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  1. 125 Selected Games by Vasily Smyslov
    Smyslov, Vasily. 125 Selected Games. Cadogan Press: 1995.
    127 games, 1935-1982

  2. 1948 World Chess Championship
    ★★★ INTRO ★★★

    The 1948 World Chess Championship was a 5 player five-cycle round robin (each player plays against each other 5 times) between 37 year old Mikhail Botvinnik of the Soviet Union, 27 year old Vasily Smyslov also of the Soviet Union, 37 year old Smauel Reshevsky of the United States, 32 year old Paul Keres of the Soviet Union and 47 year old Max Euwe of the Netherlands.

    ★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

    The participants were the 8 players that competed in the 1938 AVRO Tournament (see AVRO (1938) for games and more info). The players were Paul Keres, Reuben Fine, Mikhail Botvinnik, Max Euwe, Samuel Reshevsky, Alexander Alekhine, Jose Raul Capablanca and Salomon Flohr. However, not all of the above players competed. Capablanca died on March 8th, 1942 and Alekhine died on March 24th, 1946. As well, Salomon Flohr got replaced by Vasily Smyslov. Fine did not want to compete. FIDE organized a 5 player cycle round robin tournament. The tournament was down to 5 players: 37 year old Mikhail Botvinnik of the Soviet Union, 27 year old Vasily Smyslov also of the Soviet Union, 37 year old Smauel Reshevsky of the United States, 32 year old Paul Keres of the Soviet Union and 47 year old Max Euwe of the Netherlands.

    ★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

    The match took place in The Hague.

    ★★★ MATCH ★★★

    After 5 rounds, Botvinnik took the lead with 3 1/2 points, Reshevsky was second with 2 1/2, Smyslov and Keres were close behind each having 2 and Euwe had scored none.

    After 10 rounds, Botvinnik kept the lead and had 6, Reshevsky was in second with 4 1/2 points, Smyslov and Keres was once again close behind with each having 4 but Euwe only had 1 1/2.

    After 15 rounds of play, Botvinnik kept leading with 9 points, Keres then took second with 6 1/2, Reshevsky close on his heels with 6, Smyslov with 5 1/2, and sadly,Euwe only had 3.

    After 20 rounds, Botvinnik kept a commanding lead with 12 points, Smyslov and Reshevsky tied for second each with 8 1/2, Keres with 7 1/2 and Euwe way behind with 3 1/2.

    ★★★ FINAL ★★★

    After 25 rounds of play, Botvinnik was crowded the first FIDE world champion finishing with 14 points out a possible 25. Smyslov took second with 11. Tied for third were Reshevsky and Keres each finishing with 10 1/2. Euwe came in last,and only had 4 points, 6 1/2 points behind 3rd place and 10 points behind the winner. Mikhail Botvinnik had became the 6th official world championship.

    ★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

    Botvinnik - 1 1/2 1 1 1 - 1/2 1/2 1 1 1 - 0 1 1/2 1/2 1 - 1 1/2 1/2 1 0 (10 wins, 8 draws, 2 losses) <1st, 70% score>

    Smyslov 1/2 0 1/2 1 - 1/2 0 1/2 1 1 - 1/2 0 0 1/2 1 - 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 - 1 (6 wins, 10 draws, 4 losses) <2nd, 55% score>

    Reshevsky 1/2 - 1 0 1 1/2 1/2 - 1/2 1/2 0 0 1 - 1/2 1/2 1 0 1 - 1/2 1/2 0 1 (+6, =9, -5) <=3rd, 52.5%>

    Keres 1 1 0 - 0 1/2 1 1/2 0 - 1 1/2 1 0 1 - 0 0 0 1 1/2 - 1/2 1 (+8, =5, -7) <=3rd, 52.5%>

    Euwe 0 0 - 0 0 1/2 1/2 0 - 1/2 0 0 1 1/2 - 0 1/2 0 0 0 - 1/2 0 0 0 (+1, =6, -14) <5th, 20%>

    ★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

    See also: FIDE World Championship Tournament (1948)

    Head to Head Records Prior to 1948:

    Botvinnik-Smyslov: (6 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss in favour of Botvinnik)

    Botvinnik-Reshevsky: (2 wins, 3 draws and 0 losses in favour of Botvinnik)

    Botvinnik-Keres: (2 wins, 6 draws and 0 losses in favour of Botvinnik)

    Botvinnik-Euwe: (2 wins, 4 draws and 0 losses in favour of Euwe)

    Smyslov-Reshevsky: (2 wins, 0 draws and 1 loss in favour of Smyslov)

    Smyslov-Keres: (4 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss in favour of Keres)

