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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963), Moscow URS, rd 16, May-01
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Rubinstein Variation (D27)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-04-08  Knight13: 39. Rxd4 is better. At least it's safe.
May-02-12  LoveThatJoker: Wow! What a tense game!

GOTD: Nuclear Winter

LTJ

May-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: It is interesting how Petrosian defused Botvinnik's attack on the King side.
May-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <Knight 13: 39. Rxd4 is better.>

You are very much correct here. What would have made Botvinnik not go in for it?

Here is analysis by Stockfish:

39. Rxd4 39...b5

[39...Re7 40. Kh2 g5 41. Rd6 Rb2 42. Rb6 Rd2 43. Kg3 Rd5 44. b4 a5 45. bxa5 Rxa5 46. Rb4 Rc5 47. Re2 Kg6 48. Rb6+ Kg7 49. Reb2 Rexe5 50. Rxb7+ (+1.53 Depth of 30)]

40. Kh2 bxa4 41. Rxa4 Rxa4 42. bxa4 Kf7 43. Kg3 g5 44. f4 Rc8 45. fxg5 Ke6 46. Rb1 Rc4 47. Rb6+ Kxe5 48. Rxa6 Rg4+ 49. Kf3 Rxg5 50. Ra5+ Kd6 51. Rb5 Kc6 52. Rb4 Kc5 53. Rb8 Rg4 54. a5 Kd6 55. a6 Ra4 56. Rb6+ Ke5 (+1.65 Depth of 30 yet probably a draw)

I feel that the first line is almost surely a draw. The second one gives the impression that there is some fight left still.

LTJ

May-03-12  SChesshevsky: <LoveThatJoker: 39. Rxd4, What would have made Botvinnik not go in for it?>

I'm guessing that getting near the 40 move time control there was some pressure and he probably figured he had a slight advantage anyway with a possible win in analysis and there was the rooks on the 7th and even bank rank issues to consider and you rarely go wrong with pushing a passed pawn to the 6th rank and the d-pawn doesn't seem to be going anywhere so e6 makes some sense.

But a pawn is a pawn and I'm guessing if he could do it over he probably would go for Rxd4.

May-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <<>SChesshevsky: <LoveThatJoker: 39. Rxd4, What would have made Botvinnik not go in for it?> I'm guessing that getting near the 40 move time control there was some pressure and he probably figured he had a slight advantage anyway with a possible win in analysis and there was the rooks on the 7th and even bank rank issues to consider and you rarely go wrong with pushing a passed pawn to the 6th rank and the d-pawn doesn't seem to be going anywhere so e6 makes some sense.>

This is a possibility for sure, man!

<<>But a pawn is a pawn and I'm guessing if he could do it over he probably would go for Rxd4.>>

Now I have to get the Botvinnik-Petrosian book that was released a couple of years ago:

http://www.newinchess.com/Botvinnik...

LTJ

May-03-12  King Death: Maybe he simply misjudged the position, it happens to even world champions. 39.Rd4 Rc8 40.Rd7+ and Kh2 looks very good for White but it's easy to say that looking at a board at home and a lot harder when your clock's ticking, especially when you're short of time.

A weaker player probably grabs the pawn and doesn't think too much about it once he sees that he can defend g2, but these players were a little bit better than us and I'd sure like to know the clock times seeing that this was just before the time control.

May-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: It is not only that 39.Rxd4 wins a dangerous Pawn, but that the White Pawn at e5 is holding the Black King at bay. Advancing this pawn seriously weakens it and allows the White King to become active. Botvinnik was under a lot of stress in this match. Perhaps this and exhaustion can explain his many mistakes.
May-03-12  RookFile: Just wondering, how would it go? 39. Rxd4 Rc8 with the idea of Rc2. Maybe white blocks with 40. Rc4 and black replies 40....Rd8 with the idea of Rd2. Is there a way to prevent black from getting two pigs on the 7th?
May-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <maxi: It is not only that 39.Rxd4 wins a dangerous Pawn, but that the White Pawn at e5 is holding the Black King at bay. Advancing this pawn seriously weakens it and allows the Black King to become active.>

I agree, maxi.

LTJ

May-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <RookFile> I'll give your suggestion of 39. Rxd4 Rc8 to Stockfish and post its evaluation at around 7pm EST - maybe even 6pm EST. Stay tuned!

LTJ

May-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I'll also take a look at the <RookFile> line.
May-03-12  King Death: The idea is 39.Rd4 Rc8 40.Rd7+ followed by Kh2 to play Rg1 and defend g2. Those rooks look dangerous but don't really do much and White has his passed pawn.
May-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <Rookfile> Here is the promised analysis by Stockfish - after it spent 3 1/2 hours evaluating the position after 39...Rc8:

<39...Rc8 40. Kh2>

(40. Rd7+ Kh6 41. Kh2 Kg5 42. Rf7 f4 43. e6 Rcc2 44. Rg1 Rc8 45. Rh7 Re2 46. Kh3 Rxe6 47. Rd1 Rf6 48. Rh4 Rf5 49. Rd4 Rcf8 50. b4 b5 51. a5 R8f7 52. Rd6 R5f6 53. Rd5+ Rf5 54. Rd4 R5f6 +0.32 Depth of 31)

<40...g5 41. Rd7+ Kg6 42. Rxb7 Rcc2 43. Rg1 f4 44. Rb6+ Kf5 45. e6 g4 46. fxg4+ Kxg4 47. e7 Re2 48. Rxa6 Rxe7 49. Rf1 Rb7 50. Rc6 Rxb3 51. Rc4 Rh3+ 52. Kg1 Re3 53. Rfxf4+ Kg5 54. Rg4+ Kf5> +1.97 Depth of 31

LTJ

May-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I followed <LoveThatJoker> main line up till move 46, and all seem the best moves. The advantage may be enough for White to win, but perhaps not. In practice White has a good chance, so it seems Misha missed a good opportunity.

There does not seem to be a way for White to avoid the "two pigs" (as <RookFile> calls them) in his second rank.

An optional defense for Black would be 39.Rxd4 b5, to avoid the loss of a Pawn and, instead, force a Pawn exchange.

May-04-12  LoveThatJoker: <maxi> Well said: In that 39. Rxd4 b5 seems to be the best option for Black.

I posted Stockfish's analysis on this line already: It is part of my reply to <Knight13>.

LTJ

May-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <LoveThatJoker> Oh, I didn't see that.
Mar-11-14  zydeco: "It is hard to explain why I refrained from the natural continuation 39.Rxd4!" says Botvinnik in his annotations. He was hoping that he could stop black's rook maneuver by pushing the e-pawn but obviously it didn't work.

Petrosian gives up on the Queen's Gambit Declined after his loss in Game 14. He improves on Game 10 with 11....Nd5.

Botvinnik gets an initiative with 18.h4.

Botvinnik gives 20....exd5 a question-mark, saying that 20....Qxd5 21.Ba2 looks unpleasant but is strategically sounder.

The explanation of the mysterious-looking 25....Rf7 is that Petrosian wants to play ....Nf5, but can't play it immediately because of 26.Qg4.

White saves the game with 45.Re3 and 46.Kf4, based on the idea of Rh1. Black can always oppose Rh1 with .....Rh2 but if he ever pushes ....d2 then the rook on c2 loses contact with the h2 square.

Sep-21-16  ewan14: Petrosian's king side ( pawns ) look horrible for a while
Dec-10-17  Olavi: I think this was the decisive game of the match. It was only game 16, and Petrosian was only one point ahead, but when MB failed to win this I think it was psychologically settled. With a lot of hindsight, of course.
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