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Botvinnik 
 
Mikhail 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
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      13 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (89) 
    E40 E48 E24 E45 E23
 King's Indian (65) 
    E67 E69 E62 E60 E72
 English (52) 
    A16 A15 A13 A14 A10
 Queen's Gambit Declined (41) 
    D37 D31 D30 D35 D38
 English, 1 c4 e5 (37) 
    A22 A28 A26 A25 A20
 Slav (32) 
    D10 D13 D19 D14 D11
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (86) 
    C18 C19 C15 C05 C01
 Sicilian (61) 
    B63 B62 B72 B58 B27
 Ruy Lopez (47) 
    C98 C90 C92 C68 C82
 French Winawer (46) 
    C18 C19 C15 C17
 Nimzo Indian (45) 
    E34 E21 E33 E38 E22
 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 Chekhover, 1935 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Vidmar, 1936 1-0
   Botvinnik vs Keres, 1966 1-0
   Denker vs Botvinnik, 1945 0-1
   Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1941 0-1
   Botvinnik vs Alekhine, 1938 1-0
   A Yurgis vs Botvinnik, 1931 0-1
   Botvinnik vs Bronstein, 1951 1-0

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)
   USSR Championship (1931)
   USSR Championship (1939)
   USSR Absolute Championship (1941)
   Moscow (1935)
   USSR Championship (1945)
   USSR Championship (1944)
   Groningen (1946)
   Moscow (1947)
   USSR Championship (1952)
   Alekhine Memorial (1956)
   Moscow (1936)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   USSR Championship (1940)
   USSR Championship (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Botvinnik! by amadeus
   Mikhail Botvinnik's Best Games by KingG
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1940-1959 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   BOTVINNIK"S BEST GAMES VOL 1: 1925-1941 by Malacha
   GOOD STILL TODAY by Imohthep
   1d410's favorite games by 1d410
   botvinnik best games by brager
   Botvinnik's Best Games 1947-1970 by uglybird
   BOTVINNIK'S BEST GAMES: VOL 2,1943-1956 by Malacha
   Botvinnik's best games by HOTDOG
   Botvinnik "100 Selected Games" by uglybird
   Match Smyslov! by amadeus
   Botvinnik vs the World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   1d410's favorite games2 by 1d410

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 Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Botvinnik vs N Begunov 1-032 1924 Leningrad 2/3th catD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Botvinnik vs S Kaminer  0-141 1924 Training GameE90 King's Indian
3. S Kaminer vs Botvinnik 1-028 1924 Training GameD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. G Abramovic vs Botvinnik 0-132 1924 Leningrad jrE61 King's Indian
5. Botvinnik vs N Timofeev 1-023 1924 LeningradD26 Queen's Gambit Accepted
6. V Zbandutto vs Botvinnik ½-½43 1924 Leningrad 2nd catC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
7. Botvinnik vs I Folga 1-037 1924 LeningradA48 King's Indian
8. Botvinnik vs A Makhlin 1-028 1924 Leningrad 2/3th catC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
9. G Andreev vs Botvinnik 0-146 1924 LeningradE60 King's Indian Defense
10. G Abramovic vs Botvinnik 0-117 1924 Soviet UnionA80 Dutch
11. Botvinnik vs I Kalinin 1-029 1924 Leningrad 2/3th catC55 Two Knights Defense
12. V Miliutin vs Botvinnik 0-123 1924 juniorsD72 Neo-Grunfeld, 5.cd, Main line
13. Botvinnik vs A Zilberman 1-048 1924 Leningrad jrD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. B Rivlin vs Botvinnik 0-132 1925 Leningrad 1st catD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. A Veigert vs Botvinnik  0-155 1925 Leningradd catC88 Ruy Lopez
16. Botvinnik vs M Schebarschin 1-032 1925 Leningrad 1st catA50 Queen's Pawn Game
17. N Liutov vs Botvinnik 0-128 1925 Leningrad ttC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
18. N Proskurin vs Botvinnik  0-136 1925 Leningrad 1st catC90 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. K Nadporoshky vs Botvinnik 0-136 1925 Leningradd catC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. Botvinnik vs B Rivlin  1-033 1925 Leningrad 1st catD67 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line
21. Botvinnik vs B Rivlin 1-021 1925 Leningrad mD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. A Perfiliev vs Botvinnik 0-136 1925 Leningrad 1st catC56 Two Knights
23. G Jagdfeld vs Botvinnik 0-135 1925 Leningradd catD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. Capablanca vs Botvinnik 0-132 1925 Simul, 30bD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. B Yuriev vs Botvinnik 1-038 1925 Leningrad 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 60 OF 60 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: Problem is that in a lot of years there aren't many good matches. For example, the top match of 1970 is a training match between Bronstein and Korchnoi.

