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Mikhail Botvinnik vs N Begunov
"Every Russian Schoolboy" (game of the day Jun-17-2005)
Leningrad 2/3th cat (1924), Leningrad URS
Queen's Gambit Declined: General (D30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-04  chess man: 13... QxB 14.Bxc6+ 14...Bd7 seems to hold. White wouldn't want to capture b7 with his bishop because black could take white's queen. 15.Bxb7?? 15...BxQ.
Dec-15-04  jesterco12: Even with 14...Bd7, the black king still ends up on that square after 15.Bxd7 Qxd7 16. Qxd7 Kxd7 so it might have been best to just take with his king and avoid all that.
Dec-15-04  chess man: The king lands on two different squares with your variation though <jesterco12> d7 and e7 are two different squares. When the king is on d7 (my variation) that leaves the e file open the rook. Your variation has the king on the e file preventing that. It would wate a tempo to move the king to the d file. But you can also look at it the other way. But in this position I think the king is more valuable on the Queenside but that's really a matter of opinion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: With 13...Qxe7 14. Bxc6+ Bd7 15. Bxd7+ Qxd7 16. Qxd7+ Kxd7 17. Kd2, White is a pawn up with a protected passed d-pawn, and the ending looks close to winning for White.
Dec-16-04  chess man: Yes. Perhaps you are right<beatgiant> But mabey black could hold. But since he's playing against Botvinnik probaly not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: After 13...Kxe7, Black's position is bad enough too. But he should not have allowed White's rook to c7 with his 17...Qf6?

A tougher defense is 17...Kf8 18. Qxh7 Qe5. Play might continue 19. Rfd1 Be6 20. Qh8+ Ke7 21. Qh4+ Kf8 22. Qb4+ Kg8 23. Qxb7 Rdb8, and Black is still fighting.

Jun-17-05  fgh: How old was Botvinnik when this game was played? He must have been pretty young by then.
Jun-17-05  iron maiden: He was born August 17, 1911, so that would make him twelve or thirteen at the time of this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Supposedly Botvinnik didn't learn to play chess until he was 13. This game is not bad for somebody who couldn't have been playing for more than four months.
Jun-17-05  JohnTal: A wonderful strong effort by young Mischa - full of energy, aggressive attacks on both sides of the board for maximum complications - a warning to future wannabe WC's and others who are not of Botvinnik's caliber.

Quite a strong performance at 12 - 2 pawns up and resignation in 30 moves.

Jun-17-05  PaulLovric: <ironmaiden> i was born on the 17th of the eight, i'll be waiting for my gifts
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulgrow: I'm wondering about the "Every Russian Schoolboy" title for the game. I think I remember reading there was a famous game where somebody said "Every good Russian Schoolboy knows to recapture with the pawn." Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Is this that game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I've heard it before myself in different context, "Every Russian schoolboy knows not to block his c-pawn with a knight." Where did this chess-idiom start?
Jun-17-05  arielbekarov: It's interesting to observe Michail Botvinnik's style in this game. He plays here in a way that one might think of a coming wizard instead of the very scientific player that he together with Wihelm Steinitz became one of the greatest representative of.

Is there any opinion here on what might have determined his positional style rather than what he shows in this game. For me Botvinnik is one of the most complete players of all time, but it is his absolute impeccable logic which strikes me the most.

Was there people in USSR who supported this trait rather than talent in him?

What about my thought that there might have been persons who didn't want the "degenerating capitalistic hazardous" style to represent the young Soviet state when it was obvious that Botvinnik would become their foremost representative. At the same time there was a keen understanding for the nature of children in the revolutionary socialist state, but I would be happy to hearing all your opinions about what made Michail Botvinnik to the specific scientific player who promoted the word analyse more than anything and anybody else. I should include J.R.Capablanca who in my opinion is one of the greatest scientists in chess as well born with a natural talent like the one of W.A.Mozart and like the composer knew his own genious very well. Capablanca told us to study the endgames and analyse, especially, our defeats.

The world of chess had been and was during these years before WW I and the 1920ies dominated by many great personalities. Players like Schlechter, Rubinstein, Nimzowitch, Réti, Breyer, Lasker and Capablanca are the foundation of modern chess based on the ideas of Philidor, Morphy and Steinitz. Their way of playing and how to approach chess must have had a strong impact on the teenager in USSR. Botvinnik was also a great admirer of Paul Morhpy and strongly accentuated Morhpy's exceptional positional skill. In this way the American genius could perform his tactical blows who until today are outstanding. All according to Botvinnik, who also said that if Michail Tal, but I am not quite sure how he put it into words, would have worked on his positional skill, Tal would have been impossible to beat! I believe Botvinnik! Tal was unbelievable!

