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Efim Geller vs David Bronstein
USSR Championship (1949), Moscow URS, rd 7, Oct-26
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik Variation (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: i don't know if the position around move 18. ... Ke7 is better for white, but it sure *feels* better for white :)
Jul-08-02  mprchess: White getting his king out early, while rooks are still on the board is pretty risky, though he was never in any danger. Hhmm... wierd.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: mpr, not that weird. Kings must have respect of a woman's wrath (the Queen) but there is usually no danger of getting mated by those roving rooks and bishops. (Of course it happens occasionally, and it's always a delight to witness.) The King is a very strong piece, they say its between a bishop and a rook in its power. It is crucial that one play with it, as soon as it is possible.

refutor, after ...Ke7 I would definitely prefer White, and here's why: First, Black has four pawn islands, White has two. White, temporarily, has better scope of his pieces. However, Black has that outside passed pawn... but Black has the wrong bishop (the dark squared one) to queen an a-pawn! So the a-pawn is, at best, a drawing resource, not a winning one. If White wanted to eliminate all Black pawns but the a-pawn, even at the expense of his own bishop, it would be a simple "book" draw.

Aug-31-05  Resignation Trap: Here's what Botvinnik thought about this game (from his red notebook on Bronstein): "The traingle and Scheltinga!!! [<RT> If this needs explanation, "the triangle" refers to the pawn formation after Black's third move here. "Scheltinga" is a reference to the variation employed in the early game T Van Scheltinga vs Gruenfeld, 1936 . We now call this the "Botvinnik Variation"] As soon as Geller employed the new move 8. Bxf6, 'Br' became completely rattled and began thinking only of a draw. Exchanged everything possible: two minor pieces, queens, both rooks and reached what was apparently a lost position. Had Geller played 34. c4, rather than 34. g5, things would have been tough for him. After 34. g5 it was a draw, although 'Br''s position hung by a thread.

Viacheslav Ragozin is right - 1) <he has no analytical systems>. He simply plays complicated systems aiming to confuse matters. 2) With Black always happy to draw. 3) Likes exchanges. 4) In time trouble makes errors."

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