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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1957), Moscow URS, rd 9, Mar-26
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Larsen Defense (E62)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: If 30.Qxa7?, then 30...Rxc6 31.Qxe7 Kg8 32.Nxd6 Rc3 33.Qxf8+ Kxf8 34.e7+ Kg7 35.Ne4 (35.e8=Q?? Rxg3+ 36.Kf1 Nh2+ 37.Kf2 Qf3 mate) 35...Qb5 36.Nxc6 Qb6+ 37.Kg2 Qf2+ 38.Kh3 h5 39.Rh1 Ne3, threatening 40...Qg2 mate.

Or 31.Qxa7 Rc3 (threatening 32...Rxg3+) 32.Ng5+ Kg8? (32...hxg5 33.Qxe7+ Kh8 34.Qe8+ Kh7 35.Qf7+ should draw) 33.Ne4 Rc2 34.Qxe7 should win for White.

Perhaps better is 33.e7. After 33...Re8 (33...Nf6? 34.Qd4 Kg7 35.e8=Q Rxe8 36.Rxe8 wins for White) 34.Qd4 Kh7 35.Qxd6 Qf5 36.Qd1 or 36.Re2 and White looks a little better.

After 33...Rc3, Black threatens 34...Rxg3+ 35.Kf1 Nh2+ 36.Kf2 Qf3 mate.

Mar-20-08  Knight13: <7...Bf5> 8.Nh4 <Be6> 9.d5 cxd5 10.cxd5 <Bd7> is LOL.
Sep-15-13  zydeco: White looks to be completely winning and blows it with 30.Rxc8 and 31.Nxd6. Anything the matter with 30.Qc4 or Qc3?

Maybe Botvinnik just missed, in his line, 33.....Rc3 and the fact that, if 34.e7, black mates with 34.....Rxg3+ 35.Kf1 Nh2+.

Jun-24-14  offramp: Black played 29...Ra8-c8.

click for larger view

In time trouble Botvinnik missed a neat sac: 30.♖c6xd6!!

Feb-18-16  nelech: Instead of 29 b4 ,two moves seem very strong: 29 Rç7 and 29 Nxd6. Botvinnik's position was probably winning
Feb-18-16  ughaibu: After 29.Rc7, how do you answer 29....Qa5?
Feb-18-16  Retireborn: <ughaibu> 29.Rc7 Qa5 30.Rec1 Qxa2 [30...Rfc8 31.Ng5+] 31.Rxe7 [not 31.Ng5+ Kg8] Qh2+ 32.Kf1 Qh1+ 33.Ke2 Qg2+ 34.Kd1 Qf1+ 35.Kd2 Qg2+ 36.Kc3 Nf6 [36...Qf3+ 37.Kb2 Qg2+ 38.Ka3] 37.Nxd6+ [not 37.Qxf6 Rfc8+ perpetual] Kg8 38.Rd1 should win.

Botvinnik plays 29.b4 to prevent ...Qa5. He had obviously already seen 31.Nxd6 but it isn't quite good enough to win. Houdini points out 30.Rxd6!! with good winning chances. An interesting example of right square, but wrong piece.

Mar-18-16  ughaibu: I see. I can understand Botvinnik wanting to avoid the queen getting in, especially if he was short of time.
May-08-16  zydeco: <offramp> 30.Rxd6 exd6 31.e7 Rfe8 32.Nxd6 and then black can defend simply with 32....Rb8 33.Nxe8 Rxe8 34.Qd7 g5 or more prettily with 32....Rcd8! 33.exd8=Q Rxe1+ 34.Kg2 Ne3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Reportedly this was the least accurate game played in any world championship since Steinitz-Chigorin 1892.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <FSR: Reportedly this was the least accurate game played in any world championship since Steinitz-Chigorin 1892.

Thanks, interesting article. The most accurate WC games are all boring draws, as Lasker would have predicted.

Generally chessplayers have gotten more accurate over time, which is unsurprising, but there were some very accurately-played matches in the 1910s and 1920s. I think the simplicity of the popular openings then had something to do with that.

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