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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Salomon Flohr
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 6, Aug-15
Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"...Flohr had cagily observed that Botvinnik had won brilliantly against all the Russian-speaking players [at Nottingham] up to that point -- Bogoljubov, Tartakower, and Vidmar. Accordingly Flohr developed a simple defense: the day he was to play Botvinnik he would speak no Russian, although he has a Russian wife and his command of the language is excellent. Evidently Botvinnik got wind of Flohr's cunning maneuver, and set out to trap him.

"Along with the game developed another battle ow tis--could Botvinink induce Flohr to utter a Russian word on that fateful day?

"Flohr held out against the "threat" for a long time. He spoke only English, which he knew imperfectly, to Botvinnink, who understood nothing. Every once in a while Botvinnik ask some casual question in Russian or make some off-hand comment, and Flohr would doggedly reply in English. Flohr managed to get the better of the game, but he was so preoccupied with the "danger" that he let Botvinnik slip out.">

Reuben Fine, <Chess review>, December 1947, p. p. 10.

(just for clarification: Fine was not saying that Vidmar was Russian, only that he spoke the language.)

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