The 100 outstanding games in this volume are Mikhail Botvinnik's own choices as the best games he played before becoming World Champion in 1948. They cover the period from his first big tournament — the USSR Championship of 1927, in which the 16-year-old Botvinnik became a master — to the International Tournament at Groningen in 1946 — in which he demonstrated his qualifications for winning the world championship.
Botvinnik, an expert analyst as well as a champion, had annotated these games himself, giving a complete exposition of his strategy and techniques against such leading chess players as Alekhine, Capablanca, Euwe, Keres, Reshevsky, Smyslov, Tartakower, Vidmar, and many others. In a foreword, he discusses his career, his method of play, and the system of training he has adopted for tournament play.
A careful study of these 100 games should prove rewarding to anyone interested in modern chess. A full variety of the most popular modern-day opening is provided, including the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian Defense, French Defense, Queen's Gambit Declined, Nimzo-Indian Defense, and others.
This volume also includes a long article on the development of chess in Russia, in which Botvinnik discusses Tchigorin, Alekhine, and their influence on the Soviet school of chess; the author's six studies of endgame positions; and Botvinnik's record in tournament and match play through 1948.
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