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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Paul Keres
"Paul is Dead" (game of the day Jul-09-10)
USSR Team ch (1966)  ·  English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0
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Last move:

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Given 21 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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find similar games 19 more Botvinnik/Keres games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-09-10  Chessdreamer: not Alekhine-mem, but rather USSR Team Championship. The date of this game is September 28.
Jul-09-10  ounos: 17. ...Bb7, 18. ...Nc6 19. ...Ncd4

I dislike this plan, looks very slow. But perhaps black could have gotten away with it, if he had *not* played 20. ...f6 - suddenly the lost time matters, since white can force the opening of the position.

Nice analysis by Honza.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Brilliant deflection.
Aug-17-10  Ulhumbrus: Having deprived White's King of the right to castle by 5...Bxf2+ 6 Kxf2, after 6...Nxe5 7 e4 it seems more consistent for Black to continue in gambit style with 7...d5 when the N on e5 attacks the c4 pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Keres is as dead as can be. Nothing avails now.
Nov-06-10  fenderson: I am a chess rookie. I watched the game and I wonder why the game ended so suddenly? I mean it's not checkmate at the point where the game ends. Did the black give up at that point? I can see the white can attack with horse and that would lead to checkmate but it's still few moves away.
Nov-06-10  MaxxLange: <fenderson> it is possible, or even likely, that Black lost this game on time

In classical chess, you have 2 hours to play your first 40 moves. If Keres, after 2 hours of clock time, had only reached move 28, then he loses

White looks better, even winning, but he does not seem to have a knockout punch.

Nov-06-10  MaxxLange: it is also possible that Black had time on the clock, decided that his position was hopeless - he can barely move anything, and White is slowly crushing him
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <fenderson: I am a chess rookie. I watched the game and I wonder why the game ended so suddenly?> If 27...Qxb8, then 28.Qxh4 Ng5 29.Bxg5 Rc8 30.Qh7+ Kf8 31.Qh8#.
Nov-07-10  fenderson: Sastre: Ah, I can see it now! What a trap. Pretty cool stuff!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: 27. R b8 'red herring' is unparryable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Keres is unrecognizable in this game.
Nov-25-12  Everett: Despite the early fireworks and inconvenienced king, Botvinnik was able to get a pawn structure with which he was quite familiar.
Sep-21-13  Xeroxx: de-flec-tion
Aug-21-14  Travis Bickle: During this game I was pretty much clueless of what was going on... It was like Spock playing a Vulcan! Until I put it on Deep Fritz 14 that I started to see the genius of this game! What a great move by Botvinnik to end the game!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Position after 25.g5:

click for larger view

If 25....fxg5 (25....Nxg5 26.Bxg5 fxg5 27.Bh5+! Rxh5 28.Qf8+ Kd7 29.Nb6+) 26.Bxd4 cxd4 27.Qf5! threatening Qg6+. If 27....Rh6 White has Bh5+ again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: After 26.g6:

click for larger view

26....f5? 27.Rb8! loses instantly, but <Honza> pointed out that after the better 26....Be8, 27.Qg1! is very strong.

There are some pretty variations after 27....f5 28.ef Rxf5 29.Rxf5 Nxf5 30.Qg4! Ned4 (30....Nfd4 31.Bxd4 Nxd4 32.Qh5 wins) 31.Qh5 Nh6 32.Bg5 Qa8 33.Ne7+ Kf8 (33....Kh8 34.Qxh6+ gxh6 35.Bf6#) 34.Qxh4 (threatening Qf4+). Now if 34....Bd7 35.Qf4+ Nhf5 36.Nxf5 Nxf5 37.Bg4 wins a piece, because if 37...Qc8, then 38.Bxf5 Qxf5 39.Qxf5+ Qxf5 40.Rb8+ mates.

This was a really good game.

Nov-22-15  Hawkman: After 6. Kf2, why is White better?
Nov-22-15  Nerwal: <After 6. Kf2, why is White better?>

Extra center pawn and two bishops. It's also not easy to exploit the bad white king position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I agree, Hawkman. That is a colossal final move. But that knight on d5 is a BEAST.
Nov-22-15  Hawkman: Nerwal < Extra center pawn and two bishops. It's also not easy to exploit the bad white king position. >

Thanks! ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nerwal: <After 6. Kf2, why is White better?>

Extra center pawn and two bishops. It's also not easy to exploit the bad white king position.>

Is it so clear, really, that White <is> better after 6.Kxf2? This game put players off 4....Bc5 for some time, but if the likes of Karpov, Anand and Svidler are willing to have a go, it can hardly be that bad:

Games Like Botvinnik vs Keres, 1966

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I was going to comment on this but something came up and I see Perfidious (does he ever sleep?) beat me to it.


"Why is White better?"

click for larger view

Perfidious is correct to question the given answer to this question.

Botvinnik played it and won therefore it's good for White is commenting result.

My under 2000 database has Black winning the majority of the games from this position.

Magnus Carlsen was once Black here and won from this position.

click for larger view

Therefore Black is better...

'White has the two Bishops' yes and then Botvinnik gave himself a central pawn structure of c4,d3 and e4. I bet that pleased the light squared Bishop.

Botvinnik's handling of the lone Knight in the blocked position contributed more to the win than the two Bishops. He decided to block up the centre because opening it up may expose his King.

Keres decision to cede the two Bishops could have been based on the judgement that White could not open the game for his Bishops due to White's exposed King.

Ivanchuk blasted the game open when he had this position v Anand giving the two Bishops a future. Anand kept the Bishops at bay with annoying tactical threats v the White King.

Ivanchuk vs Anand, 1999

I suppose it all comes to down to how you see and do kibitzing.

I'm of the opinion that I won't be playing anyone near the strength of Botvinnik or Keres so what practical value is it to me.

As I said at the lower level Black tends to win from this position but I like and would prefer White here...

click for larger view

..not because of the two Bishops or what Botvinnik or Ivanchuk played. Both chose 7.e5.

I'm up for the very good looking pawn sacrifice 7.d4! as in

N H Hopewell vs K W Lynn, 1999

This is level where I swim, I can see some typical low level play.

White won but I can spot at least half a dozen better moves for White that really put the squeeze on or win outright. Black should never have got castled in that game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Today's tongue-in-cheek comment from Tarrasch seems a propos to this discussion:

<Chess is a terrible game. If you have no center, your opponent has a freer position. If you do have a center, then you really have something to worry about!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious

(do you sleep?)

Though tongue in cheek there are a lot Tarrasch quotes that are thought provoking.

Though not from Tarrasch (I'm not sure who said it) I like:

Chess is mad. You have to move your pawns to develop your pieces. Then your developed pieces have to protect the pawns that let develop.

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