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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Tigran V Petrosian
URS-chT (1966), Moscow URS, rd 11, Oct-05
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-20-04  morphynoman2: Incredible! 34. Rc3?? Be4!! and all is over.
Jan-06-05  jondoe: 34 Re1 is better?
Nov-14-06  stanleys: <34 Re1 is better?>

Of course.I believe it's even winning.

But apparently the 55 years old Botvinnik was extremely tired(it was the last round of an incredibly strong URSS team championship)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <stanleys> Botvinnik's missed win also meant 2nd place for his team, instead of a 1st place finish.

Here are the final team standings and the 1st board (5 World Champions plus Geller, Keres & Stein!) for each of the teams:

Armed Forces - 80.5 - Geller
Trud - 80 - Botvinnik
Spartak - 79 - Petrosian
Burevestnik - 78 - Smyslov
Avangard - 63 - Stein
Daugava - 58 - Tal
Lokomotiv - 57.5 - Spassky
Moldava - 47.5 - Lutikov
Kalev - 41.5 - Keres
Vodnik - 37.5 - Chernikov
Mehnat - 36.5 - Birbrager

Botvinnik won 1st prize for best score on board 1, with 6/9, Geller and Petrosian were next with 6.5/10.

Aug-24-08  ToTheDeath: Eyewitness to this game Ilya Figler talks about it in this interview:

"I could see tears from Botvinnik when he lost to Petrosian."

Aug-24-08  ughaibu: There's a crosstable of games between the players mentioned by Pawn and Two, here:
Apr-27-10  parisattack: <ToTheDeath: ...

"I could see tears from Botvinnik when he lost to Petrosian.">

I remember the first time I saw this game in Chess Review. I had just learned to play and Botvinnik was my hero... I almost cried, too.

Botvinnik played some of his best games after he lost the title...this was so close to being one of them!

Apr-27-10  Eisenheim: 14 ...bg8 - just lovde watching how tight he plays these defensive gems. this should be GOTD
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <To the Death>

Thanks for that link to Figler. I played him in one of my rare tournaments...he slaughtered me of course, but was so warm, pleasant and instructive in the post-mortem!

May-01-10  parisattack: <Eisenheim: 14 ...bg8 - just lovde watching how tight he plays these defensive gems. this should be GOTD>

I wouldn't consider a game where white blundered a win away on the last move GOTD material.

May-23-16  Fanques Fair: It´s a myth that Botvinnik was winning before the last move. 34- Rce1, Bb4 ! keeps the grip on White´s postion, despite being the exchange up.
Oct-01-16  ewan14: Another exchange sacrifice. !

I think. P v. the Elite said Qe2 was a poor move allowing P. to swap queens

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Fanques Fair: It´s a myth that Botvinnik was winning before the last move. 34- Rce1, Bb4 ! keeps the grip on White´s postion, despite being the exchange up.>

I don't see Black's grip after 35.Rxd2 Bxd2 (35....ed 36.Re8+ Kg7 37.Rd8 is easier). It won't be an easy ending to win, though.

Oct-25-19  ewan14: 22 Qe2 losing move
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhillyCheapskate: Another exchange sacrifice by Petrosian
Jul-20-20  PJs Studio: I think that white still has to try and hold the balance after Re1 even being the exchange up. The d pawn is too big of a menace. Botvinnik didn’t see Be4 or the game would likely have ended in a draw.

Very exciting matchup of two legends

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