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Raymond Keene vs Mikhail Botvinnik
"Everybody Loves Raymond" (game of the day Sep-25-2004)
Hastings (1966/67), Hastings ENG, rd 3, Dec-30
Zukertort Opening: Kingside Fianchetto (A04)  ·  1-0



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Given 7 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [405 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-14-05  Koster: Classic example of a young player upsetting a more experienced one. Botvinnik outplays the younger Keene to get the advantage but in the last hour before time control it's the older player that tires and blunders. Generally when young players blunder it's nerves, with older players it's fatigue. I would never even consider offering a draw in Keene's position. It's not that I would reject the idea for any particular reason, it would never enter my mind to begin with.
Oct-14-05  Koster: Of course the British are much more sporting than point grubbing Americans.
Jan-23-07  ianD: An interesting game: white seems to be outplayed in the opening and yet finds a way to equalise before the former WC blunders a Rook.

Was this game a Classic game or part of a simul? Given Botbinik is black I suspect the former.

Well played. You defended well with the white pieces and you took your oportunty!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: ianD: it was a regular game. See Keene's notes.
Sep-01-07  notyetagm: Wow, 34 ... ♖c2x♘e2?? in really an incredible blunder for someone of Botvinnik's class to make.

After the blunder 34 ... ♖c2x♘e2??, Black has a <LOOSE> rook on e2 <DEFENDED> only by his e3-queen (a dreaded "loose piece defended only by other pieces"). That makes one tactical target. The exposed Black g8-king makes a second tactical target. Throw in the fact that both of these tactical targets can be reached from the g4-square, turning it into a tactical base, means that White can easily win material with the simple <FORK> 35 ♕h3-g4+!.

Botvinnik seemed to forget only for a momemnt that an exposed king is a =gigantic= tactical liability. This simple oversight cost him dearly.

Sep-22-07  King mega: O dear...
Dec-28-08  YoungEd: This is an interesting game, and one I enjoyed playing over. I like the annotations, too. But I don't understand why White (especially given the note on move 11) didn't exchange his a3 bishop for the enemy knight on b4. Wouldn't that have made things a bit easier?
Mar-17-09  Cibator: Karik: I remember a photo of Ray Keene taken during the game appearing in the following day's Daily Telegraph. But even it's survived somewhere I don't think it would be much use - if I recall correctly, Ray had his chin cupped in both hands, and the famous bow-tie was totally obscured!!
Mar-23-09  MaxxLange: <Count on it, the next day Botvinnik trained against someone wearing a bow tie!>

may be the single funniest comment I have seen in 4 years here

Mar-23-09  parisattack: Fantastic - a win over Botvinnik! I think his post-WC games were his best.

Didn't Botvinnik blunder a won game against Petrosian (White in an English) about this time?

Is the photo GM Keene referenced available on the Internet?

Mar-24-09  AnalyzeThis: I think the best thing about this game was the GM Keene defended resourcefully in a difficult position. Getting a win was a bonus.
May-27-09  WhiteRook48: funny annotation after 35 Qg4+
Dec-30-10  talisman: i would like to ask GM <Ray Keene> what does it feel like to beat Botvinnik? thanks in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Sportswriter Joe Posnanski wrote a very funny article on the worst sports endings of all time. This game reminded me of his ground rules for what makes a bad ending

<For an ending to be on the list, it needs to involve some horrible self-inflicted wound... The ending must inspire some feeling of sheepishness in the victor. Don't get me wrong: The feeling doesn't have to be remorse or even sympathy. But in the very least there has to be some kind of "I cannot believe that we got away with that," emotion.>

I think this is the chess equivalent of such a game.

Mar-10-11  mworld: Mr. Keene's annotations are so well written that they truly give us lesser players deeper insight into the mind of a GM.

Thank you Mr. Keene,


Sep-26-11  cocker: On the subject of British players beating ex-world champions, don't forget Martyn Corden's enterprising victory over Smyslov at Hastings 1969.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Very nice annotations by Keene. I enjoyed this.

Often the strong well-known player overextends himself when playing a weak player, and sometimes he even loses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: A silly personal anecdote. It happened during one of my first tournament games ever. I was playing in a open team tournament, and my team (composed of unknown beginners) had to play one of the top teams. My opponent was a well-known player, and he was busy making sure how much he despised me. After each one of my moves he meditated no more than a few seconds. I had seen a few games where Black attacked on the King side in the KID, so I used this plan, having no idea what to do after the first few moves.

After some 25 moves I had a nasty attack going on in the King side, with one of my Rooks dominating his second rank. But I still had no idea how to continue the attack when I noticed he had became very quiet. After some thinking he resigned, to my surprise and joy.

Sep-26-11  ughaibu: Have you still got the score?
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: I'll check, but I doubt it. I lost many of those old scores.
Sep-26-11  ughaibu: Okay. It'd be nice to see if you have it.
Sep-26-11  Shams: <I appeared for this game wearing a dinner-jacket and black elasticated bow tie, determined to perish in style. Photographs taken during the game later revealed that after Botvinnik's 26th move the elastic snapped, leaving my bow tie dangling at an absurd angle, a fact of which I was oblivious during the game.>

This is my new favorite first-move annotation.

Jun-03-13  Conrad93: I guess this means that Keene is at the same level as Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, Smyslov, and Petrosian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nice game. I didn't know that Ray Keene had a victory against M.B. on his resume. Just a touch of Ian Fleming adds to the recipe!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: 35.Qg4+

click for larger view

"At which point Botvinnik gasped, raised his hand to his forehead, and resigned."

One of the classic notes of all time.

We have all been there and had this Botvinnik moment.

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