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Samuel Reshevsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 12, Aug-24
Dutch Defense: Classical. Stonewall Variation (A95)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-06  Maynard5: White's thrust on the king side with 24. g4 looks unnecessarily complicated, and gives Black counter-chances. On the other hand, with 24. Nd4, a6 25. Rfc1, White would rapidly obtain a decisive positional advantage.
Jan-05-10  AnalyzeThis: The g4 idea was a common one, Petrosian made a living with that idea. I don't know that 24. Nd4 a6 25. Rfc1 is decisive - one detail is that black is ahead a pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AnalyzeThis>
Agreed, Black has the pawn and he also has the e5 square, which often allows Qe5 or Ng6-e5. Maybe even 24. Nd4 Qe5 is possible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Indeed, pending computer evaluation, this looks like one of those games where the harder the players fight, the more drawn it becomes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Note that White moved his queen's rook twice: 26. Rbc1 and 28. Rcf1. If he had skipped the extra rook move (i.e. <26. Rf4> instead), the game line would no longer work for Black.

Can anyone suggest why he might have played the extra rook move?

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <beatgiant>, I noticed the extra Rook move too, and my best guess is that Reshevsky might have entertained notions of forcing through the move c5-c6. Botvinnik seems to have taken it seriously as he withdraws the Bishop to a very passive square to preempt the thrust. Then Reshevsky switched targets and focused on the f5 pawn the Bishop abandoned. But this wasn't much of a problem as ...Qd7! defends the pawn, guards against c5-c6, and attacks the d5 pawn. But if Reshevsky hadn't played Rc1, then Botvinnik would not have had to play ...Be8.

At least, those are my guesses. These gents are playing far above my paltry level of comprehension.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <An Englishmen>
What does ...Be8 contribute to guarding against c5-c6? I may be missing something, but I don't think that pawn push looks like a serious threat anyway.

Against the attack on the center pawns, ...Be8 defends the f7 rook (preventing e.g. 30. Bxe4) and prepares the counter-attack on the d-pawn. So it's not clear to me that Black avoids playing it if White tries 26. Rf4.

<my paltry level of comprehension> Seeing as you're a retired titled player, this must be my cue to say, "What rot!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <An Englishman> I hope we do find the purpose of the extra rook move. Otherwise, we may soon see a long and fruitless discussion here about whether <Reshevsky gave Botvinnik odds of pawn and move> ;-)
Jun-20-13  marljivi: Why Reshevsky played the extra rook move on move 26? Well,most probably he didn't like the fact that in case of 26.Rf4 black can reply with 26...a5.Now after 27.d6Qf6? 28.Qf6Rf6 29.Be4a4 (Not 29...Ne6? 30.Bb7Nf4(30...Rb8 31.Bd5 )31.Bc8Ne2 32.Kf2Bc8 33.Ke2 ,or 32...Nc3 33.Bd7Nb1 34.c6 .) 30.Bb7ab3 (30...Rb8? 31.Na5 ) 31.Bc8Bc8 (31...ba2? 32.Ra1Bc8 33.Ra2Bd7(33...Ne6 34.Ra8Nf4?? 35.d7! )34.Ra6Ne6 35.c6Bc6 36.Rc6Nf4 37.d7Rf8 38.ef4Kf7 39.Rc8 .) 32.ab3!?Bd7 33.Rf2...(33.b4!?)33...Ne6 34.Rc2Bc6 35.Ra1Rf8 36.Ra6Rc8 37.gf5gf5 38.b4 white is relatively close to winning,but black can play instead of 27...Qf6? the move 27...Qe8!? with unclear battle.So that probably it's better for white to play instead of 27.d6 the move 27.Rc1!? and after 27...a4 28.Nd2 he still has the advantage (possible further manouver is Nf1-Ng3 and so on),but Reshevsky probably didn't want to allow black to advance with his a-pawn all the way to a4.In any case-deciding between 26.Rf4 and 26.Rbc1 during the game is a hard work.
Jun-21-13  SimonWebbsTiger: Alekhine is not really helpful on the points raised in various posts here, the notes aren't very deep, even though his book of the tournament is considered a classic!

He did think 24. Rfc1 Qe7 25. Nd4 was the "logical sequel" to 19. f3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 8 Rb1 was a new movethat has not acxhieved much popularity. 9..Qh5 turned out to be a waste of time. 13..Ncxc5 14 Nd1!would have worked to White's advantage. Reshevsky's pawn sacrifice 19 f3 led to interesting play; the alternative 19..exf 20 Rxf3..cxb 21 Qb3..Bd7 22 Nf1..Bg5 23 Rf2!..Bxe3 24 Nxe3..Qxe3 25 Re1 followed by Bxd5 would have been winning for White.

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