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Alexander Kotov vs Max Euwe
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 19, Sep-07
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Saemisch Variation (D35)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-29-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: A dramatic last round finish to this great tournament. Going into the last round Botvinnik led Euwe by 1/2 point. Both of the tournament leaders had Black in their last game.

Botvinnik lost to Najdorf, giving Euwe his chance to tie for first or win the tournament outright.

At move 25, Black should have played 25...fxe6. Pachmann states that Black would then have no trouble holding the game.

Pachmann also stated that Kotov had indicated he intended to force a draw after 25...fxe6, by 26.Ne4 Rxb2 27.Nd6 Qxd6 28.Qxe8+ Qf8 29.Qxe6+.

As Pachmann stated about 25...Rxb2??; <"One of those moves that cannot even be explained by the player making them".>

Nov-30-06  nescio: <<Pawn and Two>: As Pachmann stated about 25...Rxb2??; <"One of those moves that cannot even be explained by the player making them".>>

Yes, by the time Euwe made his mistake, Botvinnik had already a lost game against Najdorf. The prospect of winning the tournament seems to have been to much for Euwe.

Besides 26.Qd8 which wins a piece, but leaves the knight stranded on d8, there was also 26.Qc8! which may be even stronger: 26...Rc2 (26...fxe6 27.Rxe6) 27.Kf1! Rxc3 28.Nc7.

Nov-30-06  Runemaster: <Nescio> Yes, 26.Qc8 was my move when I looked at that position. As you point out, though, after 26...Rc2 it requires White to find the right moves.

26.Qd8 was simpler. I like this sort of tactical idea - where an endangered piece (here the knight on e6) is "rescued" by a friendly piece (Qa8 - d8). The rescuer attacks an enemy piece (the Black queen on e7) that is forced to capture, which gives the endangered piece a safe square to move to in recapturing (Ne6xd8)

I'm not sure what this tactical idea is called. It doesn't appear very often, but is nice when you spot it.

Nov-30-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: Hasn't it been suggested that if Euwe had won this tournament, FIDE would have declared him world champion, rather than hold the match-tournament in 1948? Perhaps Kasparov mentioned this in one of his My Great Predecessors books. Does anyone know of a contemporary source for this idea?
Dec-01-06  Runemaster: <shalgo> I haven't heard that before.
Dec-04-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: I haven't had a chance to look through my books, but this web site (http://members.tripod.com/HSK_Chess...) mentions that the 1947 FIDE Congress had voted to name Euwe champion, but annulled its decision the next day, when the Soviet delegation arrived. If nothing else, Botvinnik's win in Groningen made the Soviet argument in 1947 much stronger than it would have been had Euwe won the tournament.
Dec-04-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: Okay, I have now found a source for this idea. According to a post at Edward Winter's web site (www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter08.html), Steve Giddins writes "when discussing Groningen, Kotov makes great play of the fact that, had Botvinnik not taken first place ahead of Euwe, the latter would almost certainly have been declared world champion by FIDE, without any match-tournament taking place. Kotov therefore argues that winning Groningen was an essential step for Botvinnik in securing the chance to play for the world title."
Aug-15-07  wolfmaster: Blunderific!
Jan-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Both the tournament book and Pachman are critical of 7 e3 but that is the most popular move. 10 Bd3 seems to be the move that allows easy equality; 10 Qc2 keeps some tension in the position. 16..f6 would have likely been good enough for a draw but that would not have served Euwe's purpose. 21..b6 would have been an improvement.
Feb-15-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < Runemaster: ...I like this sort of tactical idea - where an endangered piece (here the knight on e6) is "rescued" by a friendly piece (Qa8 - d8). The rescuer attacks an enemy piece (the Black queen on e7) that is forced to capture, which gives the endangered piece a safe square to move to in recapturing (Ne6xd8)

I'm not sure what this tactical idea is called. ...>

It is called an <offramp>.

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