An unexamined life is not worth living.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Botvinnik’s 100 anniversary

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.


Chess Strategy - Bovinnik attacks against the strong center

 Chess Strategy - Botvinnik Attacks in Isolated Pawn position

Attacking Chess - Botvinnik Finds a New Plan in the Opening

The art of chess planning from Mikhail Botvinnik

Chess Preparation - key improvement in Panov-Botvinnik attack

Chess Strategy - Botvinnik exploits a key weak square

Chess Strategy - Central Domination illustrated by Botvinnik

A typical Botvinnik game, according to Fischer

 Chess Strategy - Exploiting weak isolated pawn (Botvinnik - Zagoryansky)

Botvinnik - Ragozin - an overlooked counter attack

Botvinnik - Ragozin - gaining opening advantage in a chess game

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