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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Toivo Salo
Amsterdam Olympiad qual-1 (1954), Amsterdam NED, rd 1, Sep-04
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Classical Fianchetto (E67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-03-13  BattleSquare: Fantastic end !!
Sep-03-13  ughaibu: Another game Najdorf must have been unaware of.
Feb-09-19  sakredkow: Why does white play 23. a4 (instead of the immediate 23. Nxe6 for example)?
Feb-09-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <sakred> There's nothing wrong with 23.Nxe6 fxe6 24.e5 Nd5 25.Bxd5 exd5 26.Rxd5, which wins a pawn....but Botvinnik is hoping to keep the bishop pair, so he plays a4 first to soften up the Black Q-side a little.

Had Black played 24...fxe6 Botvinnik would probably have reconciled himself to e5 and BxNd5 anyway. But it works out even better for him, as in the game line 25...Nd5 is not possible.

Feb-09-19  sakredkow: Thanks Retireborn. I guess I just wasn't seeing how 23. a4 loosens up or softens up the queenside at first and I couldn't understand why. But I see it now - black's queenside majority looks weaker after 23. a4 b4. The c6 pawn isn't able to work with the other pawns. And then the tactics flowing from the position, such as your line, settle everything in any case. Thanks for your help.

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