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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Milan Vidmar
"The Invincible Iron Man" (game of the day May-08-2008)
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 13, Aug-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Botvinnik Variation (D60)  ·  1-0


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Given 32 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: There's a wonderful audio presentation regarding this game at right now. It's a highly educational discussion of IQP positions. (shockwave required)

Better listen to it now because I don't know how long they keep these things online.

Jan-04-03  drukenknight: what about 17...Ne4 ?
Jan-04-03  ughaibu: This is another game I always felt was modelled on one of Lasker's. I've just looked again and perhaps the similarity is more imagined than real. Anyway for anyone interested this is the game: Lasker vs Maroczy, 1900
May-07-04  Lawrence: Analyzed at Jon Edwards's
Nov-29-04  Minor Piece Activity: Beautiful game, nice collection Honza. ;)
Mar-27-06  Whitehat1963: Tough puzzle after 19...Qd6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: You can't beat Botvinnik games for instructional value.
Nov-30-07  Dr. Siggy: <drukenknight>: After 17... Ne4 18. Nxf7!! wins: if 18... Rxf7 19. Qxe6; or if 18... Kxf7 19. Rde1 (Botvinnik).
Nov-30-07  Dr. Siggy: This is one of the games given by Marc Buckley in his remarkable "Practical Chess Analysis", 3rd printing, Davenport IA 1999, pages 103 ff., to illustrate how we should conduct our game when we have an isolated Queen's pawn:

"The Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) is important in the study of open lines. A skilled player can handle both sides of this complex situation, taking the pawn and an active game or fighting against the 'isolani'. Two openings that often produce the isolated Queen pawn are the Queen's Gambit and the French Defense. [...]

"As we know, the IQP offers its owner two files (c and e) and two outposts (c5 and e5). Offhand you might think that the attacker should occupy the files straightaway, yet normally this does not happen. The problem with Rc1 is ...Rc8; exchanges tend to favor Black. Fewer pieces mean that White's dynamic plus is minimized while the d5 hole remains.

"Therefore, 'as long as the IQP is exposed, the c-file is usually neglected by White if he wants to attack kingside'. He husbands the Rooks, playing them to d1 and e1, or a3 and e1. Only when Black captures e6xd5, covering the IQP, do both files become operative. Then White may be able to transform his lead in development into a positional advantage. [...]

click for larger view

"In his famous work, 'My System', Nimzovich recommends a solid, centralized setup in the Queen's Gambit, aiming for d4-d5 and queenside play rather than mate. From the diagram, he would suggest 1. Be3, 2. Qe2, 3. Rfd1, 4. Rac1. Against proper defense, however, this method gives few chances for the initiative. Black develops easily, and his King is in no particular danger.


"Of course, Nimzovich's suggested development is not that bad. But it pay to play more agressively. [...]


"Returning to the last diagram, a generally more active formation for White results from Qd3, Re1, Rd1, Bg5, Bb3 (or Bb1). The sharpness of this setup is clear. The Bg5 can assist in a mate on h7. In addition, the advance d4-d5 is hardly abandoned, and sacrificial possibilities force Black to defend with extreme care.


"One practical reason for the defender's trouble in the IQP game is that he must arrange his pieces to increase pressure on the pawn. Blockade and assault are two different strategies. For instance, withdrawing the Nf6 to allow ...Bf6 exposes the kingside. Such redeployments risk great danger when the attacker is well placed but lacking a decisive blow. The very movement of a defensive piece can shatter the delicate balance."

Jan-05-08  Kaspy2: another hotspot game. seems like a conspiracy of publishers agreed to comment on this game. It is highly published and all authors of chess books seem to be eager to not miss out on mentioning it in their books.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Kaspy2> I agree. Over-anthologized, if you will. The authors think, "Let me see, now I need a short simple game by a famous player, some for those with a short attention span, Aha! Bot vs Vid will fill the bill."
Jan-05-08  Kaspy2: <Calli> You're right! I dont want to downplay the nice isolated pawn handling, however. which is why it comes as illustrative game in Marovics book Game Collection: book by GM Marovic: understanding pawn play

Still, Chess book writers seem too rely on a limited set of games already famous from other books. For unknown players it is probably quite hard to be join this league of fame. ;-)

Jan-05-08  MaxxLange: Yermolinsky talks about this in his "Road to Chess Improvement". The same examples, where, e.g. a very strong knight beats a very bad bishop, migrate from book to book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 19...g6 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Nxf7 Rxf7 22. Bxf7+ Kxf7 23. Qxh7+ Ke8 24. Qxf6+, and white has ♖+3♙ vs. ♗+♘.
May-08-08  TiTi: I don't understand the last few rook's just en pris. What gives?
May-08-08  Kwesi: 23...Qxd6 24.Qxc7+

24...Qxd7 25.Qxd7 and the rook on f7 is pinned

May-08-08  kellmano: The rook imitates a pawn to wrap up the game.

<TiTi> It's not on prise in the final position, as black's rook is pinned and its defended by the white queen. On move 23 black cannot captured as his own rook on c8 would fall with check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A good behind-the-scenes look by Alekhine.

Black was involved in petty doing on the queen side while white placed his pieces deep into the black king side.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After the weak 19...Qd6?, instead of 19...Rc7 to maximize resistance, White sets up a winning discovered attack and pin with 20. Nxf7! and the forcing moves which follow.

If 21...Nxf6, then either 22. Rxf6! gxf6 23. Qxc8+ or 22. Bxf7+ Kxf7 23. Rxf6+ Bxf6 24. Qxc8+ yield a winning discovered attack with check for White.

Aug-05-08  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 19...Qd6, 19..Rc7 removes the R from the attack of the White Q on the h3-c8 diagonal.
Oct-03-09  promote2pawn: how would 7.Rc1 prevent 7..c5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <promote2pawn>

7. Rc1 c5 8. dxc5 uncovers a triple attack on the d-pawn. If then 8....h6 9. Bxf6 Nxf6 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Bxc5 12. Nxd5 uncovers an attack by the rook on the bishop.

Oct-09-09  promote2pawn: thanks Key pusher.
But where is the advantage over. 8.. Nxc5
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <promote2pawn>

If 8...Nxc5 then either 9. Bxf6 or 9. cxd5 wins a pawn, e.g. 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd5 11. Bxe7 Nxe7 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. Rxc5.

Oct-12-09  promote2pawn: thanks key pusher
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