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Leonard William Barden vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Hastings (1961/62), Hastings ENG, rd 5, Dec-31
French Defense: Advance Variation (C02)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-14-08  CaptainEvans: 16...♖xd3 (with 17...♕h4) would've been better than 16...♖c8 I'd've thought. If so, it's comforting for struggling club players like me that Botvinnik can miss a tactic. Botvinnik was brave to play 19...f6 with the resultant exchange sac. On move 31 Barden lashed out with ♖xc5 which I reckon was unnecessary. Finally the pawn race on move 31 would have led to a mate in two for Botvinnik had Barden continued pushing his a-pawn.
Feb-14-08  dabearsrock1010: The player with the white pieces will probably best be remembered as the great actor in the movie no country for old men
Mar-06-10  Cibator: Obviously White couldn't find a draw during adjournment analysis, even with the advantage of a sealed move that had a forced reply by Black.

Barden himself has said that he "missed a clear winning chance" in this game, but without giving any details. Can anyone spot what he may have been talking about?

Mar-06-10  Pyke: < dabearsrock1010: The player with the white pieces will probably best be remembered as the great actor in the movie no country for old men>

NO - That was Javier Bardem ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Houdini 3 is (I think rightly) very unimpressed with this game. Botvinnik should have played 16...Rxd3 17.Qxd3 Qh4!, forking White's bishop and the pawn on f2. Houdini then gives as best 18.Ne4 dxe4 19.Rxe4 Qxf2+ 20.Kh1 Nf4 21.Rxf4 Qxf4 22.Rd1 Qd4 23.Qxd4 Bxd4 24.Rxd4 Bxb5 25.Bc5 a6 26.Bb6 O-O with large advantage to Black, who is two pawns up - though there are bishops of opposite colors. Later, 32...c4 (rather than 32...axb6 33.Qxb6 c4 large advantage B) was a big mistake. Rather than 33.Qb4??, White should have played the obvious 33. bxa7!, when Houdini gives as best 33...cxb3 34.Rxc8 Bxc8 35.a8=Q Qh8 36.Qxd5+ Be6 37.Qxe4 Qa1 38.Qxf4+ Kg7 39.h3 b2 40.Qd4+ Kf7 41. Qf4+ with a draw by perpetual. My guess is that Barden was in time pressure and didn't have enough time to work out the consequences of 33.bxa7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Leonard Barden writes in the March 1962 BCM that here (Black to play)

click for larger view

Botvinnik told him he had was going to play 7...Nh4 but declined thinking it better to develop another piece rather than move this Knight yet again. (he played it on his next move.)

After he played 7...Nc6 Botvinnik then realised 7...Nh4 lost a piece to Qa4+

(Mr Barden adds that Botvinnik was tired after his round 3 adjourned game v Gligoric Botvinnik vs Gligoric, 1961 where Botvinnik missed a win on move 100!)

Back to this game and here (Black to play)

click for larger view

As FSR notes 16...Rxd3 was very good here.

Leonard writes that Botvinnik saw it (he honestly admits that he did not consider it at all during the game.)

Botvinnik told Leonard he rejected it because there is a danger of miscalculation in such sharp tactical lines and Black already had an advantage.

"I prefer to avoid complications unless I am forced into them." remarked Botvinnik.

Here (White to play)

click for larger view

Leonard continues that here he was about to play 33.b7 when he noticed that 33...Rh1 won on the spot.

He withdrew his hand and quickly played 33.Qb4 adding in his notes that 33.bxa7 would have at least probably secured a draw. (apparently confirmed by FSR's analysis up above.)


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