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Mark Taimanov vs Mikhail Botvinnik
9th Soviet Team-ch final A (1963), Moscow URS, rd 2, Aug-13
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Huebner Variation (E41)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-08-07  waddayaplay: The game is quiet until 24..c4! Now 25.bxc dxc 26.♗xc4 would be answered by 26..♖xc4! ♖xc4 ♗a6 and black is up a knight for two pawns. Taimanov tried instead 26.♗e4 but it leads at the least to the loss of a pawn and a sad position (26..♘xe4 27.fxe4 ♕xe4 and now e.g. 28.h3 ♗d5). 28.♖xc4 , as played, is even worse as it leads to the loss of a piece for a pawn.
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  Jonathan Sarfati: In Botvinnik's book of his best games 1947–1970, he annotates this. On move 10, says "Bravo, Mark!" for 10. b3, saying that he had prepared 8... ♕e7 for Petrosian - Botvinnik World Championship Match (1963).

He says he thought Petrosian with his penchant for exchanges would play the 10.dxc5 bxc5 11. ♘xc5 ♕xc5 12.b4 temporary sacrifice. Botvinnik had analysed this and gives the variation 12... ♗xf3 13. ♕xf3 ♕e5 14. bxa5 ♕xa1 15. ♕xa8 ♕c3 16. ♗e2 ♘c6, when he says "Black has the initiative".

During the post mortem, Petrosian asked Taimanov why he didn't play that 11. ♘xc5 line. Taimanov replied, "What do you mean? There is the unpleasant intermediate move 12... ♗xf3."

Strangely, he allowed this line playing white in the blindfold TV exhibition game Botvinnik vs Euwe, 1963 That leads me to believe that the latter game was prearranged.

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