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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Return Match (1957), Moscow URS, rd 6, Mar-19
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D98)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-14-04  ughaibu: This game 6 is quite an efficient slaughter.
Jan-15-04  Catfriend: When I analysed some games from world-matches, I chose this one to represent the 1957 match. It's very deep BTW
Jan-15-04  Catfriend: for a nice game between the two go to
Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1945
Sep-22-06  slomarko: i think Nc4 is wrong. (f4!?)
Sep-22-06  Alexander I: <slomarko: i think Nc4 is wrong. (f4!?)>

15...f4?! 16.Nxf4 Bxe5 17.Ne6 looks much better for white.

Sep-22-06  slomarko: what about 15...f4 16.Nf4 Nc4 ?
Sep-22-06  nikolaas: <slomarko> 15...f4 16.Nf4 Nc4 17.Bc4+
Sep-22-06  slomarko: yeah that seems to be the refutation
Sep-22-06  slomarko: then maybe 16....Na4?
Sep-22-06  Alexander I: <slomarko: then maybe 16....Na4?>

17.Ne6 with Bb5 to follow is practically winning for White.

Sep-22-06  slomarko: ok then 11...Qc5? is a mistake correct is 11....Qd5 and if 12.Nc3 then Qc5 13.dc5 f4
Apr-24-07  Pacificknight: Botvinnik employs Smyslov's own variation. Is there anything in the literature about this psychological ploy? Smyslov played 1 d4 twice in the match. Once here and again in game 14 which transposed to a French. Why didn't Smyslov attempt to challenge this variation more often? Smyslov's 9 0-0-0 remains a strong attacking option today.
Mar-20-08  Knight13: 18...Nb4 sucks. Letting White take on c6 would be better since his bishop's a lot stronger, and knight on c6 can take on d4 if White's knight ever go there and then lock it up with ...c6.
Oct-30-08  dwavechess: 23/28 Smyslov`s moves concur with Rybka 3 w32 at 3 minutes per move.
Mar-25-09  notyetagm: <Pacificknight: Botvinnik employs Smyslov's own variation. Is there anything in the literature about this psychological ploy? Smyslov played 1 d4 twice in the match. Once here and again in game 14 which transposed to a French. Why didn't Smyslov attempt to challenge this variation more often? <<<Smyslov's 9 0-0-0 remains a strong attacking option today.>>>>

Looks like a good plan.

Mar-25-09  parisattack: <<<<Smyslov's 9 0-0-0 remains a strong attacking option today.>>>>>

According to Golombek (in the book of the match) the move was discovered by a Soviet master, Oossi who had played it recently against Simagin.

He also gives if 18. ...e6; 19. Bc6:,bc:; 20. Nd4 'with an easily won game for White.'

Jun-18-11  AVRO38: The moral of this story:

Don't play the Smyslov variation against Smyslov!

May-15-13  dmvdc: <Pacificknight: Botvinnik employs Smyslov's own variation. Is there anything in the literature about this psychological ploy?>

Here's what Smyslov himself had to say about Botvinnik's choice, in his annotation after 7...Bg4 (from p. 108 of Smyslov's 125 Selected Games):

<<One of the most sharp and problematic variations in modern opening theory. I have to admit that the choice of this opening system on the part of Botvinnik came as a surprise to me, since up till then he had normally preferred to play this variation as White, whereas I had been willing to try to vindicate the plan of piece development for Black. Now the roles were reversed, and I had to seek a way of countering my own theoretical weapon.>>

Sep-15-13  zydeco: Smyslov lists three mistakes/inaccuracies by black: i. 10....Nb6 (instead of Nc6) would have forced white's queen backwards without allowing the possibility of Qc5; ii. 14.....Qd5 would have been much better than the game continuation -- if 15.Nc3 Qxc5 16.dxc5, black can play 16.....f4; iii. 16....Rad8 would bring the queen's rook out of harm's way and give black the option of 19....Nd3+ 20.Kc2 Nxc5.
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