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Alexander Kotov vs Gideon Stahlberg
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 2, Aug-31
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-04  Backward Development: of interest:
on the exchange variation:
"White usually enters the Exchange Variation of the Orthodox Queen's Gambit with the intention of playing a minority attack, in which he stations his rooks on the b and c files and then advances his b-pawn and trades it off on c6 to create a backward black pawn. A number of master games have demonstrated that this is too direct a plan to pose any great danger to black, who may, in his turn, expand upon his control of the efile to carry an active piece game to the kingside, establishing approximate equality. For this game, Kotov is not after a draw: he has other reasons altogether for trading off the center pawns. In the tradition of the old masterse, he intends castilng long, followed by a kingside pawn storm-an idea he conceals quite well for the first dozen moves." on Stahlberg's defense:
"Stahlberg is the only grandmaster of our day who retains the Orthodox Defense as part of his repetoire, and he plays it like a virtuoso. This system, with ...g6 and the knight transfer to e6 prior to castling, in his invention. Neither Kotov, in the present game, nor the author, in the tournament's second half, nor even the World Champion, Botvinnik himself, in the Budapest tournament of 1952, could find any weak spot in the Swedish grandmaster's favorite defese." after white's 21st move:
"The game has gone into an ending which favors White a bit, and requires accurate play from Black. White would have done better to play 21. Rb1 anwering 21...Rd7 with 22. Rb2; then after the f-file opened, he could obtain counterpressure on the b-pawn, saving his a4 until after black's ...b6." after white's 36th move
"White's game is lost: he has nothing to match Black's passed pawn. However, he would have some practical chances of a draw in the following variation: 36.ab ab
37.Ra1 h3
38.Rh1 Rh7
pawns are equal for the moment, and White's rook is unapproachable; to play for the win, there fore, black's king must go for the g-pawn, which time white could use to attack the b and c-pawns: 39...kf5
40.kb4 kxg5
41.c5 and if 41...bc+, White gets his draw; but on 41...b5 he is one tempo short."
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Stahlberg equalizes without much trouble in this game. Kotov's decision to push his kingside pawns and castle queenside does not lead to an attack and weakens his position in the endgame. 13 Be5 would have been more logical which would have made 13.. Qa5 less effective. After 31 Rg5 and 33 h4 Stahlberg gets a passed h pawn and the rest is fairly routine. Kotov was completely outplayed positionally in this game.
Dec-23-15  cwcarlson: 36.ab ab 37.Rb2 h3 38.Rb6 h2 39.d5 Kf5 40.Rb1 Rh7 41.Rh1 cd Kg4 43.Kd4 Kf3 44.d6 Kg2 45.Rh2 Rh2 46.Ke4 Kf2 47.d7 Rh8 48.Ke5 Ke3 49.Kf6 is a draw, according to Shredder.
Feb-10-17  storminnorman2010: One of only two wins for Stahlberg at Zurich 1953. He would have to waiy for the 27th round to win another one.
Feb-10-17  storminnorman2010: *wait
Feb-11-17  storminnorman2010: I made a mistake: Stahlberg won a 12th round game first.
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