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Wolfgang Unzicker vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Amsterdam Olympiad Final-A (1954), Amsterdam NED, rd 9, Sep-22
French Defense: Winawer. Retreat Variation Armenian Line (C18)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-29-12  whiteshark: No comments yet?

Arpad Földeak* wrote in his book on rook endgames** that this game is the most famous one of the postwar era.

*Walter Arpad Foldeak ** Turmendspiele in Schachpartien, 1976

Mar-17-12  wordfunph: excerpt from The Psychology of Chess by Hartston & Wason, as recounted by Botvinnik..

<A dramatic situation arose in my game with Unzicker. An opening experiment in the French Defence led to a lost position. The whole game I hung on by my finger tips. We adjourned in a rook endgame in which, according to the general opinion of experts, it was time to resign.>

Jul-29-17  RandomVisitor: 61.e5 looks winning for white
Jul-29-17  john barleycorn: Botviinik called this one of the most difficult games he ever played and says:

<with 61.Re8+ Unzicker missed the win a second time. 61.e5 would be winning>

Jul-29-17  RandomVisitor: 53...Ra1 might hold for a draw.

42.g4! appears to have no defense that holds.

Jul-29-17  RandomVisitor: After 41...Kc8

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <1 hour computer time>

<+12.74/44 42.g4 Kd8 43.Rf7> Rg5 44.f3 Rc5+ 45.Kd2 Rb5 46.h4 Rb2+ 47.Ke1 Rh2 48.h5 f5 49.Rh7 Ke8 50.g5 Kf8 51.h6 Rh1+ 52.Kf2 f4 53.Rd7 Rh2+ 54.Ke1 Rh1+ 55.Ke2 Rh2+ 56.Kd1 Kg8 57.Rxd4 e5 58.Rd8+ Kf7 59.Rd7+ Ke6 60.Rg7 Kd6 61.h7 Kd5 62.Ke1 Kd4 63.g6 Ke3 64.Kd1 Rh6 65.Rg8 Rh1+ 66.Kc2 Rh2+ 67.Kb3 Rd2 68.h8Q Kf2 69.Qxe5 Rxd3+ 70.Kc2 Ra3 71.Qxf4 Re3 72.Rd8 Ra3 73.Rd2+ Kf1

Jul-29-17  RandomVisitor: 50.h5 wins.

In fact, after 41.Rxh7 it might even be time to resign:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <3.25 hours computer time>

<+9.47/51 41...Rg5 42.g3 Rc5+ 43.Kd1 Kc8 44.g4> Kd8 45.Rf7 Rc3 46.Kd2 Rb3 47.h4 Rb2+ 48.Ke1 Ke8 49.Rxf6 Ke7 50.Rf4 Ke8 51.h5 Ke7 52.Rxd4 Ra2 53.f3 Rh2 54.Re4 Rg2 55.Re2 Rg1+ 56.Kf2 Rd1 57.Ke3 Rh1 58.Kd4 Kd6 59.Ra2 Ke7 60.Ra5 Kd6 61.Ra4 Rh2 62.Ra6+ Ke7 63.Ke5 Re2+ 64.Kf4 Rh2 65.Ke3 Rh3 66.Ra4 Kd8 67.Ra7 Kc8 68.Kf4 Rh2 69.Rh7 Rd2 70.Re7 Rxd3 71.Rxe6 Ra3 72.Rf6 Ra4+ 73.Kf5 Kb7 74.h6 Ra5+ 75.Ke4 Ra2

Jul-31-17  RandomVisitor: After 9.Nf3 the computer 'thinks' black has equalized:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17061704_x64_modern: <24 hours computer time>

<-0.08/53 9...Ne7 10.a4 Nbc6 11.Bd3 Kg8> 12.0-0 Ng6 13.Re1 Qxa5 14.Ba3 h5 15.Qg5 Qxa4 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Qxg6 Bd7 18.Bd6 Qf4 19.Qd3 Qc4 20.Qxc4 dxc4 21.Reb1 Nd8 22.Nd4 a5 23.Ra3 a4 24.Rxc3 Nf7 25.Rxc4 Nxd6 26.exd6 Ra6 27.Rc7 Rxd6 28.Rbxb7 Be8 29.Re7 Rxd4 30.Rxe8+ Kh7 31.Rxh8+ Kxh8 32.Kf1 Re4 33.Ra7 Kh7 34.c3 Rc4 35.h3 Kg6 36.Ke2 Rxc3 37.Rxa4 Kf6 38.Rf4+ Kg5 39.Rf3 Rc2+ 40.Kd3 Rc7 41.Rf8

0.00/53 9...Nc6 10.a4 Nge7 11.Bd3 Qxa5 12.0-0 h5 13.Qf4 Qb4 14.Qg5 Qg4 15.Qe3 Nf5 16.Bxf5 exf5 17.Qxc3 Kg8 18.a5 Qc4 19.Qxc4 dxc4 20.Rd1 Be6 21.Ng5 a6 22.f4 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Be3 Bc8 25.Ra4 Be6 26.Ra1

0.00/53 9...Qxa5 10.Bd3 Ne7 11.a4 Nbc6 12.0-0 h6 13.Ba3 Kg8 14.Rfb1 Nf5 15.Qf4 Qc7 16.h4 f6 17.Re1 g5 18.Qh2 g4 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.exf6 Qxh2+ 21.Kxh2 Kf7 22.Ne5+ Nxe5 23.Rxe5 Kxf6 24.Rae1 Bd7 25.Be7+ Kg6 26.h5+ Kxh5 27.Rxd5 Bxa4 28.Rxf5+ Kg6 29.Rf6+ Kh7 30.Rf7+ Kg6 31.Rf6+

Jan-27-22  Albertan: Unzicker could have won this game.See the analysis at:

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