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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Lubomir Kavalek
Hoogovens (1969), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-27
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Very exciting game and quite lucky draw for Lubos Kavalek. In the move 37 Botvinnik decided to go for perpetual, and that was quite pragmatic decision from his part as he was unable to find winning continuation over the board but cool-headed and quiet 37.Kh3!! with idea 37...Rh1+ 38.Kg4 h5+ 39.Kg5 Qd2+ 40.Kxg6 Qxg2+ 41.Kh7! (this really deserves diagram), or 38...Qh4+ 39.Kf3 Rf1+ 40.Ke3 Qf2+ 41.Kd3 (no more checks) 41...Qxg2 42.Qh8+ Ke7 43.Qxh7+ Kf8 44.Qg8+ Ke7 45.Qg7+ Ke8 46.Qd7+ Kf8 47.Bg4 (diagram no 2), or 37...Qe3+ 38.g3 Rh1+ 39.Kg2 Rg1+ 40.Kh2 Qf2+ 41.Kh3 Qg2+ 42.Kh4 Rh1+ 43.Kg4 Qh3+ 44.Kf3 Rf1+ (or 44...Qf1+ 45.Ke3 Qc1+ 46.Kd3 Qf1+ 47.Kc2 and white King escapes from checks via b3 to the shelter on the Queenside with easy win) 45.Ke3 Qh2 46.d6! Qg1+ 47.Kd2 Qf2+ 48.Kd3 Qf3+ 49.Kc2 Qf2+ 50.Kb3 etc.

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Also on the move 22 simple 22.Rf6 with fall of Pd6 would have won the game quickly without any complications, which white had to face in the game.

Jan-04-14  parisattack: Yes, Kavalek got lucky. He had apparently prepared an 'improvement' over a previous (1967) game Botvinnik won against Matulovic. Matulovic played 10....Nh5 and landed a passive position. Botvinnik in Best Games 1947-1970 after 12. ...Qe7 discusses the pros of Kavalek's improvement and concludes, "Alas, the open f-file has greater significance."

Botvinnil notes he intended 22. Rf6 but saw a followup in which black seemed to have counterplay and missed the 'prosaic' win.

Apr-03-14  Caissanist: Kavalek annotates this game in the Huffington Post, incorporating many of Botvinnik's notes:
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