 1-0

7 : Play on Two Flanks
Kotov vs G Arnlaugsson, 1954 
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 106 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs K Plater, 1947 
(E28) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation, 79 moves, 1-0

8 : Defence
Bondarevsky vs Kotov, 1948 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 0-1

E R Lundin vs Kotov, 1960
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 41 moves, 0-1

Bronstein vs Kotov, 1951 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 66 moves, 0-1

Ravinsky vs Kotov, 1949
(A53) Old Indian, 54 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Keres, 1953 
(D80) Grunfeld, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

9 : The Manoeuvering Struggle
Kotov vs Boleslavsky, 1947 
(D75) Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O c5, 8.dxc5, 69 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Bronstein, 1945 
(E69) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line, 56 moves, 1-0

Stahlberg vs Kotov, 1950 
(E90) King's Indian, 31 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Szabo, 1949
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 34 moves, 1-0

10 : Simple Positions
Kotov vs Pachman, 1948
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 44 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Kashdan, 1945 
(D96) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Novotelnov, 1947 
(D83) Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit, 57 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs M Katetov, 1946 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs G Barcza, 1949
(E26) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 41 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs T Florian, 1949
(E53) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 36 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Sokolsky, 1947 
(A96) Dutch, Classical Variation, 39 moves, 1-0

Smyslov vs Kotov, 1947 
(B24) Sicilian, Closed, 51 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Opocensky, 1946 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 57 moves, 1-0

11 : The Endgame
Kotov vs Flohr, 1946 
(D96) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 40 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Reshevsky, 1953 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 67 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Bondarevsky, 1946 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Kotov vs Matulovic, 1958
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 78 moves, 1-0

Robert E Byrne vs Kotov, 1954 
(E69) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line, 58 moves, 0-1

P Dubinin vs Kotov, 1939 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 111 moves, 0-1

Konstantinopolsky vs Kotov, 1945
(A15) English, 58 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs B Levitas, 1938 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 126 moves, 1-0

Sajtar vs Kotov, 1946 
(E05) Catalan, Open, Classical line, 62 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs E Eliskases, 1952 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 53 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Kashdan, 1946
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Y Model vs Kotov, 1944 
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 38 moves, 0-1

Spassky vs Kotov, 1955 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 78 moves, 0-1

Simagin vs Kotov, 1947 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 66 moves, 0-1

Kotov vs Bondarevsky, 1945
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 68 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Szabo, 1950 
(E36) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 67 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Smyslov, 1945 
(D98) Grunfeld, Russian, 90 moves, 1-0

Kotov vs Pachman, 1950 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 68 moves, 1-0

110 games

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