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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Samuel Reshevsky
"Sam I Am" (game of the day Oct-23-2010)
FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948), Hague NLD/Moscow RUS, rd 14, Apr-18
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch. Capablanca Variation (E29)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-01-05  RookFile: I agree with Gregor that he was over reaching in an all out attempt to win. About 15 years ago I knew all the ins and outs of this tournament, and today, all I remember are the conclusions drawn. The whole game smacks of Botvinnik being satisfied with a draw as white
and Reshevsky going all out for a win as black. First of all, the choice of the opening was 1. e4 by Botvinnik, and then instead of the Ruy he goes for the four knights. I bet Reshevsky would have preferred to play Rubinstein's 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 to sac a pawn, except that white basically can force a draw in that line if he wants to. I forget the details, and it's hard to tell just by looking at the games, because you have to remember some games were probably still adjourned. He probably was thinking about 2nd place, and factors involved were that Smyslov had played an extra game, and was due to play Euwe, which in this tournament was like a full point bye.
Feb-01-05  ughaibu: RookFile: Euwe did better against Botvinnik than Reshevsky did, are you implying that playing Reshevsky was a point plus bye???
Feb-07-05  malbase: This was the first game that Botvinnik lost in the Hague-Moscow tournament. In one of the tournament books the notes said, "It could be done." Later on when the tournament was just about decided, Keres defeated Botvinnik for his first win against Botvinnik. Reshevsky and Fine were considered to be the top two players in the Western World. But Fine would not play.
Aug-09-07  sanyas: I can't see a way for Black to win after 34.♖dd1.
Jul-09-09  Julian713: <At move 5 white should have played Bd2.>

I don't want to get into you guys' debate about doubled pawns as it fits into overall strategy, but a couple points about this statement:

1) 5.Bd2...Bxd2+ and Black has gained a minor piece advantage just 5 moves in. Or, 5.Bd2...Bxb2 6. Ra2...Bxa3 and Black has gained 2 pawns advantage and destroyed White's queenside structure. Or even 6...Bxd4 which is still 2 pawns ahead AND opens a file on White's king!

2) Considering the above, if you're a player that scared of doubled pawns, the move to avoid was 3.Nc3, bypassing the pin and likely playing the safer 3.Nf3.

Jul-09-09  Julian713: Wow...I just realized that debate is older than my college career!
Jul-09-09  WhiteRook48: Black is NOT lost after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4. In fact white is at a disadvantage since black has the two bishops!
Jan-06-10  Cibator: If I remember right, Reshevsky had just four minutes for moves 23-40.

(But then he was used to playing like that.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: That Sam I Am! That Sam I Am! I do not like that Sam I Am!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Do you like Green eggs and Ham?
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why didn't black play 16...Qa4, winning a ♙?
Oct-23-10  Naugh: I'd be frightened like hell seeing such a pawn front. Reshevsky stayed quite cool.
Oct-23-10  drnooo: Does nayone here have any of the more or less full details on Reschevskys wunderkind career: I know he was treated and feated around the globe as an eight year old can defeat practically anybody, but who were some of the anybodys he was knocking off around eight and nine or was it ten had they had the ratings etc he might have been the youngest grandmaster ever minus of cuorse
Capa and Morphy
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al-wazir> Probably a matter of judgment rather than calculation. The weak c4-pawn isn't going away; the mor immediate priority is to make sure the kingside doesn't collapse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White resigned for after the exchange,black would have a passed pawn and with the help of king and bishop,he will queen or mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Gligoric comments-<Black should not underestimate the danger of white's power in the center, nor of white's possible onslaught on the kingside, where black has few pieces ready for defense...If he concentrates on capturing the weak pawn on c4 as early as possible, White will have a free hand for what is now likely to be a decisive kingside attack.>

<16...Qf7! Black's first concern is the protection of his vital kingside pawn chain. Dangerous would be premature aggression with 16...Qa4 because of 17 d5.>

16...Qa4 17 d5 fe4 18 Nxe4 ed5 19 cd5 Bxd3 20 Qxd3 Nf6 21 Nxf6+ Rxf6 22 f5 Rxf5 23 Bh6 is one possibility. Not easy for black with Na5 out of play - if 23...Qd7 24 Rxf5 Qxf5 25 Qe2 followed by Rf1.

Oct-28-10  Knight13: 22. Qc2.
Oct-29-10  Knight13: On second thought, 22. Qc2 is not good.
Dec-23-10  soothsayer8: I like this one, a perfectly executed Nimzo-Indian defense by black.
Feb-01-11  rexus: In fact, Botvinniks 34.Red1 was the decesive mistake. Instead 34. Rdd1 h4 35. Rh1 Nb3 36. Rxh4 Rxd3 37. Rh7+ Rf8 will give a certain Remis on hand. But in the move before Reshevsky could have played 33. --- Nxc4 and after 34. Nxc4 Bxc4 35. f6+ Kf7 he has a clear advantage.
Feb-27-11  Llawdogg: This is Wikipedia's example game for how to play the Nimzo Indian Defense.
Nov-28-11  Ulhumbrus: In his book "From Morphy to Fischer" Horowitz said in reference to this game that Reshevsky played one of the best games in his life.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Around about move 18 it looks as if Mischa will go all boa constrictor on Sammy's a$$ and give him a good crushing. But Resh demonstrates why Fischer and others were so complimentary of the diminutive man.

He could effin play!

Nov-06-15  Calar: In his book about World Championships, Vladimir Vukovic tells a story about this game. Apparently, Reshevsky was in the dire time trouble and played last couple of moves blitzing without recording them. Thus, when Reshevsky flagged, neither player was sure whether he played his 40th move or not.

So, chief judge Milan Vidmar arrived and tried to reconstruct the game with his aides. When they did the job and established that Reshevsky played 41 moves before his flag fell(and thus should have received extra time after his 40th move), Botvinnik resigned immediately.

May-10-18  outplayer: After 15...g6! Silman comments: "Here we have na interesting battle of ideas: White attacking on the kingside, Black on the queenside. Happily for Black, his targets on the queenside are ready made and permanente (weak pawns on a3, c3, and c4). white's plan is more wishful thinking. He has no clear object of attack and thus he finds himself in a state of desperation; for if he fails on the kingside, he will surely perish on the opposite wing. Black then merely has to strike a balance on the kingside for na eventual win." in How to Reasses Your Chess
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