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Gideon Stahlberg vs David Bronstein
Budapest Candidates (1950), Budapest HUN, rd 17, May-13
English Opening: Anglo-Dutch Defense (A10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-13-05  Resignation Trap: Here is Botvinnik's summary of this game from his personal notebook on Bronstein: "Dutch with ...c6, ...d6. 'Br' played not at all badly, but he decided against a complicated sacrifice of two minor pieces for a rook and two pawns - continued to scheme. In so doing calculated very accurately, schemed to move 30, exploited very well Stahlberg's very first tactical mistake, and won in ten moves. Schemed very well!"
Dec-07-08  Everett: What is Botvinnik's definition of "schemed?": to manuever w/o exchanges?
Dec-07-08  Everett: 41..Rd7!
Dec-07-08  Shams: <Everett> yeah 41...Rd7! is nice. can you find the complicated sac that <RT> has Botvinnik describing? I feel like it must be on or around black's 16th, but I don't see it.
Dec-08-08  Everett: <Shams> I think on move 24 there may be something for black, since white's Q has come off eyeing g4.

24...Nxg4 25.hxg4 Bxg4 26.Be2 Rf3 with the idea of Raf8, Qh4 and with little fear of Bxf3 because white's light squares around the king may prove fatal for him. All well and good except the simple 27.Qxd7 wins on the spot (whoops!) ...Nf6-Nh5-Nf4 can also be considered after the sac. White's two rooks and c3-knight will have a tough time defending on the K-side.

I would consider taking with the B first. With 24...Bxg4 25.hxg4 Nxg4 white can't play 26.Qxd7 Qh4 when he has to give up Q for N to avoid mate.

I popped the position quickly into Hiarcs and it came up with (after 24...Bxg4 25.hxg4 Nxg4) 26.Bh3 Nxf2 27.Bxd7 Nxd1 28.Rxd1 Qxb4 and scores this nearly even, but I think I would rather be white, with options to sacrifice material favorably.


Dec-08-08  sfeuler: I may be grasping, but a complicated sac???
16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Bc1 Qf7 19.Rd3 Nc5 20.Re3 Be7 21.b4 Bg5 22.bxc5 Bxe3 23.Bxe3 Bxf3 24.Bxf3 Qxf3 25.Qxf3 Rxf3
Dec-09-08  Everett: <Shams> <sfeuler> Very happy to be analyzing this game with some players...

<sfeuler> I think you are right with <Shams> that there is something on move 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Bc1 Qf7 19.Rd3 and then <19...Nb4> is an improvement for black, as white cannot maintain lateral defense of f3 after 20.Re3 Bc5. Before this, though, white can play 19.Rxd6 and give up the pinned piece on f3 and be fine. With this in mind I wonder if black should continue <after 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Bc1> 18...Bc5 19.a3 (keeping N out of b4) 19...Qf7 20.Rd3 and now 20...Bd4 can be considered. 21.b4 (keeping N out of c5) 21...Qh5 with the plan of doubling rooks on the f-file. 21...Nc7, rerouting to some happy squares after Ne6 looks promising as well.

In my above post, last line, a more enterprising move <after 24...Bxg4 25.hxg4 Nxg4 26.Bh3 Nxf2 27.Bxd7 Nxd1 28.Rxd1> is ...Rad8! The pin on the B is a bit awkward. After 29.Qd6 Qg5 maintains some pressure. White is probably up but it is a bit dicey.

Dec-10-08  sfeuler: Yeah, didn't notice that my 18...Qf7 drops the Bishop. I like your line starting with 18...Bc5 though and your last line with the pin on the B looks wild, dicey it is! Do you know what sac Botvinnik was talking about in his notebook?
Dec-10-08  Everett: <sfeuler>, you, <Shams> and I are trying to find that out, actually. Unless <Resignation Trap> knows, it basically us trying to figure it out. Despite our variations, I do not see the one that fits Botvinnik's description of "two minor pieces for a rook and two pawns."

BTW, after 41..Rd7 white can try either 42.Qxf4 and end up in a losing endgame, or still lose in a more tenacious way after 42.Qb2! Rxd1 43.Qxe5+ and 44.Qxf4.

Dec-11-08  sfeuler: How about?? 16...Nxg4 17.Ng5 Nxf2 18.Qxh5 g6 19.Qe2 Nxd1 20.Rxd1 or back to my first one with 18...Qf6 (instead of Qf7) which pretty much forces White to give up his Rook for the Bishop on d6 due to 19.Rd3 Nb4 20.Re3 Bc5...
Dec-11-08  Everett: <sfeuler> Excellent work. At first glance, your first line looks favorable to white, with the two bishops and no attack to his king, I feel like white is better despite the "equality" of material. Why not 17...Nxe3 in that line? I think that move puts 17.Ng5 out of business for white.

The 2nd one, after 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Bc1 Qf6 19.Rd3 Nb4 20.Re3 Bc5 looks very promising for black. What if white plays 18.Bg5 instead of Bc1? This seems awkward to meet. Yet black can play 18...Qe6, and the game seems very dynamic and unclear to me.

Dec-13-08  sfeuler: Yep, 1st line 17...Nxe3 18.Qxh5 g6 looks bad 19.Qxh7+ Qxh7 20.Nxh7 Nxd1 21.Nxf8 Nxc3 22.Nxg6+ Kg7 23.bxc3 Kxg6 and White is a piece down, or 17...Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Bxd1 and 19.Rxd1 Bc5 loses anothe pawn for White plus an attack for Black, or 19.Nxd1 Bc5 20.Qc1 Rad1 ties White all up...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Everett & sfeuler> In your suggested line, 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 18.Bc1?, Fritz indicates Black has a small advantage after 18...Bc7!. Fritz indicates White has a small advantage after 18...Qf6? 19.Nb1, or 19.Bg5.

Best for White after: 16...Nxg4 17.hxg4 Bxg4 is, (.63) (20 ply) 18.Rac1! Qf6 19.Nb1 Be7 20.Nbd2 Bb4 21.Qc4 Bxd2 22.Nxd2 Bxd1 23.Rxd1 Rad8 24.Qb3, with a small advantage for White.

In this variation, take a look at the position after 24.Qb3. Is this the complicated sacrifice of two minor pieces for rook and two pawns, that you have been searching for?

click for larger view

Dec-15-08  sfeuler: That might be it (thanks to you and Fritz), but we'd have to ask <Resignation Trap> since he was the one that brought up Botvinnik's personal notebook on Bronstein and the complicated sac (I was trying to find it and <Everett> was kind enough to check out my lines and make suggustions for me)...
Premium Chessgames Member
  RadioBoy: Unless botvinnik admits to 'scheming' in his own games I suspect that it is a not-so-subtle put down. Like he wins by astute tactical analysis and planning while everyone else has to resort to 'scheming'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RadioBoy: Unless botvinnik admits to 'scheming' in his own games I suspect that it is a not-so-subtle put down. Like he wins by astute tactical analysis and planning while everyone else has to resort to 'scheming'.>

I think that in general Botvinnik failed to fully appreciate Bronstein's talent, so different from his own. But --

-it's Botvinnik's personal notebook, never intended for publication, so a put-down would be kind of pointless.

-It would be nice to know what the Russian word was that got translated as "scheming," and how Russian authors use it in chess, and maybe other contexts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <-It would be nice to know what the Russian word was that got translated as "scheming," and how Russian authors use it in chess, and maybe other contexts.>

I was thinking the same thing. The Russian word translated as "scheming" might also mean "planning."

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