An unexamined life is not worth living.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Botvinnik's Games Part 3 - Botvinnik - Ragozin, 1947

M. Botvinnik - Ragozin Viacheslav, 1947

M. Botvinnik - Ragozin Viacheslav [E40]

/Moscow Chigorin-mem 1947

In the several years between 1998 and 2001 I studied chess quite hard, and gained about 300 points (from 1950 to 2250) in my Canadian national rating. At some point my progress slowed down (stronger opponents were no longer blundering pawns to me!), so in addition to sharpening my tactics and openings, I was look for other ways to improve my understanding of the game. One of the things I did was study the games of strong players, and trace how they strive for on advantage with White in every game. My skill for opening preparation did not improve very much, but at least I enjoyed some of Botvinnik's games. Brief annotations below are from that era (roughly 2001).

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3

4... Qe7 Both players express their opening tastes in this game: Ragozin liked to play non-theoretical lines... 5. Nge2 and Botvinnik liked this system in Nimzo-Indian, the idea of which is to make sure that White avoids doubled pawns. 5... b6 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Nxc3 Bb7

8. d5 Also, Botvinnik liked to gain space. 8... d6 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O

11. e4 more space is gained, and now bishop on b7 is quite restricted. 11... exd5 12. exd5 Rfe8 13. Be3 a6

14. Qc2 Out of the opening White came out with more space and two bishops - a long term strategic advantage. Black's knights have no long-term outputs - since white can control e5 and c5 with his pawns. 14... Ne5 15. Rae1 Bc8 16. Bd4 Bd7

17. f4 The position of White's pieces is ideal, so White begins the pawn storm. 17... Ng6 18. g4! Suddenly, Black has no room for his pieces. 18... Qd8 19. g5 Ng4 20. Qd2 h6 21. f5 N6e5 22. h3

22... Nf6 23. gxf6 Qxf6 It is over now 24. Qf4 Re7 25. Kh1 c5 26. Bg1 g6 27. fxg6 Qxf4 28. Rxf4 fxg6

29. Rf6 Bf5 30. Rxd6 Nxc4 31. Re6 Rxe6 32. dxe6 Bxe6 33. Bf3


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