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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Viacheslav Ragozin
Leningrad (1927), Leningrad URS, Jul-??
French Defense: Winawer. Advance Variation General (C16)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-31-13  TheFocus: From the Leningrad Tournament of Six.
May-15-16  CblP: What's wrong with Bxb4? positional disadvantages for black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Alphonse1973....Botvinnik, three years younger, was a genius: look at the score of his games with Ragozin: "Classical games: Mikhail Botvinnik beat Viacheslav Ragozin 39 to 3, with 25 draws">

Of their 67 games, the majority were played in training matches: Botvinnik never lost a 'serious' game to his long-time sparring partner.

Mar-13-18  Sourav: Why didn't white play 9. Nd6+ ?
Mar-13-18  ughaibu: This game doesn't seem to be from the Soviet championship of 1927: USSR Championship (1927) So what event was it from?
Mar-13-18  zanzibar: <ughaibu> RUSbase gives this xtab for the tournament:


Leningrad (Russia), 1927
Score Bo Ro Ro Pa Ra Yu Mo
1: Botvinnik Mikhail M (RUS) 4.5 / 6 XX 0= 1. 1. 1. 1. .. (+4 -1 =1)
2: Romanovsky Petr (RUS) 2.5 / 3 1= XX .. .. .. .. 1. (+2 -0 =1)
3: Rokhlin Yakov (RUS) 0.0 / 1 0. .. XX .. .. .. .. (+0 -1 =0)
4: Panchenko Nil 0.0 / 1 0. .. .. XX .. .. .. (+0 -1 =0)
5: Ragozin Viacheslav (RUS) 0.0 / 1 0. .. .. .. XX .. .. (+0 -1 =0)
6: Yuriev 0.0 / 1 0. .. .. .. .. XX .. (+0 -1 =0)
7: Model Abram (RUS) 0.0 / 1 .. 0. .. .. .. .. XX (+0 -1 =0)
7 games: +5 =1 -1


Too bad <CG> doesn't do verbatim formatting.

Mar-14-18  ughaibu: Thanks. That looks like a challenging game collection to construct.
Mar-14-18  zanzibar: <ughaibu> mostly it's just Botvinnik's games that got saved.

Given the language difficulties, if RUSbase doesn't have it, then it's really hard.

Actually, given RUSbase's completeness, if it doesn't have it, it's going to be hard/impossible to do better even if one does speak Russian.

Mar-14-18  Retireborn: The commercial (Convekta) Botvinnik database calls it "The tournament of six". It gives bracket dates June 26-August 1, and presents a complete crosstable showing Romanovsky first with an unbeaten 9/10, Botvinnik second with 7.5, and Model third with 5. It only has six Botvinnik games, including this one.

It does have two games against Panchenko, but attributes them to a different 1927 event, Moscow v Leningrad metalworkers, held in Moscow. It's possible that the Russbase guy is better informed, of course.

No explanation for the tournament of six (or seven!) is given, but I suspect that it may have been a qualification event for the 5th USSR ch (September 26-November 25 1927), given that the top 3 mentioned above were the ones who played there (and Romanovsky shared first place with Bogatyrchuk.)

Mar-14-18  zanzibar: <RB> as usual, a good lead, prompting me to look a little more into the matter.

<Convekta> is correct that there was a 6-RR2 (6-player, double RR) in Leningrad over the summer.

Botvinnik's <"Analytic and Critical Works (1923-1941)"> has some info:


In the winter and spring of 1927, I played only in team competitions (finished school). Then, when it became clear that sixteen-year-olds for exams in the Institute do not admit, returned to chess.

In the summer of the same year in chess club in the Palace of Labor there was a two-circle match-tournament six famous chess players. These were P. Romanovsky, S. Gotgilf [ed- Gotthilf], A. Model, Ya. Rokhlin, V. Ragozin and the author these lines.

For me, the competition had great importance, because In the autumn of 1927, the next, the 5th the championship of the USSR; in the case of a successful performances in the match-tournament I could be included in Candidate list of participants championship.

I spent the tournament with a big energy, lost the match only Petru Arsenyevich Romanovsky, the others won. Feeled I'm fine: I lived at the dacha in Sestroretsk (all the time on the beach), twice in week went to Leningrad, physical the state was excellent, head clear.


So, the tournament is worth noting for the important role it played in proving the then 16-year-old Botvinnik's competitive mettle.

Mar-14-18  Retireborn: <z> Of the Convekta databases I have, the Botvinnik one is probably the most detailed and accurate. ISTR it was the first one produced, may have had more enthusiasm put into it.

Those bracket dates are a bit surprising, but I suppose that qualification for the USSR ch was less formal then than it became later.

Mar-14-18  zanzibar: istr = I seem to remember - must be British

iirc = If I remember correctly - American?

* * * * *

<Those bracket dates are a bit surprising, but I suppose that qualification for the USSR ch was less formal then than it became later.>

I'm not sure what's surprising about them, perhaps you could elucidate?

I didn't really look at the dates at all, t4.

(t4 = tttt = to tell the truth)

Mar-14-18  Retireborn: <z> I will not conceal anything from you. I am indeed Brutish.

35/36 days to play 10 games seems a very relaxed schedule to me, but as I say things were perhaps less formal then.

Mar-14-18  zanzibar: <Brutish>?!

You've always stuck me as a fine gentlemen, but what do I know? Ha!

* * * * *

RE: Schedule

I see, I didn't even register the rate of play given the bracket. But I might suggest that the schedule had the games only on the weekends, allowing amateurs to work during the weekdays?

It's just conjecture, of course.

Mar-14-18  Retireborn: <z> Yes, that makes sense. It would be interesting to learn exactly when Soviet chess became more professional; possibly around the 1935 and 1936 tournaments, and partly due to Botvinnik himself, perhaps.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zed>, people can fool ya! (laughs)

<Retireborn>, in my opinion Krylenko's patronage contributed to this; in those days, there were very few 'non-ideological' activities and chess was one.

Mar-15-18  Retireborn: <perfidious> Yes, I remember seeing that name before, and according to my Hooper & Whyld he "may have done more than anyone else to popularize chess."

They are not entirely complimentary about him, of course.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Of course: then came Krylenko's own date with the executioner. Rather a nasty bugger.
Aug-23-18  Sourav: Why didn't white play 9. Nd6+ ?
Aug-24-18  Retireborn: <Sourav> After 9.Nd6+ Kf8 10.Bd2 fxe5 11.dxe5 Bc7! looks close to equality; the knight must exchange or retreat.

9.axb4 gives White a clear advantage; I assume this game is why 4...f6?! is not a regular line.

Aug-25-18  Sourav: <Retireborn> I will analyze your explanation. Thanks!!
Sep-29-18  Sourav: <Retireborn> Your explanation makes sense. Thank you so much!

Another question: Why didn’t Black play 9…Nb4?

Oct-21-18  Retireborn: <sourav> Sorry, only just noticed this.

9...Nb4 isn't addressed in my notes, but I suppose 10.Bd2 in reply would be an awkward pin for Black; White can follow up with 11.Nd6+ and the black bishop cannot easily get back to c7 because it has to defend the knight.

Nov-21-18  idigVampi: this game I have in a book I own.
It is titled "Botvinnik one hundred selected games". It has games from 1926-1946.It identifies the tournament as "tournament of 6, Leningrad".
Dec-23-18  Sourav: <Retireborn> I have been through your explanation and I understand it. Thank you!

For some reason, I am finding a little extra difficult to understand the moves in this particular game. I wonder why.

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