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Michael David vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Goliath and David" (game of the day Mar-04-2021)
11th USSR Championship Semifinal (1938), Leningrad URS, rd 5, May-25
Bird Opening: Buenos Aires Variation (A02)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White's only ambition in this game was a draw, which is not a big surprise considering Botvinnik's then statute of one of main contenders of the world champion title. By very cautious play he managed to hold the chance for a long time, reaching an equal ending with a Bishop and a Knight but there he was gradually outplayed. 34.a5 could have been better and also 39.c5 practically forcing 39...Na4 40.Nxa4 Bxa4 41.Ke3 with Bishop ending, which is aparent draw. A few slightly suboptimal moves of white were enough for Botvinnik to win the ending with ease. It was quite instructive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Honza: White's only ambition in this game was a draw....>

And, as so often in such situations, he did not achieve his aim.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: According to Michael David, this guy is still alive, aged 113.
Mar-04-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: The only online evidence of him is his Chessgames page, with games from that one tournament.

I'm also not sure what an Israeli born in Vienna would have been doing in a 1938 USSR championship tournament.

Mar-04-21  Brenin: Once he had established a distant passed pawn, after 34 bxc4, Botvinnik must have sensed that a win was possible. White didn't aid his cause by advancing his c-pawn without support from his K.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Cheapo> very odd. I couldn't get RUSBASE to load, which I think would have been definitive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Cheapi> it appears it was Daniel's decision to list place of birth as Vienna. I doubt he kept notes on original bios, but maybe.
Mar-04-21  Vermit: But in a David and Goliath encounter, it is not Goliath who wins
Mar-04-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: <OhioChessFan>,

Good call! seems to reflect that tournament, and can be compared with Game Collection: USSR Championship Semifinal, Leningrad 1938. There was no M. David in the tournament per RUSBASE, but there was a G. David who had the same record there as Michael David does here.

I didn't try to download and open the actual listing of game scores.

Mar-04-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: Hmm. That URL got broken up. Let me try again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: G. David? Any chance his first name is Goliath?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Wow, we're getting there:

#11173 for a discussion.

Mar-04-21  Jambow: <first name is Goliath> His friends colloquially refer to him as big Dave...

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