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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Smyslov - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1958), Moscow URS, rd 3, Mar-11
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation. Main lines (B18)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-20-06  refutor: a visually appealing endgame by botvinnik
Mar-27-06  who: 28.Ne5? is a surprising mistake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <who: 28.Ne5? is a surprising mistake.>

"Similar blunders hardly ever occur in Smyslov's tournament practice. Probably he was affected by the result of the first two games, and considered that he absolutely had to win the present encounter [Game #3 of the 1958 Re-Match]." - Botvinnik in “Botvinnik-Smyslov: Three World Championship Matches: 1954, 1957, 1958”, by Mikhail Botvinnik, New in Chess ©2009, at page 199.

Jul-08-13  Ulhumbrus: I thought at first that Botvinnik had found a way to win from the the black side of the Classical variation of the Caro-Kann, by outplaying White. However no such thing happens. Instead Smyslov blunders two pieces for a rook by 28 Ne5??
Sep-20-13  zydeco: I kind of like the idea of 14.Qa3 and, if 14....a6, maybe 15.Qa5. The way that Smyslov plays, his queen becomes a target in the center, and black's queen eventually becomes a much better piece.

The endgame is awesome: the idea of boxing in white's rook at a8 and then careful calculation by black for the knight to preserve the winning pawn. Everything is by one tempo: 66....Nd7 keeps the king from reaching f6. If 67.Ke6 Kc7 68.Kf7 Ne5 69.Kf6 Kd6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

<28.Ne5? is a surprising mistake.>

click for larger view

It is indeed, since it drops the exchange for no compensation.

<Peligroso Patzer> Botvinnik gives another account of Smyslov's blunder here:

<"After two games Smyslov felt unwell, and our official doctor M.S. Senkevich certified his illness. Smyslov received the right to one time out. <<<Apparently he still did not feel particularly well during the 3d game>>>: an unexpected oversight of a piece led to the loss of another point.">

Mikhail Botvinnik "Botvinnik's Complete Games (1942-1956) and Selected Writings (Part 2)." Ken Neat, transl., ed., (Olomouc 2012), p.33

Originally published in

Mikhail Botvinnik, "Smyslov-Botvinnik Return Match" (Iskusstvo, Moscow, 1960)

Dec-24-14  AnotherNN: Seems to me the final position doesn't look like an easy win. Should be worthy of a Wednesday Puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <AnotherNN:>
White's position really is resignable. If White does nothing, Black can bring in the ♔. So he must try to wipe out the ♙s. But if 67. ♔f4 ♔c7 68. ♔g5 ♘e5 69. ♔f6 ♔d6 and Black is all protected. Or 67. ♔e6 ♔c7 68. ♔f7 ♘e5+ 69. ♔f6 ♔d6, or 69. ♔e6 ♘f3 then 70... ♘xh4 protecting the ♙g6.

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