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David Bronstein vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 16, Apr-20
Dutch Defense: Classical Variation (A91)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: April 20-21, 1951

Botvinnik had this to say to himself before the game:

"There is no other way, other than to genuinely play well.

Work fully 100% with cunning, watch for threats while thinking up good things, economize on time.

Let's go!"

Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: After this game, Botvinnik's summary was short:

"Played quite decently, although badly with time.

Continue in the same vein - except finish it off......."

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: A cute draw would have been 64...Nxg3+? 65.Kf2 Nh1+ (forced) with perpetual check.

68.c6! is a great defensive idea (opening up the a3-f8 diagonal).

Bronstein's sometimes too clever for his own good: the whole maneuver with Nd1-b2-d3 and 13.c5 just ends up with white blocking himself in on the dark squares (although 15.b4 might be the only real mistake). 11.f3 and 12.Nf4 looks normal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: After 72.♕b4-e7: a critical position!

click for larger view

With the white queen on e7, and the W♖ on c2, there is a threat that if the ♙e6 becomes unprotected then white mates quickly with Qxe6+ and Rc7+.

Botvinnik forced a draw by perpetual check - here is the final position after 75.Kh2:

click for larger view

But I wonder did he have any more? If the white queen can be forced away from her attack on the ♙e6 then the threat of ...Rxg3+ becomes more serious owing to the lack of a threat of mate from white.

How about 72...Rb3?

click for larger view

...waiting to see what white will do, and if he does nothing, advancing the b-pawn.

72...Rxd4 also looks pretty good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 6 e3 is an odd move which had also been played by Botvinnik in the 1st game of the match (drawn). Bronstein had played 6..d6 in that game; Botvinnik opted for the Stonewall setup with 6..d5. 19..g5! and 20..g4 enabled Black to maintain control of e4. Black had to avoid 39..Rg8 40 Nxe6. Flohr recommended 46 b5. 47 Qd3? was an error giving up control of h5 and leading to exchanges resulting in Black obtaining a "good" knight versus "bad" bishop position. In time pressure Bronstein picked up the rook with the intention of playing 55 Rb3 but realizing that the d-pawn would be unprotected he played 55 Rd1. Botvinnik spent 50 minutes on the straightforward 59..Ra1 leaving him in severe time trouble. 68..Qxa6? was an error; better was 68..bxc 69 Qa3..b4 70 Qa8..Nf6 which would have won easily. After 72..Rxg3+ Blacks winning chances were gone; either 72..Rxd4 or 72..b4 would have maintained Blacks edge.
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