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Samuel Reshevsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Cold War" (game of the day Nov-05-2011)
URS-USA (1955), Moscow URS, rd 1, Jun-29
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Stahlberg Variation (D49)  ·  1-0



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Samuel Reshevsky vs Mikhail Botvinnik (1955) Cold War

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-05-10  ewan14: Did Sam not qualify from the 1967 interzonal ?
Jan-05-10  Petrosianic: He did. Played Korchnoi in the quarterfinals for his first ever match loss, at age 59.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A photo of this game can be seen here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Nice photos. Are you referencing old issues of Life magazine, through google?
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <HeMateMe>Nice photos. Are you referencing old issues of Life magazine, through google?

Yes I am. There is some very interesting stuff on chess in google books.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: At some point the copyright on Fischer's "M6OMG" will expire, no more royalties for the estate of BF. I wonder if his heirs will be screaming that its a conspiracy of Karpov, Campomanes, Jewish people and the USCF that his efforts go unrewarded?
Nov-05-11  sevenseaman: What gusto! Chess needs to be played with this kind of verve and abandon. "Cold War"? Hmm!
Nov-05-11  AnalyzeThis: Reshevsky was a fighter. Not the strongest player ever 9although certainly a super GM). The man came to fight, and beat some of the very best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: OK, 43. b3 Nb2+. Let's try 44. Ke2. Then 42...Kxb8 43. bxc4 Nxc4 44. a6 f5. Now what?

How does this game end?

Nov-05-11  BenRees: 42. Rb3 is the winning move

42. b3 doesn't go anywhere

Premium Chessgames Member
  watwinc: I recall reading somewhere that Botvinnik noted after this that he needed to work on one-move combinations.
Nov-05-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<watwinc>

that struck a bell. Botvinnik actually said: <It shows I need to perfect my play of two-move variations.>

Quoted in the book, p.6, <the Inner Game of Chess> by Andrew Soltis. It's an interesting discussion; Soltis looks at the claim that one should see many moves ahead in calculation and argues two-move lines are more common because they improve the position and add up.

Nov-05-11  knighterrant999: <GrahamClayton> Fascinating link!
Nov-05-11  kevin86: I like how white wandered out with the king and then wandered back to e1-lol
Nov-05-11  Everett: <In his book "Great Chess Upsets"> Well, this is not that great of an upset, if at all. Just two years ago Reshevsky put pressure on the whole Soviet chess culture by coming in 2nd at Zurich.

<chancho: Which opponent did Botvinnik play in a championship match that did not participate in a qualifier? No one.> Which is exactly why Kasparov blew it. I don't care the legalities of it. He's the King, he took responsibility, and he didn't make it happen.

Nov-05-11  knighterrant999: Just looking at the name placards, is the Russian "C" equivalent to both the letters "S" and "U" in English?
Nov-05-11  Everett: <SimonWebbsTiger: @<watwinc>

that struck a bell. Botvinnik actually said: <It shows I need to perfect my play of two-move variations.>

Quoted in the book, p.6, <the Inner Game of Chess> by Andrew Soltis. It's an interesting discussion; Soltis looks at the claim that one should see many moves ahead in calculation and argues two-move lines are more common because they improve the position and add up.>

Botvinnik criticized Bronstein's chess as "scheming... only two to three move operations."

Kramnik praises Karpov for extreme accuracy of short lines.

I think there is something to this, that in fact pattern-recognition and chunking of moves works on the planning level as well, not just the tactical level. It may sound strange, but players as disparate as Bronstein and Karpov may calculate and intuit similarly on at the board, though the former was looking for flexibility, dynamism and attacks while the latter focused on steady pressure with no counter-chances.

Perhaps it is this lack of grand-planning that Botvinnik noted in early Karpov's play, and dismissed his talent. And perhaps this is the root of Spassky's inability to understand Karpov's chess: everyone was looking for grand plans or "what he wanted," yet Karpov simply wanted to slowly improve his position. Players were looking for something that simply wasn't there.

