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Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik 
 
Number of games in database: 1,183
Years covered: 1924 to 1983

Overall record: +568 -138 =464 (68.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 13 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (89) 
    E40 E24 E45 E48 E23
 King's Indian (64) 
    E67 E69 E60 E62 E72
 English (52) 
    A16 A15 A13 A14 A10
 Queen's Gambit Declined (41) 
    D37 D31 D35 D30 D38
 English, 1 c4 e5 (37) 
    A22 A28 A25 A26 A23
 Slav (32) 
    D10 D13 D19 D14 D11
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (86) 
    C18 C15 C19 C05 C01
 Sicilian (61) 
    B63 B62 B72 B58 B27
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C98 C90 C92 C68 C82
 Nimzo Indian (46) 
    E34 E33 E21 E38 E26
 French Winawer (46) 
    C18 C19 C15 C17
 Caro-Kann (40) 
    B12 B18 B19 B10 B15
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Portisch, 1968 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Vidmar, 1936 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1935 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   Denker vs Botvinnik, 1945 0-1
   A Yurgis vs Botvinnik, 1931 0-1
   Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1948 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Keres, 1966 1-0
   Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1941 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)
   Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951)
   Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954)
   Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Return Match (1957)
   Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Rematch (1958)
   Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1960)
   Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Return Match (1961)
   Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Leningrad Championship (1932)
   Moscow (1935)
   USSR Championship (1931)
   USSR Championship (1939)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Absolute Championship (1941)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Moscow (1947)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   Groningen (1946)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Budapest (1952)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Botvinnik! by amadeus
   Match Botvinnik! by chessgain
   Das Schachgenie Botwinnik (Suetin) by Chessdreamer
   Mikhail Botvinnik's Best Games by KingG
   BOTVINNIK"S BEST GAMES VOL 1: 1925-1941 by Malacha
   GOOD STILL TODAY Compiled by Imohthep by fredthebear
   GOOD STILL TODAY by Imohthep
   1d410's favorite games by 1d410
   Selected Games (Botvinnik) by Qindarka
   Botvinnik's Best Games 1947-1970 by uglybird
   botvinnik best games by brager
   BOTVINNIK'S BEST GAMES: VOL 2,1943-1956 by Malacha
   Botvinnik's best games by HOTDOG
   Half a Century of Chess (Botvinnik) by Qindarka

GAMES ANNOTATED BY BOTVINNIK: [what is this?]
   Robatsch vs Botvinnik, 1962

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Mikhail Botvinnik
Search Google for Mikhail Botvinnik


MIKHAIL BOTVINNIK
(born Aug-17-1911, died May-05-1995, 83 years old) Russia
PRONUNCIATION:
[what is this?]
Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik was born in Kuokkala, near Viipuri (Today, Vyborg) in what was then Finland. He was raised in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He learned the game early and progressed rapidly, winning the 1st of his 6 USSR Championships in 1931; the other 5 victories were in 1933, 1939, 1944, 1945 and 1952. He also won the Leningrad tournament of 1934, the Absolute Soviet Championship in 1941, and the Sverdlovsk super tournament of 1943. Other significant achievements include equal first with Salomon Flohr in Moscow 1935, 2nd at Moscow 1936 behind Jose Raul Capablanca, equal first with Capablanca at Nottingham 1936, 3rd at AVRO 1938, and first at Groningen 1946 before playing for the World Championship in 1948. He also won the Tchigorin Memorial tournament of 1947 and came equal first with David Bronstein in the Alekhine Memorial of 1956.(1)

With the death of Alexander Alekhine in 1946, the FIDE saw its chance to take control of the World Championship and invited six players to take part in a tournament to determine the championship. With Reuben Fine declining the invitation to play, Botvinnik won it ahead of Vassily Smyslov, Paul Keres, Samuel Reshevsky, and Dr Max Euwe in the quintuple round robin FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948). He retained the crown in 1951 against David Bronstein when he tied the match, by winning and drawing his last two games. He again retained it in 1954 against Vasily Smyslov by again drawing the match, however Smyslov turned the tables in 1957 by wresting the crown from Botvinnik. At the time, a defeated champion was entitled to a return match the following year and so in 1958, Botvinnik defeated Smyslov in a return match. Likewise, after losing to Mikhail Tal in 1960, Botvinnik defeated him in a return match in 1961. He lost the title for the last time to Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian in 1963. FIDE had eliminated the return match and so Botvinnik chose to retire from world championship play.

