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Mikhail Botvinnik vs David Bronstein
Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 1, Mar-16
Dutch Defense: Classical Variation (A91)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-14-05  Brown: At move 21, Seirawan suggests playing to improve black's minor pieces by... 21...Bxe2 22.Rxe2 Bxc3 23.Bxb6 <23.bxc3 Nc4> axb6 24.bxc3 g5! giving black a good knight with excellent squares while leaving white with a terrible bishop on g2.
Sep-20-06  Resignation Trap: Before this game, Botvinnik entered this in his journal:

"Calculate, calculate.
Make a move when everything is perfectly clear.
Don't hurry unnecessarily - prolong the struggle.
Remember the assessment of this cunning player. Don't look at him.

Keep an eye on the clock - keep 15 minutes in reserve. Don't concede the initiative.
Press to the end - without relaxing
Let's go!"

Sep-20-06  Resignation Trap: After the game, Dr. Botvinnik wasn't so upbeat:

"Played very badly. Although I knew what he would play, I was not prepared. Wrongly did not exchange knights in the center and conceded the initiative.

By accurate defense managed to equalize. In general - a bungler! Did not even manage to prolong things! Time!

Now it is clear that he has decided to push hard, in order to exploit his time advantage.

Even so, he does not play according to a plan and not by deep calculation, but for a good position and 2-3 moves ahead.

Even so, I did not see his four moves!!! His first four moves!!!"

Dec-31-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: 15...Bd8 is a nice move--sort of the mirror image of the regular Dutch maneuver Bd7-e8-h5
Mar-11-07  talisman: <shalgo> 15...Bd8 is a nice move...but... bronstein's 22nd move is the wrong one.
Mar-11-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: <bronstein's 22nd move is the wrong one>

I have heard 22...e4 suggested as an improvement, but haven't seen any analysis of it. And as <Brown> already mentioned, Bronstein also had an improvement at move 21.

Jul-02-09  Knight13: <shalgo> 22...e4 if White takes on e4 then ...Nxg4 forces the dark squared bishop to go to a less comfortable square, and also White has a problem with the e-pawn.

But I see White can play e5 and force something out.

Nov-05-10  Poisonpawns: 15..h5! is strong also. 21..Bxe2 gives black a strong adv. On move 22...Bxe2! 23.Rxe2 Bxc3 24.bxc Nfd7! followed by Rf4,Kf7,Ke7 Nc5 black has a won ending. Also 22..e4 This analysis is from "World Chess championship: Botvinnik to Kasparov bt Wade,Whieley and Keene 1986,Batsford
May-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 6 e3 was a new move creating a formation similar to one Botvinnik used with White in the English and with Black in the Closed Sicilian. Later on in the match in games 16 and 22 with colors reversed Botvinnik played 6..d5 although after the match he felt that Bronstein's 6..d6 was preferable. Many analysts recommended 12 c5!? but Black seems to hold his own in the ensuing complications; one variation given by Botvinnik was 12..Bh3 13 cxd..Bxd6 14 dxc..Nxc6 15 Qxd6..Rad8 16 Qc5..Ng4 17 f3..Bxg2 18 fxg..Rxf1+ 19 Kxg2..Qf7 with complications. 15 Nxd5 would have been an improvement but after 15..Nxd5 16 Qxd5+..Be6 not 17 Qxb7?..Qd3 winning a piece. 16 Rac1?! was another inaccuracy (16 Nb5) after which Black had a big advantage.

<At move 21, Seirawan suggests playing to improve black's minor pieces by... 21...Bxe2 22.Rxe2 Bxc3 23.Bxb6 <23.bxc3 Nc4> axb6 24.bxc3 g5! giving black a good knight with excellent squares while leaving white with a terrible bishop on g2.>

Seirawan is actually quoting Bronstein's analysis which he gave as winning for Black.

<I have heard 22...e4 suggested as an improvement, but haven't seen any analysis of it.>

Botvinnik felt that White had enough counterplay after 23 g5..exf 24 Bxf3..Nfd7 25 Bg4..Ne5 26 Be6+..Kh8 27 Nd4..Nbc4 28 Re2..Nxb2 29 Rxb2..Bxc3 30 Rc2. But 22..Bxe2! would still have been sufficient to give Black a winning endgame.

Bronstein after 24..axb:

"The first pair of doubled pawns in the match. I often ask myself: why do I double and then triple my pawns? It is probably due to my liking the open lines. Or perhaps it is some memory of a beautifully won game with isolated doubled pawns? At any rate, it is a major deficiency.

Such a pair of pawns at b6 and b7 in the 23rd game of the match cost me the title of World Champion when the match was almost won. And this was at a point when I myself could have given the opponent double pawns at h2 and h3."

Dec-18-12  Everett: Bronstein steers the game into a KID pawn structure, yet with an even more active DSB swinging over the Q-side. Remarkable how often he is able to do this to his opponents.
Dec-18-12  paul1959: <Everett> Tongue in cheek I guess. Botvinnik novel treatment of the opening was not novel after all (See Paulsen-Mason 1880 , buried under the wrong opening code). I wonder if Botvinnik knew about the game.
Dec-20-12  Everett: <paul1959> No, not tongue in cheek. It often didn't matter what his opponents played, novel or not. Bronstein of course played everything, but one can see a KID influence from an early Ruy vs Smyslov to his later treatments vs the ..e6 Sicilian and French. Check out my game collections on him and you'll see what I mean. He even got an advantage vs Shirov with a KIA in rapid as a septugenarian.

BTW, White's formation here is exactly how Botvinnik, as Black, met Bronstein's KIA later in the '51 match. It is in my "remarkable draws" collection.

Jun-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <paul1959: <Everett> Tongue in cheek I guess. Botvinnik novel treatment of the opening was not novel after all (See Paulsen-Mason 1880 , buried under the wrong opening code). I wonder if Botvinnik knew about the game.>

This is the game referred to:
W Paulsen vs J Mason, 1880
The game as Van't Kruiz Opening A-00 Werewolves of London.

Later, after 21.Rcd2


click for larger view

Can black play 21...Nfxd5?

Oct-06-14  Poisonpawns: <offramp> yes 21..Nfxd5 is playable.Black will be slightly better in a difficult ending where White has 2 bishops and a knight vs Blacks Rooks. Ex: 21...Nfd5 22.Rxd5!Nxd5 23.Rxd5 Bxc3 24.Nxc3 Nxd5 25.Nxd5


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