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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Arturo Pomar Salamanca
Munich Olympiad Final-A (1958), Munich FRG, rd 6, Oct-17
Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack (B14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: 32...Be6? a very natural looking error that allows White to force the queens off and establish doubled rooks on the seventh. 32...Qc8 was correct.

50...Rhg6? giving up the h pawn appears to be the losing move. Better to protect everything and try to hold on.

Dec-02-08  Hesam7: <This last move was sealed at the adjournment. The impression is that White should win easily: his rooks have complete control of the seventh rank, whereas Black's rooks are tied down. One of them has to keep watch on the h-file, guarding the h7 pawn, while the other has to safeguard the king against mate on the back rank. In addition the e6 pawn is weak.

However, analysis showed that in the event of passive defence by Black (...Rf8-f6-f8-f6) it is not so easy for White to strengthen his position. The whole problem is that the white pawns cannot advance. It is true that, as soon as the analysis of the adjourned position began, Flohr suggested immediately sacrificing a pawn, by answering 41...Rff6 with 42 g4 Rxf3 43 Kg2 Rf8 44 Kg3 followed by Rg7+ and g4-g5, but it soon transpired that with 43...Rhf6! 44 Rg7+ Kf8 45 Rxh7 Rf7! Black can defend successfully.

Closer to midnight I found something approaching zugzwang, but my analysis companions Keres, Kotov and Flohr quickly dispelled all my illusions. When it became clear that, with the four rooks on the board, White could not achieve anything real, positions with one pair of rooks were studied. It was only around four o'clock in the morning that I finally 'suspected' that one of these positions was won. An hour later everything had become 'clear', and I was able to go off to sleep, but a consultation with Flohr was set for seven o'clock in the morning... The analysis was approved, and all that we had to decide was the practical aspect: how to conduct the resumption psychologically, in order to win in the most certain way this point that was so important for the team?

It was decided to divide the resumption into three stages: 1) mark time initially, so that the opponent should gain the impression that no winning plan had been found; 2) then imperceptibly try to create a position of fictitious zugzwang, and finally, if nothing positive was achieved, then 3) as if despairing of success, exchange one pair of rooks and switch to the real plan. Such tactics would cause Black the maximum disorientation, and a mistake on his part was probable.> - Botvinnik's Best Games, Vol. 3 1957-1960, p. 78.


Dec-02-08  ughaibu: Great post, thanks.
Dec-13-08  Rubenchik: OlĂ© Botvinnik!
Jul-06-09  Sebas88: Very nice game and comments.
Jul-06-09  WhiteRook48: 2. e4! is a clever transposition
Aug-04-16  mandor: Nice game, but with logical finish. Meanwhile Botvinnik analysts where struggling into the position during the night, the "poor spanish postman" (no analists for him, and not supported by his government), was having an unsleeping night trying to find some defense..). Exhausted, he made their final errors.
Aug-04-16  morfishine: The ultimate instructive game. It seemed or seems that Black could've held easily at a number of points


Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: In retrospect, the anti-blockade 25. ... d4! seems best for black. Strategically, it activates the bishop. Tactically, there is 26. Rc2 Bc4 27. Qxd4 Bxe2 28. Qxc5 Rxc5 29. Rxe2 R/rxbe with equality.

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