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Lajos Portisch vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Hoogovens (1969), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-28
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian Variation (D96)  ·  1/2-1/2



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find similar games 3 more Portisch/Botvinnik games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Interesting -- Botvinnik gets a horrible position out of the opening with a stranded knight on b6, much as Black did in this early Botvinnik classic!

Botvinnik vs M Yudovich Sr., 1933

Amazing Botvinnik was able to get a draw here -- surely Portisch should have won the ending.

Dec-27-12  jerseybob: Keypusher: 71.Nxb6 may not have been best. The knight at the moment may still be worth keeping. 71.Bd5, with Ne5-f7 as one possibility might be worth a try.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This game is something of a psychological puzzle--Botvinnik voluntarily took on a strategically inferior position in a line well known to him. No doubt he feared Portisch's opening erudition, but this seems a strange way to counter it.

Black's fifth move was often played through the 1960s, then all but disappeared until being resuscitated in the 1990s.

Apr-22-23  SChesshevsky: <perfidious: This game is something of a psychological puzzle--Botvinnik voluntarily took on a strategically inferior position in a line well known to him.>

So true. In my own Gruenfeld's ...c6 never worked out well.

In going over Botvinniks games, especially some against Petrosian, it felt that he wanted to prove that he was as positionally crafty as Petrosian by trying to play like him. Much, maybe most, of the time he just had troubles.

Possibly, in addition to dodging Portisch's opening knowledge, Botvinnik wanted to show he could counter Portisch "Petrosian style". Given Petrosian apparently didn't like facing Portisch. Per book "Petrosian's Legacy".

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