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Fedor Parfenovich Bohatirchuk vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Moscow (1935)  ·  Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  1-0
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find similar games 3 more F Bohatirchuk/Botvinnik games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Bohatirchuk over Botvinnik in strategy as well as in tactics. I do not like 13...Nxb3 much. Even more, I dislike 22...exd4. But Botvinnik commenced the liquidation of e4 by his exd4--Black moves 22-26 are all part of the same theme. White countered with a sublime rearrangement of his own: 24.Be1! 25.Bc3, 26.Qd3, and 27.Rf1!. It looks all too slow, it looks that White just drops a pawn--27...fxe4 28.Rxe4 Rxe4 29.fxe4 Qxe4. What now, can White compensate elsewhere? Indeed, White has prepared a subtle intermezo sequence: First 30.Nd5! where several black piecess are suddenly exposed to Nf6. Second, after 30...Qxd3, which only looks like it keeps things under control, 31.Nf6+!. Although White attack appears to proceed in an awkward, deflected manner, after 31...Kf7 32.cxd3 Black must part with a piece nonetheless. Bovinnik tries for a swindle, but after 32...Rd8!? 33.Nd5+! Nf5 34.g4 White collects the black knight. Perhaps Botvinink was hoping for the thematic 33.Nh5+? where 33...Nf5 34.g4 Kg6 or 34.Ng3 Kg6 leaves Black with extra pawn and devastating d6-d5 ready to play. A spectacular crunch by Bohatirchuk!
Jan-17-05  sergeidave: Holy Cow! This guy never gave Botvinnik a break!!
Jan-17-05  euripides: If 33..Kg8 (or g6) then presumably 34 Nd7+ Kh8 (or h7) 35 Re7 Rg8 37 Nxc8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Gipsy> Great summary of the game! <Benzol> tells me you saw or met this chap?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Richard> Your getting slightly confused. <Gypsy> nearly got arrested for trying to get a Ludek Pachman booklet containing some of his games from a library archives. It was IM Lawrence Day who knew him personally.
Feb-24-10  wanabe2000: In Daniel Johnson's book "White King and Red Queen" he talks about this game and how his victory over Botvinnik lead to his arrest in 1937. He was accused of embezzling money intended to cover expenses for Capablanca and Lasker on their visit to Kiev. He denied the charges convincingly but was grilled on his "poor political record.". The interrogator wanted to know why he had won the game knowing "the huge significance for the prestige of the USSR that Botvinnik's receipt of sole first prize would have." He was releaed but the experience was enough to disillusion Bohatyrchuk and he left Kiev in 1943 with the retreating Germans. According to Johnson many chess players from this era disappeared.
Dec-27-10  laskereshevsky: ......<"You'll never beat Botvinnik again!">.....
May-30-11  SvetlanaBabe: Without the state behind him, I always wondered how strong Botvinnik actually was. From the amount of games he lost to 'western' players it seems he wasn't nearly as strong as is commonly accepted. A lot of Bottvinnik's "victories" over players from the Soviet Union are accepted in Russia today as being a little 'stage managed'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <SvetlanaBabe>:

<"From the amount of games he lost to 'western' players it seems he wasn't nearly as strong as is commonly accepted">

I don't see the evidence for this, for example:

Mikhail Botvinnik:

beat Samuel Reshevsky 5 to 2, with 7 draws
beat Miguel Najdorf 2 to 1, with 1 draw
beat Wolfgang Uhlmann 2 to 1, with 3 draws
beat Laszlo Szabo 4 to 1, with 6 draws
beat Alexander Alekhine 1 to 0, with 2 draws
beat Jose Raul Capablanca 2 to 1, with 5 draws
beat Paul Keres 9 to 3, with 9 draws
tied Svetozar Gligoric 2 to 2, with 6 draws

Jan-02-12  King Death: < SvetlanaBabe: Without the state behind him, I always wondered how strong Botvinnik actually was...>

Maybe you'd have been able to take him on WFM title and all.

<...From the amount of games he lost to 'western' players it seems he wasn't nearly as strong as is commonly accepted...>

I'd say <Chessical>'s table should put this to rest but conspiracy theorists see KGB behind every bush.

<...A lot of Bottvinnik's "victories" over players from the Soviet Union are accepted in Russia today as being a little 'stage managed'.>

Some sources to back up this claim wouldn't be bad to have.

Feb-10-12  drukenknight: is 26....g4 any better?
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