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Ilia Kan vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Kan Do" (game of the day Oct-22-2007)
Moscow (1935), Moscow URS, rd 13, Mar-05
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Main Line (C29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <stanleys, eyalbd>: You're right. So how could he have played so badly?

Note that Kan moved his ♕ five times in the first twelve moves.

Oct-22-07  stanleys: <al wazir:> I have read a book written by Kan in which he was very critical about his queen's moves in the opening

His comment after 11...Bxc2 - "Clear refutation of white's plan.Black is pawn up and has a good game

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <stanleys>: Black moved his ♘s more than white moved the ♕. I especially don't like 15...Na5. ("Knight on rim leads to trim.")

I think 25...Rd7 was almost as bad as 21...Qxc3. Black's last chance to save the game was 25...Kd7.

Oct-22-07  sfm: 21.-,Qxc3 was the fast way out, but Black already has severe difficulties. The white pieces dominate the King's wing, and make it hard to see how Black should counterattack there. But for White it is easy. The black pawn on a6 is a terrible weakness. White can double rooks on the b-file, threatening Rxb7 and Bxa6. What is Black to do?
Oct-22-07  Marmot PFL: Looks crazy to open so many files to his own king. Botvinnik usually had a good sense of danger too. He won the tournament anyway along with Flohr (half a point ahead of Lasker) and was awarded the GM title (USSR GM as this was before FIDE).
Oct-22-07  sfm: <last chance: 25...Kd7> A slim one, though. In the position after e.g. 26.Ba5,Qc8 27.Bxa6,bxa6 28.Rb6 I'd resign.
Oct-22-07  sfm: <stanleys: I have read a book written by Kan ... 11.Bxc2 ..Clear refutation of white's plan.Black is pawn up and has a good game> Please tell us where he says Black goes wrong first time after this.
Oct-22-07  kapustka: 7 Qb5
Looks like an opening trick. Maybe there is a way to punish white for such early Queen development ?

7 ... Nc5
Botvinnik played this as only one option to prevent white from Qxb7. I don't like it anyway. It moves knight out of great central position and will cause problems in development. In that situation i would consider aggressive response to aggressive white play:

7 ... Bc5
It seems that black is ready to ride unprotected white knight with Queen supported by f5 bishop and e4 knight. The only piece that prevents that is f3 knight. Bc5 leads to piece sacrifice for that defender

8 d4 Bxd4
9 Nxd4 ...

Now black is ready for attack
9 ... Qh4+

And here is small move that prevents all Qf2 trouble
10 g3

so 7 ... Nc5 seems like good continuation with smart 8 ... a6

Oct-22-07  kapustka: I think it was black mistake to move 12... Bf5 followed by 13... Be6. I don't understand whats wrong with e4 tile for that bishop.

Making such two moves gave a tempo and leaving b1-h6 diagonal made white development easy. Especially on king side.

Oct-22-07  RookFile: Well, if he want 12....Be4, the reply is 13. Ng5, forcing ...Bg6, then comes 13. Bd3 with the idea of 14. 0-0.

Apparently, black then does best with 13.....Qe7, blocking in his f8 bishop, so that he can play ...Nd8.

It would be a hard position for both sides.

Oct-22-07  xrt999: < al wazir: I especially don't like 15...Na5. ("Knight on rim >

On the other hand, 13.Nh4 forces black to castle queenside in an open game. Good move by white. Black probably would have like to be castled kingside but with the knight on h4 its difficult if not impossible.

Oct-22-07  old coot: <Kapustka: 7.Qb5 looks like an opening trick> Opening explorer indicates that this is the move in most of the games. According to it, black erred with his 9th move, which should have been Ne6.
Oct-22-07  kevin86: could the following paradox apply? Botvinnik may have been the only player skilled enough to blow this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I would've said Kan moved his Queen too many times... but then he won, didn't he?
Oct-22-07  Marmot PFL: More info Moscow 1935, including crosstable and games to download.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Marmot PFL> Apart from the tournament crosstable you ( inadvertentally ) wound me.

Game Collection: Moscow 1935


Oct-22-07  Marmot PFL: <Benzol> That's excellent how you linked all the games so you can follow it round by round.
Oct-23-07  kapustka: RookFile, my friend, thanks for answer. Now I see that Be4 would be mistake because of incoming white kingside attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Marmot PFL> There is a collection compiled by <RonB52734> which indexes many tournament collections by a number of kibitzers. I don't know if you're aware of it but see

Game Collection: 186 Major Chess Tournaments 1882-2007

May-04-08  Whitehat1963: Tuesday puzzle after 25...Rd7 closes out Botvinnik in one of the Player of the Day's best performances.
Sep-17-09  WhiteRook48: Botviinik Kan't win
May-05-13  Articcircle: An interesting idea for black was 8.-Ld3!? For example 9.Lxd3-a6 10.Dxc6 bxc6 11.dxc5-Lxc5...and whites position looks passive.
Dec-17-17  Albion 1959: A bad day at the office for Botvinnik. It happens sometimes/even to a strong GM and a patzer like me !
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9..Ne6 had been played by Blackburne in an 1889 game; 9..Ne4 was new. Pachman recommended 20..Be7 when White remains with insufficient play for the pawn. 21..Qxc3 is a really hard move to understand; Black could still have defended with 21..Be7.
Nov-11-23  sudoplatov: According to Stockfish, 21...Qc3 just loses. It has the game nearly here. Black starts out ahead but SF sees it being frittered away. (21.., Qc3 is just the syrup on the shortstack.)
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