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Viktor Korchnoi vs Mikhail Botvinnik
USSR Championship (1952), Moscow URS, rd 11, Dec-15
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation (A15)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-19-08  offramp: Botvinnik won this USSR Ch. He tied for first then won the tie-break match against Taimanov. Kortschnoi was 21 and this was his first meeting with Botvinnik. He must have come away quite ecstatic because Botvinnik misses three or four wins.

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29...d3 looks like a good move.

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If Black had played 34...Bxe4 I can't see how Kortschnoi could have avoided a loss.

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Finally 37...Rh8 seems to trap the bishop.

Jan-03-13  bobbylee: In "Chess is My Life" Korchnoi admits frankly that Botvinnik "outplayed me by all the rules. But at the time I did not know the rules."
Jun-27-15  zydeco: <offramp> After 34....Bxe4 white can defend with 35.Qxe4 Qg3+ 36.Bg2 and then 36.....Nxg2 runs into 37.Nh5+! gxh5 38.Rxg2.

Black can instead play 36....Ng4 and this gets into a complicated position where I have no faith in my own ability to calculate accurately. I think the best is 37.Rf3 Qh2+ 38.Kf1 Bxf4 39.Qxd4+ Be5 40.Qxg4 and black is up the exchange and a pawn and should win, but there are lots of other possibilities in this line (39.Qxe8, etc).

If 37....Rh8 white defends the bishop with 38.Rh2, although you could totally be right that it's a better line than what Botvinnik chose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "

According to Korchnoi himself, he achieved this success not thanks to his understanding of the game, but thanks to intensive work at the board: 'I would be outplayed, but I would resist tenaciously, and since grandmasters are ordinary people (they also become tired, make mistakes, and get into timetrouble), I was quite often able to emerge unscathed.

<In this tournament I played for the first time against world champion Botvinnik, and although the game ended in a draw, during analysis I realised how far I was from genuine chess wisdom.> I ascertained that I had an insufficiently deep understanding of chess strategy. In addition, I didn't like and didn't know how to attack; defence was my natural element. This one-sided strategy was often exploited by my opponents ... I realised that I had to diversify my style: to be able to attack and to fight for the initiative.'


Kasparov MGP V

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