Las 100 mejores partidas de Botvinnik comentadas por el mismo


Mijail Botvinnik (17 de agosto de 1911 - 5 de mayo de 1995) ajedrecista judío. Nació en Kuokkala, San Petersburgo. No solo fue un jugador de ajedrez, sino que aportó a la teoría y reglamentación del ajedrez, por ello se considera uno de los más importantes jugadores del siglo XX. Ganó en siete ocasiones el campeonato mundial entre los años 1948 a 1963, representando a la Unión Soviética. Por su talento participó en las Olimpiadas de 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962 y 1964.Realmente su talento no era una fuente estable de ganancias, por lo tanto, tuvo que trabajar como ingeniero electricista, pero no dudo en quejarse ante Vyacheslav Molotov, figura política destacada en el ambiente soviético, afirmó que su labor ordenada por el gobierno le impedía escribir los comentarios de las partidas del Campeonato de la URSS de 1941, así que trabajó sólo durante tres días a la semana, para que pudiera desarrollar sus actividades relacionadas con el ajedrez.-Por un lapso dejó el ajedrez para doctorarse en Ingeniería electrónica, materia en la cual se mostró como un especialista. Con la muerte de Stalin, llegó al ministerio de Exteriores (1953-1956), permaneció en el poder hasta ser desplazados por los reformistas de Jruschov. Estuvo envuelto en una acusación por su supuesta participación en el grupo antipartido, fue destituido de sus cargos y confinado en Asia central. Para el año de 1964 fue expulsado del partido. No fue rehabilitado hasta veinte años más tarde. Luego, de ello su nombre dejó de sonar hasta su muerte el 5 de mayo de 1995.











(1) Botvinnik Mikhail - Stoltz G [D55]
Sweden Match, Stockholm, 1926
[Botvinnik Mikhail]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 b6 Capablanca frequently resorted to this defence (with the preliminary 6. ... Ph6) and he was followed by Tartakower, Makogonov, and Bondarevsky. I knew it was customary to reply 7. cxPd4 but in those days my chief aim in the opening was to develop my pieces 7.Rc1 [7.cxd5 exd5 ] 7...Bb7 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.0-0 Ne4 seems natural [9...c5 10.Qe2 cxd4 11.exd4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 isolating the Q pawn] 10.Bxe7 White made this move without stopping to think. It is best to avoid simplifications [10.Bf4! Avoiding simplications 10...-- /\11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bxc7 Qxc7 13.Nxe4 ] 10...Qxe7 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Nxe4 A combinative micalculation. True, Black already has a good game as ... Pf5 cannot be prevented [12.Bb1 f5 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Rxc7 exf3 15.Rxb7 Qg5 16.g3 Qg4 17.Kh1 Rf6 18.Rg1 Rh6 19.Qf1 Rh3-+ ] 12...dxe4 13.Rxc7 Bc8 Botvinnnik overlooked Stolz's simple but strong move [13...Bd5 14.Ne5+- ; 13...Rab8 14.Ne5+- ] 14.Bb5 [>=14.Be2! Better, allowing White play along the h1-a8 diagonal 14...Qd6 15.Qc1 exf3 16.Bxf3 Ba6 17.Bxa8 Bxf1 18.Rxa7 winning a third pawn for the Knight] 14...exf3 Black throws away all his advantage [>=14...Qd8 15.Rxc8 Rxc8 winning the exchange] 15.Qxf3 Qd6 An attractive move, but after it Black has a lost game [>=15...Rb8 16.Qc6 Rd8 17.Rxa7 White has three pawns for the piece and exerts strong pressure] 16.Qc6! Qb4 [16...Qxc6 17.Bxc6 White keeps two extra pawns 17...Rb8 18.Bxd7 Bxd7 19.Rxd7+- ] 17.Qxa8 Ba6 The whole point 18.Qxf8+! [18.Qd5 Nf6 19.Qe5 Bxb5 ] 18...Nxf8 19.Bxa6 h5 Black is helpless and condemned to passive defence 20.Rxa7 Qxb2 21.Bc4 Ne6 22.Bb3 h4 23.d5 Nd8 24.Rd7 Qf6 25.h3 b5 26.e4 Kh7 27.e5 Qb6 28.Re1 b4 29.e6 fxe6 30.dxe6 Nxe6 31.Rxe6 1-0













(2) Botvinnik Mikhail - Grigoriev N [E16]
Russia Match, Leningrad, 1927

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 0-0 8.0-0 d6 9.Qc2 This variation is often met with in tournaments. In those days I always played 3. Nf3 and studied the continuations arising from this move in all their finesses [9.Nc3 Ne4 Black has obstructed White's e-pawn] 9...Nbd7 [9...Be4 10.Qb3 -- 11.Nc3 ] 10.Nc3 Qe7 11.e4 e5 12.Rad1 g6 Black protects f5 from occupation by the Knight, and prepares the later advance of the f-pawn 13.Rfe1 c6 Necessary. True, it greatly reduces the Bishop's scope, but it completely eliminates the constant threat of Nd5 14.b3 Ne8 15.Qd2 Rd8 16.Bh3 f6 17.Qh6 attracted by a little trap [The better plan is >=17.Nh4+/- -- /\18.f4 ] 17...Nc7 [17...Qg7 18.Qxg7+ Nxg7 19.Bxd7 Rxd7 20.dxe5 winning a pawn, but White is not up to the mark] 18.Nh4 Rf7 [>=18...Ne6 >=19.Bxe6+ (19.d5 Ng5! hemming in the White Queen (19...Nd4 20.Ne2! ) ) 19...Qxe6 ] 19.d5 [19.f4 exd4! 20.Rxd4 d5 ] 19...cxd5 20.Nxd5 Bxd5 [‹20...Nxd5 21.cxd5 Nf8 22.Rc1+/- ] 21.cxd5 Rdf8 22.Rd2 f5 A mistake leading to defeat [>=22...a5! 23.-- Nc5 Black would equalize the game without difficulty] 23.exf5 gxf5 24.Qh5 f4 [24...Nf6 25.Qg5+ Rg7 26.Nxf5 winning a pawn; 24...Qe8 25.Bxf5! Rxf5 26.Qg4+ intermenzzo check] 25.Nf5 Rxf5 26.Bxf5 Nf6 27.Qh6 Kh8 [27...Nfxd5 28.Rxd5 Rxf5 (28...Nxd5 29.Be6+ ) 29.Rxd6+- ] 28.Rxe5! dxe5 [28...Qxe5 29.Qxf8+ Ng8 30.Qf7 Nf6 31.Rd1+- ] 29.d6 Qd8 30.dxc7 Qxd2 31.Qxf8+ Ng8 32.c8Q 1-0













(3) Botvinnik Mikhail - Ragozin V [C16]
Russia Tournament, Leningrad, 1927

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 f6 [>=4...c5 Well known that this is stronger and almost gives Black and equal game. But in those days this was not known, and chess players were influenced by Lasker-Marockzy (New York 1924) in which, after 4. ... Pc5 White obtained the better game ] 5.Nf3 c5 6.a3 Ba5 [6...cxd4 7.axb4 dxc3 8.Bd3 White has an excellent game] 7.b4 cxb4 8.Nb5 Nc6 9.axb4 Bc7 [9...Bxb4+ 10.c3 Be7 11.Ba3 Black is in a difficult position] 10.c3 Nge7 [10...fxe5 11.Nxe5 Nf6 (11...Bxe5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Bf4 ) 12.Bf4! ; 10...f5 11.Ba3 -- /\12.Nd6+ Bxd6 13.exd6 Qxd6 14.b5 ] 11.exf6 gxf6 12.Bd3 0-0 13.0-0 Bd7 Now Black stubbornly attempts to advance the e-pawn, but this only hastens his defeat [13...e5 14.Nxc7 Qxc7 15.b5! e4 (15...Nd8 16.dxe5 fxe5 17.b6! ) 16.bxc6 Qxc6+/- ; 13...Bb8 ] 14.Bh6 Rf7 15.Qd2 e5 16.dxe5 White chooses the sharper continuation [16.Nxc7 Qxc7 17.dxe5 Nxe5 18.Nd4 ] 16...Nxe5 17.Nxe5 fxe5 18.Nxc7 Qxc7 19.Qg5+ Kh8 20.Qh5! Be6 It may seem Black, threatening ... Nf5 and ... Pe4 has achieved a good position 21.Rae1 e4 Black has realized one of his threats [21...Nf5 22.Bf4 ] 22.c4! White's superiority is obvious. Black's centre is crumbling, and White's Bishop begins to operate with great force along the open Black diagonals 22...Rf5 [22...exd3 23.Rxe6 ] 23.Qe2 Qe5 [23...exd3 24.Qb2+ ] 24.Bc1! [24.cxd5 Rh5 25.g3 (25.Bf4 Qxf4 26.Qxh5 Bg4 27.Qh4 Ng6 ) 25...Rxh6 26.dxe6 ] 24...Qd6 [24...Rh5 25.Bb2 d4 26.Bxd4! Qxd4 27.Qxh5 Qxd3 28.Qe5++- ] 25.cxd5 exd3 26.Bb2+ Kg8 27.Qg4+ Ng6 28.Rxe6 Qxd5 29.Rxg6+ The simplest way of winning 29...hxg6 30.Qxg6+ Kf8 31.Qg7+ Ke8 32.Re1+ Kd8 33.Qe7+ Kc8 34.Rc1+ 1-0













(4) Rabinovich I - Botvinnik Mikhail [A95]
USSR USSR, 1927

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nf3 d5 7.0-0 c6 The result is the variation known as the "stonewall" in which Black has a difficult game, but White also has difficulty in exploiting his spatial advantage. Perhaps Black's task is more complicated if White develops Nh3 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.Bf4 Not till ten years after this game did V. Chekhover find an apparently better plan for White [Chekhover-Riumin, Young Masters 1936 9.Bg5! Qh5 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.cxd5 exd5 12.e3 By exchanging at f6, White averted any attempt on Black's part to attack on the Kingside, and prepared his own Queenside pawn advance ] 9...Qh5 10.Rad1 Nbd7 11.b3 Black could not advantageously capture the c-pawn because of Nd2. Now White decides to defend this pawn, in order to free his Knight, but later he suffers for this weakening of c3 [11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Ng4 reason why a premature Ne5 was not possible] 11...Ne4 12.Ne5! Playable since Black doesn't have Ng4 12...Ng5 [12...-- /\13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.f3 ; 12...-- The idea of playing Pe4 13.f3 Nef6 14.e4 ; Black can win a pawn here 12...Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qxe2 15.Bf3 Bb4 16.Qxb4 Qxf3 17.Qd6+/- Centralized pieces give White an advantage; >=12...Bf6 in compensation for his restricted position Black wants to keep the two Bishops or force a weakening of White's King side ] 13.h4 [13.f3 White's game is centred around playing Pe4 13...Nh3+ 14.Bxh3 Qxh3 15.e4 with an excellent game] 13...Ne4 14.Bf3 [14.Nxe4 fxe4 15.f3+/- White would get a better game 15...Rxf4 16.gxf4 the exchange sacrifice gives Black no prospects] 14...Qe8 15.Nxd7 Bxd7 16.Kg2 Bb4! 17.Bxe4 [>=17.Nb1 with the possibility of defence] 17...fxe4 18.Rh1 Qh5 19.f3 Qg6 An error [>=19...e5 20.dxe5 Qg6 ] 20.Kf1 e5! [20...exf3 21.Qxg6 hxg6 22.Rb1 Black would hardly have an advantage] 21.dxe5 [>=21.h5 White could have saved himself 21...Qf5 22.dxe5 exf3 23.Qxf5 Bxf5 24.Rc1 d4 25.Nd1 Bg4 Black should have a won ending. But White shooses a continuation which enables Black to end the game with a dash; 21.Bxe5 Qg4 ] 21...Rxf4! 22.gxf4 Qg3!! fine example of the weakness of dark squares 23.Nxe4 There is no better move [23.-- Bc5 ; 23.-- e3 ; 23.cxd5 Bc5 24.Nxe4 Bh3+ 25.Rxh3 Qg1# ] 23...dxe4 [‹23...Bh3+ ] 24.Rxd7 [24.Qxe4 Bc5 25.e3 Bf5! overworked Queen ] 24...Bc5 [24...e3 25.Rxg7+! ] 25.e3 Qxf3+ 26.Qf2 Qxh1+ 27.Ke2 Qh3 28.f5 Qg4+ 29.Kd2 Rf8 30.e6 Qxf5 [30...Rxf5 31.Rd8+ Bf8 32.Qxf5! Qxf5 33.e7 ] 31.Qxf5 Rxf5 32.Rxb7 Rf2+ 33.Ke1 Rf6 34.b4 Bxe3 0-1













(5) Botvinnik Mikhail - Nenarokov V [D95]
10 Moscow ch-SU, 1927

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 g6 K. Schlecter's Variation of the Slav Defence. It gives Black a restricted but stable game 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Qb3 [6.Bd3 more usual, and is probably stronger] 6...0-0 7.Bd2 e6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.0-0 Nb6 Black's Knight manoeuvre (Nb8-d7-b6) recommended by E. Grunfeld, is dubious. So far no completely reliable defence for Black (in place of the Grunfeld manoeuvre) has been found, though some Soviet masters have obtained a satisfactory game by 7. ... Pb6 10.Ne5?! White plays for complications, which should have resulted in Black's favour [>=10.Rfd1 playing for Pe4] 10...Nfd7 11.f4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 dxc4 13.Bxc4 c5! Now Black forcedly loses the exchange for two pawns, but has two Bishops and good winning chances [13...Bxe5 14.dxe5 Qxd2 15.Rf3 (‹15.Ne4 Qa5 ) ] 14.Ne4 cxd4 15.Bb4 Bxe5 [15...Re8 16.Nd6 ] 16.Bxf8 Qxf8 17.exd4 Bxd4+ 18.Kh1 Qh6 Now the back rank is undefended, and White launches a direct attack on the King [The correct move >=18...Bd7 White could at best count on no more than a draw.] 19.Rad1 Be5 20.Rd8+ Kg7 21.g3 [21.h3 Qh4 ] 21...Bd7 The best chance. White threatened Qb4 with mating attack 22.Rxd7! [22.Rxa8 Bc6-+ ] 22...Nxd7 23.Bxe6! fxe6 Black condemns himself to a difficult defence, which none the less leads to salvation [23...Nf6 24.Nxf6 Bxf6 25.Qxb7 Rf8 26.Qxa7+/- White has an extra pawn] 24.Qxe6 Kh8 25.Qxd7 Rf8 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Kg2 Qb8 28.Ng5 Bg7 29.Ne6 [29.Nf7+ Kg8 30.Qe6 Qf8! ] 29...Bf6 [29...Bxb2 30.Nd8 h5 31.Nf7+ Kg7 (31...Kg8 32.Ng5 Bg7 33.Qf7+ Kh8 34.Qxg6 ) 32.Ne5+!+- ] 30.b3 Qg8 31.h4 b6 Now if the opportunity offers, Black threatens a very unpleasant check at a8, and the Queen gets to freedom 32.Kf2 h6 33.Nf4 The last attempt 33...Qg7! 34.Qe8+ Kh7 35.Qe4 Be5! 36.Nd3 [36.Nxg6 Bxg3+ saves Black] 36...Bd6 1/2-1/2













(6) Ilyin-Zhenevsky - Botvinnik
1927

1.e4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.g3 This system was suggested by Tartakower. In this game Black achieved at least equal play 3...dxe4 4.Bg2 Bd7 [4...f5 5.f3 Dangerous. At the cost of a pawn White holds the initiative for a long time] 5.Nh3 This move is not wholly good as the h3 Knight is out of play [5.Nxe4 Bc6 ; 5.d3 Bc6 6.dxe4 Qxd1+ 7.Nxd1= ] 5...Bc6 6.0-0 Nd7! [6...Nf6 7.Ng5 White's badly placed Knight comes into play] 7.Nxe4 Ngf6 8.d3 [8.Nxf6+ Nxf6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 Black considered his doubled c-pawns were fully offset by White's weakness on light squares on his kingside and by the ineffective development of the Knight at h3. Later White took this course but derived no benefit from it ] 8...Be7 9.Nf4 0-0 10.Bd2 e5 Black has completed his development and turns to the attack 11.Nxf6+ [11.Ne2 Nd5 ] 11...Nxf6 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Ng2 Qd7 14.Ne3 Nd5 15.Nc4 f6 Black plans ... Re8, ... Bd6, ... Pf5 but does not hurry with ... Bd6 wishing to mask his scheme a little 16.Be3 [16.-- /\Rae8 17.-- Bd6 18.-- f5 ] 16...Rae8 17.a3 [17.Bxa7 c5 ] 17...a6 18.Kg2! Unable to prevent Black carrying out his plan, White sets up a strong defensive position, which proves anything but simple to break through 18...Bd6 19.f3 f5 20.Bg1 Rf6 [‹20...Re6 the e8-R is needed to defend the e-pawn] 21.Qe2 The Queen is badly placed on the e-file [>=21.Qd2 ] 21...h5! 22.Kh1 h4 23.gxh4! The only move! It would be suicide to let Black take at g6, it would completely break up the King's position 23...Nf4 Black should have continued with ... Rh6 and collected the h-pawn. Instead he plays weakly and his advantage begins to fade [23...Rh6 ] 24.Qd2 Rh6 25.Be3! Exactly! Now White will succeed in exchanging off Black's excellent Knight and will have an opportunity to improve his position considerably 25...Rxh4 26.Bxf4 Rxf4 27.Rae1 Qf7 28.Qg2 Qh5 29.Re3 [>=29.Qg3 ] 29...Re6 30.Rg1 Qh6 31.b4 Rh4 32.Qe2 An irrecoverable mistake [32.Re2 \/Rg6 ] 32...Qf4 [32...e4?? 33.Nxd6 exf3 34.Rxe6+- ] 33.Qg2 [33.Rg2 Reh6 34.-- Rh3 strangulation] 33...Rg6 34.Qf2 e4! The decisive move [‹34...Rxh2+ 35.Qxh2 Rh6 36.Qxh6 Qxh6+ 37.Kg2 ] 35.Nxd6 Rxh2+ 36.Qxh2 Rh6 37.Re2 We still had a long time to play after this. I had the impression that in the text continuation the White King must remain on h1! Victory would have followed quickly 37...Qxf3+ [37...Rxh2+ 38.Rxh2 Qxf3+ 39.Rhg2 cxd6 40.Kh2 Qh5+ 41.Kg3 g5! ] 38.Reg2 Rxh2+ 39.Kxh2 Qh5+ 40.Kg3 cxd6 In the variation above it would be Black's move, not Whites 41.dxe4 Qg4+ 42.Kf2 Qf4+ 43.Ke2 Qxe4+ 44.Kd2 Qd4+ 45.Ke2 Kf7 46.Rg6! To prevent Black's Queen from h6 where the win would be quite simple 46...Qc3! 47.Kd1 d5 [47...f4 48.Rxg7+ Qxg7 49.Rxg7+ Kxg7 50.c4! Kf6 51.a4 Ke6 52.a5 d5 (52...Kd7 53.Ke2 d5 54.cxd5 cxd5 55.Kf3 Kc6 56.Kxf4 Kb5 57.Ke5 Kc4 58.b5!= ) 53.b5! Kd6 (53...Kd7 54.bxc6+ Kxc6 55.cxd5+ Kxd5 56.Ke2= ) 54.c5+! Kc7 55.b6+ Kb7= ] 48.R6g3 After all White lets the Queen to h6, but that does not alter the situation, as in any other case the advance of f-pawn would decide 48...Qd4+ 49.Ke2 Qe4+ 50.Kd2 Qf4+ 51.Ke2 Qh6 52.R1g2 g6! [52...d4 53.Rxg7+ Qxg7 54.Rxg7+ Kxg7= ] 53.a4 f4 54.Rc3 g5 55.b5 Qh5+ 56.Kd2 cxb5 57.axb5 axb5 58.Rc7+ Kf6 59.Rc6+ Kf5 60.Rc5 Qf7 61.Rxb5 g4 62.c4 f3 63.Rg1 f2 64.Rf1 g3 65.Rxd5+ Kg4 66.Rd4+ Kh3 [66...Kf3 67.Rc1 g2 68.Rc3# ] 0-1













(7) Poliak A - Botvinnik Mikhail [D63]
Moscow Educational t Moscow Educational t, 1929

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 c6 6.a3 This move prevents the Cambridge Springs Defence. It was played by Capablanca in the fifth and by Alekhine in the 34th game of their match in 1927 6...Be7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.Rc1 [8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bd3 a6 ] 8...b6 [8...dxc4 ; 8...Ne4 Capablanca's usual system] 9.cxd5 exd5 [‹9...cxd5 greatly weaken the Queenside] 10.Bd3 [10.Qa4 Bb7 11.Ba6 b5 ] 10...Bb7 11.0-0 A mistake, after which Black equalizes without difficulty [>=11.Qc2 Preventing Ne4 \/11...Ne4 ] 11...Ne4 12.Bxe4 Bxg5 In all other continuations Black would hold e4 with a good game 13.Nxg5 Qxg5 14.Bb1 Rfe8 15.Qd3 Nf8 16.f4 A rather risky move 16...Qf6 Causes complications [>=16...Qe7 ] 17.e4! dxe4 18.Nxe4 Qe7 19.Rce1! [There is nothing after 19.Ng5 h6 (19...Qe3+ 20.Qxe3 Rxe3 21.Ba2! ) 20.Nh7 Qe3+ ] 19...c5 At first glance a move of doubtful value, but in reality the only acceptable one [19...Rad8 20.Qg3 much unpleasantness of Black] 20.Ng5 [20.Nxc5 Qxe1 21.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 22.Kf2 Re7 with at least a draw for Black; 20.d5 f5 21.d6 fxe4 22.dxe7 exd3 23.exf8Q+= ] 20...Qd6 [During play I overlooked 20...Qxe1 21.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 22.Kf2 Re7 23.Nxh7 Be4! Affording every chance of a win] 21.Nxh7 [21.dxc5 Qxc5+ 22.Kh1 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Qf2 ; 21.Re5! Depriving Black of the d5 square 21...Ng6 22.Nxf7! Qxd4+ 23.Qxd4 cxd4 24.Ba2! Nxe5 25.fxe5 Ba6! 26.Rf2 h6! 27.Nd6+ Kh7 28.Nxe8 Rxe8 29.e6 d3= ] 21...Qd5! Evidently White had not forseen the Black Queen's interesting manouevre. He was reckoning only ... QxP 22.Qh3 Qxd4+ 23.Kh1 Qf2 24.Rc1 [24.Rd1 Rad8 ; 24.Nxf8 Rxe1 The Black king retreats to e7] 24...Bxg2+ 25.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Nxh7 27.Bxh7+ Refusal to exchange the smaller pieces would not bring any essential change 27...Kxh7 28.Kf3 Rad8 29.Rcd1 Kg6 30.Rfe1 Kf6 31.h3 Rxe1 32.Rxd8 Rc1 33.Rd2 c4 34.Rd6+ Deperation! 34...Ke7 35.Rd2 c3 36.Re2+ Kd6 37.Kf2 cxb2 38.Rxb2 Rc3 39.Rd2+ Ke6 40.Re2+ Kf6 0-1













(8) Botvinnik Mikhail - Sozin V [D46]
Novgorod Novgorod, 1929

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.0-0 At this time I was afraid of the Meran Variation, well known to Sozin [6.Nc3 Meran Variation] 6...Be7 [6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 Bd6 8.-- /\0-0 9.-- e5= ] 7.Nc3 0-0 8.e4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 b6 At that time this system was though quite good for Black. In this game White finds an original plan 10.Bf4 Bb7 11.Nc3! h6 [\/11...c5 12.d5 exd5 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.Bxh7+ Kxh7 16.Qxd5 Black should have chosen this reply, as later the reply Pd4 makes ... Pc5 unplayable] 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Qd2 Nf8 14.Rad1 Bd6 15.Ne5 Qe7 16.Bxh6! A purely positional sacrifice. For his Bishop White gets two pawns. But the destruction of the Black Kside and the ease of which White can transfer his major pieces to that side make it justifiable to assume that White's attack will be almost irresistible 16...gxh6 17.Qxh6 Bxe5 Black realizes that sooner or later the White Knight will have to be eliminated. He decides to do so now, so as to have some counterplay arising from 18. ... Nb4 18.dxe5 [18.-- /\Ng4<=> ] 18...Ng4 [18...N6h7 19.Ne4+- ] 19.Qf4 f5 20.exf6 [20.h3 Ng6 21.Qg3 N4xe5 22.f4 Qg7 equality of material would be restored, but I prefered to continue the attack] 20...Nxf6 21.Rd3 e5 22.Qh6 N6h7 23.Rg3+ Kh8 24.Ne4 Rad8 25.Ng5 Choosing Ng5 I overlooked Black's 30th move [25.f4 exf4 (25...-- /\26.f5 ) 26.Rxf4 -- /\27.Rfg4 (/\27.Nf6 ) ] 25...Rd7 26.Nxh7 Nxh7 27.Bxh7 Qxh7 28.Qf6+ Rg7 29.Rd1 Bc8 30.h4 Reg8! The strongest! 31.Qxe5 [31.-- /\Qf5 seizing the initiative] 31...Qf5 But now the position is approximately equal, though Black must fight for a draw becaues of the three White linked passed pawns [31...Qxh4 32.Rd4 Qh6 (32...Qe7 33.Qxe7 ) 33.Rd6! ] 32.Qxf5 Bxf5 33.Rxg7 Rxg7 34.f3! Be6 35.b3 Kg8 36.Rd6 Bd7 37.g4 Kf8 38.Kf2 Ke7 39.Rd2 [>=39.Rd3 ; >=39.Rd1 ] 39...a5 [39...Bxg4 40.fxg4 Rxg4= ] 40.Kg3 Be8 41.Kf4 Rf7+ 42.Kg3 Kf6 43.Re2 Re7 After exchanging Rooks Black is lost [>=43...Bd7 although the three passsed pawns are very dangerous] 44.Rxe7 Kxe7 45.h5 Kf6 46.Kf4 b5 Foreseeing danger Black tries to exchange pawns 47.cxb5 cxb5 48.g5+ Kg7 [48...Ke6 49.Kg4 Bd7 50.f4 Kd5+ 51.Kh4 Ke4 52.h6 Bf5 53.Kh5+- ] 49.h6+ Kg6 50.Ke5 Bf7 51.f4 Bg8 52.Kd6 a4 53.bxa4 bxa4 54.a3 Black has secured the Queenside, but the denouement must come on the Kside 54...Bh7 55.Ke7 [55.Ke6 Bg8+ 56.Ke7 Bh7 57.Kf8+- ] 55...Bg8 56.Kd6 White tries to restore the position but now Black is on guard 56...Kf5 57.Ke7 Kg6 A position which deserves note. Obviously if it is Black to move he loses. So White must win a tempo 58.Ke8 White provokes Black to transfer his Bishop to the b1-h7 diagonal hoping for an easier win; but it transpires that the resulting position is inadequate [58.Kd7 Kf5 (58...Bh7 59.Ke6 ; 58...Kf7 59.f5 Bh7 60.g6+ Bxg6 61.fxg6+ Kxg6 62.Kc6 Kxh6 63.Kb5 Kg6 64.Kxa4 Kf6 65.Kb5 Ke6 66.Kb6 Kd6 67.Kb7 White wins by a tempo) 59.Ke8! Kg6 60.Ke7! ] 58...Be6 59.Kf8 Bf5 60.Ke7 Bc2 61.Kd6 Bd3 62.Ke6 Bc4+ 63.Ke7 [63.Ke5 Bd3 64.f5+ Bxf5 65.h7 Kxh7 66.Kxf5= Only now did White see that this was drawn as the Black K will reach h8 ] 1/2-1/2













(9) Botvinnik Mikhail - Silich B [E32]
URS URS, 1929

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb7 4.Qc2 This well-known variation is of little benefit to Black, as it is difficult for him to prevent Pe4 4...e6 White gets a very strong centre [>=4...d5 sharpens the struggle] 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bd3 Bxc3+ This exchange, doubling the White pawns, is necessary [6...-- 7.Nge2 White would recapture the Bishop with Knight] 7.bxc3 d6 8.Ne2 c5 To block the doubled c-pawns 9.0-0 Nc6 10.f4 Qe7 Both side's plans are now defined. White intends to attack in the centre, Black intends to Castle on the Qside, an idea approximately that of Capablanca's game in an analogous position against Kmoch a little earlier (Budapest 1928) 11.d5 Na5! The White pawn on c4 is weak 12.Ng3 White regroups forces to attack in the centre and simultaneously to defend Pc4 [12.e5 Nd7 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Bxh7 0-0-0-/+ ] 12...0-0-0 13.Qe2 h5 [13...-- /\14.e5 ] 14.e5 Ne8 [14...Nd7 15.Ne4 dxe5 16.fxe5 Nxe5 17.Bg5 f6 18.Nxf6! ] 15.exd6 Nxd6 [15...Qxd6 16.f5 exd5 17.Bf4 Qc6 18.cxd5 Qxd5 19.Rad1-> White has a strong attack] 16.f5 e5 Of course, the only chance. Black intends ... Ph4-3 to keep the centre closed, and exploit good prospects on the wings 17.f6! [17.-- /\h4 18.-- h3 ] 17...gxf6 18.Nxh5 f5 At first sight a brilliant move, which would seem to defeat Whit'es plan [>=18...e4 19.Nxf6 Qe5 20.h3 Qxc3 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Bxe4 Nxc4 23.Bg5 White's game is to be preferred ] 19.Ng7 Apparently Black overlooked this manoeuvre [19.Bxf5+ Kb8!=/+ ] 19...e4 20.Nxf5 Nxf5 21.Rxf5 Qd6 [21...Qh4 22.Bf4 exd3 23.Qe5+- ] 22.Qxe4 Now the counterattack is repulsed and Black must lose 22...Qxh2+ 23.Kf2 Rde8 24.Qf4 Qh4+ 25.Qxh4 Rxh4 26.Bf4 Rf8 27.Bd6 Rg8 28.Rxf7 Kd8 29.Re1 1-0













(10) Ragozin V - Botvinnik Mikhail [C56]
Russia Tournament, Leningrad, 1930

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Nc3 This move was introduced by Canal. Recently several continuations have been found against it. But Black prefers to transpose the game back to the variation following 7. BxP 7...dxc4 8.Rxe4+ Be7 9.Nxd4 f5 10.Rf4 0-0 11.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 12.Nxd1 bxc6 13.Rxc4 Bd6 14.Be3 The beginning of all White's later difficulties [14.Rxc6 Bb7 ; 14.Bf4 Ba6 15.Bxd6 Rfe8!-/+ ; 14.Nc3 -- 15.Bf4 White would appear to have equalized the game] 14...f4 15.Bd4 Rf5 As before it is unprofitable to take the c-pawn 16.g4 This aggressive sally weakens the Kside [16.-- /\c5 ; 16.f3 c5 17.Bf2 Be6-/+ ] 16...Rg5 17.f3 h5! 18.h4 Rg6 White can equalize again [18...Rd5 19.Nc3 Ba6! 20.Ra4 (20.Rxc6 Rxd4 21.Rxa6 Bc5! (‹21...hxg4 22.Nb5 Rd2 23.Nxd6 cxd6 24.Re1! gxf3 25.Re7= ) 22.Kf1 hxg4 23.fxg4 f3 24.Rg6 Re8-/+ ) 20...Rxd4 21.Rxd4 Bc5 22.Rad1 Rd8-+ ] 19.g5 a5 necessary, as the a7-P is weak 20.Nf2 Re6 21.Ne4 Ba6 22.Rc3 This sacrifice of the Exchange is quite sound and should have led to a draw Owing to the closed nature of the position, the game acquires a drawn character [22.Nxd6 Rxd6 winning a piece; 22.Rxc6 Bb7 23.Nc5 (23.Rc4 Bxe4 24.fxe4 Rxe4 ) 23...Bxc6 24.Nxe6 Re8 25.Nxg7 Re2-> with the stronger attack] 22...Bb4 23.Rb3 Bc4 24.c3 Bxb3 25.axb3 Bf8 26.b4 a4 27.Kf1 Ree8 28.Ke2 c5 29.bxc5 Reb8 30.Ra2 Rb3 The King should have been brought up 31.Nd2 Rb5 After this White even has winning chances, as he captures the a-pawn 32.b4! g6 To exchange the Bishops at any rate 33.Kd3 Bg7 34.Nb3! Rbb8 35.Na5 Bxd4 36.Kxd4 Re8 37.Rxa4 Re3 At this, for Black, critical stage the game was adjourned. True, he gets the passed pawn, but even so the threatened advance of the White b-pawn is even more dangerous 38.b5 Rxf3 39.b6 cxb6 40.cxb6 Rd8+ The only possible! [40...Re3 41.b7 Rd8+ 42.Kc5 f3 43.Nc4!+- ] 41.Kc4 [41.Ke5 Rxc3 42.Kxf4 Rc5! 43.b7 Rb5 ] 41...Re3 42.Nc6 Unusually attractive, but dangerous. [White could force a draw by playing 42.Ra2 Rc8+ 43.Kb4 Re6 44.Kb5 (44.b7 Rb6+ ) 44...Re5+ 45.Kb4 (45.Ka6 Ra8+ ) 45...Re6 repetition] 42...Re4+ 43.Nd4 [43.Kb3 Rxa4 44.Kxa4 f3-+ ] 43...f3 44.Ra2 Rc8+ 45.Kb4! Again forced! The King has five ways of retreat, but only one sound way. [45.Kd3 Re7 46.-- /\Rb7 winning the pawn; 45.Kd5 Re7 46.Nxf3 Rd7+! 47.Ke6 Rb7 ; 45.Kb5 Re5+ 46.Kb4 Rb8-+ ] 45...Re1 46.c4 Re4 47.Kc3 Re3+ 48.Kb4 Re4 49.Kc3 Rd8 The only practical possibility of continuing the attempt to win This was found at the board, not at home. None the less I was very proud of this analysis, as hitherto I had been very weak in this branch 50.Nc6 Text mistake leads immediately to denouement [50.Nb3 Re2 51.Ra1 f2 52.Rf1 Rf8! 53.b7 Rb8 54.Na5= White draws] 50...Re3+ The only way. The White King is forced to occupy a disadvantageous position (on the file of his advanced pawn 51.Kb4 Re2 52.Ra1 f2 53.Nxd8 [53.Rf1 Rf8 54.b7 Rb2+ 55.Kc5 Rxb7-+ ] 53...Re1 54.Ra8 [54.b7 Rxa1 ] 54...f1Q 55.Nc6+ [55.Ne6+ Kf7 56.Rf8+ Kxe6 57.Rxf1 Rxf1-+ ] 55...Kg7 56.Ra7+ Kf8 57.b7 Rb1+ 58.Kc5 Qf5+ 59.Kd6 Rd1+ 60.Kc7 Qd7+ 61.Kb6 Rb1+ 62.Kc5 Rxb7 63.Ra8+ Kg7 Despite mistakes on both sides, this was an interesting game, especially in its closing stage. 0-1













(11) Rochlin J - Botvinnik Mikhail [C49]
Leningrad Masters' Tournament Leningrad, 1930

