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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 11, Apr-08
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Steinitz Deferred (C79)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 76 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-16-08  paladin at large: No comment on a decisive WCM game ? - Smyslov takes control of the ending from move 25 on.
Aug-05-08  CharlesSullivan: Remarkably, Botvinnik could have drawn this game by saving his a-pawn with 39...a4!! Play might continue 40.c6! (40.♔xa4 f4! etc. is even easier for Black to handle) 40...f4! 41.gxf4 gxf4 42.♗e5 f3 43.c7 ♗f5 44.♗d4 a3!

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and this is a draw -- the opposite-colored bishops strike again!

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: An interesting idea is 9.♘c6 ♕d7 10.♘a5. The Knight stops the fianchetto of the Black bishop on b7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Does someone understand 22... g5, giving away the exchange while entering the endgame?
Jun-02-18  sudoplatov: I don't think 22...g5 gives away the Exchange. Black can recapture on a8.
Apr-04-20  joddon: I think Symslov was the first to discover that after trading all pieces that the king is the most powerful piece on the board!!! great discovery for centuries to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Botvinnik had never played the Steinitz variation prior to this game so Smyslov could not have been expecting it. Botvinnink, in this game, had peaceful intentions; otherwise he could have played the more ambitious 12..Nd7 (or 13..Nd7). 12..h6 was a new move; 12..Re8 had been played against Capablanca in a 1915 game. 15 Nxe5?!..Qd4 would have given Black good counterplay. Around move 23 Botvinnik offered a draw but Smyslov felt he could play on with no risk of losing. Botvinnik started to go wrong with 26..Kf7?! missing the opportunity to play 25..f4 27 h4..Kf7 28 h5..Bc6 followed by ..a4 and ..Nf6 with a likely draw. Perhaps Black should have considered 28..Be4 29 Nxc7..Be4 activating his pieces. Botvinnik's decision to move the king away from the center with 30..Kg6?! anti-positional and slow; 30..Ke6 would have been better.
Mar-06-23  Ninas Husband: This win gave Smyslov a 6-5 lead in the match. This was the ONLY time Smyslov had the lead.

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