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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Mikhail Tal
Botvinnik - Tal World Championship Match (1960), Moscow URS, rd 18, Apr-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Accelerated (E24)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-12-04  refutor: Tal comments that Botwinnik should have accepted the draw after 48.Rxe4+. does anyone with a tablebase know if it possible for White to win in this position? It looks like a draw to me :)
Jun-12-04  acirce: It is a draw even without the pawn. However, that is not completely elementary to hold, as Judit Polgar vs Kasparov, 1996 shows.
Sep-25-06  slomarko: or Kamsky vs Bacrot
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Tal had played 7..d6 in game #16. Botvinnik played 9 c5 to get rid of his doubled pawns. Tal captured away from the center with 10..cxb so he could play on the c-file; particularly the c4 square. Tal did not like the position that would have arisen after 12..Ba6 13 Bxa6..Nxa6 14 Qd3..Qb7 15 0-0 so he played 12..Ne8 instead targeting c4. He spent 36 minutes on this move and called it "the most difficult move in the match". 16 Qb3 would have maintained a more complex position which might have better suited Botvinnik's match situation (down 5-2). Tal could have played 18..Nxc4 instead but felt that his bishop would have been weaker than the White knight in the resulting endgame. Botvinnik offered a draw after 25 Rxc8; Tal could not explain why he turned it down. After 26..Nc4? (26..Ra8 was better) Tal had to fight for a draw. After the second mistake, 29..g5?, Tal's situation was even worse as he had to worry about the mating threat Rg7+ and Rf7. In time pressure Botvinnik missed 37 d5 which would have given him very good winning chances after 37..Rb6 38 Kd3..Nd6 39 Rxa3. After Tal eliminated the White pawns there were no serious winning chances remaining.

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