chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Mikhail Botvinnik vs Nikolay Tikhonovich Sorokin
USSR Championship (1931), Moscow URS, rd 2, Oct-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Botvinnik Variation (D60)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 12 times; par: 110 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 1 more Botvinnik/N Sorokin game
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can get computer analysis by clicking the "ENGINE" button below the game.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-23-05  Blazingfire: I think Botvinnik-Sorokin is the most logical, simple and most understandable chess game ever played. Botvinnik sticks to general chess principles. First he develops his pieces, then connects his rooks, then exchanges off black's most powerful and active piece(the Queen), then takes command of the d-file by doubling his rooks,forces black's pieces into passive positions and heads for 7th rank.(He also traps the black knight. You can virtually say that black is down a piece.) The game is already won by that time. The endgame is just a matter of technique!!!
Aug-23-05  Poulsen: Well, Botvinnik won - in his typical style. So I guess, that logical is a pretty good term for his win.

But understandable is quiet another matter. I for one don't understand, that black persist on placing his officers in position, where they can do nothing.

I don't understand 13.-,Be7 followed by 14.-,Nh5 (why not f.x. 13.-,Qa5) - and I don't understand 28.-,Nxa5, since it's very inconsistent with 27.-,Rab8 (why not 28.-,Rbd8).

Well, I'm not a GM, so what do I know ...

Not even a Botvinnik could win like this, unless his opponent made some grave errors.

Aug-23-05  euripides: It is a marvellous and strategically lucid game, as <Blazing> says (welcome, by the way !), though Botvinnik is prepared to violate some principles with 20 Qe3 !! allowing the shattering of his own pawns which he himself described as 'far from obvious'. I think this move would have looked pretty astonishing in 1931 and it is still very striking today; the arrival of a great player. 13...Qa5 may not solve the development problem Black faces. He cannot move his d7 knight without allowing his king-s side pawn structure to be shattered, and as a result it is very hard for him to get his pieces developed. E.g. 13...Qa5 14 Rad1 b6 15 Rd2 Bb7 16 Rfd1 and the knights are still a problem. I dont't think the combination of 27... Rab8 and then Rbd8 helps either.

Botvinnik identifies 10...c5 as the main error, suggesting 10...Nd5.

Aug-24-05  Poulsen: You are right - I think.

27.-,Rab8 and 28.-,Rbd8 has some tactical points, since white placed his king at f2 in move 28.

What do you think of 28.-,Rbd8 29.Rxb7,Rb8, f.x. 30.Rxb8,Rxb8 31.Bxf7+,Kxf7 32.Rxc6,Rxb2+ 33.Kg3,Rb3 - can black hold this?

Or what about 28.-,Rbd8 29.Rxb7,Nxa5 and now 30.Ra7,Rd2 and 31.Rxb2? or 30.Rb6,Rb8?

I haven't analyzed all this - it just seems natural for black to eliminate the white bishop and go for a pure rook endgame.

Sep-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Euripides>though Botvinnik is prepared to violate some principles with 20 Qe3 !! allowing the shattering of his own pawns which he himself described as 'far from obvious'

<Euripides>
Botvinnik said that the doubling of the e-pawns does not have any great significance, compared with the pressure that Black faces due to the doubled White Rooks on the d-file and the need to defend the weak e5-pawn.

Jun-20-10  BobCrisp: Been reading an article, <The Art of Exchanging>, by Peter C Griffiths in the June 1985 <BCM>.

Griffiths gives this game as an example of enhancing the initiative by exchanging the opponent's most active piece. He gives 20.Qe3! and says of 25.Nd5, <Offering more exchanges to clear a way for his rooks. After 25...Nxd5 [sic] 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Rxd5 Black's pawns would be fatally exposed.>

All well and good, except that, with the assistance of my German friend, I'm having difficulty confirming that White has a positionally won game after 25.Nd5. <Fritz11> prefers 27.ed5 to Rxd5 but, even there, White's weakened pawn structure seems to count against him after all.

How does <Botvinnik> address this in his book?

May-29-11  dull2vivid: 23…Bxf3 is a fatal positional error. The bishop is needed to check white’s bishop – Re8 was preferable.

White could have won more easily with a rook maneuver to a1 while black’s knight was trapped on the rim. Black messed up by allowing the tactic white did while his king was trapped in the corner. Maybe could have drawn with whites inaccurate endgame play. True 20.Qe3! was marvelous. White we see tries do tie black down.

May-29-11  DanielBryant: I'm still having a hard time visualizing specifically what Botvinnik had in mind with 20.Qe3. Yes, Botvinnik mentions Black's weak e pawn and the d file, but both of these were already problems for Black prior to this move. What about Qe3 helps clarify the situation for him?
Jan-23-12  Llawdogg: Wow! What a lucid and instructive game!
Sep-03-12  Naniwazu: <DanielBryant:> I think most kibitzers have already mentioned it. Silman in his book 'How to Reassess Your Chess' (Siles Press, p. 293) mentions that Black's Queen is the piece holding his position together. White might have a lead in development and control of the d-file but lacks targets. The a5-square and e5 pawn are defended by Black's Queen. So White exchanges off Black's most active defender. After this the e5-pawn is weak and to defend it Black has to exchange his Bishop for Knight leaving his light squares weak.
Jan-24-13  gudiny: Strange... Position was repeated 3 times(after 40 moves, after 43 moves, after 45 moves). Why not draw?
Jan-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <gudiny> It wasn't a draw because neither player claimed it.