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bb5 Nf6 5.d3 True, Black does not now obtain a decisive advantage which White gets in the analogous variation Black's opening difficulties are eliminated [the usual move is 5.0-0 d6 6.Nd5! ] 5...Nd4 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 [7...d6 8.a3 White has nothing to fear] 8.Nxe5 [8.-- /\Bg4 (/\8...Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 d4 ) ] 8...Nxb3 The first mistake [>=8...Qe7! 9.f4 (9.Bf4 Nxb3 10.cxb3 d4 11.a3 Bd6 12.Nc6 Qd7 ) 9...0-0 White has a very difficult game] 9.cxb3 d4 [9...dxe4 Black would get at least an equal game ] 10.Nc6 dxc3 11.Nxb4 [11.Nxd8 c2+ winning the exchange] 11...c5! Black's following attempt to break through the White centre is a still better possibility [11...Qd4 I counted a winning a piece 12.Nc2 (12.bxc3 Qxc3+ 13.Bd2 The tactical point Botvinnik did not see ... the Knight is protected) 12...cxb2 ] 12.Nc2 c4 A very interesting position 13.bxc4 [13.dxc4 white gains no advantage 13...Qxd1+ 14.Kxd1 Nxe4 15.Re1 Bb7 16.f3 0-0-0+ ; 13.e5 cxd3! 14.exf6 d2+ 15.Bxd2 cxd2+ 16.Qxd2 Qxf6 and the doubled extra pawn is of no essential importance] 13...bxc4 14.e5! Ng4 [14...cxd3 15.exf6 d2+ 16.Bxd2 cxd2+ 17.Qxd2 Qxf6 White has an extra pawn] 15.d4 cxb2 16.Bxb2 Qa5+ 17.Qd2! Thouroughly sound! In returning the pawn White gets a very favourable endgame [17.Kf1 Rb8 18.Ba3 Bf5~~ ] 17...Qxd2+ 18.Kxd2 Nxf2 19.Rhf1 Ne4+ 20.Ke3 Bb7 21.Rf4 A stereotyped move, after which the advantage passes to Black [>=21.Rab1 exploiting the undefended Bishop 21...a5 22.Ba3 (\/22.Nb4 ) 22...Bd5 23.Rb5 Bc6 24.Rb6 Bd5 25.Rf4 with a difficult game for Black] 21...c3 Black seizes control of f1 and b1. To cap it all, the Rook at f4 is in danger 22.Ba3 Nd2 23.Bc5 White underestimates the seriousness of the Rook's position [>=23.h4 Nc4+ 24.Kd3 Rc8 25.Bc5 Nxe5+ 26.Kxc3 ] 23...g5 24.Rg4 [24.Rf5 Be4 ; 24.Rf2 Ne4 ] 24...h6 25.Rc1 Rc8 26.Bxa7 A losing move, as Black can bring the stranded King's Rook into play [26.h4 h5 (26...Nc4+ 27.Kf2! Nxe5 28.Re1 ) 27.Rxg5 Ne4 28.Rf5 Nxc5 29.dxc5 Rxc5 30.Kd4 Rc7 ] 26...f5! [26...Ra8 27.Bc5 Withe a probable draw] 27.exf6 Kf7 The whole point! Now White will not have the blocking move Be7 and the King's Rook comes into play with decisive effect 28.Bc5 Kxf6 29.Nb4 Rhe8+ 30.Kd3 Ne4 Winning the exchange at least 31.Rf1+ Kg6 32.Rxe4 [32.-- h5 ; 32.h4 Kh5 ] 32...Bxe4+ 33.Kxc3 Bxg2 34.Rf2 Bh3 [34...Be4 Simpler] 35.Nd3 Bf5 36.Nb4 Be4 37.Kd2 h5 38.a3 h4 39.Na2 g4 40.Nc3 Bf3 41.Bd6 Rcd8 42.Bc5 h3 43.Nb5 Bg2 0-1













(12) Botvinnik Mikhail - Gotthilf S [E22]
Leningrad Masters' Tournament Leningrad, 1930

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qb3 c5 5.dxc5 Na6 Until this game I had always regarded ... Na6 as weak. 6.a3 Bxc5 [6...Bxc3+ Alekhine-Bogolyubov] 7.Nf3 0-0 [7...b6 When analysing this game I came to the conclusion that 7. ... Pb6 White has no advantage at all, and in the same year, playing Black, i adopted this system against I. Kann (15) ] 8.Bg5 Be7 The only way to relieve the pin at f6; in addition the Bishop vacates c4 for the Knight 9.e4 d6 [>=9...b6 10.-- Bb7 Black saves a tempo 11.e5 Ne8 ] 10.Be2 Bd7 11.0-0 [11.Qxb7?? Nc5 12.Qb4 a5 ] 11...Bc6 12.Qc2 h6 13.Bf4 Nc5 14.e5 The only move consolidating White's advantage [14.Nd2 d5! 15.e5 Nfe4 Black has a fair game] 14...Nfe4 The best continuation, as by exchanging Bishops Black makes defence easier. Now it seems Black has a perfectly satisfactory position, as in the struggle for e5 he has even emerged victor; however the ensuing discharge of tension in the centre reveals the weakness of his position [14...dxe5 15.Nxe5+/- ] 15.exd6 Bxd6 16.Rad1 Qe7 [16...Qc7 17.Rxd6 Nxd6 18.b4 Na6 19.c5 ] 17.Bxd6 Nxd6 18.Ne5! White's advantage is determined by this move. Instead of the strong Bishop at c6 Black is left with a weak pawn and his Knights, deprived of Bishop support, are driven out of the centre [18.b4 ] 18...Rfd8 [18...Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qg5+ 20.Ng4 ] 19.b4 Nd7 20.Nxc6 bxc6 21.c5 Ne8 With this retreat Black condemns himself to passive defence [21...Nf5 22.Qa4 Rdc8 23.Ne4! a5 24.Nd6 ] 22.Qa4 [22.Ne4 ] 22...Rdc8 23.Ba6 Rc7 24.Ne4 Ndf6 25.Nxf6+ Qxf6 It is interesting that this natural move leads to a forced loss. But it has to be remarked that Black's position is now difficult to defend [25...Nxf6 26.Rd6 Qe8 27.b5! cxb5 28.Bxb5 Qe7 29.Qd4+/- Also lead to a difficult situation for Black] 26.Rd3 White seizes the d-file 26...Rd8 27.Rfd1 Rxd3 28.Rxd3 Qe7 Black is helpless! He cannot simultaneously defend himself against White's two threats [28...Qa1+ 29.Rd1 Qf6 30.b5! cxb5 (30...-- /\31.b6 ) 31.Bxb5 Black loses the Knight] 29.Qd1 Kh7 30.Rd8 g6 31.g3 Nf6 32.Qd6 Nd5 Now Black can move nothing but the King, and White has only to find the shortest road to victory. The Bishop's following manoeuvre is this road 33.Bc4 Kg7 34.Bb3 Kh7 35.Ba4 Kg7 36.Ra8 [36.Bxc6 Rxc6 37.Qxc6 Qxd8 White loses a piece] 36...Qxd6 [36...-- /\37.Bxc6 Qxd6 38.cxd6 Rxc6 39.d7+- ] 37.cxd6 Rd7 38.Bxc6 Rxd6 39.Bxd5 exd5 adjourned 40.Rxa7 d4 41.Kf1 Re6 [41...d3 42.Ke1 Re6+ 43.Kd1! Re2 44.Rd7 Rxf2 45.Rxd3 Rxh2 46.Rb3+- ] 42.b5 d3 43.Rd7 Re5 44.a4 Re4 45.a5 Re5 46.Rxd3 Rxb5 47.Ra3+- 1-0













(13) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kann I [E23]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1930

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qb3 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 [At this time, the defence system beginning with 5. ... Na6 followed by ... Pb6 was not yet known (15) 5...Na6 6.-- b6 ] 6.Nf3 Nc6 A passive plan of development 7.Bg5 b6 Black underestimates White's ensuing reply [It would be risky to play 7...Na5 8.Qc2 Nxc4 9.e4 ; >=7...Qb6+/= forcing exchange queens. Of course, even now White's game is obviously better ] 8.e4 Nd4 [8...Bb7 9.0-0-0 Bxf2 10.e5 h6 11.exf6 hxg5 12.fxg7 Rg8 13.Ne4+/- ] 9.Nxd4 Bxd4 10.f3 With this simple move, eliminating the threat of 10. ... Bxf2+ White consolidates his advantage in the centre. Black's next move obviously is the only way of freeing his Nf6 [10.-- Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 Ng4+ ] 10...h6 11.Bf4 [11.Bh4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 and the entire pawn position is spoilt (12.Qxc3 Nxe4 ) ] 11...e5 [11...-- /\12.Nb5 -- 13.Bd6 ] 12.Nb5 Nh5 [‹12...exf4 13.Nxd4 ; ‹12...Bxb2 13.Qxb2 exf4 14.Qa3! ] 13.Be3 [13.Nd6+ ] 13...Bxe3 [13...Qh4+ 14.g3 Nxg3 15.hxg3 Qxh1 16.Bxd4 exd4 17.Nc7+ (17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.c5 Qh5 19.g4 Qg6 20.Qd5 Rb8 21.cxb6 axb6 22.Rc1 ) 17...Kd8 18.Nxa8 Bb7 19.Nxb6 axb6 20.Qxb6+ Kc8 21.Kf2!+- ] 14.Nd6+ Kf8 15.c5! A very important intermediate move [15.Qxe3 Qh4+ 16.Qf2 could obtain an exchange of Queens (16.g3 Nxg3 17.Qf2 Qf6! loses a pawn) ] 15...Qe7 16.Qxe3 Nf4 17.Qa3 After this move Black must inevitably lose material, because of the threat 18. cxb6 17...bxc5 necessary, although this puts the Queen's Bishop in danger [17...-- /\18.cxb6 ] 18.Qxc5 Kg8 There is no other defence to Rc1 [18...-- /\19.Rc1 ] 19.g3 [19.Rc1 Kh7 ] 19...Ng6 20.Bc4 Kh7 21.0-0-0 There is no need to hurry about taking the f7-pawn [21.Qc7 Nf8! (21...-- /\22.Bd5 ) 22.Nxc8 Qb4+ 23.Kf1 Ne6 ] 21...a5 [21...f6 22.f4! ] 22.Bxf7 Ba6 23.Kb1 played carelessly! [>=23.Qa3 withdrawing the Queen from the threat of ... Rc8 and defending the f-pawn] 23...Be2 24.Rd5 Bxf3 25.Bxg6+ Kxg6 26.Rxe5 Qf6 27.Re1 [27.Rf5 Bxe4+ ; 27.Rf1 Bxe4+ ] 27...Rhb8 28.Nf5 Preparing to exchange Queens which Black cannot prevent [28.b3 ] 28...Ra6 29.Qe7 Qxe7 [29...Rab6 30.Nh4+ Kh7 31.Qxf6 Rxf6 32.Rxa5+- White has two extra pawns] 30.Rxe7 With an attack on the b-pawn White forces further simplification advantageous to himself 30...Bxe4+ [30...Rab6 31.b3 a4 (31...Bxe4+ 32.R7xe4 Kxf5 33.Re5+ ) 32.Re3 Bxe4+ 33.R7xe4 Kxf5 34.Rxa4 ] 31.R1xe4 Kxf5 32.Rf4+ Kg6 33.Rg4+ Kf5 34.Rf4+ Kg6 35.Rg4+ Kf5 36.Rgxg7 Rab6 37.Rgf7+ Kg6 38.Rg7+ [38.Rf2 Re6 with chances of a draw] 38...Kf5 39.Ref7+ Ke5 40.Rf2 d5 The game was adjourned in this position. The game judges Grigoriev and Romanovsky awarded White the win, taking into account the following variations put forward 41.Re2+ [41.Re7+ Kd6 (41...Kd4 42.Rd2+ Kc5 43.Rd7 (43.Rc7+ Kd6 44.Ra7 Rb5 45.Rh7 ) 43...Kc6 (43...Rd6 44.Rc2+ ) 44.R7xd5 Rxb2+ 45.Rxb2 Rxb2+ 46.Kxb2 Kxd5+- White wins the pawn ending easily) 42.Ra7 Rb5 43.Rh7 winning another pawn] 41...Kd6 42.Ra7 Rb5 43.Rh7 1-0













(14) Botvinnik,Mikhail - Kan,Ilya [A84]
Leningrad, 1930

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 Nf6 6.g3 b6 A mistake after which Black runs into serious difficulties. As is well known, here it is necesary to aim at e5, to achieve which Black should play 6. ... Pd6 [6...d6 ] 7.Nc3 d6 [7...Bb7 8.d5 excellent game for White] 8.Bg2 [8.d5 e5 ] 8...Bb7 [8...Ne4 9.Nxe4 fxe4 (9...Bb7 10.Qe3 ) 10.Ng5 d5 11.Bh3 Qe7 12.cxd5 ] 9.0-0 Qe7 Consolidating e6 [9...0-0 10.d5 e5 11.Ng5 Bc8 12.e4 Qe7 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.f4 ] 10.d5 e5 11.e4! The most energetic [‹11.Ng5 Nbd7 12.Ne6 Nc5= ] 11...fxe4 [11...Bc8 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Rae1 0-0 14.Nd4 Bd7 15.f4 with obvious superiority] 12.Ng5 Nbd7 13.Ncxe4 0-0 [13...Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Nf6 15.Bf5 ] 14.Ne6 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Rf6 No other way [15...Nf6 16.Nxf8 Nxe4 17.Qe3 Ng5 (17...Nc5 18.b4 ) 18.f4! Without sufficient compensation for the Exchange (18.Ne6 Nxe6 19.dxe6 Qxe6 Black has an excellent game) ] 16.Qc2 White attacks the h-pawn and simultaneously defends the c4 pawn; Black has two pawns under threat, and he cannot defend both at once [16.Nxc7 Rc8 ] 16...Rh6 Black seeks salvation in attack, which is predestined to failure [16...Nf8 17.Nxf8 Raxf8 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Be4 Bc8 althought White should win, the exploitation of his pawn still involves great technical skill] 17.Nxc7 Rc8 18.Nb5 [18.Ne6 Nf6 19.-- /\Nxe4 (/\19...Nxd5 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 ) 20.Qxe4 Rxe6 ] 18...a6 19.Na7 Rf8 20.Nc6 Qg5 [20...Qf7 21.f4 ] 21.Bg2 Nf6 [21...Bc8 22.Rae1 Nf6 23.f4 Qh5 24.h4 exf4 25.Rxf4 g5 26.Bf3! ] 22.Qf5 Qh5 [22...Qxf5 23.Ne7+ Kh8 24.Nxf5 -- 25.Nxd6+- ] 23.Qxh5 Nxh5 [23...Rxh5 24.Bf3 Rh3 (24...Rg5 25.h4 ) 25.Kg2 Rh6 26.Ne7+ Kh8 27.Nf5 ] 24.f4! Re8 [24...exf4 25.g4 f3 (25...Nf6 26.g5 ; 25...Bxc6 26.dxc6 f3 27.gxh5 fxg2 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8 29.c7+- ) 26.gxh5 fxg2 27.Ne7+ Kh8 28.Rxf8# ] 25.Rae1 Bxc6 26.dxc6 Nf6 27.g4 Nxg4 28.fxe5 Nxe5 29.Bd5+ Kh8 30.c7 Rf6 [30...Rc8 31.Bb7 ] 31.Bb7 1-0













(15) Kann I - Botvinnik Mikhail [E22]
Leningrad-Moscow Match, 1930

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.Nf3 e6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Qb3 Bc5 [6...Nc6 7.Nxc6 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 bxc6 9.Bg5+/= White's position is unquestionably preferable; 6...Na6 7.Bg5 leads only to a transposition of moves] 7.Nf3 In sum we have a variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defence analogous to Game 12. Of course, I too continued to defend in the same manner as Gotthilf, with the difference that I refrained from the unnecessary Pd6 7...b6 8.Bg5 Bb7 9.Qc2 [9.e4 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nxe4 ] 9...h6 10.Bh4 0-0 11.e4 Be7 12.Be2 Na6 13.e5 [13.0-0 Nc5 White would not be in state to hold e4 14.Nd2 (14.e5 Nfe4 ) 14...d5 15.exd5 (15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.exd5 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 exd5 ) 15...Nxd5! 16.Bxe7 Nxe7= ] 13...Nb4 14.Qd2 [14.Qb1 Nh5 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.g3 d6 (\/16...Nf4 ) 17.0-0 dxe5 18.Nxe5 Nf6 Black's game is no worse than White's] 14...Ne4 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.0-0 Rad8 18.Rad1 A faulty move, transferring the initiative to Black. [>=18.Rfd1 ; 18.Nd4 Nc6 (18...f6 19.Nb5 Nc6 20.Nd6 Bg6 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Rad1+/- ) 19.Nxc6 simplification of the game] 18...Nxa2 19.Nd4 Now that White threatens invasion Black's Knight must hurry [‹19.Ra1 Nb4 20.Rxa7 Nc6 21.Ra6 Bxf3 22.gxf3 (22.Bxf3 Nxe5 23.Rxb6 Nxf3+ ) 22...Nxe5 23.Rxb6 d5! ] 19...Nb4 20.Nb5 Qc5 Black is compelled to take the a-pawn, regardless of the fact that his Knight is then out of play [20...Nc6 21.Nd6 Bg6 ] 21.Nxa7 f6 [Black was proposing to play 21...d5 22.exd6 Bc2 23.Rc1 (23.d7! Bxd1 24.Rxd1 And it is not so easy to deal with the passed pawn on d7) 23...Rxd6 ] 22.exf6 Rxf6 23.Qd4 [23.Nb5 d5 24.cxd5 Rxd5 25.Qe3 Qxe3 26.fxe3 Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 Rd2+- ; 23.Qd6 e5 24.Qxc5 bxc5 with the subsequent transfer of the Black knight to d4 is not favourable to White 25.-- /\Nc2 26.-- Nd4 ] 23...d5 24.cxd5 exd5 25.Nb5 Nc6 With this move black unites his pawns and secures a superior endgame 26.Qxc5 bxc5 27.Rc1 Leads to a speedy defeat because of the forced march of the Black Queen pawn [>=27.Nc3 Nd4 28.Nxe4 Nxe2+ 29.Kh1 Rc6 but because of the passed pawn and the poor position of the enemy King Black would have adequate prospects of a win] 27...d4! 28.f3 [28.Rxc5 Results in a transposition of moves] 28...d3 29.Bd1 [29.fxe4 dxe2 30.Rfe1 (30.Rxf6 Rd1+ ) 30...Rd2 31.Nc3 (31.Rxc5 Rd1 32.Rc1 Rf1+ ) 31...Nd4 ] 29...d2 30.Rxc5 Bd3 31.Rf2 Bxb5 32.Rxb5 Re6 33.Rf1 Re1 34.Rc5 [34.Kf2 Rde8 35.Bb3+ Kh8 36.Rd5 R8e2+ ] 34...Nb4 [34...Nd4 35.Kf2 Rde8 36.Rd5!+/- ] 35.Rc4 Nd5 36.Re4 Ne3 37.Rxe3 Rxe3 38.Kf2 Rde8 39.Ba4 Re1 0-1













(16) Botvinnik Mikhail - Myasoyedov G [E23]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1931

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qb3 c5 5.dxc5 Nc6 6.Nf3 Ne4 7.Bd2 Nxc5 8.Qc2 f5 9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 0-0 11.b4 Ne4 So far, as in the Stahlberg-Alekhine game (Hamburg 1930) which ended in White's defeat. 12.Bb2 Kmock suggested this is the best continuation, although this is also in Black's favour. The present game seems to show that even in that case Black's game is no better [12.e3 Stahlberg-Alekhine, Hamburg 1930] 12...b6 [12...d6 simpler, as in the game Winter-Sultan Khan (Hastins, Christmas 1930). Now a little suprise awaits Black] 13.g4 This interesting move had been previously studied in home analysis and, now at last, applied in practise. If I had forseen the complications this novelty would lead to I would have in all probability have given my preference to the calm continuation 13 Pg3 [13.g3 ] 13...Nxf2! All other continuations led to opening up the Knight file, after which White's position, with the Bishop at g2 and the Rook at g1 would look threatening. For that matter, White had taken this Knight sacrifice also into account. I foresaw that Black would not be able to recapture, and ended my analysis at that. But as often happens, mistakes occur in home analysis too, to be refuted in actual play. White does in fact retain his piece, but he comes under strong attack 14.Kxf2 fxg4 15.Rg1 Qh4+ 16.Ke3 [16.Rg3 gxf3 17.Kg1 Nd4 ; 16.Kg2 gxf3+ 17.Kh1 Nd4!-/+ ] 16...Qh6+ 17.Kf2 Qh4+ [17...Qxh2+ 18.Rg2! ; 17...gxf3 18.Rxg7+ Qxg7 19.Bxg7+/- ] 18.Ke3 Qh6+ 19.Kd3 d5! The strongest move! [19...Qg6+ 20.Kd2 ; 19...e5 20.Qd2! Qd6+ 21.Kc2 ] 20.Qc1! Now it may appear that White is getting out of the wood, but Black, consistenly developing his attack on the White King, in the final report achieves perpetual check [‹20.Qd2 Qg6+ 21.Kc3 Qe4! 22.Qg5 e5! White's position is critical] 20...dxc4+! 21.Qxc4 [21.Kxc4? Rf4+ 22.Kb3 e5 ; 21.Kc2 worth considering (leaving the c-file closed) though Black's three pawns for a piece made this continuation unconvincing] 21...Rd8+ 22.Kc2 Bb7 23.Qxg4 [23.Rxg4 Rac8 24.Bxg7 (24.Rxg7+ Qxg7 25.Bxg7 Nxb4+ 26.Kb3 Rxc4 27.Kxc4 Nc2 ) 24...Nxb4+ 25.Kb3 Rxc4 26.Bxh6+ Rxg4 the game would probably have ended in a draw] 23...Nxb4+! [23...-- /\24.Qxg7+ drives Black into the following combination forcing a draw] 24.axb4 [24.Qxb4 Rac8+ 25.Bc3 Bxf3 26.exf3 (26.Rd1 Rxc3+ 27.Qxc3 Be4+ 28.Rd3 Rxd3 (28...Bxd3+ 29.exd3 Qxh2+ 30.Rg2 Qh6 31.Be2+/- ) 29.exd3 Qxh2+ 30.Bg2 ) 26...a5! 27.-- /\Qd2+ ] 24...Rac8+ 25.Bc3 Rxc3+ 26.Kxc3 Qe3+ 27.Kb2 Rd2+ 28.Nxd2 Qxd2+ 29.Kb1 Qd1+ 30.Kb2 1/2-1/2













(17) Botvinnik Mikhail - Batuyev A [D40]
Leningrad Championship Leningrad, 1931

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 [7.Rc1 more often playd but White is deliberately avoiding stereotyped variations] 7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 c5 This continuatoins, recommended by the chess primers, is apparently sufficient to equalize the game [8...a6 ] 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4 [10.Nxd4 A symmetrical pawn position is formed, and it is not then difficult for Black to equalize the game. But now White has a certain preponderance in the centre, though, truly at the cost of an isolated pawn. ] 10...Nb6 11.Bb3 Nbd5 Black wants to develop his c8-bishop to b7. Of course it is possibly to play imediately 11. ... Bd7 12.Ne5 Prevent ... Pb6 12...Nd7 Black is aiming at exchanging off the White Queen's Bishop, in order to weaken White's d4-pawn still more. It is difficult for White to avoid the exchange [\/12...b6 13.Nc6 ; 12...Bd7 ] 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Qe2 [=14.Ne4 exploiting the weak Black squares] 14...Nf6 15.Rfd1 b6 16.Rac1 Bb7 Black intends to transfer his Ne7 to d5 and f4 pressuring the g-pawn. White forestalls this danger and simultaneously sets up a strong point for the Knight in the centre. In this game the Knight sacrifice met with in such positions proves unsound 17.f3! [Knight sac proves unsound 17.Nxf7 Rxf7 18.Qxe6 Ned5 ] 17...Rc8 [17...Ned5 18.Ne4 Rc8 19.Rxc8 Bxc8 20.Bc2= ] 18.Nxf7! Rxf7 19.Qxe6 Qf8 [19...Ned5 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bxd5 Bxd5 22.Rxc8+- ] 20.Ne4 Rxc1 [20...-- /\21.Qxf7+ Qxf7 22.Bxf7+ Kxf7 23.Nd6+ ] 21.Rxc1 Nfd5 22.Nd6 Ba8 23.Re1! Black is helpless against NxR and Qxe7 23...g6 24.Nxf7 Qxf7 25.Qxe7 1-0













(18) Chekhover V - Botvinnik Mikhail [A50]
Russia Tournament, Leningrad, 1931

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.g3 Bb7 4.Bg2 g6 [I should have given preference to 4...c5 5.0-0 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bxg2 7.Kxg2 g6= ] 5.0-0 Bg7 6.c4 0-0 7.Nbd2 Bad. Now Black manages to open the a1-h8 diagonal and thus hinder the development of the Bg2; in addition, White has closed the c1-h6 diagonal [>=7.Qc2 -- /\8.Nc3 -- 9.e4 Would give White some advantage; 7.Nc3 Ne4! White has trouble getting Pe4] 7...c5! 8.d5 e6 9.e4 exd5 [here Blumenfeld's idea would not succeed 9...b5 10.dxe6 fxe6 11.e5! (11.cxb5 Nxe4 12.Ng5 Nc3! 13.bxc3 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Qxg5 ) 11...Ng4 12.cxb5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Bxe5 15.Nc4 Bg7 16.Qd6 ] 10.cxd5 White apparently assumed that his position was quite satisfactory. That would be so if the Nbd2 was at c3 Now Black gets an extra pawn on the Queenside with the Bishop excellently posed at g7. White's preponderance in the centre is easily neutralized [>=10.exd5 b5 11.Nh4 Not allowing Black Queenside pawn majority] 10...d6 11.Re1 To free the Knight from defence of the e-pawn 11...Re8 [11...Nbd7 12.Nc4 ] 12.Nh4 Qe7 An important move. He is forced to block the advance of the f-pawn with the Knight [12...-- /\13.f4 ] 13.Ndf3 [13.-- /\Nxd5 14.exd5 Qxe1+ ] 13...Nbd7 [13...Nxe4 14.Ng5+/- Only to White's advantage] 14.Bd2 b5 Black has completed his development and begins to advance on the Queenside, where he hs three pawns against two. Obviously, White's only counter-chance is an attack on the Kingside, as he is impotent on the Queenside. White tries to put this plan into effect, but his next move loses a tempo 15.Qc1 Qf8 Attacking the e-pawn 16.Qc2 a5 17.h3 b4 18.Nh2 Ba6 19.f4 Nh5! A little unpleasantness [19...c4 ] 20.Bf1! [\/20.Nf1 Bxf1 ; \/20.g4 Bd4+! 21.Be3 Nxf4 ] 20...c4 Now White is forced to defend with his King [20...Nxg3 21.Bxa6 Rxa6 22.Qd3 ] 21.Kg2 [21.g4 Ng3 22.Bg2 Nc5! 23.Kf2 b3 24.Qb1 c3! 25.-- /\Bd3 26.-- Ngxe4+ ] 21...Rec8 22.Be3 Nc5 Positionally Black's game is won; on the Queenside he has gained a real advantage, while White is not yet prepared for attack on the Kingside. Already Black could strike a decisive blow [22...b3 23.axb3 c3 24.Bxa6 cxb2 25.Bxc8 bxa1Q 26.Rxa1 Rxc8 and there can be no doubt about the result. But Black's position is so strong he can afford to take his time] 23.g4 Nf6 24.Bxc5 Rxc5 25.g5 White hastens to exploit the breathing-space and to renew his attack on the King, interrupted by Black's operations on the Queenside 25...Nh5 26.f5 Qd8 The simplest. Other continuations would probably win 27.f6 Nxf6! Sacrificing a piece, Black transposes into a won endgame 28.gxf6 Qxf6 29.N4f3 Qxb2 30.Qxb2 Bxb2 31.Rab1 c3 This move has the defect othat it blocks the Bishop at b2. The next six moves were made under acute-time trouble on both sides [31...Bg7 32.-- /\c3 ] 32.Bxa6 Rxa6 33.Nd4 a4 34.Rf1 a3 35.Rf2 Ra7 [35...b3 36.Nxb3 c2 37.Rbf1 c1Q 38.Nxc1 Bxc1-+ ] 36.Rbf1 Rc4 37.Nc6 Rc7 38.e5 [38.Rc2 b3! 39.axb3 R4xc6 40.dxc6 a2-+ ] 38...dxe5 39.Nxe5 c2! 40.Nxc4 Rxc4 41.Rxf7 c1Q 42.Rf8+ Kg7 43.R8f7+ Kh6 44.Rxc1 Rxc1 45.Ng4+ Kg5 46.d6 [46.Rb7 Rc2+ 47.Kf1 (47.Kf3 Rc3+ 48.Kg2 /\b3 ) 47...Bc3-+ ] 46...b3 47.d7 Rd1 48.Kg3! An amusing trap 48...h6! [48...-- 49.h4+ Kh5 50.Rxh7# ; 48...Rd3+ 49.Rf3 Rxd7 50.Rxb3 Black would have a prolonged endgame. But he has no less an interesting move at his own disposition] 49.Rf3 [49.h4+ Kh5 50.Rh7 Rd3+ (50...Bg7?? 51.Rxh6+ Bxh6 52.Nf6# ) 51.Kf4 Bc1+ 52.Ke4 Rxd7 53.Rxd7 bxa2-+ ] 49...bxa2 0-1













(19) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kasparian G [D37]
Russia Ch URS, Moscow, 1931

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bf4 Only in order to avoid the stereotyped continuation. However, this move is not without purpose; it is more difficult for Black to simplify the game than after 5. Bg5 5...Bb4 After all Black follows the Pillsbury system [5...dxc4 6.e3 Nd5 7.Bxc4 Nxf4 8.exf4 Nf6 9.0-0 Regarded advantageous to White. In this game Black seeks new roads] 6.e3 White cuts off his f4 Bishop from d2 and makes it possibly for Black to obtain practically an equal game [>=6.cxd5 exd5 (6...Nxd5 7.Bd2 ) 7.e3 Black would be unable to organise and attack on c3] 6...0-0 7.Qb3 c5 8.a3 It is necessary to relieve the tension [8.-- Ne4 9.-- Qa5 unpleasant] 8...Qa5 A faulty manoeuvre enabling White to obatin an advantageous endgame [>=8...Bxc3+! 9.bxc3 maintaining tension (9.Qxc3 Ne4 ) ] 9.Rc1 Bxc3+ 10.Qxc3 On the contrary, the endgame which now follows White's game is to be preferred owing to the pair of Bishops and strong central pawns [10.bxc3 b6 Black has the initiative of the Queenside. ] 10...Qxc3+ 11.bxc3 b6 12.cxd5 Nxd5 [12...exd5 The c8-Bishop has little scope. In addition, Black's only possibilities in the centre are by pressure with pieces] 13.Bg3 [13.Bd6 Rd8 14.Bb5 Bb7 15.Bxd7 Rxd7 16.dxc5 Rc8 Black is excellently developed] 13...Bb7 14.Bb5 N5f6 Black is playing very cautiously [14...Rfd8 15.Ba4 N5f6 16.Ne5! With advantageous complications] 15.Ke2 a6 16.Bd3 Rfc8 17.Rhd1 negligence [>=17.c4 safeguarding c3] 17...Ne4 Exactly! White has to permit the exchange of his excellently posted Queen's Bishop 18.c4 [18.-- /\cxd4 19.exd4 Nxc3+ ] 18...Bc6 now the game gradually passes into a crisis. White saves his Bishop, and then squeezes the Black pieces out of their central positions, while methodically strengthening his own position [>=18...Nxg3+ approximately equalizing] 19.Bf4 f6 20.h4 h6 21.Bh2 [21.d5 exd5 22.cxd5 Bxd5 (22...Bb5 ) 23.Bxe4 ] 21...Ra7 22.Ne1 f5 A new weakening, forced, however, by the threat of losing the Knight 23.f3 Nef6 24.Rd2 b5 For general positional reasons Black should have refrained from this breakthrough as it is well known that in open positions two Bishops are particularly strong 25.dxc5 bxc4 26.Bxc4 Nxc5 27.Bd6 Nfd7 The only way to defend the e-pawn 28.Rdc2 Re8 A shrewd defence against the threat of winning a pawn with 29.Kf2 [29.Bxc5 Nxc5 30.Bxe6+ Nxe6 31.Rxc6 Nd4+-+ ] 29...Nb7 Loses immediately, though it is doubtful any other continuation would save Black 30.Ba2! This cuning move escaped Black. His Bishop cannot escape as Rc7 and Black is paralysed 30...Nxd6 31.Rxc6 Nf7 32.Bxe6 Nde5 33.Rc8 Rae7 34.Rxe8+ Rxe8 35.Bxf5 Despite the early exchange of Queens the game was of a fighting nature to the end 1-0













(20) Botvinnik Mikhail - Sorokin N [D60]
Moscow ch-SU Moscow ch-SU, 1931

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 c6 Strictly speaking, this move is unsound. It should only be made after White has played Rc1 After Black himself played ... Pc6 White of course does not develop his Rook, but castles, which in the given position is much more useful [7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 c5= ] 8.0-0 a6 9.a4 Puts difficulties in the way of both of these possibilities [9.-- /\dxc4 (9...b5 10.cxb5 cxb5 ) 10.Bxc4 b5 ] 9...dxc4 10.Bxc4 c5 The cause of all Black's later difficulties. The move is bad for the following reasons: after the exchange Black must recapture the pawn with a developed piece, so losing time; in addition, White will succeed in occupying the d-file The superiority in White's development will be still further increased because Black on the one hand must try to get rid of the unpleasant Bishop at g5, and on the other hand must hinder Pe4-e5 [>=10...Nd5 ] 11.dxc5 Bxc5 [>=11...Nxc5 ] 12.Qe2 h6 13.Bh4 Be7 14.Rfd1 Nh5 15.Bxe7 [15.Ne5 Bxh4 16.Qxh5 Qe7 17.Nxd7 Bxd7 18.Rxd7 Bxf2+ ] 15...Qxe7 16.Rd2 Now it is clear that Black has not succeeded in preventing White from realizing his plan 16...Nb6 17.Rad1 Qc5 [17...Bd7 18.Ne5 Nf6 19.a5 Nxc4 20.Rxd7 Nxd7 21.Rxd7 Qb4 22.Qxc4 ; 17...-- /\18.Rd6 ; ‹17...Qb4 18.Rd4 ] 18.Ba2 Nf6 19.e4 e5 Black now intends ... Bg4 or ... Be6 to solve the urgent problem of developing his Queen's Bishop 20.Qe3! This far from obvious move is the strongest in the given position. With the exchange of Queens, which he cannot avoid, the defects of Black's position grow more perceptible. in view of the backwardness of his development Black now certainly cannot oppose anything to the pressure along the d-file. His e-pawn becomes very weak. To defend it Black finds himself forced to exchange a Bishop for a Knight at f3, after which not only his Qside but square f7 is weakened. The doubling of white pawns on e-file is of no essential importance [20.-- /\Bg4 (/\20...Be6 ) ] 20...Qxe3 21.fxe3 Bg4 22.a5 Nc8 [22...Nbd7 23.h3 Bxf3 24.gxf3 Nc5 (24...Rfd8 25.Nd5! ) 25.b4 Ne6 26.Bxe6 fxe6 27.Na4! with an excellent game 27...-- /\28.Nc5 ] 23.Rc1 Renewing the attack on the e-pawn 23...Bxf3 Sad though it be, the exchange was necessary [23...Re8 24.h3 Bh5 (24...Be6 25.Bxe6 Rxe6 26.Rd8+ ) 25.Nh4! -- /\26.g4 ] 24.gxf3 Ne7 25.Nd5 White provokes further exchange, finally establishing his advantage 25...Nc6 fatal to him owing to the weakness of f7 [25...Nfxd5 26.Bxd5 (26.exd5 Nf5 27.e4 Nd6 blockade) 26...Nxd5 27.exd5 with a winning Rook endgame] 26.Nxf6+ gxf6 27.Rd7 Rab8 [27...Nxa5 28.Rcc7 ] 28.Kf2! After this Black must admit that he cannot save the f7 pawn, as there is no defence to 29. Rg1+ 28...Nxa5 [28...-- 29.Rg1+ Kh8 30.Bxf7 ] 29.Rcc7 Rbc8 30.Rxf7 Rxc7 31.Rxc7+ Kh8 32.Bd5 b5 [32...Nc6 33.Rxb7 loses more pawns; 32...Rb8 33.Rf7 ] 33.b3 Rd8 34.Kg3 [34.Rf7 Rd6 35.Kg3 Nc6 36.Kg4 White doesn't want black's Knight to come into play] 34...f5 35.Kh4 fxe4 36.fxe4 Rd6 37.Kh5 Rf6 38.h3 Rd6 39.h4 Rb6 40.Kg4 Rf6 41.Ra7 Rb6 42.Re7 Rd6 43.Rc7 Rf6 44.Ra7 Rb6 Of course, White's repetition was in order to gain time for consideration. Now he puts his plan into effect 45.Rc7 Rf6 46.Kh5 Rd6 47.Bf7! Rf6 [47...Kg7 48.b4 and the unlucky Knight is lost! The Bishop is transferred to g6 after which the King is caught in the net] 48.Bg6 Nxb3 49.Kxh6 Rf8 [49...Kg8 50.Kg5 Rf8 51.h5+- ] 50.Rh7+ Kg8 51.Rg7+ Kh8 52.Bf7 Rxf7 53.Rxf7 Kg8 54.Kg6 Nd2 55.Rd7 1-0













