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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Ludek Pachman
Moscow (1947), Moscow URS, rd 13, Dec-16
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Quiet Line (A28)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-30-04  Resignation Trap: Botvinnik loses a piece with 17. Rg5?, which allows 17...Rxe3! If then 18. Qxe3, 18...Bf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Botvinnik missed a win at move 17. By moving 17.Ne4!, his threat of Ng5 appears to force Black to play 17...Rxe4 and White is then winning.

In Pachman's, "Decisive Games In Chess History", he stated that he expected Botvinnik to play 17.Ne4. Pachman said he intended to reply 17...Qf5 18.Nxd6 Qxd3 19.Bxd3 cxd6 and he indicates the game is then even.

However, Botvinnik could have played 17.Ne4! Qf5 18.Nxd6 Qxd3 Bxf7+! Kf8 20.Rxd3 cxd6 21.Bxh5 and White is winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The Chigorin Memorial Tournament of 1947 was the final tournament appearance prior to the 1948 World Championship for three of the contestants; Botvinnik, Keres and Symslov.

Botvinnik won the tournament but things got a little too close for comfort with 3 rounds remaining. After 12 rounds, Botvinnik had a 1 point lead over Keres and Kotov. Next, in round 13, Botvinnik had White against Pachman.

When Botvinnik played 17.Rg5??, Pachman stated in "Decisive Games In Chess History"' <This move came as a shock, for I previously seen that it allowed 17...Rxe3. I was so excited that I was unable to think and I replied instantly, though secretly fearing that there was a hidden trap waiting to be sprung. My opponent was quite upset and took a long time to recover and make his next move. As 18.Qxe3 is answered by 18...Bf4, winning the Queen, White has lost a piece>.

A thrilling moment for the young Pachman. Pachman took the 8th and final prize at the Chigorin Memorial, scoring 8.5 out of 15 (+5 -3 =7).

May-08-06  The17thPawn: Botvinnik must have been upset with himself as he definitely played on alot longer than I expected being a piece down with nebulous compensation at best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Pawn and Two>

After 17.Ne4 Qf5 18.Nxd6 Qxd3 19.Bxf7+ Kf8, 20.Rxd3 is impossible. The rook is on g1. Unless the game score here is wrong and Botvinnik played 16.Rhg1.

May-02-12  King Death: <keypusher> This looks like a different kind of case of "the wrong rook", I found two other sources that both give 16.Rhg1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <King Death: <keypusher> This looks like a different kind of case of "the wrong rook", I found two other sources that both give 16.Rhg1.>

Pachman says 16.Rdg1. You'd think he would know.

He also writes that after 17.Ne4 Qf5, 18.Rg4 would have been an improvement on his line (18.Nxd6 Qxd3 19.Bxd3 cxd6), giving White a strong attack after 18....Qxf3 19.Rhg1 or 18....Nf4 19.Qd1.

He also says he missed a chance to obtain a clear advantage at move 12, but doesn't say how.

Mar-12-15  Retireborn: <keypusher> 16.Rdg1 is certainly the move given in my CA Botvinnik database. I suspect that 365chess has copied the incorrect 16.Rhg1 from Chessbase.

The missed opportunity on move 12 was presumably 12...Na5, although I don't think Black's advantage is entirely clear then.

Mar-05-18  morfishine: The post by <Pawn and Two> only makes sense if White played <16.Rhg1> leaving his other rook on <d1>

*Changing move 16 from 16.Rdg1 to <16.Rhg1> does not change the final position in the PGN viewer, so that appears to be the correct move after all


Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <morfishine> My original comment was in error. My analysis was based on a a database that showed White's 16th move to be 16.Rhg1, instead of 16.Rdg1.

I should have noticed this inconsistency at the time, but I made an oversight.

After reviewing the game score given by Pachman, and reviewing <keypusher's> comments above, I believe the move made in the game was 16.Rdg1.

Also, if 16.Rhg1 had been played, then Black's next move, 16...Qf6, would have been a gross error, allowing a winning move by White, 17.Ne4. Pachman made no mention of these possibilities, so I believe 16.Rdg1, must have been played.

Mar-06-18  morfishine: <Pawn and Two> Thats the point, if 16.Rdg1 is correct, then White can't play 20.Rxd3 in your second line featuring 19.Bxf7+

Perhaps Pachman was confused


Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <morfishine> At the time of my original comment, it seems that I was the one who was confused. Pachman's diagram after 16...Qf6, and his analysis at move 17, both clearly support that White's move was 16.Rdg1, and not 16.Rhg1.

My comments in the 1st and 3rd paragraphs of my original post, were based on analysis using a database that showed White's 16th move as 16.Rhg1. At the time I did not notice the different 16th moves, and unfortunately this error also caused confusion for others.

Further evidence that White played 16.Rdg1, and not 16.Rhg1, is provided by additional analysis at move 16 & 17. Had White played 16.Rhg1, then Black's 16...Qf6 would have been a gross error, and White missed the winning, 17.Ne4. As Pachman makes no mention of these possibilities, plus the other mentioned information given by Pachman, I believe White must have played 16.Rdg1, and not 16.Rhg1.

Oct-19-18  RookFile: Pachman had wins on his resume against some of the biggest names in chess.

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