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Mikhail Botvinnik vs David Bronstein
Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 5, Mar-25
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bishop Attack (E47)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: great! It´s true that M.Botvinnik and D. Bronstein were not friends ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <jaime gallegos: great! It´s true that M.Botvinnik and D. Bronstein were not friends ?> You are a master of gentle understatement, <jaime>. Botvinning hated Bronstein with passion. So much so that I am always reminded of an ancient wisdom: <People never forgive those they harmed.>
Aug-12-04  fred lennox: 11.b4 Botvinnik pondered this move for 52 min. He decided to take firmer hold of the center with his Pawns, thinking quite rightly, that he could repluse White's tactical threats on the K-side without losses. - Kotov 12.g3 is risky but Botvinnik fiqured out how to defend it.
May-28-05  Tabula Rasa: 30...Kh8!! Moving the King - sneaky way of preventing a threat.

Blacks forward double d-pawn seems destined to be lost. Because if 30...Nxa3 white can achieve approximate equality with 31.Nxd5 Nxd5 32.Bxd5+ Bxd5 33.Ne7+! Kf7 34. Nxd5. White is now threatening 35.Ra1 35.Nb6 35.Nc7 and 35.Rf1+ and hence wins back the pawn easily.

However Bronstein has a very sneaky way of preventing the threat to his d-pawn with 30. Kh8!! Now if 31. Nxd5? Nxd5 32. Bxd5 Bxd5 33. Rxd5 g6 34. Ne7 Ne3!, and now white has to choose between losing his rook or King.

Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: March 25, 1951

Botvinnik's journal entry before the start of the game:

"The main things:

1) time;

2) aim for technique - in a superior position(?);

3) calculate without fear - he is bound to go wrong (isn't he rather weak as a tactician?).

Endeavour by the 30th move to have a half hour advantage and to stir up trouble in a superior position. Let's go!"

Sep-21-06  Resignation Trap: Botvinnik's lamentably ironic comment after this loss:

"It all turned out the other way round. But, in general, it all turned out correctly, apart from time, strength and the result. It was he who won - with an attack on the king.

Flohr 1935 + Romanovsky?"

Apr-30-07  Anyi: What's wrong with 30. Ne7+ threatening the pawn on d5?
Mar-23-08  Knight13: <Anyi: What's wrong with 30. Ne7+ threatening the pawn on d5?> White still needs to play Rd1 in order to win/threaten that pawn, so 30. Ne7+ doesn't do anything except that it places the knight on a worse square than before. Botvinnik's move 30. Rd1 places the rook on a better square and threatens 30. Ne7+ at that point. Your suggestion is a bit too hasty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  nasmichael: Having played "Guess-the-move" with this game (and making par, thank you) I can really appreciate the time taken to play a game like this one; concentration (and a desire to walk around) develops the muscles. I missed some points, and after playing the mistakes (and afterwards kicking myself) helps me to see what the continuations might be. I like the opportunity to set up a board and test my understanding of the thinking that went into the game.

Reading <Aug 12-04 Fred Lennox> comment that 11.b4 Botvinnik pondered a move for 52 minutes. Wow. The ability to hold one's concentration for such a time is something that should be emphasized to young players. Is there a record of the complete time "pace" used in this match? I know Bronstein gave much value to the "rhythm" of the game, in the sense of fleshing out the mindset of the players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Forget the pawn!! White will be mated next move!!!
Mar-29-10  Ulhumbrus: 23 d5 may free Black's game by opening the e file and conceding the e5 square to Black's Knights. After 23 Qd2 White appears to have the better of it.
Apr-06-10  PinnedPiece: Score 57 par 62
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Bronstein turns his LSB into a tall pawn to solidify his q-side position, then changes gears to bring the king's head on a platter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: After 7..Bb7 the game had transposed into what is called the Keres Variation. This line was first played in Alatortsev-Chekover 1932 Leningrad Ch but this game was the first where it was played at the top levels. Botvinnik used 52 minutes on 11 b4 which proved significant as he was later in bad time trouble when the game was on the line. 12 Re1 would have been good for Black as after 12..Bxf3 13 Qxf3..Qxh2+ 14 Kf1..f5 the rook is poisoned: 15 Qxa8?..Nc6 16 Qb7..Nxd4 and mates. 13 Nc3 was an improvement on 13 Ne1 as played in Alatortsev-Lisitin 1937 USSR Ch. 20 Na4 would have been more accurate; instead after Botvinnik's 20 Rc1?..Rae8 21 Na4..b5 had he played 22 Nb6 Bronstein could have responded with 22..d5. 24 fxg? weakened the e3 square; 24 hxg would have been more solid. Bronstein had been planning to respond to 25 Nxd5 with the sharp 25..Qc6 but this would have backfired after 26 Ne7+..Rxe7 27 Rxe7..Ng5 28 Qb3+..Kh8 29 Qc3..Qh6 30 h4!. After 30 Ne7+ or 30 Nxd5 the game would have ended in a draw; instead Botvinnik's 30 Rd1?! underestimated a tactical finesse highlighted by Bronstein's clever 30..Kh8!. Now taking the pawn would have lost after 31 Nxd5?..Bxd5 32 Bxd5..Nxd5 33 Rxd5..g6 winning the knight because of the response 34..Ne3 if the knight moves. Mednis recommended 31 a4 offering better drawing chances. Again, the blockading 32 Nd4 may have been a better defense.
Mar-14-15  Brown: In many queen's pawn systems where Black fianchettos his DSB, the c6 square is exploited by the White pieces, oft-times a night. Many a classic win by White have this feature.

In this one, Black leaves his d-pawn on the home rank, so c6 is always covered despite the fianchetto. Perhaps this disoriented White a bit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Fantasia :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Resignation Trap: Botvinnik's lamentably ironic comment after this loss:

"It all turned out the other way round. But, in general, it all turned out correctly, apart from time, strength and the result. It was he who won - with an attack on the king.

Flohr 1935 + Romanovsky?">

This is the game, which Botvinnik had in mind: Flohr vs P Romanovsky, 1935

Mar-31-16  ndg2: This is a strange game. After 22.Nb6 would white's position not be considerably better. That backward d pawn looks perennially awkward.
Jun-03-17  dashjon: Does anyone know the stem of the Botvinnik / Bronstein passionate hate? They only played twice before (from my Database)
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Who said there was a "passionate hate"?
Jul-06-22  cehertan: Botvinniks quote isnt he rather weak as a tactician..excuse me?? More like arguably the best in the world at that moment. Not very objective for a chess scientist like MB.

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