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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vitaly Chekhover
11th USSR Championship Semifinal (1938), Leningrad URS, rd 4, May-23
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0



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Given 19 times; par: 70 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-04-03  rochade18: Botwinnik creates a doubled pawn in order to get the d-line and he doesn't give it up. Amazing.
Dec-22-05  fred lennox: 25.Qxe5 is a remarkable move. After the queen exchange Botvinnik sees a winning endgame. 27.Be4 this quiet move ensures this game, for me, as one of the finest of the decade. 27.Rxa7 is tempting and natural, but could lead to a draw by giving black a powerful passed c pawn. rxa7...nd6 28.Bd3...c4 29.bf1...nb5 30.ra6...rc8 31.rxb6...nxc3. In the game black gets his passed c pawn with the difference that white controls the d and e file.
Apr-27-06  acirce: The gamescore is wrong. Botvinnik says in "One Hundred Selected Games" (transcription into algebraic notation by me) < mistake this game was originally published with the move 12.Rfe1, 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" of 12.Rfe1, which was, fortunately, a blunder on the part of the reporter who transcribed the game.>

12.Rae1, 17.Rd1, 19.Rfd1 were the real moves and from there it's the correct position here.

And, yes, good game.

Sep-22-10  timothee3331: There is a funny little variation with 15...Re7 ? 16.Qxb7! Rxb7 17.Bxb7! and White has a clear advantage. Of course this variation makes no sense at all but could well serve as an independent exercise !
Nov-11-10  goldenbear: Botvinnik won more games with an invulnerable rook on d5...
Jul-31-11  PSC: Ivan Sokolov analysed this game, I've posted his annotations here:
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: 16. dxc5! - While 16. d5 keeps the White pawns together, the blocked position favours Black knight. After the exchange, White's bishop controls the long diagonal, and specifically the d5 square.
Nov-12-13  Paraconti: This are not the original moves. The game was only published and annotated by Botvinnik AFTER Chekhover's death, leading to rumors that the brilliancy at the end did not occur over the board but Chekhover had resigned earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Paraconti>
You probably mean this one? Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1935
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Paraconti: This are not the original moves. The game was only published and annotated by Botvinnik AFTER Chekhover's death, leading to rumors that the brilliancy at the end did not occur over the board but Chekhover had resigned earlier.>

Wrong game, as <beatgiant> pointed out. Why did you repost the nonsense that had been so patiently debunked on the game page anyway?

Aug-14-17  Toribio3: Very beautiful game executed by Botvinnik!
Aug-14-17  morfishine: <Toribio3> I agree with you, very good example of the depth of Botvinnik's thinking and calculation, which may from time-to-time be overlooked as being without "beauty" but in this, much beauty is evident, even if Botvinnik didn't intend that


Dec-22-17  vasja: The game score is incomplete, only till move 16. With Olga's help I added the rest:17. Rd1 Rad8 18. Rd5 b6 19. Rfd1 Na5 20. h3 Rxd5 21. Rxd5 Qe7 22. Bg4 Qb7 23. Bf5 Qb8 24. Rd7 Rd8 25. Qxe5 Nxc4 26. Qxb8 Rxb8 27. Be4 Na3 28. Bd5 Rf8 29. e4 a5 30. c4 b5 31. cxb5 Nxb5 32. e5 a4 33. f4 Nd4 34. Kf2 g5 35. g3 gxf4 36. gxf4 Ne6 37. Ke3 c4 38. f5 Nc5 39. Rc7 Nd3 40. e6 fxe6 41. fxe6
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Since SF had already had a gander at Botvinnik's other wreck-your-own-pawn-structure classics (Botvinnik vs Panov, 1939 and Botvinnik vs Kan, 1939) I decided to have it review this one too.

Unlike in the other two games, SF endorsed Botvinnik's counterintuitive capture (16.dxc5 +0.33, 56 ply, versus 16.Qb1, +0.13). But obviously the engine didn't think White had the game in the bag at that point.

Quite unfairly in my view, SF thinks 20.h3 more or less allowed Black to equalize after the mysterious 20....g6, and if 21.Qd3, 21....Nb7 22.Rd7 e4 23.Bxe4 Rxd7 24.Qxd7 Rxe4 25.Qxb7 Rxc4=. After 20.h4 g6, on the other hand, White can inflict further weaknesses with 21.h5.

Both sides missed all this, of course, and as per Botvinnik's notes, the fine 23.Bf5 solidified his advantage (23....g6? 24.Bxg6 fg 25.Qxg6+ followed by Rd6).

After 25.Qxe5 Nxc4 26.Qxb8 Rxb8, it's pretty much a dead heat for SF between 27.Rxa7 and 27.Be4, with a big advantage for White either way. I think Botvinnik's choice definitely made sense for him. It led to a classic ending with even material but where White's strong bishop and center pawn carried the day (cf. Botvinnik vs Tal, 1961). After 27.Be4 Na3? 28.Bd5 Rf8 29.e4 White was definitely winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <27.Rxa7 is tempting and natural, but could lead to a draw by giving black a powerful passed c pawn. rxa7...nd6 28.Bd3...c4 29.bf1...nb5 30.ra6...rc8 31.rxb6...nxc3. >

The engine finds a fascinating alternative to 31.Rxb6: 31.Ra4! and if 31....Nxc3? 32.Rxc4 leads to a pretty clearly won B v. N ending. Naturally the engine finds several other improvements in Botvinnik's line, which I won't bore people with.

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