(21) Botvinnik Mikhail - Alatortsev V [E85]
Moscow ch-SU Moscow ch-SU, 1931

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 Today no one is afraid of 3. Pf3. However, when this game was played it was a menacing weapon [3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 leads to an equal game owing to the weakness of the White d-pawn] 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 [>=7.d5 ] 7...Nc6 leads Black to a difficult game [>=7...exd4 8.Nxd4 c6 9.-- /\d5<=> Euwe-Hastings, 1938/9] 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.d5 White closes the centre, intending to organize an attack on the Black King [9.0-0-0 Nb6 10.b3 exd4 11.Nxd4 a5!|^ ] 9...Ne7 [>=9...Ncb8 10.-- /\Na6 11.-- Nac5 ] 10.g3 ... Pf5 is not dangerous itself. For White it is important only to hinder the further advance of the f-pawn and not himself to exchange at f5. If he succeeds in maintaining the existing pawn formation, which greatly cramps Black's pieces, his superiority will be unquestionable. The text move meets all these requirements [10.g4 f5! Black would force an exchange at f5 and his pieces would be freed 11.-- /\f4 ] 10...f5 11.Bg2 fxe4 Black still does not realize that his pieces are almost in zugzwang. This exchange is entirely in White's favour as it at once clears up the position in the centre. Having the worse position, Black should have aimed at complicating the struggle with 11. ... Nf6 [>=11...Nf6 ] 12.fxe4 Nf6 13.h3 b6 [13...Nh5 14.g4 ; \/13...Ng4 ] 14.b3 Kh8 15.g4! The signal for attack! White should not be in a hurry to Castle, as it would provoke Black's counterattack on the Qside. But if Black begins operations on the Qside before White castles long, White is able to change his plans, to Castle short and exploit Black's weakness on the Queenside. The manoeuvre Black has undertaken (... Kh8, Ng8) does not strengthen the Kingside. On the contrary, on the h-file the King is more in danger than on the g-file; however, Black aimed to control his h6 15...Neg8 16.Ng3 Bd7 17.0-0-0 h6 It was now, when White had castled, that Black's operations should have begun on the Queenside. True, White's attack (Qe2, Pg5 and Ph4-h5) would develop much faster, but even so the refusal to counter-attack greatly simplifies White's task [17...a5 /\18.Qe2 -- 19.g5 Ne8 20.h4 -- 21.h5 ] 18.g5 hxg5 [18...Nh7 19.gxh6 Bf6 surrenders a pawn but it defends the King most reliably of all] 19.h4 [19.Bxg5 also playable] 19...Bg4 [19...g4 20.h5 Kh7 relying on the Pg4 to hold up White's attack for a time. But even in this case it is doubtful whether Black could have held up for long 21.hxg6+ Kxg6 22.Rdf1 ] 20.hxg5+ Nh5 21.Nce2 Preventing any propitiatory sacrifices on the lines of ... Rf4 21...Ne7 [\/21...Rf4 ] 22.Rh4 Qd7 23.Rdh1 Kg8 24.Rxg4 The simplest 24...Qxg4 25.Bh3 Qf3 26.Rf1 Nxg3 27.Be6+ Kh8 28.Rxf3 Rxf3 29.Nxg3+- Rxg3 30.Qh2+ 1-0













(22) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kann I [A98]
Russia Ch URS, Moscow, 1931

1.d4 e6 If Black wishes to play the Dutch Defence, this move is almost obligatory. [1...f5 2.e4! White has the dangerous Staunton gambit at his disposal 2...fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 d6 5.Bc4© White has excellent development and a good attack in exchange for a pawn] 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 The continuation Black has chosen is usually associated with ... Pd5. In this game Black usually played ... Pd6 [Theory also recommends 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 ] 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 0-0 7.b3 This move is usually chosen by Illyin-Zhenevsky's opponents, the object being to prevent Black's ... Pe5. However, they usually develop the Bishop at b2, not at a3 as in the present game. Developing the Bishop at a3 must be regarded as superior as then White not only renders ... Pe5 difficult, but also develops the QN at c3 where it is more active 7...Qe8 The Queen posted at e8, characteristic of the Dutch Defence, was an indispensable link in Ilyin-Zhenevsky's system. The Bishop for defence of the c7 pawn can retreat to d8, leaving the Queen the possibility from e8 of taking part in preparation of ... Pe5 [\/7...e5 ] 8.Qc2 Qh5 At first glance Black by the text move renounces the basic idea of advancing his central pawn, but in reality this is not so. Black's plan includes ... Nc6, ... Bd7, ... Rae8, ... Bd8 and ... Pe5 [8...Bd8 9.Ba3 (9.-- /\e5 ) 9...Nc6 10.Nc3 e5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Rad1 in this variation Black's defence of the b-pawn is rendered difficult. ] 9.Nc3 [9.-- /\Nc6 10.-- Bd7 11.-- Rae8 12.-- Bd8 13.-- /\e5 ] 9...Nc6 10.Ba3 Bd7 It may seem strange that White so obstinately refuses to play Pe4. For it is known that a successful opening of the centre by way of Pe4 always gives White a tangible advantage in the Dutch Defence. That is unsound only when White's Queen's Bishop is at a3, for there it is undefended There is no necessity for White to try for Pe4, he has other no less possibilites at his command [>=10...a5 11.-- /\Nb4 At this time this manoeuvre was not thought of] 11.d5! [11.e4 fxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 d5 White loses a piece] 11...Nd8 [11...Ne5?? 12.Nxe5 ] 12.Ne5 Attracted by the superiority of two Bishops over Bishop and Knight, White allows his opponent a breathing space [>=12.Rad1 increasing the pressure] 12...dxe5 [12...Bc8 quite joyless outlook] 13.Bxe7 Rf7 14.Ba3 [14.Bxd8 Rxd8 15.dxe6 Bxe6 16.Nd5 Black has a strong attack in exchange for the pawn; 14.d6 cxd6 (14...Nc6 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.dxc7 Rh6 17.h3 Nd4 18.Qd1 Bc6 ) 15.Bxd6 Bc6 16.f3 e4= ] 14...exd5 opening the diagonal for the Bishop 15.Nxd5 f4! Excellently played! A threat of ... Bh3 and then ... Ng4 16.Rad1 White sets up counterchances on the d-file [16.-- Bh3 17.-- /\Ng4 ; 16.Nxc7 Bf5! ] 16...Nxd5 After this White seizes the initiative [>=16...Bh3 17.Nxf6+ Rxf6 18.Bf3 Qf7 19.Rfe1 ] 17.Bxd5 Be6 18.Qd3 It appears Black underestimated the strength of this move. Now he is forced to renounce the transfer ...Nd8-e6-g4 which has been his objective [‹18.Qe4 c6 forcing an exchange on e6] 18...Bxd5 [18...-- /\19.Bf3 ] 19.Qxd5 White prefers to continue play along the d-file, which is greatly strengthend by his Bishop controll f8 [‹19.cxd5 Rf6 20.-- /\Nf7 21.-- Ng5 ] 19...Nc6 20.Bc5! The most difficult moment of the game. The Bishop move seems very simple. Yet it was not easy to find. [20.b4 Rd8 Playable since the a3-f8 diagonal is blocked 21.Qe6 Nd4 ] 20...Re8 [20...-- /\21.b4 (/\21.Qe6 ) ; 20...Qxe2 21.Qe6 Qh5 22.Rd7 Qf5 23.Qxf5 Rxf5 24.Rxc7 Rf7 25.Rxf7 Kxf7 26.gxf4 exf4 27.Rd1+/- better endgame] 21.b4 a6 [>=21...h6 22.b5 Nd8 and a long struggle ahead (22...Rd8 23.bxc6! ) ] 22.b5 axb5 23.cxb5 Na5 24.Qe6 immediately decides the game 24...Ra8 25.Rd7 Qg6 26.Qd5 h6 27.Rxc7 Re8 28.Bb4 Transposing to an easily won endgame 28...b6 29.Bxa5 bxa5 30.b6 Qe6 31.Qxe6 Rxe6 32.Rb1 Re8 33.Rxf7 Kxf7 34.b7 Rb8 35.gxf4 exf4 36.Kg2 Ke6 37.Kf3 g5 38.Ke4 1-0













(23) Rauzer V - Botvinnik Mikhail [D60]
Russia Ch URS, Moscow, 1931

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 c6 6.Qb3 This system beginning with 6. Qb3 was invented and thoroughly analysed by Master V. Rauzer. The idea of the text move (not of the entire system, of course) is not original: White avoide the Cambridge Springs Variation. Black is compelled to resort to the orthodox defence [6.Rc1 Qa5 7.Bd2 published in Soviet periodicals, ideas being analogous to that of Rauzer's move. As is known, finally the analysts manages to refute this variation, chiefly because White's c-pawn can't be defended] 6...Be7 [‹6...Qa5 7.Bd2 ] 7.e3 0-0 8.Be2 After move six White's plan for further play was still not clear, but now his intention is gradually being disclosed: White refrains from the usual Bd3 as he proposes to develop pressure on the d-file. At first glance this seems impossible, as the d-file is closed with pawns; but with more thoughtful consideration of the position it is impossible not to admit that his plan is justified. Eg. if we assume that White's Knight at c3 reaches e5, exchanges on this square will be disadvantageous to Black, as they will partially open the d-file. Meanwhile Black still has difficulty in developing his Queen's Bishop. It is interesting to not that in those games of the USSR 1931 Championship in which Rauzer played 6. Qb3 he always had the better game, Black's following attempt to develop the Queen's Bishop may be recommended as best 8...b6 9.cxd5 Later is will become apparent that the immediate exchange at d5 was not provoked by necessity. In genearl to relieve the pawn tension in the centre (in reply to Black's ... Pb6) is only good if the Queenside can be weakened with Ba6. After the text move Black has a half-open e-file 9...exd5 10.0-0 [10.Qa4 Bb7 11.Ba6?? b5 ] 10...Bb7 11.Rfd1 Stereotyped! As already pointed out, White's plan included developing the Knight to e5. In that case, with the continuation Pf4, the Rook would be very useful on the f-file [>=11.Rad1 ] 11...Rc8 A very serious error! But at the board I departed from this intention, not wishing to simplify the position [>=11...h6 12.Bh4 Ne4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Nd2 c5 With an equal game; 11...Ne4 12.Bf4 ; =11...Re8! \/12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.Bf4 Bf8! winning the d-pawn] 12.Ne5 Nxe5 Black is forced to exchange Knights as after 13. Pf4 White would recapture at e5 with the f-pawn [12...-- /\13.f4 Nxe5 14.fxe5 ] 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.Bf4! Excellent! White has no need whatever to exchange Bishops: he is already threatening Pe4 against which Black must take urgent measures From the combinative aspect Black's next move is hardly quite correct, and it was made partly because of general positional considerations. Black assumed that after the exchange of Bishops the pawn trio e5, f4, e3 would prove inadequately defended 14...Bg5 Provoking White into active operation in the centre and having in mind an interesting Queen manoevre which at first glance refutes White's attack [‹14...f6 15.exf6 Nxf6 16.Bg3 -- /\17.e4 ] 15.Bxg5 Unquestionably sound [15.Ne4 Bxf4 16.exf4 dxe4 17.e6 Rc7 18.Bg4 Kh8=/+ ] 15...Qxg5 16.f4 Qe7 17.e4! Qc5+ Inadequately thought out! White's move was of no suprise to Black. Seeeing it several moves ahead, he called check Black was confident that this led to a win. What he counted on can be seen from the note to the next move [17...Nc5! 18.Qa3 Rfd8 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Qxa7 d4 21.Nb5 Ra8 22.Qxb6 Ra6! 23.Qc7 Rd7 24.Qb8+ Rd8= draw by repetition] 18.Kh1 I had to seek a continuation which would allow me still to "fish in troubled waters" 18...Rcd8 [18...Qe3 Botvinnik's intention 19.Nxd5! easily refutes (19.-- /\d4 ) ; 18...d4 19.Na4 Qe7 20.Rxd4 c5 21.Rc4 Black would hardly have any hope of salvation (21.Rd6 ) ] 19.exd5 Qe3 [‹19...cxd5 20.Bf3! White wins a pawn with an easy position (20.Nxd5 Nxe5! ) ] 20.Qc4 Presumably reckoning that after winning the pawn the rest is a "Question of technique", White at that moment revealed his ignorance of the technique of exploiting his superiority. Black can count on the draw as almost secured [Easy win in 20.Bf3! not clinging to the f-pawn 20...Qxf4 21.dxc6 Nc5 22.Qa3 Bc8 23.Qxa7 ] 20...cxd5 21.Nxd5 A second mistake. White does not realize the danger of his position [>=21.Qd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Nc5+/- ] 21...Bxd5! 22.Rxd5 Nc5!! The Knight is achieving brilliant success! 23.Bf3 [23.Rad1 Ne4 ; 23.-- /\Ne4 24.-- Nf2+ ; 23.-- Rxd5 24.Qxd5 Qxe2 ; 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 ] 23...Nd3 White has saved his piece but has not defended himself against the invasion of the Knight 24.h3[] Rxd5 25.Bxd5 [25.Qxd5 Nf2+ 26.Kh2 Qxf4+ 27.g3 Qe3 Black secures a sure but technically difficult win] 25...Qg3 26.Rf1 [A few years after this game one amateur found salvation by 26.Bxf7+!! Rxf7 27.e6! Nf2+ 28.Kg1 Nxh3+ 29.Kh1 draw] 26...Nf2+ 27.Kg1 Nxh3+ 28.Kh1 Nf2+ 29.Rxf2 [29.Kg1 Ng4 30.Rf3 (30.Rc1 Qh2+ 31.Kf1 Ne3+ ) 30...Qe1+ 31.Qf1 (31.Rf1 Qe3+ 32.Kh1 Qg3 ) 31...Qxf1+ 32.Rxf1 (32.Kxf1 Nh2+ ) 32...Ne3 White loses the exchange] 29...Qxf2 30.Bxf7+ Too late! 30...Rxf7 31.e6 Rxf4! 32.e7+ Rxc4 33.e8Q+ Qf8 34.Qe6+ Qf7+- 0-1













(24) Botvinnik Mikhail - Riumin N [D30]
Moscow ch-SU Moscow ch-SU, 1931

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bd3 [As I have already said in my notes to Game 8 against Sozin, at this period I avoided the Meran Variation with Nc3 5.Nc3 Meran Variation] 5...Nbd7 6.0-0 [6.Nbd2 More consistent, in order to recapture with the Knight and prevent ... Pe5 for a long time. 6...dxc4 (6...c5 Semmering variation which almost entirely equalizes the game for Black. As will be seen later, the text move also yields no advantage if Black chooses a sound plan) 7.Nxc4 ] 6...Bd6 An oldfashioned manner of playing this defence. The idea of achieving freedom by advancing the e-pawn is sound, but tactically it should have been carried through differently [6...Be7 Theory; To carry out the e-pawn advance plan >=6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 Bd6 White is unable to prevent Black's liberating move ... Pe5 as in the 23rd game of the first match between Alekhine and Bogoljubov] 7.Nbd2 A highly important move! White parries Black's threat, indicating the ... Pxc4 and ... Pe5. Now we have the Semmering Variation with the difference that Black has played ... Bd6 instead of ... Pc5 7...e5 One cannot assume that Black was unaware of the theoretical argument against this highly dubious sally; it is obviuos that the play opens up to White's advantage. One cannot assume with confidence that, playing to win in this game, Black deliberately went for complications. But in doing so committed a double error. First, when facing an opponent who has fairly good knowledge of opening variations, one must not choose unsatisfactory continuations. Seconldy, the game must be complicated in such a manner that it is not associated with any risk of getting a lost position. In this regard many of Alekhine's games are highly instructive, for he had a mastery way of finding the road to complications at the right moment [Black should now have summed up the situation and given up the struggle for the centre 7...0-0 8.e4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Emerging with a craped but strong position] 8.e4! 0-0 [‹8...exd4 9.e5 ; ‹8...dxc4 9.Nxc4 ; ‹8...dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 0-0 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Bxh7+ ] 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.exd5 exd4 A very interesting position has arisen, completely symmetrical, with the d-file queerly cluttered up with pieces. In such cases the advantage most often remains with the one whose turn it is to move. The present position excellently illustrates this rule. White's idea is very simple: to defend the d5 pawn, and to win the d4 pawn [10...Nxd5 11.Nc4 leads to the loss of a pawn] 11.Ne4 Nxe4 Black agrees to give up his d5 pawn without a struggle; however it is difficult to advise anything better [11...Nc5 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Bg5 ; 11...Nb6 ; 11...Ne5 12.Bg5 Bg4 13.Be2! Be7 14.d6+- ] 12.Bxe4 Nc5 Again a perfectly sound idea (in exchange for a pawn Black tries to get the advantage of the Bishop pair), but tactically it is so inexact that the two Bishops superiority turns out to be not Black's but Whites [>=12...Nf6! 13.Qxd4 (13.Bg5 Be7 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nxd4 Qb6 ) 13...Nxe4 (13...Re8 14.Bg5 Be7 15.Rfe1! ) 14.Qxe4 ] 13.Bc2 [13.Qxd4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Re8 15.Qd4 (15.Qd3 Qf6! ) 15...Bf5 Black would have excellent compensation for his pawn in the shape of his two Bishops. So White accepts the doubling of his pawns on the Kingside simply so that he may himself be left with two Bishops] 13...Bg4 [13...d3 14.Bxd3 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Black would get two Bishops. But in doing so he would of course lose a tempo by comparison with the analogous continuation he could have forced earlier] 14.Qxd4 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Re8! Subtly played! White finds the right continuation, consolidating his material superiority [15...Qd7 16.Qh4+/- White, haveing secured his King, would himself havae the attack against the Black King; 15...f5 16.Kh1 promised Black unplesantness] 16.Rd1! [16.-- /\Be5 17.Qxc5 Qh4 drawing option (17...Rc8 winning the piece back) 18.f4 Qxf4 ] 16...Re2 [16...Be5 17.Qg4 ] 17.Bf5 g6 18.Bh3 Nd7! Black is manoeuvering with great artistry. He threatens ... Bc5 and ... Be5 with attack on one of the pawns. However, if the position is studied carefully it is easy to see that Black's initiative is of a temporary nature. Whie has only to return his opponent his pawn for Black's attack to dissipate, and with his two Bishops and the passed pawn at d5 White will be able to decide the game swiftly in his own favour. But it is not even necessary to return the pawn The first method, which White chooses, should yield fruit more quickly 19.Be3! [19.-- /\Bc5 (/\19...Be5 ) ; 19.Qd3 Re8 20.f4 is sufficient for a win] 19...Be5 20.Qc4 Rxb2 21.Rac1 [>=21.d6 exploiting the circumstance that in order to win the b-pawn Black has to raise his blockade of the d-pawn Black has no satisfactory defence 21...Nb6 (21...Rc8 22.Qe4 Bf6 23.Qg4! Black could not struggle for long against the d-pawn) 22.Qe4 Bxd6 23.Qd4 ] 21...Nb6 22.Qe4 Qd6 White's mistake is replied to with one by Black. It has long been known that the Queen is a bad intermediary, as any piece can drive her off. [>=22...Bd6+/= After which White would have the slightly better position, but not a forced win] 23.f4 Bg7 [23...Bf6 24.Bc5 Qd8 25.d6 Black would soon be forced to lay down his arms] 24.Bc5 Whie's pieces dominate the whole board. The rest is simple 24...Qd8 25.Be7 Qe8 26.d6 Qb5 27.d7 Nxd7 28.Bxd7 Qb6 29.Qe3 Qxe3 30.fxe3 Rxa2 31.Bc8 h5 32.Rd8+ Kh7 Here the time check ended, and Black resigned without waiting for White's reply 1-0













(25) Kirilov V - Botvinnik Mikhail [A34]
Russia Ch URS, Moscow, 1931

1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Experience has shown that this system gives White no advantage whatever, if Black succeeds in the exchanging of pawns in the centre and then posting his Knight at c7 where it occupies a useful position 3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 After this Black prevents Pd4 and White proves unable to set up a pawn centre. But even his piece development is not altogether satisfactory. His King's Bishop can do nothing alone, and if the Queen's Bishop is developed at b2 it will com up against the pawn outpost at e5. [>=5.d4 which leads to a quite satisfactory game for White] 5...Nc7 Often played by A. Rubinstein where the Knight doesn't block the b-pawn by ... Nb6, which might be needed to defend Pc5 [5...Nb6 ] 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 e5 With colours reversed we now have the "dragon" variation of the Sicilian defence, and that in a form advantageous to Black, as the c-pawn is already posted at c5. For the next few moves the opponents respective plans are fairly clear. White is organizing an attack on the c-pawn, while Black is aiming at rapid development and consolidation of the central outposts c5 and e5 8.b3 Be7 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Rc1 White is now threatening Na4 attacking Pe5 and Pc5. He has outstripped Black in development and holds the iniatitive. The only question is whether he will be able with an attack on Pc5 to achieve any real advantage. If this attack is repulsed the initiative will be ended and Black's superiority in the centre will tell at once 10...f6 [10...-- /\11.Na4 ] 11.Ne1 Neccesary! Assuming the c-pawn can be defended by other more energetic moves, Black first prevents Nd3 [11.Na4 b6! 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Bxa8 Nxa8-/+ ] 11...Bf5 [11...Bd7 12.Na4 b6 ] 12.Na4 [\/12.Nd3 ] 12...Na6 13.Ba3 Qa5 14.Nc2 White cannot further increase the pressure on the c-pawn. Meanwhile Black has only to bring his Rooks into action to complete his development. [14.Bxc6 bxc6 Black has doubled pawns but with his two strong Bishops he would be able to develop operations on the weakened Kingside] 14...Rfd8 15.Ne3 Be6 [15...Rxd2 16.Qe1 Be6 17.Bxc6 depriving the Black Queen of defence 17...bxc6 18.Rd1 Rad8 19.Bc1+- ] 16.d3 An admission of bankruptcy of his plan associated with attack on the c-pawn. Meanwhile Black now develops his last piece, disposes of the threat BxN and passes to a decisive attack [>=16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.d3 Rac8 18.Qc2 Nb4=/+ ] 16...Rac8 17.Nc4 Qc7 18.Nd2 b6 19.Bb2 White is at a loss and playing without a plan 19...Qd7 20.Re1 Nd4 21.Nc3 Nb4! Black has achieved an ideal disposition of pieces and pawns. His Knights are posted invulnerably as ths moves Pa3 and Pe3 would fatally weaken White's position. Now White fails to see a fairly obvious combination, by which Black wins a pawn. But in any case it is hardly possible now to indicate any way to his salvation 22.Nf3 Nxa2! 23.Nxd4 [23.Nxa2 Bxb3 24.Qd2 Nxf3+ 25.Bxf3 Bxa2 26.Bxe5 Bd5-+ ] 23...Nxc3 24.Rxc3 cxd4 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.e3 Bb4 27.Re2 Bc3 28.exd4 Bxb2 29.Rxb2 Qxd4 30.Ra2 [30.Rc2 Rxc2 31.Qxc2 Qa1+ 32.Bf1 Bh3 33.Qc4+ Kh8 34.d4 exd4 35.-- Qxf1+-+ ] 30...a5 31.Ra4 Qc3 32.Rh4 Qc1 0-1













(26) Botvinnik Mikhail - Myasoyedov G [E23]
Leningrad ch-city Leningrad ch-city, 1932

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qb3 c5 5.dxc5 Nc6 6.Bg5 I played this move in a game with Mazel in the USSR 1931 Championship. White aims at preventing 6. ... Ne4 which gives Black an equal game 6...Qa5 The defect of this move is that after 7. Bxf6 Black is left with a shattered pawn position [6...Bxc3+ White retained superiority. Myasoyedov chooses a different way of development, which also does not enable Black to equalize the game; >=6...h6 Botvinnik-Ragozin, Tournament of Leningrad House of Scientist 1932-33 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 9.e3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qf6 11.Ne2 e5! Black has excellent play] 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Nf3 Qxc5 [8...Bxc3+ worth considering] 9.a3 Ba5 Black withdraws his Bishop to a less effective diagonal [>=9...Qa5 10.Rc1 Be7 11.-- d6 12.-- /\Bd7 ] 10.e3 a6 11.Be2 [>=11.0-0-0! with a sharpo struggle] 11...Rg8 [11...d5! 12.Rc1 (12.cxd5 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Qxd5 ) 12...dxc4 freed Black's game a little. This shows that White too had played inexactly on the preceding move] 12.0-0 Bc7 [>=12...f5 preventing Ne4] 13.Ne4 Qe7 now the tempo of events quickened [no less a better move is 13...Qf5 14.Qd3! Ke7 (14...d5 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Qxd5 ) ] 14.Qc3 Rg6 [14...Ne5 15.c5! -- Black can't defend himself against 16.Rad1 -- /\17.Nd6+ ] 15.c5 A muderous move! Black's following attempt to free himself is also not very satisfactory 15...d5 [15...f5 16.Qh8+ Qf8 17.Nf6+ winning a pawn; 15...b6 16.cxb6 Bxb6 17.Rfd1 Bc7 18.Rac1 Black has no move.; 15...-- 16.Rad1 -- /\17.Nd6+ ] 16.cxd6 Bxd6 17.Rfd1 Bc7 18.Nc5 Kf8 [18...-- /\19.Nxa6 ] 19.Rac1 Again threatening Nxa6 [\/19.Nxa6 Rxa6 20.Bxa6 bxa6 21.Qxc6 Bb7-+ ] 19...Be5 20.Nxe5 Nxe5 [20...fxe5 21.Bf3+/- ] 21.f4 [=21.Qa5 Nc6 22.Qb6 Black would have great difficulty meeting the threat of 23. Bxa6 22...-- /\23.Bxa6 ] 21...Nc6 22.Bf3 e5 23.b4 Nd8 [23...f5 24.Bxc6 Rxc6 25.fxe5 b6 26.e6! Kg8 (26...f6 27.Rd7 Bxd7 28.Nxd7+ Qxd7 29.exd7 ) 27.exf7+ Kxf7 28.Qb3+ Be6 (28...Kf8 29.Qd5 ) 29.Nxe6 Qxe6 (29...Rxe6 30.Qd5 ) 30.Rd7+ Kg8 31.Qxe6+ Rxe6 32.Rcc7+- ] 24.Qd3 Ke8 [24...Bg4 25.Bxg4 Rxg4 26.Qf5 -- /\27.Rd7 ] 25.f5 Rg5 [25...Rg8 26.Nxa6 bxa6 ] 26.Ne4 Rg8 27.Nd6+ 1-0













(27) Rabinovich I - Botvinnik Mikhail [C01]
Russia Ch Leningrad, Leningrad, 1932

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 With this continuation Black experiences no difficult whatever in development; so it is rarely played in tournaments 4...exd5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.0-0 Bg4 8.f3 Be6 9.Be3?! [>=9.Na4 ] 9...Nf5 10.Bf2 Qd7 [10...Bxc3! 11.bxc3 (11.Nxc3 Nfxd4 ) 11...Qd7 (11...g5 ) ] 11.Na4 b6 [11...-- \/12.Nc5 Bxc5 13.dxc5 gaining the Bishop pair] 12.a3 Be7 13.Nac3 Bf6 14.Ba6 The further phase of the middle-game consists of a series of complicated manoeuvres by which White gains a slight superiority [although worth considering 14.Bxf5 Bxf5 15.Nf4 Ne7 16.Nh5 ] 14...0-0 15.Na2 Qd6 16.Qd2 h6 17.Rad1 Rad8 18.g4 Gaining advantage in space on the Kingside. This move is safe as the closed position does not allow Black to exploit the weakening of the pawn chain 18...Nh4 19.Bg3 Qe7 [19...Qd7 20.Bb5 with a dangerous pin] 20.Bb5 Na5 After this White decides to exchange Queens and pass to the endgame [20...Nb8 21.c3 c5 22.Bd3 Nc6 23.Bb1 White's position would be preferable] 21.Qb4 c6 22.Qxe7 Bxe7 23.Bd3 Bf6 24.c3 Ng6 25.Rfe1 Nc4 Hoping to complicate the game 26.Bxc4 dxc4 27.Nb4 c5 A cunning trap, the idea of which White discovers only some moves later 28.Nc6 [‹28.Nc2 Be7 29.Ne3 cxd4 30.Nxd4+/= ] 28...Rd7 29.dxc5 [29.Ne5 Bxe5 30.dxe5 Rd3 could not allure to White] 29...bxc5 30.Rxd7 Bxd7 31.Na5 The pawn cannot be taken because the piece would be lost [31.Nxa7 Ra8 ] 31...Be6 Gradually White's mistake at his 28th move is revealed. The Na5 is out of the game, the b-pawn is weak, and White's Kingside hardly inspires confidence. On the other hand the apparently bad Black c-pawns prove invincible 32.f4 White's move is clearly bad; the Black Bishops gradually dominate all the board, while White's Kingside becomes irrevocably weak [‹32.Nb7 Bd5 33.Nxc5 Nh4 ; ‹32.Bd6 Rd8! 33.Bxc5 Ne5 34.Nd4 Bd5 ; >=32.Rd1 Black would chose a pawn sacrifice line 32...Ne5 (32...Be5 33.f4 Bc7 34.f5 Bxa5 35.fxe6 fxe6 with a sharp game and an extra pawn) 33.Bxe5 Bxe5 34.Nc6 Bc7 35.Nxa7 f5 with excellent chances] 32...Bxg4 33.Nxc4 h5! [‹33...Re8 34.Ne5 Bxe5 35.fxe5 Nxe5 36.Nd4! f6 37.Bxe5 fxe5 38.Nc6 ] 34.Nc1 [34.-- /\h4 35.Bf2 Bxe2 36.Rxe2 Nxf4 ; 34.Ne3 Bxe2 (34...Bf3 keeping up strong pressure) 35.Rxe2 h4 36.f5 hxg3 37.fxg6 gxh2+ 38.Rxh2 fxg6 the win is problematic] 34...Rd8 [34...h4 35.Bf2 attacking the c-pawn. But Black has no need to hurry] 35.Ne3 Bh3 36.Rd1 Loses a pawn and the game [36.f5 Nh4! ] 36...h4 37.Rxd8+ Bxd8 38.Bf2 Nxf4 39.Nc4 Be7 40.b4 Be6 41.Na5 Nh3+ 42.Kg2 Nxf2 43.Kxf2 cxb4 A graphic example of the Bishops superiority fo Knights 44.axb4 Bd6 45.Kg2 h3+ 46.Kg1 g5 47.Nc6 Bd5 48.Nd4 [48.Nxa7 Bf4 49.Nc8 Be3+ 50.Kf1 Bg2+ ] 48...Bf4 49.Nce2 Be3+ 50.Kf1 Be4 51.Ke1 f5 The time has come when one Bishop can be exchanged against a Knight, which incidentally disposes of White's last chances 52.Ng3 Bxd4 53.cxd4 Kf7 54.Ne2 Ke6 55.Nc3 Bc6 56.Kf2 f4 57.Ne2 Bg2 58.Nc3 g4 59.Kg1 Bb7 60.b5 Kf5 61.Na4 g3 White resigns, as even Nc5 will not prevent Black from playing ... Pf3 0-1













(28) Botvinnik Mikhail - Alatortsev V [D26]
Russia Ch Leningrad, Leningrad, 1932

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.e3 e6 5.Bd3 dxc4 In sum we now have a Queen's Gambit Accepted 6.Bxc4 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Qe2 An important move. Black avoids ... Pa6 to no purpose; if White move to prevent ... Pb5 he must play Pa4 weakening his Queenside [8.Nc3 Be7 White has no advantage 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Rd1 e5 ] 8...cxd4 9.Rd1 Be7 10.exd4 0-0 11.Nc3 Nb4 A necessary manoeuvre, ensuring that Black controls d5; otherwise with Pd5 White is delivered from his one weakness, the isolated pawn and also opens up the game which is to his benefit as his development is more advanced 12.Ne5 Nbd5 [>=12...Bd7 13.d5 exd5 14.Nxd5 Nbxd5 15.Bxd5 Nxd5 16.Rxd5 Bg4 17.Qc4 Qxd5! 18.Qxd5 Rad8 Black equalizes the game. This variation was found by master V. Chekhover] 13.Bg5 [Worth considering 13.Qf3 Again attacking d5 13...Qd6 14.-- Bd7 Black gets a satisfactory game] 13...h6 [13...Nxc3 14.bxc3 Nd5 15.Bd2 The d-pawn is well supported] 14.Bh4 Bd7! Black has prepared a shrewd continuation, the object of which will be gathered from our further comments White can't allow ... Bc6 and his reply is forced [‹14...Nxc3 15.bxc3 Nd5 16.Bxe7 Nxe7 (16...Qxe7 17.Ng6 ) ] 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 [15...exd5 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Bd3 Black is in no condition to hold for long] 16.Bxe7 [16.Bxd5 exd5 17.Nxd7 Re8!! 18.Bxe7 Qxd7 19.Re1 Rac8! Black wins back the piece with a probable draw 20.Qf3 Rxe7 21.Rxe7 Qxe7 22.Qxd5 Rc2 23.Qb5 Qe4 ] 16...Qxe7 [16...Nxe7 17.d5 exd5 18.Bxd5 Nxd5 19.Rxd5 Bg4 20.Qc4+- ] 17.Ng6 fxg6 18.Bxd5 White has the better of it after all as Black's pawns are weakened and must be defended by pieces; White's pieces are more actively posted 18...Rae8 Indirectly defending the b-pawn 19.Re1 [19.Bxb7 Ba4 20.b3 Bxb3 restores material equality] 19...Qb4 20.Bb3 Rf6 The defence Black has chosen is wrong. He quite uselessly doubles the Rooks on the f-file, where there is nothing for them to do. He should have withdrawn the Bishop to c8 and prepared to double rooks on the d-file. After Black has removed the Rooks from Play White succeeds in forcing a Queen exchange and transposing to an advantageous endgame [20...Qxd4 21.Rad1 ; >=20...Bc8 21.-- /\Rd8 ] 21.Rad1 Ref8 22.f3 Kh7 23.Qd2 Qb6 24.Re5 Rf4 25.Qe3 [25.Qa5 Rxd4! ; 25.Qc3 Rc8 ] 25...R8f6 This makes it possible for White to transfer the Queen to c5, but it is doubtful whether Black has any better move 26.Qc3 Bc6 27.Qc5 [27.Bxe6 Bxf3 ] 27...Qxc5 28.dxc5 White has practically an extra pawn, as the four Black pawns on the Kingside can be held by White's three without difficulty. The result of the game is beyond doubt 28...R4f5 [28...R6f5 29.Rde1 Rxe5 30.Rxe5 Rd4 31.Kf2 Rd2+ 32.Re2 Rxe2+ 33.Kxe2+- ] 29.Rde1 Rxe5 [29...Bd5 30.Bxd5 exd5 31.Rxf5 Rxf5 (31...gxf5 32.Rd1 ) 32.Re7 d4 33.b4 ] 30.Rxe5 Rf5 The simplification is tantamount to surrender, but in any case there is no salvation 31.Rxf5 exf5 32.Kf2 g5 [32...f4 33.Bc2 -- /\34.Be4 ] 33.Ke3 Kg6 34.Kd4 Kf6 35.Bd5 Forcibly transposing into a pawn endgame 35...h5 36.h3 g4 37.hxg4 fxg4 38.fxg4 hxg4 39.g3 Kf5 40.b4 Kf6 41.Ke4 Ke7 42.Bxc6 bxc6 43.Kf5 White has various awys of winning 43...a6 44.a3 Kf7 45.Kxg4 Ke6 46.Kg5 Kd5 47.Kg6 White's pawn queens first 1-0













