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Mikhail Botvinnik

( chess-player)

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Biography Mikhail Botvinnik
photo Mikhail Botvinnik
(August 17, 1911 - May 5, 1995)

Autumn of 1926 the 15-year-old Misha Botvinnik played in the team match Leningrad - Stockholm. Returned from Sweden by boat through Helsingfors. The hotel of the Finnish city of young Botvinnik was amazed to see how a famous master Alexander Ilyin-Geneva undressed and began to braid a ladies' stockings - executing the order of his wife. In those years of good stocking of domestic production was not, and men carry women's things prohibit Customs. Despite the protests, Ilyin made the same procedure with his young colleague. As Michael Moiseevich admitted in his memoirs, "remorse I experienced - was happy to help a new friend!" And who knows what would have been his fate if the novice smuggler "spotted" on the border ...

. In 1945, when Botvinnik seek the right to play a match with Alekhine (this idea had many opponents in sports management), he was invited to the office of the then leader of the Soviet sports NN
. Romanova. Romanov went out, leaving Botvinnik with two citizens in civilian. Traditional questions: Have him abroad to meet with White emigres, and any other bodyaga ... Finally tricky question: "And did not apply to you if any of the foreign diplomats in Moscow?" Indeed, telephoned Secretary of the Cuban embassy, said that he should pass Botvinnik book dedicated to the memory of Capablanca. "And what do you otvetiliN" - asked comrades

. And in 1983, even before the restructuring, Botvinnik in New York "made several statements which defame the representatives of the Soviet chess school" (the wording of the note by the KGB to CC CPSU)
. He was invited to talk to the CC, and without waiting for the full and complete repentance, accept the necessity "to continue to restrict his travel abroad.

Yes, Botvinnik changed. At one time it was famous for orthodoxy and intolerance, and 25 years after the war, said of the master Bogatyrchuk who had left the Germans from the Ukraine and settled in Canada after the war: "I would personally hung it in the center of the city". In the late 1980's as he confidently tells about his life Gennady Sosonko, defector, who remained in the West among the first of our chess masters. A 40-50-e Botvinnik man with a biography Sosonko likely hands would not let on.

Father of future world champion born in the Belarusian village, in 25 years left for Minsk, in 1905. Mother was a certified dentist. Mikhail Botvinnik was born August 17, 1911, so that today we celebrate the 90 anniversary of the great chess fighter.

Initially, the family of the future world champion, lived in St. Petersburg, on Nevsky Prospect, in a good apartment of seven rooms. There have been a cook, maid, at one time maid. In 1920, Mr.. father left the family, and then had lived a very hard. The farm kept the elder brother Isaac, who two decades later, in September 1941, died at the front. When in 1928. Botvinnik became a student, my brother gave future champion ruble per day for transportation to the institute, lunch and dinner.

Botvinnik had learned to play chess later, at age 12. In 14 years is a watershed event in his life - he wins in the simul a world champion Capablanca! Two years later, after the session, in 1927, he - the master. In 1931, Mr.. - Becomes the first champion of the USSR. Brilliant results in the union and the major international tournaments. And, finally, victory in the match-tournament of the strongest Grandmasters in 1948, which makes him the world champion.

On paper it looks. In fact, all Botvinnik was not easily. Over loud outcome was tremendous work. Perhaps Botvinnik did not have such a crazy chess talent, as many of his rivals, particularly from generation Tal - Spassky. But 15 years world champion was still he ...

At the time, still very young Garry Kasparov doing in school, former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik. Harry was a very excitable boy, the board often acted impulsively. Botvinnik told him: "Garik, there is a danger that because you get a new Larsen and Taimanov".

Larsen and Taimanov in those years were in the top ten, "were cut" in pretendentskih matches ... For Botvinnik they were merely the embodiment of style and lightweight shallow, superficial understanding of chess.

Larsen and Taimanov - those for whom the patriarch has a right to look down. Although once, in 52-m, he tied for first place in the national championship with the same Taimanov ...

This - the credo manifestation sverhsereznogo attitude to chess. Gennady Sosonko recalled how in the late 80's Botvinnik at a joint analysis of stunned young Dutch masters Jeroen Piket: "I have the impression that you do not know my party with Yuriev of the Metalworkers' Union Championship in 1927 ..."

. Botvinnik argued: never become a world champion who does not have higher education
. Botvinnik himself was a Doctor of Science, is seriously engaged in scientific work, treated her very responsibly, in a moment, I think, considered himself a better scientist than a chess player. Today, Vladimir Kramnik, our new world champion, said he would not finish the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Novgorod, do not need it to him.