Just two comments!
1924 was the year when Lasker won the legendary New York tournament ahead of among others another coming worldchampion from Russia called Aljechine.

Noteable in comparison with this
Botvinnik-game are the ones by the young Capablanca, who very early featured his own tremendous style.

All this might be interesting having in mind this particular game from 1924.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Sneaky: ... "Every Russian schoolboy knows not to block his c-pawn with a knight." Where did this chess-idiom start?> Certainly not with that truant Chigorin. :-)
Jun-17-05  Runemaster: <Gypsy> <Certainly not with that truant Chigorin.> LOL
Jun-17-05  Ezzy: <sneaky - "Every Russian schoolboy knows" - Where did this chess-idiom start?> Actually I think <acirce> started it, on june 25th 2004 - Z Mestrovic vs Gligoric, 1970 :-)

Seriously though, It seems to be a quote of Botvinnik's after these moves - 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e4 0–0 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 e5 8.d5 c6 9.0–0 Nh5 10.Qc2 Ndf6 11.Nd2 Ng4 12.Nd1?! f5 13.exf5 Bxf5?! - Botvinnik once boasted that “every Russian schoolboy” knows that the proper recapture in such a position is 13...gxf5, giving Black control over the e4 square so that White cannot use it for a minor piece.

Since then, this quote now seems to be used almost universally, when explaining dodgy moves.

Jun-17-05  arielbekarov: I must speak a little bit against myself
after having looked at the game once more.
Botvinnik plays very positionally with very exact exchanges and this rather predicts his positional future style. The positional play in this game
is just with wide swipes and swings!
The game is a very good and promising
start, but I know the history
after this one!
Jun-17-05  crumpy: After move 13...Kxe7, black got into problems because he could not castle. Every time I have played a game of chess when a person has not castled, they lose the game because it is so easy to force the King out into the middle. Although after move 15, where black tried to double up on the d file, it was useless because white opened up the c file with 16.d5 and also white's pawns and bishop covers the square which black is trying to move his queen onto. Move 17. Qh4, nice idea to try to make a skewer but I think that black's reply should have been 17...f6 so black's king can protect the g pawn and try to trap white's queen. Move 18. Rc7+ is a good move, where white is coming around the back. Black's reply, 18... Kf8 was not a good move bacause white's queen takes the pawn on h7. However, I think black should have replied with 18...Rd7. I know that it pins the rook but it forces white's Rook to accept the exchange or to move away. If black then moves away, the initiative comes to black which is exactly what black needs at the moment. If black exchanges, then white's bishop develops a square and then black's rook has freedom across the 8 column. 19. Qh6 is a good move., trying to get one move ahead of white's plans.

Eventually the exchange which I was talking about earlier happens in move 22. Move 24, good idea for white trying to get rid of pieces and pawns for a sound endgame. Black declines exchange because it needs as many pieces as possible but loses a pawn. Good discovered attack on move 27 by white. Finishing off going into a strong endgame. Black has no chance and therefore resigns. Well played White.

Jun-17-05  chesswonders: So what is it about "Every Russian shool boy" ? May be <> can give the best answer.

<ariel>, I really appreciate your very informative and unique posts. I take the complete benefit out of them!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White gains two pawns-then proceeds to thrash opponent with them.
Jun-17-05  arielbekarov: <chesswonders> Thank you for your very encouraging words! I am happy if someone finds them worth reading and even benefit from them. But I am more of a seeker than a knower, but I try to gain knowledge. So I wish that some people could share their opinions about my thoughts. I am especially interested in Botvinniks admiration of Morphy and his idea about him as a strong positional player. It makes perfectly sense to me. Schlechter with his marvellous tactics is based on his very strong positional play. It's sad that he didn't become World Champion. He really deserved it!

There is another thing about Botvinnik
that creates questions in me;
what did he focus on in his first years?
Who was his masters in USSR?
I will ask these questions again
on the Botvinnik column.

