Kindred’s Special: A Practical Study of Opening Theory (QGD) Part III

One of the games that excited me from the 1963 match between Mikhail Botvinnik and T. Petrosian came in the 14th game for the world title. I remember I could hardly wait for my copy of CHESS REVIEW to arrive and I was most rewarded with this game.  Once again M. Botvinnik essays the Exchange Variation but shows there is more than one way to handle the opening.

1. d4  d5  2. c4  e6  3. Nc3  Be7.

The idea of this Bishop move instead of 3… Nf6 is to avoid White’s Bg5.

4. cxd5  exd5  5. Bf4  c6  6. e3  Bf5  7. g4!  This strong move has some mean points to it. If now, 7. … Bg6  8. h4 with a pawn roll-up as 8. … Bxh4? gets sharp with 9. Qb3 b6 10. Rxh4!! Qxh4  11. Nxd5. Should Black try 8. …h6, then probably 9. h5, or; if 8…h5, then 9. g5 and White grabs space and adds to his SqCt on the K-side.

7. … Be6  8. h3.  Botvinnik also tried 8.Bd3 in the 12th game of this match and later 8. h4 against Spassky at Leiden, 1970.

8….Nf6  9. Bd3  c5.  The classic method of meeting a wing demonstration with a counteraction in the center.

10. Nf3  Nc6  11. Kf1  O-O  12. Kg2  cxd4  13. Nxd4!  Nxd4  14. exd4.  The mastership of Botvinnik shows itself in this rather unusual gain of a tempo resulting from his exchanging Knights and freeing up the f3 square for his f-pawn to occupy.

14. … d7  15. Qc2  Nf6  16. f3  Rc8  17. Be5.  White has a 12/9 SqCt (squares attacked into both camps).  I see no miscues by Black, yet the passivity of his forces and pawn structure appears to negate any hint of establishing a counter blow to offset White’s strong initiative.  Petrosian now attempts to aid his own camp with an exchange of dark square Bishops. The isolanis however tend to favor White in such an exchange. Botvinnik continues with developing his Rook and the exchange that commences ups the tempo plus.

17. … Bd6  18. Rae1  Bxe5  19. Rxe5.  Petrosian may have hoped for 19. dxe5? when 19. … d4 20. exf6  Qxf6 is better for Black.

19. … g6  20. Qf2  Nd7  21. Re2  Nb6  22. Rhe1  Nc4  23. Bxc4  Rxc4  24. Rd2  Re8  25.Re3  a6  26. b3  Rc6  27. Na4  b6.  Blocking entry to Nc5 which points to the effectiveness of SqCt as it concerns a defensive posture of protecting squares in your own camp. Also note Black’s 29th ..f6 to guard e5.  But the Knight simply uses a different route to reach it’s destination on d3. Black temporarily has neutralized the SqCt.

28. Nb2  a5  29. Nd3  f6  30. h4! Increases SqCt and carries with it the threat of g5 now to undermine the f6 pawn protection of e5.

30. … Bf7  31.Rxe8+ Bxe8  32. Qe3  Bf7  33. g5  Be6  34. Nf4  Bf7  35.Nd3  Be6  36. gxf6  Qxf6  37. Qg5  Qxg5+  38. hxg5 a4  39. bxa4  Rc4  40. a5!  bxa5  41. Nc5  Bf5  42. Kg3 a4  43. Kf4  a3  44. Ke5  45. Nd3  Rb5 46.Kd6  Kf7  47. Kc6  Bxd3  48. Rxd3  Rb2 49. Rxa3  Rg2 50. Kxd5  Rxg5+  51. Kc6  h5  52.d5  Rg2  53. d6  Rc2+ 54. Kd7  h4?!  Not correct according to Botvinnik’s analysis.  He gives as best here, 54. …g5! 55. Ra5!  Kf6  56. Kd8  h4  57. d7  h3  58. Ra6+  Kg7  59.Re6 h2  60. Re1 and White should win.

55. f4  Rf2  56. Kc8  Rxf4  57.Ra7+ Resigns.

This game is excellent for study.

A number of important games came after this battle; Korchnoi vs Karpov (Merano, 1981); World Championship match Karpov/Kasparov saw several games where both players played both colors featuring the Bf4 line of the Exchange Variation. There are many games from various CHESS INFORMANTS, opening books like NIC and MCO. While these sources should be checked, my lessons here are designed to offer a method of expanding your knowledge and historical development of openings as played today with some key games that added to the theory of the QGD–Exchange Variation.


8 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: A Practical Study of Opening Theory (QGD) Part III”

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  3. kindredspiritks Says:

    One reason I do not include pictures or diagrams is simply to save space and I do not know how to make such diagrams or photos attractive enough. I write articles almost daily and my time is rather limited and put that time into my personal analysis and commentary on others where the games originated.

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