A Seventeen-Year-Old Young Man

A Seventeen-Year-Old Young Man

From Hans Kmoch’s column in Neues Wiener Journal, November 12, 1927.

Played in this years All-Russian national tournament. We show this game not only because it is well played, but mainly because the winner, Botvinnik, despite being a just seventeen-year-old young man, shows remarkable maturity and tactical power.

It should be noted that his opponent is a fully fledged international master, who successfully participated in the international tournaments of Baden-Baden and Moscow 1925.

I. Rabinovich – M. Botvinnik
1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7
Black wants to play the Stonewall and to later have the possibility of answering Ne5 with Nxe5. Therefore he doesn’t play the usual Bb4+ and also not d5 followed by Bd6.
5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2 Qe8 9. Bf4 Qh5 10. Rad1 Nbd7 11. b3
Now dxc4 was threatened. It could previously be advantageously answered by Nd2!
11… Ne4 12. Ne5 Ng5
To provoke the following weakness.
13. h4
Better was 13. f3 Nh3+ 14. Bxh3 Qxh3 15. e4 etc.
13… Ne4 14. Bf3 Qe8 15. Nxd7 Bxd7 16. Kg2 Bb4! 17. Bxe4?
17. Nb1, threatening c5, a3, b4 etc., had to be played. Now black gets a sharp attack, which he executes strongly and elegantly.
17… fxe4 18. Rh1 Qh5 19. f3 Qg6
Decisive! Threatening both exf3+ winning the queen, and also Rxf4.
20. Kf1 e5!
Stronger than winning a pawn with 20… exf3 21. Qxg6 hxg6.
21. dxe5
If 21. Bxe5 exf3 22. Qxg6 fxe2+ 23. Kxe2 hxg6 24. Rc1 Bg4+ with a safe game.


21… Rxf4!
A sharply calculated and correct sacrifice.
22. gxf4 Qg3! 23. Nxe4
If 23. cxd5 Bc5 24. Nxe4 Bh3+! 25. Rxh3 Qg1 mate.
23… dxe4!
Again the strongest!
24. Rxd7 Bc5!
24… e3 would fail to 25. Rxg7+! followed by Rg1.
25. e3 Qxf3+ 26. Qf2
There is nothing better. White loses a rook back.
26… Qxh1+ 27. Ke2 Qh3! 28. f5 Qg4+ 29. Kd2 Rf8 30. e6 Qxf5!
Not 30… Rxf5? because of 31. Rd8+ Bf8 32. Qxf5! Qxf5 33. e7 threatening e8Q! and black has to draw by perpetual check. The rest is easily understood.
31. Qxf5 Rxf5 32. Rxb7 Rf2+ 33. Ke1 Rf6 34. b4 Bxe3 35. Ke2 Bg1 36. e7 Kf7 37. e8=Q+ Kxe8 38. Rxg7 Rg6 39. Rxh7 Bd4 40. c5 Rg2+ 41. Kf1 Rf2+ 42. Ke1 e3 White resigned.
After his play in this game one must dare to predict a wonderful future for Botvinnik.

Source: ANNO

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