(29) Chekhover,Vitaly - Botvinnik,Mikhail [E18]
Leningrad (5), 1932

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 d5 [>=7...Ne4 ] 8.cxd5 [8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Qa4 disastrous for Black] 8...exd5 9.Bf4 now Black satisfactorily completes his development [9.Ne5 ] 9...Nbd7 10.Nb5 [>=10.Rc1 c6 ] 10...Ne8 [10...a6? 11.Bxc7! Qc8 12.Bd6 ] 11.Rc1 c6 12.Nc3 Nd6 13.Qc2 A passive move, allowing Black to obtain the advantage [>=13.Bxd6 Bxd6 14.e4! opening up the game] 13...f5 Now we have something on the lines of the Dutch 14.Bh3 g6 Black defends the f-pawn so as to manoeuvre later with the Knight on e6 15.Rfd1 Nf7! Because of the threat of ... Pg5-g4 the Bishop at h3 must retreat. True, even so, by advancing his pawn Black seizes out the White pawn and gains an advantage in space 16.Bg2 [16.-- /\g5 17.Bd2 g4 ] 16...g5 17.Bd2 Nd6 18.Ne1! White finds the right manoeuvre 18...Bf6 19.e3 Qe7 20.Nd3 Ne4 21.Be1 A weak move, after which Black's game is easy [>=21.f4 In this case, too, Black retains the initiative, but by occupying e5 White would at least slow up the tempo of the enemy attack 21...-- 22.Ne5 ] 21...Rac8 22.Qb3 Black's next move is forced 22...Rfe8 [22...-- 23.Nxe4 fxe4 /\24.Bb4 ] 23.Bh3 g4 Simplest, Black secures the e4 Knight 24.Bg2 Nf8 25.Nf4 Ne6 26.Nxe6 [26.-- /\N6g5 serious unpleasantness for White] 26...Qxe6 27.Ne2 Bg5 28.Qa3 a5 29.Qb3 Leads to swift defeat [29.Nf4 Bxf4 30.exf4 Ba6 31.f3 gxf3 White has a hard game] 29...Ba6 30.Nc3 [30.Nf4 Bxf4 31.exf4 Be2-+ White loses the exchange] 30...Rb8 [>=30...Bc4 31.Qxb6 Bd8 32.Qa7 Re7-+ ] 31.Qc2 Rbc8 32.Ne2 the Knight manoeuvre does not save the game 32...Qf7 In any case there appears no satisfactory continuation for White [‹32...Qh6 33.-- /\Bxe3 ] 33.Nf4 Bxf4 34.gxf4 Qh5 White resigns as there is no defence against ... Re6-h6 35.-- Re6 36.-- /\Rh6 0-1













(30) Lisitsyn G - Botvinnik Mikhail [A30]
Russia Ch Leningrad, Leningrad, 1932

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.0-0 Now Black prohibits Pd4 for a long time, which enables him to get an excellent game [>=6.d4 with a good game for White] 6...e5 The upshot is the "dragon" variation of the Sicilian Defence, with colours reversed, but with the advantageous move ... Pc5 7.d3 Be7 8.Nbd2 [8.Nc3 Nc7! avoiding simplification ] 8...0-0 9.Nc4 f6 10.Be3 Be6 11.a4 Consolidates the position of the Knight, but weakens the Qside. The sound plan for White in such positions is the preparation of Pf4 (as in the Kashdan-Nimzovitch, Bled 1931 and Botvinnik-Find, Nottingham 1936) True, in the present game White has already posted his pieces in such a mannter that it is not easy to carry out this plan Four of White's next nine moves are made with the Queen. That would rather suggest that he is playing without a plan Taking this into account, Black does not hurry to organize his attac, but for the time being methodically consolidates his position 11...Qd7 12.Qd2 b6 13.Rfc1 Rac8 14.Qd1 Kh8 15.Bd2 Rfd8 16.Qb3 Nc7 17.Bc3 Rb8 18.Qc2 Nd5 19.Nfd2 Rbc8 20.Nf1 Nd4! Black dominates the whole board. White cannot set up even the ghost of a computer-game; he is forced to look on passively while his opponent reogranizes his ranks for a decisive attack 21.Qd1 Bg4 Black's design is now clear. White is to be compelled to exchange at d4; but this opens the e-file after which the Rooks can attack the backward pawn. White can't advance the e-pawn, for this would lead to the loss of the d-pawn 22.Bxd4 exd4 23.Qd2 Bf8 Clearing the e-file 24.Re1 Re8 25.h4 The Knight must be developed at least "somewhere or other". With his next move Black offers an exchange of Bishops, which White avoids for the moment, as he wishes to keep the Bishop for defence of the e-pawn 25...Bh3 26.Bf3 Re7 27.Nh2 Rce8 28.Kh1 Be6 With the obvious object of transferring the Bishop to d5 where it will hold a stronger position. Incidentally, White might have had an opportunity to play Pg4 and Rg1 cutting off the Bishop 29.b3 Nb4 [‹29...Nc3 30.e4 advancing the backward pawn] 30.Bg2 Bd5 31.Nf3 Still avoiding the exchange 31...Rf7 The bishop at f8 must be brought into action 32.Kh2 Bd6 33.Bh3 Qd8 34.Rab1 Rfe7 35.Ng1 Bc7 36.Na3 Bb7!-/+ White himself is forced to seek exchange of Bishops as he mustn't allow Bg2. Black's pieces are splendily placed, and he is ready for the decisive attack. White's position is hopeless 37.Bg2 [37.-- /\Qd5 ] 37...Bxg2 38.Kxg2 Nd5 39.Nc2 Qd6! There is no defence against ... Ne3+ 40.Na3 [40.-- Ne3+ ] 40...Ne3+ 41.Kh1 Ng4 42.Qf4 [42.Rf1 Qd5+ ; 42.Kg2 Nxf2 43.Kxf2 Qxg3+ 44.Kf1 Re3 45.Nf3 Qh3+ 46.Kg1 Bh2+-+ ] 42...Qxf4 43.gxf4 Nxf2+ 44.Kg2 Nxd3 0-1













(31) Rauzer V - Botvinnik Mikhail [B74]
Russia Ch URS, Leningrad, 1933

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 [2...d6 If Black wants to play the "dragon" variation 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 ] 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 When playing this particular game Rauzer had not made his researches [6.Bg5 Rauzer's advice \/6...g6 7.Bxf6 exf6 ] 6...g6 For a long time "theory" regarded the "dragon" variation as not very satisfactory for Black, but it has reappeared in tournament practise 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Nb3 A useful move, as otherwise Black frees his play with ... Pd5. Black's next move is regarded as strongest 8...Be6 [\/8...d5 ] 9.f4 0-0 10.0-0 [10.g4 See the Alekhine-Botvinnik (53) or Kann-Botvinnik (50)] 10...Na5 11.Nxa5 The Black Knight could occupy a good position at c4, but it should not have been exchanged off, especially as the exchange had the effect of developing White's pieces [11.f5 Bc4 12.e5 (>=12.Bd3! R. Spielmann) 12...Bxe2 13.Qxe2 dxe5 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.Nb5 Qc4! ] 11...Qxa5=/+ The opening phase has ended, it would seem in Black's favour. His further play is beset with few difficulties than White's 12.Bf3 [>=12.Qd2 ] 12...Bc4 13.Re1 Rfd8 14.Qd2 Qc7 In certain variations Nd5 is unpleasante, forcing exchange of Queens 15.Rac1 After this passive move White at once gets involved in serious complications [>=15.Qf2 distracting Black from his plan of threatening the a-pawn] 15...e5 If White had realized the point of this move he would have continued Pxe5 16.b3 [>=16.fxe5 dxe5 17.Qf2= ; 16.Qf2 d5 17.exd5 (17.fxe5 Nxe4 ) 17...exf4! 18.Bxa7 Nxd5 19.Bxd5 (19.Nxd5 ) 19...Bxd5 20.Nxd5 (20.Bb6 Qc4 ) 20...Rxd5 ] 16...d5!! It seems this sacrifice is sound in all variations 17.exd5 [17.-- /\d4 ] 17...e4! 18.bxc4 White looks for counter-chances in acceptance of the sacrifice, choosing, it would seem, the most expedient way. This is evident from the following variations: [18.Bxe4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Bxd5 20.Qd3 (20.Nc3 Bf3-+ ) 20...Qc6 21.Bf2 Re8 22.Nd2 Bxg2 ; 18.Nxe4 Nxd5 19.Kh1 (19.-- /\Bc3 ) 19...Nxe3 20.Qxe3 Bd4 21.Qd2! Now if Black attempts to win the exchange 21...Bb2© the situation is extremely complicated, and dangerous for Black owing to the weakness of his a1-h8 diagonal. But as Becker showed, White's attack can still be repulsed (21...Be6 22.c4 Be5 23.Qc2 Bxf4=/+ ) 22.Qb4 Bxc1 (22...Bd5 23.Rb1 Qxc2 Tarrasch) 23.Nf6+! Kh8! 24.Qc3 Bd2 25.Qb2 Be6! 26.Nd5+ (26.c4 Qa5 ) 26...Bc3 27.Nxc3 Kg8 28.Ne4 Qxf4 29.Nf6+ Kf8-/+ ] 18...exf3 19.c5 Qa5 20.Red1 this gives Black a forced win [20.d6 Ng4 21.Ne4 Qxd2 22.Bxd2 (22.Nxd2 Nxe3 23.Rxe3 Bd4 ) 22...f2+ 23.Nxf2 Bd4-/+ ; 20.gxf3 Nxd5 21.Nxd5 Qxd2 22.Bxd2 Rxd5 White gets a far from pleasant endgame with a weak pawn formation; >=20.Qd3 Ng4 21.Ne4 f5 22.Ng5 f2+ 23.Bxf2 Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Qxc5+ 25.Kg3 Qxd5 (25...Rxd5 26.Qb3 ) 26.Qxd5+ Rxd5 Opponents have approximately equal cahnces in the endgame] 20...Ng4! 21.Bd4 Now follows an unexpected mating attack with Queen and knight, the Queen playing the decisive role, transferring in three moves from the Queenside to the Kingside [21.Ne4 Qxd2 22.Bxd2 Bd4+ 23.Kh1 fxg2+ 24.Kxg2 Rxd5 Black has every justification for counting victory in the endgame] 21...f2+ 22.Kf1 [22.Kh1 Rxd5! 23.Nxd5 f1Q+! ] 22...Qa6+ 23.Qe2 [23.Ne2 Rxd5 ; 23.Qd3 Bxd4 24.Qxa6 Ne3+ 25.Ke2 f1Q+ 26.Rxf1 bxa6-+ ] 23...Bxd4 24.Rxd4 Qf6! 25.Rcd1 [25.Qd3 Re8 26.Re4 (26.g3 Re3 27.Qd2 Rae8 ) 26...Rxe4 27.Nxe4 Qxf4 28.-- Nxh2+ ] 25...Qh4 26.Qd3 Re8 27.Re4 f5! 28.Re6 Nxh2+ [28...Rad8 29.Qb5 (29.Nb5 ) 29...Rxe6 30.dxe6 Rxd1+ 31.Nxd1 Nxh2+ 32.Ke2 f1Q+ ] 29.Ke2 Qxf4 30.Rf1 Nxf1 31.Kxf1 Rxe6 32.dxe6 Qe4 This game was awarded the brilliancy prize 0-1













(32) Botvinnik Mikhail - Yudovich M [D96]
Ch URS, Leningrad Ch URS, Leningrad, 1933

1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Ragozin recommended this move to be followed by 5. Qb3 After the USSR Eight Championship the system with Qb3 was thoroughly studied by many masters, but so far no absolutely reliable antidote has been found to it; the most serious reply is the counter-system developed by Smyslove, involving ... Bg4 [4.Qb3 Botvinnik-Levenfish 1932] 4...Bg7 5.Qb3 c6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 [‹6...cxd5 7.Bg5 ] 7.Bd2 [7.e4 Nxc3 8.bxc3 c5! 9.Bc4 0-0= ] 7...0-0 8.e4 Nb6 At one time Tarrasch declared that in the Queen's Gambit Knights are always posted badly at b6 whether White or black. This assertion has long since ceased to be accepted as true, but in the given position the Black Knight is in fact badly posted at b6. Its activity is reduced to the minimum, it only interferes with the development of the Queenside, and serves as a convenient target to be fired at [8...Nxc3 9.Bxc3 leaving White with an impercptible advantage] 9.Rd1! It transpires Black can't seize the initiative. He can't take the d-pawn so Black aims at e5. However, later it transpires that this plan is also impossible [9.-- Be6 10.Qc2 Nc4 White has a strong reply at his disposal, one which was after all not so difficult to foresee, parrying both threats ] 9...N8d7 With the idea of playing ... Pe5 if opportunity arise. Before forestalling this move, White forces a weakening of b6 10.a4 [10.-- e5 ] 10...a5 [10...-- 11.a5 ] 11.Be3 A remarkable situation has arisen. The illfated Nb6 is the cause of all Black's difficulties. It has not one move, and moreover it has to be defended twice over, as White continually threatens Pd5. As a result of five of Black's pieces - the Queen, a Rook, a Bishop and the two Knights - are fettered. Now Black cannot even dream of a breakthrough with ... Pe5 However, it is not a simple matter to win 11...Qc7 12.Be2 Qd6 13.Na2 [13.-- Qb4 to eliminate the attack on the Knight, White must of course prevent this] 13...e6 [13...Qe6 14.Qxe6 fxe6 15.b3 Nf6 16.d5 Nbd7 17.dxe6 Nb8 18.Bc4 ] 14.0-0 h6 Black's plan is to free a square for the Knight on b6. Only then will he be able to develop the Queenside. By advancing Pf5 he proposes to liquidate White's e-pawn thus get a base for his Knight at d5 White saw that if he played Ne5 followed by Pf3 Black would be fettered and would be unable to free himself. However he mistakenly decided that ... Pf5 was impossible for Black in any case. Unfortunately, as the result the game lost it's point [14...f5 15.Ng5 Re8 16.f3! guarding the e-pawn] 15.Rc1 [\/15.Ng5 ; 15.Ne5!! -- 16.f3 ] 15...f5 16.Nc3 forced [White now noticed 16.Ne5 f4! ; 16.d5 cxd5 17.e5 Bxe5! 18.Nxe5 Qxe5 19.Bxb6 Nxb6 20.Qxb6 Qxe2 ] 16...Kh7 [16...-- 17.d5 ] 17.Rfd1 [17.d5 fxe4! 18.dxc6 exf3 ] 17...fxe4 [17...-- /\18.d5 exd5 19.exd5 ] 18.Nxe4 Qb4 Pawn hunting is equivalent to surrending tthe game. it does not even call for any calculation to realize how dangerous is the situation to Black's King [18...Qe7 19.Qc2 Nd5 20.Ng3! g6 has a very susceptible weakness] 19.Qc2 Qxa4 20.b3 Qa3 21.Nh4! [21.Neg5+ hxg5 22.Nxg5+ Kg8 23.Qxg6 Rf6 Black has everything guarded] 21...Qe7 [21...a4 22.Rb1 axb3 23.Rxb3 Qa2 24.Rb2 Qa4 25.Qb1 Black can't force exchange of Queens; 21...Rf5 22.g4 ] 22.Nxg6 [also wins 22.Ng5+ hxg5 23.Nxg6 Qe8 24.Nxf8++- ] 22...Kxg6 23.Bh5+!! mate is inevitable 1-0













(33) Botvinnik Mikhail - Flohr S [B13]
Russia Match, Leningrad/Moscow (9), 1933

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 I think this is the first time this system has ever been played. It is not at all easy for Black to defend d4 In the present game Black gives up altogether any attempt to keep the pawn on d4 and at once gets a bad position. Of recent years many and various systems have been proposed for Black. But I am still convinced that 6. Bg5 is one of the strongest of continuations. 6...dxc4 Black gives up the centre and makes it possible for White to advance his centre pawn, which makes Black's development difficult. Soon after this game theoreticians came to the conclusion that here the best continuation [>=6...e6 ] 7.d5 Ne5 [7...Na5 8.Nf3! White gets a stronger attack for the pawn sacrifice] 8.Qd4 Nd3+ 9.Bxd3 cxd3 10.Nf3 [10.Bxf6 played in the first game and got the worse.] 10...g6 [10...e6 11.Bxf6! Qxf6 12.Qxd3 Black has a very bad position (the c8 Bishop has no move and the King is stranded in the centre), and I decided to play this variation again; ‹10...Bg4 11.0-0 Black can't resist for long. White's chief advantage lies in his superior development. In all variaitons his attack grows threatening before Black can bring his reserves into the battle. Black's reply here can't be recommended in any circumstances] 11.Bxf6 Naturally this is now very strong, as by comparison with the first game of the match White has won an important tempo and his Rooks begin to work along the central files with terrible strength. In certain variations the passed d-pawn is also very unpleasant to Black 11...exf6 12.0-0 Qb6 One can't confidently say that Black's game is lost [12...Be7 13.Rad1! (‹13.Ne4 Qb6 14.d6 Qxd4 15.Nxd4 f5! 16.Rfe1 fxe4 17.Rxe4 Kd7 ) 13...0-0 14.Rxd3 Bf5 15.Rd2 Bd6 16.g4 Bc8 17.Ne4 and Black must surrender. It is possible that at one point or another Black could improve on this play, but that can't modify in any essential this estimate of the position. Black decided to reconcile himself to being unable to Castle, hoping that at d1 the King would find a reliable haven. But unfortunately, in an open position and with a completely developed army such play in the spirit of Steinitz can't save the game] 13.Rfe1+ Kd8 14.Qh4! [14.Qxd3 Bd6! it is doubtful whether White would be able to carry his positional victory] 14...g5 [14...-- /\15.Ne5! ; 14...Bd7 15.Ne5 Be8 16.Ng4 Qa6 17.d6 ; 14...Bg7 15.Ne5 Rf8 16.Qxh7 ; 14...Be7 15.d6 Qxd6 16.Rad1! Bd7 (16...Bf5 17.Nd4 ) 17.Re3 ] 15.Qh5 An alternative "desperate" defence against Ne5 is the one Black decides to adopt 15...Bd6 [15...Qc7 16.Ne4 and the Black pawns vanish one after another. Black "develops" two pieces, but at the price of two good pawns, giving White superiority in material] 16.Qxf7 Rf8 17.Qxh7 g4! The sole chance of getting couterplay 18.Nd2 [18.Nh4 Qc7 (18...d2! and complications not entirely without possibilities for Black result. So White's withdrawal of the Knight is forced) ] 18...Qc7 [‹18...Qxb2 19.Qxd3 with an unrelenting attack. But now White must play with great care] 19.Qh6! The Rook is not reliably defended, so Black hastens to cover it with the Queen [19.Qxc7+ Bxc7 it is far from simple to win the d-pawn, and even if White did, the endgame would still present great difficulties.; ‹19.Qxd3 Bxh2+ 20.Kf1 And the White King would find himself in a dangerous situation] 19...Qf7 [19...-- /\20.Nb5 ] 20.Nc4 Be5 Now White captures a second pawn, in doing so depriving Black of his "bishop pair" and transposes into an endgame. The rest is a matter of technique. [‹20...Bb4 21.a3 Bxc3 22.Nd6 Qg8 23.bxc3 ; 20...Bb8 21.d6 Rg8 22.Re7 Qg6 (22...Qxc4 23.Qxf6 ) 23.Qf4 ] 21.Nxe5 [21.Nb5 Tarrasch showed that White could win with a direct attack. Yet I think that if I had again to play White in this position I would play as in the game, for in an elementary won position a master should choose the simplest road] 21...fxe5 22.Qg5+ Qe7 23.Qxe5 Qxe5 24.Rxe5 Bf5 25.Rf1 Kd7 26.f3 b5 Yet another attempt to complicate the game 27.fxg4 Bxg4 28.h3 b4 29.Ne4! Black allows the White King to pass into the centre, after which further resistance is futile [29.hxg4 bxc3 30.bxc3 Rxf1+ 31.Kxf1 Rc8 The result would be doubtful as the White pawns would fall one after another] 29...Rxf1+ [29...Be2 30.Rxf8 Rxf8 31.d6! Rf1+ 32.Kh2 Rd1 33.Re7+ Kc6 34.d7 Kc7 35.Nc5! White queens his pawn] 30.Kxf1 Rf8+ 31.Ke1 Bf5 32.g4 Bg6 33.Re6 1-0













(34) Flohr S - Botvinnik Mikhail [A95]
Russia Match, Leningrad/Moscow (10), 1933

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Theoretically this continuation (the King's fianchetto) is regarded as White's best line against the Dutch Defence [3.Nc3 Fourth game Flohr-Botvinnik] 3...Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 Black refrains from the exchange of Bishops in order to avoid simplifications, and plans to employ the stonewall formation (game 4). When this game was played it was considered that this variation ceded White unquestioned superiority, but the system contains a lot of poison, and against an opponent who has not throrough knowledge of the game it can be applied confidently 5.Nc3 d5 [>=5...0-0 6.Nh3 d6 ] 6.Nf3 [At one time Grunfeld recommended 6.Nh3 This was adopted by Capablanca-Botvinnik, Hastings 1934-35 where White obtained superiority] 6...c6 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 Ignorance of the variation is beginning to reveal itself. Flohr doesn't choose the strongest continuation The fianchetto of the Queen's Bishop has one serious defect, the weakness of f4, after which Black's pressure on the Kingside increases considerably [8.Bf4 At the time was considered the best system; Chekohover's system 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.Bg5! Qh5 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.cxd5 exd5 reducing to a minumum the forces available for Black to attack on the Kingside. ] 8...Qe8 The customary move in this variation to transfer the Queen to h5 both for attack and to defend the f-pawn 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Qd3 Another slight inexact move. The Queen is more effective on c2 [simplest 10.Ne5 Bd6 11.f4 closing the position and depriving Black his chances of attacking the Kingside; >=10.Qc2 ] 10...Qh5 Just in time, White threatened 11. cxd5 11.cxd5 White should make this exchange only when it gives some advantage at once. Otherwise it leads only to a deterioration of the position It is evident that the Bishop was badly placed at b2 and the mistake should have been recognised, transferring it to f4, so eliminating any possibility of a breakthrough with ... Pe5 [11.Nd2 e5! take advantage of the e-square being undefende 12.cxd5 e4 ] 11...exd5 12.Nd2 This is also a mistake. White's sound plan consisted of playing Pf4 and capturing e5. But now Black can prevent this manoeuvre [>=12.Ne1 -- 13.f4 -- 14.Nf3 -- 15.Ne5 ] 12...Ne4 The knight can be exchanged now 13.f3 [13.f4 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 Nf6 Black controls e4, while it is extremely difficult for White to transfer the Knight to e5] 13...Nxc3 the only way [13...Nxd2 14.Qxd2 White would succeed in defending f4] 14.Bxc3 f4! The signal for attack. Black develops contionous pressure on the kingside, and it is not easy for White to free himself. 15.Rfe1 [15.Rfd1 leaving f1 free for the Bishop. The f1 square must be vacated for the Knight to defend g3 ] 15...Bd6 16.Nf1 Rf7 Black frees f8 for his Knight [‹16...Nf6 17.Bd2! fxg3 18.hxg3 White's Bishop would operate actively along the c1-h6 diagonal] 17.e3 [>=17.Bd2 ; ‹17.e4 dxe4 18.Qxe4 (18.fxe4 f3! ) 18...Nf6 ] 17...fxg3 18.Nxg3 [18.hxg3 Rxf3! (18...Qg5 19.e4 Bxg3 20.Nxg3 Qxg3 21.exd5 Nf8-/+ ) ] 18...Qh4 19.Nf1 Nf6 20.Re2 Bd7 White pins great hopes to the transfer of the Bishop to g3, but it can't essentially improve his position 21.Be1 Qg5 22.Bg3 Bxg3 23.Nxg3 [23.hxg3 Nh5 24.g4 (24.Kh2 Nxg3 25.Nxg3! Qh4+ ) ] 23...h5! This is the beginning of the decisive attack threatening to win a piece. White is forced to further weaken his pawn position 24.f4 [24.-- /\h4 ] 24...Qg4 25.Rf2 [>=25.Rf1 ] 25...h4 26.Bf3 An obvious oversight [26.h3! Qe6 27.Nf1 Ne4-+ White's position is lost] 26...hxg3 The Queen sacrifice is decisive 27.Bxg4 gxf2+ 28.Kg2 [28.Kxf2 Nxg4+ The King pawn is also lost] 28...Nxg4 29.h3 Nf6 30.Kxf2 Ne4+ 31.Kg2 Bxh3+ [31...Re8 mating attack] 0-1













(35) Belavenietz S - Botvinnik Mikhail [E18]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1934

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 d5 8.Ne5 Qc8 9.Bf4 A single formal move can spoil any position. White loses the initiative with Bf4 at the least [>=9.cxd5 restricting the scope of the Queen's Bishop's sphere of operations. 9...exd5 ] 9...dxc4 10.Nxc4 This is a simply losing mistake. Now White gets a weak d-pawn [10.Qa4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Qb7+ 12.Kg1 Nd5 13.Bd2 Nxc3 14.bxc3 c5 (14...b5 15.Rab1 a6 16.Qxc4 ) 15.Qxc4 Rc8 16.Qd3 Nc6=/+ ] 10...Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Qb7+ [11...Rd8 12.e3 c5 13.Qf3! saving the d-pawn] 12.Kg1 Rd8 13.Qc2! The d-pawn is indirectly defended 13...Nc6 [13...Rxd4 14.Nb5 Rd7 15.Ne5 White wins Black's c7 square] 14.e3 An extremely interesting situation. At first glance it seems that Black can win the Bishop at f4. Black decides on the Rook sacrifice which gives him an all but irresitible attack 14...Rxd4!! [14...Nd5 15.Nxd5 (>=15.Qe4! g5 16.Bxg5 Bxg5 17.Qg4 h6 18.h4 involves great complications ) 15...exd5 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 f6 18.Qxc7 Rd7-/+ ] 15.exd4 Nxd4 16.Qc1 [16.Qa4 Nf3+ 17.Kh1 e5! forestalling Nc4-e3-g2 (17...-- /\18.Ne3 -- 19.Ng2 ) 18.Be3 a6!! and there is no defence against Black's combined threats] 16...Nf3+ 17.Kh1 e5 18.Be3 Ng4 Being a Rook down, Black gets nervous and tries to force the game. But there was no necessity. White is in a helpless position and so Black should have intensified his pressure with ... Ph5 or ... Rd8 [>=18...h5 ; 18...Rd8 ] 19.Qc2 Now Black wins back his piece, but finds himself forced to transpose to the endgame, where his chances of winning are minimal [19.Ne2 would be relevant to Black, for in that case White has abadoned control of his e4 ] 19...Nd2+ 20.Kg1 Nf3+ 21.Kh1 Nd2+ 22.Kg1 Nxc4 23.Bc1 Qf3 Otherwise Qe2 is very unpleasant [23...-- /\24.Qe2 ] 24.Qe2 Qxe2 25.Nxe2 e4 fixing his f3 square 26.b3 Nce5 27.h3 Nf3+ 28.Kg2 Nge5 29.Be3 f5 30.Rfd1 Kf7 31.Bd4 Very weak. White loses several tempi. Later White is deprived of the possibility of doubling Rooks, and he has to be content with passive defence [>=31.Rac1 c5 32.Rd5 g6 33.Rcd1=/+ Black has a microscopic advantage] 31...Nd3 32.Bc3 Rd8 [32...g6 simpler] 33.Kf1 Bd6 34.Nc1 Nc5 35.Ne2 Nd3 36.Nc1 Nxc1 37.Raxc1 g6 38.Bb2 Ke6 39.Ke2 c5 40.Rc2 Rg8 In this highly instructive situation the game was adjourned and, in accordance with the rules of the tournament, submitted for adjudication. The jury of the match - the master N. Grigoriev, I. Rabinovich and P. Romanovsky - refused to make any edcision without detailed analysis. However, the organizers of the match decided not to await an analysis and declare the position draw 41.b4 [If White plays passively 41.Rcc1 Be5 42.Bxe5 Nxe5-/+ Black's Knight on d4 easily decides the game; 41.Ke3 Rc8 42.-- /\Nd4 43.Bxd4 cxd4+-+ ; 41.-- a5 eliminating Pb4 \/42.b4 ] 41...cxb4 42.Rc6 Rd8 43.a3 [43.-- Black aims to gradually free himself with /\43...Rd7 44.-- Ke7 45.-- Be5 and having three pawns for the exchange, should win] 43...b3 44.a4 Ne5 45.Bxe5 Kxe5 46.Rc3 b2 47.Rb1 [47.Rb3 Rc8 48.Rxb2 Rc4 Black's superiority is sufficient to win] 47...Bb4 48.Rc2 Bc5 49.Rbxb2 Rd3 These variations essentially exhaust the position. Altogether it was an interesting gmae, though it has to be admitted that neither player proved quite equal to the problems confronting him 1/2-1/2













(36) Botvinnik Mikhail - Belavenietz S [D49]
Leningrad-Moskva Leningrad-Moskva, 1934

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 The so called Meran Variation introduced by Rubinstein 8.Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cxd4 11.Nxb5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 axb5 13.0-0 White chooses Relstab's Attack. I believe this promises White more chances [13.Qf3 Preferred today 13...Bb4+ 14.Ke2 Rb8 15.Qg3! Qd6! 16.Nf3 Qxg3 17.hxg3 Bd6! 18.Nxd4 Bd7 Euwe believed White had the better edngame] 13...Qd5 14.Qe2 Ra5N Belaventz had prepared this "novelty". But of course it is not by this means that the Relstab Attack can be refuted! The Rook at a5 has no scope, and White has an almost forced win 15.f4! An indispensable prelimanary move. For if the opportunity occurs Black plays ... Pg5 with an attack on the Knight e5, so it is necessary to control this square at once. In doing so White defends the g5 square [‹15.Bg5 -- 16.f4 The Queen's Bishop is necessary for attack on the Rook at a5 ] 15...Bd6 [15...Bb7 16.a4! bxa4 17.Bd2 Black perishes because of the threat Bb5+] 16.Bd2 b4 17.a3! Temporarily surrendering a second pawn, in return for an overwhelming attack [17.Nc4 Ra7 18.Nb6 Qb7 does not lead to the desired result; Black has a satisfactory defence] 17...Bxe5 [17...-- 18.Nc4 ; 17...Ra7 18.Nc6! ] 18.fxe5 Qxe5 19.Qf3 Qd5 Black loses a tempo by comparison with the foregoing variation [19...Ra7 20.Rae1 (‹20.Qc6+ Bd7 21.Qb6 Qc7 22.Qxb4 Nd5 23.Qxd4 0-0 ) 20...Qd5 21.Qg3 Bb7 (21...bxa3 22.Rxf6 gxf6 23.Qg7 Rf8 24.Bb4 Re7 25.Rc1 Bb7 26.bxa3 Bc6 27.a4 ) 22.Qb8+ (22.Bxb4 ) 22...Kd7 23.Bb5+ Qxb5 24.Qxa7 Qd5 25.Rf2 White has all the winning chances] 20.Qg3 Ra7 Black's situation is hopeless. It's interesting that White's position is so strong that he is ensured the win even if he gives the next move to his opponent [20...Nh5 21.Qc7 0-0 22.Bxb4 ] 21.Rxf6 gxf6 22.Qg7 Rf8 23.Bxb4 Re7 24.Rc1 Bb7 25.Rc5 1-0













(37) Botvinnik Mikhail - Alatortsev V [D61]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1934

1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Be7 As Alatortsev explained after the game, the idea of this move is that Black plays Nf6 only after White's Knight has gone to c3. In essence it all amounts simply to a change in order of moves 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 a6 This move is usually made only after Nbd7 and Pc6. True, Black later had the option of returning to the usual variation, but to do so would have needed very exact play. So the course taken by Black can hardly be recommended 7.cxd5 exd5 [7...Nxd5 worth considering] 8.Bd3 c6 This natural move turns out to be a serious mistake [Alatortsev pointed out the correct continuation 8...Nbd7! 9.Qc2 Re8 10.g4 Nf8! Black gets a satisfactory game] 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.g4! Nxg4 Black chooses the weakest continuation, at once opening files for White on the Kingside [10...-- /\11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 ; 10...Re8 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Bxe4 g6 15.h4 Bd6 gives Black some counterplay but White's superiority in material should in due course make itself felt; 10...h6 11.Bf4 White retains a strong attack; >=10...g6 11.h3 -- 12.0-0-0+/- ] 11.Bxh7+ Kh8 12.Bf4 White avoids premature exchanges [12.h4 g6 13.h5 (13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.h5 g5 15.-- Nh6 ) 13...Bxg5 14.hxg6 f5! Black should win] 12...Ndf6 13.Bd3 Nh5 Black's situation is serious, but manoeuvres with the Knight are completely fruitless. In any case it is doubtful whether any method of defence can be found for Black. White can unhurriedly bring up reserves for the decisive blow 14.h3 Ngf6 15.Be5 Ng8 16.0-0-0 Nh6 17.Rdg1 Be6 18.Qe2 Bf5 An oversight which hastens Black's collapse [18...-- /\19.Ng5 (19.Nh4 ) ] 19.Bxf5 Nxf5 20.Nh4 1-0













