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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran V Petrosian
Botvinnik - Petrosian World Championship Match (1963), Moscow URS, rd 22, May-20
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Mannheim Variation (D23)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-30-04  Snow Man: Petrosian could move a thousand pounds with four ounces...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: This was the game (non-game?) with which Petrosian won the title. Botvinnik, trailing by three with three to play, took this draw (having also acquiesced with a 10-move in the previous game) to hand over the title.
Sep-29-04  Kean: This two were great players, but games like this are just to forget.
Sep-29-04  clocked: forget? Don't you appreciate the beauty of the symmetric knight trips to b6 and g6?
Sep-29-04  Kean: Wow u r right! both knights cross the center and end in the opposite wings. You got an acute artistic sense clocked.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I'd be interested to know the story behind this game (and the previous one, which was also a ten-move draw). I mean, couldn't Botvinnik have said to himself "alright, let's just try to win this game as White, and then see what happens ... they'll be a lot of pressure on Petrosian not to blow things ... who knows, maybe the pressure will get to him."

To give up with four games left to play ... pretty pitiful. And Botvinnik went out in similarly limp fashion and the end of his 1957 title loss to Smyslov as well.

Sep-29-04  Jesuitic Calvinist: Botty was 52 years old in 1963 and apparently exhausted at the end of the match.

He once (probably more than once) described Petrosian as "a well-designed machine programmed to play accurate defensive chess".

We have seen in recent years the difficulties top players have had playing against machines, particularly the new models such as Kramnik-5150.

Apr-22-05  fgh: <Jesuitic Calvinist>: You forgot "Deep Miles a.6" and "Leko draw 1/2-1/2" :-)
Oct-22-06  talisman: and thus ended an era.
Oct-21-07  M.D. Wilson: ...and the birth of a new one.
Apr-04-08  Knight13: 4...Nc6 is not as good as 4...Bd7 and follow it up with ...c5 if Black needs to. But Petrosian wasn't in the mood for complications!
Apr-12-08  Wone Jone: Geez, Botvinnik, don't strain yourself! What, did you run out of Geritol?
Feb-25-09  M.D. Wilson: I think Botvinnik gave himself a hernia in this game, Wone Jone. What a stunning performance.
Apr-27-10  M.D. Wilson: True, he had run out of steam.
Apr-27-10  Petrosianic: This is the way Botvinnik always lost his title. He'd given up quickie draws in the last couple of games of the 1957 and 1960 matches also.
May-12-10  M.D. Wilson: His age was showing, even by then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Shame that Botvinnik didn't even give much effort to defend his title.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Clearly Botvinnik had given up trying to win the championship by this point, or more precisely, by the previous time he held White in this match 2 games earlier, as was pointed out in 2004:

<Eggman: This was the game (non-game?) with which Petrosian won the title. Botvinnik, trailing by three with three to play, took this draw (having also acquiesced with a 10-move in the previous game)...>

MB's moribund rollover that began with 3 games left to play is a clear demonstration of the absurdity of the automatic rematch clause. An aging player, well past his prime, is given undue accommodation simply based on performance from many many years ago.

However, FIDE was never an organization to forego craven subservience to the Soviets! FIDE made sure that their man Karpov had rematch clauses even decades later, well after Botvinnik demonstrated the absurdity of these clauses. See, for example, the 1986 match:

Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Rematch (1986)

Ahhh, Florencio Campomanes, RIP you disgraceful sycophant to the USSR.

Aug-08-15  Lt.Surena: " FIDE was never an organization to forego craven subservience to the Soviets! "

Of course, How can someone forget the biggest cheating scandal in the history of chess when FIDE's chief Euwe let Bobby take Benko's place in the 1970 Interzonal Tournament ;-) with a wink and a nod ! all the while there were at least 5 people ahead of Bobby to supposedly take Benko's place ??

Aug-08-15  Howard: Please bear in mind that those "at least 5 people" all gave their consent to Bobby's taking Benko's place.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: All participants below Benko, 9 of them, also had to give their consent for Fischer to take Benko's place in the 1970 Interzonal. A silly situation that could have been easily avoided had the USCF changed its qualifying rules so that the two top finishers in the US Championship plus an at large entry selected by them would be the US representatives at the Interzonal. Any doubt as to who the USCF's at large entry would have been? A similar approach is used today for the Candidates Tournament where the 8th entry is selected by the tournament's organizing committee. Like it or not, fair or not, it would then have been perfectly proper per the rules.
Aug-08-15  Howard: The rules did change somewhat by the mid-1970's. Kavalek, for example, was seeded into the 1976 Manila interzonal despite his dismal showing at the 1975 U.S. championship zonal event. His seeding was based on his excellent international results.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Howard> Yes, my point is that the rules could have been made more flexible to accommodate special situations like Fischer and Kavalek. In Fischer's case he had made it known in 1967 that he would not participate in further US Championships because they were "too short". And indeed he did not participate in either the 1968 or 1969 US Championships. So the USCF was given plenty of advance warning that Fischer was unlikely to participate in the 1969 US Championship so, if they had been on the ball, they could have changed the rules to ensure Fischer's participation in the 1970 Interzonal. If Fischer had refused to participate in that, then they could have awarded the 3rd spot to the 3rd place finisher in the 1969 US Championship, i.e. Benko. So they could have had the best of both worlds if only they had the foresight to think things through properly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: This appears to be video of Botvinnik resigning the title (or seconds after he'd done so): The position on the board, from what I can see of it, appears to match.

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