Generally regarded as the Patriarch of the Soviet Chess School, his style was based on rigorous opening preparation, deep calculation, and accurate endgame technique. Students of his school include Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and many more.

Live footages of Botvinnik from 1933-1963 starting at the following link: Mikhail Botvinnik.

Special edition of This Week in Chess devoted to Botvinnik and his career, assembled by Mark Crowther soon after Botvinnik's death in 1995: http://www.theweekinchess.com/html/...

Wikipedia article: Mikhail Botvinnik

(1) Crosstables of competitions mentioned in this paragraph are successively linked at [rusbase-1], [rusbase-2], [rusbase-3], [rusbase-4], [rusbase-5], [rusbase-6], [rusbase-7], [rusbase-8], http://www.worldchesslinks.net/ezig..., [rusbase-9], [rusbase-10], http://www.worldchesslinks.net/ezig..., http://www.worldchesslinks.net/ezig..., [rusbase-11], and [rusbase-12]


 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,183  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Botvinnik vs I Folga 1-0371924LeningradA48 King's Indian
2. V Zbandutto vs Botvinnik ½-½431924Leningrad 2nd catC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
3. G Andreev vs Botvinnik 0-1461924LeningradE60 King's Indian Defense
4. Botvinnik vs A Makhlin 1-0281924Leningrad 2/3th catC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
5. Botvinnik vs S Kaminer  0-1411924Training GameE90 King's Indian
6. V Miliutin vs Botvinnik 0-1231924juniorsD72 Neo-Grunfeld, 5.cd, Main line
7. Botvinnik vs I Kalinin 1-0291924Leningrad 2/3th catC55 Two Knights Defense
8. G Abramovic vs Botvinnik 0-1171924Soviet UnionA80 Dutch
9. S Kaminer vs Botvinnik 1-0281924Training GameD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Botvinnik vs N Begunov 1-0321924Leningrad 2/3th catD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Botvinnik vs A Zilberman 1-0481924Leningrad jrD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Botvinnik vs N Timofeev 1-0231924LeningradD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
13. G Abramovic vs Botvinnik 0-1321924Leningrad jrE61 King's Indian
14. B Rivlin vs Botvinnik 0-1321925Leningrad 1st catD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. B Rivlin vs Botvinnik 0-1431925Leningrad ttC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
16. Botvinnik vs B Rivlin  1-0331925Leningrad 1st catD67 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
17. Botvinnik vs N Liutov 1-0341925RussiaA46 Queen's Pawn Game
18. N Proskurin vs Botvinnik  0-1361925Leningrad 1st catC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. N Liutov vs Botvinnik 0-1281925Leningrad ttC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
20. A Veigert vs Botvinnik  0-1551925Leningradd catC88 Ruy Lopez
21. A Perfiliev vs Botvinnik 0-1361925Leningrad 1st catC56 Two Knights
22. Botvinnik vs B Rivlin 1-0211925Leningrad mD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. K Nadporoshky vs Botvinnik 0-1361925Leningradd catC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. J Dobropistsev vs Botvinnik 0-1351925Leningrad 1st catC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
25. B Yuriev vs Botvinnik 1-0381925Leningrad 1st catD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,183  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Botvinnik wins | Botvinnik loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 61 OF 61 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-18-15  sneaky pete: My guess is that Botvinnik didn't sign that infamous letter, not so much out of respect for Korchnoi, but mainly because of his dislike for Petrosian, who no doubt initiated and wrote the wretched thing.

