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Pal Benko vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Monte Carlo (1968), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 6, Apr-08
English Opening: Great Snake Variation (A10)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-12-05  KingG: According to Bill Hartston in 'Teach Yourself Better Chess'(not a bad little book by the way), Botvinnik explained the 5 stages of his winning strategy as follows(starting from the position after White's 13th move).

<(1) Exchange pawns immediately on e4 in order to ensure that White recaptures with the pawn rather than the bishop(since 13...fxe4 14.Bxe4 Nf5 favours Black).

(2) Exchange light-squared bishops with Bh3, to eliminate a defender of e4.

(3) Play exf4, forcing the recapture with the g-pawn.

(4) Attack the e-pawn with Re8.

(5) Meet Ng3(defending the pawn) with h5 and h4, when the weakness of the e-pawn and white king must prove decisive.>

And then at the end he adds: <And if White had played 14.Bxe4, or 16.cxd6, or 18.Bxf4, or 19.Nbc3 instead of the moves in the game? Well then, of course, Black would have followed a totally different plan and written an equally lucid, but totally different note to the position in the diagram(after White's 13th move).>

Dec-12-05  Goran: Thank you for posting these comments. Very useful.
Jan-30-06  refutor: <anenglishman> where do you think white went wrong? as early as f4?
Feb-26-10  echector: Refutor, f4 is completely correct. Both sides played brilliantly except for white's inaccuracy on move 19,(Nec3 would have been better) and the blunder Rf4?. Until then, it was a sharp, roughly equal position.
Feb-26-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: i once had the chance to emulate botvinniks play in this line and i followed his recipe to the letter --see the game <andriessen v keene dutch league 1979> in this database-however andriessen played in my opinion better than benko and better than botvinniks indicated plans-in fact i won from a worse position when white blundered having previously played very well indeed-its worth taking a look.
Feb-27-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Link: W Andriessen vs Keene, 1979

<GM Keene> you can add the link to the game simply by copying and then pasting the http address of the target game in your browser's window onto the Comment box.

Aug-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Rather than Benko's 12.Rae1, Andriessen played 12.f4 fxe4 13.dxe4 Raf8 14.Rf2 Nc8 15.Raf1 Bh3 16.Bxh3 Qxh3 17.f5 gxf5 18.exf5 Rxf5 19.Nxc7 Rxf2 20.Rxf2 Rxf2 21.Bxf2 Qd7 22.Nd5 with advantage. Unfortunately, he hallucinated and hung a knight (29.Nf4?? exf4 0-1) seven moves later.
Aug-27-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Immediate 20.f5 seems to be much stronger reply to Botvinnik's 19...h5. Of course, 20...h4 21.fxg6 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 hxg3 23.Qe2 with a threat Qh5 is hardly a viable option for black here.

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