    Smyslov-Euwe: (Smyslov beat Euwe 1-0 in their only meeting prior to 1948)

    Reshevsky-Keres: (3 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses in favour of Keres)

    Reshevsky-Euwe: (1 win, 2 draws and 1 loss for both players)

    Keres-Euwe: (7 wins, 5 draws and 7 losses for both players)

    Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1937 World Chess Championship

    Next World Championship: Game Collection: 1951 World Chess Championship

    50 games, 1948

  3. 1983 match:Andersson-Tal
    Ulf Andersson and Mikhail Tal finished joint-third in the Moscow Interzonal in 1982. Only two players qualified from that interzonal, and this match which was played in Malmo,Sweden was to decide the reserve player for the Candidates matches. This match consisted of six games, and resulted in one win each and four draws.
    6 games, 1983

  4. 200 Miniature Games of Chess - Du Mont (I)
    81 games, 1497-1938

  5. 200 Miniature Games of Chess - Du Mont (II)
    68 games, 1788-1938

  6. 200 Miniature Games of Chess - Du Mont (III)
    75 games, 1848-1947

  7. 200 Miniature Games of Chess - Du Mont (IV)
    40 games, 1864-1939

  8. Art of Sacrifice in Chess, R. Spielmann
    Spielmann, Rudolf. The Art of Sacrifice in Chess, New York: Dover, 1995. ISBN 0-486-28449-2.
    37 games, 1903-1934

  9. Akiba Rubinstein's Best Games
    The best games of Rubinstein's career.

    Who is your opponent tonight, tonight I am playing against the Black pieces. - Akiba Rubinstein

    60 days a year I play in tournaments, 5 days I rest, and 300 days I work on my game. – Akiba Rubinstein

    Rubinstein was an artist whose masterpieces are the priceless legacy of an unhappy genius. – Reuben Fine

    The games of Steinitz himself, the creator of the theory, are by no means the best demonstration of its correctness. A whole generation of chess masters extracted from this theory everything in it that is of value for practical play. Rubinstein was the central figure of this generation, and his games are the most complete embodiment of Steinitz's teaching. - Richard Réti

    He possessed almost a super-natural feeling for the endings and rook endings in particular. - Max Euwe

    Better chess cannot be played by mortal man. - Reuben Fine

    There is scarcely another master who suffers so from nerves, which cause him moments of complete exhaustion so that he commits crude blunders. – Richard Réti (on Rubinstein)

    Rubinstein is the rook ending of a game begun by the Gods thousands of years ago. – Saviely Tartakower

    One of the greatest positional players ever, who influenced many future generations of great players, including such great scientists and champions as Mikhail Botvinnik. - Garry Kasparov (on Akiba Rubinstein)

    Careful analysis shows that modern chess, proceeding from the Botvinnik era, is very strongly influenced by the games of Rubinstein, who was, essentially, one of the fathers of modern chess history. - Garry Kasparov

    For the purity and logicality of his style of play, this great chess artist was compared with an ancient sculptor, whose smooth and monumental work provokes admiration. - Garry Kasparov

    We should not forget Rubinstein, an incredibly talented and fantastic chess player. It is a pity that with his extensive knowledge of chess, he was not a World Champion. Sometimes he created true masterpieces and was way ahead of his time. To understand this, you should just go through the collection of his best games. Why didn't he become a World Champion? That's a mystery to me. His nerves might have played a role or he might not have been very good in practice. Anyway, he was a man of great talent. -Vladimir Kramnik

    88 games, 1907-1931

  10. Alekhine vs Champions & Prodigies Decisive Games
    The Romance of the Chess World Championship Match and the World Champions that won them:

    There can only be Two.

    The Champion to hold the Title he beat all the masters for.

    The Challenger on quest for same Title of yore.

    Alexander Alekhine

    Alexander Alekhine has been the model for imaginative attacking and tactical play for generations of chessplayers. He has been inspirational to champion tacticians such as Tal, Spassky, and Kasparov. Contrary to popular conception, the brilliant Alekhine was probably at least a match for the rising youngsters of the 1930s. Alekhine got edged by Botvinnik (0 - 1) and Fine (2 - 3) by only one game. Alekhine in turn edged Reshevsky (2 - 1) by one game. One game differences are not conclusive. On the other hand Alekhine was crushing against Keres (5 to 1) and Flohr (5 to 0). Looking at the whole forest and not merely at the trees, Alekhine's integrated decisive games total against all the rising stars of the succeeding generation was a stunning 14 to 6. In particular there has been a popular notion that Botvinnik in the 1930s had already surpassed Alekhine in chess strength. The fact is that Botvinnik's 1930s match records against Flohr (+2 -2 =8 in 1933) and Levenfish (+5 -5 =3 in 1937) were just ties. There are no convincing data that Botvinnik would have fared better against Alekhine, who was dominating against both Flohr and Levenfish, had they played in a similar match in the 1930s. Hence, had Alekhine come in sober and as fanatically prepped as usual, he probably would have beaten any of the rising stars of the 1930s (Botvinnik, Keres, Fine, Reshevsky, Flohr) in a World Championship Match before WW2.