The "Letter of Grandmasters", published in Petrosian's weekly <64>, 1976 issue 38, page 2, was signed by Averbakh, Antoshin, Balashov, Beliavsky, Boleslavsky, Bondarevsky, Vaganian, Vasiukov, Gaprindashvili, Geller, Gipslis, Gurgenidze, Gufeld, Kotov, Krogius, Kuzmin, Lutikov, Petrosian, Platonov, Polugayevsky, Romanishin, Savon, Smyslov, Suetin, Taimanov, Tal, Tukmakov, Flohr, Furman, Kholmov and Tseshkovsky.

Karpov didn't sign it, because he had his own letter on the same page of that same issue of <64>. "The decision of V. Korchnoi to betray the Fatherland has deeply touched and saddened me. [...] I share the indignation of the Soviet society regarding the unworthy behaviour of Korchnoi and support the decision of the Soviet Chess Federation to strip him of his sporting titles and deny him the right to represent the Soviet Chess School in the international arena."

The bio here states Gulko gained the GM title in 1976. Shortly before this letter was published, he played in th Biel Interzonal. No doubt he was asked to sign, but refused. Another GM that didn't sign was Lilienthal, who returned to Hungary that same year.

Dec-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Everett
Concerning the 1974 match: Bronstein writes quite a bit about this match in Secret Notes. He actually helped Korchnoi to prepare from games 19-21 (+2 =1). Some of the help Korchnoi was supposd to receive mysteriously disappeared once the match started... And just as mysteriously, Korchnoi no longer wanted help from Bronstein, save for long walks and chats not even concerning chess, after game 21. Bronstein also wrote, when making general suggestions to Korchnoi before the match, that Korchnoi should play the French since Karpov "did not know how to play against the IQP" when he stuck with the Tarrasch 3.Nd2 response.>

Very interesting -- Karpov played some famous games with 3.Nd2 before the match, and I would have thought he was really strong against the IQP. Evidently Bronstein saw deeper.

Dec-18-15  BUNA: <sneaky pete: My guess is that Botvinnik didn't sign that infamous letter, not so much out of respect for Korchnoi, but mainly because of his dislike for Petrosian, who no doubt initiated and wrote the wretched thing.>

I'd doubt that Petrosian initiated the letter. Soviet officials weren't keen on grassroots action in such politicized matters. The letter came from the soviet chess federation or the sports committee. It was publicized not only in "64", but also in the general sports paper "Sovietsky sport".

Dec-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BUNA: <sneaky pete: My guess is that Botvinnik didn't sign that infamous letter, not so much out of respect for Korchnoi, but mainly because of his dislike for Petrosian, who no doubt initiated and wrote the wretched thing.> I'd doubt that Petrosian initiated the letter. Soviet officials weren't keen on grassroots action in such politicized matters. The letter came from the soviet chess federation or the sports committee. It was publicized not only in "64", but also in the general sports paper "Sovietsky sport".>

I believe Petrosian was editing "64" at the time. He wasn't exactly grassroots.

Dec-18-15  BUNA: <keypusher: I believe Petrosian was editing "64" at the time. He wasn't exactly grassroots.>

And Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam is the editor of "New in chess". ;) Korchnoi seems to blame Baturinsky and Averbakh, both chief executives of the soviet chess federation at the time. > http://www.litmir.co/br/?b=188044&p...

Maybe sneaky pete mixed up the "open letters". In 1974 after losing his match to Karpov Korchnoi in some interview to the soviet press complained about the chess federation backing Karpov. In an "open letter" some grandmasters rejected Korchnois explanation for his defeat. That's the one that Petrosian allegedly initiated, at least according to Korchnoi. Compared to the other letter this was a minor matter.

Dec-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BUNA> Thanks, you are clearly more knowledgeable about this than I am.
Dec-18-15  Everett: <Very interesting -- Karpov played some famous games with 3.Nd2 before the match, and I would have thought he was really strong against the IQP. Evidently Bronstein saw deeper.>

It is easy, and prudent, to not completely trust Bronstein in some areas, but regarding chess itself he seemed pretty spot on most of the time.

