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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov
Sverdlovsk (1943), Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg) URS , rd 12, May-??
Three Knights Opening: General (C46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White methodically creates Pawn weaknesses to his opponent and then exploits them. Very simple and straightforward game.
Jul-31-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: After 12.O-O-O white has better position. The way BOTWINNIK expand his position and leaves no good reply to Smyslov is amazzing. The final: captures the necessary P, and advance to pormotion. Nothing more simple.
Nov-09-09  Plato: Yes, this game is vintage Botvinnik. Straightforward, logical chess throughout. From simple positions with a small advantage, Botvinnik had superb endgame technique. I think he Botvinnik is underrated as an endgame player. He actually won the majority of endgames from his games with Smyslov (often regarded as one of the greatest endgame players of all time), and they played a few dozen close endgames against each other.
Nov-16-09  Dredge Rivers: Apparently, they didn't have anything more important to do in the USSR in 1943!
Oct-06-13  Naniwazu: Hard to believe Black is Vasily Smyslov who's considered one of the greatest endgame players of all time. Here Botvinnik just crushes him. Too many pawn weaknesses
May-23-18  tigreton: About the endgame, I must desagree. In pure Capablanca style, Botvinnik doesn't actually win the ending, but he reaches a won one. That's to say, his merit is to control and simplify the middlegame in a way that assures him an easily winable endgame, with a lot of advantages, mainly very weak black pawns and a strong knight against bishop. After 17. Qg5! Black has nothing to do. Take note how Botvinnik forces the exchanges favourable to him (Nxf6, Qg5, Rg8) and avoid others (21. ef5!, because the natural 21. Nd2 would have allowed 21 ... fe4 22. Nxe4 Bf5 exchanging the bishop for the knight).
May-23-18  Howard: Regarding Dredge Rivers' comment, not "everyone" was involved in WWII--not even in the Soviet Union. Plus, the tournament site here was at least 1,000 miles to the east of Moscow--far, far from enemy lines.

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