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Miguel Najdorf vs Alexander Kotov
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 12, Sep-19
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-11-05  DAL9000: From move 35 on, why is the Nb6 verboten? I just don't see what happens if White takes it.
Oct-11-05  Runemaster: <DAL> If 35.cxb6 Nxc1+.

I agree, though, that it's not clear why not 37.cxb6. There might be something wrong with the score of the game. Or we might both be missing something.

Premium Chessgames Member Look again. The answer was found in the alternate game score we had on file.
Oct-11-05  Runemaster: <> The score has been corrected now, hasn't it? With Black having doubled rooks on the 'c' file, if 37.cxb6 Rxc2.

In the game score as it was before, the second Black rook was on e8 not c8. I thought I was seeing things for a moment there.

Thanks, <>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This was the only one of his 14 Whites at the tournament where Najdorf played 1 e4; he was hoping Kotov would play the Najdorf Sicilian. After 15 minutes thought Kotov responded instead with the Caro Kann; it was the only time in the tournament that he didn't play the Sicilian. The modern way to play this line is to play 6 h4..h6 so that when Bd3 is played Black has to exchange to avoid his kingside pawn structure from being wrecked. 13..c5 was new; 13..Nf8 had been played in Lundin-Kieninger Munich 1941 (White won). After 18 b4 White had the tangible if small advantage of of a queenside majority while Black had little active counterplay. It was a little surprising that Kotov was so agreeable to a queen exchange as endgames favored White with the extra pawn on the queenside. With moves 29-32 Kotov aggressively lashed out on the kingside creating positional weaknesses; 29..Rd8+ offering a repetition would have been sounder. 33..Nf6 keeping an eye on the d5 square would have been a better defense than Kotov's 33..Ne5?!. Kotov lost at once after 35..Nf4+? apparently overlooking the sho 37 Nxe4. 36..Kf7 would have held out longer though after 37 g4 White would have been much better.
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