. Presumably, if not education as such, the work on a specialty, scientific work greatly hindered our chess patriarch
. Distraction forces took away the time ... Even in the early 70's he began work on the chess program pioneers who were supposed to be acting not brute force millions of possible continuations, and will be able to reproduce the human search algorithm of the. Who could have imagined, . that after a very short time got a computer unimaginable speed and make their long work group Botvinnik irrelevant, . In any case in relation to shahmatamN Botvinnik could not anticipate the rapid technological, . took up the challenge, . which, . essentially, . was removed before, . What was finalized its project.,

. Botvinnik was treated kindly by the authorities
. It was treated kindly, perhaps, only one Karpov. In 1935. after the victory in the II Moscow International Tournament (1-2 place with Salo Flora) Heavy Industry Commissar Ordzhonikidze gave him a car (there is remarkable not value things, . a unique form of awards), . but after the Nottingham tournament 1936,
. (division of the 1-2 places with Capablanca) Michael Moiseevich was awarded the Order of Honor.
Authorities tried to organize a match with Alekhine Botvinnik. And it was understood that Alekhine, to play with the champion of the USSR, will arrive in Moscow. Authorities acted aggressively and persistently, despite opposition to this idea in chess and in general sports leadership. Mol, Alekhine - White emigres, if not a White Guard, and all that jazz. But Stalin was certainly favor. And if not sudden death of Alekhine in March 1946, the match would probably take place.

Finally, Botvinnik released. Before the war, leaving was a form of special trust, encouragement and good will power. Some time in the Soviet Union was only two GM: Botvinnik and Levenfish (won, incidentally, the title of grandmaster back in the year of birth Botvinnik). So, Levenfish abroad simply not allowed - neither before he in 1937, Mr.. a draw with Botvinnik match for the championship of the USSR, not very long after. And in the Union in the interwar period, there were only three full-fledged international tournament - in 1925, 1935 and 1936.

But Botvinnik was independent, proud, stubborn, and even, as they say, he knew his own worth. This is Grandmaster chooses when and where he should go (if, of course, invited). And in 1968,. After refusing 57-year-old Botvinnik go on a minor tournament in the GDR Sport Committee (in full accordance with the position of the propaganda department of the CPSU Central Committee, . who was responsible sport) has threatened to ex-world champion deprivation scholarships, . he got back to prewar times,
. A year before he declined to participate in an international tournament dedicated to the 60 anniversary of the Great October Revolution.

Conflict of independent and self-sufficient person with authority, even loved him power, inevitable. Another thing, when and in what, acute or latent, forms it happen.

Like many other leading grandmasters, Botvinnik was a man fully possessed by the Soviet and the corresponding mentality. When Petrosian in 1963. during the match with Botvinnik up the stairs Variety Theater, idolized his admirers Armenians scattered beneath his feet the Holy Land from Echmiadzin. Tigran Vartan, they say, took it for granted. Many years later, Botvinnik recalled the episode with obvious irritation: "If me sprinkled holy land of Jerusalem - that I sdelalN" sweep - will pass, "- said to be ..."

. Yes, when Botvinnik said of himself: "I'm on the blood - a Jew of culture - Russian, but to educate - a Soviet, he is certainly no hypocrite.

. In the 80's and Assertive Many have written that matches with Kasparov, Karpov had the struggle between the forces and symbols of Soviet fundamentalism with the spirit of change, a fresh wind of public
. But with no less reason to be said about the confrontation with Tal Botvinnik. Just then, in the early 60's, it was impossible to write that Tal, they say, - a child of the Thaw, the product of social romanticism, post-Stalin era, Botvinnik - to orthodox thinking and behavior, the Soviet people to the marrow, relic of the past.
. It's funny, but then, in 1960, is a mental, sociocultural, and if you want psevdoideologicheskoe confrontation supplemented, shaded, and aggravated the opposite of pure chess styles and principles.

. Manners at the top of the pyramid of chess has always been far from idyllic
. What can you say - cruel. In 1952, Mr.. colleagues simply kicked him, the champion of the world, from the team, first submitted to the World Chess Olympiad. Traditional collectivist way, at a meeting of team. Our chess star teams have seen their leader delicate and charming Paul Keres. Botvinnik was sure that Keres psychological stress would break down and fail at the Olympics. And it did - Keres play his usual force could not, after three defeats it ceased to stand for the matches.

However, despite this, Botvinnik, Keres treated quite kindly. But relations Botvinnik and Bronstein, Botvinnik and Petrosian drawn in other. Call them simply hostile - so do not say anything. History match between Botvinnik and Bronstein in 1951, set out "from Michael and from David," - these are two completely different stories, they have between them almost nothing in common.

. In general, the day before his death Botvinnik gave his last instructions: "No lavish funeral
. No players. I want to go quietly. "

On the Soviet Shazmatnoy school began to speak shortly before the war, once in 1939. went really wonderful book historian of chess Grekova of MI. Chigorin, this, by definition Botvinnik, "patriotic work". A otlilas in bronze, rubbed this formula in the early postwar years.

. But if the Soviet chess school continued its tradition of creative Chigorin and Alekhine, . then Petrosian and Karpov, . these limits rationalists and pragmatists, . yes, . perhaps, . Botvinnik himself, . always played in a logical, . "correct" chess, . would be very, very relative successors chigorinsko-alehinskoy combination traditions.,

. Official propaganda has long been the case so, . that Soviet chess players - a corporation, . where there are exemplary Botvinnik and Karpov, . and behind them - many of these same smaller, . but qualitatively, . on its internal structure is not distinguished from the Grand,
. In fact, all our leaders were in the creative and human terms is very, very different, . they have been individually, . and in a sense, every great player - Botvinnik, . Smyslov, . Tal, . Petrossian, . Spassky, . Stein, . Geller - impossible to enumerate all, . - My own school,
. Botvinnik - too. Large, distinctive personality, who lived in a very unusual and tough times.

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