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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Bent Larsen
Palma de Mallorca (1967), Palma de Mallorca ESP, rd 14, Dec-13
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: 21.Rd7?
For the winning method see Szabo vs N Padevsky, 1972.
Mar-31-05  RookFile: Thanks for the tip. Seems worth remembering, apparently this comes up a lot.
Dec-17-10  ColdSong: 21.Nf6!!? gf6 22.Qg4 Kh7 23.Be4 f5 24.Bf5 ef5 25.25.Qf5 Kg8 26.Rd7!!?. Amazing,but after 26...Be7(only move)I see no forced win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: How about the slightly different order 21. Nf6+ gxf6 22. Qg4+ Kh7 <23. Rd7>? I'm having a hard time finding a good defense to that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <beatgiant> In Botvinnik's annotations, he gives several missed wins, though I don't remember whether 23.Rd7 is one of them.
Dec-17-10  ColdSong: Well,21.Nf6!gf6 22.Qg4 Kh7 23.Rd7! and the game seems really over.Well seen beatgiant.Not tremendously difficult to see for an ex world champion,I suppose,and in the same time easy to imagine Kasparov playing these three moves tempo.Sad game for Larsen. Did he really think (with all respect for the warrior grandmaster)to become world number one playing this way?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: I think 16....Qa8? is where things to start to fall apart for black. It looks logical to reinforce the a8-h1 diagonal, but the queen just ends up too far out of play.

I was surprised by 25....Bh3 instead of 25....Bh1. I guess the point is that after 26.f3 Bxf3 27.Rxg7+ Kf8 28.Qb5, it's very hard to defend against 29.Qb4+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <This is a game that was reprinted round the world. Botvinnik writes:


"While Smyslov and I were in Mallorca, we judged our final results to be poor one of us should nave taken first prize instead of Larsen. However on returning to Moscow we were surprised to find that people were satisfied with our performance. They particularly satisfied with my game against Larsen although it really was a comedy of errors. I should remark here that it was very difficult to play against Larsen at the time as he had won game after game, and everybody trembled when faced with him. I don't frighten easily but involuntarily I began to try and guess what wonderful moves he would beat me with. And so when the real fight came, I didn't have enough time to work out the variations. I began to get nervous and on six separate occasions I missed a forced win."


BBG (1947-1970) G107 p220

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <perf> Botvinnik does comment at move 23, quoting a line from Shamovich (23.RxP+ ...),

<The decision of the practical player who prefers, given a shortage of time, a positional win to unclear complications. Once again, however, there was a combinational decision, discovered by Shamkovich: [...]

My positional line, was also sufficient to win as with such a powerful QB one can be confident of the outcome. Larsen now tried to save the game by getting opposite coloured bishops.>

May-11-17  Optimal Pieces: 34...Kd7 Played in time trouble.

["...Qd8 forces the exchange of queens, with a draw the most likely outcome." (Chess Training Pocket Book II by Lev Alburt, Al Lawrence)]

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