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Vasily Smyslov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1957), Moscow URS, rd 20, Apr-23
French Defense: Winawer. Classical Variation (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-14-03  drukenknight: these two play a nice Winawer. 17...e4 might have been interesting.

botwinnik breaks down his queen side pawn formation in the latter stages of the game. These pawns might have been able to hit the R and start gaining time/space.

Feb-20-03  drunknight II: winawer reprise. Had time to look over this game this week, I have been in pennsylvania w/ my wifes laptop. In this game white falls behind in material which is natural in the winawer but then he does nothing to correct this. He should try to attack to offset this.

anyhow 10 dxc5 just looks bad. How often do you see a well played game where the guy has tripled pawns? not often. so white gives up more connected pawns. here

It looks like white misses the main line w/ 8 Bb4+ Nc6 9 Bxc6 bxc6 10 Bf4 Na3 11 exf6 Nxg4 12 Bxc7 Nxf6 this restores the material balance quickly in the game. There are several transpositions here: e..g w/ 10 exf6 Nxf6 11 Bf4 Nxg4 etc. Basically the queens come off but white has broken blacks q side pawns so the pawn situation is equal.

Perhaps white was trying to avoid simplification at this pt, well it worked for him as it turned out!

Black is ahead in material most of the game but does not attempt to trade down. 17...Bxd3 is not exchanging, it is connected whites pawns for him! White was down by 3 pawns now he is down only 1. Thanks Botwinnik!

at the end, black plays 29...b6 to exploit the pawn that is defending the B. Trouble is that this will break up the pawns in the long term. Black seems to have played carelessly with the pawns all game, first he had the advantage in pawns but didnt try to exchange, now he freely breaks them up!

31....Rb7 would be better, I think this can hold things for the time being. stops the potential passed pawn and can be used to set up ...a6.

Feb-16-05  Republic of Texas: If I am not mistaken, this game was played on 23 April 1957, and for all practical purposes, transferred the title to Smyslov. Botvinnik realized the match was lost after this game. They played 2 more games, both very short draws. Final score: Smyslov +6 =13 -3. Botvinnik regained the title the following year in Moscow on 9 May.
Feb-05-06  Drudge: 3 stack wins! Anyone know any other 3 stack wins games? Post link if so!
Feb-06-06  norami: A few hours ago Karjakin had tripled pawns on the way to victory. A fourth enemy pawn was also on the file.
Feb-16-06  who: While I might not agree with DKs counting tripled pawns as if they didn't exist I do agree that 17...Bxd3 seems like a mistake.
Sep-18-06  WhoKeres: This game is one of the few times Botvinnik's home opening preparation (7...f6 was a novelty at the time of the game) failed him. In Kotov's book The Soviet School of Chess he praises Smyslov's 10 dxc5 as virtually the winning move, as black's pawn center is immobile and the tripled pawns cramp black's game.
Sep-22-06  slomarko: in my opinion 17...Bd3 is correct. the mistake is 19...Qc7 where 19...e4 should have been played.
Mar-21-08  Knight13: 23...Nf3+ 24. Kf2 does not help black.

7...f6 is better than ...f5 (played in another round) since it attacks the center, and that's what the French is supposed to do right?

Aug-06-09  drukenknight: on the contrary. 23..Nf3+ seems like the last best chance to get the game to equal..
Apr-24-11  bronkenstein: 10. d:c5 ! , the blasphemy!

Botvinnik probably didnĀ“t count that Smyslov ( known for his excellent positional playstyle ) will make such an antipositional move ... which is , paradoxically , deep positional in fact :)

Sep-19-13  zydeco: I'm really surprised by 16....Bf5 and 17....Bxd3, which wastes a tempo, straightens out white's pawns, removes one of black's potential attacking pieces, and eliminates any ideas based on .....e4. Why not 16....Be6? If 17.f4 e4. If 17.Qh4 h6.
Sep-19-13  zydeco: <drunken knight> <knight 13> 23.....Nf3+ 24.Kf2 Nxh2 looks like a very good try for black (threatening .....Ng4+). White seems to have simplified to a winning ending, though, with 24.gxf3 Rxe3 25.Kf2 R moves 26.Re1 and if black exchanges the king and pawn endgame looks hopeless; if black moves the rook, white gets an open file and plays Re5.

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