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Paul Keres vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Absolutely Smashing!" (game of the day Jun-21-2016)
USSR Absolute Championship (1941), Leningrad- Moscow URS, rd 3, Mar-26
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E34)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-16-12  King Death: Shows what we know lol.

Maybe it was naive of Keres to head straight down this variation after Botvinnik's loss to Mikenas the year before. Since Keres was present for that game it makes me wonder. Botvinnik made this one look easy.

Aug-24-12  Tarrashustra: I don't know people where you are coming from:

Personally I came to the conclusion that there about 4 or 5 different types of players:

1) The architects like Steinitz and Botwinnik who are innovative in the creation and treatment of positions. Botwinnik backed it up with tremendous analytical powers in the preparation but for a player of his class didn't always respond well to surprises.

2) The tacticians like Lasker or Tal – very good at pulling rabbits out of the head over the board.

3) Dogmatists like Tarrasch or Fischer – has anybody actually noticed the text book character of Fischer's games? On the other hand the same Fischer found a player like Alekhine "difficult to comprehend."

4) I guess I know why: Alekhine is truly an artist who looks for beauty on the board and only when he absolutely needs to be pragmatic to secure the point will play like a "normal" grandmaster. There weren't many like him.

5) the percentage players – like Capablanca and Karpov: whether by instinct or backed up by their calculation powers these fellows are not innovative or showy but have an uncanny instinct for the balance of powers on the board, holding on to the tiniest of advantages or sensing danger long before it materialises.

Needless to say I am talking about players of the highest level – all of them are good enough to roll up their sleeves and pull up something over the board – as Botwinnik did against Fisher after he blundered a pawn (Varna 1962).


Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Long live !!!!!!!
Aug-26-14  BwanaVa: Drukenknight-the game was the 1940 NFL Championship. the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0. The interview referenced was with Sammy Baugh, the Washington quarterback and HOF, not the team coach. The play in question was a pass dropped in the endzone on the 'skins first possession.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ughhaibu: The fact is that Fischer was never a "brilliant" player. His style was based on three things, thorough knowledge of a limited number of openings, avoidance of risk and a classical approach to strategy....>

Fischer's methods in the openings definitely displayed such tendencies early in his international career; this, combined a strong element of stubbornness, cost him on more than one occasion.

To aver that a player who indulged in such razor-sharp lines as 6.Bc4 against the Sicilian constituted 'avoidance of risk' is nothing short of ridiculous.

Even before winning the title, Fischer's combination of Capablanca-like clarity and Alekhinian mastery of attack had him tipped as a future champion.

<....Consequently his games were mainly rather boring and as chess is an entertainment I can not consider him to have been a memorable player. A player's ability to win is secondary to their responsibility to entertain.>

Sure Fischer could have 'entertained', as have the likes of Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov and Emory Tate, but winning the big prize was his aim.

If you truly believe that 'entertainment' gets the job done, best of luck.

Must have slipped one day at the Page of Iggydom and ticked your box to admit you back to the World At CG. Time to rectify the error.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> Yes, who can forget how Fischer avoided risk with rock-solid, sleep-inducing openings like the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf, e.g. Tringov vs Fischer, 1965, King's Indian, and Modern Benoni? He made Petrosian look like an insane maniac.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli: Botvinnik's big advantage in this tourney was his preparation. His favored status allowed him better preparation than the other competitors. For example, I think Bxc3 was Simagin's idea. Keres was beaten by opening preparation, not by throwing the game.>

Botvinnik gives an interesting account of the opening in <Selected Games>.

Of 7....c5, he writes <I thought of this move during a game with Kotov (Moscow 1940) [Kotov vs Botvinnik, 1940 ] and I employed it then, mainly to avoid the awkward variations associated with 7....Be6. Several rounds later in the same tournament I employed 7....c5 against Mikenas [V Mikenas vs Botvinnik, 1940 ]. He replied 8.0-0-0, came out of the opening with the better game, and, after mistakes on both sides, gained the victory.

Keres, evidently, was impressed by my game with Mikenas and without much hesitation castled QR. It is worth adding that Ragozin reminded me that he and I had analyzed the move 7....c5 as long ago as 1936, and I had then convincingly refuted it! To my regret, I forgot the refutation.

More recently I discovered that I employed the ...c5 move as long ago as 1931 (Lebediev-Botvinnik, semi-final of Soviet Championship, Moscow, 1931 [not in database], but without the preceding ...h6.>

After 8.0-0-0, Botvinnik continues:

<This apparently strong move leads to defeat. In reality, with an undeveloped K side, to expose the King to the possibility of a direct attack by Black's pieces from the front (the c-file) as well as from the flank (the diagonal b1-h7) is, to say the least, risky!

