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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 15, Apr-17
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 24 times; par: 55 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-22-07  Cactus: Beauty of a game!
May-26-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Black to play: 20 ... ?


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Here Botvinnik (Black) snatches a pawn in broad daylight with 20 ... ♘f5xh4!, using the tactic <DISCOVERED DEFLECTION>.

Position after 20 ... ♘f5xh4!


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<DISCOVERED DEFLECTION>: Use the masking piece (Black f5-knight) to exploit the <LOOSENESS> (White f4-knight) created by the unmasking of the rear line piece (Black f6-queen) by taking what the newly <OVERWORKED> defender (White g3-pawn) no longer defends (White h4-pawn, 20 ... ♘f5xh4!).

Botvinnik saw in the first position that without his Black f5-knight <BLOCKING> the f-file from the Black f6-queen to the White f4-knight, that the White f4-knight would be <LOOSE>, with two Black attackers (Black f6-queen and h6-bishop) versus two White defenders (White d2-queen and g3-pawn). Since there would be an equal number of Black attackers (2) as White defenders (2), these two White defenders would be automatically <OVERWORKED>, <<<meaning that some squares would only -appear- to be <DEFENDED> (--)>>>.

So, since the White g3-pawn would have to <DEFEND> the White f4-knight if the Black f5-knight were not <BLOCKING> the f-file, the White g3-pawn could not then -also- <DEFEND> the h4-pawn, hence 20 ... ♘f5xh4!.

<DISCOVERED ATTACKS> that make things <LOOSE> are dangerous, dangerous, dangerous!

Oct-22-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Third black win in a row in this match. How often has that happened in the history of championship matches?
Aug-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: The move 15 Bf2 is a sign that things have gone wrong for White, as White obstructs his own Rooks on the f file with his Queen's Bishop.
Sep-10-13  zydeco: The Closed Sicilian was not Smyslov's friend in this match. Spassky finds the key for white in this variation (in 1990!): 8.Bg5 with the idea of Bf6!

16.b4 might have been worth a try, to widen the playing field. Black already seems significantly better even before 20....Nxh4!

Sep-18-14  croatia92: 22.. Ke6 win R or Q. Did you see combination. Explain. Thanks
Sep-18-14  croatia92: 23.. Ne6 white
Jan-17-15  Markov47: <croatia92> As Botvinnik notes in his book <<Three Matches>> "... after 23... Bxe3! 24. Qxe3 Qxd5 White's position is hopeless".
Feb-03-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The system with 6..e5 is a main line today but in 1954 it was a relatively new idea and Botvinnik deserves credit for recognizing the value in it. White's setup with 6 Nge2, 7 Nd5 and 8 c3 was not effective and left White with little active play as neither the f4 or d4 breaks was favorable for him. 12 fxe..dxe 13 d6..Nf5 14 Bxb7..Rb3 would have been favorable for Black. The combination of Be3-f2 and Qd2 left White vulnerable on the h6-c1 diagonal - Smyslov's usual expertise of putting his pieces on the right squares was nowhere to be found in this game. 18..Qf6 is a pretty, unconventional move placing the queen on a seemingly exposed square (19 Bg1..Nxh4!) but setting up devastating positional threats.

This is a really nice game by Botvinnik from beginning to end.

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