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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov
Smyslov - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1958), Moscow URS, rd 14, Apr-08
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Anglo-Grünfeld Variation (A16)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-18-06  paladin at large: Fine R+P endgame by Botvinnik. Smyslov may have had a reason for retaking with the king upon 36.....Kxf6, but Botvinnik gets his rook behind black's position and drives his advantage home.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: typo at move 68 eh
Jan-31-07  beatles fan: I love how Smylov played h4 on move 30, making a permanent weakness on h3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <beatles fan> I can not say for certain. But, to me, that <30...h4> seems more like the cause of Black troubles...
Apr-12-07  the grey sqaures: IMlday: typo at move 68 eh

no f4 is a great move that forces a win if 69 c8/Q Rxc8 70 kxc8 kxf2 71 Rg8+ Kf2 could draw but now after white queens and the black rook takes it the white rook can take the black h pawn and the black king cant stop the 2nd queen

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: <grey> Indeed, it's correct now, and very nice.
Apr-27-11  bronkenstein: 8. c4 (?! Botvinnik ; in his own words , connected with tactical blunder few moves later , after which black easily equalises ; In his oppinnion he should´ve waited with determining pawn structure in the center , just developing pieces normally for several more moves )

11. ...e5! ˝I considered this move impossible at this point , due to 12.Ba3 Re8 13. dxe5 Nxe5 ?? (Bb7! was simple intermediate which I missed ) 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Bc6 and black can resign ˝ Botvinnik ;

17. ...Re5 ˝And the game is equal , if not bit more pleasant for black due to better pawn structure˝;

26. Bb2!? ˝White is , of course , avoiding exchanges at this point since , with bishops on the board, black will bit harder access white weak pawns on c4 and a2˝

30. ...h4? ˝ ˝The origin of Smyslov´s trouble later on , and first mistake of his in the game he played excellently up to this point . He got carried away by the advantage he had , thinking that 31.g4! is impossible due to 31. ...fxg4 32.hxg4 and black passed h-pawn might become dangerous, but actually that pawn is easily blocked , while white would basically have 2 chained passed pawns in the center and probably decisive advantage˝ Botvinnik;

68. f4! ( ofc , not 68. c8Q?? RxQ 69.KxR K:f2=)

Apr-27-11  bronkenstein: PS
All the ´quotes´ are in fact paraphrases ˝by remembering˝ of the Botvinnik´s comments from ˝Half a century in chess˝ , ( his autobiography ) which I´ve read some time ago.

There is huge gap in the comments between moves 30th and 68th ; ofc Botvinnik analysed+commented key points of the rook endgame in detail , but these long variations are much harder to remember correctly than simple tactics and short remarks from the first part of the game , therefore I didn´t include any :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Terrific game here. Stockfish has 59 ...Re2 as the final losing move; oddly, the very similar looking Re1 draws.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the difference; I think the key difference is that from e1 the rook can protect the h pawn in the queening square after black takes the pawn on h3; with the rook on e2, it can't help the kingside since its blocked by the white pawn on c2.

I think so, tricky stuff.

Nov-03-19  Olavi: Botvinnik gives 59...Re1 as a draw, with 60.c5 Rb1+ 61.Ka6 Kxh3 62.Rf4 Rh1!
Mar-27-21  tbontb: 52....f4 is a doubtful try, Smyslov over-estimating his chances. Even worse, 56....b5 is a clear error (Kg2 limits White's advantage), allowing a quick win by 57.Ra6 bxc4 58.Rc6 c3+ 59.Kb5, though missed by Botvinnik. As noted above, 59....Re2 is the losing move but Botvinnik's drawing line 59....Re1, 60.c5 Rb1+ 61.Ka6 Kxh3 62.Rf4 Rh1 (Ra1+ indeed draws) fails to 63.c6 Kg2 64.Rc4 h3 65.c7 Ra1+ 66.Kb6 Ra8 67.Rh4 winning.

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