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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Mikhail M Yudovich Sr.
USSR Championship (1933), Leningrad URS, rd 10, Aug-27
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian Variation (D96)  ·  1-0



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Given 19 times; par: 31 [what's this?]

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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I remember being very impressed by Botvinnik's notes to this game, particularly his demonstration that one weakness leads to another. As he explains, ...Nb6 is an error -- the knight winds up with no retreat from the square, and the queen and the other knight are tied down to its defense.

After 12...Qd6 13 Na2! prevents the exchange of queens and keeps black in knots. Black is finally driven to play ...f5 to free the d5 square for the knight.

The weakening ...f5 helps create the conditions for Botvinnik's attack on the king -- one weakness leads to another! Finally, 23 Bh5+ is a very pretty move, especially when all those tempting discovered checks are available. I think Yudovich resigned after the bishop sacrifice, rather than playing on to mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Another game on the same theme.

Peter Nielsen vs Timman, 2002

Feb-08-07  notyetagm: <keypusher: I remember being very impressed by Botvinnik's notes to this game, particularly his demonstration that one weakness leads to another. As he explains, ...Nb6 is an error -- the knight winds up with no retreat from the square, and the queen and the other knight are tied down to its defense.>

That's funny. I just won my Wednesday night league game by trapping a Black knight on h6 which had <NO RETREAT>.

Jun-08-09  ungeneral: Kxh5 24. Ng3+ Kh4 25. Qe4 1-0
Oct-02-09  Ulhumbrus: On 23...Kxh5 24 Ng3+ (ungeneral) not only checks the black King but discovers as well an attack upon the square g6 (the square which the Black King has just left) from White's Queen, and so prevents Black's King from going back to g6.
Dec-03-10  SoundWave: Herman Grooten gives a good explanation of this game in his book 'Chess Strategy for Club Players' pp. 275-278.
Jul-25-14  Pakla: Botvinnik shows his strength
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: If you must play 22...Kxg6 you might as well resign!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Of course no one wants to play 23...Kxh5
24.Ng3+ Kh4 25.Qe4+ and mate next move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The other Botvinnik vs. Mikhail games:
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got 21. Nh4, but I didn't anticipate 21...Qe7. I thought black might respond 21...Rg8/Rf2 or 21...Nd5. Black is a ♙ up, so he can give back some material in return for security. He doesn't have to take the ♘ on g6 if his ♕ isn't on e7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I know this game. No fun today.
Jan-22-16  stst: One line:
21.Neg5+ hxg5
22.Nxg5+ Kg8
23.Qxg6 Rf6
24.Qe8+ Rf8
25.Qxe6+ Kh8
26.Qh3+ Kg8

.... other variations possible,.... bed time!

Jan-22-16  diagonalley: <stst> i went similarly to yourself and didn't consider 21.N-R4 :-(
Jan-22-16  morfishine: I tried to win the Queen but it didn't work
Jan-22-16  gofer: The start is simple...

<21 Neg5+ ...>

I can't see black allowing white to keep its knight so easily, so I would guess the exchange happens immediately and be get a "knight-reloader", which is nice...

<21 ... hxg5>
<22 Nxg5+ ...>

Black cannot attempt to keep hold of Pg6, due to the mating threats on the h file. The only option is to move Bg7 and that allows white the chance to play Qh4+, Qh7+ etc...

22 ... Kg6?!
23 Qe4

<22 ... Kg8>
<23 Qxg6 Rf6>
<24 Qh7+ Kf8>

Now for the tricky bit we have only won two pawns for our knight, so we need to make the most of flushing the king into the middle of the board.

On thought is to make Qa3 regret the day she went into the fray leaving her king so unprotected with 25 Rc5! But I think that winning back the exchange or another pawn beforehand is probably sensible...

<25 Qe4 ...>

click for larger view

Hmmm, more difficult than most Fridays...


Ahhh, that would be why!

Jan-22-16  wooden nickel: I love the follow-up 23.Bh5+! ... I was fooling around with 23.Nd6+.
Jan-22-16  patzer2: My attempt at solving this Friday puzzle was 21. Nc5 .

Deep Fritz 15 gives 21. Nc5 as a second best move, which gives White a lasting advantage and winning chances after 21. Nc5 a4 22. Ra1 axb3 23. Nxb3 Qe7 24. Rxa8 Nxa8 25. Bd3 Nc7 26. Bxg6+ Kh8 27. Bd2 Nd5 28. Qc1 Qf6 29. Bb1 Rf7 30. Re1 Nf4 31. Qc2 Nf8 32. Bxf4 Qxf4 33. Ne5 Bxe5 34. dxe5 Kg8 35. Nc5 b6 36. Ne4 Qxe5 37. Qxc6 Qc7 38. Rc1 Qxc6 39. Rxc6 Bb7 40. Rxb6 Rc7 41. f3 Nd7 42. Rb4 Bd5 43. Kf2 Kg7 44. Kg3 (+1.42 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

The computer first choice is Botvinnik's 21. Nh4! Playing it out move by move with Deep Fritz 15 gives a best play continuation 21. Nh4 Rf5! 22.g4! (not 22. Nxf5? exf5 23. Nc5 Nd5 24. Ra1 Qb4 25. Bd2 Qxd4 26. Nxd7 Bxd7 27. Rxa5 Re8 28. Bc4 with much stiffer Black reistance) when play might continue 22... Rd5 (22... Rf7 23. Ra1 Qe7 24. Nxg6 Kxg6 25. Nd6+ Kf6 26. g5+ hxg5 27. Bh5 Nf8 28. Ne4+ Kf5 29. Nxg5+ Kf6 30. Nh7+ Nxh7 31. Qg6#) 23. Nc5 Nf8 24. Nxg6 Nxg6 25. h4 Nd7 26. h5 Ndf8 27. hxg6+ Kg8 28. Bc4 Qb4 29. f4 b6 30. Nd3 Qe7 31. Ne5 Bxe5 32. dxe5 Rxd1+ 33. Rxd1 Qh4 34. Qg2 Nxg6 35. Bd3 Kg7 36. Bf2 Nxf4 37. Bxh4 Nxg2 38. Kxg2 (+6.23 @ 20 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

For an improvement in Black's game, I'd start in the opening and replace the infrequently played 5...c6 with the much more popular move and computer choice 5...dxc4 = (0.11 @ 35 depth, Komodo 9.3) as in Navara vs A Giri, 2016.

Also, in place of 10...a5? allowing 11. Be3 , Deep Fritz 15 finds the Black improvement 10...e5! = when 11. a5? is met with 11...exd5 .

Jan-22-16  zb2cr: With respect to the follow-up moves shown grayed-out--I was reminded of the saying: "The laziest King flees wildly in the face of a double check." I think it was Tartakover who said that.
Jan-22-16  LoveThatJoker: I didn't get it today.


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The focus square in g6. The king is chased into the open and put in danger.
Jan-22-16  CanITakeThatBack: And if black’s next move was King x H5, then the continuation would be 24) Kg3+ Kh4 25) Qe4# right?

Also was 21) Qe7 black's best move?

Jan-22-16  Marmot PFL: Not surprised that white wins with a combination as f5 looks very dubious when black has such poor development. Found the knight sac but then didn't see Bh5+ unfortunately.
Jan-22-16  PJs Studio: Other than the fact every top GM knows this game by heart, I wonder how many of them would miss this combination? Maybe none, but my point is: Botvinnik is one of our greatest geniuses.
Jan-22-16  PJs Studio: I'm a fairly good tactical player and I simply cannot look at this position the way he did. I'm in awe.
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