Nov-05-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<knighterrant999>

The "c" in Cyrillic does approximate to "s", although you will note the "w" shaped letter in the photo which is a "sh" sound.

As another example, Kasparov looks like "Kacnapob".

The Soviet Union was abbreviated SSSR and not USSR in Russian, i.e. <Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik> when written in Latin letters.

It's actually quite helpful to learn the Cyrillic letters because one can pick up some information from Russian sources with that little bit of Russian.

Nov-05-11  Jason Frost: <SimonWebbsTiger> True, although also of note is that the Russian R looks like a P, which is the reason behind "clever" English speaking people referring to ussr as sssp or ussp. Of course, the abbreviation CCCP directly translates to USSR in English (but sounds like 'es-es-es-er').
Nov-06-11  SimonWebbsTiger: Apopos learning a smattering of Russian.

The great American chess enthusiast Hanon Russell speaks Russian - he regularly translates material for e.g. chesscafe - and has written a nice guide in elementary Russian for chess players.

Something else of use is the <Sahovski Informator> symbol language. The key gives an explanation in many languages. Knowing Cyrillic, rudimentary grammar and a few stock phrases will help with Russian websites and books!

Premium Chessgames Member <<offramp> <In a review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur of "Mikhail Botvinnik: 6th World Champion" Chess Assistant CD by Khalifman and Soloviev, Havanur says that <in this position, after 29.a5 <diagram> "Here Botvinnik played 29... R8c6? enabling Reshevsky to slip out with 30. Ke2! Rd6 31. Ke1! Instead he could have played 29...e5! gaining advantage in every variation. After 30.Rxd5+?? Ke6! White loses the exchange. Any other rook move by White would enable Black to play 30...R8c6 and ...Rd6 weaving a mating net. This possibility discovered by Max Euwe and analysed in Schach Echo has not been noticed by the CD Editors.">

I can't see it! 29... e5 30. Rxd5+ Ke6 31.Rb5 Rd8+ 32. Ke3 Rdxd2 33. Rxb3 seems to lead to only a draw.>

Offramp was correct, and this has been noted by Prof. Nagash Havanur who writes:

<Dear Editor,

One of your readers has pointed out the following error in my analysis of Reshevesky-Botviinik 1955 Botvinnik played 29... R8c6. Instead he should have played 29...e5 according to Max Euwe. If 30.Rxd5 Ke6 as stated by the former world champion. But as your reader rightly mentioned, 29... e5 30. Rxd5+ Ke6 31.Rb5 Rd8+ 32. Ke3 Rdxd2 33. Rxb3 only leads to a draw. I shall ask the Convekta Editors to make the necessary change in my article. I would like to thank your alert reader for bring it public notice.

Yours sincerely,
Prof. Nagesh Havanur>

Good work offramp.

Premium Chessgames Member
  naisortep: The Sports Illustrated article that discusses this game:

Jan-11-13  leka: Bobby Fischer in 1964 wrote that S.Reshevsky was the best chee player from 1946 to 1956.Botvinnik beat Reshevsky from 1936 to 1955 5 wins 7 draws 2 losess
Jan-11-13  leka: The correct spelling.Fischer wrote that Reshevsky the best chess player from 1946 to 1956
Feb-29-16  luftforlife: FIDE Master Macon Shibut has made a convincing case, based on his solid research, sound reasoning, insightful chess analysis, weighing of historical considerations, and presentation of compelling circumstantial evidence, that this game is the basis for the fictional June 1954 "Champion of Moscow" final-round victory won by defending champion (and SMERSH operative) Kronsteen over Georgian champion Makharov in Ian Fleming's James Bond thriller From Russia With Love.

See analysis of Macon Shibut, featuring his translations of excerpts of game annotations by Mikhail Botvinnik, reprinted in John Griswold, Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies (Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse 2006), at 201-03.

Here's a link:

Best to all. ~ lufty

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