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Alexander Alekhine vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 5, Aug-14
Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Classical Variation (B72)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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  chancho: <Earth to chancho...Karlsbad is in Czechoslovakia!!! which was occupied by the Nazis at the time.>

Ok... we all make mistakes.

Karlsbad is an administrative area in the district of Karlsruhe, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Karlovy Vary generally known in English as Carlsbad

<I know it's hard for people of your limited intelligence to read but what part of "Hungary was an Axis power" didn't you understand???>

Have you been residing in Ed Trice's arse and then evicted by any chance?

May-31-10  BobCrisp: Carlsbad 1929 was Nimzowitsch's greatest tournament victory: <;
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli>

<Wasn't Groningen 1946 his only international tournament of the period? He won the tournament, but lost 3 games and seems like he had several other shaky ones. I think <keypusher> recently pointed out his faulty strategy against Christoffel. It might be interesting to examine his games in the tournament and see if the his quality of play measures up to his boast.>

They don't count as international tournaments, but I would think the 1941 "Absolute Championship," Smolensk 1943, the 1944 and 1945 Soviet championships, and maybe the Chigorin Memorial would all be stronger top to bottom than Groningen. Then there is the 1948 championship itself.

Jun-01-10  Calli: <keypusher> Mainly just want to know if the games of this period display his supposed dominance. A quick look through his Groningen parties didn't indicate such, but it was admittedly a cursory look.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli> To me if a guy wins every event he plays in over a multi-year period against very strong opposition, he's dominating even if he gets lucky occasionally. But I suspect we would find Groningen was an outlier for Botvinnik in the 40s. If so, I don't know if it was the inconsistency that plagues all mortals or nerves at the first big postwar international tournament. He always struck me as psychologically fragile, though he seems to have convinced the chess world and even himself that he was an iron man.

This whole topic reminds me of Lasker in the 1890s. If you look at the Nuremberg tournament book, you realize that Tarrasch had a point with his silly <Einfluess des Glucksfactors> -- Lasker really did win five games he should have lost. His other wins at Nuremberg were a mixed bag -- some crushes against the bottom of the field, fine wins over Steinitz and Blackburne, a dodgy game against Marco, and a walkover against Tarrasch himself.

Lasker's other tournaments from the era weren't like that, though. He would generally have about one swindle per tournament, but in a 15 or 30 round event that is not a surprise. Mostly he just beat people up.

I suspect that is what we would find if we really examined Botvinnik's games from the 40s. But it would be interesting to check. In particular, he ran huge risks to win with Black (the Christoffel game is a good example).

Jun-01-10  Olavi: I don't have the Nürnberg book at hand, but I'm pretty sure that it was Schröder, the club chairman, who wrote the prose bit including <Einfluess des Glucksfactors>
Jun-01-10  morfishine: In my view, your metric-basis is flawed if you think it was so terrible to play in chess tournament(s) in Nazi-territory. A chess-player has to make a living, and afte-rall, its just chess no matter where you play it. What IS serious are allegations that a person authored anti-semetic articles or voiced same. That's a whole different metric. Playing chess in Nazi territory? what...Writing articles? now that concerns me (a-lot more than any proximity basis)...In any case, Alekhine never wrote those articles (as they finally appeared). He did comment within a Nazi document...a document which was conveniently altered, by who else, the Nazi's. Alekhine was a tragic case, but he was no anti-semite...just look at his serious relationships from friends to spouse. And leave poor Euwe alone, he was just another broke chess-player caught up in the war.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <morfishine> They found the manuscripts of the six anti semitic articles written in Alekhine's handwriting among his wife's effects in 1956.
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  keypusher: <Olavi: I don't have the Nürnberg book at hand, but I'm pretty sure that it was Schröder, the club chairman, who wrote the prose bit including <Einfluess des Glucksfactors>>

