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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 19, Apr-29
French Defense: Winawer Variation. Winckelmann-Riemer Gambit (C15)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: For fans of the Botvinnik vs. Smyslov rivalry, here's another one of their crazy brawls in the French Winawar. At one point, both players "enjoy" a set of not-totally-useless tripled pawns.
Jul-14-09  LIFE Master AJ: Thank goodness this site does not give (yet another) erroneous game score for this contest.

Most sites (like ChessBase - and also many books) give this game as ending after move 45.

However, this is incorrect. The 41st move was the sealed (adjourned) move, and "the game was agreed drawn without resumption." (Page # 74.)

From the (excellent, new) book:
< <Botvinnik - Smyslov> "Three World Chess Championship Matches: 1954, 1957, and 1958."> By Mikhail Botvinnik, published by "New In Chess." (I received a copy of this book so that I could review it.)

Jul-14-09  LIFE Master AJ: However, the date given for this game IS ALL WRONG!!! It was played 29 April, 1954. (Not January 20th.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Ah, another fan of the Botvinnik-Smyslov rivalry! <LMAJ>, is there anything out there with Smyslov's annotations? It should prove intriguing to compare their thoughts on the same games.
Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: <An Englishman> I saw - one time - a reprint of an old article. Both players annotated the same game.

It was VERY interesting to compare their annotations, especially in the PRE-COMPUTER days!

I know of no books along these lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <An Englishman: ... is there anything out there with Smyslov's annotations? >

In <Smyslov's 125 Sellected Games>, you can find these S-B games annotated by Smyslov:

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1943

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1954
Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1954

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1955

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1957
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1957
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1957

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1958
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1958

Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1965

Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: I have 125 games by Smyslov, its a good book.
Jul-20-09  AnalyzeThis: I thought Botvinnik was going to win this game. It looked like he had a menacing setup against white's king.
Jul-23-09  LIFE Master AJ: <AT> Agreed, for most of the game, I think I would have rather played the Black side of the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: After 27...♙e5xf4

click for larger view

Tripled pawns-a-go-go!!

Jul-14-19  rcs784: <offramp> I wonder how many other games in history (let alone in the WC) include both sides having tripled pawns simultaneously? I'm guessing not very many!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Double triple pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 34...Rc3 35.Kh2 Rxc2 looks a bit more promising for black.
Feb-11-20  Carrots and Pizza: This opening is hard for me to understand. After about 13 moves all I can say is that both sides seem to stand badly!
Feb-13-20  Dionysius1: Well said! I don't have any insights to offer other than both players had the position after 14. Kxc7 in mind from the start, and Botwinnik thought he could draw it while Smyslov thought there were some chances to win it. The crazy moves were just a way to get there. It was a WC so that's all Botwinnik would have been aiming at.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Well, the opening is quite standard French Winawer, where black sacrifices Pawn g7 for quick development and active counter-play. It leads often to messy positions with shattered Pawn structure but lively play and chances for both sides.
Feb-14-20  SChesshevsky: <Carrots and Pizza...This opening is hard...> These ...Bxc3 French Winawer's might be the best practical application of chess principles in action. Ideas like pawn structure, king safety, open lines, and piece placement are all evident from early on. Then throw in tempo and tactics and you cover a lot of ground.

If you practice these Winawers from both sides against a similar or slightly better opponent for a couple of months and diligently go over the games, I can pretty much guarantee it'll increase your feel for these principles.

Plus the bonus from the Winawers is that you also almost have to get a better understanding of compensation. Even a young Fischer, who mentioned it in I think his game against Darga in MSMG, was not fully clear on the varying compensation aspects.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In game 7 Smyslov had brought his queen to e3 after ..Rg6; here he varied with 11 Qd2. 11..Qe7 had been played in Keres-Hord 1943 Estonian Championship and Black had gone on to win; 11..Bd7 was new. Botvinnik thought that 15 Ng3 would have given White a good position but that after Smyslov's 15 Nd4 Black's problems were behind him. Averbakh pointed out that the interesting 17 Bxa6 doesn't quite work after 17..bxa 18 Rb6..Nd5 19 Nxc6..Nxf4 20 Nxd8..Nxg2+ 21 Kd2..Kd8 with advantage to Black; however in Hector-Levitt Graested 1990 White tried Botvinnik's suggestion of 17 Bd6 and developed an advantage. The natural looking 23..Kc7?! actually put the king on a more vulnerable square; better was the immediate 23..h5. Both Botvinnik and Golombek give the refutation of of 26 Na5 as 26..Nxg2 27 Rxb7+..Kc8 28 Reb1..e3 but, in fact, 28..e3 is weak; 28..Rd8 is the star move.

A typical double-edged Winawer battle with White surviving from an unpromising middle game position.

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