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David Bronstein vs Mikhail Botvinnik
USSR Championship (1951), Moscow URS, rd 5, Nov-19
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Ekstrom Variation (D44)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I played this line on FICS tonight except my game it went

17. Ne4 c5? 18. Nf6+! 1-0

I lose a piece in all variations there (Threats on b7, and Rd7, and Qg4+ are too much to stop.) OK, so 17...c5 was not a very good move. But what else?? I rejected 18...Rad8 because 19.Ne6 looks so strong.

Could it be that Bronstein could have won the game easily after 17.Ne4! or is there a defense that I'm missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: paging refutor - D44 alert
Nov-26-02  drukenknight: isnt there a Reshevsky game that goes 11 Ne4? I think I've seen those two knights hitting the Q in this before.
Nov-26-02  PVS: Maybe I am losing my mind, but I do not recognize this game. Is it from the 1951 world championship match? Which game?
Nov-27-02  drukenknight: it appears to be from the Russian championship, from the title of the game score in the window above.
Nov-27-02  PVS: Of course! The so-called 25th game of the championship match. Thank you, I must be getting old. For some reason I have not been able to get past move 46 to see how it ended and how many moves there are.
Premium Chessgames Member <For some reason I have not been able to get past move 46> Try again, it should work now.
Nov-10-04  immortal loss: what's wrong with Bronstein 42.Rd6 rather than Qg1+? if ...Bf8 43.Rf6+ Kf6 44.Qf8 Rf8 45.d8=Q Rd8 46.Rd8 ---I'm sure I'm missing something there
Nov-10-04  clapperrail: <immortal loss> Your move 46.Rd8 is impossible. White does not have a rook at that point. The rook was taken on move 43.
Nov-10-04  who: <Sneaky> what about 17...f5. Fritz suggests 17...h3 18.Bxh3 c5 19.Bg2 Bxe4 20.Bxe4 Rad8 (-0.31)
Nov-10-04  Kean: I got the impression Bronstein thought that he would slaugther all center and k-side pawns, as he actually did, and then with his g and h-pawns attacking and the dangerously advanced e-pawn he would have a very good shot. Still whites KB as always is a good defender-attacker and then MB cinically uses the white g-pawn as a shield.
Nov-10-04  Saruman: Maybe 16.Ne4 is strong if -0-0 17.gxh4 with a automatic attack on the g-file. 16.-Bxe5 17.Qh5 and I think white has the initiative here.
Dec-18-09  Breyannis Nektarios: A very complex line indeed!
Aug-12-12  DrGridlock: <Sneaky>

Viktor Moskalenko analyzes this game in, "Revolutionize Your Chess." Moskalenko notes after white's 17 Rd6 -

"It is never too late to double rooks. The most logical manoeuvre (after f2-f4), 17 Ne4!, also merits further investigation: 17 ... Rad8 18 Nd6.

The knight on d6 controls the entire black army!"

Moskalenko then gives two games, Gheorghiu - Georgescu 1981 where black continued 18 Ba8, and Lacrosse-Serrano 2004 where black continued 18 ... h3. The second continuation - 18 ... h3 - seems to be the better option for black.

I'll try to post some computer analyses from this game, noting Moskalenko's caution, "In the Botvinnik system, it is advisable to use computer analysis only with great care, as the machine tends to make wrong evaluations and misses the truth in 50% of all cases."

Aug-13-12  DrGridlock: According to Komodo, <Sneaky> has the right idea in responding to 17 Ne4 with c5, however he just needs to find a tempo so that Nf6+ does not uncover an attack on the bishop on b7.

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

17.Ne4 h3 18.Bxh3 c5 19.Bg2 Bxe4 20.Bxe4 Rad8 21.Rxd8 Qxd8 22.Kb1 Qc7 23.h4 Rd8 24.Qe3 a6 25.Rc1 Qb6 26.Qe2 Rd4 27.Qf3 Qc7 28.Bc2 Rd8 29.Rd1 Rxd1+ 30.Qxd1 Qc6 31.Qd6 ³ (-0.32) Depth: 23 00:08:49 135908kN

Remembering that black is two pawns up in the position one way to do this is for black to give back a pawn to gain a tempo getting the bishop off of the h1-a8 diagonal.

In the Ne4/h3 variation, Komodo finds black up -.31, so it's a position that still favors black, but Ne4 is White's best try at move 17.

Jul-15-13  Everett: Seems both 16.Ne4 and 16. Rd6 are worth a look as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: 40...Be3 destroys black position, leading to the loss of a rook if not mate.

(From The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book)

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: 40...Be3 is winning for Black.
Jul-10-22  cehertan:

click for larger view

Even here after 21..Qb6 white had the promising 22.d7 Rd8 23.f5! and if 23..exf5? 24.Nd6! with a winning attack. The quality I have grown to admire most in a chess player is fighting spirit, and Bronstein had it in spades. Players who avoid almost all risk are a dime a dozen, and even the strong ones produce heaps of forgettable chess.

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