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Arnold Denker vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"The Golden Age of Radio" (game of the day Jan-28-2006)
USSR - USA Radio Match (1945), Moscow RUS and New York USA, rd 1, Sep-01
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  0-1


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sac: 22...Rxh2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-28-06  EmperorAtahualpa: What a spectacular game! A lot of fireworks back and forth..

Here's a link concerning the Golden Age of Radio:

Jan-28-06  Ulhumbrus: One tiny little alteration- developing the white king's bishop by g3 and Bg2 may turn the assessment upside down and give White the advantage instead of Black. A true evaluation should not be reversed by such tiny alterations, as it should have taken account of all of them.
Jan-28-06  MayanKing: I had the honour to play Sammy at El Segundo Chess Club in 1979. He won, in fact, he beat us all in the simul. I treasure the photo I took with Sammy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's sharp moves make white's game collapse like a deck of cards.

The final position is not really a fork,but a mating attack along the h-file

Mar-15-06  alexandrovm: black's attack is irresistible
Oct-02-06  bernardchinshin: Any comments on this line?
After 21...Rxh2 22. Kxh2 Rh8 23. Bh6, could someone demonstrate the win please?

I also do not understand why 19 Bxd3 is not playable.

Oct-02-06  bernardchinshin: Sorry, I meant Why is 20. Bd3 not playable?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <bernardchinshin> In the first line, I think you mean 22...Rxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Rh8+ 24. Bh6. Black responds 24...Qxf4 and the bishop cannot retake, since it is pinned to the king.

20. Bxd3 is tougher. Maybe 20...Ne5 21. Be2 Bc5+ 22. Kh1 Rxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Rh8+ 24. Nh5 Rxh5+ 25. Kg3 Rxg5+ and Black is winning. But I don't have a board, so there is probably something wrong somewhere. Does anyone have Botvinnik's <100 Selected Games>?

Nov-23-06  Manic: <bernardchinshin> and <keypusher> doesn't 20...Bc5+ win after 20.Bxd3?
Nov-23-06  nescio: <Manic: doesn't 20...Bc5+ win after 20.Bxd3?>

Interesting. It is far from clear to me after 20.Bxd3 Bc5+ 21.Kh1 Rxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Rh8+ 23.Bh7, so 20...Qc5+ and 21...Qxg5 may be simpler.

Aug-28-08  dwavechess: 80% concur for Botvinnik with rybka 2.3.2 at 14 ply.
Sep-11-08  dwavechess: 84%!! concur climbs for Botvinnik using Rybka 3 w32 at 3 minutes per move.
Sep-15-08  dwavechess: Most rybkalike playing for black by Botvinnik from thousands of games I put Rybka to analysis
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Botvinnik had recent experience in this line having won games against Lilienthal and Mikenas at the 1944 USSR Championship. Both had played 11 g3. It is not clear what Denker's idea was with 12 Be2? A summarization of the advantages of 12 g3 from Wells book "The Complete Semi-Slav": The h-pawn is covered down the diagonal, the f4 square is guarded, the Bishop is not vulnerable to ..Ne5 at any stage, the g-file is neutralized and the Queen has access to h5." Kasparov recommended 14 Bf3 as an improvement over 14 a4?!..b4 15 Ne4..c5 which gave Black a tempo attacking the Knight. If 21 Be3 the 23..d2 wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: When Botvinnik died in 1995 Byrne annotated this game in the New York Times.

May-12-09  AnalyzeThis: If you didn't know this game, you might have thought it was played today. The entire game has a completely 'modern' look to it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: <plang> <Lilienthal and Mikenas at the 1944 USSR Championship. Both had played 11 g3. It is not clear what Denker's idea was with 12 Be2?>

Chess information traveled slowly in those days. It is entirely possible that Denker was not familiar with those games. All other games played in this line before 1945 involved White playing Be2 and/or Qf3. Denker was just playing (outdated) theory, as he understood it.

May-12-09  AnalyzeThis: That's a really intesting point. Botvinnik was able to get his bishop to the long diagonal first, so that white couldn't play g3 later.
May-12-09  WhiteRook48: creepy
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

19...d3! and Black is probably winning, right there.

<Manic> and others. The pawn is untouchable. If 20.Bxd3, Qc5+ wins the g5 Bishop.

Mar-17-10  shamat1: the botvinnik system is a bit complicated!xD
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: There is no talk about 12...Qb6. In the same position, I play 12.Nxf6, which has a good record as well as the favor of Fritz. Is it not superior? Or perhaps only if Black is willing to forego castling?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: IM Bill Hartston annotates this in his "Kings of Chess." After 12...Qb6 he writes

<Subsequently this whole opening variation became known as the Botvinnik System, thanks to his success in this and other games. It must have all come as a great surprise to Denker, though Botvinnik had already played it in a training game with his sparring partner Ragozin and in another Moscow championship game. In his annotations to the present game, Botvinnik wrote: "You get the feeling that my opponent is a very long way from Moscow and that nobody in New York has warned Denker that you don't play this variation against Botvinnik.">

Aug-13-14  Stonehenge: New York mayor La Guardia watching Denker:

( )

Nov-24-17  Toribio3: Botvinnik is a killer!
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