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Samuel Reshevsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik
AVRO (1938), The Netherlands, rd 10, Nov-20
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Reshevsky Variation (E46)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-16-03  Green Bishop: There was a winning chance with 40. Be4. If then 40...Qxe5 41. Rxe8+, Kxe8 42. Bxc6+ winning.
Jan-27-04  iceysteps: Not much of a chance, even I wouldnt fall for that.
Nov-25-05  RookFile: I do think Reshevsky had a win somehow, but I can't remember what it's supposed to be.
Nov-26-05  sneaky pete: 37.exf6 Qxh7 38.fxg7 ..with 39.Rdxe8 .. wins (Euwe in the tournament book). After 37.Bc2 Ke7 38.Ra8 .. should still win (Euwe). Both players had very little time left for the last 10 or 12 moves.
Dec-31-06  Father Merrin 1: The simple 34.Bxc6 would have won easily. They really must have have been short of time to miss it.
Dec-31-06  euripides: <merrin> after <34.Bxc6> Bxc6 35.Rxf8+ Kxf8 how does White win ?

In his book with Keres on the middlegame, Kotov praises Botvinnik's play in this middlegame highly and suggests he missed something around move 30 - I think 30...Qc8 when <31.Red1 Rxe4 32.Bxe4> as in the game runs into 32....Qe6 33.Rd8+ Kf7.

Dec-31-06  euripides: Karpov vs Spassky, 1974 is an interesting companion piece - see <acirce>'s post about Botvinnik's comments on Spassky's play. Here we see Botvinnik handling the same structure thirty-six years before.
Jan-01-07  RookFile: I'm not sure why Botvinnik's play deserves so much praise, considering the fact that he ended up in a lost position.
Jan-01-07  euripides: Kotov's point - and it looks right to me - is that Botvinnik completely outplays Reshevsky here until the tactical oversight on move 30. I don't know a game where Black handles this structure better - Bobotsov-Petrosian and Portisch-Kasparov are the other two great classics.
Nov-05-07  RookFile: Well, euripides, it appears that Reshevsky himself felt that Botvinnik's play in this game was 'profound', and 'resourceful', according to Reshevsky's book of his best games which I picked up the other day.
Sep-27-09  WhiteRook48: 34 Bxc6 Bxc6 35 Rxf8+ Kxf8 36 Rd8+ Ke7 allows too much counterchances
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Hansen's book on the Nimzo Indian refers to 4 e3..c5 5 Ne2 as the Rubinstein variation and refers to 4 e3..0-0 5 Ne2 as the Reshevsky variation although Rubinstein was the first to play both lines. This was the first game where Reshevsky used the system named after him. 7..Nxd5 was a new idea; Botvinnik's explanation: "I knew my opponent was well acquainted with this system. I decided to exchange one pair of knights that would somewhat limit White's possibilities." Alatortsev recommended 14 f3..Re8 15 e4..dxe 16 fxe..Bg4 17 Qd2..Bf8 18 e5 with unclear chances. White got into troubles after 26 f4?; instead Reshevsky's recommends 26 Bf1..Ne5 27 Be2..dxe 28 Qxe4..Bd5 29 Qf4..Rde7 although Black is still doing well here. Botvinnik missed the winning 30..Qc8!: ie. 31 Red1..Rxe4 32 Bxe4..Bd5! (not 32..Qe6 33 Rd8+..Be8 34 Re1..Kf8 35 Kf2 and it is White who has the upper hand) 33 Bxd5..cxd 34 Rxd5..Qg4. In addition to the two missed wins by Reshevsky mentioned earlier in the thread there was also a third: had he played 38 Rb8 (or 38 Ra8) after the forced moves 38..f5 39 Bxf5..Qh5 he could have won with 40 Rb7+..Kf8 41 Be6 and there is no defense to 42 Rf1+. Despite the time pressure errors this is a really good game with a lot of interesting middlegame tactics.
Jun-20-13  marljivi: I believe that the best way for white to obtain his winning position would be 37.ef6!Qh7 38.fg7!Qg7 39.Rde8Qd4 40.R1e3a5 41.R8e4Qa1 42.Kg2Qb2 43.Kh3Qh8 44.Rh4 .Otherwise,it's hard to say,that Botvinnik really outplayed Reshevsky until the tactical oversight on move 30-first of all,black entered into these tactics already with 26...de4(if instead black waits here,the position is around equal),or at least with 27...Rd3(instead the "unconsistent" move 27...Rc7 probably still holds equality-in case of 28.Rad1 black has decent reply with 28...Qc8-white's dark-squared bishop is for now relatively weak,but so is black's knight on c4,which doesn't have a square to move,and white can get rid of his weak pawn on a3 by means of playing a3-a4),but after that black is already more or less obliged to proceed with 28...Rxc3(and then 29...Bf7),since he already is hanging on c6... So I really don't understand about what had Kotov been talking about?
Aug-25-14  RookedFileFan: After all the fine analysis provided Here by everyone I dare not offer any suggestions or comments.

Only to say this was one of the first master games I ever studied. And for forty years I remember it. I don't remember any game of Fischer, Morphy, Capablanca, or anyone else. Only exception is Lasker Bauer 1889.

How Reshevsky after being out played and crushed psychologically pulled himself off the floor after move thirty to gain a winning position is absolutely the most amazing thing of this game.

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