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Max Euwe vs Mikhail Botvinnik
AVRO (1938), The Netherlands, rd 12, Nov-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian Variation (D96)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 16...Qd3 was a mistake. 16...Ne6 with intention 17.Nxa7 Qa5 18.a3 Na6 19.a4 (To cover b5 for retreat of Knight; 19.b4 Qc7 20.e5 Qb8 21.Nb5 Bxe5 22.Ra2 Bf6 23.Rc1 Rc8 24.Rac2 ) 19...Qb4 20.Nb5 Qxb2 with only minimal advantage of white whose piece are somewhat better placed and coordinated.
May-10-08  RookFile: I think you're right that Qd3 is a mistake. White's queen is passively placed - it's his problem. Why assist him in swapping it off?
Mar-06-10  PeterB: Botvinnik has said that Euwe was a very difficult opponent for him in the 1930s. Even at Groningen 1946 Euwe was close to winning their game. But age finally caught up with the Dutch champion in 1948!
Mar-06-10  paul1959: Despite having been a teen-prodigy , Euwe really bloomed in his mid-thirthies and was 10 years older than most of the pre-war super-GMs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pyke: <Mar-06-10 PeterB: Botvinnik has said that Euwe was a very difficult opponent for him in the 1930s.>

You're quite right there <PeterB>, to quote from Kasparov's OMGP Vol. II, Chapter "The Euwe Problem":

<'It was difficult for meto play against him: I found it hard to understand his play,' Botvinnik admitted. 'He would skilfully change the situation on the board, and would make kind of "long" moves (I would overlook them). At the first opportunity he would begin a swift offensive, he calculated variations accurately and he made a deep study of the endgame. Everyone considered him a good strategist, but I cannot help agreeing with Alekhine, who after his win in the 1937 return match wrote that he regarded Euwe as a tactician.'>

For me personally two things follow:

1) Euwe becomming World Champion by defeating Alekhine was by no means an accident - although a lot of people might believe it. He was a genuine chess king. Otherwise you do not become Champion. You MUST NOT underestimate the legacy of Euwe. Beating Alekhine is no light matter.

2) A more "selfish" note. True Botvinnik. He painfully, without any false Ego admitts, the problems with an opponent! (See Tal 1960/61). But he does <NOT> give in! He studies his adversary, finds his weaknesses and finally beats him. Vintage Botvinnik.

And number 3) At last Botvinnik made some similar comments (as in point 1)) about Petrosian, who took his title for good. Need I say more ? ... Euwe was a great player, no matter what anyone else says ...

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