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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Efim Geller
URS-chT (1966), Moscow URS, rd 7, Oct-01
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-28-10  jmboutiere: Kosten, in The Dynamic English pag 20 says white is better because of the attack, but the truth is that the position is equal, Rybka 3 + 0.25, no mistake made by black.
Dec-28-10  ughaibu: It would be helpful if you specified a move number. In any case, how do you justify attributing "truth" to Rybka? I expect that Kosten means the position is easier for white to play, because of the attack, and a game that is easier to play is better, if one wants to win, than a game which is harder to play. So, Kosten may well be expressing a "truth".
Dec-28-10  Marmot PFL: I remember Watson, is his book on the English, saying that such as this are not convertible to wins against good defense (which is a general truth, otherwise they would be ).
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Very aggressive chess from Botvinnik. And, in the ending, he worked hard to get the Queens off the board, no can do.
May-23-12  DanielBryant: The above discussion is a good example of why I think computers have had a negative effect on chess.
May-23-12  King Death: <DanielBryant> When computers are used without understanding it's the same as uncritically using annotations or following book lines always has been, no matter how strong or weak the player is.

Then there's another kind of mistake, a player wins a game with an opening (Tal vs Larsen, 1958) and doesn't analyze it completely before trying it again (Tal vs Korchnoi, 1959). I think Korchnoi told Bronstein about the improvement in that Soviet championship but Bronstein couldn't believe that Tal would go into it again so he avoided it and was shocked to see the position come on the board in Tal-Korchnoi.

May-23-12  parisattack: Looks like B is winning up to move 30 or so. Anyone with an engine check moves 30-40 for white improvements?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: 36 Qxb7 Qxd4 37 Qa6 shd do the trick and thus crown a superb positional and strategic performance by Botvinnik. Sadly he threw the win away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: 38 b4 also looks like a white win
May-23-12  parisattack: Thank you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Thanks <Ray> for pointing out where Botvinnik went wrong. Maybe Botvinnik was fatigued as the game approached the adjournment? Actually IIRC he was in very good form throughout this event and scored some great wins otherwise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Kasparov, page 154 of M.G.P Part II says Botvinnik tired towards the end of this event missing one move wins v Geller and Petrosian.

The Petrosian one is easy to understand.

Botvinnik vs Petrosian, 1966


click for larger view

Botvinnik played 34.Rc3 and after 34...Be4 resigned. That is a one move win.

But I cannot see the one move win here. (if indeed this is the position where the one mover Kasparov is on about.)

click for larger view

Ray's suggestion 36 Qxb7 Qxd4 37 Qa6 may be a one move winning position in Kasparov's and Ray's eyes but to my cheapo gaze 37...Qf2+ and the game goes on.

Indeed if 38.Kh3 the only reasonable looking move to avoid a perpetual 38...Qf3 and Black is threatening mate. I could never resign with a mate on the board.

I'm looking for the Petrosian type one mover and resigns is the only option.

I wonder if Kasparov made a wee error and was thinking about this game.

Botvinnik vs Geller, 1969

Where Geller wins in 24 moves. Though in this instance he appears to be meaning a missed Botvinnik win.

(do you like how I reason things out. I cannot see the one move win that Kasparov can so therefore he is wrong and thinking about a different game. )

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: Geoff, the variation ending 38...Qf3 which you give is actually drawn I think, can't see how White can dodge perpetual there.

Botvinnik's last winning chance was 38.Rc4 hoping to play Qc3 and either exchange queens or penetrate with Rc7, Qg7. Not a one-move win though.

35.Rxd4 Qe5 is giving Black a certain amount of counterplay, so I looked here and found 35.Rd2! fxg5 36.Rf2! which reduces Black to a sort of Zugzwang (Houdini.) I think this may be the missed win referred to. It's a very interesting position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Retireborn,

I was refreshing my take on Vol II because someone here mentioned Kasparov was being a tad unkind to Keres and did a recap.

I was then reacquainted with this note and first went to the Petrosian game. OK.

But this game was unclear - I have decided Kasparov was thinking about a different game. There is not a one move win here.

1966 was also the year of this blunder. Keene vs Botvinnik, 1966

I missed pulling off the same trick in a a 1974 game (mine was two moves deep - a Queen check, another check picking up a whole Rook) and in the same game fell into the same pitfall. A queen check picking up a Rook. I resigned.

It then I realised that the chess gods decide the result of all games before they are played. We blunder and lose because it was pre-ordained by a higher force.

(that may not be true but it makes you feel better when it happens.)

Aug-30-18  Boomie: Stockfish prefers Botvinnik's move 36. Qd3

(Stockfish 8 64: 36. Qd3 fxg5 37. Rc4 Rxb6 38. Rc6 Qb2+ 39. Kh3 Qh8+ 40. Kg2 Qb2+ 41. Qc2 Qxc2+ 42. Rxc2 Rxb3 43. Rc6 Re3 44. Rxd6+ Kf7 45. Re6 g4 46. Re5 Re2+ 47. Kf1 Rd2 48. Rg5 Kf6 49. Ke1 Rd3 50. Rf5+ Ke7 51. Kf2 Kd6 2.05/33)

37. Rc4 was required as mentioned by <Retireborn>.

(Stockfish 8 64: 37. Rc4 Rxb6 38. Rc6 Qb2+ 39. Kh3 Qh8+ 40. Kg2 Qb2+ 41. Qc2 Qxc2+ 42. Rxc2 Rxb3 43. Rc6 Re3 44. Rxd6+ Kf7 45. Re6 g4 46. Re5 Rd3 47. Kf2 Kf6 48. Ke2 Rxg3 49. d6 Rg2+ 50. Ke3 Kxe5 51. d7 Rg3+ 52. Kd2 Rg2+ 3.28/31)

The engine can't find any advantage after 38. b4.

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