    It is scarcely known but Alekhine was the last Russian Empire Chess Champion in 1914 (together with Nimzovich) and the first Soviet Union Chess Champion in 1920. The Soviet school of chess may directly owe its well-known propensity for analysis and well prepared openings and novelties to Alekhine, who was known to study chess 8 hours a day, analyzing games and preparing opening novelties. Overshadowed in his early career by Lasker and Capablanca, Alekhine may well have been one of the most driven chess players to seek the World Title, already planning in advance for his match with Capablanca, whom he expected to become World Champion, as youngster before WW1 when Lasker still held the Title.

    Alekhine is also the best blindfold chess practitioner in history; some of his simultaneous blindfold feats almost defy belief not only for the mass of his games but for their quality as well. He had to have a photographic memory in order to accomplish this, which raises an interesting question. Given a chess master with a photographic memory, unequaled work ethic, fantastic combinative and creative powers, and given a computer and chess opening data base, what kind of opening monster would he have become if he were active today?

    I am also doubling this with all of Alekhine's decisive classical games against the World Champions.

    Alexander Alekhine vs. Emanuel Lasker 1 - 3 (plus 4 draws)

    Alexander Alekhine vs. Jose Raul Capablanca 7 - 9 (plus 33 draws)

    Alexander Alekhine vs. Max Euwe 26 - 20 (plus 38 draws)

    Alexander Alekhine vs. Mikhail Botvinnik 0 to 1, (plus 2 draws)

    86 games, 1913-1942

  11. Alekhine-Euwe match 1926/7
    The two world championship matches between Alekhine and Euwe are well known. This match is not as famous. Dutch supporters of Euwe wanted to sponsor a match against a top master to be played in the Netherlands. Lasker declined and Bogoljubov wanted too high a fee. Alekhine, however, was willing, probably as a way to help prepare for his upcoming WC match with Capablanca.

    It was a very even match, with victory in Euwe's hands with a better position in the final game, but he stuffed it up. Euwe's biographer writes that Lasker was one of the few people to shake his head after Euwe's 17th move, with most spectators only noticing the wheels beginning to fall off later in the game. Anyone familiar with this match should not have been surprised that the 1935 WC match was not the rout everyone expected.

    10 games, 1926-1927

  12. Alekhine: On the road to the World Championship
    100 games from the book by Alexander Alekhine;
    On the road to the world championship 1923-1927 (in German: Auf dem Wege zur Weltmeisterschaft 1923-1927)
    100 games, 1923-1927

  13. Alexander Alekhine's Best Games
    The best games of Alekhine's career.

    Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture post card. - Max Euwe

    During a Chess competition a Chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk. - Alexander Alekhine

    When asked, "How is that you pick better moves than your opponents?", I responded: I'm very glad you asked me that, because, as it happens, there is a very simple answer. I think up my own moves, and I make my opponent think up his. - Alexander Alekhine

    Oh! this opponent, this collaborator against his will, whose notion of Beauty always differs from yours and whose means (strength, imagination, technique) are often too limited to help you effectively! What torment, to have your thinking and your phantasy tied down by another person! - Alexander Alekhine

    I study chess eight hours a day, on principle. - Alexander Alekhine

    I am Alekhine, chess champion of the world. I need no passport. – Alexander Alekhine

    What I do is not play but struggle. – Alexander Alekhine

    I have had to work long and hard to eradicate the dangerous delusion that, in a bad position, I could always, or nearly always, conjure up some unexpected combination to extricate me from my difficulties. – Alexander Alekhine

    Chess for me is not a game, but an art. Yes, and I take upon myself all those responsibilities which an art imposes on its adherents. – Alexander Alekhine

    To win against me, you must beat me three times: in the opening, the middlegame and the endgame. – Alexander Alekhine

    He lived in and for chess like no one before him, nor any since until Fischer. – Taylor Kingston (on Alekhine)

    No master before or since sank himself with greater gusto into what Vladimir Nabokov called Caissa’s “abysmal depths." – Larry Parr (on Alekhine)

    I just can’t win in such a way! – Jose R. Capablanca (on an Alekhine combination in the 11th game of their title match)

