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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Mikhail Tal
Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1961), Moscow URS, rd 9, Apr-07
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Keres Variation (A23)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-05  rjsolcruz: In a 6-board clock simul at Meralco Chess Club on Nov 30, 2005, NM Cabellon played 3 e3 (against me) instead of the 3 g3 of Botvinnik. He won on all boards.
Jan-15-06  Father Karras: Clever of Botivnnik to lure Tal into ruining his own pawn formation at the expense of winning a worthless pawn.
Mar-24-08  Knight13: Memorable on how Botvinnik won this seemingly drawn ending.
Oct-26-08  Paraconti: Drawn ending? Tal was way too adventurous in the opening and ended up with a broken pawn structure which Botvinnik expertly won in the endgame. The result was never in doubt after the opening, only a matter of time.
Apr-10-11  M.D. Wilson: Technique and time
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The length of this game makes it easy to overlook the very interesting opening. Tal had won game #8, and was out for blood here. Botvinnik showed his best hypermodern skill to get a firm grip on the position and grind out a win in a long ending.

3....c6 aims to build a big pawn center, and 4.Nf3 cuts across that plan, leading to a sort of Alekhine's reversed. After 4....e4 5.Nd4 d5 6.cxd5 Qb6 7.Nb3 cxd5 8.Bg2, normal is supposed to be 8....Bf5, though White still got an advantage in Reshevsky vs Keres, 1963.

Botvinnik answered Tal's ultra-aggressive 8....a5 with 9.d3! a4 10.Be3 Qb4 11.Nd4, when 11....Qxb2 is well answered by 12.0-0. After 11....a3, Botvinnik played 12.Nc2, which could have allowed Tal to bail out with 12....Qa5, preventing 13.Nxa3. Instead Tal plunged in with 12....Qxb2?, which Botvinnik refuted with the fine 13.Bd4! stalemating the queen and threatening Rb1.

After 13....Bb4, White grabbed a clear advantage with 14.Nxb4 Qxb4 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.0-0!. The game continued 16....Be6 17.Rc1 Nc6 18.dxe4 (rolling up the pawn center) dxe4 19.Nxe4 Bxa2 20.Nd6+! (going after the b-pawn) Kf8 21.Nxb7 (triumph of the long diagonal).

The ending after 21....Ne5 22.Nc5 Rb8 23.Na6 Bb3 24.Nxb4 Bxd1 25.Rfxd1 Rxb4 was not so easy, but Botvinnik's superior pawns eventually brought home the point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Maybe this opening will make ughaibu like Botvinnik a little better.
Feb-10-13  ughaibu: Ha! As it goes, I already like Botvinnik a little better, probably. It depends on which remark you have in mind. Anyway, the opening is fun, sure enough. Thanks.
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