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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Isaac Boleslavsky
USSR Absolute Championship (1941), Leningrad- Moscow URS, rd 11, Apr-11
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System (C07)  ·  1-0



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Given 22 times; par: 127 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-07-05  Shams: <keypusher> you *just* squeaked in ahead of me.
Jun-08-05  fred lennox: My blunder. 7...Nge7 is correct. On my screen it shows the Nce7. I've seen this a few times before and would of pass making comment on it. For some reason I thought 7..Be6 was correct.
Jun-10-05  Runemaster: I like the 30.Qxe8+ combo - I think it's the sort of idea that is often difficult to see OTB.
Jun-13-05  sitzkrieg: I find it hard to believe 10.Le3 (more eccentric then brilliant if you ask me) is the best move or is really changing the position into better for white. Besides black has a nice outpost for his knigt too and can get there maybe with Nf5-d6 or something attacking iso at same time. Or am I wrong here?
Jun-13-05  sitzkrieg: nice concept with Le3 though of course
Nov-17-05  PARACONT1: Luckily bronstein beat boleslavsky and spared him the agony and shame of being crushed by botvinnik in 1951.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Superb game of Botvinnik. 25...Bd7 was a tactical mistake, 25...Bh5 would have been better.
Jul-01-06  notyetagm: <keypusher: Haven't looked at this in a long time. Really imposing play by Botvinnik. I am curious about the late resignation -- surely Boleslavsky didn't think Botvinnik didn't know the Lucena position?>

Yes, it does seem that Boleslavsky thinks Botvinnik is Lucena-ignorant. The Lunena position is reached with 62 ♔g8 and Botvinnik can reach this position by force several moves before that.

Jul-01-06  notyetagm: This is really a well-played game by Botvinnik. both strategically and tactically.
Jul-01-06  notyetagm: <The defensive power of a pinned piece is merely illusory>, said Nimzowitsch.

27 ♕xc6! is a good example of this principle. The Black e5-knight only -pretends- to <DEFEND> the c6-pawn since it must meet the more important threat of <BACK RANK MATE> on e8 by <BLOCKING> the e-file.

Mar-04-07  Whitehat1963: What happens if 41...Kxb6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: "What happens if 41...Kxb6?"

The K & P ending looks like an easy win for white.

Mar-08-07  syracrophy: <Whitehat1963: What happens if 41...Kxb6?>

42.♖b1+ ♔c7 43.♖x♖ ♔x♖ 44.♔f5

click for larger view

And now the White ♔ march e6-f7 can't be stopped and he will win both black ♙'s, winning easily

May-30-07  outsider: this game illustrates the remark that botwinnik once made on the style of boleslavsky (of course, in a very polite wording): he lacks tactical vision and is too passive when choosing schemes for the black
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Boleslavsky was obviously a very strong player. His match with Bronstein to determine the 1951 challenger could not have been any closer.
Nov-28-07  notyetagm: <Honza Cervenka: Superb game of Botvinnik.>

Botvinnik lets forth a torrent of tactics: 27 ♕c3xc6!, 29 ♘f3x♘e5!, 30 ♕c6x♖e8!.


Jul-21-08  vikinx: At the end, White creates a Lucena Position. White builds a bridge with Re4. But whart if Black destroys the bridge with ...Kd5(after ...Kd6)?

click for larger view

White plays Re7! followed by Kf8, finally g8=Q

Nov-09-09  Plato: One of my favorite Botvinnik games. It features great opening, middlegame and endgame play from "The Patriarch."

Fearing Boleslavsky's preparation, he deviates from their round 1 encounter by playing 11.Bxc6 instead of 11.fxe3, though it's doubtful that this is an improvement.

24...Kh8?! was a mistake (24...Bh5 would have maintained rough equality), and it's aesthetically pleasing that 25.Kh1! was the way to take advantage of it. After that White is threatening 26.Nd3 (whereas 25.Nd3 Bf5 was a problem before). Botvinnik goes on to win a pawn and wins with impeccable technique.

30.Qxe8! is not the only way to win but it is the simplest, if you know your rook and pawn endgames -- and Botvinnik knew his rook and pawn endgames... A quote I found on <Pyke>'s profile:

<"From Mikhail Botvinnik one can learn that it is necessary to prepare seriously for each encounter. Here is a little example: Before the tourney for the world championship in 1948, I was acting as Botvinnik's second. Botvinnik included in his program the study of all rook endgames with f- and h-pawns. I was astonished: Why? That happens only once in a lifetime. <'No, if I am not acquainted with such endings, I do not have the right to participate in the world championship'>, said Botvinnik. I had to search for all examples of this endgame!"

- Salomon Flohr (Source: Fide Review #3, 1961)>

Of course 1948 was seven years after this game, but Botvinnik already had excellent technique.

Dec-06-10  simgrund: Boleslavsky could have claimed a draw with moves 43, 45 & 47. The 3 repetition rule. Petrosian was surprised by this rule in his encounter with Fisher in one of their games. Could anyone check if that rule was official at that time in 1941?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <simgrund> I think you are misunderstanding the triple repetition rule. It's the position that needs to be repeated three times, not moves. Since White was moving pawns while Black was shuffling his king, the position kept changing as far as the rule was concerned, and there was no repetition.

To illustrate, here is the game you mentioned: Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971

click for larger view

This is the position with Black to make his 30th move. The game continued <30...Qe5 31.Qh5 Qf6 32.Qe2>

click for larger view

The second time the position has arisen with Black to move. Now came 33...Re5 Qd3 34.Rd5 Qe2

click for larger view

And even though the players had varied moves, this is the third time the exact position had arisen with Black to move. Hence, Fischer could claim a draw. Even a former world champion had misunderstood the rule.

Technically, Fischer did not play 35.Qe2 on the board, but simply announced that he would make this move and bring about the triple repetition.

Dec-07-10  simgrund: Phony Benoni
That is what I meant to highlight; these moves have produced those repetitive positions. Thanks for added clarity and for your sharp eye after more than a year's hibernation of this gem.
Oct-12-16  Jimmy720: Very instructive
Apr-04-18  clement41: Compare the little combination starting 30 Qxe8+/ 31 Rxe5 in this game (the beginning is actually much earlier in the game)with 31 Qxf8+ / 32 hxg4 in that Kasparov game: Kasparov vs Huebner, 1986

here :

click for larger view

in both cases the themes are: queen sac on the weak opponent back rank, then a "quiet" capture that ensures to win the queen back thanks to a pin or mate threat.

Aug-15-18  ughaibu: Move 26, yet again, white grabs the opportunity to exchange the wonderful knight for the crappy bishop. How could Najdorf have been surprised when Fischer did so?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Masterpiece of technique.
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