(38) Botvinnik Mikhail - Rabinovich I [D46]
Russia Tournament, Leningrad, 1934

1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Be7 Black aims for a so called "improved Slav Defence". However, White avoids simpflication [Black avoids the Meran variation 6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6 ] 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 [8.e4 Black hopes for 8...dxe4 9.Nxe4 b6 ] 8...b6 9.Qe2 Bb7 10.Rd1 Qc7 11.Bb2 Rad8 12.Rac1 White pursues a waiting tactic, planning to eventually establish his Knight on e5; but he plays insufficiently exactly and only induces Black to move his Queen to a better square [>=12.h3 ] 12...Qb8 13.h3 [‹13.Ne5 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Nd7 15.f4 Nc5 16.Bc2 dxc4 ; 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 c5! 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 White's dark squared bishop is rendered harmless ] 13...Bd6 A serious error! Evidently Black was preparing for Pe5 but forgot White also might play Pe4. With the Black Bishop at e7 White can't play Pe4 but now the position is different and although Black's Bishop reaches f4 with a gain of tempo, it is not well placed there, a circumstance which White later exploits [>=13...c5 14.Ne5 cxd4 15.exd4 dxc4 16.Bxc4! even though White's position is to be preferred] 14.e4 dxe4 [14...Bf4 15.e5! White sacrifices and gets a stronger attack] 15.Nxe4 Bf4 [15...Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Nf6 17.Qh4+/- ] 16.Nxf6+ An important intermediary move [16.Rb1 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 f5 Black has equal chances] 16...Nxf6 17.Rb1 c5 Black can not delay [‹17...Nd7 18.b4! c5 (18...Rfe8 19.Ba1 ) 19.dxc5 bxc5 20.b5 Bxf3 21.Qxf3 Be5 22.Qe4 g6 23.Bxe5 Qxe5 24.Qxe5 Nxe5 25.Be2 Rd4 26.Rxd4 cxd4 27.f4 d3 28.fxe5 dxe2 29.Kf2 ] 18.dxc5 bxc5 [18...Bxf3 19.Qxf3 bxc5 20.Re1! White still prevents ... Be5] 19.Ne5 Qa8 It is difficult to indicate any other possibility of counteryplay. White intended to clear up the position with Pg3. This move is possible now, but Black would be in possession of the long white diagonal. However White finds a stronger continuation 20.Ng4 Nxg4 21.Qxg4 Bh6 [21...g5 22.Bc2 leads only to a weakening of King pawns 22...Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Rd8 24.Bxh7++- ] 22.Bf6 Rd7 [22...Rc8 Black has surrendered the d-file without a fight; 22...Rxd3 23.Rxd3 Be4 24.Rg3!! Bg6 25.Qh4 White remains the exchange to the good] 23.Bf1 Neither player noticed the Bishop sacrifice and the play passes to the endgame and is drawn out over many moves [23.Bxh7+ Kxh7 24.Rxd7 gxf6 (24...Bc8 25.Rd8 gxf6 26.Rbd1 Qb7 27.Rxf8 Bxf8 28.Rd8 f5 29.Qh5+ Bh6 30.Re8 Qd7 won ending for White.) 25.Qxe6 Bxg2 26.Rxf7+ Rxf7 27.Qxf7+ Bg7 28.Re1 Be4 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.f3 Bc6 31.Re7 Qf8 32.Rc7!!+- ] 23...Qc8 The d-file is surrended after all, but at least the Queen position is improved 24.Rxd7 Qxd7 25.Rd1 Qc7 A crucial point. White's attack has got into a blind alleay, and no ways of strengthening it are evident White does not fall for the "allure" of the "lone attacks" and sets to work to realize his pawn superiority on the Queenside, exploiting his domination of the open d-file 26.Bg5 [26.Rd3 Be4 27.Bxg7 Bxg7 28.Qxe4 Rd8 29.-- a5 a safe draw despite White's extra pawn] 26...Bxg5 27.Qxg5 h6 28.Qd2 Be4 Black could keep the Bishop on the Queenside, but in that case he could not compel White to exchange Queens, as in the game. On the other hand, in the ensuing endgame the Bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal is out of play, and White now exploits this 29.Qd7 Rc8 30.f3 Bc2 31.Rd2 Bb1 Black can compel the Queen exchange only by this threat of winning a pawn. But now White gains an important tempo for the advance on the Queenside 32.Qxc7 Rxc7 33.a3! White's superiority in the endgame takes on definite outlines Black is forced to allow further advance of the b-pawn 33...Rb7 [33...a5 34.Rd8+ Kh7 35.Rb8 -- 36.Rb5 Is clearly not to Black's advantage] 34.Rb2 Bg6 35.b4 Kf8 Both now and later Black is faced with the choice: 1. ... Pa5 he can force Pb5 but then White will occupy the d-file and exploit the weakness of Black's a- and c-pawns 2. He can exchange on b4. This too is bad, as although the weak c-pawn is freed, White can get the a-file 3. Black can pursue waiting tactics. This is sound and he does so 36.Kf2 Ke7 37.Ke3 Kd7 38.Be2 Kc7 39.b5 Rb8 [39...a6 40.a4 axb5 41.axb5! and White occupies the a-file (41.cxb5 Kb6 leading to a draw) ] 40.a4 f6 [40...Kb6 41.Rd2 Probably simplest] 41.a5 [41.f4 ] 41...e5 The Black Rook can't abandon the b-file because of the constant threat of Pb6+. Now, having posted his pieces his pawns to the best advantage, White improves the position of his pieces 42.Rd2 Bf7 43.f4! The only move, to realize White's superiority on the Queenside. Whis is now transferrin his Bishop to the h1-a8 diagonal. White threatnes to win with Bg4 43...exf4+ [43...-- 44.f5 ] 44.Kxf4 Re8 45.Bf3 White now transfers the Bishop to d5 after which Black's c-pawn is hopelessly weak. Black's next move had an object to transfer the Bishop to defend b7 45...Be6 [45...Bxc4 46.Rc2 Bd3 47.Rxc5+ Kb8 48.Rc1 White wins back the pawn and has every reason to win the game] 46.Bc6 [46.b6+ Kb8 White has nothing forced in prospects (46...axb6 47.a6 Bc8 48.a7 Bb7 49.Rd7+ Kxd7 50.Bxb7 ) ] 46...g5+ 47.Kf3 Rf8 48.Bd5 Rd8 49.Ke3 Bc8 50.Ra2 Bb7 51.Rd2 Re8+ [51...Bxd5 52.Rxd5 Rxd5 53.cxd5 c4 54.a6!+- ; 51...f5 52.Bxb7 (>=52.Rd3 Re8+ 53.Kd2 Rd8 54.h4 Rd6 55.hxg5 hxg5 56.a6! Bc8 57.Rh3+- ) 52...Rxd2 53.Kxd2 Kxb7 forces a draw] 52.Kf2 Rd8 53.g4 Bc8 54.Rd3 Rf8 55.Re3 f5 56.gxf5 Rxf5+ 57.Kg2 [>=57.Kg3 ] 57...Bd7 58.b6+ Leads to the win of a piece 58...axb6 59.a6 Kb8 [59...Bc6 60.Re7+ Kd8 61.Rh7 Rxd5 62.cxd5 Bxd5+ 63.Kf2 Kc8 64.Rh8+ White comes out with an extra rook ] 60.Re7 Ka7 61.Bb7 Bc6+ Exactly! White wins only a minor piece whereas with the King posted at g3 he would now win the Rook with Bc9+ 62.Bxc6+ Kxa6 This is of course a wons position for White, but it is not without technical difficulties White has two plans at his disposal: 1) keep the Bishop on b5 to kill off Black's b-pawn 2) Give Black the possibility of advancing the b-pawn but to keep the Bishop in play ... White prefers the second 63.Be4 Rf4 64.Bd3 Rf6 [64...g4 65.h4 Rf5 66.Rh7 White saves the h-pawn] 65.Be2 Ka5 66.Kg3 Kb4 67.Re3 Rf4 [67...Ka5 68.Kg4 Rf4+ 69.Kh5 Rh4+ 70.Kg6 Kb4 71.Kf6 Rf4+ 72.Kg7 Rh4 73.Kg6 Ka5 74.Bh5 Rxc4 75.Kxh6+- ] 68.Re6 Kc3 69.Rxb6 [69.Rxh6 ] 69...Re4 [69...Rh4 70.Rf6 Kd4 71.Rd6+ Kc3 72.Rd5 Kb4 73.Bf1 Rf4 74.Kg2 Rh4 75.Kh2 Rf4 76.Kg1 Rh4 77.Kg2 Rf4 78.Rd6 Rh4 79.Rf6 Rh5 80.Rb6+ Kc3 81.Rb5 Kd4 82.Rb3! Rh4 83.Rf3 Ke4 84.Rf8+- ] 70.Bf1 Rf4 71.Kg2 h5 72.Rg6 g4 73.h4 Kd2 74.Rg5 g3 75.Rxh5 Rf2+ 76.Kg1 Rf4 77.Rd5+ 1-0













(39) Yudovich M - Botvinnik Mikhail [A95]
Leningrad-Moskva Leningrad-Moskva, 1934

1.c4 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 d5 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 c6 8.Qc2 Qe8 9.Bf4 Chekhover's move [>=9.Bg5! Qh5 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.cxd5 exd5 ] 9...Qh5 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Rad1 Kh8 A well-known variation of the Dutch Defence, in which the play is usually of a closed nature. In this variation Black tries with ... Rg8 and ... Pg5 to seize the initiative as quickly as possible. However, this leads to a sharpening of the game, which shows that the system is not solid enough 12.Kh1 A loss of a tempo; in addition, at h1 the King is not so well placed as at g1 12...Rg8 13.e3 g5 14.Bc7 [14.Be5 g4 ] 14...Ne8 It is necessary to clear up the position, for White planned 15. cxd5 opening up the c-file 15.Be5+ Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Nf6 17.f3 It would seem that Black was threatened with great danger as with his next move, Pe4 White opens up the centre, after which his better development and advantage in space should play a decisive part. But it is just here that the insufficiently considered White Kh1 has its effect, and Black finds a cunning variation with a pawn sacrifice, which happily gets him out of his main difficulties 17...Bd6 18.e4 Nd7 This is the whole point! White can't take the Knight because of the h-pawn pin. So he is forced to go in for a pawn capture, which leads to a serious weakening of his position 19.g4 [19.Nxd7 Bxg3 ] 19...Qe8 Otherwise Nf7+ 20.Nxd7 Bxd7 21.e5 Bb4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.cxd5 Bxc3 24.dxc6 Very risky, as Black is fully compensated for the pawn by the more satisfactory disposition of his pieces ready for a direct attack on the White Kingt whose castled position is upset [24.Qxc3 cxd5= ] 24...Bxc6 25.Qxc3 Qe6 26.Qd2 Bd5 27.Rc1 Rg7 28.Rc2 f4 White's situation is serious. Black proceeds to prepare a decisive brekthrough 29.Qc1 Rag8 30.h3 A sharp-witted idea, which even so should not have saved White. Now, in order to break through at g5, Black is forced to expose his King, which gives White the possibility of counterplay 30...h5 31.Kg1 g4 32.hxg4 hxg4 33.Kf2 Rh7 34.Rh1 g3+ 35.Ke1 Rxh1+ 36.Bxh1 Qh6 37.Bg2 Bc6 The last move before the time check, and as is often the case inexact [>=37...Be6! 38.-- /\Bf5-+ ] 38.a4 defending b5 [38.-- Qh2 39.Kf1 Bb5+ ] 38...Bd7 Black decides on "wild" complications, as the result of which White could have forced a draw. Black should have admitted his mistake and returned the Bishop to d5 [>=38...Bd5 39.Rc8 Bxb3 40.Rxg8+ Bxg8 41.Qc7 b6 42.Qd8 Qg6=/+ Still keeping advantage] 39.d5 The counterattack on Black's King should have led to a draw 39...Bf5 40.Rc7 Qh2 41.Qb2 Threatening a deadly discovered check 41...Qg1+ 42.Bf1 Qe3+ 43.Be2 Be6 No other defence possible. The Bishop can't be taken because of mate 44.Qc2 Rg7 [44...Qg1+ 45.Kd2 Qh2 46.dxe6 g2 47.Qf5! g1Q 48.Qf6+ Rg7 49.Qf8+ (49.Rxg7 Qe3+ ) 49...Kh7 50.Rxg7+ Qxg7 51.e7 Qxe5 52.Qf7+ Kh6 53.Qf8+ Kg5 54.Qg8+ Kh6 55.Qf8+ despite two Queens Black must reconcile with a draw] 45.dxe6 [45.Rc8+ Bg8 ; 45.Rc8+ Bg8 46.Qf5! There is no defence against Rxg7+ perpetual check] 45...Qf2+ 46.Kd2 Qd4+ Now White loses the checking square and Black's pawn queens 47.Ke1 Rxc7 48.Qxc7 g2 49.Qc8+ Kg7 50.Qc7+ Kh6 Black's King escapes from checks 0-1













(40) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kann I [D63]
Russia Tournament, Leningrad, 1934

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 0-0 7.a3 Re8 8.Rc1 c6 9.Bf4 h6 An incomprehensible move, to say the least. Black should have played simply 9. ... Pa6. Now White clearly outstrips Black in development. Later the weakening of Black's Kingside also has its effect [>=9...a6 ] 10.Bd3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 a6 12.e4 b5 13.Ba2 Bb7 14.e5 Nd5 [14...Nh5 15.Be3 c5 16.0-0! the Nh4 is in a dangerous situation] 15.Nxd5 exd5 A positional error. Black now first gets a backward pawn at c6, secondly yields pawn superiority on the Kingside to White (the Pe5) and most of all, is deprived of the possibility of exploiting the c-file for exchanges [>=15...cxd5 it would be much more difficult for White to organize an attack on the Black King ] 16.Bb1 Drawing the Knight away from c4 16...Nf8 17.0-0 Qb6 18.Qc2 Rec8 19.Be3 a5 Black is completely helpless and undertakes a desparate attempt at counter-attack. White rightly assumes that the time has already arrived for decisive action, and so he takes no notice of Black's counter operations 20.Qf5 [20.Rfd1 b4 21.a4+/- ] 20...b4 21.Qg4 This is an unnecessary waste of time [21.Bxh6! gxh6 22.e6! vacating the square 22...fxe6 23.Qg4+ Kf7 24.Qh5+ Kg7 25.Ne5 Qxd4 26.Qf7+ Kh8 27.Bh7 ] 21...c5 22.Bf5 Rc6 [>=22...Rc7 ] 23.dxc5 Bxc5 24.Nd4 [24.Rxc5 Rxc5 25.Qd4 Bc8 ] 24...h5! 25.Qh4 [25.Qd1 Bxd4 26.Rxc6 Qxc6 27.Bxd4 g6 28.Bb1 Ne6 ] 25...Ng6 26.Qxh5 White decides on a piece sacrifice but this too proves inadequate for a win 26...Bxd4 27.Rxc6 Bxc6 28.e6 Be8 [28...Bxe3 29.exf7+ Kf8 30.Bxg6 Bh6 31.Re1!! -- (31...Qd8 32.Re8+ ; 31...Qd4 32.Qe2 ) /\32.Qf5 -- 33.Re8+ double check] 29.exf7+ Bxf7 30.Bxd4 [>=30.Bxg6 Qxg6 31.Qxg6 Bxg6 32.Bxd4 bxa3 33.bxa3 Rb8 although here too it is difficult for White to exploit his extra pawn] 30...Qxd4 31.Bxg6 Bxg6 32.Qxg6 Qxb2 33.Qe6+ Kh8 34.Qxd5 Rc8 35.Qh5+ Kg8 36.axb4 axb4 37.Qd5+ Kh8 38.Qh5+ Kg8 39.Qd5+ Kh8 40.g4 The last attempt [40.Qg5 b3= ] 40...Rc1 41.g5 Rxf1+ 42.Kxf1 Qb1+ 43.Ke2 b3 44.Qd3 Qa2+ 45.Kf3 Qc2 [45...b2 46.g6 b1Q 47.Qd8+ Qg8 48.Qh4+ ] 46.Qd7 Kh7 47.Qh3+ Kg6 48.Qe6+ Kh7 1/2-1/2













(41) Botvinnik Mikhail - Spielmann R [B13]
Russia It, Moscow (1), 1935

1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Qb6 Recommended by the Czech master G. Reifir. I knew Qb6 before this game took place, and had the opportunity to analyse the resulting position thoroughly. I spent altogether twenty minutes considering the whole game, and that only in order to check my home analysis. Reifer's move is unsatisfactory chiefly because instead of developing his pieces Black tries to laucnh an attack with his Queen alone 7.cxd5 Qxb2 [7...Nxd5 8.Nxd5 Qa5+ 9.Nc3 Qxg5 10.Nf3 ; 7...Nxd4 8.Nge2! Nxe2 9.Bxe2 ] 8.Rc1 Black had not forseen this reply. Now Black Knight has four ways of retreat but they all lose [Probably Spielmann expected White to play to win a piece as in a variation previously published 8.Na4 Qb4+ 9.Bd2 Qxd4 10.dxc6 Ne4 11.Ke2 bxc6! ] 8...Nb4 [8...Nb8 9.Na4 Qb4+ 10.Bd2 ; 8...Na5 9.Qa4+ ; 8...Nd8 9.Bxf6 exf6 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Rc2 Qb4 12.Qe2+! Be7 13.Bxd7+ Kxd7 14.Qg4+ ] 9.Na4 The Black Queen is caught, and she can be saved only by sacrificing a piece 9...Qxa2 10.Bc4 Bg4 11.Nf3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Qa3 13.Rc3 1-0













(42) Capablanca J - Botvinnik Mikhail [D90]
Russia Moscow, 1935

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 In the Hastings Christmas tournament of 1934 Capablanca played unconvincingly against Flohr's Grunfeld Defence. So I too adopted the Grunfeld Defence against him 4.Nf3 Unquestionably the system which gives White most initiative here is the one associated with Qb3 4...Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 In this position Qb3 is no danger to Black, as he develops strong pressure on the centre squares 6...Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 Nd7 Black plans to fianchetto the Queen's Bishop, but meanwhile he is subjected to a strong attack with Pa4-a5. The plan he has chosen is only sound in conjunction with ... Nc6 where it prevents Pa5 [9...Qc7 10.0-0 b6 11.a4 Nc6 Goglidze-Botvinnik, Black has an excellent game] 10.0-0 Qc7 11.a4 White has in mind Pa5, Ba3, Rfb1 to exert prlonged pressure on the Queenside. To prevent this Black agrees to the isolation of his a-pawn, hoping that his superior development and long range Bishops are sufficient compensation 11...b6 [11...-- >=12.a5 -- 13.Ba3 -- 14.Rfb1 ] 12.a5 bxa5 13.Qa3 Bb7 14.Qxa5 Rfc8 After any move Black would still continue ... Pe5, attacking the White centre 15.Qxc7 Rxc7 16.Ra5 e5 17.Rd1 cxd4 An exactly calculated drawing manoeuvre. In making this move Black has to foresee the closing of the psotion 18.cxd4 Rac8 The entire manoeuvre is based on the fact that the White Queen Bishop has no good square to retire to 19.Rxa7! A cunning trap. Black has forseen a different combination [19.Ba3 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 exd4 21.exd4 Bf8 22.Bb2 Nb6 23.-- /\Nc4 with an at least equal game] 19...Bxf3 [19...Rxc1 20.Rxb7 Rxd1+ 21.Bxd1 Rc1 22.Kf1! Rxd1+ 23.Ke2 winning a pawn] 20.Rxc7 Rxc7 21.gxf3 [21.Bxf3 exd4 22.exd4 Bxd4 23.Bf4 Be5 24.Rxd7 Bxf4 ] 21...exd4 22.exd4 Bxd4 23.Bf4 Be5 24.Rxd7 Bxf4 [24...Rxd7 25.Bxe5 Re7 26.f4 f6 27.Bc4+ Kg7 28.Bd6 Rd7 29.Bb8 Rb7 30.Bd6 The game would still be a draw] 1/2-1/2













(43) Romanovsky P - Botvinnik Mikhail [C68]
4 Moskva Alekhine-mem, 1935

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 In 1928 P. Romanovsky published analysis in which he put forward the system of development now played in this game. White refrains from the Queen exchange and, later, according to circumstances, prepares a breakthrough at f4 or d4 4...dxc6 5.Nc3 f6 6.d3 [6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 Qxd4 8.Nxd4 intention of exploiting the endgame pawn structure (4 pawns to 3) on the Kingside. However, as time transpired Black's two Bishops offset this disadvantage] 6...Bd6 7.Be3 c5 To prevent Pd4 8.Ne2 Ne7 [8...-- 9.Nd2 (9.c3 -- 10.d4 ) 9...-- 10.c4 ] 9.Ng3 [9.Nd2 Ng6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Ng3 b6 12.Kh1 Qe7 13.f4 f5! 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.exf5 Ng4=/+ ] 9...Be6 10.c3 Qd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qc2 [12.d4 cxd4 13.cxd4 exd4 14.Nxd4 Bc4 ] 12...Nc6 Decisively preventing the breakthrough of Pd4 [another system is 12...Ng6 13.Nd2 (>=13.d4 ) 13...Nf4 14.Bxf4 exf4 15.Ne2 f5 16.f3 Rae8 17.exf5 Bxf5 18.Ne4 ] 13.Nd2 Rad8 14.Rad1 b6 15.f3 [15.f4 exf4 16.Bxf4 Bxf4 17.Rxf4 Ne5! ] 15...Be7 Black has already planned the advance of the f-pawn, but he has to find the right moment Black should play Pf5 only when White can't exchange Knight at f5 with advantage [It was impossible to play straightforwardly 15...Ne7 16.Rfe1 f5 17.exf5 Nxf5 18.Nxf5 Bxf5 19.Ne4 And Black's Bishops have only imperceptible superiority] 16.Nb3 a5 17.Nc1 [17.f4 f5!-/+ ] 17...Bd6 18.Qf2 Ne7 19.Rd2 f5! It is useful now to make certain deductions with regard to the opening system White has chosen. White's basic idea (the breakthrough at d4 and f4) has not been realized. In the future also White is continually forced to pursue waiting tactics. Black has the initiative, but it is not easy for him to find a sound plan Black's ... Pf5 looks rather risky, as the e-pawn is weakened and White gets e4. But in reality Black can avoid the weakness at his e4 (by transferring the Knight to f4, where White will have to exchange it) while the e4 square is far from Black's camp, and its occupation by White is more than offset by the opening of the f-file and Black's freer position 20.exf5 Nxf5 21.Ne4 h6 22.Qe1 Be7 Tactically unsound; it would have been better to keep the Bishop at d6 and double the Rooks on the f-file, preparing a pawn attack on the Kingside. After the text move Black has to lose time defending his e-pawn. Now White manoeuvres skillfully, gradually intensifying the pressure on this pawn 23.Bf2 Bd5 24.Qe2 Rfe8 25.Rdd1 Qe6 26.Rfe1 Bf8 [26...Bxa2 27.c4 ] 27.Qc2 Qf7 [27...c4 28.dxc4 Bxc4 eliminating double pawns and undermining Ne4. But in this case the exchange of major pieces on the d-file would predetermine a draw ] 28.Rd2 Re6 29.Rde2 Rde8 30.Qa4 White still plays a waiting game, gradually posting his pieces in the most favourable manner for an attack on Black's e-pawn 30...Ne7 Black decides that to eliminate White's pressure on the e-pawn he must transfer the Knight to f4 31.Bg3 Bc6 32.Qc2 Nd5 33.Nb3 g5 To defend the e-pawn and to prepare for play on the Kingside 34.Nbd2 Bg7 35.Nf1 [>=35.Nc4 Nf4 36.Bxf4 exf4 37.Nf2! to exchange Rooks with approximate equality reached] 35...R6e7 36.Rd2 Rd7 37.Ne3 [>=37.a3 if played soundly the game would have generally been of the same nature as Nc4 earlier] 37...Nxe3 38.Rxe3 Qxa2 39.h4 [>=39.c4 a4! The Queen isn't caught 40.h4 (40.d4 Bxe4 41.fxe4 Rxd4 42.Rxd4 exd4 43.Ra3 d3!-+ ) 40...a3 41.bxa3 Qxa3 42.hxg5 hxg5 43.Kh2 (43.Nxg5 e4 44.Kh2 Bd4 45.Ree2 Rg7 ) 43...Qa8 White can count on a draw] 39...gxh4 40.Bxh4 Qf7 41.Rde2 Rf8 42.Bg3 Qg6! Preventing Nf2 and beginning the attack along the g-file 43.Kf2 Weak, as here the King occupies a highly insecure position [>=43.Rf2 h5 (43...Bxe4? 44.Rxe4 Qxg3 45.Rg4 ) 44.Bh2 Rfd8! 45.Rf1 (45.-- /\Bh6 46.Re1 Rxd3 47.Bxe5 Bxe4 48.fxe4 Be3! ) 45...c4! 46.dxc4 Bh6! 47.Re2 Rd2!-+ ] 43...h5 The beginning of the decisive attack 44.Nd2 To meet the threat of ... Bh6 44...Bh6 45.Rxe5 Rg7 46.Nf1 h4 47.Bxh4 Bxf3! Leads swiftly to the goal 48.Kg1 [48.gxf3 Rxf3+ 49.Ke1 (49.Kxf3 Qf7+ 50.Bf6 Qxf6+ 51.Ke4 Rg4+ 52.Kd5 c6# ) 49...Rxf1+ 50.Kxf1 Qg1# ] 48...Bxe2 49.Rxe2 [49.Qxe2 Qg4 exchange of Queens] 49...Qh5 50.Re4 Rf4 51.Rxf4 Bxf4 52.Qb3+ Kh7 53.Bf2 Qf3 54.g3 Qxd3 55.Qe6 Bh6 56.Qh3 Rf7 57.Ne3 Qb1+ [57...Rxf2 58.Ng4! Rf1+ 59.Qxf1 Qxg3+! 60.Qg2 Qxg2+ 61.Kxg2 Bc1 62.b3 c4 63.bxc4 a4 64.Nf6+ Kh8 65.Nd5 c5-+ ] 58.Nf1 Qf5 59.Qh2 a4 Exchanges at f2 are inevitable followed by Bc1. White resigns 0-1













(44) Botvinnik Mikhail - Levenfish G [D23]
Russia It, Moscow, 1935

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qa4+ Bogljubov continued thus in one of the games of his second match with Alekhine for the world championship. It is doubtful if the move is any stronger than 4. Pe3, but at that time it had the advantage of being a comparative innovation [4.e3 ] 4...c6 And this was Alekhine's defence in the same game. [the more natural 4...Nbd7 was played by Lasker during the same tournament 5.-- c5 variations of the Catalan opening] 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.g3 Ne4 Not a bad move. It is very useful to exchange of White's c3 Knight, making it more difficult for him to prepare Pe4, while Black can play ... Be4 forcing exchanges 8.Bg2 Nd6 Inexpedient [>=8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be4 11.Ne5 Bd5 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.f3= ] 9.Qa4 This manoeuvre seems rather strange, but it is necessary [9.Qb3 Qb6! 10.Qd1 ] 9...Nb6 [9...-- Black must play resourcefully otherwise /\10.Nh4 Bg6 11.e4 ] 10.Qd1 Qc8 11.0-0 [11.h3 White would have great difficulty in castling] 11...Bh3 Black estimates the position unsoundly. Qc8 could have exceptionally prophylactic value: it would take the sting out of Nh4, because Black could reply with Bh3!. In the given position there is no justification for linking up an attack on the White King with ... Qc8 (in such cases it is often useful to exchange off the fianchettoed Bishop [>=11...g6 12.Re1 Bh3! (12...Bg7 13.e4 Bh3 14.e5 Bxg2 15.exd6 Bxf3 16.Rxe7+ ) 13.e4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Bg7 Black retains equal chances of play] 12.e4 Bxg2 [‹12...g6 13.Bxh3 Qxh3 14.e5 Ndc8 15.Ng5 Qf5 16.g4 Qd7 17.Qf3 e6 18.Nge4 Bg7 19.Bg5 ] 13.Kxg2 e6 Now Black gets into a difficult situation [>=13...g6 14.a4 a5 15.Bg5 Bg7 16.Qc1 White has every reason to make such a manoeuvre, as he dominates the centre and is better developed] 14.d5! Be7 A crucial decision. Black allows the formation of the defended passed pawn on d6, hoping that his closed position will be difficult to break through [14...cxd5 15.exd5 Be7 16.Bf4 0-0 17.dxe6 Qc6 (17...Qxe6 18.Re1 Qd7 19.Rxe7 Qxe7 20.Bxd6 ) 18.exf7+ Rxf7 19.Kg1 Black loses a pawn without adequate compensation] 15.e5 Nb5 [15...Nf5 16.d6 Bd8 17.g4 ] 16.d6 [16.Nxb5 cxb5 17.d6 Bd8 Black's remaining Knight could be established excellently at d5] 16...Nxc3 17.bxc3 Bd8 18.Qd4 c5 19.Qg4 Rg8 [19...0-0 20.Bh6 ; 19...g6 20.Ng5 (20.Bg5 ) ] 20.Qe4 [20.Bg5 Qc6 21.Bxd8 Rxd8 22.Qh4 Kd7 23.Qxh7 (23.Qe7+ Kc8 24.Qxf7 Rgf8 25.Qxe6+ Rd7 26.Qg4 h5 deflecting the Queen off the pin 27.Qxh5 Rdf7 White loses a piece) 23...Kc8 Black has a very promising game] 20...Rh8 21.Be3 aimed against ... Qc6 21...Nd7 [\/21...Qc6 ] 22.Nd2 f5 [22...Qc6 23.Qxc6 bxc6 24.Nc4+/- winning endgame] 23.Qa4 [23.exf6 Nxf6 24.Qe5 Qc6+ 25.Kg1 Qd5 ] 23...Kf7 24.f4 a6 25.Kg1 [25.c4 b5 26.Qc2 (26.cxb5 Qb7+ ) 26...Qc6+ 27.Kg1 as in the game] 25...b5 26.Qc2 Qc6 [26...c4 an example of a pawn move weakening a square (d4) 27.Nf3 Bb6 28.Qf2 Bxe3 29.Qxe3 Qc5 30.Nd4 h5 31.a4 and it is much easier for White to break through] 27.c4 Rf8 An interesting position has been reached. From the 14th move onward Black, in a dangerous position has defended himself excellently, and now, because of the closed nature of the position, he is justified in counting on a draw. [He should have tried to close the game on the Queenside, while retaining the utmost mobility for his pieces, which is necessary in order to repel White's breakthrough on the Kingside >=27...b4! 28.a4 (28.a3 a5 29.axb4 cxb4 (29...axb4 ) ) 28...a5! ] 28.Nb3 [28.a4 b4 29.a5 White could finally smother the Black Bishop and work at once to achieve a breakthrough on the Kingside ] 28...b4! [28...Bb6 29.cxb5 axb5 30.Nd4! White wins a pawn] 29.a3 bxa3 Despite Black's shortcomings in the preceding phase, this is his first decisive blunder. Opening a file on the Queenside leads to the loss of a pawn [>=29...a5 30.axb4 axb4 31.Rxa8 Qxa8 32.Qf2 Bb6 33.Ra1 Qc6 one can't see how White can improve his position] 30.Rxa3 a5 [30...-- /\31.Rfa1 -- 32.Qf2 ] 31.Qg2 The simplest! It forces Black into an endgame which is hopeless 31...Qxg2+ 32.Kxg2 a4 [32...Bb6 33.Rfa1 ] 33.Nxc5 Nxc5 34.Bxc5 Rc8 The pawn is lost just the same 35.Bf2 Rxc4 36.Rfa1 Rc2 37.R1a2 Rxa2 38.Rxa2 Kg6 39.Rxa4 Rf7 40.Ra8 Rd7 41.Kf3 Kf7 42.Ke2 Black can't prevent the White King from marching to c6 1-0













(45) Riumin N - Botvinnik Mikhail [C86]
It, Moscow It, Moscow, 1935

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Qe2 intending Pc3, Pd4 with Rd1 intensifying pressure on Black's e-pawn [6.Re1 usual] 6...b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.d4 White goes straight ahead with his plan, which is not justified by the position. [>=9.a4! considered better by theory and Black still have several awkward opening problems] 9...Bg4 10.Rd1 exd4 As is well known, the centre pawns are strongest when side by side, but in this position it is not of great importance, as with the manoeuvre that follows Black obtains control of the strong central squares 11.cxd4 d5! 12.e5 [12.exd5 Nb4 13.Nc3= ] 12...Ne4 13.h3 Bh5 14.a4 now this is simply bad [White should have exchanged off the e4 Knight >=14.Nc3 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Qd7 giving Black rather the better game (Reti-Stolz, Stockholm 1928) (15...Bg6 ) ] 14...b4! Very strong! Black has deprived White's Knight of c3 and he can't play Nbd2 as the d-pawn is left hanging 15.a5 Necessary to deprive the Knight of a5 [15.Nbd2 Nxd4 ; 15.Bc2 f5 16.exf6 Rxf6 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.Qxe4 Bxf3 19.gxf3 Qd7! ; 15.Be3 Na5 16.Bc2 (16.Ba2 b3 ) 16...f5 and the e4 Knight is safely consolidated; 15.g4 White would not win a tempo as Black would not have to withdraw his to to h8 15...Bg6 16.Kh2 Na5! 17.Bc2 f5 a strong position, as now the Queen pawn is not under threat] 15...Kh8 16.g4 Understandably, this is not an attacking but a defensive move aimed against ... Pf5 [16.Qc2 Na7 White's pieces would become even more inchoate (16...Qd7 17.Ba4 ) ] 16...Bg6 17.Nh2 Bh4 Black is already contemplating ... Bg3 18.Be3 f5 19.f4 Bg3 It was not easy to decide on this manoeuvure; in the moves which follow the Bishop is more than once in danger, a circumstance which compelled Black to calculate the possibilities very exactly 20.g5 [20.Rf1 fxg4 21.hxg4 Bxf4!! 22.Rxf4 Rxf4 23.Bxf4 Nxd4 24.Qe3 c5 25.Nf3 Nxb3 26.Qxb3 Qd7 27.Nh2 Rf8 Black wins without difficulty; 20.-- /\fxg4 White is forced to play Pg5 to avoid an attack on the f-pawn] 20...h6 opening the g-file for a decisive attack and for defence of the Bishop at g3, under cover of which Black will concentrate his forces 21.gxh6 gxh6 22.Nd2 Ne7! The most difficult moment in the game. To ensure a successful attack Black most post his Bishop at h5. This can be achieved only with the Queen's cooperation. But the Queen is burdened by defence of the Queen pawn; hence arises the necessity to defend the pawn with the Knight 23.Kh1 [23.Nxe4 fxe4 24.Ng4 (24.Qg4 Rg8 25.Qxg3 Bh5! 26.Ng4 Nf5 27.Qf2 Bxg4 28.hxg4 Rxg4+ 29.Kf1 Rg3-+ ) 24...Nf5 25.Nf6 Rxf6 26.exf6 c6! ] 23...Qe8 24.Rg1 Bh5 25.Nhf3 Rg8 26.Nf1 White is forced to separate his Rooks, as if he attempts to intensify the attack on g3 ... [26.Rg2 Bf2 27.Bxf2 Nxd2 ] 26...Qf7 27.Bd1 Rg7 28.Rc1 c6 29.Rc2 Both sides are in extreme time trouble; this explains why neither now or later does Black not play ... Pb3! forcing the Rook to retreat. However this does not affect the issue 29...Rag8 [29...b3! forcing the Rook to retreat] 30.Rg2 White has no satisfactory defence [30.-- /\Bf2 ] 30...Bxf4 31.Qxa6 [31.Rxg7 Qxg7 32.Bxf4 Bxf3+ 33.Qxf3 Qg1# ; 31.Qd3 Bxe3 32.Qxe3 f4-+ ] 31...Rxg2 32.Rxg2 Rxg2 33.Kxg2 Qg6+ 34.Kh1 Bxe3 35.Nxe3 Nf2+ 36.Kh2 Nxd1 This game was awarded a brilliancy prize 0-1













(46) Goglidze V - Botvinnik Mikhail [D90]
Moscow Moscow, 1935

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 The Capablanca-Botvinnik game developed in the same manner This system cauess Black no difficulties whatever. White's threats on the Queenside in conjunction with the open b-file are repulsed easily 6...Nxc3 7.bxc3 0-0 [7...c5! Played in the Capablanca-Botvinnik game which is undoubtedly more exact] 8.e3 [>=8.Ba3 \/c5 ] 8...c5 9.Be2 [9.Ba3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.-- White needs to take defensive measures against ... Qa5+ /\11...Qa5+ ] 9...Qc7 10.0-0 b6 This move fundamentally improves the whole variation in Black's favour. Now in the present game White's Pa4 is entirely without force, as Black will be able to control a5 [10...Nd7 11.a4 Capablanca-Botvinnik, White obtained prolonged initiative] 11.a4 [>=11.Bb2 -- /\12.c4 exchanging off Black's fianchettoed Bishop] 11...Nc6 12.Qa3 Na5 13.Nd2 White wants to drive off the Na5, and succeeds 13...Bb7 [13...cxd4 14.cxd4 e5 15.Nf3! ; 13...Be6 14.Bb2 Rfd8 15.Rac1= ] 14.Nb3 cxd4 15.cxd4 [15.Nxa5 d3! 16.Bxd3 bxa5 17.Bb2 Qc6 18.e4! Rfd8|^ ] 15...Nc4 [15...Nxb3 16.Qxb3 e5 17.Ba3 White saves himself] 16.Qb4 Rfc8 17.a5 just in time. White frees himself from his one weakness, the Pa4 and, despite some backwardness in development can fully count on a draw 17...e5 With the obvious intenation of increasing the activity of his King's Bishop 18.axb6 [>=18.Bxc4 Qxc4 19.Qxc4 Rxc4 20.axb6 axb6 (20...Rc3 21.Nc5 axb6 22.Bb2! ; 20...Rb4 21.Nc5 axb6 22.Rxa8+ Bxa8 23.Nd3 ) 21.Rxa8+ Bxa8 22.dxe5 Bxe5 23.Rd1 Bc6 24.Nd4! With a probable draw] 18...Nxb6! 19.Na5 [White could have avoided the isolaged d-pawn 19.Bd2 Nd5 20.Qa5 Nc3 21.Bxc3 Qxc3 22.Nc5 Qxa5 23.Rxa5 Bc6=/+ Bishop pair; 19.Nc5 Bc6 20.Bb2 exd4 21.Bxd4 Bxd4 22.exd4 Nd5 23.-- /\Nf4 ] 19...Bd5 20.Bb2 Leads to an almost forced loss [>=20.Ba6 Rd8 21.Bb2 (21.Qc5 Qd7 22.Bb5 Qe6 ) 21...exd4 22.Bxd4 Bxd4 23.exd4 Qf4!-/+ ] 20...Bf8 21.Qb5 [21.Qd2 Qc2 22.Rfd1 Qxd2 23.Rxd2 Bb4 24.Rdd1 Rc2 ] 21...a6 22.Qd3 e4 23.Qb1 [23.Qd1 Bb4! 24.Rc1 forestalling c2 24...Qd7 Black dominates the position] 23...Qc2! 24.Ba3 Allows Black a brilliant finish [24.Bd1 Qxb1 25.Rxb1 Nc4 26.Nb3 (26.Nxc4 Bxc4 27.Re1 Bb4 ) 26...Rab8-+ ] 24...Bxa3 25.Rxa3 Qxe2 26.Qxb6 Rab8 27.Qd6 Qxf1+!! 28.Kxf1 Rb1+ 29.Ke2 Rc2# 0-1