OK, Ok. There are a number of possiblities. The players themselves may not have known the rules. The rules may have been different in the Soviet Union in 1931 than they are today. The scoresheet might be incorrect.

Probably the best thing to do would be to check if Botvinnik annotated this game in one of his books and commented on the situation.

Mar-04-13  gudiny: I have found why it was not a draw. At that time a game ends in a draw not when position repeated 3 times but when moves repeated 3 times.
Jun-27-17  senojes: This game is in Kotov's "Play Like a Grandmaster" (1978), pages 44-46. I am using that book for coaching our Chess Club members.

>At that time a game ends in a draw not when position repeated 3 times but when moves repeated 3 times.

It is now that the *position* has to be about to be repeated three times and the player to move writes on his scoresheet his intended move which will bring about the three-fold repeated *position* or if the move is played, the other player can claim the draw:

FIDE "9.2 The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by a player having the move, when the same position for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves):

a. is about to appear, if he first writes his move, which cannot be changed, on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or b. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move."

It does not appear to be the case that the rule at the time of this 1931 game was that the same 3 consecutive pairs of moves had to be made. Wikipedia under "Threefold repetition" cites a 1921 World Championship game between Capablanca and Lasker where the same position repeated itself but neither player claimed a draw.

If it was the case in 1931 that it was three-fold repetition of *position* then Black could have claimed a draw by, instead of playing 45...Rf6, writing on his scoresheet that move and claimed the draw. I copied the PGN into Houdini and inserted a position diagram after 40...Rf6, 43...Rf6 and 45...Rf6 and they are the same three identical positions.

Of course Wikipedia could be wrong. It is interesting that Kotov in 1978 commented after 45. Rc7, just where Black could have written 45...Rf6 and claimed a draw, "White has been repeating moves to win time ...", without saying anything about Sorokin could have claimed a draw here.

Interestingly my Chess for Android smartphone program declares it a draw after 26...Rf6 (= 45...Rf6): "3-fold rep. 1/2-1/2" and won't let any further moves be played.

But Houdini doesn't do that. And Houdini is right. According to FIDE 9.2 it isn't a draw unless a player validly claims it.

So if it was the same rule in 1931 then Botvinnik blundered by allowing the draw and Sorokin blundered by not claiming it. The game was played in the middle of the tournament so it was not an oblique offer of a draw by Botvinnik, who eventually won the tournament by 2 points.

It is a hard rule to apply during a game, requiring a photographic memory. Wikipedia mentions that in Fischer v Petrosian, Candidates, 1971, Petrosian, who had the better position, unintentionally allowed a three-fold repetition of position to occur and Fischer successfully claimed it.

If World Champions: Capablanca, Lasker, Botvinnik and Petrosian cannot remember that the same position is about to repeat itself three times, then the rule is too hard and it should be optional that the same three pairs of consecutive moves is also a draw.

Jun-27-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Probably the best thing to do would be to check if Botvinnik annotated this game in one of his books and commented on the situation.>

In <Selected Games> he says after move 44: "Of course, White's repetition was in order to gain time for consideration. Now he puts his plan into effect." I suspect the rule was different in the USSR in 1931 than it is under FIDE now. In fact it may have been different in the USSR in 1931 than it was in England or the USA in 1931.

Aug-14-17  Toribio3: Botvinnik doubled his pawn early in the game for a strategic advantage in the middle game.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Positional Themes
by Del ToRo
20. Qe3 is a studylike move, even though 20. Rd6 is stronger
from All-time chess classics by IMErikKislik
Game 4
from Soviet Chess Strategy (Suetin) by Qindarka
Great Qe3!!
from the most instructive classic games by timothee3331
Mikhail Botvinnik's Best Games
by dcruggeroli
Mikhail Botvinnik's Best Games
by KingG
Game 29
from Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy (Watson) by cassiooo
Great Qe3!!
from the most instructive classic games by Atsa
Botvinnik "100 Selected Games"
by nakul1964
Essential endgames
by Nodreads
Exchange of Material (P-20)
from Modern Chess Strategy I by Ludek Pachman by Bidibulle
Botvinnik prescription:exchange piece protecting entrysq20 QE3!
from Techniques of Positional Play Part 2 by Takchessbooks
Exchange of Material (P-20)
from Modern Chess Strategy I by Ludek Pachman by Del ToRo
Game 13
from Soviet Championships (Taimanov/Cafferty) by Qindarka
Superb endgame technique - and a study-like finish
from Early Botvinnik masterpieces by backrank
Logical Chess
from My 50 Years in Chess by parisattack
Whites D-4
by fredthebear
page 44, The Fixed Centre+
from Play like a grand master, Alexander Kotov by madnuts123
Instructive games / Partidas instructivas
by Chesspanish


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC