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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Efim Geller
Budapest (1952), Budapest HUN, rd 2, Mar-04
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Long Variation (E68)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-01-05  chess man: Kasparov includes this game in My Great Predecessors.
Jan-28-12  screwdriver: I went through the game. It seemed like the opening was poorly played by Botvinik, since he gave himself an isolated e pawn. His whole game was based around holding on to and defending his isolated e pawn. But then, I thought Botvinik abandoned holding on to the e pawn for a decent counter punch consisting of taking blacks light squared bishop and busting up blacks kingside pawns. Also, Botvinik was able to maintain material equality by gaining an extra pawn of Geller's. However, the bishop pair and better pawn structure didn't equalize against black's better development and threats left on the board. I agreed with black playing knight g7 to solidify his position and keep any notion of white attacking his king at bay. Also, it maintained active threats on the board after white moved his queen. Then a few moves later, I think Geller was wise to play queen g6 and keep the queens on the board since Botvinik had an open board and his bishop pair only being a pawn down. Of course, Ng5, threatening a queen/king fork, got Botvinik to capture the knight at the cost of his bishop pair. Then the queens came off with black still having doubled rooks on the e file. Although, once Botvinik played pawn to c5, I was a bit confused as to how black should continue. I saw that Bishop c4 check was coming and one couldn't just go gobbling up the pawn on a3. I also thought playing rook to e1 pinning the bishop, but trading a rook a pawn up doesn't work. Because white had black's extra pawn on b7 locked down with his pawn on c5. Geller eventually played knight e6, evacuating the g7 square for black's king. Also, allowing Botvinik to have the option to capture on b7 with check was intersting. If Botvinik did that, I'm assuming Geller steps to f6 with a nice hiding spot awaiting his king on g5. Also, Geller would maintain capturing on a3. That threat was always there. I think Botvinik did the right thing by playing the pawn to g5 to take that safe haven for the king away, but then came the knockout punch of rook b3, blocking the capture of b7 and really making a dangerous passed pawn. Geller made the pawn on b3 count. I think Botvinik played Rook d1 hoping to maybe get a check on black's king , pickup the b7 pawn, and have his rook positioned behing black's b3 pawn in a good defensive postion. But, Geller plays Rook e2, allowing black to play rook d7 check picking up the b7 pawn after Geller would move his king. But Geller would then just play pawn to b2, which is protected by his rook that he played to e2. And if Botvinik plays king to F1 attacking the rook on e2, Geller simply replys with rook to c2, far enough away from the white king and threatening to check on c1, the promote the pawn to a queen on b1. After Botvinik would take the queen with his rook and Geller recaptures, Geller would easily eat up the remaining pawns that Botvinik had and checkmate him. So, Botvinik rightfully resigned after Geller's Re2.
Apr-07-15  Xeroxx: Nice game.

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