(47) Botvinnik Mikhail - Lilienthal A [A30]
Russia It, Moscow (3), 1936

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.g3 Bb7 4.Bg2 c5 5.0-0 g6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 [The attempt to avoid the Bishop exchange would be disadvantageous to White 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qd1 Bg7 9.Nc3 Na5 White's c-pawn is noticeably weak] 7...Bxg2 8.Kxg2 Bg7 Inexact, and creating difficulties for Black [the usual continuation 8...Qc8 9.b3 Qb7+ 10.f3 d5= ] 9.Nc3 0-0 A second, even more serious piece of inexact play. He should still have played ... Qc8 as the need to defend the c-pawn diverts White from operations in the centre 10.e4 Nc6 11.Be3 Qc8 [no better is 11...Ng4 12.Qxg4 Nxd4 13.Rad1 ] 12.b3 Qb7 13.f3 Rfd8 14.Rc1 Rac8 15.Qd2 a6 White has achieved considerable positional superiority. Black is cramped and so is forced to attempt to break free. This this end he prepares to advance ... Pb5 [The alternative plan, to free himself by ... Pd5 would swiftly lead to disaster 15...e6 16.Rfd1 d5 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Nxc6 Rxc6 19.Bg5 ] 16.Rfd1 Nxd4 [‹16...b5 17.cxb5 Nxd4 18.bxa6 winning a pawn] 17.Bxd4 d6 Necessary. Black first defends the e-pawn but in doing so gives White time to prevent ... Pb5 [17...b5 18.cxb5 axb5 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Nd5 Black is left at least with a weak isolated d-pawn] 18.a4 Ne8 19.Nd5 Rc6 defending the b-pawn [‹19...b5 20.cxb5 axb5 21.a5 ] 20.Bxg7 Nxg7 21.h4 If Black plays ... Ph5 it weakens the Kingside considerably. Nor can he transfer the Knight to the centre for White plays Ph5 21...Re8 22.Rc3 Nh5 23.Qd4 b5 The attempt to freedom only hastens the denouement: with a passive defence Black could still put up prolonged resistance, as it is not easy for White to organize an attack on the King [>=23...Nf6 24.Rdc1 Nxd5 (\/24...b5 ) 25.exd5 Rc5 26.b4 Rc7 27.h5 and the attack swings over to the Kingside] 24.cxb5 axb5 25.Rdc1 Rxc3 26.Rxc3 bxa4 Black has no defence against the Rook's irruption into his second rank 27.Rc7 Qb5 28.bxa4! [28.Nxe7+ Rxe7 29.Rxe7 axb3 White still has to neutralize the pawn] 28...Qe2+ 29.Qf2 Qxf2+ 30.Kxf2 e6 Black will have to surrender a piece for the passed pawn [30...Ra8 31.Rc8+ Rxc8 32.Nxe7++- ] 31.Nb6 Nf6 32.a5 Rb8 33.Rc8+ Rxc8 34.Nxc8 Ne8 35.a6 Nc7 36.a7 Na8 37.Nxd6 Kf8 38.e5 Ke7 39.Ke3 f6 40.Kf4 h6 41.Nc8+ Kf7 42.Ke4 Kg7 43.Kd4 Nc7 44.Kc5 1-0













(48) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kann I [E33]
Russia It, Moscow (5), 1936

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 0-0 premature [>=5...d6 ] 6.Bg5 Re8 [6...h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 g4 9.Nd2 Nxd4 10.Qd3 Nf5 11.e4 Black's King side is very weak] 7.e3 [7.e4 e5 8.d5 Nd4 9.Qd3 c5 Black has control of d4] 7...d6 8.Be2 e5 9.0-0 Bxc3 The Knight must be destroyed, or Nd5 will follow 10.bxc3 h6 The pin of the Knight restricts all Black's game, and to get rid of this pin he is forced to weaken his Kingside perceptibly [10...Bg4 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Bxe2 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qxe2 fxe5 15.c5 dxc5 16.Qg4+ Kh8 17.Rad1 Qc8 18.Rd7 ] 11.Bh4 Qe7 [>=11...g5 12.Bg3 Nh5 exchangingn off the unpleasant Bg3] 12.Rae1 [12.h3 to avert the exchange of Bishop for Knight] 12...Bd7 another passive move [>=12...g5 13.Bg3 Nh5 ] 13.Nd2 Preventing ... Nh5 and also preparing Pf4 which it will be very difficult for Black to get free of the pin 13...g5 14.Bg3 Kg7 15.f4 e4 16.h3 preventing ... Ng4 16...Nh7 [>=16...Ng8 ] 17.fxg5 a preliminary exchange of pawns is necessary [17.Nxe4? Bf5 ] 17...hxg5 White has gained considerable positional superiority [>=17...Nxg5 it is difficult to exploit 18.h4 Nh7 19.Nxe4 Qxe4 20.Bd3 Qg4-+ ] 18.Nxe4 f5 [18...Qxe4 19.Bd3 in this variation the pawn guards g4 19...Qe7 20.Bxh7 ] 19.Nd2 Nf6 [‹19...Qxe3+ 20.Bf2 Qxe2 (20...Qf4 21.g3 ; 20...Qe7 21.Bh5 ) 21.Rxe2 Rxe2 22.d5 Na5 (22...Ne5 23.Qd1 ) 23.Bd4+ Nf6 24.g4 -- /\25.Rxf5 ] 20.Bd3 Ne4 21.Bh2 Nd8 With an extra pawn and unceasing initiative White has every chance of winning 22.c5 Nf7 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.c4 Rac8 25.Qb2 Nxd2 26.Qxd2 Nh6 27.Qb4 Rc6 28.Qxb7 Rb6 29.Qxa7 Reb8 30.Qa3 [>=30.Bxd6 simpler 30...Qxd6 31.c5 ] 30...g4 Black has improved the position of his pieces, but alas at the cost of three pawns. The attempt to complicate the game when at such material disadvantage can only complicate the outcome. White's win is only a question of time 31.c5 Rb2 32.Bxd6 Bc6 loses at once [32...Qg5 33.h4 Qxh4 34.Bxb8 Rxb8 (34...g3 35.Bxg3 Qxg3 36.Qxb2 Ng4 37.Rf2 ) 35.Qa7 Rd8 36.c6 g3 37.Rf4 ] 33.d5 Bxd5 34.e4 Qg5 35.h4 [35.-- Rxg2+ 36.Kxg2 gxh3+ ] 35...Qxh4 36.Re3 Rxa2 Black in time tourble, overlooks the loss of the Rook but in any case the game was hopeless 37.Qc3+ Kh7 38.Bxb8 fxe4 39.Bxe4+ Bxe4 40.Rxe4 Qd8 Black resigned without waiting for White's response 1-0













(49) Botvinnik Mikhail - Flohr S [B05]
Moscow Moscow, 1936

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 Flohr intentionally avoids the well-known variations [5...Nc6 theory] 6.0-0 [6.Ng5! proved later White has the better game] 6...dxe5 These exchanges lead to a loss of two tempi for Black, after which White has an obviously superior position [>=6...Bxf3 7.Bxf3 dxe5 8.dxe5 e6 ] 7.Nxe5 Bxe2 8.Qxe2 Nd7 9.f4 e6 10.c4 [the piece sac is unsound 10.f5 Nxe5 11.fxe6 Ng6 12.exf7+ Kd7! ] 10...N5b6 11.Be3 Be7 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Rf3 With the intention of the straightforwardly Rh3 and Qh5. This little demonstration on the Kingside is intended to force the Black Queen to occupy the not very favourable position at e8 13...Qe8 [13...-- 14.Rh3 -- 15.Qh5 ] 14.Rd1 [14.Rh3 f5 preventing Qh5] 14...Rd8 15.b3 f5 The weakness of the Kingpawn is not important and White's attack on the Kingside is no longer possible 16.Nd3 Avoiding simplify exchanges. Now both sides manoeuvre, to get the most advantageous position for their men 16...Bf6 17.Bf2 Qf7 18.Ne1 Rfe8 19.Rfd3 Nf8 20.Nf3 Qc7 21.Ne5 premature [>=21.g3 ] 21...Nbd7 22.Qd2 Be7 23.Nf3 White avoids exchanges as it would give Black a little freedom. Nor is the time right for a breakthrough in the centre [23.d5 Nxe5 24.fxe5 Qxe5 25.Bg3 (25.d6 Bxd6 26.Rxd6 Rxd6 27.Qxd6 Qxc3 ) 25...Bc5+ 26.Kh1 Qf6 ] 23...Nf6 24.Qc1 necessary to forestall ... Bb4 and ... Ne4 24...Ne4 [>=24...Bb4 25.Nb1 ] 25.Ne5 Black's second Knight should try to get to e4, so it would have been more to the point to exchange at c3. now White can defend his e4 satisfactorily 25...Nxf2 26.Kxf2 Nd7 27.Qe3 Nxe5 28.fxe5 Qa5 29.a4 [29.-- /\Bb4 ] 29...Rd7 30.g3 Qd8 31.Kg2 Bg5 32.Qf3 Qe7 33.c5 As the result of these prolonged manoeuvres White has increased his positional superiority. While Black is condemned to passive defence, White can establish a Knight on d6 or by advancing the b-pawn can create real threats on the Queenside. With his next move Black prevents the pawn advance, but he is impotent against the Knight transfer 33...a5 34.Nb1 Qf8 35.Na3 Bd8 36.Nc4 Bc7 37.Nd6 Rb8 38.Rb1 [White could have sacrificed a piece for three pawns 38.Nxb7 Rxb7 39.Qxc6 Bb8 40.Qxe6+ the passed pawns should ensure a win] 38...Qd8 39.b4 axb4 40.Rxb4 Bxd6 41.exd6 Qa5 42.Rdb3 Re8 43.Qe2 [43.Rxb7 Rxb7 44.Rxb7 Qxa4 Black's Queen would get freedom] 43...Qa8 44.Re3 Kf7 45.Qc4 Inexact! The King should first have been withdrawn from the a8-h1 diagonal, and then White could have started decisive operations. Black exploits White's negligence, and finds an interesting tactical stroke 45...b5! 46.Qc2 It was fortunate for White there was a move retaining his superiority [46.cxb6 c5+ ; 46.Rxb5 cxb5+ ] 46...Rxd6 Black's combination proves unsound and he quickly loses [46...Ra7 47.axb5 Ra2 48.Rb2 cxb5+ 49.Kh3 White's two passed pawns gurantee his win; 46...bxa4 more stubborn] 47.cxd6 c5+ 48.Kh3 cxb4 49.Qc7+ Kg8 50.d7 Rf8 51.Qd6 [51.Rxe6 b3 52.Qd6 ] 51...h6 52.Qxe6+ Kh7 53.Qe8 b3 [53...Qh1 54.Re1 ; 53...Qd8 54.Qxf8 Qxf8 55.Re8 Qf7 56.d8Q Qh5+ 57.Kg2 ] 54.Qxa8 Rxa8 55.axb5 There is a possibility of forcing and easily won endgame [55.Re8 b2 56.Rxa8 b1Q 57.d8Q Qf1+-+ ] 55...Rd8 56.Rxb3 Rxd7 57.b6 Rb7 58.Kg2 Kg6 59.Kf3 Kf6 60.Rb5 Ke6 61.Ke3 Kd6 62.Kd3 Kc6 63.Kc4 Kd6 64.Rd5+ Kc6 65.Rc5+ Kd6 66.Kb5 1-0













(50) Kann I - Botvinnik Mikhail [B72]
Russia It, Moscow (14), 1936

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nb3 An idea deserving serious attention. White has in mind an immediate pawn attack on the kingside, while Black has no better continuation than ... Be6 and 0-0, as otherwise White will castle short, and thn a well-known variation unfavourable to Black will result 8...Be6 9.f4 0-0 10.g4 Na5 In replay to White's flank attack Black should have undertaken an active counterattack in the centre. Now White's attack grows dangerous [10...d5! Alekhine-Botvinnik] 11.g5 Ne8 Better than ... Ne7 since the Knight can occupy g7 where it is useful for defence 12.Qd2 White determines the Queen's position prematurely [>=12.Bd4 Voltliss-Eliskases, Podebrad 1936] 12...Rc8 13.Bd4 Sacrificing the a-pawn. White refuses the sacrifice for it would lose several tempir and relinquish the initiative to Black [13.Bxa7 Bc4 ] 13...Nc4 [13...Bc4 14.0-0-0 (14.Nxa5 Qxa5 15.0-0-0 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 Qxa2 ) 14...Bxe2 15.Nxe2 (15.Qxe2 Nc4 the strong position of Black's Knight gives counterattacking opportunities) ] 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.0-0-0 Qd7 16.Qd3 Rc8 After this passive move the initiative passes to White [>=16...b5= ] 17.h4 Bg4 Black must prevent the opening of the h-file 18.Rd2 The Rook's position on the same diagonal as the King provides Black with combinative possibilities [>=18.Rde1 ] 18...b6 19.Nd5 [19.Bxg7 Nxg7 20.Nd5 Be6 21.Nd4 Rc5= ] 19...e5 With passive play Black would be slowly asphyxiated after Pf5 20.Bc3 [20.f5 exd4 (20...f6 21.Rg1 Bh5 22.Be3 Black can move nothing) 21.f6 Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ (22.gxf6 Bh6 23.Ne7+ Kh8 24.Nxc8 Rxc8 ) 22...Bxf6 23.gxf6 Qe6 24.Rf2 Kh8 ] 20...f5 An extremely sharp and complex position has arisen 21.gxf6 gives Black the advantage [21.fxe5 dxe5 22.Nf6+ Nxf6 ; 21.exf5 Bxf5 22.Qe2 White preserves his Knight on d5] 21...Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Rxf6 23.Qd5+ [23.fxe5 Rf3 24.Qd5+ Be6 25.Qxd6 Bh6 26.Nd4 Rh3 White doesn't get adequate compensation for the exchange] 23...Rf7 24.h5 Now White makes a pawn sacrifice which gives him nohting and only speeds up the loss [24.Qxd6 Qxd6 25.Rxd6 exf4 ; 24.fxe5 Be6 25.Qxd6 Bh6 ] 24...gxh5 25.Rg1 [25.fxe5 dxe5 26.Qxd7 Bxd7 27.Rxh5 Rf1+ 28.Rd1 Rxd1+ 29.Kxd1 Bg4+ ] 25...Qc6 26.fxe5 dxe5 The strong passed Rook-pawn secures Black the win. So there is no sense in complicating the game by winning the exchange at the price of laying his King's position bare 27.Qxc6 Rxc6 28.Rd5 Rcf6 29.Nd2 [29.Bxe5 Rf1+ 30.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 31.Kd2 Rd1+-+ ] 29...Bh6 30.b3 Rf2 31.Kb2 [31.Rxe5 Rh2 32.-- /\Rff2 ] 31...Re2 32.Nc4 Rff2 33.Rd8+ Bf8 34.b4 White's game is lost, but even so he should have chosen Rc8 although here the advance of the h-pawn is decisive 34...Rxc2+ 35.Kb3 Rg2 36.Rf1 Rcf2 37.Rxf2 Rxf2 38.Nxe5 Be6+ 39.Ka4 Rxa2+ 40.Kb5 Rc2 41.Rd3 h4 42.Bd4 Bg7 43.Ra3 h3 44.Rxa7 h2 45.Ra8+ Bc8 46.Ra1 Bh3 47.Nf3 Bxd4 48.Nxd4 Rf2 0-1













(51) Bogoliubov E - Botvinnik Mikhail [E14]
It, Nottingham It, Nottingham, 1936

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.e3 Here Pg3 is admitted to be the strongest continuation. With the system White has chosen Black can easily equalize 3...c5 4.c4 Bb7 5.Nc3 White prepares Pd5 which forces Black to exchange in the centre. After the exchange the advance of White's d-pawn will not have its previous force [5.d5 b5 6.Nc3 b4 7.Ne2 e6 gives Black the advantage] 5...cxd4 6.exd4 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 [9.-- d5 10.-- dxc4 11.Bxc4 isolating the d-pawn; 9.Qe2 d5 10.Bg5 White would have some compensation in the better disposition of his pieces; 9.d5! White rejects this move while Black still has to overcome certain difficulties 9...exd5 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Bxh7+ ] 9...d5 10.Be3 Now Black seizes the initiative [>=10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Rd1 preventing ... Ne4] 10...Ne4 11.Rc1 Nd7 12.Qe2 White continues his development but in two or three moves it will be clear that his game has reached a dead end. [12.cxd5 Nxc3! 13.Rxc3 Bxd5 isolating the d-pawn] 12...Rc8 13.Rfd1 [13.Nb5 a6 14.Na7 Rc7 15.Bf4 Nd6 the Knight at a7 is by no means enviable] 13...f5 14.Bf4 A decisive mistake [14.Nb5 ; >=14.Nb1 with exchanges along the c-file 14...-- 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Rxc8 Qxc8 White could relieve the tension a little; 14.Nb5 a6 15.Na7 Ra8 16.cxd5 Rxa7 17.dxe6 Ndf6 Black gets a superiority in material] 14...g5! 15.Be5 [15.Be3 Bb4! (‹15...f4 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Bxe4 Bxe4 With more than adquate compensation for the piece) 16.Nb1 f4 ; 15.Bd2 g4 16.Ne1 Nxd2! 17.Qxe6+ Kh8 18.Rxd2 Bg5 White gets too little for the loss of the exchange] 15...g4 16.Ne1 Nxe5 17.Bxe4 [17.dxe5 Qc7 18.Bxe4 only an interchange of moves] 17...dxe4 18.dxe5 Qc7 The only move. If White succeeds in establishing his Knight at d6 he will have the better position. However, with the capture of the pawn at e5, White is deprived of strong points in the centre 19.Nb5 Qxe5 20.Rd7 Bg5 21.Rcd1 Equivalent to surrender, but there is nothing better [21.Rxb7 Bxc1 22.Nd3 (22.Qd1 Bh6 23.Qd7 Bg7-+ ) 22...Qa1! ; 21.Nd3 Qf6 ] 21...Bc6 22.Rxa7 Otherwise Black would keep the pawn, and White would be condemned to slow destruction. The continuation chosen loses at once, as Black captures the d-file 22...Rcd8 23.h4 There is no defence 23...Rxd1 24.Qxd1 Rd8 25.Qc2 [25.Qe2 Rd2 26.Qf1 e3 ] 25...Bd2 Whit resigns as he can't defend against ... Qa1 and Pe3 0-1













(52) Botvinnik Mikhail - Tartakower S [A55]
England It, Nottingham, 1936

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.d4 Tartakower was fond of playing Philidor's Defence (especially against weak opponents). As the game proceeds we get fundamentally this defence, only White has made the unusual move Pc4. But in this game his calculation proves unsound 3...Nbd7 Black sets up a strong point in the centre at e5 4.g3 This system is undoubtedly the best, as the fianchettoed Bishop at g2 will be a reliable defence for the King 4...e5 5.Bg2 Be7 [>=5...g6 ] 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 c6 The only way of developing the Queen's Bishop. After the Queen's transfer to c7 the Knight at d7 will no longer be necessary for the defence of the e-pawn and can be moved to release the Queen's Bishop [7...exd4 8.Nxd4 (8.Qxd4 ) 8...Nb6 9.Qd3 d5 10.cxd5 Nbxd5 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Rd1 White commands much more space] 8.e4 Qc7 9.h3 Re8 10.Be3 Nf8 11.Rc1 h6 An unsound plan. Normally in Philidor's Defence Black can attempt a Kingside attack with pawns; but here this is out of place, as the Bishop at g2 defends the King excellently. Moreover, as the King is covered by this Bishop White can himself go over to the counter-attack, even at the cost of destroying the pawn screen of the castled position 12.d5 Bd7 [12...g5 13.h4 Ng4 14.hxg5 Nxe3 15.fxe3 hxg5 16.Nh2 Ng6 17.Qh5 Black's Kingside is hopelessly weak] 13.Nd2 g5 Black needs to make only one move ... Ng6 and his position is excellent, as White can't then play Pf4. But at this very moment White plays Pf4 and breaks through the Black Kingside, where it is very difficult for Black to organize defence [13...Ng6 a sound waiting tactic, but White operates on the Queenside 14.b4 ] 14.f4 gxf4 15.gxf4 Kg7 [15...exf4 16.Bxf4 with the threat of Pc5 and the h6 pawn is lost. Even so this would be a better way out of the present situation, as now Black saves the pawn, but loses the game 16...-- /\17.c5 ] 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.c5 With the serious threat of Pd6. Black cannot allow the passed d-pawn so he is forced to allow White a Knight on d5 17...cxd5 18.Nxd5 [‹18.exd5 Bxc5 ] 18...Qc6 19.Nc4 Ng6 20.Nd6 The Knight at d6 is invulnerable 20...Be6 Here it was possible to win the exchange, but it was still simpler to decide the game by a direct attack on the Black King [20...Bxd6 21.Rxf6 ; 20...-- Black must defend against f7 /\21.Nxe7 Nxe7 22.Rxf6 Kxf6 23.Qf3+ ; 20...Rf8 White intended to continue as in the game.] 21.Nxe7 Nxe7 [21...Rxe7 22.Nf5+ Bxf5 23.exf5 White wins Black's Knight] 22.Rxf6 An obvious sacrifice 22...Kxf6 23.Qh5 Ng6 The only way of freeing the King's road of retreat to the Queenside, without giving up defence of the f-pawn. If the King succeeds in slipping away Black will have chances of salvation. But how can White prevent the Black King from fleeing? 24.Nf5!! Rg8 [24...Bxf5 25.exf5 The knight is lost; 24...Rh8 25.h4 Bxa2 26.Rd1 Rad8 27.Bg5+ hxg5 28.Qxg5+ Ke6 29.Ng7# ] 25.Qxh6 Bxa2 26.Rd1 Rad8 27.Qg5+ Ke6 28.Rxd8 f6 29.Rxg8 Nf4 30.Qg7 This game was awarded the brilliancy prize in the Nottingham tournament 1-0













(53) Alekhine A - Botvinnik Mikhail [B72]
England It, Nottingham, 1936

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 If Black intends to play the "Dragon" variation this is the order of moves he must choose [2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 preventing ... Pg6] 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 A little later Rauzer introduced the strong Pf3 into tournament practise. At the time of the Nottingham tournament this move was not yet known. At this point I had a feeling that Alekhine had prepared some novelty in the vigorous variation which Kann had applied against me in Moscow 6...Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nb3 Be6 9.f4 0-0 10.g4 d5 This counterstroke in the centre is absolutely correct from both the combinative and the positional aspect [‹10...Na5 Botvinnik-Kann] 11.f5 [11.e5 d4 12.Nxd4 (12.exf6 Bxf6 ) 12...Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Nxg4 White achieves nothing, Levenfish-Botvinnik, Moscow 1936] 11...Bc8 12.exd5 Nb4 13.d6N This was Alekhine's novelty [13.fxg6 hxg6 14.Bf3 Bxg4 15.Bxg4 Nxg4 16.Qxg4 Bxc3+ 17.bxc3 Nxc2+ 18.Kf2 Nxa1 19.Rxa1 Qxd5 20.Rd1 Qe5=/+ Black's position is better; 13.Bf3 Keres advised this move, but it must be assumed that in this case Black has an adequate game in prospect (Bondarevsky-Alatortsev 1937) ] 13...Qxd6 [‹13...exd6 14.a3 Nc6 15.g5 ] 14.Bc5 A very strong move [14.Qxd6 exd6 15.g5 Nfd5 White achieves nothing] 14...Qf4 With a two piece sacrifice Black gets perpetual check [14...Qxd1+ 15.Rxd1 Nc6 16.g5 Nd7 17.f6 Bh8 18.Nd5+/- Black's situation is not enviable] 15.Rf1 Qxh2 16.Bxb4 Nxg4 [16...Qg3+ 17.Rf2 Nxg4 18.Ne4! And White has gained the tempo necessary to his defence; ‹16...Bxf5 17.gxf5 Qh4+ 18.Rf2 Qxb4 19.Bd3 ] 17.Bxg4 Qg3+ 18.Rf2 Qg1+ 19.Rf1 Qg3+ 20.Rf2 Qg1+ Drawn, as White can't decline perpetual check 1/2-1/2













(54) Botvinnik Mikhail - Vidmar M [D40]
England It, Nottingham, 1936

1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 Over the usual Rc1 this move had only the advantage that it had been less studied. With his following manoeuvre Black isolated the central White d-pawn 7...c5! 8.0-0 White is forced to accept the isolation of the d-pawn [8.cxd5 Nxd5 exchanges easing Black's defence are inevitable] 8...cxd4 9.exd4 Now White has the isolated d-pawn. But in the middlegame it greatly cramps Black. Black can best exploit its weakness in the endgame, but as it happens, the game doesn't get that far [‹9.Nxd4 Ne5 10.-- Nxd3 ] 9...dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb6 [>=10...a6 11.a4 Nb6 White's Queenside would be weakened] 11.Bb3 Bd7 12.Qd3 Nbd5 Black is afraid of phantoms [12...Nfd5 fearing 13.Bc2 (13.Be3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Ba4 ; 13.Ne4 Ba4 simplications favourable to Black would be forced) 13...g6 White achieves nothing] 13.Ne5 Bc6 14.Rad1 Black's position is now not easy 14...Nb4 loses time and White strengthens his position still more [14...Nh5 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.Bc1 with an excellent game; >=14...Qa5 15.-- (15.Bc1 Nxc3 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.bxc3 White's game is to be preferred) 15...Nxc3 16.bxc3 Ba4 ] 15.Qh3 Bd5 16.Nxd5 Nbxd5 [>=16...Nfxd5 17.f4 (17.Bc1 Rc8 Black can breathe more easily, Evidently he has no suspicion how dangerous was his situation) 17...f5! White's attack is repulsed] 17.f4 Rc8 [17...g6 18.Bh6 Re8 19.Ba4 winning the exchange; 17...Ne4 18.Nxf7!! Rxf7 (18...Kxf7 19.Rde1!! ) 19.Qxe6 White wins back the piece, while retaining his crushing positional superiority] 18.f5 exf5 [18...Qd6 19.fxe6 fxe6 (19...Qxe6 20.Qf3 ) 20.Rfe1 Black has difficulty in defending e6] 19.Rxf5 Qd6 This loses out of hand [19...Rc7 20.Rdf1 White's preponderance is obvious 20...a6 (20...Nb6 21.Qh4 sacrificing both rooks at f6 21...Nbd5 22.Nxf7 Rxf7 23.Bxd5 Nxd5 24.Rxf7 Bxg5 25.Qxg5!! ) 21.Nxf7 Rxf7 22.Bxd5 Nxd5 23.Rxf7 Bxg5 24.Qe6! In these variations the Knight sacrifice plays the decisive role] 20.Nxf7 Rxf7 [20...Kxf7 21.Bxd5+ ] 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 [21...Nxf6 22.Rxf6 Bxf6 23.Qxc8+ ] 22.Rxd5 Qc6 23.Rd6 [23.Rc5 Bxd4+ ] 23...Qe8 24.Rd7 This game was awarded a prize for the best game of the round 1-0













(55) Sokolsky A - Botvinnik Mikhail [D94]
1/2 final Ch URS , Leningrad (Russia), 1938

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 If Black wishes to turn the English Opening into the Grunfeld than this is most simply achieved by ... Pd5 3.d4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 A quiet and reliable continuation [5.Qb3 more energetic] 5...0-0 6.Be2 e6 This move followed by the ... Nc6-d7 was introduced into tournament play by Alatortsev (Levenfish-Alatortsev, Leningrad 1929). In the present game Black associates the move with the fianchetto of the Queen's Bishop 7.0-0 b6 8.cxd5 Probably premature; it gives Black a half-open e-file and strong points at e4, while White has no good squares for his pieces on the half open c-file [8.Qb3= Flohr-Botvinnik, Leningrad 1933 and Bronstein-Santasierre, Moscow-New York Match 1945)] 8...exd5 9.b3 A blunder, after which Black's Queenside position becomes invulnerable. Now the White Queen is unable to occupy squares on which she would be posted actively [>=9.Qb3 -- 10.Bd2 ] 9...Bb7 10.Bb2 Nbd7 11.Qc2 It is gradually becoming apparent that White has no plan of play whatever, and is occupied only with the "development" of his pieces. Perhaps this was sufficient fifty years ago, but in our day, when at the sixth to eigth move every master formulates his plan for the middlegame, there is no "better" way of getting a cramped and passive position than by aiming only at development [11.Ne5 Would could still occupy the central e5 with his Knight which would lead to a struggle with double-edged possibilities. In a move or two this will prove impossible and the control of the central squares will pass to Black] 11...a6 12.Rac1 Rc8 13.Rfd1 Qe7 It is not without interest to note that none of White's pieces can pass beyond the fourth rank 14.Qb1 Rfd8 15.Bf1 c5 16.dxc5 Another positional blunder. The weakness of Black's c- and d-pawns cannot be exploited merely by attacking them from the back rank when both sides still have minor pieces on the board. Meanwhile White parts with his last stronghold in the centre, his Queen's pawn, which leads to a livelier activity from the Black Bishop at b7, and the tempo of the "struggle" accelerates 16...bxc5 17.Ne2 White rightly decides that Black's main blow will be aimed against his Kingside, and brings up the knight to defend the King 17...Bh6! The beginning of an attack which rapidly develops into an all-out assault and leads to a won-position for Black. The first blow is aimed at the badly defended f2 square. En route Black avoides an exchange of dark-squared Bishops which would ease White's situation somewhat 18.Ba3 averts Black's threat of ... Pd4 but in doing so his Bishop retires from the a1-h8 diagonal which quicky has its effect 18...Ng4 Sacrificial threats exist on f2 and e3 [18...d4 19.Nfxd4 ] 19.Qd3 In defending the d-pawn with his Queen White gives Black yet another tempo for attack [19.-- Bxe3 20.fxe3 Qxe3+ 21.Kh1 Nf2+ 22.Kg1 Nh3+ 23.Kh1 Qg1+ 24.Nfxg1 Nf2# ] 19...Nde5 20.Nxe5 Qxe5 Now the White Knight will defend his King, but in order to do so he must occupy a not very convenient position ... at h1! Black exploits the lack of a Knight in the centre and advances the pawn 21.Ng3 Qf6! 22.Nh1 [22.Rc2 Qh4 23.h3 Nxe3 ] 22...d4! 23.Qe2 Ne5 All of Black's pieces are acting in harmony and the menacing Bishops are especially good. How can White defend himself? 24.exd4 [24.f4 Nd7 25.exd4 (25.-- /\Re8 ) 25...Bxf4 26.Rc2 Re8 ; 24.Rxc5 Rxc5 25.Bxc5 Nf3+ 26.gxf3 Bxf3 27.Qc2 Bxd1 28.Qxd1 Qg5+ ; 24.Bxc5 Bf3 25.Qxa6 (25.gxf3 d3 26.Rxd3 Nxd3 27.Bd4 Nxc1 ) 25...Qxa6 26.Bxa6 Bxd1 27.Rxd1 Rxc5 28.exd4 Rcd5 Black's extra piece assures him a win] 24...cxd4 Given the energetic support of all Black's pieces the passed d-pawn is quickly queened! [24...Bxc1 25.dxe5 ] 25.Rxc8 Bxc8 Unquestionably the Black Rook must be left at d1 where it supports the passed d-pawn; in addition Black wins an essential tempo [25...Rxc8 26.Bb2 White could still hold out] 26.Re1 [26.-- Bg4 ; 26.h3 d3 27.Qe4 d2 ] 26...d3 27.Qd1 [27.Qxe5 Qxe5 28.Rxe5 d2 29.Be2 d1Q+ 30.Bxd1 Rxd1+ ] 27...Bg4 28.Qa1 [28.f3 Nxf3+ 29.gxf3 Bxf3 30.Qb1 d2 31.Rd1 Be3+ ] 28...d2 29.Rxe5 d1Q 30.Re8+ Rxe8 31.Qxf6 Be2 32.Ng3 Bg7 33.Qc6 Bb5 34.Qc1 Qxc1 35.Bxc1 Re1 36.Be3 Ra1 37.a4 Bd3 38.f4 Rb1 39.Kf2 Bxf1 40.Nxf1 Rxb3 0-1













(56) Botvinnik Mikhail - Chekhover V [E21]
1/2 final Ch URS , Leningrad (Russia), 1938

