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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Smyslov - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1958), Moscow URS, rd 11, Apr-01
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D98)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I didn't know about this game -- Botvinnik plays Smyslov's variation against its inventor, and gets massacred.
May-30-09  WhiteRook48: don't play the Smyslov variation against Smyslov
Apr-25-11  bronkenstein: Botvinnik was clearly worse (or lost) after only some 5-6 moves after he ran out of theory , blunder(s) @ the very end just spared Smyslov the effort. Impressive miniature by Smyslov (and , strangely , almost no kibitzing :).

I don´t have the book with comments , or program to analyse it , but I would say it was something like :

... 20. Rg1 !! ( , attack on the black king seems to be decisive) < Qh3 !?> (speeding up the end , weakening squares c6 and e7 , the key ones to Smyslov´s final tactical blow few moves later )

21. Qe3 ! <c5 ??> (this is already a rough tactical blunder , definitely weaking support to d6 knight , black is lost in all the lines by now OFC , but I don´t see an easy win on , lessay , Q:h4 !? )

22. d:c <b:c>

23. Qg5 ! (fine silent point , prolly overlooked by Botvinnik ) ... <c5> (it would be pointless to call this move a blunder , since there is no defence already... for example , if 23. ...Kh8 , to prevent simple Q:h5 threat , then simply 24. Q:e7 c5 25. Nc6 , and black knight has no moves )

24. Nc6 ( now ... Kh8 25. Q:e7 looks simple enough( just not 25.R:d6 ?? , with the idea of mate in 2 if black recaptures , since it stumbles over banal intermediate 25...f6 )).

It would be interesthing to know few quotes from some of the books on the match, or atleast some comp analysis from move 15. on .

Meantime , take my ´analyses´ with few grains of salt, it´s late here, and i´m out of coffie :)

Apr-26-11  haydn20: The CG openings DB suggests 13...Bh3 may be an improvement. 17...Nd6 also led to a loss by Bot in the same match. Fritz 12 gives 17...Bxd4 18. Nxd4 Nb6 19. Qa3 =. It also shows three consecutive errors. 20...Qh3? [20...Qxa4 21. Qxa4 Nxa4 22. Rc1 =]. Then 21. Qe3? [21. Rc1 Qxh4 Rxc7 with a strong position for White]. Finally, 21...c5?? loses [much better is 21...Qxh4 22. Rc1 Rac8]. All this is Fritz, none is mine. Thx for posting the game.
Apr-27-11  bronkenstein: Ty for info ( btw 20. ...Qxa4 is virtually impossible instead of 20. ... Qh3 ? , since knight is on d6 , queen is en prise !? ).

It seems to me that there is an attack on the KSide that old fritz doesn´t see , or valuate rightly .

May-16-13  dmvdc: <bronkenstein: It would be interesthing to know few quotes from some of the books on the match, or at least some comp analysis from move 15 on.>

Here's what Smyslov had to say in his selected games annotations:

17...Nd6 <An unsuccessful maneuver. Better was 17...Bxd4 18.Nxd4 Nb6! 19.Bb5 Qd6, when White could have retained attacking chances by 20.Rg1.>

18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Nd4! <The knight is very well placed here, hindering the undermining possibilities ...c6 and ...e6. 19.Qc3+ Kg8 20.Qxc7 was less good, in view of 20...Qxc7 21.Nxc7 Rac8 22.Nb5 Rc2.>

19...Kg8 <After 19...c6 20.Qc3 f6 21.dxc6 bxc6 22.Qxc6 White wins a pawn.>

20.Rg1 <The most energetic move. If now 20...c6, then 21.dxc6 bxc6 22.Qc3!, attacking the weakened pawns. Sensing the danger, Black tries to complicate matters by the following queen maneuver.>

20...Qh3 21.Qe3 <White consolidates his forces with the aim of playing his queen to h6 or g5. In particular, he threatens 21.Qg5, with a double attack on h5 and e7. The logical reply was 21...Qxh4, and if 22.Qh6, then 22...e5, but Konstantinopolsky has shown that White then has a beautiful win: 23.dxe6 fxe6 24.Nxe6 Rf7 25.Ng5 Re7 26.Rxd6 cxd6 (or 26...Qh2 27.Rxg6+! Kh8 28.Ne6) 27.Bc4+ Kh8 28.Bf7!! Rxf7 29.Nxf7+ Kg8 30.Ng5, and mate cannot be prevented.>

21...c5 <This loses without a fight.>

22.dxc6 bxc6 23.Qg5! c5 <On 23...Kh8 there would have followed 24.Qxe7 Rad8 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Nxc6.>

24.Nc6 1-0.

May-16-13  dmvdc: As for those mentioning Botvinnik playing the Smyslov variation, here's what Smyslov had to say about that:

<Again, as in the 6th game of the 1957 match, an interesting psychological situation has arisen. For the second time Botvinnik as Black employs my plan of piece development, presenting me with a strong pawn center and inviting me to uphold the classical principles of opening strategy.>

And as for why he decided not to play 9.O-O-O, as he did in that previous game, but instead plays here 9.Rd1:

<Here I preferred to deviate from the previous year's game, where I had played 9.O-O-O, thus deferring the theoretical argument to another time. Thus match tactics sometimes influence the choice of this or that continuation.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  iking: tactics are everywhere .. bravo Smyslov ....
Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: Here’s another Smyslov Variation!
Premium Chessgames Member
  bubuli55: “Smyslov Does It Good”
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