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Viktor Lyublinsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Urra!" (game of the day Jun-08-2017)
23rd Ch Moscow (1943), Moscow (URS)
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Bayreuth Variation (C77)  ·  0-1



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Given 9 times; par: 86 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-06-06  Ulhumbrus: After 9...Bd6, Black's weaknesses are on the Queen side, not on the King side. This suggests, instead of 10 Ne2, playing to attack the King side, Nd2 playing to attack the Queen side by Nc4 and Na5 or else Nb3 and Na5. 10 Be3 gets the QB out, after which Nd2 may follow.
Jul-06-06  Ulhumbrus: 52 ..d3 prevents White from offering his bishop for the e5 and d4 pawns by Bxe5. After 53...h3 the threat of Be4+ followed ...h2+ has no answer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <After 9...Bd6, Black's weaknesses are on the Queen side, not on the King side. This suggests, instead of 10 Ne2, playing to attack the King side, Nd2 playing to attack the Queen side by Nc4 and Na5 or else Nb3 and Na5. 10 Be3 gets the QB out, after which Nd2 may follow.>

Well, Black's position is quite bad at move 24, so perhaps 10. Ne2 is alright.

Jul-09-06  Ulhumbrus: <keypusher> At move 24 White seems unable to prevent the exchange sacrifice ..Rd4 removing his play against Black's doubled pawns. However it is true that Nc3 is not exact, for after 24 Qc2! Bc7 25 Rxd8+! Rxd8 26 Rd1 the exchange sacrifice is not so good with a pair of Rooks exchanged. On the other hand, Black's game may not be as bad as all that, and before the exchange ascrifice it does have its assets : The bishop pair, a f pawn that is freer to advance than White's f pawn, and a c6 pawn keeping White's N out of d5.
Jul-09-06  Ulhumbrus: 18...Nf4 may be not the best. 18...c5 creates the threat of ...c4 and 19 c4 allows ..Nd4. The justification for playing for a Queen side attack is that White has neglected Black's pawn weaknesses on the Queen side by 10 Ne2 playing for a King side attack instead of 10 Nd2 playing for a Queen side attack. If we believe Nimzovich, the penalty for this will consist of Black becoming strong on the Queen side.This suggests that Black is advised to play for a Queen side attack instead of a King side attack, and that suggests 18...c5 instead of 18..Nf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Well, I'm sorry, 5 Bc6 just seems odd to me. Botvinnik's explanation was that after 4..Nf6 black could no longer support his e pawn with f6 which he often does in the exchange variation. Nowadays there are several lines in the exchange variation where f6 is not played so this strategy by white seems antiquated. 5..bc seems pretty passive to me; it is not even mentioned in the books I have on the Ruy Lopez. I agree that taking the exchange with the bishop is more logical; then the knight can be used to blockade at d3.
Aug-12-07  sanyas: 42.Be3 guarantees a draw, at least.
Jul-03-08  Ulhumbrus: 31 Rad1 allows ...f4. Instead of this 31 f4 devalues Black's centre.
Jul-03-08  Ulhumbrus: 53...h3 threatens 54..Be4+ 55 Kg1 h2+ 56 Kf1 h2-h1(Q) mate as well as 54...h2 followed by 55...Be4 mate. White appears to have no satisfactory answer to either threat.
Jun-02-09  marknierras: Amazing move 25... Rd4; This sacrifice was intended to create a positional advantage. Space advantage was created due to this and a strong pawn formation was created and eventually penetrated through the kingside! Enjoy the moves from # 25! Classic instructional game!
Jun-02-09  marknierras: Nice instructional ending as well! You can see that the rook limits the movement of the king to the 2nd rank and the bishop is in the same color diagonal as the queening square!
Aug-11-09  Dredge Rivers: Nice to see they had nothing better to do with the Germans invading their country!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: In White's shoes, would have captured the Rook with the Bishop and blockaded with the Knight at d3. Perhaps not objectively better, but Knights are built to stop pawns, esp. with the pawns at c4 and e4 preventing attacks on the horse. Just more my style, perhaps.
Jun-08-17  Amarande: <dbquintillion> It's more about the eventual fate of the Black pawn at e5. In most lines with Bxc6 White will play d4 eventually. Often Black can avoid the exchange of the e-pawn by answering d4 with f6, reinforcing the center and generally producing a rather solid formation (it is difficult for White to capitalize on the weakening effects of ... f6 as he cannot place a Knight on g5, and no longer has his LSB).

If White plays first 4 Ba4, however, Black's best move is generally accepted to be 4 ... Nf6; at this point, White is much more in a position to force Black to exchange the e-pawn after Bxc6 (which is usually played either on move 5 as in this game, or after first 5 O-O Be7 i.e. the Doubly Deferred Exchange) and a later d4, as f6 is no longer readily feasible. Attempting to do so would require Black to not only cede time but severely cramp his pieces; this is likely to result in early grief.

For example, 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Bxc6+ dxc6 7 Nc3 (as is common in the Lopez, once White has covered e4 Black must actually cover e5 for real) Nd7?! (this doesn't actually serve the function, he might as well play Bd6 with a fine diagonal for the DSB after the expected 8 d4 exd4) 8 d4 f6? (an illusion - he should still play exd4) 9 dxe5 fxe5 10 Be3 O-O 11 Qd3, and Black is about as trussed up as trussed can be: developing the LSB is virtually impossible, as the Knight cannot move now without losing the e-pawn, nor can it move later as White's next logical developing move is 12 Rad1 after which it will be pinned against d8, nor can Black move the b-pawn as the unguarded c-pawn would then be lost after Qc4+. Nor can Black easily untangle himself to free the Knight from guarding d5 (a quick fatality results from 11 ... Re8 12 Rad1 Bf8?? 13 Ng5). His cause is virtually lost. I'd say it was worth the tempo on move four, wouldn't you?

Jun-08-17  morfishine: I would've played <47.Bxa5> opening the line to <d2> & <e1>. Black's c-pawn isn't going anywhere
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I don't get why white played 43 Be3? This allowed Qxf3 which seemed to allow a critical breakthrough. Why not just 43 Be1? If black can't force a breakthrough he can keep moving the bishop back and forth.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Breunor: I don't get why white played 43 Be3? This allowed Qxf3 which seemed to allow a critical breakthrough. Why not just 43 Be1? If black can't force a breakthrough he can keep moving the bishop back and forth.>

43.Be1 allows ...g4. If 44.fxg4 Bxg4 and 45.Rxg4 is forced. 45....Qxg4 46.Qxg4 Rxg4 and e4 falls next.

Jun-08-17  Strelets: A timely pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Thanks Keypusher.
Jun-08-17  kevin86: The 2 puns decide this one!
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I don't get the pun. Could somebody elaborate on it for me?
Jun-08-17  Strelets: <eternaloptimist> It's a Russian interjection used to express enthusiasm about something or as a battle cry. This game was played during World War II.
Jun-08-17  Howard: Given that this is the only game from 1943 that White played--according to the Chessgames website--this raises the palpable question....what was the occasion for this game?

Was it, by some chance, just a casual game a la Fischer-Fine, 1963?

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <Strelets> Thank you very much for the explanation! That makes sense that it's a Russian interjection since the game was played between 2 Russians in Russia (Soviet Union).
Jun-08-17  ChessHigherCat: It's the Russian equivalent of "Hurrah!", so I'm surprised they don't say "Gurrah!" (they usually change English H to G). There was a guy in one of my Russian classes who had the misfortune of being named Hank, so everybody called him Gonk!
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