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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Grigory Levenfish
"Chain Of Command" (game of the day Jan-19-2021)
Moscow (1935), Moscow URS, rd 5, Feb-21
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Mannheim Variation (D23)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-11-05  WorldChampeen: School of Soviet Chess calls this a Catalan I believe, I've looked to see if it occurred in any other games, it always impressed me in this game, that Botvinnik when faced with his gambit pawn being taken with 2. ...dxc4 sent the Queen out, 4. Qa4+ to reclaim it, one of the lesser popular manners of doing so, almost making it the Scaredy Cat gambit...
Apr-11-05  maoam: <WorldChampeen>

The Catalan was invented by Tartakower, it's characterised by 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3. This is just a QGA.

Apr-11-05  WorldChampeen: The Soviet School book does NOT call it a Catalan, I did not mean to mislead anyone on that, it is in that book. I will study it up.
Apr-11-05  weirdoid: I don't know which one is the bigger mistake by black, making the sequence of moves which allow 14. d5 or allowing e4-e5 and d5-d6 afterward. What happened afterward only tells how much torture the black player was willing to endure IMVHO.
Nov-04-09  Plato: 29...bxa3? made White's job much easier. After 29...a5 it's still not easy to break through because all the key points on the a-file could be controlled (after...Bb6). Still, the position was highly unpleasant for Levenfish right out of the opening.

A convincing positional crush by Botvinnik, who shows how powerful an extra central pawn can be.

Oct-24-17  Toribio3: Powerful pawn chain was created by Botvinnik, excellent game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: One of the best GOTD picks in the past lots of months.

[x] Botvinnik

[x] Levenfish

[x] Good game, indepentently from the actual players

[x] The pun is the title of one of my all-time favourite Star Trek TNG episodes (that was actually a two-part episode)

Spectacular job! Thank you very much!

Jan-19-21  Brenin: Good choice of GOTD. Stockfish gives White only marginally ahead until move 30, but Black's position must have been miserable to play after 15 e5 and 16 d6, and there was never much doubt about the eventual result.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: dominance, the black Bishop does not have a square to go to on the board.

What if Black plays g4 to open things up?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is MMB at his best. Grigory Yakovlevich was no woodpusher to be crushed easily, and in fact he had very decent lifetime score against Botvinnik, but here he had no chance practically from the opening being all the time on ropes. In 1930s and in 1940s Botvinnik played many games, which looked so onesided like this one.
Jan-19-21  Ironmanth: Nice instructive play by Mikhail here! Thanks, chessgames. Y'all stay safe out there today.
Jan-19-21  dhotts: Black's problems stem from his poor opening play where he moves his knights for no purpose and delays development of his BSB, waiting until move 13...e6. Simple development would have given Black a better game. This must have been some sort of experiment by Levenfish against a young Botvinnik.
Jan-19-21  RookFile: I love Botvinnik's pawn chain from h2 to d6 at the end of the game.
Jan-19-21  thegoodanarchist: As Peter Leko would say, MB probably took time to enjoy his position
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Bovinnik was a great player. By results and length of time as WC he was about 3 after Lasker and Capablanca. His play was very practical and often in his notes he admits his errors if they happen.

Here his plans went well. The pawn chain is instructive

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