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 A continuation which has no serious difficulties for Black in the opening; but the opening is usually followed by the middlegame 4...0-0 [4...b6 Keres and Lisitsin's preference] 5.Bg5 d6 6.e3 Qe7 In this variation it is not easy for Black to release himself from the pin at f6. As he proceeds Chekhover improves Black's game somewhat, playing ... Pc5, which increases the pressure on White's centre, but simultaneously weakens the central d5 7.Be2 e5 8.Qc2 [8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Ne4 Black is completely free] 8...Re8 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.Rae1 It is necessary to defend the Bishop before carrying out Nd2 followed by Pf4. By the way, by mistake this game was originally published with the move 12. Rae1, which is without sense, for White must aim at opening the f-file. It is interesting to note that not one commentator (and there were quite a few commentators on this game drew attention to White's obvious "blunder", which was fortunately a blunder on the part of the reporter who transcribed the game 12...Bg4 The Nd2 manoeuvre is impossible so White must find new ways. It is quite natural that White should decide to centre play round the weak d5 square, to do which he must exchange off the Black Knight at f6 13.Bxf6 [\/13.Nd2 Bxe2 14.Rxe2 exd4 15.cxd4 cxd4 ] 13...Qxf6 14.Qe4 Bxf3 Black is taking the line of least resistance Now White has easy play and a clear plan, for by the Bishop exchange Black has weakened his centreal white squares [Botvinnik was afraid of 14...Bf5 15.Qxb7 Nd7 White's pieces lose their cohesion; 14...Bc8 15.Nd2 Qd8 (15...Nc6 16.f4 Bf5 17.fxe5! This is where the Rook at f1 comes in useful) 16.dxc5 dxc5 17.Rd1+/= ] 15.Bxf3 Nc6 16.dxc5! dxc5 17.Rd1 Rad8 18.Rd5 b6 Black's position is difficult Chekhover's design was wily: he was aiming at a Rook Exchange at d5 and wanted to provoke White to obtaining a passed d-pawn which it would be possible to blockade [18...Rxd5 19.cxd5 Ne7 20.d6 Qxd6 21.Qxb7 and his pawn chain on the Queenside is shattered; >=18...Qe7 19.Rfd1 b6 20.g4 centralizing his Queen] 19.Rfd1 Na5 20.h3 Rxd5 21.Rxd5 The exchanging of oe pair of Rooks does not improve Black's situation [21.cxd5 Qd6! Black's position would be no worse (21...Nb7 22.Qa4! ) ] 21...Qe7 At the moment it may seem that Black has succeeded in putting up a satisfactory defence, but the following shrewd manoeuvre with the Bishop dispels all illusions [21...Rd8 22.Rxe5 Nxc4 23.Re8+ Rxe8 24.Qxe8+ Kh7 25.Qe4+ ] 22.Bg4! Qb7 23.Bf5!! Essentially the decisive move. The White Queen is defended, and Black is unable to resist the Rook inruptoin into the seventh rank. Then Black will be forced into Queen exchange (otherwise he risks being mated) and White has only to transfer the Bishop to d5 to deprive Black's pieces finally of mobility 23...Qb8 [23...g6 24.Rd7 (24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.Qxg6+ Kf8 26.Rd6! ) ] 24.Rd7 Rd8 Now the game transposes to an endgame difficult for Black [24...-- 25.Bh7+ Kf8 26.Qd5 ] 25.Qxe5 Nxc4 26.Qxb8 Rxb8 27.Be4! Of course White should not be turned aside from his plan just for the sake of taking the a-pawn [27.Rxa7 Nd6 28.Bd3 c4 29.Bf1 Ne4 30.Ra3 Rc8 suits Black perfectly] 27...Na3 Black cannot hinder the King's pawn advance and so he resorts to various tactical devices to maintain balance in material somehow or other 28.Bd5 Rf8 29.e4 a5 [29...c4 30.Rxa7 Nb5 31.Rb7 Nxc3 32.Bxc4 Nxe4 33.Rxb6+- Black is a pawn down] 30.c4 b5 31.cxb5 Nxb5 32.e5 a4 33.f4! When the game was finished Chekhover remarked that down to this point he still felt confident of a draw, but now he realized that his position was hopeless. If Black prevents the formation of a passed Kingpawn he loses the pawns on the Queenside. In any case White can transfer the King to the centre 33...Nd4 34.Kf2 g5 35.g3 gxf4 36.gxf4 Ne6 37.Ke3 c4 Desparation! 38.f5 Nc5 39.Rc7 Nd3 40.e6 fxe6 Here the game was adjourned ad Black didn't trouble to renew 41.fxe6 Re8 42.e7+ Kg7 43.Bc6 1-0













(57) Botvinnik Mikhail - Reshevsky S [A25]
Netherlands It, Amsterdam, 1938

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 The result is the close Variation of the Sicilian with colours reversed. In the Sicilian Defence this variation leads to complicated play; here his possession of an extra tempo should lead to a defenite advantage for White 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.e3 Of course it is more convenient to develop the Nf1 to e2; in view of the possible Black ... Pf5 and the Knight would be badly placed at f3 5...d6 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.d4 exd4 not a bad plan. Although Black relinquishes his pawn centre he plans to get compensation by exerting pressure with his pieces 8.exd4 0-0 9.0-0 Nf5 In this game Black failed to solve the problem of developing his Queen's Bishop [The dogmatic rule that a Bishop is superiori to a Knight is wo widespread that Reshevsky would not play the variation 9...Bg4 10.h3 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Nf5 12.d5 Ne5 13.Qc2 Re8 Black's task of equalizing would be simplified.] 10.d5 Ne5 11.b3 a5 A stereotyped plan. Black aims to secure c5 for his Knight, but that proves impracticable, as White will play Pb4 [>=11...a6 12.Bb2 b5 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Qc2 b4 15.Ne4 Ba6<=> It is easier to find this plan in home analysis, after the game is finished, than at the board] 12.Bb2 Nd7 13.a3 Nc5 All this takes time, and so Black cannot exploit the weakening of White's pawns on the Queenside 14.b4 Nd7 [14...axb4 15.axb4 Rxa1 16.Bxa1 Na6 17.Ne4! Nxb4 18.g4! Nh6 (18...Ne7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qa1+ f6 21.Nxf6 ) 19.Bxg7 (19.g5 Bxa1 20.Qxa1 Ng4 21.h3 f5 ) 19...Kxg7 20.Qd4+ f6 21.g5 Ng8 22.N2g3 with a dangerous initiative] 15.Qb3 Nd4 A serious blunder on Black's part after which White's superiority is apparent [15...axb4 16.axb4 Rxa1 17.Rxa1 achieving simplification at the cost of the loss of the a-file] 16.Nxd4 Bxd4 17.Rad1 A quite timely avoidance of the Rook's exchange on the a-file, for Black's Rooks will be separated for some time by the awkward position of his Queen's Bishop. White is guaranteed possession of the e-file; and the Rook at d1 will prove very useful 17...Bg7 18.Rfe1 axb4 19.axb4 Nf6 20.h3 With one move depriving the Black's Queen Bishop of two squares for its development 20...h5 Black temporarily secures f5 for his Bishop, but Nb5-d4 leads to its retreat, and d7 will be under fire after Pc5-c6. It is not suprising that in the end the Bishop will be forced to return to c8 [20...Bf5 21.g4 ] 21.c5 Bf5 22.Nb5 Bd7 [22...g5 securing the b1-h7 diagonal. Evidently Reshevksy could not bring himself to make such a "desparate" move] 23.c6 bxc6 After this White's win is only a question of time. After the exchange of his d-pawn for Black's b-pawn White's light squared bishop and d-file Rook will become active, which is of course of decisive importance [>=23...Bc8 ] 24.dxc6 Bc8 [24...Be6 25.Rxe6 fxe6 26.Nd4 Qe7 27.Nxe6 Qf7 28.Bxf6 Bxf6 (28...Qxf6 29.Nxf8+ Kxf8 30.Rd3 ) 29.Bd5 Kh8 30.Nf4 Qg7 31.Qd3+- ] 25.Nxd6 The natural outcome of Black's 23rd move. White has a won position, of course but decided on this move only at the variation 25...Be6 Reshevksy is in great time trouble, and he makes a useless move, as White could reply simply Nc4. Taking into account his opponent's time difficulty White prefers to go in for complications [25...cxd6 26.c7 Qxc7 27.Bxa8 Bxh3 28.Bh1 gives Black some counter-chances. However the passed b-pawn should decide the outcome] 26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Nf5 [27.Qxe6+ Kh7 the Knight at d6 is lost] 27...Qe8 [27...Qxd1+ 28.Qxd1 exf5 drags out the struggle] 28.Nxg7 Kxg7 Now White has only to capture the c-pawn in order to liquidate the opposition. The finish shows what menacing force the Bishops acquire to open positions 29.Rd7+ Rf7 30.Be5! Kg8 Further resistance is useless [30...Rxd7 31.cxd7 ] 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Bxc7 Ra1+ 33.Kh2 Ra7 34.Be5 Rf7 35.c7 Nd7 36.Qc2! Rf8 37.c8Q 1-0













(58) Botvinnik Mikhail - Alekhine A [D41]
AVRO AVRO, 1938

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 This variation arose three times in the Alekhine-Euwe Return Match. Black aims at simplification, in order to facilitate his defence 5.cxd5 I chose another road, more modest, and often followed by Soviet masters [Alekhine was well acquainted with Euwe's continuation 5.Bg5 cxd4 6.Nxd4 e5 7.Nb3! ] 5...Nxd5 6.e3 This is a very reliable continuation, but it appears to lead to equality. In one game of his return match with Euwe, Alekhine played Pg3 but that also should lead to an equal game [main variation 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 has no dangers for Black] 6...Nc6 7.Bc4 [I considered 7.a3 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4 Bf6 11.Be3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 e5 brings no gain to White] 7...cxd4 Alekhine let slip the opportunity to go into a mainline and moves into a difficult situation [7...-- /\8.Bxd5 exd5 9.dxc5 ; 7...Nb6 This move leads to a well known position in the Queen's Gambit Accepted, rightly regarded as leaving an equal game] 8.exd4 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Re1 White's position is superior. Thought the d-pawn is isolated, it cramps Black considerably. But above all White has a wealth of possibilities with his pieces, the direct result of 7. ... Pxd5, whereas Black still have to solve the problem of developing his Queen's Bishop 10...b6 Probably this is a decisive mistake. Now White reduces the game to a prosaic pressure on Black's Queenside, weakened by ... Pb6, a task which is facilitated by White's perceptible superiority in development. First and foremost the long diagonal must be closed [>=10...Nxc3 securing the long diagonal for his Queen's Bishop 11.bxc3 b6 True, even so the White d-pawn is strengthened and White has obtained fair chances on the Kingside, but Black should have played thus (Botvinnik-Szabo, Groningen 1946)] 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Bb5 Bd7 leads to inevitable exchanges, after which White's superiority grows very clear [>=12...Na5 13.Ne5 ] 13.Qa4 Nb8[] White's superiority in development increases still more [13...Rc8 14.Bd2! (14.Bxc6? Bxc6 15.Qxa7 Bb4 ) 14...a6 15.Bxc6 Bxc6 16.Qxa6 Black gets not compensation whatever for the pawn.] 14.Bf4 Bxb5 15.Qxb5 a6 16.Qa4 Keeping the Black Knight from c6. Black is forced to offer the exchange of Bishops 16...Bd6 [16...-- 17.Bxb8 Rxb8 18.Qxa6 ] 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Rac1 Ra7 19.Qc2+/- With this move White hinders ... Rc7 and also firmly captures both the open files. Black's Knight is badly posted, and it is difficult to bring it inot play. These factors permit the conclusion that Black has a lost position and White has only to find a good plan for exploiting his superiority 19...Re7 [19...f6 20.Qf5+/- an endgame favourable to White is forced] 20.Rxe7 Qxe7 21.Qc7 Qxc7 Of course the exchange is forced; the White Queen occupies too strong a position at c7 22.Rxc7 f6! Well played. The White Rook will have to retire from the seventh rank and that relieves Black's situation a little. 23.Kf1 [‹23.Rb7 Rc8! 24.Kf1 b5 And the c-file is dominated by black] 23...Rf7 24.Rc8+ Rf8 25.Rc3! An intriguing situation. Black can't move a single piece. Black's best chance is to bring the King to the centre. To do this he must advance the g- and h-pawns from his second rank 25...g5 [25...Nd7 26.Rc7 ; 25...Re8 26.Rc7 ] 26.Ne1 h5 It seems as though Black has escaped the direct threats. Now White exploits the weakening of the Black's Kingside [26...h6 27.Nc2 Kf7 28.Ne3 Ke6 29.g4! ] 27.h4! [27.Nc2 Kf7 28.Rc7+ Ke6 29.Rh7 Nd7 ] 27...Nd7 [27...gxh4 28.Nf3 ; 27...Kf7 28.hxg5 (28.Nf3 g4 29.Ne1 Ke6 30.Nd3 Kf5 31.g3 Ke4 32.Nf4+/- Botvinnik's recommendation) 28...fxg5 29.Nf3 g4 30.Ne5+ Alekhine feared this] 28.Rc7 Rf7 29.Nf3 g4 30.Ne1 f5 31.Nd3 f4 Otherwise Nf4, but now Black will be finally in zugzwang. There is not even any point in White winning a pawn by play Nb4 32.f3 gxf3 33.gxf3 a5 34.a4 Kf8 35.Rc6 Ke7 36.Kf2 Rf5 37.b3 Kd8 38.Ke2 Nb8 a trap 39.Rg6 [39.Rxb6 Kc7 follwed by ... Nc6] 39...Kc7 40.Ne5 Na6 White's game is won just as he wishes 41.Rg7+ Kc8 42.Nc6 At last the "harvest" begins. White comes out with at least two extra pawns 42...Rf6 43.Ne7+ Kb8 44.Nxd5 Rd6 45.Rg5 Nb4 46.Nxb4 axb4 47.Rxh5 Rc6 [47...Rxd4 48.Rf5 Kb7 49.Rf6 Kc7 50.h5+- ] 48.Rb5 Kc7 49.Rxb4 Rh6 50.Rb5 [50.Kd3 Re6! ] 50...Rxh4 51.Kd3 One of those games which have no brilliant moves whatever; every move seems very simple, yet it is impossible to cut out any one of them, for they are all closely interlocked. Of course the difficulty of creating such a game lies not in the complexity of calculation involved, but that, when calculation, the position arising must be soundly appraised 1-0













(59) Botvinnik Mikhail - Capablanca J [E49]
Netherlands It, Amsterdam (11), 1938

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 The Nimzo-Indian Defence is not to be refuted in this way, but recent practise has shown that it is doubtful whether there is any refutation. With 4. Pe3 White aims only at consolidating his centre, hoping that a strong centre will be useful to him in the middlegame 4...d5 So "theory" recommends", but this game shows that the move has certain disadvantages. Now White can take this continuation, for the c-pawns can always be exchanged [4...0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 May be disadvantgeous to White because of the c-pawns weakness; ] 5.a3 Bxc3+ [5...Be7 6.Nf3 One of the positions arising out of the Queen's Gambit Declined but with an extra move Pa3 for White] 6.bxc3 c5 The most natural. White's basic plan is later to play Pf3 and Pe4 and break through in the centre. This will not be easy to carry through if Black in his turn organizes pressure on White's d-pawn, which his sixth move is calculated to do 7.cxd5 exd5 A debated question is how to recapture the d-pawn. Black decides to take with a pawn, in order to make Pe4 almost impossible for White 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Ne2 So far the game recalls that between Lilienthal-Ragozin, Moscow 1935, but in that game White had already played Pf3. With the system White has adopted in this game he does not need to play this necessary move in the opening; a very important circumstance The piece most unpleasnt to Black is the Bishop at d3, so he plays to exchange it 9...b6 10.0-0 Ba6 Perhaps the Bishop should have been kept and retired to c2, but the Black Bishop at a6 is then quite strong. But if Bishops are to be exchanged, it is best to do so as in the game, for it is difficult for Black's Knight at a6 to reach the strong squared c4 We may note by the way, that after this game all this variation was checked in practise again and again, with changin fortunes for both sides 11.Bxa6 Nxa6 12.Bb2 Passively played [>=12.Qd3! Qc8 ] 12...Qd7! 13.a4 It is difficult for White to correct his inexact play of the last move. It is necessary to prepare Qd3 [13.Qd3 Qa4! ] 13...Rfe8 A suprising mistake for Capablanca to make [>=13...cxd4 14.cxd4 Rfc8 White has difficulties along the c-file. However, White would probably have sufficient resources available for his defence] 14.Qd3 c4 This is a really serious positional blunder. Black evidently assumed that White would be unable to advance the d-pawn later, and Black's superiority on the Queenside would tell. Capablanca had in mind ... Nb8-c6-a5-b3 after which it is difficult for White to defend the a-pawn However, Black's superiority on the Queenside happens in this case to be of no great consequence, and the breakthrough Pe4 proves inevitable. [>=14...Qb7 Black should have contented himself with the modest defence] 15.Qc2 Nb8 16.Rae1 Psychologically understandable: White aims to show that he has no intention of defend the a-pawn at all. [16.Ba3 Nc6 17.Bb4= ; >=16.Ng3 preventing ... Nh5 \/16...Nh5 ] 16...Nc6 Black mistakenly assumes that the struggle will be decided by his winning the a-pawn, otherwise he was bound to play ... Na5 preventing Ng3 (the Knight exchange is disadvantageous for White [>=16...Nh5 suggested by Romanovsky 17.h3 f5 18.Bc1 Nc6 19.f3 Na5 20.g4 fxg4 21.hxg4 Black's position on the Kingside gives cause for anxiety] 17.Ng3 Na5 An interesting moment: Black can't prevent Pe4 [17...Ne4 18.Nh1! White temporarily transfers his Knight to h1] 18.f3 Nb3 19.e4 Qxa4 20.e5 Nd7 [20...Nc5 21.Re2! Leads to a loss of a piece] 21.Qf2 Forced because of the threat ... Nbc5; but the Queen transfer to the kingside comes into White's plan. Now Black must defend himself against Nf5-d6, and against the advance of the f-pawn. Black's pieces cannot come quickly to their King's aid; and at the moment it is still far to the exploitation of his extra pawn. With his next manoeuvre Capablanca gains the opening up of the e-file, in the hope that simplification will be his advantage 21...g6 22.f4 f5 23.exf6 The only way to continue the attack 23...Nxf6 24.f5 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 Re8 [25...Rf8 26.Qf4! Qa2 (26...Qd7 27.Re6 Na5 (27...Ne4 28.Qe5 Nxg3 29.Re7 ) 28.Ba3 Rf7 29.Qg5! ) 27.fxg6 Qxb2 (27...hxg6 28.Qg5 ) 28.g7 Kxg7 (28...Rf7 29.Qb8+ Kxg7 30.Nf5+ Kg6 31.Qg3+ Kh5 32.Qh4+ Kg6 33.Qh6+ Kxf5 34.Re5+ Kg4 35.Qg5# ) 29.Nf5+ Kh8 30.Qh6 Rf7 31.Qxf6+ Rxf6 32.Re8+ ] 26.Re6! [26.fxg6 hxg6 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 ] 26...Rxe6 [26...Kf7 27.Rxf6+ Kxf6 28.fxg6+ Kxg6 (28...Ke7 29.Qf7+ Kd8 30.g7 ) 29.Qf5+ Kg7 30.Nh5+ Kh6 31.h4 Rg8 32.g4 Qc6 33.Ba3! ] 27.fxe6 Now White gets a threatening pawn on e6 27...Kg7 28.Qf4! Qe8 preventing Nf5+ and Qg5 29.Qe5 Qe7 [29...Na5 30.Bc1 ] 30.Ba3!! Qxa3 [30...Qe8 31.Qc7+ Kg8 32.Be7 Ng4 33.Qd7+- ] 31.Nh5+! gxh5 [31...Kh6 32.Nxf6 Qc1+ 33.Kf2 Qd2+ 34.Kg3 Qxc3+ 35.Kh4 Qxd4+ 36.Ng4+! ] 32.Qg5+ Kf8 33.Qxf6+ Kg8 [33...Ke8 34.Qf7+ Kd8 35.Qd7# ] 34.e7! the d-pawn is defended [‹34.Qf7+ Kh8 35.e7 Qc1+ 36.Kf2 Qd2+ 37.Kg3 Qxc3+ 38.Kh4 Qxd4+ 39.Kxh5 Qe5+ perpetual check] 34...Qc1+ 35.Kf2 Qc2+ 36.Kg3 Qd3+ 37.Kh4 Qe4+ 38.Kxh5 Qe2+ 39.Kh4 Qe4+ even now care is needed 40.g4 [40.Kh3 h5!! a draw is inevitable] 40...Qe1+ 41.Kh5 1-0













(60) Tolush A - Botvinnik Mikhail [D82]
Russia Ch URS, Leningrad (2), 1939

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.Rc1 This strong move was played by Capablanca against Reshevsky in Amsterdam 1938. Capablanca did not arrive at this continuation straightaway. In earlier games of the same tournament against me and Flohr he had played 6. Qb3 and only when he was convinced that this does not give White superiority did he find Rc1 so strengthening White's entire variation. In this variation with Bf4 Black's basic opening problem is associated with Pc5. If Black manages to achieve this painlessly he at once gets an equal game. The advantage of Rc1 is that ... Pc5 is made difficult to the maximum 6...c5 7.dxc5 And none the less. Until this game I had never analysed Rc1 and was influeced by this game. But the moment Tolush unhesitatingly played Rc1 it was clear that he had found some new "strong" resource". Before making my sixth move I had to recall the Amsterdam Tournament and thoroughly analyse the position. I came to the conclusion that White had better chacnes, but moved by curiousity decided to repeat all Reshevsky's moves, for I was deeply interested to find out what Tolush's discovery was 7...Qa5 [7...Be6! Ragozin game. Since then Capablanca's move is rarely played in tournament play] 8.cxd5 Rd8 9.Qd2 This is Tolush's "improvement". However, when making his analysis he saw by no means all the finesses. Now White gets an inferior game. None the less Tolush did a service in drawing attention to this position which really did provide great scope for analytical research [9.Qa4 Qxa4 10.Nxa4 Nxd5= Capblanca-Reshevsky; 9.Bc4 It is highly unpleasant for Black to defend the d-pawn and it was this move I was afraid at the board. It was not easy for Black to find a sound continuation, if one exists] 9...Nxd5 10.Bc7 [10.Nxd5 Qxd2+ 11.Kxd2 Rxd5+-/+ ] 10...Qxc7 11.Nxd5 Rxd5! In all probability Tolush did not foresee this shrewd yet inviting sacrifice of the exchange. White is left hopelessly behind in development, and the Black pieces come into play with gains of tempo [11...Qd7 12.Rd1 e6 (12...Nc6 13.Qc2 ) 13.Nc7+- ] 12.Qxd5 Be6 [12...Bxb2 13.Rc2 Be6 14.Qd2 Black must lose time in withdrawing his Bishop, and in this particular situation "delay is death". ; >=12...Nc6 13.Qd2 (13.Bc4 Be6 ) 13...Bf5 But this later variation called for calculation, and I was afraid of squandering time, which might be required in later complications] 13.Qd2 White must withraw his Queen to d2 [13.Qe4 Bxb2 ] 13...Nc6 14.Rd1 to meet the unpleasant threat ... Rad8. The pieces on the Kingside will not be able to come to the king's aid, so White mobilizes the Rooks for defence [14.Bc4 Rd8 15.Qc2 Qa5+ 16.Kf1 Rd2 ; 14.Bd3 Rd8 15.Qe2 (15.Nf3 Bf5 ) 15...Ne5 16.Rd1 Qa5+ 17.Kf1 Rxd3 (17...Nxd3 18.Rxd3 Bc4 19.Rxd8+ Qxd8 20.Qxc4 Qd1# ) 18.Rxd3 Bc4 White is in a bad way; >=14.Rc3 Rd8 (14...Bxc3 15.Qxc3 Bxa2 16.Nf3= ; 14...Nb4 15.Nf3 Rd8 16.Nd4 Bxa2 White's position remains difficult) 15.Rd3 ] 14...Rd8 15.Qc1 Qa5+ 16.Rd2 Rd5! The most energetic! White will be forced to surrender all the pawns on his Queenside 17.Ne2 [17.Nf3 Rxc5 18.Qb1 Bxa2 19.Qa1 Rc2 20.Bd3 Rxb2 ] 17...Rxc5 18.Nc3 Bxc3 [18...Rxc3 19.bxc3 Bxc3~~ Black has only two pawns to compensate for the loss of the more valuable Rook] 19.bxc3 Rxc3 20.Qb2 Ra3 With the murderous threat of ... Rxa2 after which White's King will be stranded in the centre defenceless 21.Qb5 Qc3 22.Qb2 Qc5 23.Qb1 [23.Qxb7 Qc1+ 24.Ke2 Bc4+ 25.Kf3 Qxd2 26.Bxc4 Ne5+ 27.Kg3 Rxe3+! 28.f3 Nxc4 29.Qc8+ Kg7 30.Qxc4 Re2-+ leads to swift defeat] 23...Bxa2 24.Rxa2 Qa5+ 25.Rd2 Ra1 26.Bd3 Rxb1+ 27.Bxb1 The two linked passed pawns should give Black a simple win. By retaining the Knight it would be easy to get the pawns queened. The continuation actually chosen, provoking an exchange of minor pieces, seems rather risky, but as will be seen it is the simpler road to victory 27...Ne5 28.Ke2 Qb5+ 29.Bd3 Nxd3 30.Rxd3 a5! If White succeeded in developing his pieces while Black's pawns remained at a7 and b7, he would have chances of a draw, for the Black King is cut off from the Queenside, and the two Rooks would hold up the enemy pawns. But as the King and the Rook at d3 are awkwardly placed, Black succeeds in advancing his infantry quite a long distance 31.Rhd1 Qc4 the a- and b-pawns should advance together 32.Kf3 b5 33.Rd7 b4 34.Ra7 [34.Rxe7 b3 Black Queens a pawn] 34...a4 the bad position of the White King facilitates a win 35.Rd8+ Kg7 36.Rda8 a3 37.g3 Qb5 38.Ra4 Qb7+ and then the b-pawn advances to be queened 0-1













(61) Rabinovich I - Botvinnik Mikhail [C19]
Russia Ch URS, Leningrad (4), 1939

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ The master V. Rauzer has performed exceptional service in thoroughly analysing for White this variation of the French Defence. [5...cxd4 From about the year 1924, the time of the Lasker-Maroczy New York 1924 this was always played 6.axb4 dxc3 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.Bd3 White could get the stronger attack; 5...Ba5 Reshevsky-Botvinnik, Moscow 1946] 6.bxc3 Ne7 [6...Qc7 preferred by some players 7.Qg4 f5 ] 7.Nf3 The system of development associated with this move is also due to Rauzer. In reality, is White obliged to force the game? He has the freer position and the two Bishops; he can, if necessary, exploit the d6 square. The defect of his position is in the doubled c-pawns; at a convenient moment Black plays ... Pc4, closing the position and then the two Bishops superiority will be imperceptible. For this reason is not the entire variation ideal for Black, as viewed by a present-day player? A game with counter chances adequately cancels out the advantage of the first move [7.Qg4 Rauzer investigated this position in 1934 which leads to very sharp play. This move frightened some players so much that they even rejected the defence ... Ne7 7...cxd4 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Alexander-Botvinnik 1946] 7...Nbc6 8.Bd3 Now Black can play ... Pc4 with gain or tempo, but Black need not hurry with ... Pc4 [8.Be2 White doesn't lose a tempo] 8...Qa5 9.Qd2 [9.0-0 Qxc3 10.Bd2 Qb2 11.Rb1 Qxa3 with a draw] 9...c4 10.Be2 Bd7 A fundamental error [>=10...Qa4 preventing White's Pa4 and the Bishop can't develop at a3] 11.a4 White gets the Bishop outside the pawn chain and Black gets a difficult game 11...f6 12.Ba3 0-0-0 [‹12...Qxa4 13.0-0 ; ‹12...0-0 13.exf6 Rxf6 14.Bxe7 Nxe7 15.Ne5 ] 13.0-0 Nf5 Of course Black is not averse from consolidating his Knight at f5 During the game there were many (including myself) that considered this move a mistake, as by replying Pg4 White could drive the Knight back, in other words win a tempo. But afterwards I came to the conclusion that the move is quite logical. White is forced to weaken his position with Pg4 (otherwise ... Ph5) and in such a position a weakening is more fundamental that the loss of one tempo. It must be said that the position of the pawns on the c-file makes it difficult for White to manoeuvre; his Queenside communicates with the Kingside only on the back rank (c1) [13...h5 attempting to secure f5 14.exf6 gxf6 15.Nh4 Black lacks the necessary ... Ng6 due to a pawn missing at h7; 13...Rdf8!? 14.-- Rf7 was worth considering, for a Rook at f7 is better posted than at d8. During the game I did not consider this continuation] 14.g4 Nfe7 15.Rfb1 Qa6 Now this is unnecessary! In fact White is still not threatening at all; doubling Rooks on the b-file would have no sense, as the Black b-pawn is safely defended. But now Black gets into a difficult situation [>=15...Rdf8 and the weakening of the f4 square would soon have its effect] 16.a5! Beautifully played. As of course the a-pawn can't be taken, the Black Queen is in a trap. This gives the game quite a new direction. The combinational threat Ne1-d3-c5 forces both sides to switch over to a consideration of definite variations 16...Rdf8 [16...-- >=17.Ne1 -- 18.Nd3 -- (18...cxd3 19.Bxd3 ) 19.Nc5 ] 17.Ne1 Very many critics criticized Rabinovich for this move. They all (including myself) assumed that the simplest course was Bd6. A closer study of the position leads to different conclusions: Black has considerable counter-play because of the weakness of White's f4. He has only to resolve on a sacrifice of the exchange, in other words to choose the course he actually took in the game [17.Bd6 fxe5 18.dxe5 (18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 Ng6 one can't assert that White's material advantage guarantees him victory) 18...Ng6 19.Bxf8 Rxf8 20.Qe3 Rf4© the weakness of the f4] 17...fxe5 18.Nd3 Now White wins the exchange by force, but that unexpectedly leads him into difficulties [18.dxe5 Rf7 (18...Ng6 19.Bxf8 Rxf8 20.Ng2 Ncxe5 21.f4 White has all the prospects of a win due to the opening of the game) 19.Bd6 (19.Nd3 cxd3 20.Bxd3 Nxe5! ) 19...Ng6 20.Qe3 Nf4 21.Bf3 g5 In my view Alatortsev was mistaken in considering that "the connection between Black's pieces is broken". The struggle still lies ahead, though the unfortunate position of Black's Queen justifies the assumption that White has the better play] 18...cxd3 19.Bxd3 Qxa5 20.Bxe7 Qc7 [20...Nxd4 21.Be2! Nxe2+ 22.Qxe2 Qxc3 23.Bxf8 Rxf8 24.Rxa7+- ] 21.Bxf8 Rxf8 22.Bb5 The position has been simplified. Despite White's superiority in material, his chances are inferior, for there are many weaknesses in his camp. The exchange he has prepared involves no change in the estimate of the position [22.dxe5 Qxe5 Black has the initiative] 22...Rf4 23.h3 a6 24.Bxc6 Bxc6 25.Re1 An in conspicious error, which leads to a lost position for White. In no circumstances should he allow ... Pe4, as after it he is condemned to passive defence [25.dxe5 Rf3 (‹25...Qxe5 26.Re1 Qf6 27.Rxe6 Rxg4+ 28.hxg4 Qxe6 29.Qd4 ) 26.Qd4 Rxh3 27.Kg2 Rxc3! ] 25...e4 White's game is lost because of the weakness of the f-file and the existence of Black's passed a-pawn. however, before he can advance his pawn Black has to block the Kingside 26.Re3 Bb5 27.Rg3 g5 28.Kg2 Qf7 29.Qe3 Qf6 30.Re1 Later White does not even have Pf3 as a possibility. All the difficulty of his situation consists in the fact that two pieces, apart from the King, are tied up in defence of the squares f2 and f3, which makes him impotent against the threat of the a-pawn [>=30.f3 ] 30...Be8 31.Qe2 [31.f3 Bg6 the bishop transfers to e4] 31...Kb8 32.Rb1 Bb5 33.Qe3 Be8 34.Qe2 Kc7 35.Rh1 Bg6 36.Re1 Be8 37.Rh1 h5! Just at the right time. The h-pawn will great cramp White 38.Kg1 [38.gxh5 Bxh5 39.Qxh5 Rxf2+-+ 40.Kg1 Rf1+ 41.Kh2 Qf2+ 42.Rg2 Qf4+ 43.Rg3 Rf2+ 44.Kg1 Qxg3# ] 38...Bb5 39.Qe1 h4 40.Re3 Bc4 41.Rh2 White intends to defend the f2 and f3 with Rooks, and to stop the advance of the a-pawn with his Queen. Probably the most expedient decision 41...b6 42.Qa1 Qf8 Preventing Qa3 43.Rg2 a5 44.Qa4 Qe7 45.Qa1 Kb7 46.Qa4 Rf8 47.Re1 Qd6 White has no defence against ... Ka6 and ... Pb5 48.Qa1 [48.-- /\Ka6 49.-- b5 ] 48...Ka6 49.Re3 b5 50.Qb2! Very well played 50...Rf3 [50...a4 51.Qb4 Qxb4 52.cxb4 Rf3 53.Kh2! (53.Rxf3? exf3 54.Rh2 Bf1!!-+ ) 53...a3 54.Rxf3 exf3 55.Rg1 Black ought not to win as his King can't break through] 51.Kh1[] Black plays a waiting game in order to gain time on the clock and meanwhile transfer the King to a better position [51.Rxf3 exf3 52.Rh2 a4 53.Qb4 Qxb4 54.cxb4 Bf1! ] 51...Rf6 52.Kg1 Kb6 53.Rh2 Rf7 54.Rg2 Rf3 55.Kh1 Rf8 56.Kg1 Rf6 57.Rh2 Kc6 58.Rg2 Rf3 59.Kh1 Bf1! A mortal blow. White is forced to exchange Rook 60.Rxf3 [60.Rh2 a4 Nothing will stop the a-pawn; 60.Rg1 Rxf2 ] 60...exf3! Decides at once 61.Rh2 [61.Rg1 Bxh3 62.Rb1 (62.Qc1 Bg2+ 63.Rxg2 fxg2+ 64.Kxg2 Qf4! And the Queen endgame is hopeless 65.Qxf4 gxf4 66.g5 Kd7 And the g-pawn is easily stopped by Black. This is why it was necessary to transfer the King to c6) 62...Bg2+ 63.Kg1 b4 64.Re1 h3 65.Re5 h2+ 66.Kxh2 Qf8 67.Rxe6+ Kc7-+ ] 61...a4 62.Kg1 a3 63.Qc1 Bc4 64.Qxg5 a2 65.Qc1 e5 66.dxe5 Forced, else the pawn advances 66...Qxe5 67.Qa1 Qe2 0-1













(62) Botvinnik Mikhail - Kann I [E24]
Russia Ch URS, Leningrad (10), 1939

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 Strictly speaking the "strongest" here (according to Tarrasch) is Qc2. But Nf3 leads to variations which have been less studied 4...c5 One of the strongest replies 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qa5 The development of the Bishop to b7 is playable here. Black tries to facilitate his defence by exchanges [6...d5 7.e3 Nc6 ] 7.Bd2 Ne4 8.Qc2 Necessary [‹8.e3 Nxd2 9.Qxd2 cxd4 10.exd4 b6 Black obtains good play] 8...Nxd2 9.Nxd2 d6 Too passive [>=9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.e3 e5! Black has good counter chances] 10.e3 e5 This is the prime cause of all of the later difficulties! Black unthinkabingly weakens d5, which may serve as a good base for White pieces. In addition, Black loses an important tempo [10...Nc6 The right move] 11.dxe5 dxe5 A typical position. At first glance White has the inferior pawn structure, and so Black has nothing to fear. This would be correct if we could take all the pieces from the board. But there are still a lot of them left, and so the weakness of Black's d5 is more serious than the doubled White c-pawns. Morever, even benefecial to White: the point is that to secure d5 firmly White needs to advance his e-pawn to e4, and then the doubled pawns will defend his d5 against the Black pieces. I have been able to prove the convenience of such a pawn arrangement in a number of games (Sorokin 20) and Chekhover (56) and against Panov in the 11th USSR Chps 12.Bd3 h6 Otherwise Black can't castle and in certain cases if Black doesn't castle White can take the pawn [12...g6 inadvisable because of 13.Ne4 ] 13.0-0 0-0 This position is highly instructive! 14.f4 White makes an attempt to liven up the game a little [White's natural plan is to transfer the Knight to d5 14.e4 Nc6 15.Rfd1 Be6 16.Nf1 Rad8 17.Ne3 Ne7 White gains nothing of value. d5 is in his power, but that is all. If he plays Nd5 Black exchanges the Bishop for Knight and transfers his Knight to d6. If White doesn't play Nd5, and exchange of Rooks will take place along the open d-file and a draw becomes inevitable. ] 14...Nd7 [14...exf4 15.exf4 The game would open up along the e-file and White, being better developed, could exploit it before Black; >=14...Nc6 but Black has already though of his next mistaken move] 15.f5 Nf6 Maybe this is the decisive error! Black's move is directed against the further advance of the f-pawn. Black rejects ... Pf6 but the result is that one of his pieces holds f6 all the time. But this chief trouble is that now White is able to exchange Knight and then the White Bishop in the centre will dominate the board [>=15...f6 White's position is to be preferred, as the central squares d5 and e4 are under control, and greatly facilitate the manoeuvering of his pieces] 16.Ne4! Qd8 Exploiting the fact that the c-pawn is invulnerable 17.Nxf6+ [17.Nxc5 Qb6 ] 17...Qxf6 18.Be4 Rb8 19.Rad1 b6 20.h3 By opening an escape route for the King, White strengthens all of these variations. So Black avoids them and goes for the pawn break ... Pb5 [Nothing is gained by 20.Bd5 Bb7 21.Qe4 (21.Bxb7 Rxb7 22.Qe4 Rbb8 23.Rd7 Rbd8 ) 21...Bxd5 22.Rxd5 Rbd8 White wins a pawn but victory remains in doubt.] 20...Ba6! 21.Bd5 b5 22.cxb5 Rxb5 [22...Bxb5 23.c4 Bc6! 24.Qe4 Bxd5 25.Rxd5 Whtie would win a pawn, but because of the Bishop exchange the open b-file would give Black counter-play. But now White keeps the d5 Bishop, his chief hope, and at once Black is in a bad way] 23.c4 Rb6 24.Rb1 Preventing both Black's capture of the open b-file and ... Bb7 24...Rd8 [24...Rfb8 25.Rxb6 Qxb6 (25...Rxb6 26.Qa4 Qe7 (26...Kf8 27.Qa5 Qe7 28.f6 gxf6 (28...Rxf6 29.Rxf6 Qxf6 30.Qxc5+ Qe7 31.Qc6! Qxa3 32.Qa8+ ) 29.Qe1 White also has good attacking possibilities) 27.f6 gxf6 28.Qc2 Kg7 29.Rf3 strong attack) 26.f6! ] 25.Rxb6 axb6 [25...Qxb6 26.Rb1 (26.f6 Rxd5 27.Rb1 Rd2 ) 26...Qf6 27.e4 ] 26.e4 Parrying the threat of ... Rxd5 26...Bc8 [26...b5 27.cxb5 Bxb5 28.Rb1 winning a pawn] 27.Qa4 Otherwise ... Bd7 and Black would prevent the Queen's entry 27...Bd7 28.Qa7 Be8 29.Rb1 Rd6 30.a4 Thus White wins a pawn, which at once decides the outcome 30...Kh7 31.a5 bxa5 32.Qxa5 [32.Qxc5? a4 with complications] 32...Ra6 33.Qxc5 Ra2 34.Qe3 ... Qg5 could not be allowed 34...Qa6 35.Rb8 Qa4 36.Kh2 An important move! Black lacks one tempo for doubling his pieces on his eighth rank 36...Ra3 [36...Qc2 37.Qg3 Ra1 38.Rxe8 Qd1 39.Qg6+! fxg6 40.Bg8+ Kh8 41.Bf7+ Kh7 42.Bxg6# ] 37.Qc5 Ra2 38.Ra8 Qxa8 [38...Qc2 39.Rxa2 Qxa2 40.Qe7+- ] 39.Bxa8 Rxa8 40.Qxe5 Bc6 41.Qc7 1-0













