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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 23, May-11
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Perhaps best is 23...Qd5 24.Nd6 Qxg2+ 25.Kxg2 b6 26.R1e4 Rad8 and perhaps a draw.

Why not 24...Rd5 25.Nxb7 Rc8 (not 25...Rb8? 26.Nxc5 Rxc5 27.Rxc6 Qe2 28.Rxc5 Qxe1+ 29.Qf1 Qd2 30.Qc4 Rxb2 31.Rc5+ Kg7 32.Qg5+ Kh6 33.Qf8+ Kh5 34.Rc5+ Kh4 35.Qf6+ g5 36.Rc4+ Kh5 37.Qf7+ Kh6 38.Rc6+ and mates) 26.c4 Re5 27.R1xe5 Nxe5 28.Rxe5 Qd1+ 29.Qf1 Qg4+ and Black should draw.

Perhaps 25...Rc8 26.Nxc5 Qf5 27.Nd7 Qf4 28.Rf6 Qd2+ 29.Qxf3 Qxe1 30.Kg2 Qe7 31.Rxc6 Qxd7 32.Qf6+ Kg8 33.Qe6+ Qxe6 34.Rxe6 Kf7 35.Re4 Rc7.

If 26.Rxc6, perhaps Rxf2 27.Qxf2 Rxf2 28.Re8+ Kg7 29.Kxf2 Qf5+ 30.Ke1 Qb1+ draws.

Perhaps 26...Qd2 27.Re8 Qxf2+ 28.Qxf2 Rxf2 29.b3 Rf1+ 30.Rxf1 Rxe8 31.Rf7 Re8 32.Kf2 Re5 33.b4 Rf5+ 34.Rxf5 gxf5 35.Ne6 Kg8 36.b5 Ne7 37.Nd4 Kf7.

Not 27.Rxc6 Rxf2 28.Qg3 Rf1+ 29.Kg2 Qd5+ 30.Re4 Qxc6 and Black should be winning.

If 27...Rxe8, perhaps 28.Rxe8+ Kg7 29.Ne6+ Kh6 30.h4 Qb1+ 31.Kh2 Qf5 32.Qg5+ Qxg5 33.hxg5 Kh5 34.Kg2 Rf7 35.Kg2 and White should be winning.

After 28.Rxf8+, if 28...Qxf8 29.Ne6 Qf6 30.Ng5 Rf5 (30...Rf4 31.Qd5+ Kh8 32.Re8+ Kg7 33.Ne6+ and 34.Nxf4) 31.Re8+ Kg7 32.Ne6+ and 33.Qxc6 wins. Better seems to be 28...Kxf8 29.Ne6+ Kg8 30.Ng5 Rd3 31.Qxc6 Qxg5+ 32.Kf1 Rd8 33.Qe6+ Kf8 34.Re3 Qxd5 35.Qxd5 Rxd5 36.Ke2 and White should win this endgame.

Aug-28-11  whiteshark: <24...Rf3> looks like the decisive mistake here. Better would have been <24...Rf4 25.Nxb7 Raf8>

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ith a only marginal better position for White.

Jul-23-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1954.
Your score: 56 (par = 40)


Jul-05-13  talisman: <whiteshark> right..."simply overlooked white's 27th move." -Botvinnik.
Sep-12-13  zydeco: Very characteristic for both players. Smyslov plays a closed, careful opening (KIA/Closed French setup). Botvinnik takes the first opportunity to sharpen the game: 9....f5!? to exploit white's anodyne 9.a4. Botvinnik plays heavily with pawns: ....d5, ....f4, and creates a string of brutal, direct threats (19....Nf5 with the idea that white can't take on d5 because of ....Qg5+). Smyslov plays with pieces and moves like a dancer to cover his position (20.Bg2!) and exploit black's light-square weaknesses (10.Qb3, 17.Re6, 21.Qd5). He wins in 28 moves while having barely created a direct threat all game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 9 a4, which was a new move, indicated that Smyslov was in no hurry to commit to an early d4. 9..f5!? was a surprisingly aggressive and risky play given that Botvinnik was protecting a one point lead in the match with two games to play; 9..e5 would have been more solid. Smyslov's routine moves 12 Re1 and 13 Nf1 allowed Black unexpected counterplay rewarding Botvinnik's risky opening play. Black thought that Black would have remained better had he played 18..c4! 19 Qb5..a6 20 Qc5..b6 21 Qa3..Bxd2 22 Nxd2..Nf5 23 Rxc6..Qg5+ 24 Kh1..Qxd2.
Mar-06-23  Ninas Husband: This win tied the match at 11.5 all, with one game to go.

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