Jun-17-05  Clutch: Good game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Couldn't resist a long look with the Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nc6> Obstructing the advance of the Black c Pawn cannot be good. <4. cxd5!?> This is the only game with this move in the Opening Explorer, and perhaps deservedly so. A solid alternative here is the book response 4. Nc3 as in Gligoric vs A Planinc, 1965 <4...exd5 5. Nc3 Bb4!?> Offering up the dark squared Bishop weakens Black's Kingside. Perhaps a better idea is 5... Be7 6. Qb3 Nf6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. e3 Na5 9. Qc2 c6 10. Bd3 h6 11. Bh4 Nc4 12. O-O Re8 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Bxc4 dxc4 15. Ne4 b5 16. Nxf6+ Qxf6 17. Rfe1 Bf5 =. <6. Bd2> Worthy of consideration is 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 <6... Nf6 7. e3 Ne4 8. Nxe4 dxe4 9. Bxb4 exf3 10. Ba3 fxg2 11. Bxg2 Ne7 12. Qa4+ c6 13. Bxe7 Kxe7> Not 13... Qxe7? 14. Bxc6+ Bd7 15. Bxd7+ Qxd7 16. Qxd7+ Kxd7 and Black has dropped a pawn with bad endgame prospects. <14. Rc1 Qd6 15. O-O Rd8 16. d5!> This strong clearance sacrifice (i.e. pawn gambit) gives White the advantage and a strong initiative. <16...cxd5> This is forced as the alternatives 16... Bd7 17. Qe4+ Kf8 18. Qxh7 and 16... Kf8 17. dxc6 bxc6 18. Rfd1 Qe7 19. Rxd8+ Qxd8 20. Qxc6 are even worse for Black. <17. Qh4+> A good alternative here is 17. Rfd1! Bd7 18. Qh4+ Qf6 19. Qb4+ Ke8 20. Rxd5 Bc6 21. Rdc5 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Qe7 23. Qg4 Rd6 24. Rc7 Rg6 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. Rc7+ Kf6 27. Qxg6+ Kxg6 28. Rxb7 <17... Qf6 18. Rc7+ Kf8?> Black has drawing chances after 18...Rd7 19. Rxd7+ Bxd7 20. Qb4+ Qd6 21. Qxb7 Rb8 22. Qxa7 Rxb2 . <19. Qxh7 Qh6?> This appears to be the decisive mistake, missing Black's last apparent chance to hold the position with 19... g6! 20. Rfc1 (20. Rd1 Be6 21. b4 (21. Rxb7 Rdb8 22. Rxb8+ Rxb8 23. b3 Ke7 = ) 21... d4 22. e4 a5 23. b5 Rac8 24. Rxb7 Bxa2 25. f4 Bb3 26. Rf1 Qg7 27. Qh3 a4 28. e5 Kg8 29. Bc6) 20... Rb8 21. Qh6+ Kg8 (21... Qg7? 22. Rxf7+! Kxf7 23. Qf4+! Ke8 24. Qxb8 ) 22. Bxd5 Rxd5 23. Rxc8+ Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Rxd8 25. b3 Qb2 26. Rc7 Qxa2 27. Qh4 Rb8 28. Qc4 Qb1+ 29. Kg2 Qf5 30. Rc5 b5 31. Qd4 Qe6 32. b4 a6 33. Rd5 Re8 34. h3 Qc6 = <20. Qxh6 gxh6> Now with three isolated pawns to target, it's just a matter of technique for White. <21. Rd1 Rd7 22. Rxd7 Bxd7 23. Bxd5 Rb8 24. Bxf7 Ke7> No help for Black is 24... Ba4 25. Rd4 Kxf7 26. Rxa4 Rg8+ 27. Kf1 a6 28. Rd4 Ke6 29. f3 Ke5 30. f4+ Kf5 31. Rd6 Rc8 32. Ke2 <25. Bd5 b6 26. Rd4 Kf6 27. Bb3 Bf5 28. Rf4> This wins, but perhaps even stronger is 28. Rd6+! Ke5 (28... Kg5 29. f4+ Kh5 30. Kf2 Rb7 (30... Kh4 31. Rxh6+ Kg4 32. h3#) 31. h3 Bxh3 32. Kg3 Bg4 33. Rd5+ Bf5 34. Rxf5+ ) 29. Rxh6 <28... Kg5 29. Bf7 Rc8 30. h4+ Kf6 31. e4 Kxf7 32. Rxf5+ 1-0> With two connected passed pawns and a won endgame in sight, White forces Black's resignation.

Jun-29-05  Clutch: Oh yeah oh yeah pray for bottyvinick
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