Achieving the Aim by Mikhail Botvinnik

By Mikhail Botvinnik

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During the tournament there was an episode which was possibly not much to my credit, but it happened . . Lasker's game with my friend Slava Ragozin was adjourned with advantage to the old doctor. We 'worked over' the position conscienti­ ously, since there was a danger that Lasker would finish in :first place ! Finally we found a draw 'in all variations' but for safety's sake we decided to consult with Capablanca (who was also in contention with Lasker). Obviously we ought not to have done this.

This was an essential measure, though a temporary one. Of course on the whole it lowered the standard of knowledge of young engineers, yet this standard was adequate to fulfil the obligations of the organisers of production. Strange though it may seem I gained from the reform-! was not over­ loaded with an excessive volume of knowledge, and I could use my nerve cells for taking decisions in original situations. Thus there began the era of the brigade-laboratory method. Examina­ tions and tests were abolished.

In the seven years since he had taken the world title he had not known a single reverse, but at Hastings he shared second and third places, half a point behind Flohr. The House of Scientists arranged a disputation on the creative results of the match. Friends told me that I was going to be attacked by the 'older generation'. That is how it was. Leven:fish and Romanovsky, who had lavished praise on Flohr after the Moscow half of the match, now criticised me for the level score in the match, for my carefulness and the · abWidance of draws.

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Achieving the Aim by Mikhail Botvinnik
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