Threatening to decide the game by the double sacrifice 21 NxKNP! RPxN 22 BxKNP!

21 RR3 N.R4-B3

22 B-Nl

A logical conclusion to the game would have been a draw by repetition here, as Black's counterplay is fully adequate.

Black meets the threatened 26 NxBP with an active defence, temporarily replacing the isolated QP by an isolated pawn couple on the QB- and Q-files. We shall deal later with this particular conversion of one weakness into another, but in this situation Black soon knocks out the support for the QP.

Now 27 NxBP? loses to 27 ... Q-Q4! followed by 28 . . . KxN

The correct move is 29 R-N5! Q-B5 30 BxP! PxB 31 RxP+ KxN 32

R-N7+ K-Bl 33 R-N6+ with a draw by perpetual check. Botvinnik either missed this variation or was dissatisfied with a draw. At all events his position now becomes critical.

30 BPxR QxQPt-

Black could have consolidated his advantage much more simply by 31 . . . B-Q4.

A serious mistake which loses a piece but, surprisingly enough, not the game. 32 . . . N-Q4 would have brought about the logical result of a win for Black.

33 R-Ql NxB

34 PxN QxP

If the queen retreats to QB4 or QN3, then 35 N-Q7! wins.

35 RxB B-Q4

Here or on the next move, Black could still try for a win with 36 . . . BxRP

38 QxQ RxQf

40 RxB! PxR

After 42 N-Q3 R-Q7 43 NxP P-QR4 44 Nx P P-R5 45 B-B4 R-Q5 46 N-N6 K-B3 White's slight advantage is insufficient to win.

The side with the isolated pawn frequently commits a grave strategic error by blindly attacking on the K-side without due regard to the correct positioning of his pieces in relation to his QP. The above game shows how weak the pawn can become if White tries to finish the game quickly by a mating attack. Our next game illustrates this point even more clearly.

Spassky attempts a risky pawn storm against the castled king and it is only by the skin of his teeth that he escapes punishment for his romantic boldness.

27 Spassky-Flohr

22nd USSR Championship, Queen's Gambit

1 P-Q4 P-Q4 2 P-QB4 PxP 3 N-KB3 N-KB3 4 P-K3 P-B4 5 Bx P P-K3 6 0-0 Px P 7 Px P N-B3 8 N-B3 P-QR3

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