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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Grigory Levenfish
Botvinnik - Levenfish (1937), Leningrad RUS, rd 8, Oct-20
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0


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sac: 34.Rbc1 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Interesting and quite rich and eventful game. Despite of "hanging Pawns" black got an excellent position from the opening and after 21...Qc7 he could get clearly superior game. Unfortunately for him, he lost the thread there and after some weaker moves (for example, why not 24...exf2+ or 24...e2 instead of immediate recapture of Bishop) Botvinnik got the initiative and dominated over the board. Instead of 31.Nc4 with idea to block Pc5, which is good enough, white could play also 31.Bf5! Re7 32.Nc8 winning exchange with advantage. But then also Botvinnik had a weaker moment over the board when he overlooked or underestimated opponent's tactical resource with temporary exchange sac on b1 and following fork on c3. Instead of 32.Qf2? white should play 32.Rd2! and also 34.Nb6! was much better then text as after 34...Nxd1 (34...Nxb1?? 35.Rd7 ) 35.Rxd1 Qe7 (forced due to threatening Rd7) 36.Rd7 Qf8 white retains clear edge. In ending, which arose around the 40th move, white had only minimal advantage thanks to more active pieces but with worse Pawn structure and so with precise play black should be able to hold his position. Unfortunately, it was task above Levenfish's possibilities in this game and Botvinnik just demonstrated his class in endgame technique. 52...Ke6 could prolong black's resistance, if not save the game.
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