    It was impossible to win against Capablanca; against Alekhine it was impossible to play. – Paul Keres

    Against Alekhine you never knew what to expect. Against Capablanca, you knew what to expect, but you couldn't prevent it! – George Thomas

    Alekhine's chess is like a god's. – Chess World Magazine

    In playing through an Alekhine game one suddenly meets a move which simply takes one's breath away. – C. H. O'D. Alexander

    Alekhine is a poet who creates a work of art out of something that would hardly inspire another man to send home a picture post card. – Max Euwe

    Capablanca never took his eyes off the chorus; Alekhine never looked up from his pocket chess set. – A patron who took both players to a show in 1922

    Capablanca was the greatest talent, but Alekhine was the greatest in his achievements. – Mikhail Botvinnik

    Sir, I am the book! – Alexander Alekhine (to a player who, not realizing who Alekhine was, had commented on each of Alekhine's moves with, "The book says…")

    The openings consist of Alekhine's games with a few variations. – Source Unknown

    While he was hospitalized (during WW I) after being wounded (a contusion of the spine), he became the strongest blindfold chess player in the world. That's how great this guy was. I mean, when normal people go to the hospital, they are totally sad and in pain. Instead, he devoted himself to blindfold chess and became the best in the world in an extremely short period of time. You have to love this guy. – Terry Crandall (on Alekhine)

    Since we are, of course, the two best blindfold players in the world, I think it would be better if we had recourse to a chessboard and men. – Alexander Alekhine (to Reti when they disagreed during a blindfold analysis session)

    Analyze! Analyze! Analyze! That was the doctor’s motto, and his deeply ingrained habit of investigating every line was obviously unsuitable in rapid transit. – Arthur Dake (on Alekhine's relative weakness in rapid play)

    I learned a lot about how the world champion analyzed chess positions. Alekhine taught me to sit on my hands and not to play the first move that came to mind, no matter how good it looked. He examined everything, whipping through an astonishing number of variations. – Arnold Denker

    Alekhine's attacks came suddenly, like destructive thunderstorms that erupted from a clear sky. – Garry Kasparov

    I can comprehend Alekhine's combinations well enough; but where he gets his attacking chances from and how he infuses such life into the very opening - that is beyond me. – Rudolf Spielmann

    I can see the combinations as well as Alekhine, but I cannot get into the same positions. – Rudolf Spielmann

    Somehow the match will never take place. – Alexander Alekhine (on his avoidance of a rematch with Capablanca)

    It is bad to be a self-centered manipulative alcoholic liar who seduces women for their money. – Taylor Kingston (on Alekhine, of course)

    Alexander Alekhine may have been a drunk and anti-Semite, but he certainly had manners: he showed up for the last game of his losing match in 1935 wearing a tuxedo, and gave his "Hurrah to the new World Champion! – Alex Yermolinsky

    Alekhine grew out of the combination. He is in love with it. Everything strategic is only a preperation for him, almost a neccessary evil. The stunning blow, the unexpected thrust - this is his element... His imagination catches fire in the attack on the king. - Emanuel Lasker

    Alekhine evidently possesses the most remarkable chess memory that has ever existed. It is said that he remembers by heart all the games played by the leading masters during the past 15-20 years. - Jose Raul Capablanca

    Alekhine is dear to the chess world, mainly as an artist. Typical of him are deep plans, far-sighted calculation and inexhaustible imagination. However, his main strength, which developed from year to year, was his combinative vision: he saw combinations with great ease and accuracy. For this reason Alekhine's combinations possessed such staggering, crushing force... Yes, this truly was an amazing gift! - Mikhail Botvinnik

    The name of Alekhine is illuminated by the brilliance of his chess combinations. Alekhine possessed an exceptionally rich chess imagination, and his skill in creating combinativ ve complications is incomparable. it should be mentioned that Alekhine had a mastery of technique, and his striving for combinations was not an end to itself, but stemmed logically from the demands of the position. - Vasily Smyslov

    In Alekhine we are captivated by his exceptional combinative talent and his whole-hearted love for chess. - Mikhail Tal

    I consider Alexander Alekhine to be a very great player. Possibly, because for me and for many he remains an enigma. He considered that chess was closest to an art, and he was able to demonstrate this with his optimistic, eternally youthful play. - Boris Spassky

    Alekhine is a player I've never really understood; yet, strangely, if you've seen one Alekhine game you've seen them all. He always wanted a superior center; he maneuvered his pieces towards the King's-side, and around the twenty-fifth move began to mate his opponent. – Robert Fischer

    Alekhine has never been a hero of mine, and I've never cared for his style of play. There is nothing light or breezy about it; it worked for him, but it could scarcely work for anybody else. - Robert Fischer