Well, that's a bummer. Wish I could get my hands on an original (my copy of the tournament book is a translation that doesn't include the chart or, presumably, anything else Schroeder did).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <keypusher> I have a copy of the 1974 BCM reprint of the original 1896 Nuremberg tournament book. If there is some specific information that you need, perhaps I can provide it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Pawn and Two> Thanks, very kind. What I really want to do is read it! I suppose I could get the translation, but I'd like to get the original. I keep expecting it to show up on Google Books, but it hasn't.
Jun-02-10  Olavi: Keypusher, I have a reprint of the original. I'll check the matter.
Jun-02-10  sarah wayne: A number of observers would question
many of Botvinnik's so called successes.Claiming that soviet controlled players were ordered to lose to him because he was the ultimate good commie.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <olavi> Looks like sneaky pete posted the relevant Schroeder excerpt on the Lasker vs Chigorin, 1896 page, which is certainly a good place for it.
Jun-03-10  Olavi: keypusher, that's it, and also a little critical text analysis could have shown that Tarrasch couldn't have been the writer - he never referred to himself in the third person singular.
Jun-03-10  Marmot PFL: Botvinnik played 4 mini-matches (5 games each) in 1948, the results being -

defeated Euwe (2W, 0L, 3D)

defeated Reshevsky (3W, 1L, 1D)

defeated Smyslov (1W, 0L, 4D)

defeated Keres (4W, 1L, 0D)

(Notice that Botvinnik's results against the 2 Soviet players are the same as against the 2 western players - 5W, 1L, 4D)

This suggests he would probably have defeated Alekhine after 1940, considering the latter's poor health (died in 1946).

Up until 1936 though, Alekhine was possibly too strong and Botvinnik lacking top level experience.

In the late 30s it would have been a tough match to call. Probably I would bet on the younger player in a long tough match. In the games they did play Botvinnik had a small plus.

Jun-03-10  Petrosianic: <This suggests he would probably have defeated Alekhine after 1940, considering the latter's poor health (died in 1946).>

I don't know how Botvinnik's results in 1948 can tell us at what point he passed Alekhine, or how you arrived at the date of 1940.

Jun-03-10  Marmot PFL: By 1940 Botvinnik had beaten Alekhine in individual play, and also finished ahead of him in tournaments. Alekhine turned 48 in 1940, which is not the best age for improved results. See for instance Psychology in Chess, The Link Between Age and Success by N. Krogius. Or, in Alekhine's Best Games 1938-45, Ch. Alexander admits that Alekhine was no longer as strong as in his peak years(1922-1937) but that his best games are still creatively excellent. It's only that those masterpieces are less frequent and the lapses between them more common with age.
Jun-03-10  morfishine: <chancho> I place little weight on any manuscripts. He states he was forced to write certain articles that were subsequently "enhanced" by the Nazi's. I believe him in his interview. In his position, he was doing anything to keep his hope's alive of leaving Europe and re-uniting with his wife (who happened to be Jewish). Those papers must've been dear to her as it shows what lengths AA would go (to be with her). I don't believe he was an anti-semite; and I'm not a huge Alekhine fan, I just try to sift out the truth. But, to each his own. I like Morphy
Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <chancho> <morfishine> What clinches it for me is that he boasted of the anti-semitic articles in the spanish press in 1941, presumably when he didn't expect he'd ever have cause to regret writing them.

His wife wasn't Jewish, and I find it implausible that the Nazis would have messed with the articles anyway. Why would they care?

Oct-18-14  TheFocus: "On the whole, a grossly overrated game," -Wolfgang Heidenfeld.
Sep-01-18  1d410: Stockfish suggests after Nb4 instead of pushing the pawn, which doesn't work, slowly manouevering and improving the bishop prophylactically with 12.Be3! and after h5 13. a3 hxg4 15. Bg2! white is a pawn down but his pieces are monsters and there is a dangerous kingside pawn attack. I would rate the ensuing position even higher than the computer does (white is slightly better) Still, Naka can play the Dragon better than Botvinnik and has proven it is a reliable resource even at the top... I think Fabi may train with NAka and use it at the championship if he wants to attack with black, as I would advise
Oct-28-20  MateoLeFou: <1d410> you mean 12.Bf3 right? typo?
May-13-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 20. Kd2 Bh6+ 21. Ke2 Qxg4+ leaves black three pawns up since white cannot hold on to his f-pawn:

22. Kf2 Qxb4 23. fxg6 Qh4+ 24. Kg1 Be3+ 25. Kg2 Qh3#

22. Ke1 Qxb4 23. fxg6 Qh4+ 24. Rf2 Be3

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