Botvinnik vs Smyslov and Petrosian

In this book, Botvinnik writes the story of the three confrontations with his compatriot Vasily Smyslov, matches full of tension between two practically equal opponents, and his confrontation with Tigran Petrosian, which marks the end of an era: the powerful Botvinnik lost his world title fifteen years after winning the highest crown for the first time.

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The writings of Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik (1911–1995) are legendary. And Botvinnik's legacy is deeply engraved in the DNA of every current grandmaster, says Andy Soltis in the foreword to this book. 'The Patriarch' took chess professionalism to a new level and was the first to emphasize preparation: what a player does before a match plays a huge, if not decisive, role in what happens during a match.

In this book, Botvinnik writes the story of the three clashes with his compatriot Vasily Smyslov, tense matches between two virtually equal opponents, and his clash with Tigran Petrosian, which marks the end of an era: the mighty Botvinnik lost his world title fifteen years after first winning the top crown.

The first part of this book offers Botvinnik's view of three World Championship matches and how he prepared for them. The matches were a clash of personalities as big as any world championship, as much as Karpov against Kasparov. While Botvinnik played the role of a stern father, Smyslov was like the smiling, calm uncle. Botvinnik was proud of what he called his "tough character" and Smyslov seemed to get along with everyone. His attitude was to try to do the best he could and let fate decide.

The last part of the book is the thrilling account of a heroic battle. Elderly Botvinnik desperately tries to recover after his Armenian opponent Tigran Petrosian has taken an early lead, but eventually El Patriarca fails.

It 's Mikhail Botvinnik, one of the greatest chess players of all time, analyzes many of the matches, reveals his match strategy and comments on his opponent's strategic choices. This important historical document also includes annotations and writings by Smyslov, Petrosian and other great grandmasters, the games of a secret training tournament of Botvinnik and Botvinnik's legendary notebooks, including the last one containing his preparation for a match with Bobby Fischer in 1969, a match that never happened.

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Mikhail Botvinnik
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