    His conceptions were gigantic, full of outrageous and unprecedented ideas. It's hard to find mistakes in his games, but in a sense his whole method was a mistake. – Robert Fischer (on Alekhine)

    He had great imagination; he could see more deeply into a situation than any other player in chess history... Many consider Alekhine a great opening theoretician, but I don't think he was. He played book lines, but didn't know them very well. He always felt that his natural powers would get him out of any dilemma. - Robert Fischer

    The next (after Steinitz) changes were outlined by Alekhine, but applied and developed by Botvnnik - the scientific approach to chess... Alekhine worked a great deal at home. He won a number of well-known games, by right from the opening holding his opponent in a vice prepared at home. And his grip was strong: after seizing his victim, he would no longer release him. - Anatoly Karpov

    In contrast to Fischer with his propensity for clarity, and to Karpov who grew up on Capablanca's games, from my early years I was enormously influenced by Alekhine's play and won over by his unprecedented feat in the 1927 match. I admired the refinement of his ideas, and I tried as far as possible to imitate his furious attacking style, with its sudden and thunderous sacrifices. - Garry Kasparov

    Alekhine definitely was a workaholic. He had a strategic talent and was the first player who had a conscious feel for dynamics. - Vladimir Kramnik

    Fortune favors the bold, especially when they are Alekhine. – Lodewijk Prins

    His fantastic combinative vision was based on a sound positional foundation, and was the fruit of strong, energetic strategy. Therefore Alekhine can safely be called the pioneer of the universal style of play, based on a close interweaving of stategic and tactical motifs. - Garry Kasparov

    120 games, 1907-1943

  14. Application of Chess Theory (Geller)
    'The Application of Chess Theory' by Efim Geller. Translated by Kenneth Neat.
    First English edition.
    100 games, 1946-1982

  15. Art of Positional Play (Reshevsky)
    'The Art of Positional Play' by Samuel Reshevsky. New edition.
    Revised by Burt Hochberg.
    60 games, 1966-1973

  16. Art of the Middle Game (Keres/Kotov)
    'The Art of the Middle Game' by Paul Keres and Alexander Kotov. Translated and edited by Harry Golombek.
    46 games, 1914-1961

  17. AVRO 1938
    NOTE : This collection has now been superceded by AVRO (1938)

    In November 1938 a Dutch radio company AVRO (Algemeene Vereeniging voor Radio Omroep) organized and sponsored what was up to that time the strongest tournament ever held. AVRO (literally the General Association for Radio Broadcasting) brought together the World Champion and every one of his major challengers. It ran from the 6th of November to the 27th of November 1938 with the players based in Amsterdam and each successive round played in a different Dutch town. This tournament schedule proved to be tough for the older competitors and Capablanca and Alyekhin did not fare as well as might have been expected. In the end Keres and Fine finished in joint first place with Keres declared the winner as a result of a better tie-break score.



    1. Keres * * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 2. Fine 0 ½ * * 1 ½ 1 1 1 0 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 3. Botvinnik ½ ½ 0 ½ * * 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 4. Alyekhin ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ * * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5. Euwe ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ * * 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 6. Reshevsky 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * * ½ ½ 1 ½ 7. Capablanca 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ * * 1 ½ 8. Flohr ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * *]table


    56 games, 1938

  18. Bobby Fischer Rediscovered (Andy Soltis)
    Games featured in the above book.
    97 games, 1956-1992

  19. Botvinnik vs the World Champions Decisive Games
    The Romance of the Chess World Championship Match and the World Champions that won them:

    There can only be Two.

    The Champion to hold the Title he beat all the masters for.

    The Challenger on quest for same Title of yore.

    Mikhail Botvinnik

    The Challenger on the same quest for the same Title of yore.

    Botvinnik beat Lasker 1 to 0, with 3 draws

    Botvinnik tied Capablanca 1 to 1, with 5 draws

    Botvinnik beat Alekhine 1 to 0, with 2 draws

    Botvinnik tied Euwe 2 to 2, with 8 draws

    Botvinnik beat Smyslov 29 to 24, with 53 draws

    Botvinnik tied Tal 12 to 12, with 20 draws

    Petrosian beat Botvinnik 7 to 4, with 21 draws

    Botvinnik beat Spassky 1 to 0, with 8 draws

    Botvinnik tied Fischer 0 to 0, with 1 draw

    68 games, 1934-1966

  20. BOTVINNIK"S BEST GAMES VOL 1: 1925-1941
    Games taken from 3 vol set by M.M.Botvinnik
    101 games, 1925-1941

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