Against Mikenas I continued 8....0-0 without any worthwhile result.

In November-December, 1940, I discovered the best course for Black. Great was my chagrin when in one of the January issues of "64" (1941) I saw the Belavenets-Simagin game [not in the database], in which Simagin made the first two moves of the correct plan! Keres did not notice this game, or he would have course have seen the light! So I was able to employ the prepared variation after all.>


-after 8....Bxc3 9.Qxc3 g5 10.Bg3, Simagin apparently continued 10.....Ne4, which Botvinnik said was <contrary to the correct plan of attack.>

-in OMGP, Kasparov says 7....c5 is a dubious move anyway, strongly met by 8.dxc5. Kasparov vs Korchnoi, 1989

Jun-21-16  stst: <Personally I came to the conclusion that there about 4 or 5 different types of players:>

Which class did Morphy belong?
the modern day Magnus?

Thought that as generation evolves, players also evolve and incorporate all strengths of previous generations, plus the BIG thing: Tech!!

Jun-21-16  AlicesKnight: Horsepower....
Jun-21-16  The Kings Domain: One can't help but feel sorry for Keres as he's at the mercy of Botvinnik and dancing to the latter's tune for most of the game. Dark clouds were already gathering in the horizon with white's open queenside and undeveloped pieces. Neat little vintage goodie.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: sometimes this is called "castling into it."
Jun-21-16  GarloPemberton: Fix. Keres played directly into the pin of his rook on d3. Botvinnik found a very aesthetic way to win, but this is another example of the Russians fixing chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <GarloPemberton: Fix. Keres played directly into the pin of his rook on d3. Botvinnik found a very aesthetic way to win, but this is another example of the Russians fixing chess.>

God, these posts get old.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen cannot move...nor can she stay where she is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Botvinnik's astonishing display of lethal attack & spiritual determination that brought the Apocalypse of Black's Kingdom.
Jun-21-16  daveinsatiable: <superpatzer77> I don't usually disagree with your analysis (albeit from 6 years ago), but surely white resigns in view of the much simpler: 24. Qe2 Nd2++
25. Ka1 Qb1+
26 Rxb1 Nc2#
Jun-21-16  GarloPemberton: Botvinnik really can't get credit for the win. This game was most likely scripted entirely. You have look at games like Lasker- Capablanca to see over the board dumping.
Jun-21-16  psmith: <GarloPemberton> did you not get the message from <keypusher>? No one is interested in your crackpot theories.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <daveinsatiable: <superpatzer77> I don't usually disagree with your analysis (albeit from 6 years ago), but surely white resigns in view of the much simpler: 24. Qe2 Nd2++ 25. Ka1 Qb1+
26 Rxb1 Nc2#>

Black doesn't have to sacrifice the queen: 23.Qe2 Nd2+ 24.Ka1 Nc2#.

Jan-29-19  whiteshark: Botvinnik's concluding remark on this game:

"I was always underestimated as a master of attack. Keres too was apparently influenced by this wide­ spread opinion, and thought that in a sharp situation my chess deficiencies should reveal themselves."

M.Botvinnik, Best games Vol 2 1942-1956, p.325

Oct-04-20  neveramaster: This game was in my first ever chess book, Chernev's 1,000 best short games of chess. Irving had a way with memorable lines and he say of O-O-O: Mikenas once beat Botvinnik with this move, so Keres tries it. But Keres forgets that Botvinnik never loses the same game twice. The Soviets' actions with chess and Keres were terrible, but I do not think this game was scripted. It was prewar and before the pictures of Keres playing chess with German army officers came out.
Oct-04-20  RookFile: Keres sometimes had too much imagination for his own good. It's highly unusual to see a game where white's g1 knight sits unmoved for the entire game. Even your average ham and egg player usually has that thing developed to f3 by move 5.
Mar-15-21  PJs Studio: This looks to me like a game where white had no imagination and just went through the motions. That the player with the white pieces was defending his abused homeland with a simple lack of effort makes sense to me. I don’t care what anybody says, Including the player himself. His incentive was just to “make it look good”.
Mar-15-21  carpovius: That's the difference between a top GM and the world champion...
Mar-15-21  Petrosianic: <That's the difference between a top GM and the world champion...>

If Botvinnik was the world champion, that might be a good argument.

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