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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Nikolay Tikhonovich Sorokin
USSR Championship (1933), Leningrad URS, rd 12, Aug-29
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 1 more Botvinnik/N Sorokin game
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <patzer2: Instead of resigning Black might should have tried the tricky 12...Qb6!? > Good find, thanks!
Aug-26-14  Nick46: Yay, for the sacrosanct first coup. The week begins on a good footing (2 feet).
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Nice to be back in the land of the living... ...i.e. High Speed Internet...

This one cropped up in Ray Keene's column in the Times quite recently, so nothing for me to do today.

Aug-26-14  Refused: Typical Nimzo-indian tactic is pending.

For the moment black can answer 12.Qa4+ ideas with the 12...Nc6

Let's remove the defender first.

12.Bxb8 now Black's best try is probably 12...Bxc3+ but to say it with Gertrude Stein.

<A piece is a piece is a piece.>

Aug-26-14  Chess Dad: It took about a minute or two.

I was thinking, if only if it wasn't for the Knight, I could play Qb5+ and take the loose Bishop.

Ah. I can take care of the pesky Knight.

12. Bxb8 Rxb8 13. Qb5+ Bd7 or ♕c6, or king move 14. Qxa5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <patzer2> That's a great spot. With best play, black doesn't lose a piece in today's puzzle. White still wins, but not in the simple Tuesdayesque fashion that we might imagine.

Picking up your line after 12...Qb6 13. Bb5+ Bd7 14. Bxd7+ Kxd7 15. Qxd5+ Kc8, we get to here:

click for larger view

Now white has a choice. He can either save his Bb8 or do something about black's threat of Bxc3+ and Bxa1. My Fritzie wants to save the bishop but he thinks that Ne2 or Kf2 are also fine (more than +2).

White ought to win because of his extra pawn. His king will also be safer than black. But it isn't quite the opening blunder-piece drop - resigns - that I had thought it was.

Good call!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think that ♗ x ♘ on its home square early in the game is almost always a bad move. It's rare that it works out, like in this game.

White misses a trick in Tartakower vs Capablanca, 1924.

Aug-26-14  zb2cr: Thought process: "12. Qa4+ doesn't look like it works, due to 12. ... Nc6. Piling up on the pinned Knight with 13. Bb5 afterward looks too slow. Wait a minute, though: What if I play 12. Bxb8. Now, he doesn't have the Knight, so if he recaptures, I still win a piece."

And then there's <patzer2>'s not-quite-cook of the problem, Well done, sir!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <zb2cr: Thought process...>

Maybe, but considering it's Botvinnik, it's probably: "Huh? Is this a trap? No. Gobble the piece." All in a fraction of a fraction of a second.

Aug-26-14  Chess Dad: <Patzer2: Black might should have tried the tricky 12...Qb6!?>

Yes, good find.

Personally, after <Once's> position, I'd rather try 16. Ne2 Rxb8 17. 0-0 and although the material is close to even, the White King is safely castled, while the Black King has been exposed and it would take quite a lot of time to make him safe again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Easy, once you realize that you are not looking for mate but only decisive material advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: These puzzles are so easy and hard at the same time. Unfortunately, I missed 12.Bxb8, although in general, one shouldn't exchange a developed piece for an undeveloped piece. Here, it's an exception.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lighthorse: I came to the solution in a strange way. At first I thought this might be some classic game I had seen a few times where white checkmates by castling queenside and, if the white bishop is on g5, then Rd8#.

Going for some position like this:

click for larger view

But that black bishop on a5 was a problem, and I couldn't see a way to get to the above position, so I spent a little time thinking of Qb5+ to get rid of the bishop from the original position and it hit me to take the b1 Knight first.

I didn't see <patzer2>'s response. Great find on a tricky try at defense!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Once: ... White still wins, but not in the simple Tuesdayesque fashion that we might imagine.>

I nominate <Once> for the Best Made Up Word Award! Best evah.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <patzer2> nice. This is really a very complicated sacrifice by White.

I wonder if Black saw it before resigning. Probably not.

After 12.Bxb8 Qb6 13.Bb5+ Bd7 14.Bxd7+ Kxd7 15.Qxd5+ Kc8 16.Bg3 Bxc3+ 17.Kf2 Bxa1 18.Ne2

click for larger view

White is actually down in material, N for R.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the possible quick win of the bishop. Then I saw the intermezzo that allowed the fork to "take"

12♗xb8! ♖xb8 13 ♕b5+ ♗d7 14 ♕xa5 steals a bishop!

Aug-26-14  BOSTER: < patzer2: instead of resigning>. In the real game , when you <blunder >a piece, your <mental resources > and < fighting spirit> decrease more than a value of the piece.
Aug-26-14  HaydenB: How many people play through the moves first before trying to solve the puzzle? I always play through the game in order to see the buildup of the position and possibly spot what the GM is trying for. Unless it's a Monday puzzle where the tactic can usually be spotted instantly.
Aug-26-14  JimNorCal: Allow me to join the bandwagon of praise for patzer2! "This is not the Tuesday puzzle your granddad used to solve."
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Ice f4 mate b8 flow to de frag on hive light,

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Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: "Remove the only possible defender" theme.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Wwiteshark><Once><Chess Dad><Zanzibar><JimNorCal> Thanks for taking the time to look at and appreciate the swindle possibilities after 12...Qb6!?

As you saw 12...Qb6!? 13. Bb5+! wins for White. However, it's not so easy. For example after 12...Qb6!? 13. Bb5+! Ke7 (diagram below)

click for larger view

White has to find yet another difficult continuation with 14. dxc5! Qxc5 15. Be5 to preserve a clear winning advantage.

I suspect if I had faced 12...Qb6!? I would've gone for 13. Qxb6?!, hoping for 13...Bxb6?? 14. Bg3 but missing 12...Qb6!? 13. Qxb6?! axb6! =.

Aug-26-14  JimNorCal: <patzer2> notes above that it is even more complicated than he first analyzed.

Perhaps we will see this puzzle again later this week? :) I think it has been demonstrated that this could run again as a Thursday, Friday or even Saturday puzzle?

Chess is, indeed, a rich source of intellectual stimulation!

Aug-26-14  jdc2: Here's another one along similar lines, White to move and win the bishop:

click for larger view

Aug-26-14  dufferps: As a habitual "piece grabber," 12.Bxb8 was my chosen move at that point. White at that point has won a piece, and black's best move is to move his King so that 13.Qb5 will not be a check,

I would have enjoyed seeing how Sorokin would have played it out, but he correctly resigned . My opponents would never resign at that point; still too much room for blunders,

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