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David Bronstein vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 2, Mar-18
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Spassky Variation (D87)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-20-06  Resignation Trap: Botvinnik's pre-game reminder to himself in his journal:

"Look at the initial moves! Calculate!

Clarity - then make a move!

Time - don't hesitate - play more easily!

Don't look at him!

Work, defend to the 25th move - after this will he not bide his time?

Let's go!!!

Remember who you are dealing with..."

Sep-20-06  Resignation Trap: Botvinnik's intentions didn't pan out.
After the game, he wrote this:

"Played with difficulty and badly. Plenty of blunders. Sheer bungling. With the time - a nightmare!

Analyzed decently."

Jul-02-09  Knight13: <Played with difficulty and badly. Plenty of blunders. >

Botvinnik seems to be forgetting that he also defended very, very well and saved the game.

Mar-22-10  sezori: This game looks fishy, now Bronstein had 13. a4 to stop the advance of b5 and he could have held off on 13. Qd2 until the b5 threat was taken care of...Heck some may even argue 13. Qd2 is stronger than a4 due to the threat involved...fine, but after establishing the threat Botvinnik guards it with Kh7...ok; Now with Bd3, what's the point of it?! If cxd to attack the hanging bishop, then cxd and the bishop is protected and the game can continue accordingly...Unless there's something I'm not seeing...O_o

Move 29 Bronstein plays Rc1...rather than grabbing either pawn at b4 or seemingly better e5! Which does the exact same job as Rc1 with a slight difference, the d-file is still under total control of the rook pair....I'm assuming that grabbing either pawn will be devastating to White through some "cliche" computer analysis in which the computer punishes my undersight and throws dirt at my commentary...

Nov-14-10  WhiteRook48: interesting show for opening of the day
Aug-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9..Nd7 was first played by Botvinnik in the mid forties; it is rarely played today. 10 Bg5, an idea of Furmans, was new. Botvinnik spent 40 minutes on 10..h6; he did not like 10..b6 11 e5 or 10..Qc7 11 Bxe7..re8 12 d5!..Qe5 13 d6. Bronstein and Levenfish each thought 13 Nf4 would have been stronger with advantage to White.

<This game looks fishy, now Bronstein had 13. a4 to stop the advance of b5>

Neither Bronstein or Botvinnik mention 13 a4 but it looks like that move might speed up Black's queenside play after 13..Rb8.

33 h3 would have been less weakening than Bronstein's 33 h4?!

<Move 29 Bronstein plays Rc1...rather than grabbing either pawn at b4 or seemingly better e5!>

30 Qxb4? would have been refuted by 30..Rxb6 while after 30 Qxe5..Bg7 31 Qd6..Qxd6 32 cxd6..b3 33 d7..Rd8 Botvinnik provided lengthy analysis resulting in an approximately even rook endgame.

Botvinnik thought that Bronstein missed a great chance with 35 Nc3..Rxc5 (if 35..Ra5 36 Rd6..Qc8 37 c6 and Black is in trouble) 36 Bxc5..Qxc5 with a complicated battle. Botvinnik felt that he should have played 36..Bxd5 37 Rxd5 (if 37 exd..Qf6 and the threat of 38..e4 is tough to meet)..Rb4 winning the e-pawn. 42..e4 43 Rc7..Bxc7 44 Rf7 would have been winning for White. Botvinnik's 42..g5!, discovered during his adjournment analysis, provided Black enough counterplay to ensure the draw.

Oct-01-11  Everett: <Botvinnik's 42..g5!, discovered during his adjournment analysis, provided Black enough counterplay to ensure the draw.>

... and what would have happened if Botvinnik did not have time the study the position all night? My guess it would go like this:

<"Played with difficulty and badly. Plenty of blunders. Sheer bungling. With the time - a nightmare!>

Jun-11-13  zydeco: Is this right? Doesn't black have 42....e4?
Jun-11-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 42...e4, 43.Rd7 Bxd7 44.Rf7 wins.
Jun-11-13  zydeco: <sastre> Ouch
Aug-20-13  csmath: <plang:

9..Nd7 was first played by Botvinnik in the mid forties; it is rarely played today. 10 Bg5, an idea of Furmans, was new. Botvinnik spent 40 minutes on 10..h6; he did not like 10..b6 11 e5 or 10..Qc7 11 Bxe7..re8 12 d5!..Qe5 13 d6. Bronstein and Levenfish each thought 13 Nf4 would have been stronger with advantage to White.>

This is played but rarely if ever on master level. More often after Nd7 the development is through b6 and Bb7.

14. a4 [not played in this game]

is a good intermediate move and I think it could be played as it removes the possibility of black passers later on in the game.

The most powerful continuation, almost certainly going to present huge problem for black is

15. f4!
[Bronstein's recommendation e5 is also fine]

For example:
15. ... Nf6
16. e5! [now the move Bronstein recommended preventing black counterbreak e5] Ng4 [the only sensible move to try to diffuse attack by removing bishop]

17. f5 gxf5 [...Nxe3 is not any better]
18. Bxf5 gxf5
19. Rxf5 cxd4
20. cxd4 Qb6
21. h3! [just in proper time forcing knight to exchange and opening vent for king]

21. ...Nxe3
22. Qxe3

and now while it is not immediately lost the black position is much, much worse than what had happened in the game.

I would label this position since I cannot find any satisfactory defence against white threats [immediate threat Qe4 and Rc6]

For example:

22. ...Kh8 [to avoid the x-ray]
23. Kh2! Qe6 [to protect f7 and control c8 for possible rook exchange after Rac8] 24. Qe4 Rac8 25. Nf4

This is now becoming hopeless. Black can get two rooks for the queen but the attack continues with creation of d-passer [Taking pawn on a2 looks even more dangerous]:

25. ...Rac8
26. Qxf5 Rxc1
27. e6 Kg8
28. Nd5 Re1
29. Nxe7+ Kh8
30. d5 fxe6
31. Qc2 Be5+
32. g3 Rf7
33. d6 Bxd6
34. Qc3

and black loses material without any hope of any fortress. The knpp versus kpppp ending that can be reached is lost.

Aug-20-13  csmath: As for Botvinnik comments about 35th move my engine analysis suggest a difficult to win (likely drawn) ending with krrnppp versus krbbpppp. Obviously champion was right though that that was a missed chance by white.

The following might have been the part of Botvinnik analysis during adjournment [but Bronstein never played in the game]

44. Qb3 gxh4
45. Bf4! exf4
46. c8Q Rxc8
47. Qxe6 Qxe6
48. Rxe6 Rf8

yet another difficult to win and likely drawn ending.

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