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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 10, Apr-06
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Alekhine Defense (D22)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-25-06  paladin at large: Pretty finish by Smyslov. 9. b4 seems to have put a crimp in White's queenside development, gaining time for Black. 6. Qb3 did not seem worth the weakening of White's kingside.
Apr-08-08  Knight13: But missing ...Nxe5 and ....Nf2 is the major part of why White lost. He was doing OK before the roof fell.
Apr-21-08  headache: What happens after 38.Rxc8+ Nxc8?
Apr-01-10  ThreeLions545: Nothing much, black has two passed pawns and should win fairly easily.
Feb-05-11  talisman: 24...♘ x e5!!
Premium Chessgames Member

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In game 4, Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1954, Botvinnik had now played 10. Nd2. In this game he played 10. f3-f4 with the idea of Bf3. But he was worried about White's lack of development, which was why he avoided 13. e4 0-0 14. e5.
After 20...Kh8,

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White definitely has an advantage. He now played 21. Be2, and Botvinnik says this "loses all the fruits of his play hitherto."

Stockfish 8 evaluates thus:
1. (1.15): 21.h3 Bxe5 22.dxe5 Rb7 23.Rg1
2. (0.97): 21.Rg1
3. (0.77): 21.Be2 Bxe5 22.dxe5 N8d7
4. (0.74): 21.Ke2 Qh5+ 22.f3 f5.

Furman thought that 21. Bd2 was best, so the White's queen can go to g3. Stockfish gives that a lowly 0.58.

Botvinnik himself, with the serenity of a valley girl at a Givenchy sale, had his own idea. He said that 21. Nf3 was the best move.

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"Black wold have had to reply 21...Qh6, after which 22. Ng5 is very strong, since on 22...Qh4 white does not repeat the position by 23. Nf3 <but sacrifices a piece!>"

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23.e5 Be7
24. Nxf7+ Rxf7
25. Qxe6 ...

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Now SF8 thinks that
25...Rxf4 is dead level:
26. Bxf4 Qxf4
27. O-O, but Botvinnik says that it is "in White's favour."

Botvinnik's alternative for Black, after 25. Qxe6, is the inferior 25... Rf8 26. d5 Rb7 27. Rg1, "Black has a difficult position". SF8 agrees: +1.58.

Jan-25-19  ndg2: Botvinnik was prone to rather obvious tactical oversights more than most other champs. But even without the tactical blow 24..Nxe5 it's not clear what he wanted to achieve with 24.Bd2. Probably relocating his queen to g3? 24.Qc2 comes to mind as an alternative.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: White's center looked imposing after 17 e4 but he had many weaknesses. 20 0-0-0 was suggested as an improvement connecting the rooks. 23 Bb5!? looks suspect; 23 Bf3 followed by Ke2 or 23 0-0..g5 24 fxg..Qxe4 25 f4 followed by Bf3 were suggested as alternatives. 30 Rhd1 would have put up a bit more resistance but would not have altered the final result.

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