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David Bronstein vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 18, Apr-24
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Meran Variation (D45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-15-04  Sergey Sorokhtin: NEW KASPAROV'S correktion!

Game 63
World Championship Match,
Moscow 1951, 18th game


Neither Bronstein nor Botvinnik pays attention to this idea. White missed the opportunity of presenting a serious challenge to Black: 44.Qxe6! Qd3 45.Qf6+, and 45….Kh7? is bad because of 46.Qf7+ Kh8 47.Bxf4! (after 47.Bd2 Qg3+ 48.Kg1 f3! 49.Qxf3 Qxf3 50.gxf3 Bc8 51.hxg5 hxg5 52.Bxg5 Nc6 53.Be3 Kh7 54.Kf2 Kg6 Black has a fortress) 47…gxf4 48.Qxf4 Qg6 (48…Bc6 49.Qxh6+) 49.Qf8+ Qg8 (49...Kh7 50.Qxb8 Qf7 51.Qc7+–) 50.Qxh6+ Qh7 51.Qxh7+ Kxh7 52.e6, playing back one of pieces and winning: 52...Bc6 53.d7 Bxd7 54.exd7 Nxd7 55.c6 or 53…Nxd7 54.exd7 Bxd7 55.Kg3.

În finding this out Khalifman showed a thorny path to a draw: 45...Kg8! 46.Bd2! (my idea, but in a much more appropriate version) 46...Qg3+ 47.Kg1 f3 48.Qg6+ Kh8 49.Qxh6+ Kg8 50.Qxg5+ Qxg5 51.Bxg5 Kf7 52.gxf3 Bc8 53.h5 (White has 5 pawns for one piece but nevertheless they may be blocked!) 53...Bf5 54.Be3 Nc6 55.h6 Ke6 56.Kf2 Bd3 57.Ke1 Kd7 58.Kd2 Bh7 59.Kc3 Nd8! (not 59...Ke6? 60.Kb3 Kd7 61.Ka4 Bd3 62.f4 Nd8 63.f5 Bxf5 64.Kb5+–) 60.Kb4 Kc6 61.Ka5 Bd3 62.Bf2 Ne6=.

44...hxg5 45.Qxe6 Qd3!= <…> 46.Qf6+ Kh7 47.Qf7+.

After 47.Qxg5 Qg3+! 48.Qxg3 fxg3+ 49.Kxg3 Bc8 50.Kf4 Kg6, then …Nc6 and Bd7 there is again a fortress on the board.

47...Kh8 48.Qf6+ Kh7 49.Bxf4 gxf4 50.Qf7+


Feb-16-05  Poisonpawns: Doesn`t 41.c6 Bxc6 42.bxc6 qxc6 43.Bxf4 gxf4 44.Qxg4+ Kf7 45.Qxf4+ Kg7 46.Qg4+ Kf7 47.Qh4! Nf8 48.Qxh6 win easily?
Mar-10-05  aw1988: Yes. 41. c6 was found to win.
Mar-10-05  fred lennox: Curious pawn structure at the end.
Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: April 24-25, 1951

Botvinnik's pre-game comments in his journal:

"Composure and confidence! Must simply play chess - remembering about the assessment. Cut your calculations down a little and economize your strength. Let's go! Shame!"

Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: Another short comment by Botvinnik in his journal following this encounter:

"Played badly - was saved by a miracle."

Oct-31-13  talisman: move 41. was the sealed do you not seal 41.c6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Was Bronstein ever asked point blank whether or not he threw the 1951 match to Botvinnik?
Oct-31-13  Olavi: Extremely tired brain and nervous tension: 41..Bxc6 42.bxc6 Qxc6 43.Bxf4 Qc4 44.Qxc4 dxc4 45.Bc1 Nb6 and Bronstein thought this favoured black: "The breakaway pawn at d6 fell out of my field of view..."
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 1 d4..d5 2 c4..c6 3 Nc3..Nf6 4 Nf3..a6 has become of the main lines of the Slav; here playing 5..a6 after 4..e6 gives Black significantly fewer options. After 6 Bd3 the logical response would have been 6..dxc followed by 7..b5. After 7 b3 position had already left known theory. The position after 15 Rae1 was bleak for Black: less space and little counterplay.

Bronstein after 23 Ra1:
"At this point I had already conceived the idea of the sacrifice on b5. I must admit that I have employed this technical device fairly often. Two passed pawns, advancing on the enemy pieces, have brought me more than a dozen points in tournaments of various rank, but in a match for the World Championship such a sacrifice must be calculated especially accurately."

26..Qb8 would have been more precise; Botvinnik clearly underestimated the piece sacrifice. 33 Qb2 would have saved a tempo. Kasparov thought that Black missed a chance to equalize with 38..dxe 39 d5..e3! 40 Bxe3..Bxd5 41 Qh8..Qe4 42 Qh7+..Kf6. Bronstein spent 30 minutes on the sealed move 41 Qd3? completely underestimating the defense 40..Nb8!. 43..Qxc1? 44 hxg..hxg 45 Qxe6..Qe3 46 Qf6+..Kh7 47 Qxg5..Qg3+ 48 Qxg3..fxg+ 49 Kxg3 would have been winning or White. A draw would have resulted from 47 Qxg5..Qg3+ 48 Qxg3..fxg+ 49 Kxg3..Bc8 50 Kf4..Kg6 and Black has created a fortress.

One the most interesting ames of the match.

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