An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Is there a similarity between the styles of Kramnik and Botvinnik?

Studying the games of two all time great players, Vladimir Kramnik and Mikhail Botvinnik, I find there are quite a few similarities in their opening selection, strategic methods, and overall styles of play.

The approach of studying openings deeply and both in terms of specific variation, as well as the skill of playing for subtle positional nuances that are prepared at home was first developed by Botvinnik and today has been taken up to the “machine” level by Kramnik with his razor sharp and deep opening preparation. The similarities are likely not accidental, as Botvinnik was the teacher of Kramnik in the late 1980s, so there is a personal connection.

Has anyone else made similar comparisons between Kramnik and Botvinnik in the past? Are there other chess champions who have been called out as very similar in style?

Here are a couple of games by Botvinnik and Kramnik in the same opening - Slav Exchange:

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