Botvinnik's brilliancy against Riumen's Worrall

10/2/2006 – Get that? You will at the end of Dennis Monokroussos' Monday night Playchess lecture, which is devoted to the young Botvinnik, who in 1935 tied for first in the Moscow tournament, ahead of Lasker and Capablanca. His most brilliant game was against Nikolay Riumin, which Dennis will discuss. Be there and enjoy.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The current world chess championship situation is a mess, and the absurd events of the last week have only exacerbated the situation. Things were better in 1935, but not much: world champion Alexander Alekhine ducked Jose Capablanca and others to beat up on Efim Bogoljubow, and probably thought he was going to do the same to Dutchman Max Euwe later that year. (Little did he know!)

Meanwhile, the player who would ultimately replace Alekhine at the top of the chess world, one Mikhail Botvinnik, was making his mark on the scene. The Moscow 1935 tournament featured ex-world champions Emanuel Lasker and Capablanca, the great Czech Salo Flohr, and a host of other talented players from Russia and elsewhere. In this elite field, the 23-year old Botvinnik shined, tying for first with Flohr half a point ahead of (the 67-year old!) Lasker and a point ahead of Capablanca.

Among the many outstanding games in this great event we can include Botvinnik’s sixth round win over Nikolay Riumin. This game shared the best-game prize in the tournament, and will be the subject of this week’s show. Riumin, with White essayed the Worrall Attack against Botvinnik’s closed Ruy, a line which typically results in a pitched battle over White’s pawn center. By move 19, Riumin had pawns on d4, e5, f4, g4 and h3, but was this a strength or a weakness? Against mere mortals, it might have proved a strength, but not against the Patriarch!

We might not be able to play as well as Botvinnik, but we can learn from him – and those who join me this Monday night at 9 p.m. will! If Kramnik and Topalov play, this can be dessert; if they don’t, then this can be the main course. No matter what, you’ll be able to see at least one world champion in action!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Note: you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos here:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

Here are the exact times for different locations in the world. Please double-check at World Time and Date for your time zone.

Abu Dhabi Tue 06:00     Halifax Mon 22:00     New Orleans Mon 20:00
Addis Ababa Tue 05:00 Hanoi Tue 09:00 New York Mon 21:00
Adelaide * Tue 12:30 Harare Tue 04:00 Odesa Tue 04:00
Aden Tue 05:00 Havana Mon 21:00 Oslo Tue 03:00
Aklavik Mon 19:00 Helsinki Tue 04:00 Ottawa Mon 21:00
Algiers Tue 03:00 Hong Kong Tue 10:00 Paris Tue 03:00
Amman Tue 04:00 Honolulu Mon 16:00 Perth Tue 10:00
Amsterdam Tue 03:00 Houston Mon 20:00 Philadelphia Mon 21:00
Anadyr Tue 14:00 Indianapolis Mon 21:00 Phoenix Mon 19:00
Anchorage Mon 17:00 Islamabad Tue 07:00 Prague Tue 03:00
Ankara Tue 04:00 Istanbul Tue 04:00 Reykjavik Tue 02:00
Antananarivo Tue 05:00 Jakarta Tue 09:00 Rio de Janeiro * Tue 00:00
Asuncion * Mon 23:00 Jerusalem Tue 04:00 Riyadh Tue 05:00
Athens Tue 04:00 Johannesburg Tue 04:00 Rome Tue 03:00
Atlanta Mon 21:00 Kabul Tue 06:30 San Francisco Mon 18:00
Baghdad Tue 05:00 Kamchatka Tue 14:00 San Juan Mon 22:00
Bangkok Tue 09:00 Karachi Tue 07:00 San Salvador Mon 20:00
Barcelona Tue 03:00 Kathmandu Tue 07:45 Santiago * Mon 23:00
Beijing Tue 10:00 Khartoum Tue 05:00 Santo Domingo Mon 22:00
Beirut Tue 04:00 Kingston Mon 21:00 Sao Paulo * Tue 00:00
Belgrade Tue 03:00 Kiritimati Tue 16:00 Seattle Mon 18:00
Berlin Tue 03:00 Kolkata Tue 07:30 Seoul Tue 11:00
Bogota Mon 21:00 Kuala Lumpur Tue 10:00 Shanghai Tue 10:00
Boston Mon 21:00 Kuwait City Tue 05:00 Singapore Tue 10:00
Brasilia * Tue 00:00 Kyiv Tue 04:00 Sofia Tue 04:00
Brisbane Tue 12:00 La Paz Mon 22:00 St. John's Mon 22:30
Brussels Tue 03:00 Lagos Tue 03:00 St. Paul Mon 20:00
Bucharest Tue 04:00 Lahore Tue 07:00 Stockholm Tue 03:00
Budapest Tue 03:00 Lima Mon 21:00 Suva Tue 14:00
Buenos Aires Mon 23:00 Lisbon Tue 02:00 Sydney * Tue 13:00
Cairo Tue 04:00 London Tue 02:00 Taipei Tue 10:00
Canberra * Tue 13:00 Los Angeles Mon 18:00 Tallinn Tue 04:00
Cape Town Tue 04:00 Madrid Tue 03:00 Tashkent Tue 07:00
Caracas Mon 22:00 Managua Mon 20:00 Tegucigalpa Mon 20:00
Casablanca Tue 02:00 Manila Tue 10:00 Tehran Tue 05:30
Chatham Island * Tue 15:45 Melbourne * Tue 13:00 Tokyo Tue 11:00
Chicago Mon 20:00 Mexico City Mon 20:00 Toronto Mon 21:00
Copenhagen Tue 03:00 Minneapolis Mon 20:00 Vancouver Mon 18:00
Darwin Tue 11:30 Minsk Tue 04:00 Vienna Tue 03:00
Denver Mon 19:00 Montevideo * Tue 00:00 Vladivostok Tue 12:00
Detroit Mon 21:00 Montgomery Mon 20:00 Warsaw Tue 03:00
Dhaka Tue 08:00 Montreal Mon 21:00 Washington DC Mon 21:00
Dublin Tue 02:00 Moscow Tue 05:00 Wellington * Tue 15:00
Edmonton Mon 19:00 Mumbai Tue 07:30 Winnipeg Mon 20:00
Frankfurt Tue 03:00 Nairobi Tue 05:00 Yangon Tue 08:30
Geneva Tue 03:00 Nassau Mon 21:00 Zagreb Tue 03:00
Guatemala Mon 20:00 New Delhi Tue 07:30 Zürich Tue 03:00


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