How to plan effectively ? To answer this question, we continue looking at a great game from Botvinnik against Keres. Here Botvinnik unveiled the strength of a Knight on the sixth rank.
In the first article, dedicated to the opening, we saw how Botvinnik chooses a plan in the Carlsbad structure.
In the second article, dedicated to the early middlegame, we have detailed how Botvinnik creates a central breakthrough.
Now the situation is different: after 21 moves, Botvinnik has already achieved a lot with his plan, and has a significant advantage in this position. We will try to assess the position first, in order to come up with a new plan for the rest of the game.
In this article, we will see how strong a Knight on the sixth rank can be, how you can defend against it, and how to create other threats can help keeping that Knight on its nice position.
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Indeed, the Knight on c3 remains a bit backward, there must be a way to activate it. Look at how Botvinnik handles the threat on d4 and improve the Knight’s placement at the same time.
This was the game continuation and we will soon see how things turned out. Nevertheless, I want to come back one move earlier and ask you what should Botvinnik have played, had Keres gone for 23… Qc7.