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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Samuel Reshevsky
AVRO (1938), The Netherlands, rd 3, Nov-10
English Opening: King's English. Taimanov Variation (A25)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-24-05  Whitehat1963: Excellent game from Botvinnik! Side note: Reshevsky played more world champions than anyone, having played every one who held the title from Lasker to Karpov, and beat most of them at one time or another (not necessarily when they held the title). But who follows him in this distinction? I haven't checked, but I'm guessing that Botvinnik, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Geller, Bronstein and Spassky played a great many of them. Does anyone know right off who it might be?
Jul-24-05  who: Actually most of the people in that list, with the exception of Botvinnik were too young. You need people who played in the late 30's, as they could play against Lasker, Capa, and Alekhine.
Jul-24-05  who: Keres played many of them, though he is one behind in never playing Lasker.
Jul-24-05  who: If you assume as Kasparov's teacher Botvinnik must have played his somewhere, then Botvinnik played every WC except Steinitz, Botvinnik - though preparing for games might count as playing against himself, and the post Kasparov WC/WCs
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 24...Bc8? looks bad but Sammy probably did not like the look of 24...Be6 25.Rxe6 fxe6 26.Nd4 and fell instead for another combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
On 24...Be6, White probably keeps up the pressure with 25. Qf3, threatening Nxc7. Then if 25...Rc8 26. Ra1 grabs the a-file.

So it probably goes 24...Be6 25. Qf3 Ne8 26. Bxg7 Nxg7 27. Qf4, etc. and Black is struggling to survive, but of course this is better than what happened to him in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <beatgiant> What, you didn't like my 25.Rxe6? :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Bottie's best move is 27.Nf5! If 27.Qxe6? Kh7 is equal, I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
No, your line wins. What I missed was after 24...Be6 25. Rxe6 fxe6 26. Nd4 Qe7 27. Nxe6, the reply 27...Qf7 fails to <28. Bxf6!> so that 28...Bxf6 29. Bd5, etc.

That means Black has to give back the exchange and comes out a pawn down. I should have known to look a bit harder at any suggestion by the mighty <Calli>! :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Fascinating game by Botvinnik
Sep-19-06  technical draw: Good game. Reshevsky was years ahead of his time, he lost to a Bot.
Dec-19-07  M.D. Wilson: Yes indeed, technical draw; Botvinnik was somewhat of a Mr Spock, even in the '30s. The finish is clever, but as soon as Reshevsky loses the 7th rank with Rd7+, the game is virtually finished.
May-09-09  xombie: Lord love a Bot! Can anyone illuminate the move 25. Nxd6? I can see two things, but it seems to me that the obvious cxd6 c7 Bxa8 Qxc7 may not be strong enough.

For one thing, this will win quietly in the long run because of the two bishops and queen shepherding the b-pawn. But one can't fail to consider Nxd6 as a pure sac either because white can then play b5. Say, if play had continued 25 ... cxd6 26. b5 Rb8 and now white has to fear Qb6 it seems and the exchanging of the black squared bishop to its long diagonal counterpart. Also, b6 cannot be played directly. So white has to prepare it with Bd4.

Am I missing something?

May-09-09  AnalyzeThis: This game was a powerful display by Botvinnik.
Oct-22-11  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 10...Ne5 is 10...Nc6-d4
Jul-25-18  Inocencio: The power of two bishops plus a dangerous passed pawn is enough for Botvinnik to deliver the final blow for a knockout punch!
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