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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Arnold Denker
USSR - USA Radio Match (1945), Moscow RUS and New York USA, rd 2, Sep-03
Slav Defense: Exchange Variation (D13)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-18-05  EmperorAtahualpa: Wherever the king goes, loss of material is inevitable for Black. Black cannot defend either 31.Rd1 or 31.Qf4.

Nice game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 6..Qa5 is not mentioned in the Slav books that I own; 6..a6 is most popular today. In game #11 of his 1939-40 match with Keres Euwe played 10 Bxe4 and won; Botvinnik considered 10 Rc1 to be an improvement. Botvinnik recommended 11..Be7 as he felt the Bishop was exposed on a3. It was not too late for 12..Be7 and ..Qd8 though White would have had a clear lead in development. 12..b6? was the start of a faulty plan. Denker must have missed 14 Bb5! after which he must lose material. 29..Ke8 would have held out a bit longer.
Feb-05-10  PeterB: 11...Ba3 was a lemon, but Black played the whole opening in a rather cavalier manner. Morphy vs. Amateur.
Apr-13-12  wordfunph: Denker took 48 minutes over his first 7 moves and was quoted after resigning..

"Congratulations again on a very finely played game. Perhaps after I learn the openings I may give you a better fight."


Dec-16-15  PhilFeeley: Why was Botvinnik playing Denker? Wasn't someone like Reshevsky stronger?
Dec-16-15  Nerwal: Denker was the reigning US champion.
Dec-16-15  TheFocus: Probably because Denker was U.S. Champion at the time. Reshevsky had been unable to compete in the 1944 Championship due to taking examinations for his CPA.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Smyslov was matched against Reshevsky
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Botvinnik’s opening play is not so compelling in retrospect.

10 Rc1 was an attempted improvement on 10 Bxe4 but the most dynamic option is 10 o-o! daring Black to capture on c3.

A couple of lines illustrate that White took a risk delaying castling and placing the QR on an unprotected square.

Firstly, Denker had the right idea hitting the Rc1 but chose the wrong piece. Instead 11..Qa3 leaves White struggling to demonstrate an advantage.

Secondly, although @plang praises 14 Bb5 this move is really a ‘bluff’ since Denker had the strong and cool-headed reply 14..Bd7 15 Nd2 o-o! The point is that 16 Nc4? runs into 16..Nxd4! exploiting the flaws in Botvinnnik’s set-up.

Black’s real error was 15..a6? fatally compromising his position.

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