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Kazimierz Plater vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Moscow (1947), Moscow URS, rd 6, Dec-03
Sicilian Defense: Chameleon (B20)  ·  0-1



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Given 22 times; par: 128 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-09-06  Knight13: Botvinnik's masterpiece of Bishop vs Knight, exploiting the weaknesses of the queenside pawn structure.
Feb-04-07  morphyvsfischer: 6 d4 gives Black a lot of problems. The move chosen gives an easy game. 10 Bf4 equalizes. 11 a3 is necessary.

36...Rxe3 37 Kxe3 Bxg2 38 Na4 Kd6 39 Nxb6 Kc5 wins faster.

Jul-22-10  Jim Bartle: According to Kotov in Think LIke a Grandmaster, Botvinnik said this game was strategically won after 20 moves, and that "for Rubinstein...the win would now be a matter of technique."
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Jim Bartle: According to Kotov in Think LIke a Grandmaster, Botvinnik said this game was strategically won after 20 moves, and that "for Rubinstein...the win would now be a matter of technique.">

Botvinnik, on the other hand, could simply order his opponent to lose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Plater, although unknown to me prior to encountering this game (famous for its minor piece ending), was apparently no slouch. His bio page (Kazimierz Plater) indicates he was three-time Polish Champion. More impressively, his record against Isaac Boleslavsky was 2.5/3, notwithstanding that he only had the White pieces in one of those games:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This game is analyzed as Game #14 in the recently-published book, <The Greatest Ever chess endgames> (<sic>), by Giddins, Steve, Everyman Chess ©2012, at pp. 65-67. I highly recommend this book, both for its selection of games and its very instructive analysis and commentary.

Giddins’s commentary on <41. … g6> (bringing about the position in the diagram below)

click for larger view

is one instance in which he might have been a bit more expansive. He mentions that the move controls the f5-square (preparing … e5 without allowing Nf5 in reply) and then says: “<Naturally, there can be no question of White entering the king and pawn ending, because Black will simply win the queenside pawns with … Kc5-b4.>” (Op. cit., p. 66)

The king and pawn ending would, of course, be winning for Black, but it is not quite as simple as the foregoing statement implies. White can get his King to c2 in time to hold the Q-side pawns after <42.Nxc6 Kxc6 43.Ke3 Kc5 44.Kd3 Kb4 45.Kc2>, resulting in this position:

click for larger view

From this position, Black wins easily by continuing <45. … e5>, and the White King must either let the Black e-pawn run through to promotion or abandon the Q-side pawns.

After <42.Nxc6 Kxc6>, White can actually put up much tougher resistance with <43.b4> (rather than <43. Ke3>), creating blockage on the Q-side dark squares (and possibly deserving to be annotated “!”, although the defense remains ultimately futile).

In this line, Black wins from the resulting position:

click for larger view

as follows: <43.b4 axb4 44.Ke3 Kc5 45.b3>

(or <45.Kd3 e5 46.fxe5> (Hopeless is <46.g3 b3!> (zugzwang) <47.fxe5 (or 47.Kc3 e4 48.Kxb3 e3 49.Kc3 e2 50.Kd2 Kxc4 51.Kxe2 Kb3–+) 47...fxe5 48.Ke4 Kxc4 49.Kxe5 Kd3 50.Kf6 Kc2 51.Kxg6 Kxb2 52.Kxh5 Kc2> and Black's passer is much faster.] <46...fxe5 47.b3 Kd6 48.Ke3 Ke6 49.Ke4 Kf6 50.Ke3 Kf5 51.Kf3 e4+ 52.Ke3 Ke5 53.Ke2 Kd4>, etc.)

<45...e5 46.g3> (or <46.fxe5 fxe5 47.Ke4 Kd6 48.Kf3 Ke6 49.Ke4 Kf6 50.Ke3 Kf5 51.Kf3 e4+ 52.Ke3 Ke5 53.Ke2 Kf4 54.Kf2 e3+ 55.Ke2 Ke4 56.Ke1 Kd3>, etc.) <46...Kd6 47.Kf3 (or 47.Ke4 Ke6 48.Ke3 Kf5 49.Kf3 g5> –+) <47...Ke6 48.Ke4 f5+ 49.Kd3 e4+ 50.Ke2 Kd6 51.Kd2 Kc5 52.Ke3 b5 53.cxb5 Kxb5 54.Kd2 Kc5 55.Ke3 (or 55.Ke2 Kd4 56.Kd2 e3+ 57.Ke2 Ke4 58.Ke1 Kd3 59.Kd1 Kc3–+) 55...Kd5 56.Ke2 Kd4 57.Kd2 e3+ 58.Ke2 Ke4 59.Ke1 Kd3 60.Kd1 Kc3> –+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Looking over what I just posted, in the analysis presented beneath the third (and last) diagram, on move 44 (for both sides) the push to b3 is worth considering (<i.e.>, either <44. b3> or <44. … b3>). Either possibility would transpose to other variations that are given in my previous post (which I think are correct).

Bottom line, the King and pawn ending (if White had exchanged the last pair of minors at move 42) would have been < >, but not quite as simply as the comment from Giddins (as quoted in previous post) implies.

Apr-21-13  DrGridlock: Kotov refers to this game in his "Positional Judgment" section of "Think Like a Grandmaster." After black's move 20, Kotov quotes Botvinnik, "Everything is now clarified. Black has firm control of the queen file, and his bishop will be superior to the White knight (after the inevitable NxB by Black) especially in view of the weakness in the pawn structure of White's king side." Kotov adds, "This is the assessment of a champion. The possession of the queen file is sufficient for Botvinnik to force a win in a position which looks almost equal." Komodo finds a different story of the position.

click for larger view

1. = (-0.14): 21.Bc2 Rd2 22.Rc1 Nc4 23.Re4 Rad8 24.a4 Ba6 25.b3 Nb2 26.Re3 Nd3 27.Rxd3 Bxd3 28.Nxd3 R2xd3 29.Bxd3 Rxd3 30.Kf2 Rd2+ 31.Kf3 f6 32.Re1 Kf7 33.c4 a5 34.Re2 Rd1 35.Re3 h5 36.h4 Rd2

White need not ("inevitably") exchange his bishop for Black's knight. In fact, retaining the bishop is the key to what is essentially a level position.

The game continuation, 21 Ne4, created an adavantage for Black, which was increased after White allowed the exchange on b3.

Credit some inexact play by white - 21 Ne4 and 24 h3 - for Black's advantage, not some deep positional strength in Black's control of the d-file after move 20.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Peligroso Patzer> The king and pawn ending would, of course, be winning for Black, but it is not quite as simple as the foregoing statement implies.

<Peligroso Patzer> Thank you for that excellent extra analysis.

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