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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Alexander Kotov
"Kotov Many Colors" (game of the day Jun-29-2010)
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 14, Aug-30
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Accelerated (E24)  ·  0-1



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Given 28 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Qxg3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-29-23  Mayankk: Botvinik featuring on the losing side of a Monday puzzle. So definitely won't be as simple as one expects.

First thought was to lure the King away from defense of g3 Knight but 23 ... Rxe8+ 24 Rxe8 Rxe8+ Qxe8 yields nothing. Then we see if we can sac Queen first. 23 ... Qxg3+ and suddenly we have a Royal fork in hand as the f3 pawn is pinned. What's more, King can't retreat back to f2 and so we don't have a threat to the e3 Rook as well. So 23 ... Qxg3+ 24 Kxg3 Ne4+ 25 Kg2 Nxe2 and Black is up a Knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  boz: Hard for me to understand Botvinnik's plan in this game. Where to he hope to break? Especially after giving up on playing e4.
May-29-23  Allderdice83: I got this one, but only after considering 23 ... Ne4? Of course, 24. fxe4?? Qxg3#, but there's 24. Nxe4 Qh2+ 25. Bg2. Then I looked at 23 ... Qxg3+, saw that it wins a piece due to the pin on the f3 pawn allowing the K and Q fork, with nothing able to retake the knight, and figured, OK, that's good enough.
May-29-23  Allderdice83: 8. f3 and 10. e3 look curious to say the least. All those pawn moves, and after 10. e3, White has no pieces developed, and never castles. Hardly worthy of a world champion.
May-29-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: Black win a ♘ with: 23...Qxg3+ 24. Kxg3 Ne4+ 25. Kg2 Nxd2... I love Mondays! I guess the King's seeing this game before, I'm not sure.
May-29-23  takebackok: No think, extra piece Monday!
May-29-23  mel gibson: I saw that straight away but I also searched for something better but couldn't find anything. I thought there could be a quick checkmate but there wasn't.

Stockfish 15 says:

23. .. Qxg3+

(23. .. Qxg3+ (Qd6xg3+ Kf2xg3 Nf6-e4+ Kg3-g2 Ne4xd2 Re1xe3 Re8xe3 h3-h4 g5xh4 Kg2-f2 Re3xf3+ Kf2-e2 Rf3-d3 Bf1-g2 Bd7xg4+ Ke2-f2 Rd3xc3 Bg2xd5 Kg8-f8 Ra1-e1 Rc3-d3 Re1-e3 Rd3xd4 Bd5-g2 Nd2-b3 Bg2-f1 Bg4-e6 Bf1-h3 Rd4-d3 Re3xd3 c4xd3 Bh3-f1 Nb3-c5 Kf2-e1 h4-h3 Ke1-d2 h6-h5 Kd2-e3 a7-a5 Ke3-d2 Nc5xa4 Kd2xd3 Na4-c5+ Kd3-c3 Be6-f5 Kc3-c4 h3-h2 Bf1-g2) +12.67/35 280)

score for Black +12.67 depth 35.

May-29-23  jrredfield: <takebackok: No think, extra piece Monday!> Precisely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Botvinnik used the Saemisch Variation as late as 1966 as a second weapon vs. the Nimzo-Indian--and I cannot understand why. He enjoyed vastly superior results with 4.e3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn up.

White threatens Rxe3.

The rook on e3 x-rays the knight on g3. Therefore, 23... Qxg3+ 24.Kxg3 Ne4+ 25.Kg2 Nxd2 wins a piece.

Premium Chessgames Member
23. ... Qxg3+

24. Kxg3 Ne4+ forking wK & wQ The bN can't be captured by the wP (pinned by the bR).

May-29-23  saturn2: Nice monday puzzle
May-29-23  Brenin: A fairly simple combination, with White's response 24 Kxg3 forced, but not so easy to see, as Botvinnik demonstrated: White seems to have the key square e4 well covered, but Black's 23 ... Qxg3+ removes one defender, and White's 24 Kxg3 pins the other, thus allowing the royal fork 24 ... Ne4+. One needs to check that after 25 Kg2 Nxd2 the N is not stranded behind enemy lines on d2, but in fact it has a very nice square b3, where it prevents any White attempts at counterplay with a5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: How he thunk like a grandmaster!
May-29-23  Sally Simpson: A famous game and position. Even I have used it in the past to show setting up a Knight Fork.

The official title of this event was 'The Staunton Memorial' (no mention of this on the tournament page here, nor on it's own wiki page. have it correct.) It was held to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of Groningen Staunton Chess Club.

The first Staunton Memorial tournament;

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Eck diy rat its won quip Qxg3+ arrive its hoh adagio nag its etc awooga jah its a gob quibble finish axiom jeep ion duck its a huff ruff Qxg3+ fig;
May-29-23  johnnydeep: <sigh> Not "very easy" for me. I failed to see that the f3 pawn would be pinned after black's queen sac.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Botvinnik used the Saemisch Variation as late as 1966 as a second weapon vs. the Nimzo-Indian--and I cannot understand why. He enjoyed vastly superior results with 4.e3.>

It's generally a good idea to give your opponents more than one line they have to prepare for. That said, the only time 4.a3 seems to have been a regular part of Botvinnik's repertoire was the 1960 match against Tal, without success. But he trotted it out one more time in the rematch and scored his most crushing victory over Tal, who didn't play the Nimzo again in the match. Botvinnik vs Tal, 1961 Presumably Botvinnik was happy about that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: Like all the other puzzles, very easy once you see the answer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: A nice game for puzzles. Going back one move each time makes it slightly more difficult.

22...Rxe3 is certainly not as easy to see.

May-29-23  Hercdon: Glad I could move the pieces around, play with the position, before I got it. Surprised this got past the world champion, but it did almost get past me
May-29-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: <Saffuna> Maybe, White could though that e3 wouldn't be captured, because he would obtain 2♖ by the ♕. However, this believe is false. After: 23. Qxe3 Qh2+ 24. Bg2 Rxe3 25. Kxe3 Qxg2 26. Rg1 Qxh3 27. Rh1 Nxg4+ 28. Kd2 Qxf3... White is lost.
May-29-23  whiteshark: Deflection into a pin followed by a royal fork.
May-29-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: I made a comparison of the results of Botvinnik and Smyslov against the famous GMIs of their time, and place it properly on the page of the first icone. I invite you to see my research and see that things are not exactly what people say. I trust in numbers.
May-29-23  cocker: In this tournament Botvinnik also lost to Najdorf and Yanofsky, but still finished first.
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