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Peter Arsenievich Romanovsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik
USSR Championship (1945), Moscow URS, rd 8, Jun-13
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Vitolins Variation (B62)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-28-04  whithergoes: Romanovsky is one interesting story. Dr. Hannak tells us that his weakness on f7 cost him the game in Moscow 1925 to the then-dethroned champion Lasker, and here is playing with Botvinnik. There is in fact a picture of him playing with Alekhine when the latter was on the cusp of his early master-days.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Romanovsky was the only member of his family to survive the siege of Leningrad and even that was a close run thing. Starvation killed everyone else and he somehow managed to hold out until help arrived. His spirit to hang on to life when his family had gone can only be admired.
Apr-29-04  Jim Bartle: Which brings up an interesting question. Did any outstanding or very promising players die during the horrors of WWI or WWII (holocaust, Stalingrad, Leningrad), or in the Stalinist purges?
Apr-29-04  acirce: Vera Menchik died during the Nazi bombing of London. She was worse than the best male players but maybe the best woman? Nikolai Krylenko, executed during the Yezhovschina in USSR for a reason I don't know, is maybe more known as a politician and military expert, but was very important for Soviet chess. Whether or not he was a good player himself I have no idea.
Apr-29-04  acirce: And Klaus Junge, top-15 according to died "on the field" as a Nazi officer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Of course, Schlechter is a famous victim of starvation during WWI. Ammong the grandmasters to perish later were K. Treybal, S. Belavenets, K. Junge, and Petroff. Judge Treybal was executed by Nazis, Petroff by Stalin, Belavenets and Junge fell on the oposite sides of the WWII front. There certainly were thousands of talented chessplayer victims; we just mostly forgotten their names. This is what Bronstein writes about Belavenets:

"This game with Sergey Belavenets---one of the most talented Soviet players and a wonderful man---I give with a heavy hart. At the very time when the participants in the Rostov Semi-Final of the USSR were sitting at the chess board and considering their moves, on the Western borders of our State the German soldiers were awaiting the orders to invade. And it followed very soon... That war cost many more lives than are recorded in the history books. My partner never again returned to the chess board. He perished in the battle in the first year of the War.....In my opinion, that evening White was thinking about something more important than a game of chess." (Bronstein on King's Indian)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Andrew Soltis' Soviet Chess 1917 - 1991 sheds a great deal of light on the amount of talent that was wasted in the Stalinist purges and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union during WW2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: I just ran accross this writeup about some russian problemists under Joseph Visarionovich...
Dec-17-04  justy: Hello. Does anybody know why white plays 29.Re7 leaving the bishop hanging??
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <justy> Note Botvinnik played the strong Zwischenzug = In-Between Move 28 ... bxc4! so that both the Re3 and the Bd3 were hanging, so White saved the Rook. Great game.
Dec-18-04  justy: <tpstar> yeah thanks. no more kibbitzing at 3 a.m. ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 7 Bb5 is almost never played nowadays in the Rauzer variation. Yudasin resurrected it in his key win against Shirov in the 1993 Biel Interzonal that was instrumental in helping Yudasin qualify for the candidate matches. Botvinnik was critical of 10..a6? recommending 10..0-0 11 f4..Nxd4 12 Qxd4..Bxb5 13Nxb5..d5! with at least equality for Black. After 11 Be2 the position resembled the Scheveningen variation with the addition of the weakening ..h6. 13..Nxd5 was another inaccuracy; instead 13..Nxe4 14 Bb6..Qc8 15 f3..Nf6 16 Nxe7+..Nxe7 17 Qxd6..Qxc2 would have been an improvement for Black. Botvinnik felt that White started to lose his initiative when he played 18 f3? instead of 18 f4. 22 Qb6 initiated interesting complications which would probably have led to a draw after 27 Bd1. Romanovsky apparently missed 28..bxc! which immediately led to an easily winning endgame for Black.

Nov-09-09  timothee3331: It's really incredible the number of lives which were destroyed by the nazis during 1933-1945 and by the Soviets for so many years and by the communists everywhere in the world. A lot of people had to fight for those dictatures without sharing their views. I think Belavenets was a good exemple but there were many other ones.
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