Download PDF by Mikhail M. Botvinnik: 15 Games & Their Stories

By Mikhail M. Botvinnik

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Ra2-a3 42 With the obvious intention of winning the a-pawn after 43 . . Ra8 ! White therefore has no choice . 43 a+as •••• But now it would seem that the game is over, for something like 43 . . Bg2 44 b6 ! Bfl 45 b7 ! Bxd 3 46 Ra8 ! leaves Black helpless ; if necessary, White's king can shelt er from the checks at h4. And 43 Ra8 44 Rxa8 + Bxa8 4S Nc4 is bad too. ••. However, Black happens to have an interesting counterplan, which leads to a draw by force. 58 43 g7-gS ! •. This move (and just this move, not all those which followed) was the fruit of home analysis; the only move Black had really analyzed very carefully was 42 aS.

44 Kd3·e 3 1 After 44 Kxc3 , Black could still play for the win, in view o f the fact that the White king is cut off from the kingside pawns. Rd8-d4 ... Rd4xe4+ Rc2xc3 Ke 3·f3 Re4xh4 Rc3·c6 The final finesse. 47 Rc S + 1<06 48 RaS Rc4 may also possibly lead to a 44 45 46 47 . draw, but White would have had a number of difficult decisions to make. Rh4-f4+ 47 .... Black cannot defend the g·pawn : 47 . . KfS 48 RcS+ Ke6 49 Rc6+, and White either checks or attacks the g-pawn forever. Rf4-e4+ KeS·fS Kf5xgS Draw agreed.

The only drawback to this method is, however, a significant one: it gives Black. an easy game ! d7-dS 2 d2-d4 3 f2·f3 While the reply 3 . e6 had not yet been introduced into tournament play at that time, it did have its supporters. The proper plan fo r Black - 3 . . e6, followed by Qb6 and c6-cS - appears to have been a suggestion of Maka­ gonov's (we attained the Master rank together, at the V USSR Cliampionship in 1 92 7 ) ; after it was introduced, the variation practically disappeared. What makes this plan attractive here is that, thanks to the weakening move f2-f3, Black need not fear the isolation of his central d-pawn.

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15 Games & Their Stories by Mikhail M. Botvinnik


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