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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 5, Mar-25
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-17-08  mistreaver: How come noone has ever kibitzed at this game... botvinnik system in world championship match that ends in a draw... you don't see that every day...
Mar-17-08  euripides: As far as I remember this is a theoretically important game. On move 14, Botvinnik offers Smyslov the chance of a queen sacrifice . This was finally tested at a high level in correspondence chess almost twenty year later:

A Hollis vs F Baumbach, 1973

Apr-08-08  Knight13: Queen sac on move 14 would be really complicated in a timed game. Black needs to play extremely accurate, not like correspondence game where you have days to look over WITH THE ABILITY OF MOVING THE PIECES ON THE BOARD WHILE DOING SO.
Feb-07-09  furrer: Problems with your capslock?
Feb-07-09  WhiteRook48: just the right time to draw
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I played a game yesterday and I hadn't ever seen Ne5 (I mainly play 1 e4) and was deciding whether to sac but played Qe2 instead - but I see that the sac is possible. I very nearly played it as Black's N got to d3.
Mar-10-11  shalgo: There are some instructive ideas from both players in this endgame.

First Smyslov plays 24.Bb8+!, "sealing off the battlefield." It is very hard for Black to stop the a-pawn: the rook on b1 prevents the Black king from reaching the a-file and now the bishop on b8 blocks the back rank, preventing the Black rook from stopping the pawn.

Botvinnik rises to the occasion, however, with 26...e5!, sacrificing a pawn to get his bishop into the game. If 27.fxe5 Bd2! and White will have to sacrifice a piece to stop the c-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Karpov on this game :

15. dxe ,Rxd1
16. Raxe1! Advantage white

Jermolinskij -Matjulskij 1982

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Nowadays, the strongest continuation is known to be the queen sacrifice 15 dxe..Rxd1 16 Raxd1 but Smyslov avoided this apparently expecting Botvinnik would have been fully prepared for it given his previous experience in this supersharp line. 20..cxb? would have been bad due to 21 axb with dual threats of 22 Rxa7 or 22 Rd1 but not due to 22 21 Rd1?..bxa 22 Rxd3+..Kc2 23 Rd1..b4 when it is Black that wins. Black got sufficient counterplay after 22 Bxa7; 22 Nc3 and 22 Rb1 were suggested as alternatives.

A well played and entertaining battle.

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