And speaking of that, I'm looking at their records now. I never before realized that Bronstein had such a healthy winning record against Korchnoi: +10-6=15. Come to think of it, those two have such interesting styles that I wonder why I never checked out their head-to-head games before?

Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: You'd think that Bronstein cleaned up in the early 50's when he was much better than Korchnoi. But no, going into 1960, their record was 1-1. And Bronstein went 9-5 over the next 10 years, when Korchnoi was surely better.
Dec-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Petrosianic> Bronstein was a kind of a mentor to Korchnoi during Korchnoi's adult time. This is what I heard from grape-wine:

Korchnoi, being 'Victor the Terrible' he is, was not paired with a steady mentor/trainer of his caliber. But Bronstein, who combined kindness, patience, chess intellect, and pedagogical smarts stepped into that role unofficially. The training match you are referring to was a part of that relationship.

A natural question to ask is, where was Bronstein during Korchnoi's push for the match with Fischer? In particular, where was Bronstein during the first Karpov-Korchnoi match? While Karpov always had the access to the best available seconds and analysts, Korchnoi did not.

Korchnoi's problem was, again, Korchnoi. In a huff, he let it be known, that he did not care if Karpov got all the choice resources, that Bronstein, who was supposed to cover the match as a chess journalist would unoficially step into that role for him. In turn, Bronstein was promptly sent off to cover some small chess event somewhere in Soviet hinterlands.

Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: Yeah, I've heard that story. Korchnoi got Bronstein in trouble through not being able to keep his mouth shut. Bronstein was one of the three Soviet GM's who didn't sign the letter denouncing Korchnoi when he defected (Botvinnik and Spassky were the others).
Dec-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Never heard that one on Bronstein, though he was constantly in hot water with the establishment.
Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: Korchnoi mentioned it in one of those big Tim Krabbe articles after he defected. So, Chess Life & Review, January 1977 or January 1978.
Dec-17-15  Olavi: <Bronstein was one of the three Soviet GM's who didn't sign the letter denouncing Korchnoi when he defected (Botvinnik and Spassky were the others).>

Gulko too. And if you want to be really precise, Karpov; but of course there was something separate.

Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: I thought Karpov did sign it.

I don't remember Gulko being mentioned. Either he did sign it, or he wasn't a GM at the time. I just checked his bio, and it says he became a GM that same year.

Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: Speaking of tournaments vs. Matches, I just checked the Top 5 results of 1968, and all five were achieved by either Korchnoi or Spassky.

For Korchnoi, it was two tournaments, Palma and Wijk aan Zee. For Spassky, it was his three Candidates Matches (and the top result was the Spassky-Korchnoi match itself).

Dec-17-15  Olavi: No, Gulko absolutely was a GM and didn't sign. Also Korchnoi in his 1977 autobiography states so. He then writes "However, I have eyewitness evidence to prove that at least one of them never actually saw the letter, and didn't know anything about it, but his signature nevertheless appeared below the document. In particular, it should be noted that this crude attack was not supported by Karpov."
Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: Okay, then maybe the magazine article was remiss in not mentioning him. I'll check it again.
Dec-17-15  Olavi: Gulko has been mentioned often in the context, and I now checked:

<Gulko, Boris; Felshtinsky, Yuri; Popov, Vladimir; Kortschnoi, Viktor (2011). The KGB Plays Chess: The Soviet Secret Police and the Fight for the World Chess Crown>

and Gulko writes that of the active GMs Bronstein and himself were the ones not to sign, and Spassky, already living in France.

Dec-17-15  Petrosianic: I'm pretty sure Botvinnik didn't sign either (although he wasn't "active" after 1970, so Gulko isn't wrong). Spassky was in France, and pretty safe from reprisals, while Botvinnik was Botvinnik, and could get away with things that other GM's couldn't.
Dec-17-15  Olavi: Botvinnik didn't sign, that's for sure. It's a pity Korchnoi doesn't seem to have named the GM whose signature was added without his knowledge.
Dec-17-15  Everett: <A natural question to ask is, where was Bronstein during Korchnoi's push for the match with Fischer? In particular, where was Bronstein during the first Karpov-Korchnoi match? While Karpov always had the access to the best available seconds and analysts, Korchnoi did not>

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.

Dec-17-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Everett> Interesting, thx!
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 !

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