Once in a Soviet sports film they told such phrase "Duganov is an epoch in hockey!"
I don't know what about the hero of the film but Mikhail Botvinnik whose 90 unniversary birthday today marks all civilized world is an epoch in chess that's valid!
The beginning of an ascention of the future sixth World Champion to a throne of the chess king is accepted for counting from that memorable simultan which was given in Leningrad in 1925 by then World Champion. Jose Raul Capablanca specially arrived in the city at Neva during the first Moscow international tournament. Hardly this victory in a multi-board chess-play so has affected on purposeful 14 y.o. boy who to this time already seriously was engaged in chess and it has ceased to be for him just by an empty entertainment. Certainly to present measures he has joined ancient game rather late 12 years, but his forward movement upward was successful. In four years he already was a participant of the Championship of the country! Since young years the deep scientific approach to chess was characteristic for Botvinnik. Besides his fast promotion on a sports ladder was favourably perceived by authorities.
In the USSR those years sport was considered as an original appendix to a trade and the student, and then a young scientist with maximum and serious education (Botvinnik has finished one of the most solid High Schools of the country - the Leningrad Polytechnical institute) was well looked at the background of chess successes.
The victories in 1931 and 1933 in the Championships of the country and a draw score in a match with S.Flohr were the bright proof of his high class. Then has followed sharing of the first place on a tournament with participation of M.Euwe and successful statements on the 2-nd and 3-th Moscow international tournaments.
Chess was one of the few kinds of sports, on which the Soviet authority did their rate and the young perspective chess player became an object of their steadfast attention. All the more the successes of Botvinnik on the international arena were rather serious. To name a sharing 1-2 places with J.R.Capablanca on a large international tournament in Hastings and third place in AVRO-tournament in Holland is enough. Holding in 1948 the match - tournament of the top chess players of the world, soon after death of the World Champion A.Alekhin, became an original triumph of M.Botvinnik. He was proclaimed then the World Champion.
Perhaps the main role in his unconditional success has played the sistem of preparation to the competitions developed by him, which he has finished up to perfection. That is a characteristic example: Botvinnik before the match - tournament of 1948 always hardly played against the ex-champion of the World M.Euwe. He prepared for the games vs Dutch especially carefully. He managed to pay attention to the Euwe's predilection to so-called long moves. Having foreseen two Rook's moves from Ю8 to d8 and from d8 to d5, Botvinnik has managed to beat the contender in a sharp system of the Meran variant practically not leaving home laboratory!
The victory in this most important competition of life was complete. Botvinnik became the first Soviet World Champion! After a gain of the chess crown Mikhail Moiseevich has decided to devote itself to scientific activity and to finish the doctor's dissertation. The serious technical theme has forced Botvinnik to give all the best completely, that was his major vital principle in general - any work to make on a limit of conscientiousness. Those years even to write the candidate dissertation required huge work. It's now anyone not having a scientific degree at all can nominate himself as the academician!! As they speak in East if nobody has chosen you by an academician, can choose you by yourself.
The temporary leaving from chess has caused subsequently large problems in a match with D.Bronstein. The absence of practice has nearly played a malicious joke with the World Champion: to keep the rank for Botvinnic was possible with the large work for the draw. The heavy course of a match of 1951 has allowed for enemies of Botvinnic at active participation sports functioners to discharge him of trip on chess Olympiad in Helsinki.
It has given to the World Champion an additional sports rage and he has managed in the same year successfully to act on a Championship of the country, and as a result he became the winner.
Then the decade began, during which he twice conceded for one year a rank the best chess player of a planet to V.Smyslov and M.Tal, but nevertheless each time after failure he has managed to come back to the throne.
It is difficult to tell how a match - revenge T.Petrosian - M.Botvinnik has passed if it was held. However to this time this kind of competition was already cancelled. Having lost the rank, Botvinnik all the same has remained the great chess player and founder of the Soviet chess school.
Remarkable Yugoslavian chess player Milunka Lazarevich appreciate his role considering his exlusive investment and absolute authority in foundation of the Soviet chess school.
His capital literary works are invaluable and are the deepest analytical works on chess art. Mikhail Moiseevich has made for formation of growing up chess generation very much. He has created the school of Botvinnik, in which were brought up many outstanding grandmasters. The invaluable help he has rendered to a very young G.Kasparov, making the first shy steps to a chess throne.
Using the deep technical knowledge Botvinnik was engaged in creation first chess and not only chess computer programs. Giving the large attention to the physical preparation, the sixth World Champion was always in a good sports form. It would be desirable to note, that even in his six-decade he has managed to beat the rival in a match of a century, that was twice younger of him!!
