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Alexander Tolush vs Mikhail Botvinnik
11th USSR Championship Semifinal (1938), Leningrad URS, rd 16, Jun-09
French Defense: Advance Variation. Nimzowitsch System (C02)  ·  0-1



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Given 24 times; par: 59 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-14-10  TheScroobiousPip: Seems like a premature resignation. Time?
Mar-15-10  iking: sort of . . . but white's knight is almost trapped . . . .
Mar-15-10  Boomie: <TheScroobiousPip: Seems like a premature resignation. Time?>

White's position is so bad that the best that Rybka could come up with here is Nxh4.

The problem is white has no good answer to h3. For example, 36. Qf2 h3 and the knight goes to e1 or f4. If 37. Nf4 Qe4 setting up mate threats.

35. Kf1 h4 36. Qf2 h3 37. Nf4 Qe4 38. Nh5

(38. Ne2 Bd2 39. Ng3 Qb1+ 40. Ke2 Qxb2)

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38...Bd2 is instructive. The engine "thinks" a knight sac at move 39 is better than this.

38...Be3 39. Ng3 Bxf2 40. Nxe4 dxe4 41. Kxf2 e3+ 42. Kxe3 g3 43.hxg3 h2

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You may have seen the "trick" 42...g3 43. hxg3 h2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Position after 13.Rac1:

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Botvinnik comes up with the clever 13...b5, and the threat of ...b4 induces 14.Bxb5 Nxe5 15.Bxd7 Nxd7, and Black has traded off his bad bishop while reducing White's attacking chances nearly to zero.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Later on 19.Ne1 is an error, instead of 19.Ne5 and Ndf3. I wonder if Tolush was trying to induce ...c5-c4 (to prevent Nd3-e5). If so, the plan didn't work out very well.

23.g3 Bxg3 loses for White on the spot, but he would have done better trying to hold on with 23.Nef3. In that case ...g5, before or after doubling on the b-file, is a good plan for Black.

Fine game by Botvinnik.

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