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Mark Taimanov vs Alexander Kotov
Zuerich Candidates (1953), Zuerich SUI, rd 26, Oct-17
Queen's Gambit Declined: Ragozin Defense (D38)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-02-04  vonKrolock: This game was decisive from Kotov’s point of vue: Winner of the 1952 Interzonal, he was improving considerably his score in the Candidates’ second half - unbeaten for seven Rounds before this 26th, whith victories against Smyslov and Reshevsky to accredit his performance… Perhaps his choice of a Defense here was unwise – as Bronstein remarked, “In Ragozin’s System (* Nc6 whith Pc7) the abstract concept of a White’s advantage adopts a concrete form” Taimanov conduction in all the game is praiseworthy; and when Black feels compelled to a shape whith his Pawns at white points, preceding an exchange BxN in ‘c5’, Kotov is positonally almost lost.

<38…Ra4> Comprehensible attempt to create some complications (39.Bh5 Rb4 etc), and naturally Taimanov’s next move ….

<39.Bd1> … is adorned, by Bronstein, whith two <!!> exclamation marks, and a laud address <”A brilliant reply”…> etc

<40.Ra1> <”White’s dreams comes true, the Rook pierce unto the eight file, provoking disorder and perplexity”> (**quick indirect translation – from Spanish “El Ajedrez de Torneo” by D. Bronstein

Nov-06-13  zydeco: If 26....c5 27.Nb2! and 27....c4? 28.Nxc4 dxc4 29.Bxc4 Nd5 30.Bxd5 Qxd5 31.Rxc7.

If 27...c5 then 28.b5 (or maybe 28.Nxb6) c4 29.Rxc4

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: A modern example of the same system: Carlsen vs Aronian, 2015
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 10 Be2 was a new move; 10 a3 and 10 Bb5 had been played previously. 20..c5 21 dxc..Bxa4 22 cxd..Qxd6 23 Bb5..Bxb5 24 Qxb5 followed by Nd4 would have been strong for White. The idea behind 24 Re1 was to play e4 which provoked Black to weaken his kingside with 24..f5?; better would have been 24..Qf6 or 24..Re8 as White's threat was not really dangerous. 26..c5? 27 27 Nb2..c4 28 Nxc4..dxc 29 Bxc4..Nd5 30 Bxd5 followed by Rxc7 would have been decisive for White.

After 34 moves White had a clear positional with a weak black bishop blocked by his own pawns and a powerful White knight on e5. Bronstein (and his co-author Vainstein) pointed out that White's plan with 35 h4? and 37 f4? left him with no realistic winning chances (Giddins:"White was misled by the temtation to place his kingside pawns on dark squares, thereby emphasizing the apparent superiority of his bishop over the enemy's, but at the same time depriving himself of the necessary lever to open up the position"). Insteasd, Bronstein recommended either h3,Kh2,Rg1 and g4 or Q moves, f3 and e4.

However Kotov, apparently influenced by his need to play for a win, erred with 38..Ra4? and after the subtle 39 Bd1! was in deep trouble; better would have been 38..Kh7 with a likely draw. Black clearly missed 40 Ra1! decisively gaining control of the a-file. 40..Bf7 41 Ra7..Rb1 42 Qg5!..Rxd1+ 43 Kh2..Kf8 44 Qh6+ would have been winning for White.

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