Mikhail Botvinnik was born exactly 100 years ago today, on August 17, 1911. There are quite a few events this year to celebrate this. I probably studied more Botvinnik’s games than the games of any other chess player, so recently I also made a series of videos for my youtube channel to share some of the lessons I learned from his books – you can watch them below.
The themes that percolate through Botvinnik’s 3 volume collection of best games are very wide spread, but the following immediately come to mind:
- creating and exploiting weak squares in opponent’s position
- the importance of correctly evaluating exchanging of pieces
- fight for initiative in the opening from the very first moves, both with White and Black
- deep preparation of home-made opening systems
- playing training games to study typical positions
- learning from the analysis of your own games, and applying those ideas in future games
- psychology of chess as a sport
- professional attitude to chess preparation and competitions
- impact of chess on personality and vice versa
- good understanding of weaknesses and strengths of your opponents
The list could go on and on. My blog also has a series of posts about Botvinnik.