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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Mikhail Tal
Botvinnik - Tal World Championship Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 4, Mar-22
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E27)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-12-03  bunti: This is the fourth game of 1960 World Championship with Tal winning the first game and drawing the next two. By the end of the opening in this game, Botvinnik succeded in moving his pawn to e4 and Tal controled the c file. On 20th move Tal makes questionable move by moving knight to h5 where it is taken out of the game. After Botvinnik begins moving his game out Tal is able to bring knight back into game. Tal writes that instead of 30. Ke2 white should have played f4 with the following possible variation: 30... g6 31. fxg5 Rxb5 32. Nxb5 Ke6 33. Nxa7Kxe5 34. Nc8 where he says white will win the knight endgame. Even after 30. Ke2, Botvinikk still had a slight positional advantage but squandered it away with his two rook moves of 32. Rb1 and 34. Rb4. The game then fizzles out to a draw.
Sep-14-03  drukenknight: does Tal discuss: 37 Rh7+?
Sep-14-03  Sylvester: This game is not in Tal's book. I don't have Tal-Botvinnik, 1960. That may change on my birthday.
Sep-14-03  bunti: <does Tal discuss: 37 Rh7+?> He claims that because of the threat of Rc3+ the move he made was forced.
Sep-18-03  drukenknight: I just not sure where black is going to put his K after Rh7+

I have the 1960 book, perhaps I'll look it up, or maybe bunti just did?

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Botvinnik usually played 4 e3. The Samisch must have been prepared for the match. Rather than playing for a middle game initiative with 17 Ra2 followed by transferring the rook to the f file Botvinnik allowed an endgame where he had a slight advantage. After 20..Nd7 white white would have had rge better endgame with good winning chances. Botvinnik avoided the knight exchange with 21 Ne2 as the rook endings offered few winning chances. He hoped that he could prove the knight on h5 to be misplaced. Tal felt that after 24..Rxc1+ exchanging both pair of rooks followed by 26..g6 and the transferring the knight to e6 he would have had an easy draw. After Botvinnik missed 30 f4! winning the g pawn (if 30..gxf 31 g4 wins the knight) the chances soon leveled and the draw was agreed.
Jul-11-09  WhiteRook48: Botvinnik must like to challenge the b4-bishop one or two moves right after 3...Bb4
Aug-26-11  talisman: <bunti> i don't know where you've gone but you need to come back! thanks for that first post.
Jun-06-14  zydeco: From Tal's book on the match:

8.....Bf5 is an improvement on Capablanca's line 8....c5 9.Bd3 b6 10.Ne2 Ba6, which led to a famous win for Botvinnik in 1938.

There are various complicated ideas for a piece sacrifice if white plays g4 on moves 9 or 10 and black answers with .....Nxg4.

13.Ra2 is sharper than 13.Re1. Tal liked his position after 13......Rc8 14.Re2 Qa5

White also had 14.e5 Nh7 15.f4 when Tal wanted to play 15.....f5.

Tal says that, paradoxically, is rook is better placed on c8 than c2 on move 18 (where it's out of reach of a potential Nf1-e3 maneuver), so he trades queens on d1.

Tal says that he actually saw 30.f4 and thought he would be alright with 30.....g6 31.fxg5 Rxb5 32.Nxb5 Ke6 33.Nxa7 Kxe5 but missed 34.Nc8

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