Dec-18-15  Petrosianic: <BUNA>: <I'd doubt that Petrosian initiated the letter.>

So would I. Korchnoi's defection was an enormously big thing. Comparable to Solzhenitsyn, or even worse. Korchnoi was a household name in a country that was so big on chess. There's no way that the official response to his defection came from some magazine editor.

Dec-19-15  Howard: Still remember Korchnoi's making the cover of "Chess Life and Review" in September, 1976! It also made Page 2 of our local paper when that happened.

No small thing !

Mar-09-16  socratos: he is better when playing english opening. but the best game is against capablanca match.
Jun-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <..he is better when playing English opening...>

Botvinnik was better when playing any opening.

Aug-17-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Mikhail Botvinnik.
Oct-20-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Everett: <Very interesting -- Karpov played some famous games with 3.Nd2 before the match, and I would have thought he was really strong against the IQP. Evidently Bronstein saw deeper.> It is easy, and prudent, to not completely trust Bronstein in some areas, but regarding chess itself he seemed pretty spot on most of the time.>

LOL, yes, I agree! Bronstein in "chess itself" seemed pretty spot on <most> of the time.

Seems to be a common theme amongst those folk contending for the Chess World Championship, IMO.

Dec-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Sting

Russians

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHy...>

Dec-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <"Slightly shortsighted, [Botvinnik] stoops over his score sheet and devotes his entire attention to recording the move in the most beautifully clear script; one feels that an explosion would not distract him and that examined through a microscope not an irregularity would appear. When he wrote down 1.c2-c4 against me, I felt like resigning. " --- C.H.O'D. Alexander >

A great quote of the day. But it had to be <1... c7-c5> that occurred on the board; those two never opened with 1.c4 but played the Sicilian twice.

Dec-22-16  Nerwal: <But it had to be <1... c7-c5> that occurred on the board; those two never opened with 1.c4 but played the Sicilian twice.>

C H Alexander vs Botvinnik, 1936 (with the quote in descriptive notation)

Mar-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I don't know if this has been posted before, but it's some glorious old footage - with a heavy Soviet CCP slant (e.g. May Day parades with tanks, etc.).

Still Botvinnik is featured, as may be other notables:

<A film about chess "Thirteen Champions">

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uik... (ru)

(You can use CC and auto-translate to get a rough idea of the narration)

Mar-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <zanzibar> Wow! You find so much great stuff. Thank you for sharing.
Apr-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here, by the way, is a better version of Botvinnik's picture:

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/n...

We can see that the cg photo is reversed. The Getty site says the picture is from Moscow in 1951, but I assume that's incorrect. I would guess the game was played sometime in the 1950s in the West, perhaps at the showroom of a rug merchant. But I can't identify the game.

Apr-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: There are some Soviet publications in the foreground, too.
Apr-04-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <keypusher> an eagle-eye would have noticed the left-most square being white in the <CG> photo, indicating the photo was reversed.

The big pile of magazines are "Chess in the USSR".

(Шахматы в СССР aka Shakhmaty v SSSR)

Not sure what the other periodic is though. Probably could date the game from the periodicals though.

I had a hard time getting a clear view of the high resolution image with all the embedding. Here it is:

http://media.gettyimages.com/photos...

The caption locates the date and place - Moscow 1951.

Let me see if I can use the doubled-pawns on the c-file (and maybe the rook on h2) to find the exact game with SCID:

Nope - no luck.

That configuration of White pieces (P/c4,5,f3,g4; R/h2; K/e4) doesn't show up in <MB> or <RUSbase>.

Might be a practice game. It doesn't look as if they were recording the moves, right?

.

Jun-22-17  GM Igor Smirnov: Mikhail Botvinnik was the World Champion for about 13 long years, and there are definitely a lot of things that one can learn from him. Learn the "Botvinnik’s winning method" now - http://chess-teacher.com/affiliates...
Jun-22-17  Howard: Speaking of Botvinnik, Short has a column about him in the latest issue of NIC (#4). Just came in the mail today.
Jun-22-17  morfishine: Whats incredible is that Botvinnik lost the title twice and re-attained it twice

What persistence!

*****

Jun-25-17  Howard: Short definitely didn't approve of that, though !
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