(63) Pogrebyssky I - Botvinnik Mikhail [C19]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1939

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Nbc6 8.Bd3 Qa5 9.Qd2 c4 10.Be2 Qa4 preventing Pa4 and Ba3 and hence the darksquared Bishop can't reach d6 11.0-0 [White could provoke ... Pb6 11.Rb1 b6 But matters are substantially the same] 11...Bd7 12.Ng5 A good move to which Black's reply should probably have been 12. ... 0-0, with an approximately equal game. After Black's instinctive reply White's game is perhaps a little better 12...h6 [12...0-0= ] 13.Nh3 0-0-0 [13...0-0 Black' can't castle short 14.Nf4 -- 15.Nh5 -- 16.Nxg7 ; >=13...Ng6 ] 14.f4 Only now is it clear that White's good move Ng5 was made with a very bad idea behind it. It transpires White intends via Nf2-d1-b2 to get his a-pawn into motion. It's not worth the trouble, too much precious time is spent on this manoeuvre Pf4 suits Black find as it still further cramps White's Queen Bishop [I had expected 14.Nf4 Rdf8 15.Nh5 Rh7= ] 14...f6 15.Nf2 h5 Black gets an excellent position for his Knight at f4; in this variation it is the first symptom showing that White has chosen an unsound plan 16.Nd1 Nf5 17.Nb2 [17.Bxh5 Rxh5 18.g4 leads to an irreperable weakening of White's Kingside] 17...Qa5 18.a4 g5! White must allow ... Pg4 due to e5 pressure, after which the Bishop at e2 will be blocked. Black has a positionally completely won game. The only question is where he should break through. I think on the Queenside, for here the breakthrough is facilitated by White's awkward pawn position [18...Be8 19.Nd1 Bg6 20.Qe1 Nfxd4 21.cxd4 Qxe1 22.Rxe1 Nxd4 Black gets three pawns for a piece but the position still favours White] 19.Nd1 [19.fxg5 fxe5! ] 19...g4 20.exf6 This eases Black's task; through d6 his Knight can always get to e4. True, White wins a tempo for developing his Queen's Bishop, but this is now not so important, and so it would have been better to refrain from Pxf6 [20.Qe1 ; 20.Ba3 Nfxd4 ; 20.Ne3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Ne7! 22.exf6 Nf5 23.Qd2 Nd6 ] 20...Rdf8 21.Ba3 Rxf6 22.Bb4 Nxb4? A positional blunder, after which the game is almost equalized! The White c-pawns will be parted, and Black's prospects on the Queenside amount to nothing, while White so far has no weaknesses on his Kingside. In addition the Bishop at e2 returns to life. [>=22...Qc7 ] 23.cxb4 Qb6 [23...Qc7 ] 24.c3 Qc7 Black has only one hope of a win: breakthrough along the h-file. To do this he must provoke Pg3 25.Nb2 Rhf8 26.Bd1 Ne7 27.g3 The first plart of Black's plan has been carried out; Pg3 has been forced. Now the Black pieces are transferred to the h-file 27...Rh8 28.Bc2 h4 29.Kg2 Nf5 Doubling the major pieces on the h-file is insufficient for victory. With the next move Black begins to clear his second rank for his Queen's passage to h7 30.Bxf5 This only facilitates Black's win for it weakens e4 30...Rxf5 31.Qe2 Loses at once. White does not even have time later on to sacrifice the exchange at e4 31...Rfh5 32.Rh1 e5! A tactical stroke consummating the struggle. The Bishop breaks into the opponent's camp 33.dxe5 Bf5 34.Rag1 hxg3 35.Kf1 Rxh2 0-1













(64) Kotov A - Botvinnik Mikhail [E33]
Leningrad ch-SU Leningrad ch-SU, 1939

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 At this period of this game Kotov always played Nf3 or Pe3. But against me chose Qc2, and this was not a haphazard move. The point is that in a game against Makogonov I had adopted the system, for Black ... Nc6 and ... Pd5. It is obvious that White would find it very attractive to provoke me into these same variations, which theory reckoned to be in White's favour 4...Nc6 [4...d5 worked at in too great detail, did not suit me for by my position in the tournament I had to play to win this game] 5.Nf3 d5 6.e3 Kotov prefers to transpose the play from the Nimzo-Indian Defence to a well-known variation of the Ragozin Defence, which is generally regarded as favourable to White [6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 e5 Makogonov continued as such, and Black has counter initiative.] 6...0-0 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Bd7 So the result is Ragozin's Defence with moves interchanged. This is a characteristic a of modern defence system against 1. Pd4. Black yields his opponent the advantage of two Bishops and goes for a rather cramped arrangement of his pieces. Why does he do all this? Basically for the sake of swift development. And in fact so far as Black is concerned the opening is ended, whereas White's development is far from completion. Black is ready for any operations, while White must play with great caution, as he is lagginst in development With such a method of playing the opening, ie. ignoring symmetrical moves and aiming at counterplay, the advantage of the move is less perciptible. This, in my view is what present-day players aim at when playing Black 9.b3 [9.b4 a5! 10.b5 Na7 11.a4 c6 the play is opened up, and Black is already prepared for that] 9...a5 10.Bd3 The first inexact move! Black's plan is quite simple: exploiting the fact that White has made the move Pa3, he aims to capture the white squares on the Queenside. [10.Bb2 a4 11.b4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Na7= ] 10...a4 11.Nd2 The second inexact move! White did not like the variation of Pb4, though it was perfectly playable. Black immediately exploits the weakening of pressure on the central square e5 [11.b4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Black gains an important tempo] 11...Re8 12.0-0 A sound decision: White does not prevent ... Pe5. He is too backward in development to permit himself [12.f4 which would involve a further weakening of the white squares 12...Na5 13.0-0 axb3 14.Nxb3 Nxc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 Bc6 White's Kingside arouses serious anxiety] 12...e5 13.dxe5 The third inexact move! [13.Bb2 e4 14.Be2 Na5 Black's superiority is undoubted, as he forcedly obtains an excellent base at d5 for his pieces; but with this continuation events would develop at a slower tempo. Probably, in exchanging at e5 White intended to develop pressure on g7 along the closed diagonal a1-h8. However, just the reverse happens: White has difficulties with the defence of his Kingside] 13...Nxe5 14.Bb2 For that matter, Black has no intention of yielding his excellently centralized Knight so readily [White can't even dream of keeping both his Bishops 14.Be2 Ne4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bb2 Qg5 with an increasing attack] 14...axb3 An important move! White intended to play Rfd1 with pressure along the d-file 15.Nxb3 The fourth inexact move, and this time devisive! Black forces a won position. White should have taken with the Queen [15.Qxb3 White rejected this because the Rook can't get to d1 due to ... Ba4.] 15...Ne4! Immediately exploiting the absence of the White Knight from the centre. Now White has only on reply 16.Qc2 [16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.-- Qg5 ; 16.Qd4 c5 17.Qxd5 Nf6-+ ] 16...Nxc4 Black intends to put pressure on White's g2. So the Bishop at d3 must be exchanged off, and the remaining Bishops of opposite colours only facilitate Black's attack 17.Bxc4 dxc4 18.Qxc4 Qg5! A threat of ... Bh3 and ... Bg4 winning the exchange in either case. To defend g2 with his Queen at c2 White is forced to play Pf4 and reconcile himself to a decisive weakening of his pawn structure, as it will be difficult to defend the h1-a8 diagonal 19.f4 [19.Qc2 To parry ... Bh3 19...Ba4 20.Rfd1 Ra6-+ ] 19...Qg6 This position must be reckoned as won for Black. One can imagine the general astonishment when, annotating this game in the newspaper "64" Belavenietz (who in gneral was one of the most outstanding Soviet analysts) wrote that after Qxc7 "there is nothing decisive apparent for Black" and backed up his opinoun with a large number of variations 20.Rfd1 Rebutts Black's threat of ... Be6 [20.Qxc7 Bh3 21.Qc2 Rac8 22.Qe2 Nd6 Belavneietz did not notice this move, and White can hardly save himself 23.Rac1! (23.Nd4 Rxe3 24.Qf2 Ne4 25.f5 Qg5-+ ; 23.Rf2 Bg4 24.Qe1 Ne4 25.Rf1 Rc2 26.Qb1 Re2 ; 23.Bd4 Rc2 ; 23.f5 Nxf5 ) 23...Rxe3 24.Rxc8+ Nxc8 25.Qd2 Rd3 26.Qe2 Qxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Bxg2 28.Re1 Bc6 ; 20.-- /\Be6 21.Qc2 Bxb3 22.Qxb3 Nd2 ] 20...Nd6 At all costs Black must avoid exchanging off his excellent bishop [\/20...Be6 21.Qc2 Bxb3 22.Qxb3 ; 20...Bc6 21.Qc2 After Nd4 White succeeds in exchanging of his excellent Bishop] 21.Qd3 [21.Qxc7 Bc6-+ ] 21...Bf5 22.Qc3 Be4 [>=22...Bh3 23.g3 h5 ] 23.Rd2 Bc6 24.Qd3 Nf5 [24...Be4 25.Qc3 Nf5 26.Nc5! ] 25.Be5 [25.-- Be4 26.Qc3 Nh4 ] 25...f6 26.Bxc7 [26.e4 Nh4 27.Bxc7 Rxe4 28.Qg3 Qf7 29.Bb6 Nf5-+ ] 26...Rxe3 27.Qc4+ Kh8 28.Bb6 Ree8 Simplest! White must defend against ... Nh4 29.Qf1 h5 30.Nd4 Black readily exchanges Knights, as that would strengthen the position of the Bishop at c6. With the Knight exchange White is condemned to complete passivity [30.Na5 Be4 ] 30...Nxd4 [30...Ne3 31.Qd3! ] 31.Bxd4 [>=31.Rxd4 Preventing ... Re4] 31...Re4 32.Re1 The only move else Black invades with ... Rae8, ... Qg4 and ... Re2 [32.-- /\Rae8 33.-- Qg4 34.-- Re2 ] 32...Rxe1 33.Qxe1 Rxa3 34.Kh1 Ra8 Both sides had little time for thought; this explains the inexact play which can be easily detected in recent moves of both Black and White Thus White should not have withdrawn his King to h1, while after this move Black could have won another pawn with ... Rf3. However, this does not affect the estimate of the position: White can't save the game [>=34...Rf3 ] 35.Re2 Kh7 36.h3 Re8 37.Qf2 White falls into an artful trap which Black had thought of at the 34th move. [37.Qd2 Rd8 38.Qe3 Qf5 39.Kg1 g5 he could not have put up resistance] 37...Qxg2+! It is an interesting fact that seven years later, in a game against Himar (Groningen, 1946) Kotov (remembering the foregoing game!) himself caught his opponent in a similar trap; with the sole difference that in the later game the pin was not along a diagonal, but along a vertical 38.Qxg2 Rxe2 0-1













(65) Botvinnik Mikhail - Ragozin V [D94]
Russia Match, Leningrad (3), 1940

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 [Since the eighth game of Keres-Euwe 1940 this is rarely played 3...dxc4 4.e4 e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Qxd4+/- ] 4.e3 g6 [4...Bf5 due to the move order with Nc3 rather than Nf3 this is not possible 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3 ; 4...e6 Meran variation] 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Bd3 0-0 7.0-0 Bg4 A dubious system of development in use 25 years ago. True, Black has solved the problem of development of the Queen Bishop, but he leaves White the advantage of the Bishop pair 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 dxc4 A positional error. White two Bishops may be powerful if the game is opened, so Black should not have excanged in the centre [>=9...e6 ] 10.Bxc4 Nbd7 11.Rd1 e5 Now, of course, it is not in White's interest to play 12. Pxe5 Nxe5; but he can operate on the d-file with Pd5. This has the advantage that Black's Bishop remains blocked [11...Ne8 Bogoljubov-Marshall, Baden-Baden 1925 didn't equalize] 12.d5 c5 13.d6 This move should be made before Pe4 as White, in attacking the b-pawn with his Queen, gains tempo 13...Rb8 14.e4 Ne8 Black makes an attempt to capture the d-pawn, but nothing comes of it. Moreover, even if he were to succeed, White would still have the better position, as he would control files for his own pieces. White's sole danger would arise if Black could transfer one of his Knights to d5, but he cannot 15.Be3 a6 16.a4 Rc8 [16...Qb6 17.Nd5 Qxd6 18.Bg5 Kh8 ] 17.Rd2 h6 The attempt to win the pawn could still be refuted by various means Black aims to transfer his Knight ... Ne8-g6-h7-g5-e6 [17...Rc6 18.Rad1 Nb6 19.Bd5 Nxd5 20.Rxd5 White breaksthrough Black's front; 17...Nef6 18.Bg5 ] 18.Rad1 [18.Qd1 -- 19.a5 -- 20.Nd5 could be stronger] 18...Nef6 19.Nd5 Finally, with this move White prevents the Knight manoeuvre above mentioned, and secondly, every exchange increases the strength of the d-pawn 19...Nxd5 20.Bxd5 Rb8 21.Qe2 Kh7 22.Rc2 Qf6 This is a serious error. The c-pawn needs protection, so Black should have played ... Qa5 [>=22...Qa5 23.b3 All of Black's pieces occupy passive positions, there is no obvious threat to them. Even so, because of the Pd6 White's win is only a matter of time] 23.Ba2 White prefers to keep the d-pawn and exploit the weakness of Black's f-pawn [23.Bxc5 Nxc5 24.Rxc5 Qxd6 25.Rdc1+/- ] 23...Rbc8 24.b4 Black has no way of defending the c-pawn, so he is forced to let the White Rook penetrate to the seventh rank 24...cxb4 25.Rc7 Rxc7 This of course speeds up the denouement, but it is obvious that against White's two powerful Bishops, the pawn on d6, a Rook on the seventh rank, and equality in material the "struggle" would not be very interesting 26.dxc7 Nb6 [26...Qc6 27.Qc4 ] 27.Bxb6 Qxb6 28.Qc4 Rc8 29.Rd7 The rest is obvious - there is no escape 29...Qc6 30.Qxc6 bxc6 31.Rxf7 c5 32.Be6 1-0













(66) Botvinnik Mikhail - Ragozin V [A28]
Russia Match, Leningrad (5), 1940

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 e4 The general attitude to this move is critical and rightly so. The advanced e-pawn causes Black a good deal of trouble, and White has an easy game [4...exd4 more circumspect] 5.Nd2 Bb4 This move which Ragozin played against Riumin (Moscow 1935) enables White to retain a strong pawn centre [5...Nxd4 more prudent as Flohr played against me in the fifth round of our Moscow 1933] 6.e3 0-0 7.Be2 [7.Qc2 played by Riumin, recaptured the Knight with Queen and castled Queenside with double-edged chances. In the present game White pursues a different plan: the immediate undermining of the e-pawn, Black's one strong point in the centre] 7...Re8 Ragozin also played thus against Riumin; in that case it was obligatory, here perhaps he should have resolved on ... Pd6 8.0-0 Bxc3 Sooner or later the exchange was necessary 9.bxc3 d6 10.f3 White consistently pursues his attack on the e-pawn. It transpires Black can't hold the centre 10...exf3 [10...Bf5 11.fxe4 Bxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bd3 Black has no time to play Pg6 and Pf5, consolidating e4 for himself. Even so perhaps he should have chosen this variation; he might have been a pawn down but he would have counterplay 13...-- 14.Bxe4 Rxe4 15.Rxf7 ] 11.Bxf3! This is the contination in mind when he played Be2. The e4 square has been won from Black 11...Rxe3 Black accepts the sacrifice which is clearly imprudent, as White Queen Bishop will come into play with great force [If Black doesn't except the sacrifice 11...Ne7 12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Bxe4|^ ] 12.Nb3 Re8 [12...Rxc3 13.Bg5 -- 14.Qd2 ] 13.Bg5 Ne7 Even so the doubling of pawns on the f-file can't be avoided. White in turn is in no hurry to exchange at f6, for he doesn't want to simplify the play, and he exploits the lull to bring up reserves 14.Qd2 c6 Black is forced to lose yet another move defending d5 and the b-pawn [14...Ng6 15.h4+/- White's pawn advances to h6 with an easy win] 15.Rae1 Bf5 [15...Nd7 16.Bh5 ] 16.Bxf6 gxf6 It appears Black has found a means of defence. After retiring the Bishop to g6 he intends to begin exchanges on the e-file 17.h4 d5 18.cxd5 cxd5 [18...Nxd5 19.Rxe8+ Qxe8 20.Bxd5 loses a piece] 19.Bd1 Black's bishop must move due to the threat of Rxe7 19...Be4 20.Rxf6 Ng6 21.Qf2 Re6 The only move else Ph5 and Nc5 22.Rxe6 fxe6 23.h5 [23.Nc5 Qxh4 24.Qxh4 Nxh4 25.Nxe4 dxe4 26.Rxe4 Ng6 27.Rxe6+- ] 23...Nf8 [23...Nh4 24.Nc5 Bxg2 25.Qg3++- ] 24.Qg3+ Kf7 [24...Kh8 25.Qe5+ Kg8 26.Re3+- ] 25.Rf1+ Bf5 26.Qf4 All that remains now is to breakdown the last feeble barrier on the f-file 26...Nd7 27.Bc2 White in time shortage chooses another way [27.g4 Qh4 28.Qh2 Qg5 29.Kh1 ] 27...Qb8 [27...Qf6 28.Qc7 Qe7 29.Bxf5 exf5 30.Qxb7 ] 28.Qh6 Qg8 [28...Nf6 29.Bxf5 exf5 30.Rxf5 Qh8 31.Nc5+- ] 29.Bxf5 exf5 30.Rxf5+ Ke7 31.Rg5 Qe6 32.Rg7+ Kd6 33.Rxd7+ After Black accepted the pawn's sacrifice White's pressure increased gradually but inexoerably 1-0













(67) Ragozin V - Botvinnik Mikhail [D82]
08 Leningrad, 1940

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.Rc1 Capablanca was the originator of this manoeuvre (Capablanca-Reshevsky, Amsterdam 1938). The idea was to make it as difficult for Black to play ... Pc5 6...c5 7.dxc5 When preparing for this game I made a critical study of Reshevsky's play, and after several trials I hit upon this move. Instead of sacrificing the d-pawn, and the recapturing it with difficulty, Black defends it in advance. It is not expedient for White to exchange at d5, as that surrenders the initiative to Black 7...Be6 Black's immediate task is the rapid development of all his forces; this is much more difficult for White [7...Qa5 8.cxd5 Rd8 9.Bc4 White's intention, but a slight disillusionment awaited him] 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Qa4 Forestalls ... Qa5 but in doing so loses precious time. Black has completed development of his minor pieces, and immediately turns to active operations [>=9.Be2 ] 9...Ne4 10.Be2 Now White plans to complete his development [10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Nd2 Bxb2 ; 10.cxd5 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Qxd5 ] 10...Bxc3+ It was difficult to decide on giving up the excellent Bishop, but the possible variaations confirm the soundness of the exchange. By destroying the Knight and retaining his own centralized Knight, Black gains a great advantage in the centre, which is bound to influence later events [10...Nxc3 11.bxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Can't give Black initiative .. how should he continue] 11.bxc3 dxc4 12.Nd4 [12.Bxc4 Nxc5 13.Qb5 Bxc4 14.Qxc5 (14.Qxc4 Nd3+ ) 14...Qd3 15.Ng1 Rad8-+ ; 12.0-0 Nxc5 13.Qb5 Qa5 14.Bxc4 Qxb5 15.Bxb5 Bxa2-/+ White is a pawn down. Even so, castling was White's best course] 12...Bd5 simplest; because of the threat ... Pe5 White must threat 13.Bh6 [13.-- e5 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 ] 13...Re8 [13...e5 14.Nxc6 (14.Bxf8 exd4 15.Bd6 (15.cxd4 Qxf8 16.Bxc4+/- ) 15...d3 ) 14...Bxc6 15.Qc2 Qh4 very attractive] 14.0-0 e5 15.Nf3 Otherwise ... Qh4 follows 15...Nxc5 16.Qb5 b6 Leads to an unexpected sharpening of tension, as White is able to pin Black's pieces to the d-file. However, Black has grown so strong in the centre that he need not be afraid of the pin [Black could have chosen 16...Qa5 17.Bxc4 Qxb5 18.Bxb5 Bxa2 ] 17.Rfd1 White must now defend the c4 pawn [17.Bxc4?? a6 ; 17.Rcd1 a6 18.Qb1 b5 19.Bg5 Qd7 (19...f6! 20.Bxf6 Qxf6 21.Rxd5 Na4 22.Qc2 e4 23.Nd4 Ne7 24.Rd7 Nc5 25.Rc7 Qe5 White loses the exchange) 20.e4 Bxe4 21.Qxe4 Qxd1 22.Qxc6 Qxe2 23.Qxc5 ] 17...a6 [17...e4 18.Bxc4 ] 18.Qb1 b5 19.Bg5 Qd7 The decisive move! 20.a4 [20.e4 Bxe4 21.Rxd7 Bxb1 22.Rd5 (22.Rc7 Be4 ) 22...Ne4 23.Rxb1 Nxc3= White has lost three pawns for the piece] 20...e4 21.axb5 axb5 22.Nd4 [22.Qxb5 Ra5 ] 22...Nxd4 23.exd4 Nb3 24.Qc2 Rc2 is also hopeless; besides the extra pawn Black has a dominating position. The question involuntarily arises, what was White hoping for? The explanation is quite simple: Black was under acute time pressure. Perhaps he played his next few moves not quite exactly, but he did not let the victory slip out of his hands 24...Nxc1 25.Qxc1 Ra2 26.Qe3 Qc6 27.h4 f6 28.Bh6 Rea8 29.Kh2 Rb2 30.Bg4 b4 31.cxb4 c3 32.Rc1 c2 33.f3 Rb1 34.fxe4 Bxe4 35.d5 Qd6+ [35...Qxd5 36.Rxc2 ; 35...Bxd5 36.Qe7 Bf7 (36...Qb7 37.Be6+ ) 37.Bf3 ] 36.Bf4 Qxb4 37.Be6+ [37.Rxc2 Bxc2 38.Qe6+ Kg7 39.Qd7+ Kh8 40.Bh6 Rh1+ 41.Kxh1 Qe1+ 42.Kh2 Qxh4+ 43.Kg1 Qxh6-+ ] 37...Kh8 38.d6 Rxc1 39.Qxc1 Qd4 40.d7 Bc6 41.h5 A game crameed with interesting variations 0-1













(68) Ragozin V - Botvinnik Mikhail [C98]
Leningrad Leningrad, 1940

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.Nf1 All this has been met with often enough before. The continuation with 14. Nb3 is admitted to be the best for White. However, he chooses another, long familiar continuation which was played as long ago in the Lasker-Tarrasch match, Munich 1908 and is associated with the sacrifice of the d-pawn 14...exd4 15.Bf4 Recommended by Tartakower. The same move was played in Kasparian-Panov (Tsilisi 1937) 15...Qb6 [15...Be6 16.Rc1 Qb6 17.Bb1 Rac8 18.Ng3 Rfd8 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.exf5 Nd5 21.Bg5 Bxg5 22.Nxg5 Nf6 23.Ne4 Nxe4 24.Rxe4 d5 25.Re1 Na7 26.Rxc8 Nxc8 27.Qe2 Kf8 28.Qe5 h6 29.h4 f6 30.Qf4 Re8 31.Rxe8+ Kxe8 32.Bd3 Qa5 33.Qxd4 Qxa2 34.Kh2 Ne7 35.Be2 Qa5 36.Qa7 Kd8 37.g3 Nxf5 38.Bg4 g6 39.h5 Qb4 40.Qb6+ Ke7 41.Qc7+ Ke8 42.Qc6+ Ke7 43.Qb7+ Ke8 44.Qa8+ Ke7 45.Qa7+ Ke8 46.Qb8+ Ke7 47.Qc7+ Ke8 48.Qc8+ Ke7 49.Qc7+ Ke8 50.Qc8+ Ke7 51.Bf3 Qxb2 52.Qb7+ Ke8 53.Qa8+ Ke7 54.Qa7+ Kd6 55.Qb6+ Ke5 56.hxg6 Qd2 57.Bg2 Nxg3 58.Qb8+ Kf5 59.Qxg3 1-0 Kasparian,G-Panov,V/Tbilisi 1937] 16.e5 From this point Black has a good game. One cannot understand why White avoided the plan Nf1-g3-f5 which Kasparian used successfully in the game already mentioned. The exchange of the e-pawn for the Black pawn on d6 should have been made only when this forced definite advantages for White. But now Black has won a pawn without any adverse effects 16...dxe5 17.Nxe5 Be6 Developing the light squared Bishop and covering the dark squared Bishop. The Queen pawn is invulnerable since White's c2 Bishop hangs 18.Nxc6 Qxc6 19.Be5 Rfd8 20.Rc1 Qd7 21.Qd3 Shrewd, yet suprisingly enough leads to a loss. True, after this move Black had to calculate quite a number of long variations [21.Bc7 Re8 22.Be5 Rad8 23.Bc7 Rc8 24.Be5 Red8 refutes an attempt to play for a draw] 21...Bc4 22.Qxd4 The whole point. White compelled by 21. ... Bc4 by threatening BxN, and now he has captured Black's central passed pawn, so restoring equality of material 22...Qxd4 23.Bxd4 Rxd4 The only move leading to retention of his advantage 24.Rxe7 Bxa2 Unexpected, as the Bishop would appear to be shut out of play and caught in a trap. However, Black's pieces manage to come to its rescue in time, and the resulting endgame with an extra pawn is not so difficult technically 25.b3 Nd5 With his next move White must pin the Knight else ... Nb4 will follow and the Bishop is protected [25...Rc8 26.Bxh7+ Kf8 27.Rxc8+ Kxe7 28.Bc2 leads only to a draw] 26.Rd7 Nc3 It can be accepted the first attack on the Bishop is repulsed! 27.Rxd4 Otherwise ... Pb4 27...Ne2+ 28.Kh2 Nxd4 29.Be4 [29.Nd2 f5 Providing the K and escape square freeing the R 30.Bd1 Re8 31.Ra1 Re1 32.Rxa2 Rxd1-+ ] 29...Nxb3 Black's pieces appear to be in a dangerous situation, but it transpires that White is unable to exploit the circumstances 30.Rc7 [30.Rc3 Rb8 31.Bd5 b4 32.Rc2 (32.Rxb3 Bxb3 33.Bxb3 Rd8-+ ) 32...Bb1 33.Rb2 Bd3 ] 30...Rb8 31.Bd5 Nc1 32.Bb7 [32.Be4 Ne2 ] 32...Be6 33.Bxa6 Na2 34.Nd2 Nb4 35.Bb7 Nd5 36.Bxd5 Bxd5 37.f4 g6 38.Rc5 Ba2 39.g4 b4 40.Rc2 Be6 At this point the game was adjourned. White sealed Rb2 but did not resume play. Black's pieces cooperated in great harmony 0-1













(69) Botvinnik Mikhail - Boleslavsky I [E68]
Russia Ch URS, Leningrad, 1940

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 After a number of games played by Boleslavsky and Bronstein we all know how many finesses are concealed in this opening. But when this game was played (it was my first meet with Boleslavsky) all one knew was that the Kiev players (Boleslavsky is an Ukranian) were fond of playing this defence, and that they had got hold of some new idea or other associated with the later breakthrough ... Pd5 Pe5 has point if White wishes to avoid the Samisch [3...g6 4.e4 Bg7 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 exd4 8.Nxd4 c6 Pirc's innovations 1939 the continuation for White has become less convincing] 4.Nf3 [4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8= Najdorf-Boleslavsky (Groningen 1946). Black "had" to make more than one blunder after this Queen exchange in order to lose the game 6.Nf3 Nfd7 7.g3 f6 8.Bg2 Na6 9.0-0 c6 10.b3 Kc7 11.Bb2 Nac5 12.b4 Ne6 13.c5 Be7 14.Ne4 b6 15.cxb6+ Nxb6 16.a3 Na4 17.Bc1 Ba6 18.Re1 Rhd8 19.Be3 Nb6 20.Bh3 Nf8 21.Rac1 Nfd7 22.Be6 Bb5 23.Nfd2 Na4 24.Nb3 Ndb6 25.Na5 Re8 26.Bh3 Rad8 27.Rc2 Rd5 28.Nxc6 Bxc6 29.Rec1 Kb8 30.Rxc6 Red8 31.Kg2 Rd1 32.R1c2 Nd5 33.Bc5 Nab6 34.Be6 Ra1 35.Rd2 Kb7 36.Bxe7 Re8 37.Rxd5 1-0 Najdorf,M-Boleslavsky,I/Groningen 1946] 4...Nbd7 5.g3 g6 6.Bg2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.e4 Re8 Black, if allowed threatens to seize the initiative with 9. ... Pxd4. At the board I could not find a sound continuation and decided to liquidate this threat by resort to the most radical method 9.d5 [9.-- /\exd4 10.Nxd4 c6 ] 9...Nc5 10.Ne1 a5 11.h3 [11.b3 Bd7 12.h3 Rf8 13.Be3 Ne8 14.Rc1 b6 15.Qd2 f5 16.exf5 Bxf5 White demonstrated the ... Bxf5 idea was not so good 17.g4 Bd7 18.Nf3 Rb8 19.Ng5 Bf6 20.Nge4 Bg7 21.Rce1 Nf6 22.Ng3 Kh8 23.f4 Ng8 24.Nce4 Nxe4 25.Nxe4 Qe7 26.Ng5 Rbe8 27.fxe5 Bxe5 28.Nf3 Bg7 29.Bxb6 Qxe1 30.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 31.Qxe1 cxb6 32.Qg3 a4 33.Qxd6 axb3 34.axb3 1-0 Flohr,S-Lilienthal,A/Moscow 1936] 11...Rf8 12.Be3 [12.Nd3 Nxd3 13.Qxd3 White's second Knight would be transferred to c5 to an excellent position. ] 12...Ne8 [>=12...Nfd7 but Boleslavsky didn't want to close the h3-c8 diagonal] 13.Nd3 White aims at once to exploit a convenient opportunity to propose a Knight exchange [13.f4 f5 14.exf5 gxf5 15.fxe5 Bxe5 White would have had the initiative] 13...b6 14.Qd2 [14.f4 no longer possible 14...exf4 15.gxf4 f5! With great complications] 14...f5 15.exf5 gxf5! Perfectly sound 16.f4 Nxd3 Boleslavksy is playing very thoughtfully, if not too much so! [16...e4 17.Nf2! Boleslavsky feared this. However, in this continuation Black would retain his Knight on c5, while in all probability he could prevent the advance of the g-pawn] 17.Qxd3 e4 18.Qd2 All the commentators estimated the position here as in Black's favour; in my view this was due to a misapprehension. On the Queenside, where White can initiate a pawn advance with Pa3, Pb4-5, his superiority is obvious. Black's passed pawn at e4 brings Black no advantage whatever while so many minor pieces are left on the board, and his only comfort is the weakness of the White g-pawn. However, this weakness is only apparent, for Black's minor pieces cannot attack it 18...Qf6 19.Rf2 Bd7 20.Rd1 Qg6 21.Ne2 Nf6 22.Bd4 Rae8 23.Qe3 h6 24.Nc3 Rf7 25.Bf1 Kh7 26.Be2 h5 All these manoeuvres are easy to understand. White has disposed his Bishops to the best advantage and has blocked the e-pawn; now he has only to place his Rooks so as to secure the Kingside. Black is preparing to double his Rooks on the g-file 27.Rg2 Bh6 28.Rf1 Rg8 29.Rff2 Bg7 30.a3 h4 An unfortunate idea. Boleslavsky evidently a little pertubed by White's slow manoeuvres, was under the impression that he had the better game. He was afraid of being too late with this breakthrough; and "supposing White suddenly decided to close the position with Ph4?" Now White is the first to gather the fruits of opening the game on the Kingside [>=30...Bf8 31.-- Be7 32.-- Qh6 33.-- Rfg7 though I think even then White was left with greater possibilities.] 31.gxh4 Qh6 32.Rg5 Qxh4 33.Rfg2 Be8 The only defence. As soon as White's second Rook reached the g-file a threat of capturing the Queen arose [33...-- 34.Bxf6 Rxf6 35.Rh5+ ] 34.Rxf5 Bh6 35.Rfg5 The simplest. In the last resort White retains superiority in material with a crushing position 35...Bxg5 36.fxg5 Nh5 [36...Nd7 37.Rg4 (37.Nxe4 -- 38.Bd3 ) 37...Qe1+ 38.Kg2+- ] 37.Bxh5 Qxh5 38.Qxe4+ Rg6 [38...Qg6?? 39.Qh4++- ] 39.Qxe8 [>=39.Rg4 Kg8 40.Qxe8+ Rf8 41.Qe3 ] 39...Rxg5! 40.Qh8+ Kg6 41.Qg8+ Kf5 At this point White sealed his move. His superiority is great, but the finish was not without interest 42.Qc8+ Kf4 [42...Kg6 43.Qe6+ Kh7 44.Rg4!! (44.Qxf7+ Qxf7 45.Rxg5 Leads to technical difficulties due to the open position of White) 44...Rxg4+ (44...Rf1+ 45.Kxf1 Qxh3+ 46.Ke1 Qxg4 47.Qf7+ Kh6 48.Be3+- White wins an extra piece) 45.hxg4 Qg6 46.Ne4 ] 43.Qe6 An amusing move. Despite the exposed nature of White's King, he succeeds in avoiding perpetual check, whereas it is impossible to save the Black King from attack 43...Rxg2+ 44.Kxg2 Qf3+ 45.Kg1 Qg3+ [45...Rf8 46.Ne2+ Kg5 47.Be3+ ] 46.Kf1