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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Alexander Konstantinopolsky
Sverdlovsk (1943), Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg) URS , rd 3, Apr-24
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack (B14)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-15-06  thesonicvision: knight vs. bad bishop;
very instructional

Jun-23-09  xombie: Classic Botvinnik. His logical approach to chess is highly instructive.
Jun-29-10  estrick: This game is presented and analyzed in Max Euwe's "Judgement & Planning in Chess."
Premium Chessgames Member

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White's 49th move is pretty.

Jul-30-14  xombie: I should look at this game more closely. For one thing, I have experimented with this formation with c5 (to be followed by e5 by black later) leading to a passed d pawn, and lots of counterplay. But it may be that this approach works better when we trade off pieces, as Botvinnik managed it here.

The move 20. f4 might be important - or else black plays f5-f4 himself and then Bf4. The other freeing move is d5-d4 but white wins the d pawn there.

The N plays a stellar role in the game, firstly by covering d4 (the pawn on f4 is vulnerable to lateral attack). Secondly, the N also prevents black from checking on d1 (the R on the second rank covers the other route). The passive placement of the R on f2 is of no consequence because it effectively stifles black's activity.

49. Nxf5 Bxf5 is not possible since h3+ wins the bishop and then promotes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Wow, 49.Nxf5! is crushing. If the Bishop captures the Knight, 50.h3+! deflects the King away from his cleric and White wins the pawn race easily.

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Mar-13-18  cwcarlson: 27...♗c8 28.b4 (28.♖d2, 28.♔d4) ♗a6= Houdini.
Mar-13-18  NBZ: <cwcarlson>: Interesting: in that line, Black manages to activate his bishop and prepare a7-a5. I reckon that's why it's judged equal by Houdini (though personally I would prefer to play as White).

A nice move earlier in the game was 24. Rd1! 24. Re1 was the natural move, but runs into 24. ... Rxe1 25. Kxe1 d4! 26. Ne2 Ke6 27. Nxd4+ Kd5 when Black successfully activates his king.

Instead, with 24. Rd1!, Botvinnik restrains the d-pawn and prepares to exchange rooks not on e1, but on the e2 square. So 24. Rd1! Re8 25. Rd2 h6 26. Re2 and now if 26. ... Rxe2 27. Nxe2 prevents Black from breaking free with ...d4.

A small point and maybe this kind of prophylaxis is second-nature for GMs but I found it quite instructive.

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