M.Botvinnik - S.Tartakover Nottinhem 1936
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.d4 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 c6 8.e4 Qc7 9.b3 Re8 10.Be3 Nf8 11.Rc1 h6 12.d5 Bd7 13.Nd2 g5 14.f4 gf 15.gf Npg7 16.fe de 17.e5 c5 18.Nxd5 Qc6 19.Nc4 Ng6 20.Nd6 Be6 21.Nxe7 Nxe7 (D) 22.Rxf6 Npxf6 23.Qh5 Ng6 24.Nf5 Rg8 25.Qxh6 Bxa2 26.Rd1 Rad8 27.Qg5+ Npe6 28.Rxd8 f6 29.Rxg8 Nf4 30.Qg7 1-0 (is marked by a prize for beauty)
M.Botvinnik - A.Alekhin AVRO-tournament 1938
1. Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5.cd Nxd5 6.e3 Nc6 7. Bc4 cd 8.ed Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10. Re1 b6 11. Nxd5 ed 12. Bb5 Bd7 13. Qa4 Nb8 14. Bf4 Bxb5 15. Qxb5 a6 16. Qa4 Bd6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Rac1 Ra7 19. Qc2 Re7 20. Rxe7 Qxe7 21. Qc7 Qxc7 22. Rxc7 f6 23. Npf1 Rf7 24. Rc8 + Rf8 25. Rc3 g5 26. Ne1 h5 27.h4 Nd7 28. Rc7 Rf7 29. Nf3 g4 30. Ne11 f5 31. Nd3 f4 32.f3 gf 33.gf a5 34.a4 Npf8 35, Rc6 Npe7 36. Npf2 Rf5 37.b3 Npd8 38. Npe2 Nb8 39. Rg6 Npc7 40. Ne5 Na6 41. Rg7 + Npc8 42. Nc6 Rf6 43. Ne7 + Npb8 44. Nxd5 Rd6 45. Rg5 Nb4 46. Nxb4 ab 47. Rh5 Rc6 48. Rb5 Npe7 49. Rxb4 Rh6 50. Rb5 Rxh4 51. Npd3 1-0
M.Botvinnik - J.R.Capablanca AVRO-tournament 1938
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3 + 6.bc c5 7.cd ed 8. Bd3 0-0 9. Ne2 b6 10.0-0, Ba6 11. Bxa6 Nxa6 12. Bb2 Qd7 13.a4 Rfe8 14. Qd3 c4 15. Qc2 Nb8 16. Rae1 Nc6 17. Ng3 Na5 18.f3 Nb3 19.e4 Qxa4 20.e5 Nd7 21. Qf2 g6 22.f4 f5 23.ef Nxf6 24.f5 Rxe1 25. Rxe1 Re8 26. Re6 Rxe6 27.fe Kg7 28. Qf4 Qe8 29. Qe5 Qe7 30. Ba3 Qxa3 31. Nh5 + gh 32. Qg5 + Kf8 33. Qxf6 + Kg8 34.e7 Qc1 + 35. Kf2 Qc2 + 36. Kg3 Qd3 + 37. Kh4 Qe4 + 38. Kxh5 Qe2 + 39. Kh4 Qe4 + 40.g4 Qe1 + 41. Kh5 1-0 (Is marked by a prize for beauty)
P.Keres - M.Botvinnik Match-tournament 1941
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cd ed 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.0-0-0 Bxc3 9.Qxc3 g5 10.Bg3 cd 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qa4 Bf5 13.e3 Rc8 14.Bd3 Qd7 15.Kb1 Bxd3+ 16.Rxd3 Qf5 17.e4 Nxe4 18.Ka1 0-0 19.Rd1 b5 20.Qxb5 Nd4 21.Qd3 Nc2+ 22.Kb1 Nb4 0-1
M.Botvinnik - M.Euwe World championship match-tournament, Hague 1948
1.d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dc 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 a6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 cd 11. Nxb5 ab 12. ef Qb6 13.fg Bxg7 14.0-0 Nc5 15. Bf4 Bb7 16. Re1 Rd8 17. Rc1 Rd5 18. Be5 Bxe5 19. Rxe5 Rxe5 20. Nxe5 Nxd3 21. Qxd3 f6 22. Qg3 fe 23. Qg7 Rf8 24. Rc7 Qxc7 25. Qxc7 Bd5 26. Qxe5 d3 27. Qe3 Bc4 28.b3 Rf7 29.f3 Rd7 30. Qd2 e5 31.bc bc 32. Kf2 Kf7 33. Ke3 Ke6 34. Qb4 Rc7 35. Kd2 Rc6 36.a4 1-0
M.Botvinnik-M.Tal World Championship match-revenge Moscow 1961.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 Nbd7 6. Be3 e5 7. Nge2 0-0 8.d5 Nh5 9. Qd2 f5 10.0-0-0 a6 11. Npb1 Ndf6 12.ef gf 13. Ng3 Qe8 14. Bd3 Nxg3 15.hg c5 16. Bh6 Qg6 17.g4 b5 18. Bxg7 Npxg7 19. Rh4 bc 20. Bc2 h6 21. Rdh1 Qg5 22. Qxg5 + hg 23. Rh6 fg 24.fg Bxg4 25. Rg6 + Kf7 26. Rf1 Ke7 27. Rg7 + Ke8 28. Ne4 Nd7 29. Nxd6 + Kd8 30. Rxf8 + Nxf8 31. Nxc4 Bd7 32. Rf7 Kc7 33.d6 + 1-0
M.Matulovich - M.Botvinnik Match of Century, Belgrad 1970
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2 c6 6. Bb3 0-0 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 e5 9.de de 10. Nbd2 Qc7 11. Nc4 Nh5 12. Bg3 Nf4 13. Bxf4 ef 14.0-0-0 Bg4 15.e5 Nbd7 16. Qe4 Rad8 17. Qxf4 Bxf3 18. Qxf3 b5 19. Ne3 Nxe5 20. Qg3 a5 21.a3 Nh7 22. Ng4 h5 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Qf3 Kg7 25. Rhe1 Bf6 26.c3 c5 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28.g3 c4 29. Bc2 b4 30.ab ab 31.cb Qb6 32. Rd1 Qxb4 33. Rxd8 Qxb2 + 34. Kd1 Bxd8 35. Qd5 Qd6 36. Ke2 Bb6 37.f4 Qc3 38. Qe4 Bd4 39.f5 gf 40. Qxf5 Qe3 + 41. Nf1 Qg1 + 42. Ke2 Qxh2 + 43. Kd1 Qg1 + 44. Ke2 Qe2 + 45. Kf1 Qxg3 46. Qh7 + Kf8 0-1
Alexander Geller, international arbiter