Mikhail Botvinnik

The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion

$49.95

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About the Book

The games of Mikhail Botvinnik, world chess champion from 1948 to 1963, have been studied by players around the world for decades. But little has been written about Botvinnik himself. This book explores his unusual dual career—as a highly regarded scientist as well as the first truly professional chess player—as well as his complex relations with Soviet leaders, including Josef Stalin, his bitter rivalries, and his doomed effort to create the perfect chess-playing computer program.
The book has more than 85 games, 127 diagrams, twelve photographs, a chronology of his life and career, a bibliography, an index of openings, an index of opponents, and a general index.

About the Author(s)

Grandmaster Andrew Soltis, eight times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Andy Soltis
Format: library binding (7 x 10)
Pages: 284
Bibliographic Info: 107 annotated games, 128 diagrams, 12 photos, chronology, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7337-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1358-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. Misha 11

 2. Allies and Enemies 29

 3. Rivals 45

 4. Botvinnik vs. the Bourgeoisie 66

 5. Two Moscows and a Nottingham 80

 6. From Levenfish to AVRO 98

 7. Absolution 115

 8. War 133

 9. Champion 156

10. “But They Were Good Years” 180

11. The End of Revenge 209

12. Last Moves 230

Appendix A: Chronology 251

Appendix B: Career Record Against Opponents 256

Notes on Sources 257

Bibliography 264

Index of Openings (ECO) 267

Index of Opponents 268

General Index 269

Book Reviews & Awards

Book of the Year—English Chess Federation. Book of the Year—Chess Journalists of America
“another Soltis tour-de-force…a fascinating book that is must reading for anyone wishing to learn more about this fascinating figure”—IM John Donaldson (JeremySilman.com); “a fascinating story…a brilliant account, the best book written on Botvinnik by far”—Chess News; “meticulously researched…combines a multitude of Soviet and American sources to paint a rich and detailed picture of one of the game’s most enigmatic and powerful players”—Chess Life; “a really excellent read…an interesting and comprehensive account of Botvinnik’s life…respect is etched on every page and considerable effort has obviously been made both at the editing and writing stages. Botvinnik himself would surely have nodded approval”—British Chess Magazine; “recommended”—Kingpin Chess Magazine; “Soltis has written another fine book. He makes you aware of Botvinnik’s myriad achievements and gives you a good sense of his life and times”—Manchester Chess Federation; “covers more background information on the person Botvinnik, that I ever have ever seen on print before!”—Chessbook Reviews; “Soltis tells a fascinating story…a brilliant account, the best book written on Botvinnik by far”—Huffington Post; “an excellent job…recommended”—Chess Life; “Soltis’s best book so far”—Dale Brandreth, Caissa Editions; “Grandmaster Andy Soltis exceeds all expectations in this epic life of chess’ most enigmatic world champions. McFarland Publishers have set very high standards in the world of chess publishing with many of their titles winning prestigious book awards. With this new work on Botvinnik, McFarland has again raised the bar for excellence. Soltis presents a wonderful selection of games with stories behind their competitive significance. The games are well analyzed by Soltis. Soltis has written a modern day classic chess biography. Soltis’ readable portrait of one the great players of all time, once picked up, is very hard to put back down”—The Birmingham News; “Soltis exceeds all expectations in this epic life of chess most enigmatic world champions. McFarland Publishers have set very high standards in the world of chess publishing with many of their titles winning prestigious book awards. With this new work on Botvinnik, McFarland has again raised the bar for excellence. Soltis has written a modern day classic chess biography. Soltis’ readable portrait of one of the great players of all time, once picked up, is very hard to put back down”—al.com.