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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Lajos Portisch
"Botvinnik and Paid For" (game of the day Feb-12-2009)
Monte Carlo (1968), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 7, Apr-10
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Reversed Dragon (A22)  ·  1-0



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Given 88 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-29-18  paavoh: Simply explosive!
Nov-11-18  Mayankk: I saw Rxf7 and the exciting King hunt if Kxf7 followed by Qc4+.

Unfortunately I didn’t know what to do if the sacrifice is rejected. Just too many lines to consider.

Nov-11-18  Walter Glattke: What is the name? Choked or smothered mate by 18.Rxf7 Kxf7 19.Ng5+ Kg8 19.Qc4+ Kh8 and you know the rest. This time without queen sacrifice. 19.-Kg6 20.Qe4+ Kf6 (Kh6 Nf7+ NxQ) 21.Nxh7+ Kf7 22.Qf5+ Kg8 (Ke7 Bg5+ BxQ) 23.Ng5 g6 24.Qf7+ or 23.-Qf6 24.Qh7#
Nov-11-18  Walter Glattke: Finish: queen lose by 24.-Kxh6 25.Qh4+ Kg7 26.Qh7+ Kf8 QxQ or 24.-Kh8 25.Nf7+ Qxf7 or 25.-Kg8 26.Nxe6+ Kh8 NxQ 24.-Kf6 25.Qf4+ Ke6 more difficulty
Nov-11-18  agb2002: Too well known.
Nov-11-18  sfm: Wow. 15.-,Nb8 as White obviously can't take on c7. 16.Rxc7!!
It only makes sense if you have seen it all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: What a beautiful game. Portisch must have thought, "I can't believe Botvinnik took the poisoned pawn on c7. Now his rook is trapped." And then an irresistible attack seems to come out of nowhere.
Nov-11-18  stacase: Considering the situation and puzzle status, 18.Rxf7 was the only thing to do. That Black didn't accept the sacrifice was a surprise. After snatching 3 Pawns, 26.Bxh6+ was a killer. The mate that must follow isn't obvious, but Black is going to lose a lot more material than just the 3 pawns. And His king is really really naked.
Nov-11-18  mbvklc: How did that rook get there?
Nov-11-18  wtpy: I had seen this very famous game, but did not remember Portisch's defense in declining the sac.
Nov-11-18  Marmot PFL: 18 Rxf7 looks pretty simple as taking the rook is impossible 18...Kxf7 19 Qc4+ and everything loses. But this is an old and well known puzzle, harder if it starts on move 17. After declining the sacrifice black has material equality but such a weakened king side that white's attack almost plays itself.
Nov-11-18  messachess: Good one. Not really difficult.
Nov-11-18  DanielBryant: Too well known for a Sunday puzzle IMO.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: not bad for a 57 year old
Dec-06-21  Mathematicar: Excellent game from Botvinik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fiercebadger: 18...Kxf7 19. Qc4+ Kg6 20. Qg4+ Kf7 21. Ng5+ Kg6 ( kg8 Qc4+ again) 22. Be4+ Kf6 23. Qf5+
May-17-23  Saul Goodman: Botvinnik was certainly a great player, but he cheated, and we will never know the full extent of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Saul Goodman: Botvinnik was certainly a great player, but he cheated, and we will never know the full extent of it.>

What grounds do you have for this accusation?

May-17-23  Damenlaeuferbauer: <Saul Goodman> Of course the "patriarch" Mikhail Botvinnik was a problematic character and had strange opions concerning some topics and a big influence in Soviet chess from the 1930s to the early 1960s, but it is absurd to call him a "cheater". He devoted a great part of his life to the royal game. 20 years ago, my compatriot GM Christopher Lutz called him the best chess player of the 20th century. We had to remember, that in these decades it was VERY dangerous to live in the Soviet Union (especially until March 1953). David Bronstein, Vasily Smslov and Tigran Petrosian for example also made use of their influence in Soviet chess politics to their favour. He also helped some people, for example the young Garry Kasparov. Without the "patriarch", Kasparov would never become world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 18...Kxf7 19. Qc4+ Qd5 20. Ng5+ loses the Queen.

18...Kxf7 19. Qc4+ Kf6 20. Bg5+ loses the Queen.

18...Kxf7 19. Qc4+ Kg6 20. Qg4+ Kf7 21. Ng5+ Kg6 22. Be4+ Kf6 23. Qf5+ Ke7 24. Bc5+ Qd6 25. Qe6+ Kd8 26. Bb6+ Qc7 27. Nf7#

May-22-23  Saul Goodman: Kasparov’s books detail a number of occasions where Botvinnik acted dishonorably in chess matches. My favorite example is during the World Championship tournament of 1948 when Max Euwe’s notebooks containing his opening research disappeared from his hotel room for the duration of the tournament. Kasparov was an admirer of Botvinnik, but also honest about him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: After Kasparov's disgraceful treatment of his former second Vladimirov, why should anything he says or writes be taken on trust? His behaviour towards Vladimirov was as paranoiac as that of Botvinnik to his seconds.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Vladimirov was no threat to Kasparov, not in the same league?
Nov-07-23  rmdalodado: Quote for the game (#72) in Chernev's Golden Dozen:

"The game, strangely enough does not appear in the book Botvinnik 's best games, 1947-1970, though it was voted the best game of the year by a jury of eight grandmasters."

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Saul Goodman: Kasparov’s books detail a number of occasions where Botvinnik acted dishonorably in chess matches. My favorite example is during the World Championship tournament of 1948 when Max Euwe’s notebooks containing his opening research disappeared from his hotel room for the duration of the tournament. Kasparov was an admirer of Botvinnik, but also honest about him.>

Here's what is actually written in OMGP II at p. 161 (Kasparov is quoting Lev Alburt, who was three years old in 1948 and has no more first hand knowledge of the facts than you or I, but has written some crazy @#$% about Soviet players).

<On the way from the Hague to Moscow, ex-world champion Max Euwe had his chess notebooks confiscated in Brest <(as Botvinnik writes, these were Euwe's secret opening analyses --G.K)>. The customs officials, you see, imagined that this was code. At Botvinnik's request the notebooks were returned, and Euwe was touched and heartily grateful, but...copies of the notes somehow found their way to the Soviet grandmasters.>

Assuming this copying-and-dissemination actually took place, it did Botvinnik no good: he had two quiet draws with Euwe in Moscow, and neither game was played at the bleeding edge of opening theory.

Euwe vs Botvinnik, 1948

Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1948

Keres and Smyslov beat Euwe like a rented mule in Moscow, but they'd done the same in the Hague.

Maybe find some other page on which to smear Botvinnik? This is a nice game.

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